Tuesday, February 26, 2002
They just changed servers for the FAQ line, which meant it was offline for a few days and so I just got a sudden and surprising several hundred faq e-mails in....

*whines* There's is mistake in my boooook.... It's probably been pointed out many years ago, cause it's a 1999 edition(my book) but just to be SURE I'd like to mention that in my edition of Stardust (Headline, 1999, and print uhm...2? (It says 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3)) on page 141 I found the sentence "'Primus is certainly learning caution' said Secundus to his five other dead brothers." But at that point, Secundus only has four dead brothers.
I'm not normally keen on picking up mistakes, but I was dragged along by the story, which is good. Ilove the book =)

That'll be a third printing. The first printing says 1, second says 2 and so on.

Shortly after the book came out I was in my local library and picked up a copy of Stardust they had on their shelf. And on that page someone had written, in the margin, neatly, in pencil, "four" and I went "argh!". I never went back to check whether it was me or the copy-editor who had got it wrong (like the UK copy-editor who decided that Famine was a seven letter word). I didn't think it would have helped.

In the current US edition, the trade paperback, it's been fixed. I should mention it to Headline for the next printing.

I was searching for Stardust in the library, and finally found it, not in the fantasy section as I had anticipated, but in the 'regular' fiction section. I read it, and it seemed pretty much fantasy to me - fairies, witches, and so on. This may just be the library, but it was the same at a couple of bookstores. Any idea why this is?

Probably because the cover, in hardback and in the current trade paperback edition in the US and in all editions in the UK, don't immediately signal "fantasy" to the world.

But then, all fiction is fantasy. Stardust is a fairy tale.

Dear Neil,
I've been reading in the blogger recently that you're going to be speaking at a convention Cincinatti. For all us poor East Coasters over here, do you have any idea if you'll be stopping in Boston, or thereabouts anywhere in the foreseeable future? I would love to hear you speak, but Cincinatti's a bit far for a seventeen year old. So. Thanks! ~Amy

Actually I was at a convention in Boston last weekend. May not be back for a while -- I expect I'll do a reading or something in the summer for Coraline though.

What are your thoughts about fan fiction? Based on your work or in general? Written solely for one's own personal pleasure or posted on the internet? Would you say that an established author who writes something based on another author's work (such as your own visit to H.P. Lovecraft's world) is participating in "fan fiction", or is it a different phenomenon?

I don't have much of an opinion about fan fiction. And I'm not sure where the line gets drawn -- you could say that any Batman fan writing a Batman comic is writing fan fiction.

As long as nobody's making money from it that should be an author or creator's, I don't mind it. And I think it does a lot of good.

Dear Neil,

Here's a legal question you may be able to answer. You might remember that a bunch of us Sluggy Freelance fans emailed you about an online comic story arc entitled "One Thousand Oceans" a fews weeks ago. The larger story line on sampled lyrics from Tori Amos as well as several other recording artists. Today the online artist Pete Abrams informed us that due to legal issues, presumably because he also sells the comics in book form, he was going to have to remove all the lyrics from the comics. This is really too bad, for the songs added a nearly aural element that enhanced the scenes. My question is whether Pete was in violation of copyright law by incorporating song lyrics (with title, artist, and copyright holder) on the free online versions of the cartoons. I ask you as writer with comics experience, occasional intellectual property issues, a Tori connection, and, of course, your legal use of song lyrics at the chapter heads of _American Gods_. I hope you can shed some light on this issue. Thanks, Miss Benai

Take a look at this blogger for this time last year, when most of what I seemed to be doing was chasing permissions for song lyrics I'd quoted. As I remember, I wound up paying $200 for each song quote I used (personally -- the publishers don't pay for that) except for Greg Brown, who got a really nice Sushi Dinner out of it. Does that help?

I'd held off asking this question because I didn't want to pry into your personal life, but since you mentioned them in your journal I figured it's probably ok, and if it's not then you've only yourself to blame. I was wondering if your children are fans of your work, and what it means (if anything) to them to have 'Neil Gaiman who gets 18,000 readers for his blog and could get shopping lists into the bestseller pages he's so groovycool' as a father?

Actually, according to Harper Collins, it's 18,000 people who have the journal bookmarked so go to it directly. Each month we have around 36,000 people coming through.

I'm not sure that I could ever think of my children as fans: they have to live with me, after all (well, except for Mike, who's off at college). Holly (16), of course, is convinced that she is entirely responsible for my success, and thus doesn't need to read anything I've written; Maddy (7) thinks I'm an okay writer but she prefers Diana Wynne Jones, Daniel Pinkwater or the ladies who write the Bailey School books. Mike (18) reads and enjoys my stuff from time to time. They're all good writers in their own right, although Mike prefers doing interesting things to computers, Holly would rather act or organise things, and Maddy would rather play her violin.

Congratulations! You have won a 2001 Inscriptions Engraver Award for
Favorite Print Novel - "American Gods."

Your prizes: A year's subscription to Inscriptions, with credit on
our Supportive Scribes page; a 2001 Inscriptions Engraver Award
graphic for Web sites, a 2001 Inscriptions Engraver Award coffee mug
and four weeks of free advertising in the Inscriptions e-zine or Web

Yay! I get a mug!

i dont read the journal very often, and dont really fell like going through all of it, so, could u give me some deatils of your up-coming book?

Soon enough there will be more CORALINE information than you can shake a stick at here. Honest.

when will you be in seattle next. i would love to hear you speak, and get a few things signed and generally make a fool of my self to my favorite author. The only other author i would make a fool of myself to would be Jonathan carroll. I know you are friends so if you decide to make a joint appearance ((which i doubt) i would most likely fall over dead from joy.
(sorry this really wasn't a question)

Probably summer for Coraline. But if you come to the World Fantasy Convention in Minneapolis in October you'll get to see both me and Jonathan Carroll, who is Guest of Honour, and thus expire happy.