Patrick Ness' A Monster Calls – about a boy facing tremendous conflict with a bully at school, well-meaning inattentive teachers, and a dying mother – was actually already a story begun by another writer, Siobhan Dowd, who died before finishing it. A shared editor suggested that Patrick Ness complete the book. Ness talks about the natural non-collaborative temperament of authors that almost led him to decline, until he found in it a richness and power he could work with. The results beautifully reflect Ness' statement that the journey into adulthood is the journey into complexity. We discuss his attitude toward the new film that's been based on the book.
Read an excerpt from A Monster Calls.