Journal

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

It's Ash's first birthday, a bare chin is revealed... (and so are the next three Robert McGinnis covers)

It was Ash's birthday on the 16th of September, and his mother and I went back to the place he was born to celebrate and to get away from cellphones and the world.

He's a delight and I've never loved him more. His favourite books are Goodnight Moon and a book called Chu's Day (I've never been prouder). His eyes really are that blue.







I'm now off writing, and I won't see them for another ten days. I'm loving the writing, loving the exercising and the quiet and the words, and missing them both, especially Ash, I miss singing to him, miss waking up early and going off and reading with him or walking with him (he can nearly walk). Miss feeding him.

Today I shaved off my beard. I also got a FedEx package containing a proof "Advance Reading Copy" of NORSE MYTHOLOGY (it'll be published on the 7th of February) and an early reading copy of Colleen Doran's beautiful graphic novel adaptation of TROLL BRIDGE (out on October 18th).

Here is a photograph of all these things at once. (Well, not the act of shaving.)



...

So, this is a very book-covery day,  because I'm going to do something fun.

For the last few months, I've been showing people I've been talking to or talking about books with or just wind up sitting next to on a plane the Robert E. McGinnis covers for Stardust, Neverwhere and Anansi Boys.

This is because I am so proud of them, and the work Todd Klein did with the lettering and the design for the books.

The American Gods cover (it already came out) is, in my head, a 1968 SF cover. (I wrote about it here: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2016/07/robert-e-mcginnis-and-secret-of-new.html. Todd Klein shows all the design work that led to it on his blog http://kleinletters.com/Blog/title-and-cover-design-for-neil-gaimans-american-gods/.)

Would you like to see the next three?



















Really?

You don't have to see them. You can wait until you are in some little Indie Bookshop over the next few months, and be surprised...


I love them. The Stardust cover is an early 70s book, and is funny, like the covers I delighted in for books like William Goldman's The Princess Bride -- the lettering style was inspired by the Ballantine Adult Fantasy Line, and  the whole is intended to be sort of heartwarming.

Anansi Boys is done as a late 50s or early 60s paperback – one of those goofy comedies, with an illustration of a scene from the first chapter. (Also glad to finally get Mr Nancy on the cover of his book.) I think this one is Robert E McGinnis's masterpiece, and Todd's as well. 

 Neverwhere – when Robert McGinnis sent over this haunting cover I sent it over to Todd Klein and told him that I thought it was a 1970s gothic romance cover. He looked at the kind of covers I'd suggested, told me that they often have elegant and swirly titles and heavily serifed type, and he produced something as beautiful and haunting as the cover had been.




Ready...?






Oh, hell. Here you go. And I've just gone to Amazon to find out the publication dates so will put the links in...

(And I checked Indiebound and the books are now up there too, so Indiebound links as well.)


Anansi Boys (http://bit.ly/AnansiPulp) comes out on October 25th...  (I loved this one so much I bought the painting from Mr McGinnis.)





Neverwhere (http://bit.ly/NeverwherePulp) is published on November 29th. I love the rats in the shadows...








Stardust (http://bit.ly/StardustPulp) is the next one to come out -- it will be out in just six days from now on September 27th...






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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A cover revealed! A book exposed! A year mislaid!

I've been writing a book of retellings of Norse Mythology since about 2012. Writing it slowly, between other things. Reading and reading my prose Eddas and my poetic Eddas, in any editions I could find, thumbing through my Simek's Dictionary of Northern Mythology whenever I was unclear on something, and keeping it a secret, mostly.

I actually did a reading of one of the first stories I completed at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts three years ago, and people liked it. (Here's a write-up.) I kept writing.

I even wrote a glossary.

And now the book is done, and will be coming out in February. All the stories I loved, all the myth, many of the contradictions. Loki and Thor and Odin and Freyr and Sif and the rest, from the beginning of things through to Ragnarok and after.

Look! Here is the cover.



It is coming.



Are you ready?








It spins!

We are still working on the technology to get the hammer to spin like that on the actual cover.

It will be coming out in the US from WW Norton (http://bit.ly/NorseMythology) and in the UK from Bloomsbury in February.

Norton has a website -- http://www.neilgaimannorsemythology.com/ -- and if you go to it you will see  big, not spinning version of the cover, and a photo of me being menaced by a tree.

...

That's almost that. Ash is one year old in two days. A year ago Amanda looked like this:


and now Ash is almost walking and he looks like this:


And I am not sure where the year went....

