Thursday, September 01, 2005

a post with a kitten in it

I sent off the short story "How To Talk To Girls At Parties" to Mr Strahan, having done the final round of rewrites and polishes. I may read it at the CBGBs benefit on the 18th. It's odd, but I think it's okay, and I hope he likes it.

Am feeling sort of numb and sick about the aftermath of Katrina, which seems to be transforming from a natural disaster into a people-compounded disaster. And then I go and look at other people's blogs -- the pictures and commentary on WeShallMarch's blog, for example, or the links and information over at Making Light, and feel like I should be doing my bit, and the best I can come up with right now is to link to as a good place to make a donation.

Dear Mr. Gaiman:A lot of people read your blog and listen to you (I know I do) and I wanted to ask if you could please post a link for people to make donations to the Red Cross for their work with victims of Hurricane Katrina - I think it would help a lot. Thank you very much.

I was meant to be in Louisiana in October -- Coraline was voted their favourite book by young readers, and I was going to the book festival. Now I just wonder if there will be a book festival.

Because it's always personal, I'm relieved that Poppy and Chris are alive, and worried about them as well. for details...

Lorraine came in with a tiny kitten today: a sad, rib-thin, starving, scraggly little thing she found wailing at the bottom of the drive, all fur and huge ears. After Fred, I had loudly and formally declared that we were taking in no more cats, and we were beginning to get used to dropping strays off, with donations, at the local Humane Society, but this time I melted. I insisted that we'd find a home for it as soon as it was fed and fat and well, and maybe we will; it's good to have something actively to look after, sometimes.

Hi Neil,I was just reading about Orhan Pamuk's legal troubles on Bookslut this morning (, and I was curious as to if there were any international groups that defend the rights of authors, similar to the CBLDF? It's scary to think that many people around the world can land themselves in heaps of trouble just for expressing their opinions--and in some cases imperical truths--with no laws with which they can defend themselves.Thank you for your time,--Matt Schneider

The nearest thing we have, as far as I know, is International PEN -- there's a very good website at, and a slightly less good PEN website at

Hello Neil, I know you have covered this before, but for those of us who cant attend one of your signings, where might we purchase signed copies of your book? I have had the pleasure of meeting you several times, Including once in Chicago where I had a wonderful time with you and Jill Thompson. I had the opportunity to know Jill thru some friends at Kent State and was wondering if, and when you two may collaborate on another project? Thank you very much,Tom

During a signing tour, it's useful to know that you can almost always get signed books from any of the stores an author is signing at -- just call the store, tell them you'd like a signed (or even signed and dedicated) book, and they'll tell you how much shipping will be and take a credit card number. (The numbers of most of the stores are up at Where's Neil.) The store will normally have the author sign the pre-ordered books before going out and signing books for the public. (This holds true for pretty much any author on a book tour. You don't have to be there.)

In addition, we're setting up for me to go and sign lots and lots of ANANSI BOYS for DreamHaven Books -- And there are also pre-signed copies: I signed 5000 signature sheets last month, which will be bound in to 5,000 copies of the Morrow edition of the book. These copies will be available to shops who buy one of the book-dumps, the dedicated cardboard stands with about a dozen copies of the book, and other stuff. In each dump you get a pre-signed book, as long as stocks last.

(When American Gods came out, there were people driving from bookshop to bookshop, buying the pre-signed books, and putting them on eBay. I wish they wouldn't.)

Your comments on the number of people coming to your readings and getting autographs reminded me of the only book signing I ever went to, which was Douglas Adams at Leeds University. Amazingly when I turned up I was the only person there (though not the only person during the signing - at least I don't think so). Seems incredible to imagine now. Douglas seemed very nice (and very tall) and signed Liff and Hitchhikers stuff for me. He also seemed very bored and I felt like I was intruding. Wish I had known then that he was the DA mentioned in Graham Chapman's autobiography, which was my favourite book at the time.Good luck with the UK tour. Work/poverty/twin 3 year olds will stop me coming along, but I enjoy the work.Best wishes

I remember going to see Douglas at a DreamHaven signing for the Starship Titanic game, and there were probably ten people there for him. Then again, that was before the days of author blogs, and while I'm painfully aware that immediately after I've done each signing on the upcoming signing tour I'll get upset messages from people saying "you were in my town and I didn't know until after you'd gone", I'm also aware that the blog means that people can know where I'm going to be and get the word out to each other in a fashion that's much more efficient than anything bookshops or publishers can manage, and those kind of signings, the ones where one person or ten show up, almost never happen any more.

I wonder whether Douglas would have blogged. Probably not. But in a world in which author and artist Steve Bissette has begun to blog -- -- I think it's fair to say that anything is possible.