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Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Listening to a cassette of the Dawn French reading of Coraline right now with this great big smile on my face. It seems somehow much more subversive coming from Dawn, because her voice is so fundamentally reassuring and safe. And what she's saying isn't...

She is SO good.

Big article in Variety today, on the front cover, about me, and all the things of mine that are under option and aren't necessarily being made, mostly because it looks as if the Coraline film really will happen. Unless it doesn't, of course.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Lovely review by Tasha Robinson of Murder Mysteries and Coraline over at The Onion A.V. Club | Words. The two books make an interesting pairing, and Robinson remains an interesting reviewer. She's one of those people who one wishes could get more space to write longer about things -- her Alan Moore reviews in the Onion have been really fine.

Juggling stories right now, trying not to blow too many deadlines. Many years ago I pointed out that deadlines are cowardly: they don't stride out alone. They run in packs, and leap out at you all at once. And the end of July is one of those times.

I know you answered before that you won't be making an appearance at this year's San Diego Comic Con, but I just heard a rumor from a friend of a friend in the industry that you would be in San Diego that weekend doing some kind of interview for the History channel about a "History of Comics" sort of thing, and so i was just asking if you'd be making any kind of suprise appearance there?
And if not, well I'll be in San Diego anyway for the Comic Con, so would you fancy catching a bite to eat with a fan?


It's just a rumour, I'm afraid. I won't be at San Diego (or in San Diego) this year. Next year, though...

And I hear from Bloomsbury that the tickets to the Foyles event in London are starting to go fast, so if anyone's planning on going, they may want to get a ticket now. www.foyles.co.uk then go follow the links to event tickets to get one. (I'd give a web address but it was all pop-ups and things.)

Monday, July 29, 2002

Congratulations (and lots of them) to Puck and Melany over at The Dreaming. Look at the July 28th entry to see why.

Sunday, July 28, 2002

For those craving some info about what Coraline is doing on the various bestseller lists, you'll find lots of them here.Locus Online: Bestsellers on General Lists

A few people wrote to tell me that (for example) "Humanoid Publishing is releasing a graphic album called Coraline written by Denis-Pierre Filippi and artist Terry Dodson illustrating it that will be released sometime in 2003. Doesn't your publisher own the copyright to the title Coraline? What are your thoughts on this? I read about this at Comicon's Newsarama website."

i don't know anything about it. It seems an odd sort of name to pick for something, given the rather enormous possibility for confusion. You can't copyright titles, though.


Hi, I've been reading your online journal since its inception and I noticed that you rarely mention anything about your comic book related achievement. I only recall one occasion in your online journal when you mentioned your work "1602". Can you share any details on this project? Also, why don't you ever mention the deal you made with Marvel Comics that some of the proceed from the sale will go toward your lawsuit against Todd McFarlane over Miracleman/Marvelman in your journal? Or any recent developement regard the Miracleman/Marvelman lawsuit? It just seems that these are the sort of things I read about in other comic book news website like Newsarama but your own.

Raymond


Well, 1602 is being kept quiet because that's the way Marvel wants it. Mostly because we don't want people bored by it before it comes out. When we're ready to talk about it, we will. I've written the first chapter, and Andy Kubert has almost finished drawing it. I've seen about half of it, which is far and away the best stuff of his I've seen. I'm madly trying to get the notes for chapter two turned into script for him on Tuesday.

Actually all of the proceeds from the 1602 deal went straight into the lawsuit; justice is very expensive in the US. The trial starts at the end of September. I don't talk about the legal case because I'm perfectly to content to have it tried in court. And, I suppose, because it's the least pleasant side of being a writer -- you may have to sue publishers who don't pay you royalties, renege on agreements and so on.

I've certainly mentioned Endless Nights here, which is the new Sandman/Endless book I'm doing for DC. It'll be released in February, kicking off Vertigo's 10th anniversary celebrations.

The only other comic I'll be doing right now is a story for art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly's wonderful Little Lit series, to be illustrated by Gahan Wilson.

Aaaaugh!! Must you taunt your Mac using fans with the tease of a Coraline Bookwrap when it's not available for us? Cruel, cruel Neil. Is there a chance this can be posted somewhere for the rest of us?

My son recently converted from PCs to become an OS X Mac person and is evangelising busily from his Bay Area hide-out. (I shrugged and bought another Dell Latitude Notebook to be my day-to-day computer.) My assistant Lorraine is also a Mac person and my daughter maddy would be exclusively a Mac person if it weren't for her Scooby Doo game, which only runs on a PC. I only tell you this to assure you that many Mac people are near and dear to me and I would never do anything intentially to taunt, tease or torment any of you.

I'd suggest e-mailing the bookwrap people and telling them that mac people have rights and are real human beings who deserve to see me trying to remember how to talk in the morning.

I have to ask: which character is based on you in Diana Wynne Jones' "Deep Secret?" Thanks, Sabrina

Well, apart from me myself (I think I'm on a panel aren't I?) I'd suggest that you look for the character who has difficulty remembering how to talk in the morning. (The breakfast really happened, although it was at a Milford SF conference rather than at an SF con.)

I haven't seen a lot of information about this elsewhere, but I was wondering - I know that Sandman attracts a large female audience, but has there been much written about this? At least in terms of the audience's size.

Better way of putting it - did anyone ever figure out the male:female ratio?

Thanks a bunch - especially for bringing me into this crazy world of comics. I might not have found it without you.


I don't know if anyone's ever 'figured it out' but from the point of view of the person doing the signings, it's normally about 50/50.

Friday, July 26, 2002

We'll put this up soon enough, but for now here's a sneak preview of the CORALINE "bookwrap".

I would like to point out the camera adds ten pounds, several days of stubble and a hangover.

(This was shot during the Book Expo America, fairly early one morning after the Rock Bottom Remainders of the night before. Go to http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal_archives/2002_05_01_archive.asp and down to the May 4th entry for details.)

The people at Bookstream pointed out I had toothpaste on the side of my nose before filming started, so I went and wiped it off, and wondered just how I'd got toothpaste on the side of my nose that morning, because usually I just put it on my teeth, but decided it was a good thing I hadn't tried to shave when I got up as by that point I could have been missing several ears.

You will see lots of interesting people, many of them looking much more awake than yours truly at http://www.bookstreaminc.com/demo including a close associate of Lemony Snicket, a secret french wire-walker, and the editor of the Microsoft Encarta College dictionary who in her first bit explains that the Microsoft Encarta Dictionary is designed "for our twenty-first generation of students" and then mispronounces "plethora", which cheered me up no end when I saw it.

David Niall Wilson reviews the American Gods audio book I'm really proud of the audio book -- still wish it hadn't been cost prohibitive to do the CD version (sigh).

Then again, TWO PLAYS FOR VOICES is getting lots of pre-publication attention, so who knows?