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Robert E McGinnis and the Secret of The New Cover

I've loved Robert McGinnis's covers for a very long time. I remember the first one I was aware of (it was the cover of Ian Fleming's  James Bond book DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, when I was about 9. They put the film poster on the book cover, which puzzled me a bit because the plot of the book isn't the plot of the film.) And I assumed that he had retired a long, long time ago.

About a year ago, Jennifer Brehl and I were talking. Jennifer is my editor at William Morrow, and is one of the best, most sensible and wisest people in my life. I am lucky to have her. We were talking about paperbacks, and how publishers put less effort into them these days. I went off about how paperback covers used to be beautiful, and were painted, and told you so much. And how much I missed the covers of the '50s and '60s and '70s, the  ones I'd collected and bought back in the dawn of time.

And somehow the conversation wound up with me asking if Harper Collins would publish a set of mass market paperbacks of my books with gloriously retro covers and Jennifer saying that yes, they would.

A few days later I was in DreamHaven Books in Minneapolis. I noticed a particularly gorgeous cover on an old book on a shelf. "Who did that?" I asked Greg Ketter.

"Robert McGinnis," said Greg. "Actually we have a whole book of McGinnis artwork." He showed it to me. The Art of Robert E. McGinnis. It's gorgeous. Here's the cover:


http://amzn.to/2aLcYg2

I was surprised at how recent the book was. It had been published a few months earlier. "Oh yes," said Greg. "Bob's still painting. Must be almost 90."

(He was 90 in February 2016.)

I sent a note to Jennifer asking if there was even the slightest possibility that Mr McGinnis would be interested in painting the covers for the paperback set we wanted to do. He said yes.

I say that so blithely. But he has retired, pretty much, and he doesn't have email, and it was only because the Morrow art director had worked with him, and he was intrigued by the commission... and ROBERT MCGINNIS SAID YES.

He sent in the first painting, the one for American Gods. It was perfect. Now we needed to make everything that wasn't the cover  feel right.

Todd Klein, the finest letterer in comics, came in to create each book's logo and to help design it and pick the fonts, to make each book feel like it came from a certain age.

Each painting from McGinnis was better than the one before. Each Logo and layout from Todd Klein was more assured and more accurate. These things are glorious.

Now... we were planning to announce these in an much more planned and orderly way. I'm not going to tell you what books we're doing, or to show you any covers but the one.

And that's because the upcoming 2017 Starz American Gods TV series has created a huge demand for copies of American Gods. People who have never read it have started buying it to find out what the fuss is about. People who read it long ago and gave away their copy bought new ones to reread it.

The publishers ran out of books to sell.

So they've rushed back to press with the new paperback edition, which wasn't meant to be coming out for some months (and the text is the text of the Author's Preferred edition in case you were wondering).

And that means the version of the paperback with the new cover is going to be coming out a lot sooner than we thought. And tomorrow it will probably up on Amazon.

And I wanted you to hear it from me first.  You aren't going to see the rest of the Robert E McGinnis covers for a little while (and each of them looks like a different kind of book from a different era). But this is the first of them.

In my head, and Todd's, it's probably from about 1971...

Are you ready?
















Okay....




Here goes...








...and wait until you see the rest of them.


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Sunday, July 24, 2016

The First American Gods Trailer







I've just come back from San Diego Comic-Con, where I didn't really go to Comic-Con. Instead, from 8 am until about 11 at night, I was interviewed, photographed, asked questions, moved in and out of serious black people-movers. I got to fall in love with the American Gods cast -- I'd met a few of them in Toronto, but now I got to know the lovely people who portray Shadow, Mr Wednesday, Bilquis, Mad Sweeney and the Technical Boy up close, not to mention get a hug from our brand spanking new Easter.



A very silly and lovely cast: Clockwise, from bottom left, Yetide Badaki (Bilquis),  Pablo Schrieber (Mad Sweeney), Ricky Whittle (Shadow), Bruce Langley (The Technical Boy), Ian McShane (Mr Wednesday).

 This is my favourite moment: I was on the IMDB yacht, for an interview with Kevin Smith, and before the interview began they pointed to a large and very white bed, and suggested I should do the thing that made me happiest in bed. So I pulled out my notebook, and started writing...


I finished the latest draft of all six GOOD OMENS scripts the day before Comic-Con. That was really the last major project I had to finish before I could start the novel. Which means I should be starting to write a novel very soon...

