Monday, September 08, 2003

And I'm where? And it's when?

got up nice and early today to call foyles and book my tickets for the event on the 14th of november, but the slighlty uphelpful gentleman on the other end of the phone told me the event is not confirmed yet. is this true there seems to be nothing to back this up on the wheres neil page or the foyles site according to that everything is confirmed. will you be there on the 14th?

Well, I'm up on their website with a time and a date and a ticket price, which would tend to lead me to believe it's been confirmed with Foyles. Bloomsbury think it's been confirmed by Foyles. And our Guest Interviewer has confirmed he'll be interviewing us. for more details there. It sounds like you were probably just speaking on the phone to one of those people who don't know what they're talking about.

And speaking about ordering tickets, there have been lots of messages saying things like...

Hi Neil,
Re: Novello - I just ordered a ticket last week and also had troubles with the website. I called ((704) 372-1000) and got a friendly person who set me up. She asked if I'd tried to order online and ran into problems, so they are likely aware that there may be web gremlins.


So the people who thought that the Charlotte NC event was sold out should try again. And ordering by phone seems much more successful than from the website, although a couple of people have even managed that.

I saw a mention of one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Warren Zevon, in your journal awhile back, and was pleased to know that you were also a fan. I thought you might wish to know that he passed away Sunday from the lung cancer he'd been battling for over a year. He will be missed.

Misty A. Smith

He made some wonderful music, and imprving with age. I loved "My Ride's Here" and pretty much all of "The Wind".

I only saw him live once about a decade ago, when my assistant Lorraine and Emma Bull, in their Flash Girls incarnation, were his support band (opening act) at Minneapolis's First Avenue. They'd only been together as a group about a month at that point, and were utterly terrified. I pointed out to Lorraine before the gig that if they screwed up badly enough she could always change her name to Pansy Smith and vanish off without a trace never to be seen again, which was where the title of their first CD came from.

(And looking for that link, I found something else: here's the version of the Pansy and Violet story that was in the CD. It's a bit darker than the one that was printed in "Adventures int he Dream Trade")

And for those people who bought a $3 bitpass to read the first chapter of The Right Number, and now have $2.75 left...

Neil -

You recently made mention of the lack of online content with which people can spend Bitpass money on, so to help rectify that problem, we've made a fairy tale-related anthology available for purchase via Bitpass here: (Thanks for the inspiration, and thanks for the stories, Neil.)

Actually, there's some other stuff out there -- it's listed at -- but I can't see the micropayment revolution happening until there's a lot of stuff to spend your quarters on.

NYC September....Hi Neil it's Dena again, girl with the little mummy. When I saw you last month you had told me you'd be in NYC again in September. So far, the dates you've posted are Sat. the 20th and Sunday the 21st but... I am working. You had mentioned that you might do somthing on Friday the 19th...which is my day off. Please let me know if this might happen, my boss is giving me a hard time about getting one of those days off. He seems to think that recording studios are more important than Neil signings...I say..."no way!" Hope to see you soon. -Dena

It's just the Saturday and the Sunday, I'm afraid. (On the Thursday, I think, I'll now be in Washington chatting to Neal Conan & sundry callers for the Talk of the Nation NPR show.) But there's a morning Sunday signing and an evening Sunday talk with art spiegelman, so maybe your boss would let you out for one of them. (I should possibly say, for the confused, that Dena's little mummy, which she brought to the signing, is about 4 inches high, and wrapped in bandages.)


And the word started to come in from Germany about what I'm doing. According to Yvonne, the Heyne books publicist:

Germany isn't the place for talks or book signings so what we do here a lot are readings. (People go and pay for readings like going to the cinema). And since everybody seems to really be into the "original version" we do German-English readings. The format is that the author takes turns in reading with (usually) an actor. (You will be accompanied by Martin Semmelrogge, a famous German actor who is also very well known for his readings). The reading in total takes about 40 mins. The passages are different ones in German and English because everybody understands English well enough

Readings (always English/German with actor Martin Semmelrogge):

Thursday, Oct. 9. in Cologne: 20.30 (8.30 PM) at Mayersche Buchhandlung, Neumarkt-Galerie, Neumarkt 2
Friday, Oct. 10. in Hamburg: 20.00 (8.00 PM) at Abaton Kino, Allendeplatz 3/Ecke Grindelhof
Saturday, Oct. 11. in Frankfurt: 14.00 (2.00 PM) at Frankfurt Book Fair, Hall 4.1/ Forum

Book signing (and participation in the Guiness world record for the longest ever comic):
Sunday, Oct. 12. in Frankfurt: 11.00-12.00 AM at Frankfurt Book Fair, Hall 3.0 / J 807 (Comic-Zentrum)

Which is weird, because my memories of previous German signings over the years, in Berlin and Erlangen and Frankfurt, are just of incredibly long lines of people who wanted things signed, and I've seen enough Germans in countries like Italy and Belgium and England to know that Germans will travel a long way to get their books signed; and I suspect that a one hour signing for an entire country, during which I'm also participating in the world's longest comic seems like a recipe for disgruntling an awful lot of German readers.

On the other hand, the readings may also include signings, and I may well have read it wrong.

So we're querying the details on this, and will report back. But for now, those are cities and times.


And one final one, because it made me smile...

Dear Neil,

Just wanted to say "thanks" for coming to my house this weekend to watch Neverwhere with me. At least, that's how it felt when I activated the "creator's commentary" feature on my DVD. After the first episode, my wife refused to watch any more, grumbling about low production values and how much better the novel was compared to this thing. But when I turned your voice on, it drew her right back and made the experience richer by an order to high to calculate. If nothing else, we never would have known that was you walking through the bottom of Dave McKean's stunning opening sequence (and my wife wouldn't have believed you were sitting in a kitchen in Mayhew's flat, scribbling the novel whilst the show was being filmed!).

I confess I'm not one for all the extras they throw on DVDs these days, but this was a case where it truly raised the overall quality of the whole thing. Again, sincerest thanks for a pleasant evening.

Steve and Lori


Lots and lots and lots of requests coming in for me to read and blurb people's books, or write introductions to things, to all of which at present the answer has to be no. I'm already overcommitted with books I've agreed to read and blurb and introductions I've agreed to write going back some years. Don't take it personally, and please, no.