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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stopgap

This isn't actually the next blog entry. Well, it is, but it's just by way of a stopgap until I get an hour's downtime to actually write the next entry, the one that takes me from Chicago and the CBLDF to Stillwater and the UK, with volcanoes and suchlike on the way.

I'm on deadlines right now, which means that there's been nothing much happening except writing, and burning food. I'm getting to be really good at burning food. Baked apples mostly, which are things I can pop into the Aga (a big metal always-on oven out where I am staying on my own right now) and forget about until they've turned into black things that have to be soaked and scraped off the inside of the cookware.

The episode of Doctor Who I've written finished its No Longer at the End of Eleven Season One But Now Near the Start of Eleven Season Two rewrite last night and has gone off to the powers that be.

The Graveyard Book has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal. It's also nominated for a Kate Greenway Medal for illustration, for Chris Riddell, which makes it the first book in 30 years to be nominated for both the Greenway and the Carnegie. (To make matters more tense, Chris is up against Dave McKean for the Greenaway -- Dave was nominated for our book CRAZY HAIR.)

Here's the Carnegie Medal nominations and judges' comments: http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/pressdesk/press.php?release=press_carnegie_2010_shortlistcomments.htm

I've also started to get good at chasing sheep out of the garden.

In other news, the One Book One Twitter voting finished:

Jeff Howe of Crowdsourcing explains the idea here, on the voting page:

For anyone just joining us, One Book, One Twitter (#1b1t) is an effort to get everyone on Twitter to read the same book this summer. Usually such “Big Read” programs are organized around geography. Seattle started the trend for collective reading in 1998 when zillions of Seattlites all read Russell Banks’ book, Sweet Hereafter. Chicago followed suit with To Kill a Mockingbird a few years later.

This Big Read is organized around Twitter, and says to hell with physical limitations. Over the last few weeks, thousands of people from around the world nominated six books to include on the list of finalists.


He explains it further over at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-howe/what-if-everyone-on-twitt_b_545080.html.

I've been keeping semi-quiet about it, because the first time I twittered about it people started suggesting I was flooding the votes (although American Gods was in the lead then), and I decided to make sure people understood I wasn't stumping for votes, either on the nomination or the voting process. But I think One Book One Twitter is a great idea -- a sort of worldwide book club.

The voting concluded a few hours ago, and American Gods won, and now I can talk about it. As an author, I'm half-pleased and half-not, mostly because American Gods is such a divisive sort of book. Some people love it, some sort of like it, and some people hate it. (As contrasted with, say, The Graveyard Book, which some people love, some like, and a statistically insignificant number of people hate.) It's not a book I'd hand out to everyone, because the people who don't know anything about what I've written and who hate it -- who might have loved Stardust, or Neverwhere, or The Graveyard Book or Sandman -- probably won't go and look any further.

(On Amazon.com, American Gods has 535 4 and 5 star reviews, to 128 1 or 2 star reviews: four people like it for each one that really doesn't. The Graveyard Book, for contrast, has 321 4 or 5 star reviews and 31 1 or 2 stars -- ten to one people like it.)

But it's happened, I'm kind of thrilled that I get to help kick off something this new, and I'm going to do all I can to help. Which, today, will consist of making sure I let all the publishers around the world who have AMERICAN GODS in print know about this, and, over the next few months, sending helpful or apologetic tweets to people who are stuck, offended, or very, very confused.

And possibly at the end of the reading period, if Crowdsourcing and the readers want, I could do some kind of Twitter Interview, answering as many of the questions as I can in 140 characters.

And Two Days Ago INSTRUCTIONS was published.

And, in case you missed it, here's a link to a site with the wonderful video that HarperChildrens and Brady Hall made from Charles Vess's pencils and finished art, and my reading of it from the Fragile Things Audiobook.

Okay. Back to work. Proper blog soon. With questions and answers and everything.

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