Thursday, July 25, 2002

According to USATODAY.com - Publishers search for next 'Harry Potter' I'm a "sci-fi writer". Isn't that cool? When I was a kid, I really wanted to grow up to write science fiction, and I've always felt like I might have had a chance at being the next Heinlein or Asimov or even Stanley G. Weinbaum if I'd only paid a little more attention in Biology, and if I hadn't hated Physics (or at least, my physics teacher) quite so much. And if I had a mind that went to those places. I'm very used to being described as a comics writer, a fantasy writer, or a horror writer. Or just a writer. But I think this is the first time I've been a sci-fi writer (a word I find cutely retro, like hi-fi, and, while I'd not use it, not offensive, although I have friends who do not like it at all).

Reading Maddy Daniel Pinkwater'sThe Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, although after we read the chapter with the best ever description of Laurel and Hardy in it, and I discovered she'd never seen any Laurel and Hardy, I'm also now playing her fifteen minutes of FLYING DEUCES a night so she can see who they are and what they do. And am ordering some DVDs of the classic short films, so that I have them and she can see them...

A University of New Mexico book review which finishes with a warning: If you don't want to be left with an uneasy feeling deep in the pit of your stomach and an unsettling fear of black buttons, then do yourself a favor and leave this book where it sits.

I think books should all carry warnings.

1955 Strathisla

If I could afford it, I would send you a bottle, in thanks for the pleasure your work has given me. I just read the poem "Locks" for the first time today; no words are adequate for the physical shock of pleasure/pain/sorrow I felt reading it. The changing emotions are like the complex interplay of flavors and aftertastes of the whisky, now that I come to think of it.

What I can do, however, is send you the phone number of the Strathisla Distillery: 01542-783044. If they don't have a bottle or two tucked away, you may be able to buy one through whiskybids.com or whiskyparadise.com.

God only knows what the complexities of mailing a bottle of whisky into the US may be; James Thurber wrote an account of the lengthy and painful process of claiming and paying excise on a bottle of liqueur some friends had sent him from France. OTOH, you're going to be in Scotland fairly soon yourself. I would never suggest smuggling such a thing through customs, but bringing a bottle or two home might not be a bad idea.

Thank you for your writing. I came to your work unpardonably late, but I'm making up for lost time. You don't need me to tell you that your novels are getting surer and more complex and more there-on-the-page (there are moments in Stardust that really need the graphics to make them live). The blog delights me for the blend of simple humanity, bad-boy cheekiness, and devoted fatherhood, not to mention gardener in charge of (thrall to?) exotic pumpkins. Not to mention drinker of great whiskies.

Slainte.

Lynn Kendall


I was once sent, as a gift, a bottle of something alcoholic from Norway. It went from airport to airport across America, eventually winding up at Minneapolis Airport, and it cost me something very silly finally to get it out of bond, so I know how Thurber must have felt. (If you ever want to add to someone's woes, send them alcohol from another country.)

You are too kind, and I shall investigate the Strathisla. As you point out, I'll be in Scotland. I'm glad you liked "Locks". I did too. And yes, I think I'm slowly getting better at the craft of prose. (I said to Gene Wolfe, when I finished the first draft of American Gods, that I thought I was starting to learn how to write a novel. Gene chortled, and said, "You never learn how to write a novel. You only learn how to write the novel you're on.")

Pardon, please, if this has been asked before, but I was wondering if you had or have any plans to make/sell "Nicholas Was" Christmas cards? The last three words would have to be on the inside, of course, with the rest of the story on the front. :) Can't speak for many, unfortunately, but I would certainly buy at least 100 for this coming Christmas. Perhaps as a fundraiser for CBLDF? Please say you will! This story made me smile more than any short-short I've yet read, and it made me smile at Christmastime, which is saying something. :)

I dunno. 5,000 FAQ messages and no-one asks for Nicholas Was... Xmas cards. And then Michael Zulli paints a Nicholas Was... Xmas card, which Dark Horse will be bringing out this December, and suddenly someone asks. Weird. So yes. We're doing them. Or Dark Horse are, anyway.

Neil,

Just two quick (i hope) questions:

1) Roughly, is there a limit on what or how much i can bring to a signing/reading of yours (specifically the Dublin one)? I do of course mean books and the like, to be signed, not a pet cat or anything :)

2)Is there any questions you can think of you'd like to be asked? Because i hope to be at the signing/reading, and can't think of anything to say. Which would be a shame (for me) cuz id probably regret it later. Otherwise ill just mumble something that comes out like a "yeah i really flandunfubblemeagggh".

3)If i want a copy of coraline WITH the dave McKean pictures will i still have to look outside the UK and Ireland?

Thanks,
Robin Maginn


1) As a general rule, ask the bookshop. Depends really on how many people are there and what they want. Mostly it's a few treasured things and as many copies of Coraline as you want. But if there are too many people in the line, then whatever we need to do to get everyone signed for.

2) "yeah i really flandunfubblemeagggh" is fine, honest. Say hullo. Don't worry about figuring out the perfect thing to say.

3) At present, officially, yes. (I'm thinking of suggesting to Bloomsbury that they might want to do an edition with the Dave McKean illustrations, because so many people have been asking for it.)

I hear that the Dawn French reading of Coraline is wonderful, by the way. (I'm hoping that my copy arrives soon.)

What I did today: early morning interview with UK newspaper, got good news about Coraline and bestseller lists, then wrote a lot in a manic effort to start catching up. Also got a box from Harper of all the things that people gave me at the signing in New York.

http://www.rambles.net/gaiman_murder02.html is a Murder Mysteries review.

And the purple multi-armed bunny here is the one I was talking about a few weeks ago....


Tuesday, July 23, 2002

The people at Powells.com - picked 14 Favorites this year -- the 14 books they liked best. "This season's selections feature biography, literature, cat monologues, mystery, history, self-help, and one very spooky kids' book by Neil Gaiman."

Meanwhile over at the Dreaming Lucy Anne has unearthed all manner of stuff, including the full text of the Toronto Globe and Mail interview I mentioned a few posts ago.

A month after the notebook computer fell off the edge of the bed, mortifying the hard disk (that's how I mostly lose computers: gravity) it's now completely up and running and not a file missing thanks to connected tlm software over at connected.com. (It would have been a lot less than a month if I'd not been travelling so much in the meantime.) Anyway, everything's back to normal, nothing's lost and all's well.

And it's now easier for me to get to the FAQ requests (which it wasn't for a while) ... so, some UK event questions and info:

Hi Neil,
Looking forward to seeing you at the London signings - already booked my ticket to the Foyles venue! F.Y.I: i enquired about the format and it's pretty much like Matt said ( journal entry Sat 20th July). But i thought i'd add that i was told that you "would be in conversation with Lizo Mzimba (he's a journalist and presenter of BBC's Newsround)."

Let's hope the weather keeps - it's been pretty hot(English standards i hasten to add!) for the past week.
Best Regards,
Yasmin Shafi


Thanks for the info Yasmin...

Hey Mr Gaiman bring me a dream... dum dum dum dum!
I have tickets for your signing/ reading(?) at Waterstones in Manchester on the 16th which I am REALLy looking forward to especially as Coraline isnt out yet... but I was wondering do you have a copy of the Walking Tour of the Shambles you could bring for me- in return I will offer you my copy of "Vurt" by Jeff Noon- a fine novel that I think you should read if you haven't already (and my all time favourite book by an author other than yourself of course!) or, in Marquis D'Carabas style I will owe you a "favour" what do you say? I know I am cheeky but sometimes you have to be... I could even throw in beverages? Just ask for E.K.- I will be there.. Thank you for your time...


