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Saturday, April 13, 2002

Dateline: World Horror Convention, Chicago. 2002. Location: An Airport Hotel.

Did a reading from A Walking Tour of the Shambles and I read the single chapter of Coraline that I hadn't written yet when I read the whole book in Denver a couple of years ago, for the five or six people at the reading who were also in Denver and had stayed up until 2.00am at my Read-the-whole-of-Coraline reading back then. Then did a Q&A panel with Gahan Wilson, where Gahan would ask questions and I would witter on and on and on. I think Gahan had plans to cover my whole career, but I don't think we got further than 1987 before our hour was up. Still, it was enormous fun.

Took part in a much more pleasant mass signing last night, made really fun by the fact I had small daughter Maddy there to help out. Helping out mostly consisted of leaning over my shoulder and saying "Are you going to do a drawing for them?" whenever she liked the look of anyone, or wanted to see a drawing. She took exception to the goldfish I would draw in people's copies of DAY I SWAPPED MY DAD FOR TWO GOLDFISH and would add more bubbles coming out of the goldfish mouths. She also, very proudly, signed several books for people who asked her to. ("I signed Madeleine in that one, for a change, instead of Maddy," she told me, at about signature number three, thus indicating that she was finding her own solutions for the big question of How to Sign the Same Things Over And Over WIthout Getting Bored Or Repeating Yourself. Then, having had enough, she went off to the hotel pool to swim, and I kept right on signing.)

Had one of those conversations last night with academic and critic Gary Wolfe about children's literature, fantasy, Lucy Clifford, E. Nesbit, how fiction ages and changes, what Victorian fantasy is still read and so on that I only left, with regret, when I realised that I was about to turn back into a pumpkin, and stumbled bedwards. It was the kind of conversation which remind me why I enjoy conventions, despite all the bits I don't.

Got the final draft of the Douglas Adams documentary I'll be doing voice-over for on Monday morning. Was sent a draft last week, and wound up rewriting all of my bits so they sounded like me and not like the bloke from E! Hollywood True Stories. The writer's included all of that and folded it together, and I think it works.



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