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Doctor Doctor

I did two things yesterday I've never done before: wear a white bowtie, and be awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from The University of St Andrews. Really nice people, a wonderful time and if I didn't have Amanda and Ash with me, I had our friend Chris Cunningham, and, more or less by coincidence, my cousins Abigail and Kezia. So many excellent conversations, too.

This was Chris Jones's speech (although you cannot hear him Do The Voices on the Good Omens bit): http://linkis.com/www.st-andrews.ac.uk/SQ7bu





I'm typing this from Edinburgh Airport -- I'm heading to NYC, where I will be appearing on the Seth Meyers show on Thursday night.

(I've been out of the UK for 15 years, which is when they take your vote away from you, so I cannot vote. If I could, I would vote Remain.)

A thousand congratulations to Chris Riddell, who won the Kate Greenaway Medal for our book The Sleeper and the Spindle. Is that not wonderful?

And a Q and A from Tumblr that may be useful for everyone:

secretfiri asked:
So, I've been having troubles writing for the past 5 years and I really want to get back into it. Do you have any kind of suggestion or advice?

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Prelude to Softly and Silently Vanishing Away

My plans for the rest of the year are basically, finish the last Good Omens TV script, and then to write a novel.

I'm doing one TV interview for THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS.

I'm making a couple of mysterious appearances for the American Gods tv series.

I'm not going to entirely vanish from social media, but probably, pretty much, I'll be gone, and living in a book which currently doesn't exist except in weird notes and ideas and things in my head.

As a general rule, when I leave social media, I blog a bit more. So keep half an eye on this blog. There are some amazing things coming out this year, and I would be an idiot if I didn't let you all know about them, so you will...

For example, what on earth is this photo about?


Who are these people? And what does it have to do with Neverwhere?

All the BBC website tells us is 

...we’re thrilled that, later this year, led by the ever-dangerous Marquis de Carabas, we’ll be taking a short trip back to the land of London Below.
We're expecting high adventure and a spine-tingling ride, with a mix of brand new characters and old favourites.
...which is definitely interesting. And will need to be announced. And so will the amazing new Chris Riddell illustrated edition of Neverwhere from the UK: I've never seen anything like it before.

This is a photograph of Chris and the cover of the book, wrapped around a completely different book, to make it look like the actual book.





And then there's the wonderful secret thing we are doing with the US paperback covers, which is making me very happy indeed. And you'll learn about them here, and I'm sure I'll put that up on Facebook and Twitter too.

And then there's the announcement of the book I finished last month... That's happening soon. It's exciting. I'll announce that.

So I'm basically around for another week. 

Expect a vague vanishing. And an eventual return. And interruptions for information.

But mostly I'm planning to be low profile online and living in my head in order to report back, from dark strange places, the remarkable doings of some most peculiar people.



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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The View, and the Plan

In a friend's old old house today, as Amanda records in the basement studio and I write in a corner, while Ash sleeps in his seat beside me. Rain lashes the windows and the wind shakes the shutters, and it seems like a proper English Summer as far as I'm concerned.

Today is the publication date for THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS, my collection of non-fiction, of essays and speeches and introductions. It's out. it looks like this:


Or it looks like this:


Depending on whether you are in the UK or the US. There are independent bookshops in the US with signed-and-embossed copies. (Here's a link to all the shops which have ordered them: https://www.facebook.com/WmMorrowbks/posts/1017987604950366)  There are bookshops in the UK that have signed copies (I don't have a list. Lots of Blackwells and Waterstones shops for a start.)

Tonight UK time -- in a few hours -- I'll be talking to Audrey Niffenegger about the book at Union Chapel. It's very sold out, but you can watch it online via this. Click and it should take you to the livestream.




And you can get it online at places like Amazon (http://bit.ly/VfCheapSeats) and Indiebound.

Maria Popova at Brainpickings wrote a beautiful piece on one of the essays in the book, the introduction to the 60th anniversary edition of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.