Not a chance. Even if I wanted to, I'd forget to pack it or something. But someone in the UK must be selling the Shambles books... Andy Richards at Cold Tonnage for example. I'd be surprised if the various Forbidden Planets didn't get some in, and for that matter the Waterstones in Manchester Deansgate used to have a fairly legendary SF department -- you might want to ask them if they can get hold of a copy for you.

Dear Mr. Gaiman,
I read your interview for FoodPorn and I really want to try making your Trout Newspaper. But I wanted to ask how hot a temperature you have to heat the oven for the fish? The rest of the receipe sounds simple enough. (God, I really hope those aren't famous last words.)
Thank you,
Elisa


It's honestly pretty simple. Take two sheets of newspaper -- preferably full-sized, New York Times sized, newspaper (black and white only. No coloured inks.). Stuff the trout (you want it cleaned and gutted, but with head etc still on) with herbs, and a thin slice of lemon. Wrap the fish in the newspaper sheets, making a tight sort of package, as if you were going to post it to someone. Then run it under the cold tap until it is sodden (ie wet through).

Then place in an oven (350 F/ 180 C/ Gas mark 4) until the paper has dried out completely. FLOYD ON FISH, which contains the recipe, says "about 8 minutes" although it's more like about 25. Then he says "using scissors, open the package and peel off the paper, which will lift off the skin of the trout". It'll take the head and tail with it as well.

....

I'm in the process of dismantling my massive VHS library and replacing it with a massive DVD library. Why am I telling you this? Because I'm
curious as to whether or not the CBLDF plans to release a DVD version of Live at the Aladdin. I was there that night, so I know that there
should be plenty of extra stuff begging to be crammed onto a disk. Are there any plans along these lines, or do I need to hold on to my tape?
Aaron

(ps: I know that The Blueberry Girl would't be included, but I just wanted to say that I remember that night vividly after two years, exept
for that poem. I don't remember a single word, exept that it was one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard in my life. Just thought I'd share.)


Ah, the DVD question. Right now there aren't any plans to do Live at the Aladdin on DVD. Although there was a lot more material that night that didn't make it onto the original video, so an expanded release on DVD would be perfectly possible. I'll talk to the CBLDF about it.

And yes, any DVDs out there of the BBC Neverwhere are pirated and bootlegs.

Monday, July 22, 2002

Incidentally, I see that the interview with me at Food Porn is now up: Thrill! as we eat eggplant sushi and admire the colour. Gasp! as I try to explain who Fanny Craddock and Keith Floyd were. Scream! as you discover that they serve pony sushi in Reykjavik. Easily the most food-and-drink oriented interview I've ever given. (And yes, the 1955 Strathisla really is that good.)

(I had some brilliant idea of linking Foodporn and Bookslut as a sort of look! cool sites that sound like they're rude but aren't! thing, but I can't be bothered, so I shall just put in a plug for the Bookslut blogger, and the whole site.)

By the way, Robert Wiersema's interview in the Toronto Globe and Mail ran on the same pages (as a double-page spread) as the Bram Eisenthal review of Coraline, but for some reason isn't online. It talks about a lot of things (he even mentions this blogger) and even has a great big photo of me against a wall. Actually it's a great big photo of a wall, with a me in it. (I look about as tired in the photo as I felt the day after the New York signing...)

Trying to restore a bunch of stuff from a CD backup to my notebook computer. The gods heard my announcement this morning that I'd finally have a working notebook computer today and have not yet stopped laughing....

The official press release about the Coraline movie should be going out in the next day or so, telling the world that Henry "Nightmare Before Christmas" Selick will be directing it (and wrote the script), for Bill Mechanic's Pandemonium films, to be distributed by Disney, and starring [a well-known and highly thought-of actress] as the mother and the other mother, and that it will start shooting in early 2003 for a late 2003 release. Consider this a sneak wossname. Preview.

(Unless it isn't and doesn't, this being Hollywood we're talking about of course.)

This link from the chicago sun-times was sent through the FAQ line: what do Reign of Fire, Al-Quaida, Coraline and the Power Puff Girls have in common...? click here and find out

Sunday, July 21, 2002

mr.gaiman,
is it o.k. for me to put a link to your web-site from mine?
also, thank you so much for your time at the signing in minneapolis. all of your fans truly appreciate the attention you give to each of us.
i was having a very yucky day, and you really cheered me up!! i thank you immensely!
-carly


You're welcome. And certainly, anyone can feel free to link to the website.

Neil,

Saw a mention of Steve Erickson in your journal - is this the same Steve Erickson who wrote Arc D'x, Rubicon Beach, etc.? I'm a big fan of you both, but based on your respective books would never have thought, "Now there's two guys who probably get along." Granted, maybe writers get along best when they're not overlapping notebooks too much -- but how do you know each other?

Bill


I've known Steve for about fourteen years now. We were introduced (or at least, caused to meet) by author Mikal Gilmore, who'd done an interview with me for Rolling Stone, and with whom I'd become friends. I'd read Steve's Days Between Stations and Tours of the Black Clock and loved them. He really liked Sandman. Every now and again, when I'm in LA, we grab food together -- not as often as I'd like. He wrote the introduction for Sandman: Dream Country, and did a long article in the LA Times Magazine in 1996 as Sandman drew to a close.

(I wonder why you'd think we wouldn't get along? He's a terrifically nice man, and an amazing author, both in his fiction and his non-fiction: I highly recommend American Nomad, his book about his relationship with the last-but-one presidential election.)
.....


It was my son Michael's 19th birthday today, and he wanted to go kayacking/canoeing, so we did, the family and some friends (including the McClouds -- Scott, Ivy, Winter and Sky). It was a pleasant sort of journey, half paddling, half drifting, listening to Maddy and Sky practise in perfect their little happy chant of "You're going to kill us all/ you're going to kill us all/ you're going to kill us all/ We're too young to die!" every time their canoe went anywhere interesting. ("We're prisoners of the pirates," they told me as I paddled alongside. "She's a queen, and I'm an architect.") I drifted off again, wondering what an architect would have to do to be captured by pirates.

The McClouds also brought with them "No!", the new They Might Be Giants CD for kids. I thought it was the most interesting TMBG stuff I'd heard in years -- it had that diamond core of utter oddness that seemed to soften after Flood. I loaded Scott and Ivy up with CDs I know they'll like - The Apples in Stereo, and Richard Goldman's Cows and Girls, and so on.

Anyway. Off to work...

Over at the Toronto Globe and Mail, Bram Eisenthal has reviewed CORALINE, and done it very nicely.

Did the DreamHaven reading and signing yesterday. It was fun doing two chapters and a leisurely Q and A. Scott McCloud (and family) are in Minneapolis and are staying with us for the weekend, and Scott and Ivy came along to the signing. Spent an hour this evening in front of a computer while Scott showed me web comics, some of which were fascinating and wonderful and some of which weren't. I grumbled and cavilled at Scott's vision of the future, as I always do, but was hugely impressed by how far web comics have come since the last time I got a Scott lesson.

