Tag Archives: Paula Leyden

The Sleeping Baobab Tree

So, here it is – not launched yet but a pre copy. I love it!

Release date 2nd May.

The Sleeping Baobab Tree April 2

And here, with its older sibling!


The Sleeping Baobab Tree

The sequel to The Butterfly Heart, The Sleeping Baobab Tree, is slowly becoming a reality – link to it now up on Amazon and release date is May 2nd.

Been a long writing journey but I hope the end result is a good one, I’m looking forward to holding it in my hands. While I do read eBooks I am pleased this is not the only format available – I remember the day I received my first copy of The Butterfly Heart from Walker Books and the excitement I felt holding it in my hands and turning the pages. I cannot imagine I would ever get the same thrill from opening a Kindle file…..

CBI Eilis Dillon Award 2012

Absolutely thrilled to have won the Eilis Dillon award for a First Children’s Book at the CBI Book Awards .  Just to say I am delighted. A great honour for the Butterfly Heart, for me and, I think, for Zambia.

Here is a pic of the certificate and the lovely trophy (which one of my daughters reckons would make a good weapon….?) Mega thanks to everyone – especially my extended family!

Trophy and beautiful window (not legible I know)

Slightly more legible picture

So, where are you from?

A normal part of being human is being from somewhere, and it’s an easy way for all of us to learn a little bit, quickly, about a person we meet. It might appear to be an easy question – but it’s not so for everyone. For me, it’s a question that does not have a one word answer. I was born in Kenya, grew up in Zambia, spent many years in South Africa and now live in Kilkenny, Ireland.

To be ‘from’ Kilkenny your family have to have lived here for a minimum of 150 years … last week I heard someone say, ‘Well, sure, that family only arrived here in the late 1800’s, they’re only runners,’ so I am quite sure my eight years here do not qualify me ! Having said that I feel very at home here and have been welcomed without hesitation by people in the city. My parents live in North Wales now, having moved there from Africa in the nineties, but my dad also lived in Burma and India as a child, and my ancestors came from England, Burma, Holland, Scotland and Ireland. So, a mixed bag. My answer to ‘where are you from?’ would probably be – ‘Well, different places really, but from here at the moment.’

I feel privileged to have lived in different places and from each of them I have learned different things. I sometimes think it must be satisfying to have a complete sense of where you are from, a national identity, a confidence to say, ‘I am Irish’ or ‘I am Zambian’ but never having had that it is not something I miss.

Kalulu the Hare

As I mentioned yesterday The Butterfly Heart contains many references to myths, legends and folk tales from Zambia. In my research I came across Kalimatundu a website by Vukani Nyirenda, a Zambian living in the US, and the author of  Kalulu the Hare Outwitted, an illustrated book for children. Take a look! Kalimatundu means ‘The country of wild bougainvillea.

I found him on JacketFlap a networking site for children’s writers, illustrators and people interested in children’s books – librarians, teachers, publishers etc. Worth a visit.