To fans of young adult fiction, Patrick Ness is a bit of a legend.
Actually, that might be an understatement. He's a big legend. He has won the prestigious Carnegie Medal
twice, and is one of only two authors to win the award in consecutive years (he won in both 2011 and 2012). The Knife of Never Letting Go
, possibly Ness's most popular book, has made repeated appearances in our Top 101 since it was first published in 2008.
He isn't just a writer of award-winning fiction, though. On Thursday 3 September, Ness launched a fundraising page
to collect donations for Save the Children in a bid to do more than just tweet his despair about the current Syrian refugee crisis. At the time of writing this post, over half a million pounds have been raised by over 6,000 donors.
He's a man with a large and generous heart and a remarkable gift for writing poignant and compelling stories. We love his latest novel, The Rest of Us Just Live Here
, and you can listen to Patrick talk a bit more about the book below.
To celebrate the release of the new book this month, Patrick was kind enough to answer our very important questions.
1. What was your favourite book growing up and why?
I read and reread Tom Robbins’s Jitterbug Perfume
, because it was the first “adult” book that showed me prose and plotting could be playful. I last read it aged 17 and have purposely not read it since.
2. If you could invite three fictional characters to dinner, who would you pick?
The Librarian from Discworld because I think he’d be good company. George Knightley from Emma
because he’s always *always* played by someone stupidly handsome, plus he’s kind. And Carrie from Carrie
just before the pig’s blood because she really deserves a break.
3. Who is your OTP and why?
Since I *know* you don’t mean One True Pairing – because who would answer that in a q&a? – you must mean OTP, the international airport code for Henri Coandă International Airport
in Bucharest. Which I’ve heard is beautiful.
4. What would you like to tell your 18 year-old self?
It will get better, it does get better, and so will your hair.
5. M&Ms or Smarties?
6. Who inspires you?
I’m not really one for inspirational figures. I think anyone who really tries to do what they love and is kind to other people and just generally does their best without being a dick is pretty amazing. So all those people.
7. What YA book absolutely needs to be adapted into a film?
None need to be, because if they did, the book wouldn’t be their perfect form. I wouldn’t *mind* seeing Libba Bray’s Going Bovine
8. What’s the best book you’ve read in the past 12 months?
Either Craig Thompson’s Blankets
, a graphic novel, or Marlon James’s A Brief History of Seven Killings
9. What is your number one tip for would-be writers?
Write a book you want to read yourself. You’d be *amazed* at how many people don’t. And if you don’t want to read it, we never will.
10. How would you summarise your latest book in 25 words or less?
What if you lived in a town like a YA novel but were never the Chosen One? You just wanted to survive. Maybe kiss someone.