It's been reviewed elsewhere, as well. Here's a bit of the NPR review:
What View accomplishes, though, is considerable. Broken up into sections — "What I Believe," "Music and the People Who Make It," "Some People I Have Known," "Make Good Art," and so on — his musings shine with wit, understatement, and a warm lack of pretention. He speaks of "backing awkwardly away from journalism" in his youth, the first step of his eventual metamorphosis into an award-winning fantasy author with a fanatical following, and reflects on the patterns that arise in our lives: "Events rhyme."
Accordingly, View draws order out of the seeming chaos of Gaiman's scattershot career, from journalism to comics to novels to children's books to screen adaptations. He talks about his life, but always through the lens of an external subject, usually on object of passion: the superhero comics of the legendary Jack Kirby, the transgressive songs of Lou Reed, the way "the shape of reality — the way I perceive the world — exists only because of Doctor Who." That was written in 2003, before Gaiman actually wrote for Doctor Who; similarly, his many ruminations onAmerican Gods, his greatest work of prose, take on a deeper resonance now that the book is well on its way to becoming a cable TV series.
Gaiman is a writer above all, though, and his entries about writing and reading make up the meat of View. They range from the deeply personal, eerily poignant "Ghosts in the Machines: Some Hallowe'en Thoughts," first published in the New York Times, to an appreciation of the element of dreams in H. P. Lovecraft's work — a particularly illuminating topic, as one of Gaiman's most beloved characters, Morpheus of The Sandman, is the deity of dreams himself. Even more intriguing is "All Books Have Genders," a meditation on the making of American Gods — as well as a humble assessment of his authorial flaws — in which he offers the succinct slogan "Novels accrete," an entire master class on the creative process summed up gracefully in two words.
It's a relief that it's published: I don't think I've ever been as nervous about a book coming out as I have been about this one. You can hide behind fiction. You can't hide behind things that are about what you think and believe.



Over at Powells, I wrote a playlist for the book:  http://www.powells.com/post/playlist/wheres-neil-when-you-need-him-neil-gaimans-playlist-for-the-view-from-the-cheap-seats- which I'm currently listening to on Spotify, with a lot of pleasure.

Over on Sky Arts, the first two of the four episodes of Neil Gaiman's Likely Stories have aired. (Here's a review of them.) If you have a Sky subscription, you can watch them online or download https://www.sky.com/watch/channel/sky-arts/neil-gaimans-likely-stories. No, I don't know how you can watch them legally elsewhere in the world, yet. I will tell you when I find out.

And it's halfway through the year.  I'm about to dial down my online presence a lot, which normally means I blog more and tweet/facebook/tumblr etc much less. One by one the things I had to do are getting done, and I'm getting ready to write a novel. It's there in my head, a huge thing...

And if I'm not writing a novel, I'll probably be playing with him:





(Photo of Ash NOT smiling as a bonus, because people keep asking if he ever stops being happy. He's happy pretty much all of the time, but here's one of him looking pensive.)

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Finishing Things

It's 2016, a writing year. On Friday I finished a book I've been working on since 2013 (you will find out what it is sometime in the next few months. Promise). Tomorrow I finish the introduction to it. The world feels a little lighter.

The book I finished is not the big thing I have to do this year -- I think I'm going to fall off the world completely to do that pretty soon. But it's something I'm really proud of nonetheless.

It's really nice not having to do anything but writing.

Having said that, THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS, my huge collection of non-fiction, of essays and speeches and suchlike, is coming out, and I'm even doing an event for it: http://store.unionchapel.org.uk/events/31-may-16-an-evening-with-neil-gaiman--audrey-niffenegger-union-chapel/

I'm not really meant to be doing any events this year, although I'm doing a couple of things that had to be postponed last year when I flew back to the US suddenly to be at a friend's deathbed. *
(Oh the things I've had to say no to.) But I'm doing this one CHEAP SEATS event in the UK. As we get closer I'll announce how it will stream, etc.

This is how they describe it:

To celebrate the publication of Neil Gaiman’s collection of non-fiction, The View from the Cheap Seats, the award-winning author will be joined by Audrey Niffenegger, bestselling author of The Time Traveller’s Wife, at a rare public event in London. The Union Chapel, Islington, will play host to these two literary heavy-weights, as they discuss Gaiman’s latest work, lauded by Stephen Fry as ‘magnificent’, amongst a myriad of other topics sure to delight fans – with a couple of surprises also in store…
Tickets are £20 each, and include a free signed copy of The View from the Cheap Seats for every ticket-holder, which they will receive on the night courtesy of Waterstones. The event will be live-streamed across the globe, via YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, so fans who are unable to attend can also enjoy this special, one-off event. Furthermore, Gaiman and Niffenegger will be answering audience questions, both from within the chapel and from those viewers at home or in bookshops tuning in. Anyone not present at Union Chapel will have the opportunity to submit their own questions via Twitter ahead of the event using the hashtag #CheapSeats.



This is the first copy that arrived in my house, a couple of days ago. I'm going to give it, as a graduation present, to Maddy Gaiman, who was about 6 when this blog started and is 21 now. She graduated today from Wake Forest.

Gaiman's Law holds true: when I opened the book for the first time, I saw a typo and my heart sank. I've not found any more, though.

