Friday, March 16, 2007

National Characteristics

It was one of those moments when you know you're in another country. Specifically Germany.

10:53 am – I'm in my hotel room answering a written interview questions when the phone rings. A woman's voice says,

"Hello. Mister Gaiman. This is reception. You must come down right now. There is someone here to interview you."

I say, "Er. He's actually a bit early, and I'm doing something..."

"Very good," she interrupts, firmly. "Then you will be down here in exactly seven minutes."

And she puts down the phone, leaving me bemused and leaving the interviewer, standing in front of her downstairs, fairly mortified.

I took nine minutes to get downstairs, thinking "Hah. That'll show her," as I did so, which really wasn't very fair on the interviewer.

The day's interviews were fun, the reading (in a Toyota Showroom, of all places) was very enjoyable, and I got to see the outrageously talented Dagmara Matuszak briefly and to learn what's going on with the Hill House Anansi Boys she's designed.

(While I can't tell you when Hill House will actually publish it, I'm happy to be able to say that I just learned from Peter Schneider at Hill House that he's set up a gmail account, with a person who will reply to all emails checking it, at If you've had problems getting hold of him or anyone at Hill House, send an email there. If there's still problems, feel free to drop me a line.)

Dear Mr. Gaiman,
I had been thinking about the Subterranean(sp?) Press version of "M is for Magic" and it got me wondering. Does it ever bother you that sometimes these beautiful editions of your work are released and a great deal of your number one fans will never get to hold them, let alone own them because of the price tag? I am in no way saying these editions aren't worth the asking price, just wondering if you ever
wished they were more accessible. Hope your trip, family, and cats(especially Fred) are all well.

Not really. It would bother me if the expensive edition was the only edition of something that there was, that I wanted lots of people to read, but normally the expensive edition is expensive because it's a smaller print run, of a much higher quality, with special illustrations or similar, and they cost money. The Harper Childrens edition of M Is For Magic will be in a loverly affordable hardcover edition, priced for school libraries, and the first printing will be somewhere between 70,000 and 150,000 copies. The Subterranean edition will be in a comparatively tiny edition, and made for people who love books. I quite like the limited editions of things, mostly because I like beautiful books.

In your recent post you mentioned wanting a catapult as a child. In jest I am sure, but it reminded me of a time I was traveling through Europe and happened to be stranded at Heathrow for quite some time. In my boredom I happened upon a funny sign that listed among the things you most certianly could not bring on a plane, a hand catapult. I am not British, and was curious if that is what us Yanks refer to as a slingshot, or if it is something entirely different and much more destructive. =)

An English catapult (or hand catapult) is an American slingshot, yes.

Dear Mr. Gaiman,There is a description for this contraption which says that it was made by an eccentric millionaire living in Utah. Seeing as you are eccentric, and at least assumably well-to-do, and living in my state, I was wondering if you could make one? And if you do, could you invite me over? I would bring deviled eggs, and curried chicken salad.
Much love,Rain

I don't have anywhere to set it up that wouldn't send her crashing into a tree, though...

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