Remember when Euan Kerr came out to interview me and help with the beehives?
The interview is now up. There's an embeddable player that I'm going to try and embed here...
-- and you can read the article, find the player and see some photos of me in a bee-suit (and a really lovely bee photo) at
So the breakfast this morning in Oakland, talking to retailers, was a delight -- I wished afterwards it had been taped or filmed -- and the Booksmith Event was really fun and fine. Great acoustics and a lovely venue. (Kepler's had a giant white spider come down from the rafters to listen, during the Q&A, though.)
Hi Neil, I just got home from the reading in San Francisco this evening (afternoon?). I was the Jack who asked why you have a vendetta against people named Jack. I was being snide, but thanks for answering anyways, and I'm glad it got a laugh.
I realized during the Q&A that I had another, perhaps more substantive question to ask you, and even though I was tempted to jump up in my seat and blurt it out, I figured it would be more gentlemanly to wait and send it to you via e-mail, so here goes:
I remember you saying on your blog that there was an American version and a British version of The Graveyard Book. I imagine that it's much like the Harry Potter books, with certain Britishisms and cultural indicators switched around to be easier to understand for American audiences. Or is it the other way around? I guess the question is, did you write a "British" version of the book and make it "American," or vice versa? Are there dramatic differences between them? Is one closer to your own heart?
Neither, really. I wrote a book, and said in the manuscript when I wanted words changed for the different sides of the Atlantic (for example: crib and cot, nappy and diaper) and when I wanted them the same (which was most of the time). There's a sentence about the naming of ghouls in the UK version and not in the US version (because the US editor thought it was obvious, and the UK editor didn't).
Lots of messages from people telling me they're having difficulty finding copies of The Graveyard Book, even in shops that have it for sale -- apparently some Barnes and Nobles and Borders (and some other bookshops) haven't put it on the New Arrivals shelves but have just shelved a few copies in the children's area, or somewhere else (eg."An FYI on the new book's availability in the chain stores. I checked at the Borders in downtown Scottsdale and they couldn't even find the four copies they supposedly had in stock. According to their info, The Graveyard Book is being shelved in the Mystery/Suspense Independent Reader section.") If any Borders or Barnes and Noble people can shed any light on this, I'd love to know more.
I came across this and thought you might be interested.
I am. Cannot wait to see it.
What is stopmotion animation? I'm promoting Coraline to my teacher friends and have no idea what this is. I'm sure it's related to animation but what is it?
It's animation where you make something and then move it a little between exposures to create the illusion of movement. There's an article about Coraline at http://news.toonzone.net/article.php?ID=26423 which may explain more. (And an interview with Henry Selick here.)
I was looking around online and saw these two prints on a website from the wonderful Todd Klein, and was just going to ask about them....
Are these posters actually signed by you and Alan, and are they both original prints? It almost seems like $20 for each is too good to be true.
They're originals and signed by us, yes. According to this excellent interview with Todd, he has about 100 of the Alan print left, and about 200 of mine...
This made me happy, and changed my mind about something...
I am writing you as a fan, something I must admit I rarely ever do as it feels a bit to me like I'm bothering you.
I do however feel the need to write you, to thank you for two things, the first is for your story telling. Not simply your writing of books, but your reading them as well. I love listening to a well told story, and you have an ability to keep my normally wandering mind enthralled for hours.
The second reason I write is because I watched Stardust the other night, and in the extras packaged with the DVD you spoke about feeling a bit guilty because something that was a simple idea in your head became the work of many many craftsmen.
Well sir, I write you to tell you, that you have absolutely no reason to feel even a slight hint of guilt. I am a carpenter, and while I have never had a chance to work on a movie based on one your books, I have worked others. I have built storefronts, carriages, castles, and Japanese bridges. I have made world war two bunkers, and the offices and layers every kind of hero, villain, or overworked office drone imaginable. And let me tell you, I would never want to do anything else.
If you weren't around to dream up flying pirate ships, people like me would be stuck building conservative and proper things, like little rectangles to hold books. Not that there is anything wrong with rectangles to hold books, but like every man who has ever been a 7 year old boy, I'd rather be building a flying pirate ship.
On behalf of carpenters everywhere you keep thinking 'em up, and we'll keep trying to build them.
And on Monday I'm reading the first half of Chapter Seven in Los Angeles -- actually in Santa Monica. Details at http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/2008/10/neil-gaiman-rea.html