Patrick Ness
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May 2009 Archives

Hay

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Back from Hay, which was brilliant.  Great crowds for both events (170 for the first one, which was just me, most I've ever had in my life!), and terrific questions.  And the day after (and after a May to end all Mays), I'm bloody exhausted.

But I can just raise my weary fingers to say avoid the Patrick Stewart/Ian MacKellan Waiting For Godot on the West End.  Intriguing for the first twenty minutes, then it grinds to a halt.  And still has two hours to go.  Purgatorial, and not in the good way.

Hay Festival

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Just a reminder that I'm appearing at the Hay Festival this week, not once, but twice!

First up is me being interviewed by librarian and Carnegie judge Jake Hope about The Ask and The Answer.  Should be good fun; Hay audiences are excellent.

And the second is something different they're trying this year, an Author's Question Time, with all questions provided by the audience.  It's a panel of me, Jasper Fforde, Jenny Valentine, and Cressida Cowell.  It's the first time they're doing it, so come along, see what sort of hash we make of it.

Had a great interview yesterday with a really fantastic class at Graveney School.  They asked serious, challenging questions, didn't always agree with me (or each other), and were generally just the best possible interview ever.  It was videoed for the Booktrust website, so you'll be able to see for yourself soon.  Special thanks to Max and Sam who not only asked bucketloads of good questions, but were brave enough to read out work they'd written.  Brilliant stuff.

Speaking of Booktrust, I've put up a new set of writer's tips on finding time to write.  If you choose it, it'll come.

And finally, you can only win the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize once in your career, so when you do, they ask you along the next year to judge.  And the longlist I helped judge was revealed today.  A fine list, if I may say so myself.  Read them.

Edinburgh

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I had a great day in Edinburgh this week.  Visited two great schools in Falkirk, Braes High School and Larbert High School.  The groups of students were excellent: smart and interested and interesting, too.  Special thanks to Adele at Braes and Tommy at Larbert for volunteering.  And a shout to Jonathan at Braes, too, for great questions.

This was watched over by the most excellent folk at Scottish Booktrust, for whom I'll be writing a blog about the day, too.  And some of the students at Braes (along with myself) were interviewed by the Scottish Big Issue, something I support wholeheartedly, having run for Shelter in the last marathon.

A great day all around, and I vow to see more of Edinburgh in the near future...

Just back from a terrific four days in Ireland.  I met lots of fantastic booksellers and librarians and teachers and journalists...  Ireland has been particularly great about The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer, and I was delighted to get over there and say thanks.

I did a really fun event with the excellent students at Wesley College, Dublin (a special thank you to the "endlessly fascinating" Sam for being a good sport) with their equally excellent headteacer Niall MacMonagle.  Really good stuff.

And then on Saturday, I gave a speech at the Children's Books Ireland conference, where I was extremely nervous, but they laughed at my jokes, which is always nice (and not guaranteed!).  The best audience I could have hoped for, really, warm and encouraging and really passionate about books.  Who could ask for more?  I was so pleased to be invited and everyone was really great to me, so a huge thank you is on offer in perpetuity. 

Can you tell I had a good time?  Even Eurovision (where I was emphatically rooting for the goth twins from Armenia). 

And finally, a personal thank you (in case he reads this) to David from Easons for Firefly.  And you do know he's done it again with Dollhouse, don't you?  Nathan Fillion on Buffy, Gina Torres on Angel, who could that be lurking in the shadows...?

More travel

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The Brighton Festival event turned out to be good fun.  A nice crowd, good questions, met lots of nice people after queueing to get books signed.  And then I went to see Star Trek, which was blissful.  They're all so young!  It's like Muppet Babies.

I'm traveling again this week, heading to Dublin to speak at the Childrens Book Ireland conference and also appear at a school.  Looking forward to it, though I'm not half-busy this month!  Hence the appalling lack of updates.  It's not changing anytime soon, but at least you can be sure I'm writing book three in every spare hour...

(This entry composed listening to the Gutter Twins; if the devil wrote a love song, Mark Lanegan would sing it)

How can it be May 8th already?

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Yeesh, quite a long stretch since the last entry, but good grief, my schedule is just stupid this month.  In the next 19 days, I'm travelling to Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the south coast, with local London pitstops along the way. 

But The Ask and the Answer is out!  Yes, it is.  On bookshelves in bookstores even.  And I've also found out that The Knife of Never Letting Go has been shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award, for first time children's writers.  Excellent stuff.

Meanwhile, writing continues apace on the final volume of the trilogy, and hey, if you're in Brighton on Sunday around noon, why not stop by the Brighton Festival and see me?