So, let's see. I'm in the UK. Arrived friday night, saw my daughter Holly and my scary goddaughter Hayley, who now share a flat. Holly and I ate at Kikuchi in Hanway Street. She told me about the voluntary closing of The Hump, and suggested that Michael Sheen and I may have precipitated the raid.
Up early on Saturday and I took the train to Brighton, where I was a surprise guest at the World Horror Con. James Herbert was the Special Guest of Honour, and I was there to interview him in front of an audience. I'd first interviewed Jim back in 1984, when I was a young journalist. Seeing him and his wife Eileen, and meeting his family, made me really happy. Later in the day, Ingrid Pitt was not up to being interviewed for the full hour of her programme item, and so Kim Newman interviewed me for about 35 minutes. I signed for Stanza Press's Off The Coastal Path, which has my poem "My Last Landlady" in it
A few people complained that if they'd known I was going to be there they would have brought suitcases filled with my books, which I think might be very good reason for not telling people I was going to be there. I had a great time and actually met people I didn't know before the con, and caught up with old friends, neither of which normally happen at conventions. Hmm...
Yesterday was really fun. There's a project I started in 1996 that is now coming to fruition. We'll call it Mystery Project X for now. It's making me happy. And I'm getting to work with producer Hilary Bevan Jones, who produced "Statuesque", which also makes me happy, while possibly dragging Paul Cornell into my madness, ditto.
The hard part of yesterday was learning about the Moscow suicide bombers. Five days ago I was riding the Moscow tube, was at one of those stations, was discovering just how much I liked the Russians. A week ago it would have been another sad news item, now it was horribly personal: these were my friends.
(Here's a journal filled with photos of me and Russian readers: http://satu-san.livejournal.com/49214.html)
And my favourite me in Moscow photograph:
Today belongs, for the next 13 hours (beginning as soon as I get out of this hotel bed and go and have a cup of tea and walk up to to Soho) to the Graveyard Book movie.
Tomorrow morning belongs to Doctor Who, when I will see Mr Moffat and learn what I'll need to do to rewrite my episode from being a Season 5 to being a Season 6 one. Then I fly home, having gone, very literally, around the world.
After that, in a couple of weeks it's National Library Week, for which I am honorary Chairman, and a couple of events I'm doing to go along with it: Indianapolis on the 16th, where I will be delivering the McFadden Memorial Lecture (a free, first-come-first-seated event), Chicago for the CBLDF on the 17th (Prime Seats now gone, General seats still available,buy tickets now http://c2e2.com/en/Events/Neil-Gaiman), and a talk at Minnesota's Washington County Library on April the 18th...
(Here's a competition that my friend Laurie King is running as part of National Library Week. Go and take part: http://www.laurierking.com/events/twenty-weeks-of-buzz/fantasy-library-contest)
And then, the fourteen months of madness that started with Coraline's release at the same time as the Graveyard Book was awarded the Newbery Medal will be over with and done, and I will go back to being a quiet sort of writer who makes stuff up. And about time, too.