Dear Neil or those responsible for him;
While I've been an avid fan for many years now, and am tickled pink that your blog is so excellently updated, that photo of yourself in the upper left corner appears to have you depicted with a feathered mullet. Furthermore, you seem to be spacing out and unaware that a candle is about to set your bangs on fire.
I have attended a few of your book signings, and I know you to be devastatingly handsome. And, I do think the rest of this website is simply luscious. But that photo! Really!
You're much too kind. Except about that photo, of course.
I think part of the problem with that photo is that it's reversed, and it's also extracted from an image which is easy to misread. The hair's just my normal, shaggy barnet really -- the black line of the TV screen in the background (which you can't really see on the top left of screen) reads as extra hair. With a quick search, I found a website which has the Kelli Bickman photo it was lifted from on it -- the back cover of the US edition of Smoke and Mirrors http://www.gangofpour.com/diary/gaiman/dreaming3.htm -- and you can actually get a much better idea of the actual hair by looking at the image in the TV monitors.
There are some pretty evil mullet photos of me, mind you, but none, I hope, taken later than about 1988. (There's one on the wall of my study, with a bemulleted me with enormous glasses on, with tiny Mike and even tinier Holly, and Dave McKean when he had a full head of hair and had just started growing the pony tail he kept until the mid 90s. No, you can't see it. No, I'm not going to post it here. No, not even for a donation to the CBLDF.)
In regards to the fellow asking about the ISO: the ISO most commonly refers to the International Socialists Organization, at least here on college campuses (or at least here at Barnard/ Columbia). *whisper* I think he's asking if you're a communist. :)
Oh. Cool. Er, no. Of course, when stood next to the choice of American political parties ('So, would you like Right Wing, or Supersized Right Wing with Extra Fries?") my English fuzzy middle-of-the-roadness probably translates easily as bomb-throwing Trotskyist, but when I get to chat to proper lefties like Ken McCloud or China Mieville I feel myself retreating rapidly back into the woffly Guardian-reading why-can't-people-just-be-nice-to-each-otherhood of the politically out of his depth.
You say that being an author is anonymous...(that they are mostly shy & more comfortable with pen & paper than people). I always felt differntly. That by writing a book & one that actually gets published & read, it would seem like a baring of the soul in a way,of secret looks into how someone sees or feels about some things & such. It would feel so naked,I would think, so self revealing,no matter what the topic or story...seems quite scary & demand great confidence...
I was fooling around earlier with pen & paper & came up with this HAIKU for you:
you painter with words
the canvas of my mind is
yours to decorate
-a new fan,Lauralynn
And yes. A lot of good writing is just the willingness to walk naked down the street while you're doing it [this is a metaphor. Please do not try it in your local streets, or if you do, do not blame me for what happens], and that can be very odd and (especially at first) very hard. Ted Hughes once said that most good writing occurs when a writer outwits his inner police force, and he was right. (He also inspired Wendy Cope to one of her funniest poems, which I quoted a line of in American Gods.)