Saturday, July 20, 2002

Hey Neil-
I actually have two questions, too. Hope you don't mind.

1) Is there any particular reason the link to your FAQ's is hidden? By that, I simply mean the lack of a link on the main page.

2) I know, in the past, you've gone to the San Diego Comic-Con, and I was wondering if you would be making a guest appearance this year as well.

Thanks for reading this, and maybe answering my questions!


Let's see. No, there's no reason the FAQ link isn't up on the main page that I know of. It was a "design decision" to move the FAQ link to the bottom of every page, which made a lot of sense but is probably rather counterintuitive. At least the site map is now up at http://www.neilgaiman.com/map/map.asp.

I'll not be at San Diego this year, no. But next year is Vertigo's tenth anniversary, and they've asked if I'll be a Guest of Honour at San Diego, and I've said yes.

Somebody wanted to know about manuscripts...

I have just finished my first book length work, and I am gearing up to send it off to the slush piles of America, and I was just wondering if you might be able to tell me what the preferred way is to bind the manuscript.

I don't really think there is one. Print out on one side of the paper only, in a readable font, double-spaced. If you want to bind it I doubt any publisher/editor/slushpile reader would mind, nor will they object at all if it's unbound. And you can't go wrong not binding it at all.

This from a very helpful someone named Matt in the UK:

RE: Foyles Event. Another one of those 'not so much a question but and answer' things...although you've probably had it from several people by now. Here is the mail that Foyles have been sending out about the event and what will take place.

"The Neil Gaiman event is on Thursday 22 August at the Congress Centre, 28 Great Russell Street. The nearest tube is Tottenham Court Road. The event starts at 7pm, although it is advisable to arrive at about 6:30pm in order to get a seat. Neil Gaiman will be reading from his new book 'Coraline', will be in conversation with another author, journalist or celebrity (to be confirmed), there will then be a question and answer session so that the audience will be able to participate, the evening will conclude at approximately 9pm with a book signing. A selection of Neil's books will be on sale on the night at a slightly reduced price."


I like that "author, journalist or celebrity" line. Well, it made me smile.

and here's one from someone who hasn't discovered what the WHERE'S NEIL section of the site does:

Neil - maybe I'm behind on the times and you've already done a signing
here, but when is the next time you're going to be doing a signing in
your adopted home of the twin cities, MN? would love to come by and get
a copy of Coraline and have you sign some other books of mine. thanks
very much!
Wendy G, St. Paul, MN, USA


I hope you check this in time: I'll be signing at DreamHaven books in Lake St. at 2.00pm on Saturday the 20th of July. Which is kind of today. So I should go to sleep now....

Friday, July 19, 2002

No idea what's wrong with the site right now. I am, of course, vaguely worried that I've broken it.

Did you know that Charles Finney's The Circus of Dr Lao was back in print? It's a strange, and funny, and haunting book that's nothing at all like the Tony Randall film (although that's probably forgotten these days as well).

Somebody wanted to know more details about the Mervyn Peake biography. Here's the Washington Post review, by the inestimable Michael Swanwick.

And, with two days left to go on Archer's Goon, it's Daniel Pinkwater's The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death will be the next book I read aloud to Maddy. And if you think I'm just choosing books I secretly want to read out loud, well, you're right.

Thursday, July 18, 2002

Hello, my name is P�n�lope...still the same french girl again, still asking the same question again.
Are you coming to sign books in France one day... even next century i'm patient i can wait...
See you in London August 21 anyway.
P�n�lope


Hullo again P�n�lope. The plans right now for next year include a small European tour for the various European editions of Coraline in April, and I'll almost definitely be in France for that. I've also been invited to the Angouleme festival as a Guest of Honour this January, and hope to be able to accept, and may well do another French signing if I'm in France. So I expect I'll see you in your own country in 2003.

Two questions, I'm afraid.

1) London: Foyles is now adverising your upcoming Bloomsbury event in
its window, which is nice. Any details on the content of this? Is there
any chance you'll be reading the whole thing, or will it just be a
chapter? And do you happen to know if it will be possible to buy there a
copy of Coraline with Mckean's illustrations, or your reading on CD, or
will we have to settle for What They Think People in the UK Want?

2) I see that a new, updated edition of Don't Panic! is out. I haven't
noticed you mention that, and I have read in one place that the new
chapter are written by someone else, although my casual inspection of the
book gave no hint of that. Could you confirm or deny?

Thanks for your time.
Paul


1) I don't know. I think I'm being interviewed by someone-to-be-determined, and I'm sure there will be a reading but probably only 20 minutes of one. You could ask Foyles what the format of these things normally is.

If you're in the UK and you as an individual want a copy of the American edition of Coraline, American Gods, or whatever, you should probably buy it from an online bookseller like Amazon.com or B&N.com. (If you want a pre-signed copy try DreamHaven.)

The editions on sale in the UK will be the Bloomsbury editions -- which means Dawn French reading the book (which is pretty damn spiffy, you must admit) and the unillustrated book. Because of rights and territories and what have you, the US edition won't be sold in shops in the UK, any more than the UK edition will be in shops in the US.

Incidentally, there are really rather nice e-cards for the UK edition of Coraline out now here at the Bloomsbury site. I like the middle one best, but the one on the right is kind of strange.

2) Don't Panic (originally subtitled The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Companion) was written by me in 1987, updated by Dave Dickson in 1992, and re-updated and expanded by M.J. Simpson in 2002. (It says so on the title page, but other than that it's fairly hard to see.)

I actually read Coraline first to a real audience in 1999, back when the book itself was less than half-written, at a Comic Book Legal Defense Fund members-only reception at the San Diego comic convention. It was a late-night reading, in a conference room, of Coraline (what there was of it) and The Wolves in the Walls to a bunch of people who have now been waiting patiently for some years. Here's a review from one of them: Needcoffee.com Word Bomb: Coraline

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

I know you hear about Tori all the time, but these lyrics to "gold
dust" were posted on the Dent forum and I was wondering if they were indee
authentic.

never fear
love will come around
before dusk
(etc etc, fake lyrics snipped)

Robert


Nope.
And from a different Robert

Hi Neil:
Speaking of the CBLDF, did the poster for "Instructions" that Brian
Froud created ever come about? Last year you mentioned that it might
possibly be sold through CBLDF in fall of 2001, but I haven't seen it
mentioned there, the Frouds' website, or in your journal since last spring.
Do you know anything about its status? Also, just finished Coraline in
between takes of finishing up my Master's thesis, and it is,
unquestionably, a fantastic book. And thanks for the writing--all of it!
Robert


You're welcome. Hmm... I'll ask Brian Froud the next time I speak to him. I know the poster was fully designed a year ago (and was gorgeous). I'll check and let you know.

