Patrick Ness, author and journalist: One minute interview

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

I'm at my very messy office desk, with its surprisingly loud cloth covering which I bought on a beach in Ibiza. Every fact in that sentence will suggest something incorrect about me. Weird.

What are you currently reading?

Roz Chast's terrific graphic novel memoir Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Also very, very keen to start the new Paul Murray, The Mark and the Void.

Choose a favourite author and say why you admire her/him

Ali Smith is a gorgeous, generous human being and a gorgeous, generous writer. So brilliant, yet so accessible. The UK is lucky to have her.

Describe the room where you usually write

Either this surprisingly messy office or the London Library, which started out as a wonderfully quirky place but is becoming slightly overbearingly rule-driven. I wonder if certain among the English are just more comfortable if life is like boarding school.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

Everyone lies here, don't they? They always say Elizabeth Bennet or Holden Caulfield. I think, though, that all authors are like the kids in The Cat in the Hat. We worry, then clean up the mess and turn it into a story.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Any one of the brave, curious, fabulous young readers out there, figuring themselves out, saying "I am this, and I am not that." Growing up takes more bravery than we allow ourselves to believe.

Patrick Ness's new YA novel is 'The Rest of Us Just Live Here' (Walker Books, £12.99)