Who is Patrick Ness?

Patrick Ness was born in the U.S. near Fort Belvoir army base, near Alexandria, Virginia, where his father was a lieutenant the US Army. They moved to Hawaii, where he lived until he was six, then spent the next ten years in Washington state, before moving to Los Angeles. Ness studied English Literature at the University of Southern California.
After graduating, he worked as corporate writer for a cable company. He published his first story in Genre magazine in 1997 and was working on his first novel when he moved to London in 1999.
Ness was naturalised a British citizen in 2005. He entered into a civil partnership with his partner in 2006, less than two months after the Civil Partnership Act came into force. In August 2013, Ness and his partner got married following the legalization of same-sex marriage in California.
Ness taught creative writing at Oxford University and has written and reviewed for The Daily Telegraph, The Times Literary Supplement, The Sunday Telegraph and The Guardian. He reviews for The Guardian as of July 2012[update]. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund and was the first Writer in Residence for Booktrust.
Walker Books has published all four children's novels by Ness to date, one annually from 2008 to 2011. According to news coverage, "He turned to children's fiction after he had the idea for a world where it is impossible to escape information overload, and knew it was right for teenagers."
The first was The Knife of Never Letting Go, and it won the annual Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, a once-in-a-lifetime book award judged by a panel of British children's writers. The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men were sequels to The Knife; jointly they are called the "Chaos Walking trilogy" and The Knife has been reissued with a front cover banner "Chaos Walking: Book One". Ness has also published three short stories in the Chaos Walking universe, the prequels "The New World" and "The Wide, Wide Sea", and "Snowscape", set after the events of Monsters of Men. A Monster Calls (2011) originated with Siobhan Dowd, another writer with the same editor at Walker, Denise Johnstone-Burt. Before her August 2007 death, Dowd and Johnstone-Burt had discussed the story and contracted for Dowd to write it. Afterward, Walker arranged separately with Ness to write and Jim Kay to illustrate, and those two completed the book without meeting. Ness won the Carnegie and Kay won the companion CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal (established 1955), the first time one book has won both medals.
On 7 May 2013, he was revealed to be the author of Tip of the Tongue, the May e-short featuring the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa as part Puffin's eleven Doctor Who e-shorts in honor of the show's 50th anniversary.
His next book, More Than This was released on 5 September 2013. More Than This has since been nominated for the Carnegie Medal of 2015.
In 2014, Ness held the keynote speech at the Children´s and Young Adult Program of the International literature festival berlin.
He announced that he was working on a new book called The Rest Of Us Just Live Here set for a 2015 release. On January 20, 2015, Ness announced the official release date of the book via his Twitter account: it will be released August 25 in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand; and October 5 in Canda and the USA.
On October 1, 2015, the BBC announced that Ness would be writing a Doctor Who spin-off.
#ReadingDarinlgy #DarllenBeiddgar
#PatrickNess  #WalkerBooks



July's Book of the Month is:

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

A new YA novel from novelist Patrick Ness, author of the Carnegie Medal- and Kate Greenaway Medal-winning A Monster Calls and the critically acclaimed Chaos Walking trilogy, The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a bold and irreverent novel that powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.

What if you aren't the Chosen One? The one who's supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you're like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week's end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

A cross-over novel, for anyone who enjoyed the Curious Incident of the dog in the night time.

#ReadingDaringly #DarllenBeiddgar

#PatrickNess #WalkerBooks


Alys Conran on writing Peigeon

‘Look up pigeon in your good field guide, if you have one,’ says Simon Barnes in The Bad Birdwatcher’s Companion. ‘You will probably find that the pigeon does not exist.’ I felt that about many of the children I knew growing up. Their stories pecked around in the background, unheard. The child whose mother left his hair uncombed every time after the nit treatment, little black bugs paralysed in his mousy locks. The girl who regularly had cigarette burns on her china- white hands. The faltering teenager who told what was done to her at youth club, and was disbelieved. There are a lot of pigeons in Wales.

In my twenties, moving my temporary bird box of a life between cities in the UK and abroad, where a nice unobtrusive dash of ethnicity was for the most part a badge of honour in artistic and creative circles, I felt a bit of a pigeon too. And it was ‘as if pigeons were an embarrassment to birdwatchers – as if pigeons were an embarrassment to proper birds,’ because Welshness, especially the liminal, obtrusive, politically urgent blend of it I’m made of, didn’t seem quite appropriate.

