Monday, January 23, 2006

more on cats, and our author wins an ALEX.

Hi Neil,Thanks so much for the updated picture of the gorgeous Misty! However, this begs the is Fred the Unlucky Black Cat doing these days? According to a quick search of this journal, he hasn't been mentioned since August of updated picture would be lovely, as well. And I often wonder, how do Misty and Fred get along? Thanks! Cathy

For the last two days I've been exiled from my bed to my son Mike's empty bedroom off the attic, due to painting work currently going on in my bedroom, so Fred is, as I write this, sleeping near the foot of the attic bed and is incredibly happy. When we first let him into the house he was badly injured, and I slept up here to keep him company. And I did the same thing months later, the next time it happened. So Fred believes that the natural order of things is for me to be sleeping up here and for him to be at the foot of the bed, guarding against dust-balls. He continues to be Unlucky, and several enormous vet bills following other-animal-inflicted injuries have gone unreported on this blog.

Misty's arrival mucked up the precarious balance of cat-power in the house -- as she turned from a kitten into a young lady the two male cats, Coconut and Fred, both realised they adored her despite being fixed, and needed desperately to impress her, while the two female cats, Princess and Zoe, both disapproved of all this, and all four of them suddenly needed to start urinating everywhere in order to make sure that their feelings were known and territories were marked and so on. Our vet suggested Feliway diffusers, and three weeks later there's a noticeable improvement.

Congrats! Just saw that "Anansi Boys" was given an Alex Award from the ALA (one of the 10 best adult books that appeal to teens). Here's the link--although I'm sure it's been forwarded to you already by other librarians! It's towards the bottom. Misty is a gorgeous kitty!! How's Fred doing these days? Congrats again-Michele

That's terrific news, and you were the first to tell me. And it's Anansi's first award. