Sunday, October 24, 2004

Why I love being a writer by Neil Gaiman.

I love being a writer because it is something you can do anywhere. Some jobs like for example being an astronaut you can only do in special places like in for example space rockets or outer space or somewhere like that eg the moon. If you were trying to be an astronaut in the supermarket people would just laugh at you and say What Is He Doing Is He Absolutely Barking Mad Or What? The same thing goes for people who pick grapes and the people who show you to your seat in theatres after the light is all gone down. They can only do it in their special place.

But I can write anywhere.

And on the day when the book that I stopped writing several months ago decided that it's all done with just being lots of notes and ponderings and so on and suddenly turned back into the book I'm writing, because today I wrote a couple of thousand usable words, and I have a pretty good idea of what I'll be writing tomorrow, then it's all good, and it's made doubleplusgood by the fact that I was doing it on the beach.

Although I'd feel just as happy if I'd done it in a coffee house, or the corner of an office, or anywhere really; and probably slightly less guilty. Oh well, only two more days of accidental paradise, and then I'm back to civilisation.


I noticed today that Lucy Anne has started posting again over at The Dreaming website -- it's an invaluable resource of links to and extracts from articles and news and reviews and so on about books and comics by me and my various collaborators, about Sandman, and all that stuff. Oodles of good information.


You can download a virtual theremin for the Mac here: And one for Mac or PC here:'ve played with the Mac only version and it's nifty. Oh, there's also a theremin at the BBC's site:
Sheila Addison, Denver

Thanks, Sheila. I've never managed to make a theremin -- real or virtual -- do anything more than make that "oohweeooh" noise that used to indicate that problems of an alien nature were about to manifest themselves on Star Trek, and normally not even that.

Dear Neil, HUGE FAN of your stuff. Now that that's out of the way, I'm living in Japan for the next year or so, teaching English in three jr. high schools. One day, I brought in my (cherished) copy of Endless Nights HC book to show the kids what American comics look like as opposed to the Manga they're used to reading. One of the boys just fell in love with the art style, character designs, and brief plot description that the Japanese Teacher translated for me. He would love to read some Sandman comics. Unfortunetly, his English isn't that good and I was wondering if there are Japanese versions of the Sandman books available, and if so, where can I buy some? Thank you very much. Keep up the great work. Sincerely, Jonathan Abrams Nishigo, Fukushima Prefecture Japan

You used to be able to get them from -- there are certainly Japanese editions of the first couple of Sandman books (broken into two books to a graphic novel), of Death" The High Cost of Living, and Sandman: Dream Hunters. There may have been more. That's where I'd start looking, anyway.

I found the link to the Coraline site at but found no links to the Sandman books.

Dear mr Gaiman.My name is Emelie and I'm in the International Baccalaureate program in a swedish school. We are writing an Extended Essay, and I'm going to write one in the subject english. Now, I was thinking about writing it about one of your books, perhaps "Neverwhere" or "American Gods", and I just wonder what you thought about that idea.with love.Emelie

I think it's a great idea, as long as you don't try to get me to write the essays for you.

Why did you write Coraline and what was your purpose in writing it?

Look at the various Coraline links and interviews and answers to questions over at, which is the Coraline website. You should be able to find an answer or two over there.

Hi Neil! A friend of mine and I are presently having an argument we'd like for you to settle: After having lived so many years in the United States, do you consider yourself to be American, British, or both? I'm arguing for British, my friend insists you've been assimilated. We're both ardent American fans of yours who enjoy obsessing over minute and insignificant details. Please satisfy our curiosity and let us know just who you think you are now. =) Thank you!Fryda Wolff San Diego, CA (aka Comicon Funland)

I'm English. (If I was American, I'd be telling everyone who to vote for -- or at least, who to vote against.) At least, in my head I'm English. Although some English people hear my accent as American.

And for those wanting to access the 13 Nights Interview Material a) the secret words are incredibly easy to guess -- it's always a word from the title of the film, or it's the title of the film. (The list of films, in order, is at tonight it's Edward Scissorhands -- a film, I should say, I find somewhat less baffling than my script would seem to indicate. But the script is pretty funny -- so the word is EDWARD.)

I am trying to find a downloadable audio for 'American Gods' ('cause it's not in CD format) and have failed miserably in the attempt. HarperCollins keeps referring me to the sales department who say they can't help and the only place that shows up when I google no longer carry it. Do you know of any place where I can get a CD copy or downloadable version? And, are there any plans to do an unabridged audio for 'Neverwhere' or 'Good Omens'?
As an answer to the person who wanted to know why Borders Books puts your childrens books with your graphic novels... the buyers at Borders (any book store really) try to keep all of an authors books together so that a fan can easily find all that authors books. Not a great system for someone who writes across genres but it beat finding the hardcover in one section the paperback in another and the sequel in yet another section as happens at Barnes & Nobles. (I've put in time at both places and helped to create many a fan for you.)

I believe that the various Kafkan contractual differences between Harpers, its authors, and have now been resolved, and it ought to be back on Audible, along with Coraline, very soon. (It was there for a little while.) There are plans to do a US and a UK unabridged Good Omens, but no-one's ever said anything about an unabridged Neverwhere (although I'd love one. I like the first 2/3 of the abridgement, which is the first half of the book, but the last third of the abridgement is rather, well, abridged).

I'd be more convinced that the Borders method had some validity if they also shelved Coraline and my adult novels in "graphic novels", which they don't. It's just the two childrens' picture books with Dave McKean. And thank you so much for helping make fans (and, more importantly, readers). I appreciate it.