Thursday, July 15, 2004

From the (Other) Mailbag...

You know, there's this blog you're reading of course, and then there's the FAQ and Where's Neil and the real FAQ unedited blog, and people know about those.
And then there's the FAQ line, and not many people know about that. To get there, click on MEET NEIL GAIMAN from the main mousecircus page, then click on FAQ. Then click on the down arrow a lot. (No, I'm not sure why it's a Flash site, but it is, and it's very pretty.)
Anyway, mousecircus has its own FAQ section, which I tend to forget about, because the messages don't come in directly to me from it -- they go to Harper Collins, and every now and again I get an email from my editor Clare at Harperchildrens, with a large number of questions in it. And I settle down and answer some of them, and send them back to her, and then they magically appear on the site at some point.
Because the questions come in in huge batches, the answers tend to be much shorter, but they're kind of fun.
Most of the questions are from kids.
Another batch just arrived, and I've not answered them yet. But they have a strange sort of rhythm to them anyway, so I'm just going to cut and paste them in here from the HarperCollins e-mail. Read them. Ponder what your own answers to them would be...
Hi! I was just wondering: at what age did you begin your witing career and at what age did you begin writing Coraline? Thanks for your time! By the way, I LOVED Coraline; I thought it had a brilliant plot and it inspired me to write another story, hopefully I might finish it this time! Bye for now! From, Gaia
how old are you?
How do you compare people in your own life to the characters in Coraline?  Are the settings in Coraline like any places you've been before?  Were you adopted or did you live with a different family than your natural family?
what do you think about Coraline
I am doing a book review on Coraline and I am cant think how to but it in may on words can you help me
how did you arrive with Death's character?
Will there be a coraline two?What gave you the idia of Coraline?
How old were you when you started writing?
P.S.  I love Coraline.  It's an awesome book!
is the cat in Coraline supposed to be the fairy?
Where can I buy a copy of Coraline in it's original british language? I live in Provo Utah, U.S.A. by the way.
i�d Like to know if you are doing any presentation in May 20,21,or 22. I�m Portuguese, and i perhaps go to London in those dates and i like very much to see any presentation of yours.
Thanks for your atention, Sandra Adonis
 i read your book for a book report i really liked it and my teacher loved it too. how did u come up with such a good book and what is your favourite book that you've written so far?
how would u describe your book?
Please forgive me, but how do YOU pronounce your name?  As a "long-time" fan (Sandman #1 and before), I Have often wondered.  Thank you for your consideration.
Hve you been to ? It is a real mouse circus operating in Australia and currently on tour in south east - slightly western Queensland ! The mice are gorgeous coloured charcters and they have all sorts of things to work. The Circus consists of things that mice like to do. They do what they want to do and have a great time to the amusement of the public - young and old  - to the accompaniment of music and lights. Only female mice are used as male mice stink, fight and hang around the "pub" !!! :)
Do you believe that two people can be in the same dream together?
gain from your Utterly Incompetent Lord and Master (Wade Redfearn), I recognized the cover art from your own book "I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldish" as the cover for the Counting Crows album "This Desert Life", and would like to ask if you are a fan of the Counting Crows or you just like their cover art. I found it sorta creepy. They Are  a good band. Saw them in concert once. Bought one of those damn overpriced bumper stickers to put on my binder. Lost the cursed thing in my locker.....
                           YOUR DEAR DEPARTED FRIEND, (Wade Redfearn)
God, if I keep writing I may become an FAQ diet staple. I probably don't taste good, though. Hmmm. Anyways, what in the name of Jesus' Mother was the old palm-reader woman in the "Neverwhere" prologue about... And why did you develop so many extra characters that weren't necessary like that woman and Iliaster and Lear and "The Fop With No Name" and on and so forth... and how did you develop the mediocrely-important characters like Old Bailey...and how do you come up with their freaky personality quirks?
How did you get to know Lemony Snicket? Why do authors know so many other authors?And Your Question to me, I'm Sure, is "WHY MUST I SUFFER THIS INHUMANITY OF INTERROGATION?"~ QUESTIONING YOU LIKE THE FBI, Wade Redfearn~
Where is the place where you feel better?
Did people ever tell you when you were growing up that you were creepy, and that maybe you should get some professional help? What would you say to somebody who said that thinking differently (the way you do) isn't good to expose people to?
The most frightening parts of your book are when the rats sing, or chant, ot whatever they do... But whatever it is it is TERRIFYING. I'm 16 years old and I was extremely scared. Can you tell me what they mean? By the way, your daughter was right, you're never too old for this book. For a long time I wondered if you had meant to write it as a children's book...
where were you born
Do you like bacon?