Ash has his first tooth. He's all joy, all the time. It was an especial joy to see him with his brother and his sisters this weekend.




I thought about posting some graduating Maddy photos, but instead decided to link to this page, of Maddy in 2007, aged 12, on the set of Hellboy 2. She took over the blog, and captioned the photos herself. http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2007/06/photos-yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.html

Nine years have passed since that blog came out, and it feels like yesterday.

And on May 26th, at 9pm, on Sky Arts, LIKELY STORIES begins. Four episodes based on short stories by me, directed by Ian Forsyth and Jane Pollock, with an original soundtrack by Jarvis Cocker. Check out the trailer:





*(One of the things I had to postpone was getting an honorary doctorate at St Andrews. It's now going to happen this year, and I am thrilled about it. https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/news/archive/2016/title,496871,en.php

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Good Omens, Cheap Seats, and the Memorial

I haven't blogged for a long time, but right now I'm on a train, and it feels like a good time to catch up. Thismorning I was interviewed by Charlie Russell for his documentary on Terry Pratchett. (Charlie made the previous BBC Terry Pratchett documentaries, Living With Alzheimer's, Choosing to Die, and Facing Extinction.)

We did it in a Chinese restaurant in Gerrard Street, because Terry and I had first met in a Chinese restaurant, in February 1985. It was easy and pleasant, and then suddenly it wasn't. I was talking about the last time I'd seen Terry, and what we said, and I found myself crying uncontrollably, unable to talk. And then I pulled it together, and we carried on.

 "Look,this is really unprofessional,” said Charlie, when the interview was all over, “and I haven't said it before to anyone I've interviewed, but would you like a hug?” And I said that, yes, I would.

 I'm still a bit shaken. It's as if all the emotion that I'd kept under control for the public Terry memorial, for the public Terry, the other night, erupted when I talked about the private people that were us.

 The memorial the other night was beautiful. I wore my mourning frock coat that Kambriel made for me, and I went out that afternoon and bought a white shirt and a black tie. (Actually, I bought four shirts, which, given how often I wear white shirts, should take me easily to the end of my lifetime.)


I read the introduction to A Slip of the Keyboard, which I'd written for Terry while he was alive. I got sad at the end but that was fine. And I held it together just fine when Rob, Terry's amazing right-hand man, presented me with a big black author's hat Terry had left me. I couldn't put it on, though. I wasn't ready for that. (I tried it on later, in the dressing room. I looked, to my mind, like a rabbinical cowboy assassin. Not that there's anything wrong with that.)







At the end of the evening, Rob announced upcoming things, and one of the things he announced was GOOD OMENS on the screen, written by me. (There was a little confusion in the way that it was reported, by the way: because Rob had been talking earlier about the letters found in the safe that Terry had left us, people assumed that me writing was something Terry asked me to do from beyond the grave. Actually, it was more of a last request while he was still alive. (“I would very much like this to happen, and I know, Neil, that you're very very busy, but no one else could ever do it with the passion that we share for the old girl. I wish I could be more involved and I will help in any way I can,” he wrote, once I said yes.)

I've been working on the Good Omens scripts for much of the last year, wishing that he was still here and could help, even if it was just to take a phone call. It's hard when I get stuck, and want to ask his advice. It's harder when I come up with something clever or funny that's new and I want to call him up and read it to him, and make him laugh or hear him point out something I'd missed. We were always each other's first audiences for Good Omens. That was the point. Neither of us had any idea whether or not we'd be able to sell this odd book or not, when we were writing it, but we knew that we could make the other one laugh. Anyway. I'm now 72% of the way through the Good Omens scripts, and the end is in sight.

My goal is to finish it before the publication day of THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS, my book of selected non-fiction, which comes out in the US and the UK on May 31st. There are two different covers. The US one shows me sitting looking thoughtful in a crumbling theatre, the UK shows me with my hair all blowing in the wind and gears exploding from the back of my head. Both of these seem pretty accurate, especially the exploding gears.





(US Amazon link: http://bit.ly/VfCheapSeats, B&N link and review: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/the-view-from-the-cheap-seats-offers-a-revealing-look-into-the-corners-of-neil-gaimans-mind/ and IndieBound independent bookshop link: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062262264)

I was, and still am, nervous about putting a book of non-fiction out into the world. I'm not scared of putting out fiction, but there's part of me that wonders if I have any right to burble in public about what I believe and hope and care about, that wonders if anyone is going to be interested in essays on books that (in a few cases) it seems like nobody cares about but me, or on the state of comics in 1993, or on how to write a review a book you find, when the deadline comes, you've mislaid. But the few early reviews seem really kind, and the handful of people I sent it to said lovely things about it (and all of them wrote to me to assure me that they had actually read it as well, and liked it as much as they said they did). There will be one event for the book launch, in the UK, which we will stream, so it will be an afternoon or later morning web-event in the US.