Kraft Wins Preliminary Injunction Against Helm

CBLDF defendant Stu Helm has lost the first round in his battle against corporate censorship. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys handed down a 32 page decision granting Kraft's request for preliminary injunction against Helm's use of the nickname "King VelVeeda." The injunction prohibits Helm from using the name on his Website or in any commercial context. The decision freezes Helm's ability to sell original art created before the injunction unless he physically removes the nickname from the piece, effectively defacing each original image. It also blocks the sale of "Singles and Seconds," a collection of single page erotic vignettes.

The Magistrate's decision further orders Helm to remove the nickname from all Web pages, metatags, and search engines. Helm has spent the weeks since the decision painstakingly obliterating all references to the name from his site. His next court date is July 29 where he will demonstrate full compliance with the Judge's orders.

The CBLDF's legal team has filed an appeal to the Magistrate's decision. Presently we are awaiting a decision on the appeal, following which a trial date will be set. However, the decision on the appeal may take months to come through. Meanwhile, the Fund is nearing the five figure mark in case expenses and needs to build funds to fight the next round.

"They already took my name," Stu Helm says, "and in court I could be fighting for my life." Part of the terms of Kraft's suit is that if Helm loses he may have to pay Kraft's legal fees plus punitive damages. The Fund's legal team estimates Kraft's expenses are nearing six figures. The longer the case is delayed, the sharper their fees escalate, and the more urgent Stu's plight becomes.

CBLDF Director Charles Brownstein explains, "We leapt onto this case when it was already in motion with all our legal guns. Unfortunately the judge felt that the balance of harms favored Kraft's commercial speech over Helm's artistic speech, but that doesn't mean that Stu's case has been weakened. The preliminary injunction needed to show Kraft having a fair shot at prevailing in the trial, it doesn't mean that they're right, and it certainly doesn't mean that they'll win. It's still early in the process, and we intend to keep fighting."

"With trademark and copyright laws in a state of flux, it's important to fight these instances of corporate censorship," explains Fund Board Member Louise Nemschoff. "If Kraft prevails, the precedent could be damaging not only to comic book creators poking fun at corporate culture, but to musicians, filmmakers, and other artists making use of puns or homonyms of corporate marks."

"This case is about what is protected as free speech," says CBLDF legal counsel Ken Levinson. "We would be remiss in our duties if we didn't protect a comic book artist like Stu while that battle is being waged in the higher courts. Comics are a place where precedents are set in entertainment law, and we have to fight to ensure that a bad precedent isn't set here." To Support the CBLDF's continuing defense of Stu Helm and other casework make a donation on CBLDF.com


Sigh...

Please go and at least poke around the CBLDF commercial site. There may be something you want (a special signed first edition of American Gods for less than you'll pay on Ebay? The Babylon 5 script I did? A new James Kochalka tee shirt? All About P'Gell hardback, signed and numbered by Will Eisner?) Or just take out a CBLDF membership.

This case is going to take money. Consider this post an unashamed begging letter.

And tell them you're doing it for King Velveeda. Er, better make that Stuart Helm.

The phone call came in today: Coraline is up two places to #8 on the New York Times children's bestseller list. And by the way, it's already in its eighth printing, fifteen days after publication...

And while I'll continue posting links to some of the reviews, I think I'll stop doing the bestseller list and the back-to-press stuff, otherwise I worry that this journal is going to turn into "blah blah blah Coraline... blah blah bestseller... blah blah tenth printing... blah blah Nobel Peace Prize blah blah blah.... blah blah small south sea island elected me King on the basis of being big Coraline fans blah blah blah..." and get very very boring very quickly.

I assume that any Tori fans who want to know about the next album already know everything that's up on this article at Billboard.com.

(The quote from me actually came from a letter I wrote to Steve Erickson, who I thought would like it, which I'd copied to Tori's people, and when they saw that paragraph they asked if they could use it to explain what the album was. I said, of course.)

I'm really looking forward to hearing the finished CD with all the instrumentation on it. A few of the songs on there go back a way (I remember hearing an early version of "Gold dust" when I was out in Florida chatting about the album that would become Strange Little Girls) while most of them came about post-September 11th. They are all part of the tapestry, though.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Lots of helpful people (all, coincidentally, librarians) have written to let everyone know that there are LOTS of copies of The Good Fairies of New York available through interlibrary loan. Here's one:

um, hi, this is not really a question, but an answer to another person's question which was posted in your journal. they should be able to ask their local public library to borrow it through interlibrary loan, although they may have to pay for the cost of borrowing plus shipping. (usually $12 + shipping)

hope this helps, -candice- library assistant interlibrary loans cedars-sinai medical library

So, today I renewed my Green Card, which involved lots of Kafkaesque standing in corridors in order to get a number to allow me to enter a hall and wait some more. Eventually, after lots of waiting, they fingerprinted me, made me sign a bit of paper, took the form and the (terrible) photos of me, scribbled in my passport, and sent me on my way with a cheery "So, when are you applying for citizenship?"

(And the fact I had to renew my green card means I've been here ten years, which is, now I come to think of it, ten years, but I really still have no desire to be a US citizen. I think of myself as English, even if my accent's a bit dodgy these days. Giving that up would be giving up something that makes me who I am.)

Then I went in to DreamHaven Books, where I sat in a back room and signed many piles of books -- some of it stuff people had pre-ordered from DreamHaven, and some of it the "signed edition" Diamond copies of the Coraline special edition, which had finally been sent out. Seeing no-one had actually done anything special for the signed ones (apart from making stores and customers jump through some very peculiar hoops to get them) I decided to number them, which I did. Five of them were badly damaged or misprinted, and Elizabeth from DreamHaven very kindly gave us five of DreamHaven's copies of the Special Edition, to make sure that everyone who ordered the signed one gets one. (There were a total of 177, if anyone's interested.)

Bought the latest BUST for my assistant Lorraine, (because I always read her copy, and I think her subscription sort of vanished in their recent publishing troubles, or possibly just expired, or it's in the post and just hasn't turned up yet) along with a Mervyn Peake biography.

Still reading ARCHER'S GOON to Maddy. Tonight was the chapter where they go through the tunnels to meet Erskine, and when I got to the last sentence, she bounced up and down round-eyed and round-mouthed. I wished Diana could have seen it.

I'll post this in the Where's Neil? section as well, but for those readers wondering about the Irish Signing....

Bloomsbury and Eason, Hanna's Bookshop present a reading & signing by Neil
Gaiman from his new novel 'Coraline' on Monday 19th August at 7 pm. All
welcome'

Eason, Hanna's bookshop, 1 Dawson St, Dublin 2 tel: 01 677 1255


And Coraline got a USA Today Review of the kind that authors sometimes dream of -- but normally when I dream of reviews like this they begin with me sneaking into the newspaper building late at night and replacing the real review with this one, which I wrote myself. And then people chase me through a waterpark trying to get me to appear on the radio show "Just a Minute" in a non-speaking role. And after that the things come down from the sky...

It's at http://www.usatoday.com/life/enter/books/2002/07-16-gaiman.htm. And it's, um, positive.

