Fans of Patrick Ness’s deeply moving A Monster Calls or his Chaos Walking Trilogy might be surprised to find his blog a bit spare. Entries are rarely more than a couple of short paragraphs and focus almost exclusively on current book news–what Ness is working on, where he will be presenting, what awards his books have recently won. There is little insight into his personal life, and no opportunity for comments.
Taking a few minutes to explore the rest of Ness’s website, however, or visit some of the links provided in his blog posts, reveals plenty of engaging material. First the website: While individual posts offer no place for comments, the Visitors tab provides access to an ongoing thread of comments that readers have left for Ness. The level of interactivity is low (there isn’t really any conversation between posters, and Ness himself only replies to notes occasionally), the insight offered into how Ness’s novels have impacted others creates a sense of intimacy with other readers based on shared, meaningful experiences that is relatively rare in author blogs.
The links within Ness’s blog posts allow readers to explore directly the events, articles and organisations that he mentions in his brief updates. Invested readers will find links to broadcasts of interviews and new stories and organisations with which he or his books are involved (e.g. Diversity Role Models and World Book Night). Links to presentations and articles that he has published elsewhere (such as this keynote address on self-censorship) provide the sort of glimpses of his personal opinions that readers might be accustomed to finding within other author blogs.
In sum, while Ness’s blog tends to be a bit labour-intensive, it has lots to offer readers willing and able to take the time to explore.