Tuesday, July 13, 2004

The Stardom of Lorraine...

So here's a small start on the post-bag...

You said that your teacher said "Please remember that before you can be properly eccentric, you must know where the circle is." I would like to use this quote as a basis for a short story. Is this OK? Sorry, I'm a bit dim as regards copyright.

Rebecca Billings

It's fine. It's always nice to be asked, but it would come under the heading of "fair use" (here's a bit from the copyright office about what fair use is).

Hullo, my friend keeps telling me you live in the old Addams Family House from the movies, is it true? Tell your cats I say hi.


It's not the Addams Family house from the movies, no (and I think the one in the movies is simply a set anyway; the one on the TV show is, of course, a drawing). But that's certainly the house's architectural style. You can see it on the cover of Patti Perret's book of photographs, Faces of Fantasy, just behind a photo of me about a decade ago, looking faintly grumpy.

Someone named Tyler sent me a link to the following CNN story, with a comment that Well, at least they can SYMBOLICALLY burn the books. Sigh.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) -- A church's plan for an old-fashioned book-burning has been thwarted by city and county fire codes.

Preachers and congregations throughout American history have built bonfires and tossed in books and other materials they believed offended God.

The Rev. Scott Breedlove, pastor of The Jesus Church, wanted to rekindle that tradition in a July 28 ceremony where books, CDs, videos and clothing would have been thrown into the flames.

Not so fast, city officials said.

"We don't want a situation where people are burning rubbish as a recreational fire," said Brad Brenneman, the fire department's district chief.

Ah, it warms the cockles of your heart, doesn't it? Not to mention my favourite sentence,

Breedlove said a city fire inspector suggested shredding the offending material, but Breedlove said that wouldn't seem biblical.

Obviously not. I'm sure this is the kind of pastor who would assure you that in the bible, Jesus always made a point of burning his novels, tee-shirts and CDs on proper bonfires. None of that new-fangled shredding nonsense for him.

Re: Harry Stephen Keeler, a few of his books are available in electronic form from Blackmask. (

I always forget about the wonderful, despite having plugged it here a few times. They have four Keeler novels and a short story up there.

Hi Neil, thanks for all the lovely stories.

Is it possible for an writer living in Asia to get published by an international publishing house?

I'm a struggling writer from the Philippines, and I have little hope of having my works read by anybody outside my small circle of lit fiends. Please say there's hope beyond my monthly paycheck!


I�igo de Paula

I'm not sure there are any international publishing houses, really. You're probably better off initially at aiming specifically at the UK, or the US, if you're writing in English. But yes, it should be practical, especially given the nature of the world these days. I'd suggest using the internet a lot, and getting published online first, wherever possible. Good luck.

Hey Neil,
I'm a first year teacher and I am compiling a "Wall of Amazing Storytellers" for my first classroom ( I teach High School English and Drama ) and was wondering how I could go about getting either a head shot or promotional poster of your magnificent mug for the wall. Please let me know, an entire generation of unenlightened 9-12th graders need something to stare at while ignoring my lecture notes :)
thanks a lot
Steve Shell
Asheville, NC

Well, the best poster is the American Library Association READ poster, which is for a good cause (the ALA) and has lots of useful recommendations for things as well. The hair's a bit odd, and I'm wearing the now-defunct beard, but it's a good picture (by the terrific Kimberly Butler), and it tells people to read.

So, I'm curious as all hell. How does it feel to be a sex symbol of the literary world?

I've absolutely no idea. However -- at least according to this week's edition of The Onion, on the front page no less -- my assistant, the Fabulous Lorraine, has achieved a certain notoriety in that direction, as you will see from the following story...

JACKSONVILLE, FL The unrequited nature of area nerd June Manzo's crush on actor Peter Tuddenham, who provides the voice of piloting computer Slave on Blake's 7, is only slightly more agonizing than the process of explanation she must put herself through every time her media obsession is discussed. "He has this slightly sinister but dynamic way of speaking on the show, particularly in the 'Headhunter' episode," Manzo said, painstakingly describing Tuddenham to fellow science-fiction fan Bradley Preakniss. "When I hear his voice congratulating Avon on his 'consummate skill,' I just get shivers... Doesn't that ring a bell? No? Not at all?" Manzo's crush is surpassed in geekiness and obscurity only by that of Denver's Demitri Ostrow, who has a long-harbored passion for author Neil Gaiman's "fabulous" assistant Lorraine.

And several thousand people have written to let me know about it (thank you all). Most of the messages read something like this one:

Hmm...did you know you were mentioned in this week's edition of "The Onion"?

Well. Not you, no. Not really. It was really more about Lorraine.

(Speaking of Lorraine, could you link to the Folk Underground website again, just so more people can bask in the glory that is The Fabulous Lorraine Garland?)

I certainly can. It's

(I wonder if June Manzo could have been named after Madison area lawyer, convention organiser, and CBLDF supporter John Manzo?)

Or this one:

Lorraine's famous!!
Personally I think that's a totally justifiable and probably not uncommon crush.

Well, if any of you are in the Minneapolis area this summer, you can head out to the Ren Fest, where Folk Underground will be supporting Puke & Snot on the ship stage, you can buy their new CD and nurture small crushes of your own (either on her, on the other other members of the band, on Puke, Snot, the ship, the people pulling the cabriolets, or just anybody, really.) (92,000 turkey legs. Good lord...)