Monday, July 15, 2002

Hi, Neil. I met you for all of 45 seconds at your B&N Coraline signing. You were very patient and friendly to all (to all who got into line, that is). I hope you enjoyed the Lemon Throat Drops I brought you. I've been getting myself up-to-date on the early American Gods journal archives, and I see you once mentioned a book called The Good Fairies of New York. The title sounds wonderful to me, and I really, really, really want to read it. The problem is that it seems to just barely exist. It doesn't show up in a New York Public Library search, nor is it available through barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com (though they have two readers' reviews up, and both are positive). It's not up on ebay or half.com either, and I even checked the entire City University of New York's network of libraries. Can you suggest any way for me to get hold of this book?

Also, I have an idea for a short story or possibly a series of short stories involving fairies, but I need to read up on the origins of fairy-related myths. Can you point me in the direction of a good, enjoyably written, informative book? Much thanks, Tsippa


Ah, I thought, that's an easy one, and went to Amazon.co.uk, where I discovered that Martin Millar's wonderful The Good Fairies of New York is out of print, and so is the Collected Martin Millar, which has it in (along with two other books, both excellent). Then I checked www.bookfinder.com, and while lots of Martin Millar books were around, that one wasn't. So then I went to www.martinmillar.com which has a lot of really good stuff on it, including short stories you can download. Unfortunately, one of the good things he doesn't have up is The Good Fairies of New York (although I learned it's just been published in Germany). You could e-mail him and ask...

As for Fairy Lore, Katherine Briggs's Dictionary of Fairies is the best place to start. And if you never get any further than Katherine Brigg's Dictionary (which is, I think, the same book as her Encyclopedia of Fairies), you'll still know more fairy lore than anyone you'll run into who doesn't study the stuff professionally, or isn't actually herself a spriggan or a trow.

Of course, a quick hunt around also reveals (sigh) that the Briggs is out of print as well. But it's available second-hand from the usual suspects (www.abebooks.com, www.bookfinder.com, www.bibliofind.com, etc.)

...

Got a very pretty-looking foreign edition of American Gods in the mail today, and noticed that the dedication to Kathy Acker and Roger Zelazny now seems to be to "Katy and Roger Zelazny", which makes me ever-so-slightly nervous about what's in the rest of the book.

Lovely review of Coraline at www.SpinnerRack.com

There's a review of Coraline and of the Bay Area reading at The Slush Factory.

And here's an article I did about Terry Pratchett for the Financial Times. [Link removed as it no longer works -- I'll put the article up here.] I never thought I'd ever grow up to be the sort of person who wrote an article for the Financial Times. Pity the website isn't an off-putting shade of pink, though. (I may stick the slightly longer version of the article up in the essays section of this site.)

Coraline and American Gods are both doing well in the charts over at http://www.booksmith.com/bestsellers.html, the Booksmith website. (Booksmith, on the Haight in San Francisco, has been one of my favourite bookshops for over a decade. I signed a huge pile -- several huge piles, actually - of books for them when I went by last week, so if you're in the area and looking for a signed novel or graphic novel, you could do worse than ask them what they've still got for sale.)

Sunday, July 14, 2002

When I mentioned the news articles about children's publishing (at least in the UK) dropping, several people, including Ollie Morton, author of the terrific Mapping Mars took me gently to task, pointing out that possibly the drop was simply due to J.K. Rowling not having had a book out last year. This article in the Independent points out the bit that worried me. (And it's perfectly possible that in a year's time I'll be one of the evil GM strains he points to.)

Here's another nice Coraline review.

Spent Saturday afternoon being interviewed in a club called The Batcave in New York. I was being asked questions about Comics for a documentary about Comics, while four very nice young ladies dressed in black sat in the background as human set decoration, slowly cooking under the video lights. (They were recruited by the director from the massed ranks of the people who weren't allowed in line at the Signing on Thursday. Sigh.) The documentary comes out in October, I believe.

Am now home, and cannot tell you how happy I am to be home again.

Friday, July 12, 2002

There. I'm in New York without a computer, which means I'm typing this in Books of Wonder, the children's bookstore, where I just signed several hundred first printings of Coraline.

Did the big Barnes and Noble signing last night, which I'm a bit ambivalent about: it went really well, but there were about four hundred people there who were simply sent away after the reading and Q&A was done without even a chance to get into line (and even then, B&N kept the store open an hour after closing time for the people who were in line). I'm trying to figure out a way to do something in New York which would get around the problem of just too many people for me to sign for, and discussing the possibility of doing a complete reading, like the one in San Francisco, in December, of the whole of Coraline. Maybe with live Gothic Archies music. Maybe with puppet rats as well. We'll see.

All the Coraline news is good, and better than good: it's in at #10 on the children's New York Times list on its first week of publication, it's in its fifth printing (!) after a week, the people at Harper Collins Childrens books are ecstatic. I recorded a segment for Fox TV's Good Day New York -- not sure when it'll air, did an interview with the Toronto Globe and Mail, and even squeezed in a visit to DC Comics, and an editorial meeting with Joe Quesada at Marvel to discuss 1602.

The unexpected side effect of not having a computer with me on the journey is that I'm getting a LOT of writing done. A story for Peter Straub, and the last of the stories in Endless Nights, and the second part of 1602.

(The down side is the knowledge that the e-mails are going to be relentlessly mounting up when I finally get home to them -- and Compuserve Classic only has a 250 e-mail limit.)

Dave McKean tells me he's nine pages away from the end of WOLVES IN THE WALLS. "It's kind of... eerie..." he said. "I mean, it's turning out not as warm and fuzzy as The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish."

"Ah," I said. "I bet it's a lot warmer and fuzzier than Coraline, though." And he admitted that there was always that.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Almost forgot to mention, this morning's post brought the first of Windy Lewis's bunnies. I bought several of them at the World Horror Convention, where they were the hit of the art show: my favourite being a fluffy purple three-eared, six legged bunny with huge alien eyes. Somewhere I decided that really what I needed to make my life perfect was the Strangely Disturbing Bunny of the Month Club, and Windy agreed. The June Bunny is amazingly cute, and sits, semi-octopus-like, on four legs, rather than the usual two. There are no pictures of Strange Bunnies up yet at Windy's Morbid Tendencies site, but I'm sure there will be eventually.

Good night.

There's a lovely review by Cindy Lynn Speer up --
The SF Site Featured Review: A Walking Tour of the Shambles. And my favourite bit of http://www.preserveusfromthehouseofclocks.com is definitely the guest book: it's like feeling the Shambles getting a little closer.

I'm off to New York for the CORALINE signing. And it looks like, for the first time in about a decade, I may be without a computer. Erk. I'll probably wind up posting here from people's offices or something.

Mr. Gaiman,
some writerly types were discussing a long-ago journal entry, and found themselves most confused by the term "sleeve job". Logically, everything we imagined it might be was just plain dirty, so we thought we'd ask -before our repuations get much worse.
Thanks, Amber


I feel a bit like the Professor at the end of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe here, muttering "Bless me, what do they teach them in these schools these days?" to himself. But then, a moment's reflection, and I realise that Robert Nye's Merlin has probably been out of print for a decade or more. (Although it's a book you'll find easy to pick up used.) It's a wonderful dark funny book with a unique voice, and it's the best place to point you to.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Pleasant news -- Snow Glass Apples just won an award for "Best Fantasy/Horror Audio Production of the Year".