how do you come up with all these ideas for great books?
I think you're really hott can I have your phone number and/or address?
Does the song the rats sing have anything to do with the "my name is Legion, for we are many" passage from the Bible?
What is your new book called?
How long have you been writing stories.
how many books have you written?   In the wolves in the walls how old is  lucy? In one part  it  says  that her brother goes to school. Why dosent lucy?
when and what made you start out writing?
Some of these people analyze your book too much... I am here to apologize on their behalf. It is a wonderful book! Stop dissecting it! Thats what we do to intensely boring books in AP English class.
I am doing a report on you for school.  Could you please tell me if you went to college, and if so where?  Also what would you say are your hobbies and interests other than scary stuff and writing?  Thank you very much.  NY Fan.
can you tell me about your childhood?
is neil married?
Will Coraline ever be made into a movie? And if so is there anyway to keep it really close to the book!?
Hi Neil, Our class just finished reading Coraline and we were very please with the story....we wanted to know if there was a movie in the future? thanks Trsh Duffy
What are you reading currently ?
What is your favorite short story?
is there going to be a sequel to Coraline?
How come you write so many scary stories I mean, are you trying to scare people Im not saying there bad I like the books I think there are awsome but some people might read the books and be actully hiding under there bed for the next fue weeks so thanks for the great oppritunity of reading your books
Black eyed girl $
I am currently reading this book with a student of mine and he keeps asking me Why the other mother has buttons for eyes? 
Hello Mr. Gaiman. You got Odin everywhere. Why didn't you mention any Greek Gods in American Gods (or in the Sandman books, as a matter of fact-except for Hades i think)? just asking.
Will there ever be a sequel book to "American Gods"? If so, when can we expect to see it? (No Pressure!)
how old were u when u became popular
Hullo, Neil! I just finished reading Coraline, and I picked quite a bad time to. It was late night, almost two in the morning when I finished. I was afraid to turn off my lamp. Anyway, I wanted to ask about Miss Prick and Miss Forcible; they amused me and I wondered if they were based off of anyone, or just sprouted from your imagination?
Hey, Neil. I just read Coraline, and I thought it was AMAZING. I was wondering what you thought Coraline's I.Q. was, though, since she is clever and witty, but if you look at that poem about the girl named Apple...yeesh.
-Sibbie, Tarrytown, NY
Do you purposfully write your books for a particular age group?
When is Coraline the movie coming out to theatres?
Is Coraline just a story?  because when I was reading it,  I kept thinking that it was deeper than that. By the way,  I loved the cat in it.
Why did Coraline accept all the strange things in the book as reality, but she never believed that the the man upstairs really had a mouse circus?
Hey Neil, A friend recomended your work to me and it is amazing. I read it when I need to be inspired for my own little attempts at fiction. But I'm curious, what do you do for inspiration when you are writing?
When is teatime?
I was rereading "American Gods" during a trip through the former East Germany, and one town - Spreewald - had not only storks, but anthropormorphized giant pickles.  The pickles smile and offer themselves for sacrifice to holiday tourists.
  Clearly something sinister is afoot in Spreewald, could you please send Shadow?
I have a door that doesn't open in my apartment.  It should go into the apartment next door, but now I'm not sure....and I don't want to open it to find out (except sometimes I do want to).  The Other Mother keeps showing up in my drawings (especially her hand).    Do you ever read stuff and have parts of it show up in your work? 
My grandfather always based his sotries somewhat near real people in his life, like his wife or .. um, lady friend. Do you ever base stories from experiences with your own children? Are any of your characters LIKE your children? I know that's a big personal question, so I won't be completely a prat if you don't answer.
hi. just wondering if there was a way to send you a letter because I missed out on the opportunity with sandman.... I was a bit young and comics were rare in South Africa
Have you ever thougth about a Caroline 2?

I think my favourite of them is probably how old were u when u became popular.
I got an e-mail from Henry Selick yesterday which was filled with cool Coraline movie news -- apparently several very good things have happened this week, after nothing much had happened for a couple of years. Of course, I'm not actualy allowed to announce any of the cool things until they come out on official channels, but as soon as I am, I will. And they are cool.
Hi Neil,
In answer to I�igo de Paula's question about an 'international publishing house' I'd recommend he contact Asia 2000, base in Hong Kong and run by an old friend of mine:
And there's a much better quality version of the Howl's Moving Castle trailer at      
Though you need DivX codecs to view it.
Thanks. (I see that Blogger has completely redone its front end, which is great, and may mean I can finally put IExplorer to sleep and go over to Firefox all the time. Which will be nice.)