Tuesday, June 10, 2003

You must be this tall to ride this website...

Hi, Neil!

Did you know that looking for this message box to submit a question to you is not the easiest thing to do? It took me a while and finally found it with a little more stubbornness. I think a link directly to this message box placed on the journal page will drastically increase your e-mail.... and then again maybe you receive enough e-mail already as it is.

At any rate, I wrote to ask about "Sandman: Endless Nights". Is this book coming out in paperback as well? I've been wanting to make a pre-order at Amazon but the Amazon listing states that the binding of S:EN is paperback, same with the Barnes & Noble listing.

Also, having noted that the you get the third most number of hits from the Philippines, I realized that Manila would be a sure stop in the event of an Asian tour. Now the question is will there ever be an Asian tour? Is there anything cooking at all with Harper Collins with regards to this? I've never really heard of a book signing in Manila but I do know that there is a thriving comic book readership here so count me in to be on the book signing line if ever your publisher decides to bring you here.

My last question would be about the sequel to Stardust, I've e-mailed you about this before and I guess my 1st e-mail was not worthy enough to be printed but I'm hoping this time it will be. Is the sequel still in the works? Any updates to this? I recall reading about a sequel titled "Wall", how far has this gone along?

Thanks for your time,

There's certainly no shortage of messages to the site, even with the submission system tucked a little out of the way -- about 15,000 and counting. I'm not sure that making it easier for people to send them in will be a good thing. There's not time enough or space enough for me to reply to everyone, or even a significant fraction of everyone, as it is... (And suppose I like to think of finding the message system on this board as a sort of intelligence test. It demonstrates that you're tall enough to ride.)

Anyway, to answer your question, ENDLESS NIGHTS is definitely only a hardback in its September release. I'm sure that a year or two after publication, it'll be released in paperback. (I just checked, and yes, Amazon does have it listed as a paperback. Barnes and Noble says it's a paperback, that it will be released in May, and that it's for young adults. But they get the title right, and have a tiny picture of the cover.)

No plans at this point for an Asian tour, although I really hope it happens one day.

And I'm not sure about Wall right now. Too much of the book, which I plotted in 1989, resembles large chunks of my life now, and I worry that it would be read as some kind of roman a clef. So we'll see. It'll get written one day, I expect, along with the story about Tristran going to Hell in a hot air balloon.


I've been reading your journal quite obsessively for about half a year now, and I've just begun delving into your published works (and how I wish I'd known about them at an earlier age!).

Anyway, this is unrelated to your written work (apart from the fact that the puppets are deliciously dark and playful and spooky), but I wanted to pass along a link to a marionette artist I think you'd like:

I recently acquired two of his puppets (I've posted pictures at, and I've been spasmodic with pleasure over them, so I thought I'd pass the link along, in case you haven't visited the url yet.


Gorgeous marionettes, yes... and I loved the photos of the sand sculptures. You might also enjoy the photographs of Asya Schween at and at

At what age does a person generally become a professional writer?
Was writing your only idea for a profession when you were young (say, fifteen)?
(I wonder because I seem to be at that stage in school when they start telling you to make "choices"...and I'm not sure if writing counts as a job to these people!)
Thanks for teaching children that words can be pleasant...
(ps, is it possible to send you a piece of writing with the hope that you may read and maybe comment?)

I think you mostly become a professional writer when you're feeding yourself and paying your rent with your words. For me, it was early twenties. For some people, it might be their forties, or their sixties.

And yes, this what I wanted to do when I was fifteen. I think this was what I probably wanted to do when I was five.

If you're going to write, you'll write anyway. Best to learn everything you can about everything else you can in the meantime (you'll need to know something about everything if you want to write, or at least know where to ask for help), and plan to get as much living in as possible. Read a lot. Learn. Meet people. Write. Finish things.

I liked being a journalist. So did Terry Pratchett. It's a good, on the job way to learn to write, and you get to meet people from all walks of life, and learn a lot about a number of things, like never to rely on anything you read in a newspaper ever again.

And please don't send me things to read. I'll feel guilty for not reading them, and you'll just be disappointed that I never reply. Too many people send me too many things to read, and if I read them I'd never get any writing done, and I'd still disappoint most of the people who wrote...

Am I allowed to open a Neil Gaiman-Messageboard in german language for german speaking user? because it would be much more easier to discuss about neils books in their mothertounge, specially when they read them in german. i would make, if i am allowed, a non-profit board for sure, for german speaking ppl.

Absolutely fine. Have fun with it, and I hope you get nice people coming to talk. Harper Collins started the board attached to the website as somewhere for people to chat, and pretty much wound it up and let it start running. Mostly people talk about everything else under the sun, meet, marry, squabble, go on picnics together and ultimately die, just like on most other bulletin boards.

I don't know if it's mentioned in the sequel itself but in the game Enter the Matrix, Morpheus has a phone number that leads to a front so other rebels can contact him in the Matrix. The name of the fake buiness is called The Daniel Institute of Dream interpretation. Now I didn't get it the first couple of times because I went straight from the Morpheus Dream connection it was only the third time or so that I read it that I realised that Daniel was a definite Sandman reference. I admit once I made the connection I was very pleased to see they had made a little shout out for Sandman fans.

Do you know if Morpheus in general was a direct shout out to your Sandman work?

There was an article someone forwarded to me when the first Matrix film came out, an interview where Lawrence Fishburne talked about meeting DC Comics' Head Jenette Kahn on a plane, and how she gave him some Sandman books, which he didn't read until he was cast in the Matrix, and was told by the Wachowskis that his part should be played like Morpheus in the Sandman comics. But that was the only mention I've ever seen.

How is Sandman supposed to sound? You know, black dialogue boxes and all...

Like the voice inside of your head. Or failing that, like the voice inside of my head...