Not Your Mother’s Book Club™ proudly presents Carnegie Medal-winning novelist Patrick Ness, in celebration of his new novel The Rest of Us Just Live Here! A bold and irreverent novel, it powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.
You know who you must see in person if you get a chance? Patrick Ness. He is a gem, and you don’t want to miss out on a wonderful gem.
The last time Patrick Ness was in the San Francisco Bay Area for his book tour (I know he was here during ALA) was in January 2013, and I, unfortunately, had to miss it because 1. I hadn’t known about the event until day of and 2. I had sprained my ankle and I couldn’t exactly hobble around for fear of worsening it. Suffice to say, I was absolutely dyinnnnnng to meet Patrick Ness.
I did meet him when I was at ALA, but I never got the opportunity to unload all my More Than This ~feels onto him. I needed to tell him how much that book wrecked me and how much it meant to me.
Let me preface this by saying: Patrick Ness is a hilarious and delightful human being, and I love him a lot.
Since he didn’t have another person to interview him, he asked for volunteers to ask the questions he had typed out, and a guy raised his hand. Patrick’s reaction was hilarious because he was like “oh, you let the guy volunteer. Well done, everyone.”
What is The Rest of Us Just Live Here about?
The Rest of Us Just Live Here is set in a town that’s like most YA novels that have vampires, demons, ghosts, and Patrick wondered what happens to the person who isn’t a Chosen One—the one who just wanted to get through lunch without, I quote, “being eaten by a giant demon snake” and graduate high school without it blowing up again. It’s told in two narrative—1. in the beginning of the chapters, it tells the typical YA adventure story of the Indie Kids (the Chosen Ones) as they fight the Immortals, and 2. the main story is about living outside the Chosen One narrative—what Mikey and his friends’s lives are like having to live with the Indie Kids in the background.
He read an excerpt of chapter Fourteen, where the siblings, Mikey, Mel, and their little sister Meredith are at the Bolts of Fire concert.
Fun facts about Patrick Ness + The Rest of Us Just Live Here
- The book is dedicated to Patrick’s sister, who he’s close with. He was tired of the stereotypical sibling rivalry because he believes brother-sister relationships are more complicated than that.
- He wrote The Rest of Us Just Live Here to tell one joke about the “slightly out of the ordinary” names YA characters have:
“CHAPTER THE TENTH, in which indie kids Joffrey and Earth disappear from their homes, their bodies found miles away; Satchel goes into hiding at an abandoned drive-in with fellow indie kids Finn, Dylan, Finn, Finn, Lincoln, Archie, Wisconsin, Finn, Aquamarine, and Finn.”
- Wrote a question where the interviewer asked Patrick to marry him. LOL.
- Wrote about anxiety and OCD because it’s relatable. Everybody has felt like they’re the least needed person in their immediate friends/family. The book is about the painful moment when you realize that it’s not true—that they do love and need you.
Initially said no to writing the rest of A Monster Calls because he was worried that it wouldn’t be good because good books don’t get written that way (he doesn’t write books that people tell him to write). However, he got an idea of a scene of the main character coming out of a dream, discovering that he destroyed his grandmother’s living room. He wanted to express that anger and hidden rage. He wrote A Monster Calls for the idea.
With More Than This, he wanted to write a book about the last person on Earth. He was thinking of the metaphor of dystopia (which is essentially high school), and loved that allegory and wondered if it could be pushed to have a different meaning. And the point of the book is to explore this question: how do you live without knowing what comes next? It’s the main question of existence. The whole book is the last line.
His #1 rule is: “nobody tells him what to write except himself.”
The general demographic of those who matched donations for his Save the Children fundraising page: YA and women authors. No adult men who wrote general fiction (except David Nicholls who wrote One Day) took part. (You should go donate to Patrick’s fundraising page.)
- Matt Damon is his spirit animal. Patrick called him “husband material.”
- If he was asked to do Shag, Marry, Avoid with the Avengers, Ruffalo would always be marry because he’s the only sexy Avengers because Robert Downey Jr. seems crazy; Chris Evans is “too plastic”; and Jeremy Renner may have nice arms, but he seems like an asshole (which he is).
Sage Advice from Patrick Ness
- “Don’t let anybody tell you want to write or do.”
Theory on writing: “If you set up to write an adjective book, you’re writing a mediocre book.” (He’s not saying you shouldn’t write one, but the book should be as much about the story as the adjective.)
“If you don’t see yourself in books, you should write it because the world needs it and wants it.”
“Write a book you want to read yourself.” People write for money or what they think people want. Don’t do that. If you write it and have all the joy for it, people will read it and be able to tell.
Anger, spite, and rebellion are “magnificent motivator for a writer.”
Do you see why Patrick Ness is a gem?
A lucky reader will win this signed ARC of The Rest of Us Just Live Here as well as a surprise ARC! Whooooo.
- This giveaway is only opened to the US. (Too broke to send it anywhere else.)
- It will run from October 22 to November 1, 2015.
- You must be 13 years (with your parent’s permission) or older.
- You will be disqualified if you pick up entries you haven’t done.
- If the winner does not respond to my e-mail within 48 hours, I will have to choose another winner.
- I am not responsible for any items lost in the mail.