Tuesday, January 22, 2002
Went to Florida and spoke in a library in Stuart to an audience composed of more or less equal numbers of people who had come to hear me talk and people who had no idea who I was but who went to library events in Stuart. Read a couple of chapters of Coraline, which was very enjoyable -- I'm trying to get a sense of the sound of the text and the characters as next month I record the audio book (incidental music and theme song by Stephin Merritt).

Then got on a plane and flew back to the frozen north.

I noticed over the New Year that I'd got very out of shape since the American Gods tour (that's the trouble with writing, you sit too much, if you're not careful, and I've not been careful), so I'm starting to exercise again every morning, getting air into my lungs, all that.

Reading about the Thuggee sect recently, I was surprised to learn that these Kali-worshipping killers of travellers on the roads as often considered themselves Muslim as they were Hindu, and that they believed their persecution and elimination by the English to have been the result, not of strangling people, but of killing forbidden castes of people, and killing women, which were defined in their creed as murders, not sacred deaths.

Dave McKean has e-mailed me the black and white illustrations for Coraline -- wonderful, beautiful, funny and creepy. It's a pity that they won't be seen in the UK (Bloomsbury feels that illustrations in a book mean that people over the age of 12 won't buy it), although we'll put some of them up on the Coraline Website. Whatever that turns out to be.

Tidying up, I keep running into non-fiction pieces that I should have put into Adventures in the Dream Trade, too late. I don't think I realised I'd written quite so much non-fiction over the years. The book's going to have a printing of essentially 1700 copies, and I see from the web site that they are limiting how many copies people can order in advance, which is probably a very good thing. (There's almost nothing in there that's wholly original, but you'd have to be a dedicated collector of an awful lot of stuff to have it all.) I hope that most of the copies of the book go to readers, not to investors.

A number of questions on the FAQ line about how to get Angels and Visitations cheaply. It can't be that much, I thought, and looked at a few booksearch services where the cheapest copy was water damaged at $55 and the most expensive was a signed first edition at over $400, and most of them were $100.

Anyway, how to get it cheap right now is to wait until October when DreamHaven are doing the 10th anniversary edition to tie in with the 2002 World Fantasy Convention (mostly because I got tired of people who just wanted to read it paying $100 a book, and that seemed like a good way to get some out at cover price). (Remember, most of it is in Smoke and Mirrors). (Or check EBay, where they currently seem to be going for around $40.) The DreamHaven reprint will be limited to 5,000 copies, and after that people will have to wait for the 20th Anniversary, I expect.

Right. Off to exercise while staring out at the ice and snow...