But, as the bad birdwatcher puts it, ‘Pigeons, however, exist... Try telling them they’re not proper birds.’ And so, in my shy young adulthood, the pigeon in me shimmered greyly, its feathers tinged with green and purple, like slate.

The pigeon my book’s named for is a young boy, shoulders delicate as eggshells. Almost as soon as I started writing he wandered across the page in a vagabond, alternately lively and listless way, and he caused trouble always, sticking strawberry chewing gum to the high, white ceiling of my flat on Meadow Place in Edinburgh, or scratching his name onto the perspex window of Barcelona’s LĂ­nia 4 Metro carriage as I made my way home from work. I didn’t find a place to put him for ages. But he was a genie not happy to wander his way back into his pigeonhole, so he eventually trespassed onto some uncategorised pages of writing, made friends with a haunted young girl called Iola, who competed despite herself for the role of protagonist, and made a novel that’s both a battleground and a love story. Iola has a great love for Pigeon. When I think of him, I ache.

When I think of my novel with his name, I cower. It’s been a painful process. Pigeon was born of the conflict between the language of my pen and its subject – the Welsh heartland I was writing myself back to. The book wouldn’t exist without that essential untranslated heart and the related guilt which bleeds across its pages. There I was, a homing bird, trying to find a way back, but betraying Home – word by (cooing) word, by writing in English.

To read more of this article in the New Welsh Review, please visit http://www.newwelshreview.com/article.php?id=1118


Who is Alys Conran

Alys Conran is the author of 'Pigeon' (Parthian Books, 2016).

Her short fiction has been placed in the Bristol Short Story Prize and the Manchester Fiction Prize. She completed her MA Creative Writing at Manchester, graduating with distinction, and is currently, with the support of a scholarship, working on a second novel about the legacy of the Raj in contemporary British life. She has read her fiction and poetry at The Hay Festival and on Radio Four and her work is to be found in magazines including Stand and The Manchester Review, and also in anthologies by The Bristol Review of Books, Parthian, The Camden Trust and Honno. She also publishes poetry, creative non-fiction, creative essays and literary translations.

Originally from north Wales, she spent several years in Edinburgh and Barcelona before returning to the area to live and write, and speaks fluent Spanish and Catalan as well as Welsh and English. She has also trained and practiced in Youth and Community Work, and has developed projects to increase access to creative writing and reading. She is now lecturer in creative writing at Bangor.



July's Book of the Month

Pigeon by Alys Conran

An incongruous ice-cream van lurches up into the Welsh hills through the hail, pursued by a boy and girl who chase it into their own dark make-believe world, and unfurl in their compelling voices a tale which ultimately breaks out of childhood and echoes across the years.

Pigeon is the tragic, occasionally hilarious and ultimately intense story of a childhood friendship and how it's torn apart, a story of guilt, silence and the loss of innocence, and a story about the kind of love which may survive it all.


Reader Comments: 

Who knew a feminist inspired travelogue would make such a good read? This is a really great and very accessible way to learn about Mary Wollstonecraft but it's a lot more than that. It's a very entertaining and readable tale of retracing a journey which raises so many questions about the role of women and motherhood today.

Following the life and journey of the feminist Mary Wollstonecroft with a baby in tow is no easy task but Bee Rowlatt does it with grace and determination, making this a wonderful story for all to read. She discovers things about herself and the feminist as they try to find the answers and balance between careers and babies. Also learning that love holds it all together as it flows through our lives.

In Search of Mary is nearly as moving, inspiring, intellectually stimulating, and hard to categorize as Mary Wollstonecraft herself. 

Do you agree with the three comments?


In Search of Mary by Bee Rowlatt

Bee Rowlatt is a writer and journalist. Her current book, In Search of Mary is inspired by the life of Mary Wollstonecraft. It's published by Alma Books.

The best-selling Talking About Jane Austen in Baghdad (Penguin) has been dramatised by the BBC, and translated into numerous languages. Bee won the Society of Authors’ K Blundell Trust award to complete the travels for In Search of Mary.

Bee contributed to Virago's Fifty Shades of Feminism, and has clocked over two decades at BBC World Service (now freelance). She speaks fluent Spanish and has a research background in Latin America. She's written for The Telegraph, The Independent, Grazia, Die Welt, The Times, The Guardian and The Daily Mail, and appears regularly on TV and radio.

Bee does regular workshops and events on journalism, working motherhood, and feminism. She is chair of
a campaign for a memorial statue of Wollstonecraft, has four children, and is currently based in New Delhi.

 (photo by Laurie Sparham)