 I recorded the audio book while we were staying in Santa Fe. I'd never recorded a non-fiction audio book before, and wasn't sure what to do when I hit the interviews I did with Stephen King and Lou Reed, so I did my best.

 We spent the end of the winter in Santa Fe. It is a beautiful little city, and Amanda has family there, which was why we were there and not somewhere else, and I have friends. (I'd have lunch with George R R Martin. “It says on line that I'm in town to write your book for you,” I'd tell him, sighing. He thought it was much funnier than I did.)

 We went to Meow Wolf, which is a former bowling alley in Santa Fe, which contains a house in California in which an event has caused ructions in space and time that lead into other dimensions. It's a mad and glorious mashup of art, story, and Disneyland, and if you are in the SouthWest of America, you should go.

 Ash has grown. He's seven months old today. He's the sweetest, nicest baby. He smiles and is funny. I'm in London this week, and I miss him.



Our friend Prune, who is French, said that he was like “the baby they would show you in a shop, if you wanted to buy a baby.” 


"You mean, the display model?" 

"Exactly. The Display model baby."

I love him so much. He likes music, and stories, and he likes books too.  

Here is a photo of him liking a book. (The Chu's Day board book was a gift from my agent, who was amused that I had not thought to give him any of my own books. So she did.)




He likes it when I pretend to sneeze. 

And here's a video of him a couple of weeks ago, wearing his cardigan that Delia Sherman knitted him.


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Sunday, January 03, 2016

We Thought You Were Dead, with baby photos

I've been very bad at blogging for the last three months. I've actually been pretty bad at everything for the last three months, except for changing a baby, bathing a baby, remembering the words to old nursery rhymes, and helping Amanda to get enough sleep.

People ask me what cool new music I've been listening to, and all I can think of is Wally Whyton's 50 More All-Time Children's Favourites (which I had on LP when I was tiny and recently downloaded on MP3) and the Ellis/Laycock/Broadside Band's Old English Nursery Rhymes (which I'm only allowed to play when Amanda is not in earshot, even though it calms the baby like magic). Nobody seems very interested in my opinions about nappies aka diapers (when we use disposables, we use the Andy Pandy bamboo ones, no! come back! I used to be interesting...) or baby clothes (huge fan of the Magnificent Clothes magnetic clothes line, which allow you to get up in the night and change the baby without ever waking up enough to figure out complicated things like snaps or buttons or velcro) or...

There. No brain. I sound like a walking advert for baby things. If I get email done, or something read, I'm proud of myself. The rest of the time, it's changing the baby. Who mostly seems amused by the whole thing...



I've finished the giant proofread for a book coming out in May, called THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS. It's a collection of my nonfiction.  It's not every speech, introduction or article I've written, but it's all the speeches that seemed important, all the articles I was still proud of, all the introductions that seemed to be about something bigger than just telling people about the book or author they were going to read. (Kat Howard helped such a lot: she went through the archives, read everything, and made an initial call about what should go in or go out. Then she sighed whenever I changed my mind or remembered a forgotten piece I'd written about something).

I'm about three months behind right now, on everything. And I'm cooking a new novel in the back of my head, which I was meant to start next week, but may be as far as three months away while I finish things that people are waiting for.

I'm thrilled that people have been buying and saying nice things about Sandman: Overture (bit.ly/OvertureDeluxe).  It's been eight weeks at the top of the NYT Graphic Novel bestseller list, and it's made it onto lots of End of the Year Best Of lists, The consensus seems to be that it added something real to the Sandman story, and I'm not sure I wanted anything more than that, apart from the joy of working with J. H. Williams III.



Yesterday was our fifth wedding anniversary. It was a quiet day, with a lot of love in it. We did not need to sacrifice the baby to the Fish Gods, or send him into space in an attempt to save him from this doomed planet before it explodes. I'm profoundly grateful to his gorgeous, brilliant and kind mother, my wife and friend and partner and love. I wouldn't change a thing.

It's worth all the sleep I've lost.

And I'll try and be a better Blogger, in the months to come, and a worse Tweeter and Facebooker and Tumblrer.

Thank you for sticking around.


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