When the cat got to meet Patrick Ness!

9 11 2013

realityboySo these two awesome things happened this week. First, I got this lovely looking book in the mail, that was not just signed with a personal note, but which will also most definitely make an appearance in the cat’s Top 13 of 2013. Yes, I am talking about A.S. King’s Reality Boy (review to come soon, but READ IT NOW!).

And the second was: the cat got to meet Patrick Ness! Patrick Ness was in Antwerp today because of the publication of The Chaos Walking trilogy and A Monster Calls in Dutch (by De Geus), but he also had a talk with Belgian child psychologist Peter Adriaenssens. The talk was moderated by Catherine Vuylsteke and was mainly a discussion of A Monster Calls (Zeven minuten na middernacht). Patrick Ness talked about how he didn’t want A Monster Calls to be a memorial and insisted on the fact that he – and Siobhan Dowd – wanted to tell a story in which they told the truth and didn’t want to make things easier. “If you cried, I didn’t want it to be pretty crying, I wanted it to be ugly crying. I think that’s too safe and it’s a betrayal to what a child actually goes through.”

This commitment to truth also (and maybe especially) when you are writing for a younger audience is something he also took up again during question time. He wanted to write the book that nobody gave him when he was 13 because he too always wanted to know the truth. As with any book, also for an adult audience: “if it feels untruthful, I’m doing it wrong.” This urged him to keep pushing to find out what feels true for this particular 13-year-old boy in this situation and not lie about it, not soften it.

“Telling the best and truest story you can”… who knew it could be that simple?

Here are just a few photos:

PS. The kid definitely claimed Patrick Ness’s signing booth as her own:

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