I wish I was doing another audio play soon. Not sure when I'd have time to do it if I was, though.

http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0228/mamatas.php is a Village Voice article by Nick Mamatas, who tells me If you want to stick the URL on blogs or email them to all your friends, please do! (You can also mention the the writer is also the author of the Stoker-nominated short novel Northern Gothic if you do.)

And -- because lots of people asked, particularly Michael Zulli, here is a close-up of the Sweeney Todd poster...


and here is a shot of the whole thing...

Monday, July 08, 2002

Reminder -- if you're in the New York area, the summer east coast CORALINE signing is this Thursday the 11th, at the Union Square Barnes and Noble. It starts at 6.00pm, with a short (ie not three and a half hour) reading and a Q&A, and then I start signing. We'll figure out the ground rules on what gets signed when we see how many people are there, but if you have a beloved thing you need me to sign then bring it along and I'll do my best. I think they'll be handing out line numbers which should allow those of you late in the line to come for the reading, go and get something to eat and then come back, rather than standing there for hours.

Let's see... so one answer from one bookshop:

Hi Neil, Not so much a question as an answer (of sorts). I'm organising the
signing at Blackwell's in Sheffield (I promise not to keep you ALL
afternoon signing my own collection)and although I hadn't planned a big group
get together, as such (cos you have to be in Manchester by 7), I'd be
more than happy for you to kick off with a quick reading before the
avalanche of pens descends. So if you're happy with that, I'm sure everybody
else will be. Looking forward to seeing you and all the (other) fans.


and one from another:

Hey Neil!
Not a FAQ, but hopefully a bit of an answer. You mentioned the odd
shelving habits at Borders...it's all true! And since I work at one, I
might be able to shed a little light on where to find Coraline there.
(For the most part, all Borders should be sorting things the same way,
since the books come to our stores with stickers which tell us where to
put 'em.) When a Borders employee gets asked for Coraline and looks it
up in the computer, he'll see two different titles in two sections:
"Coraline", listed in the kids section (intermediate fiction, to be
specific), and "Coraline-Ltd Ed", which is the one with the glow in the dark
cover, in the SciFi section. Hope this helps! Oh, and any time I sell
one of your books (usually American Gods, lately), I make sure and
mention what a great site you've got here. :?) Thanks!
John Clifford, somewhere in the universe


Thaks, John. I'm still puzzled as to why the Diamond edition, produced for comics stores as a 'retail incentive', is in Borders competing with the Harper edition (which is $10 cheaper). Ah well, chalk that one up to experience, I suppose.

Sunday, July 07, 2002

I'm not sure if this question is Frequently Asked, but I think it should be - I am looking forward to seeing you at the Union Square Barnes and Noble in a few days, but I would rather purchase Coraline from an independently-owned bookstore, like Cosmic Comics or the magnificent children's book store, Books of Wonder. Is there any way I could buy the book elsewhere and then have you sign it at B&N? The person at B&N who spoke to me said he wasn't sure; I should buy the book at B&N the day of the event just to be safe, etc. Well, I'd rather be safe by supporting locally-owned bookstores. So there.
Thanks for your time (and of course I'll come see you there regardless),
- Emily


Normally bookstores don't stop people from bringing books from elsewhere and they don't stop people bringing things that aren't the book. On the other hand, sometimes (not always) they will discriminate against people who don't buy the book from them -- people who didn't buy the book might get to be further back in the queue, for example. Or they might send evil clowns to your house to kidnap your pets. (I mean, it's theoretically possible. All right, it's very, very unlikely.) I doubt that B&N have decided what they're doing yet -- they may well only decide when they see how many people turn up for the signing.

If you DO buy a book elsewhere, it's always a good idea to bring the receipt with you, or if you don't have it, to make someone working for the bookstore give you something indicating you brought it in with you. It would be bad if you had to pay for it twice, after all.

The listings I see for your appearance here in Sheffield (at the
Univeristy Blackwells bookstore) says it is a "Signing"... Is there any
chance of a mini-reading?

Also, you mentioned gifts... but do you take baked goods? I don't know
about you, but if I were on the road for a stretch like that, I'd fancy
some pumpkin bread...


I don't know. Ask the bookshop -- it depends what they've set up. I'm always very happy to do a mini-reading and Q&A. Most bookshops like and expect them too. (They're a bit less likely to happen at lunchtime signings, as people have less time.)

On the whole, baked goods (cookies, biscuits etc) tend, at long signings, to be eaten by the very hungry people in line while I just keep signing...

I was hoping that Amazon would have the Publisher's Weekly review of Coraline up. Instead they don't even have their own review of Coraline up any longer, over at Amazon.com: buying info: Coraline. As with so many Amazon things of recent vintage, one can no longer tell if it's a bug or a feature. Over at the Barnes and Noble Coraline page they have their review up, and the Kirkus. We're still in the top hundred on each list, which is heartening. Looking around at the other online booksellers that www.mousecircus.com sends you to, Hedgehog books just lists it as being on order, and you can't buy it, and wordsworth.com has it as not yet published. (Borders just takes you into Amazon.)

Meanwhile, back in the world of physical bookshops we seem to be doing fairly well out there -- although I keep getting strange messages from friends -- one of whom, for example, tried to buy a Coraline at a local Borders and found they only had one copy -- one of the 4000 Diamond "hobby editions" with the glow-in-the-dark cover and the Dave McKean colour frontispiece and so on, in the SF section, and none at all in children's books or anywhere else. I get the impression, anecdotally, that either bookstores are ordering lots and getting behind it, or they don't seem to know what it is, where to put it, or whether they ordered any copies.

And American Gods is on the Booksense 76 this month. This is a good thing. Unfortunately, if you wander around the booksense site for more than a few minutes, you discover that we are still waiting for day 3 of Kelly Link's author tour, and if you're like me, you start to suspect that she's never going to get to day 3. She's still on that reading tour, and every morning it's day 2 all over again.

Not really much time for the journal today. A couple of deadlines need to be made...

Lay in bed this morning reading The Author, the Society of Authors publication. Interestingly, sales of childrens books were down again in the UK, in 2001, by 5%. (The adult market grew by 6% in that time.) Which is interesting because I was told at ALA that that wasn't happening, look at J.K. Rowling and everyone, children's books have never experienced such a boom etc. I'd love to see the US numbers...

Anyway, The Author is filled with lots of immensely practical articles by working authors, agents, commissioning editors and so on. One line which resonated deeply, as I try to decide which invitations to go where I accept this year and next year, and how much time I can actually give to going places and meeting people and signing things, was from a Philip Pullman speech given at the Creators' Rights Alliance -- "There comes a time in the careers of many of us when, in the words of Allan Ahlberg, people like our work so much they want us to stop doing it".

