Patrick Ness
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November 2009 Archives

Another quick hit from the holiday


Well, my holiday's almost over (not quite, but almost), so just enough time to slip in and say that Lucy Mangan in today's Guardian said something very, very nice about the Chaos Walking books.  I've never met her, so it was a complete surprise, and an extremely nice one at that.  Cool.

Costa Book Awards


In haste, as I'm on holiday at the moment:

The Ask and the Answer has been shortlisted for the very groovy Costa Book Awards, alongside the lovely Mary Hoffman for Troubadour, the late Siobhan Dowd for Solace of the Road, and Anna Perera for Guantanamo Boy.  Good luck to all of us, eh?

And a very quick hello to all the new commenters:  Maria, Kaitlyn, Justin, Megan, Thomas, Nicki, Thomas (again, hi!), Ben, Brianna and Hannah.  Great to hear from you all.  More later, but now back to my holiday...



Busy week!  Wednesday was the announcement of the Booktrust Teenage Prize, which went to Neil Gaiman for The Graveyard Book, thereby beating The Ask and the Answer.  But don't feel bad for me.  The Knife of Never Letting Go won it last year, after all, and then Neil said very nice things about me in his press interview after.  I'm good.

Then last night I went to gig by the brilliant Decemberists at the Coronet in south London.  The Hazards of Love is easily the best album of the year, and they played it in its quixotic entiriety.  Loved it.

And hello to the new commenters:  Ali (and I'm lucky to have Michelle), Lyssa, Elena, Lauren (I'll be touring for Monsters of Men, so stay tuned to the events pages), Johanna (Book two will be out in France in February, I believe, called Le Cercle et La Fleche, more details here as I know them), Sean (good luck with the essay), and Joel (stay tuned as well for ebook info).

Well that sort of covers it, doesn't it?  Rachel Carlyle, in S Magazine for the Sunday Express, included The Ask and the Answer as an "award-winning must-read for this year".  Which is nifty.  She also included Helen Grant's The Vanishing of Katharina Linden, which I'm up against for the year's Booktrust Teenage Prize, which will be announced on Wednesday.

And all of you good folk who've been asking me what to read for the next 6 months until Monsters of Men comes out could do a lot worse than the books on the shortlist, particularly Keith Gray's Ostrich Boys, which is brilliant.

Greetings to the new commenters, including my biggest fan from Swindon, Sam, who I was privileged enough to meet in person, Cristin (hi again!), Amanda, Jane (who, with her kind comment, becomes the 300th commenter on the site), Aine (I write them for me, Aine, and I'm happy with whoever reads them), Tash (some of my in-laws live in Dubai, actually, but hi right back to the UAE), and Jodie.

Don't forget to take a look at the Monsters of Men cover here.

Swindon visit


Had a fantastic visit to Swindon yesterday as part of the S10 Youth Festival of Literature.  What a great couple of groups I had.  Enthusiastic and interested and smart.  They've already left a couple comments on the Visitors page, too (hi, Faye and John).  An excellent day.

And there are a huge number of other new commenters, too:  Kendra, Jane, Rob, Virginia, Elizabeth (for a very thoughtful post), Rachel, Claire, Alison (with her nifty blurb game), Maddy and Sai, Laure (who's English is excellent), Chloe and Lauren.

Don't forget to scroll down to the last post for a sneak peak of the cover of Monsters of Men.

Now, here's a nice surprise.  Would you like to see the UK cover of Monsters of Men?  It's pretty cool...

Monsters front cover jpeg.jpg
Like the others, this just gives a slight impression.  The book itself will be black and the white printing will be on clear acetate sleeve like The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer, with the Noise stretching all over the spine and the back, too.  Wait 'til you see it for real, it's awesome.

The US cover is also underway, and I'll debut that as soon as I can (it's looking pretty great, too).

Thanks to the new commenters (a whole bunch of you!):  Suzan, Rachel, Yonca, Nataly and Natalie, Phill, Fien, Lee and Linnea.  I can't answer all questions, but the burning one seems to be release dates for Monster of Men.  It still looks like May 2010 for the UK and Australia and September 2010 for the US.  It's getting closer...

I just found out today that The Ask and the Answer has been longlisted for two very excellent awards here in the UK.

It's been nominated for the prestigious Carnegie Medal (along with 55 other titles, so a long longlist).  This is the award that's decided by children's librarians, and which uses the shortlist (announced this coming April) for their utterly brilliant Carnegie Shadowing Scheme, where thousands of young people across the country read and debate the books.  I was lucky enough to be shortlisted last year for The Knife of Never Letting Go, and it's an absolutely amazing process. 

And The Ask and the Answer is also on the longlist for the UKLA Children's Book Award, decided on by schoolteachers, another prestigious group.  The Knife of Never Letting Go was shortlisted for this award last year, as well, and there are some excellent titles on this year's longlist.

So, fingers crossed for shortlistings on both this year.  But great to even be considered.

Finally, just one comment on this day's entry from Wharf.  I'm afraid I kind of like names to remain mysterious, Wharf, but I can reveal that Manchee wasn't named after a person.  It was far more mischievous than that...

Monsters of Men - the end is nigh(ish)!


Well, not only is Amazon already selling Monsters of Men as a pre-order several months in advance, they've also put up the first plot teaser.  I can tell you right now that it's not the final version, but as teasers go...

The cover is also coming together very nicely indeed, and as soon as I'm allowed to show that to you, it'll be here first.  An exclusive to this site, so stay tuned.  It looks pretty awesome, I must say.

And hello to latest commenters:  Peter (me, too!), SophieAnne, Frazer (there will come a day when I visit your excellent bookstore, I promise), Carly, Linda and Kaela.  And now, I must get back to work...

Two US Best Books of the Year Lists!


I just found out that The Ask and the Answer is on two Top Ten Books of the Year Lists, both very prestigious.  Nifty.

It's on the year-end round-up for Best Teen Books of 2009, with some seriously swanky company.

And it's also on the Publishers Weekly (the leading industry magazine in the US) Best Children's Books of 2009, one of the 15 fiction titles it selected.  Seriously pleasing all around.  Check out the other books, too, there are some interesting things to be read.

And in the meantime, I did see Up and loved it, particularly Doug.

Hello, too, to the latest batch of commenters, all appreciated, all welcome:  Kimberly, Megan, Kendra (and no, not really a foot taller, just a bit, it often feels like a foot, though), Mister Potato Head (glad to see literacy has reached the toy community), Raina, Victoria, Cleo and Fjuri.  Thanks, everyone.