Friday, April 29, 2005

Jetlag morning

Lot of flying yesterday and now I'm home again. For a day. Last night's useful post was written, but was eaten by weasels. Next week is the last week of Beowulf-with-Avary-and-Zemeckis work for a long while, and then I get to be home for about a month, if you don't count the trip to New York for Book Expo, and right now I just like the idea of sleeping in my own bed for a couple of nights running.

Lots of questions and comments from you lot waiting for me when I got home, along with lots of books I had things in [including the Strahan/Haber Fantasy Best of 2004, Jon Scieszka's Guys Write for Guys Read, which contains the true story of why, when I was eleven, my headmaster hit me with a slipper and thus why books are dangerous, the George Alec Effinger collection Live From Planet Earth] and the DC Comics Death Bust, which really looks good (up there with the Merv Pumpkinhead and the Desire busts). Here's a picture of the prototype, but the finished thing seems significantly cooler -- for a start her expression is much less severe than this:

Lots and lots of messages and questions and such waiting for me.

Hi mister Gaiman... I'm french and my name's stephanie. I juste have one simple question. Have you heard of bookcrossing, and do you have an opinion about it ? I'm a bookcrosser myself, and must warn you that any answer will be shared with my bcer friends ! Thank you.

Hello Stephanie -- well, you could listen to BBC Radio 4's OPEN BOOK, which has its page at and listen to the latest program. It's only up until Sunday, I think, but you can hear me being interviewed by Mariella Frostrup very early one morning about bookcrossing. (I think the Bookcrossing stuff starts about 20 minutes in.) Otherwise, you'll have to search this website to find out...

Hi Neil!I don't suppose there's any chance of the ANANSI BOYS audiobook coming out early, is there? (I'm facing a long, boring cross-country drive at the end of August.)-Kristin

I don't think so. I managed to get the CD of me reading Coraline out early, but I don't think that it'll happen this time.

Hi Neil,Launching straight into my big question - do you ever plan to visit India? I assure you that if you ever landed in Bangalore or Bombay you would get a massive reception. There is a loyal fan base here who will go to hell and back (literally: the back streets of cities; dealing with a suspect salesman who is not REALLY a bookseller selling a rare secondhand copy of the Books of Magic; I could go on.) to get our hands on a Neil Gaiman comic.So would you brave the monsoon and come? Regards,avantika.

Happily. But this year is spoken for, and next year is already full. And, for that matter, nobody's actually invited me to India.

The good news, BTW, is that Headline are pushing very hard to have their cool, spiffy, uniform new editions of my previous books out by the time that I get to Australia this year, in mid-July.

Dear Neil: As I'm always trying to shove more people to the theatre, an FYI that Playbill Online ( is offering $47 tickets (that's 30% off) to the NYC production of Shockheaded Peter through its online club, which is free to join. Also, any thoughts on the resurrection of Sweeney Todd next year? I heard Cyndi Lauper as Mrs. L??? Oy vey.Toodles,christine with an x

If it's the production of Sweeney Todd that was on in the West End last year, in which the actors are also the orchestra, I thought it was pretty interesting, if somewhat confusing to people who didn't know the story.

And anything I can do to help plug ShockHeaded Peter in New York...

How has what you've written connect to events in your life and what awards have you won?

Indirectly. Most of them.

Why do you write your,or any books/novels?

I write my books/novels because if I don't, I can't guarantee that anyone else will.

I write other people's books and novels because... actually, I have no idea why I write other people's books and novels. Until I read this question, I didn't even know that I did.

Neil, Just curious to find out if the media has been pestering you about your take on the Hitchhiker movie because of Don't Panic. And what is your take by the way? Steve Stanis

A little, but I'm coping (one interview, now up at the Christian Science Monitor, and an anecdote at IGN The people who made the film have been really keen on my seeing it, and if I hadn't been quite so peripatetic over the last few weeks it would have happened already. As it is, I'll be paying my money to see it like everyone else.


When you start writing movies, you soon find yourself joining the Writers Guild. (The best bit of this, if you're in the US, is that you get health insurance.) When I joined, I discovered that the Mississippi is a dividing line between the Writer's Guild East and West, and living, as I do, a few miles East of the river, I found myself a member of the Writer's Guild East. Until a few weeks ago I assumed it was all one Union, and that this was a simple jurisdictional thing, for ease of administration or something. And then, from the Writer Action board, I noticed that the East and West bits were having problems. So I did what I normally do when puzzled about something like this, and asked Mark Evanier to explain it to me, which he did:

It's now getting weirder, at least according to this article:

It's all sort of sad, really, especially because the Writer's Guild is, at least in theory, a really good thing. (I'm still puzzled about why one job needs two unions divided by a river.)

It's my birthday. I'm sure you've gotten a huge number of birthday requests...mundane, bizzare and everything in between. But all I ask for on this day when I pass the two-decade mark is this: could you post a sort of wolf-ish picture of yourself? Maybe even in a longish sort of coat? That'd be fantasic. Thanks hon. ~Jady

You know, I've already missed your birthday. (Happy birthday.) Oddly enough (well, I did talk about them on this journal when they were taken, so possibly not that oddly) there are some photos answering to that description, and I just need to get versions from the wonderful Kimberly Butler that she'd be happy with me posting here.

I also need to post the official author photo that'll be the Anansi Boys jacket photo, which I like, mostly because I don't like being older than the majority of the photos out there, and I always feel that it's a good thing to get recent ones up.

And one final post. I normally don't put the ones like this that come in up here, but this one just made me smile, and I wanted to share it.

I just wanted to say THANK YOU!!!

My husband and I took our then 5 year old son, Jared, to hear you read in Charlotte, NC, 2 years ago. Jared had your book, Coraline, signed then. (You had been sick, and you read your poem, Crazy Hair, which he LOVED!)

Well, fast forward to this year and last, when in school, I was told that he had visual and auditory processing delays, because he wasn't reading 'at his level'. I ended up pulling him out of one of the best schools in our state to homeschool him, because I truly did NOT believe them, and didn't agree with their assessments. He was simply young for his age, I felt. He was only 6 then, and I felt they were just pushing the kids too hard.

Anyhow, that was last November, and we really backed off on how much we were 'requiring' him to read. We read lots TO him and with him, but didn't expect him to read much on his own. He felt like he was too 'dumb' to learn to read, because of how the school had treated him. (That was HIS words, not mine!)

Well, last month, he found the book you'd signed on our bookshelf. He remembered seeing you, and talked about it endlessly. Then he said, "I'm going to read this!" I was afraid, frankly, because it's NOT a first grade level book at all. But HE READ IT!!! I went into his room at night and snuck it out so I could read it (bad bad mommy!!!), so I could discuss it with him, to gauge how well he was understanding what he was reading. I wouldn't say he got EVERYTHING, but he got enough to be able to relate the story back to me.

I can't tell you how grateful I am, to you for writing it, and for doing the tour that sparked his interest.

Jared has been voracious since then, reading well above his level, and everything he can get his hands on. I knew he had it in him, it just took Coraline to spark that interest for him to WANT to read.

Thank you SO much!!

Heather Hubbard