My current favourite print publication is probably The Week. Somewhere not far behind comes New Scientist, which is so much more interesting than the increasingly insipid Scientific American, which I buy in airports and read on planes without pleasure. I suppose that what interests me as a writer is the odder, more Fortean, or at least goofier end of science, which New Scientist is much more willing to provide. Did you know that Semen is an anti-depressant (I'd make a joke about that, but it's just too easy...) or that Persuasion is now replacing coercion in Animal experimentation ("Come on now, Rover. All the other dogs are smoking twenty a day. They're starting to talk about you. 'Oh, he's too lah-dee-dah to light one up with the lads.' And you know the lady dogs'll like it. That's the spirit, here I'll light it for you...") or that a six-week stay at a Hindu temple in Tamil Nadu can produce the same improvement in people with severe psychiatric disorders as a month-long course of standard drugs? All the sorts of things a writer needs to have composting down in the back of his head.

There are several hundred FAQs in over the last few days, many of which aren't FAQs but people writing to say how much they liked Coraline. Here's one...

In some of the earlier journal entries, you've said you'd be signing or
reading Coraline in Dublin. However, there's no information on it under
the 'Where's Neil' listings. Is that still in the works? Thank you!


I need to talk to Bloomsbury. I know I'm going to Dublin, and doing lots of media (TV, radio, newspapers). It would be rather odd to be sent to Dublin and not to sign. But there's no listing in so far. So I'm not really sure. As soon as I know anything one way or another I'll stick it up here and on the Where's Me bit.

Right. Off to write...


Saturday, July 06, 2002

Nothing exciting to report today, other than the trade paperback of Adventures in the Dream Trade will have most of the typos corrected,. Big thanks to the stirling work of Davey Snyder and Chip Hitchcock.

Michael Zulli e-mailed me to let me know that he is not a very technological person, and that if anyone who has one could e-mail him a gif or a jpg of the Sweeney Todd poster he would be astonishingly grateful. Send it to him at Zedcorp@aol.com (motto: Zedcorp -- taking over the world one letter at a time.)

http://www.locusmag.com/2002/News/News07Log.html is the 2002 Locus Awards. American Gods won for best Fantasy Novel. (Connie Willis took best SF novel for Passage.)

Just got home from a mammoth trip to and from the airport FEDEX terminal to get the copy-edited version of Adventures in the Dream Trade back to NESFA press, for their trade paperback edition. Which should be out in time for WorldCon, with luck.

Friday, July 05, 2002

On the phone with Michael Zulli who is telling me stuff while I am typing...

(ahem) if you wish to buy one of the SWEENEY TODD Posters. The prices are:

Unsigned -- $25.00 (this includes shipping in the US. Ask him if you're somewhere else.)
Signed -- $40 (again, US shipping included). These are the ones that sold for $100 when people had them. (They were signed by both of us, in gold, in the early 1990s). Michael needs floorspace.

He's accepting Money Orders (eg Western Union, Postal Orders, etc. NOT cheques, NOT -- yet at least -- PayPal). To order send your money orders to:

ZEDCORP
PO Box 393
Agawam MA
01001 USA

For more information, overseas rates, or to enquire about what original art, sketchbook stuff, or other rare Michael Zulli work (and publications) that you would kill for but he just regards as taking up space he has and is willing to sell, e-mail him at ZEDCORP@AOL.COM.

This was a public service message brought to you by the Campaign to Unclutter Zulli.

Home now, and tired.

Here's a very nice review of Coraline at Strange Horizons , although it tells more plot than some of you may want to know.

Lots of Canadians have e-mailed me to point out that copies of Coraline are in their local comic-book shops.

I had dozens of interesting anecdotes to tell, but they've all gone flat and sleepy, even the ones about Holly phoning me yesterday on the hour to let me know where I was on Amazon.com's charts "You're up to 15, Dad. Oops. Now it says 820. Now it says 15 again," or the lady at the check in counter at the airport this morning, who got all excited when she realised I was me and printed out a duplicate of my boarding pass for me to sign for her friend, who had the same name as her.

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

let' s see...

i sound a bit husky right now. Last night I read the whole of Coraline to a full house. It took three and half hours... I suppose that extra half hour was as much from audience reaction time as anything else. They seemed happy, except for the people in the balcony at the back who wanted giant screens to see what I looked like. Standing ovation, which was really nice of them. And Daniel Handler, a close associate of Lemony Snicket, yelled "Read it again!"...

The best thing about it was how many of them had not read or heard the story. They practically cheered when Coraline... well, never mind. It's in chapter 11.

Saw lots of friends, all for less time than I would have liked.

I signed about 900 copies at Cody's yesterday afternoon and drew a sinister rat in every copy, except for one, which I drew a button in. (Many of the rats were not sinister. Some were cute. Some were funny. And several of them were deeply disturbing.) Cody's should still have copies, along with the wonderfully creepy posters of the event (which were given to the people there.)

This morning Coraline is #29 on Amazon (and tops their movers and shakers list) and #38 on Barnes and Noble.

E-mail from the magnificently named Felicia Quon from Harper Canada tells me that Canada is always a couple of weeks behind the US, so copies of Coraline should be generally available there in two weeks.

Today I sign books, eat sushi while being interviewed, sign more books, and sign more books. Also going (with the kids) on a tour of Pixar.

Right. On with the motley. Will report in tonight.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Hurrah! It's publication day! Which means everyone in the whole world except places that aren't America can now buy Coraline at their local bookshop unless it doesn't stock it.

(Got a frustrated message from a Canadian this morning wanting to knowwhy it wasn't on sale in Canada. Not sure -- I checked amazon.ca and chapters.ca and they both show it as being for sale.)

Strange dreams last night -- in the oddest one I was trying to convince some people that the bloodstains on their white carpet were left by pelicans "in their piety" (a classical motif where pelicans feed their children with blood from their breasts) while they, being naturalists, were convinced that pelicans were fish eaters and not breast-bleeders, and that I was trying to cover up for a particularly nasty murder...

right. The day is starting. Wish me luck for tonight.

In San Francisco. Borrowed a computer from Amacker Bullwinkle, who also did the poster for the show tomorrow. Am much too tired and have nothing sensible to say at all, other than goodnight, and Coraline entered the Amazon.com top 100 today, and got an amazing mini-review in the UK Independent on Sunday. Delicate and extraordinary, it reads like Alice in Wonderland crossed with Stephen King...

There should be tickets enough to take care of the people who show up at the door without tickets tomorrow, I hope. It's going to be videoed and recorded, and I'm trying to work out if there's anywhere in the shape of the event to do a Q & A.

Monday, July 01, 2002

Jonathan Strahan is the reviews ediitor of Locus, and his blog is at http://members.iinet.net.au/~jstrahan/blogger.html. He does a lovely review of Coraline while explaining that he won't be reviewing it in Locus.

And I think that the perversity of inanimate objects is somehow all tied up with the way that computers only fail when they know it will do the most damage. Like the night I finished NEVERWHERE, and, delighted, ran a translation program on the chapters, in order to spellcheck them in a different word processing program. And in moments I had a book that consisted of 20 files, each with zero bytes in. I was a long way from home, but several phone calls later a nice man turned up with Norton Utilities, and I spent that night finding the last couple of chapters (everything else had been very backed up, or at least, e-mailed to friends).

Bloody technology. Good night.
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My current crusade is to make sure creative people have wills. Read the blog post about it, and see a sample will.