Monday, February 17, 2003,3604,896926,00.html is an article by Isioma Daniel, currently under Fatwa for writing the wrong thing in Nigeria. Very much something everyone should read -- if nothing else, to remind yourself that what you think you're writing isn't always what other people are reading.

Hi Neil! I have a question you may not want to answer, and if you don't, that's okay, but I thought I'd take a chance. I was at a Tori Amos concert in October of 2001 (may have been October 10 but I'm not positive on the exact date) in Boston, when Tori was touring for the Strange Little Girls album. There was a rumor going around at the meet 'n' greet and then among people going in to the concert that you were there. I think I may have seen you walking up the aisle of the Wang Theater, heading toward the exit, after the concert and I think we made eye contact, though I don't expect you to actually remember me. I know you were in Boston a week or so later for a forum at Harvard that also included Harlan Ellison. So I was just wondering if you wouldn't mind confirming or denying that you were there. It would be fun to be able to tell my friends that I was at the same concert as Neil Gaiman. :-)

I also wanted to tell you that I recently started reading Coraline to my eight year old sister Ruby. She has some issues, usually, with sitting still to be read to for more than a few minutes at a time, due to some developmental delays from having a very difficult early childhood with her biological family. However, I'm proud and pleased to tell you that she is absolutely enthralled by Coraline. She got me to read three chapters in a row to her the other night. It was quite surprising, seeing that my Mom can't get always get her to pay attention to a single chapter of other books. I just thought you'd enjoy knowing that a special young girl is really enjoying your work.

Matt Bear-Fowler

The MIT thing with Harlan and Peter David was the week earlier. And yes, that was me at the Wang. It was a wonderful concert. Not sure which gig I'll make it to on the next leg of the tour.

I'm really pleased Ruby's enjoying the book. One of the best things about CORALINE is the packages that have started arriving from schools, sometimes from remedial reading classes, filled with letters, drawings, questions and suggestions for what ought to happen in a sequel.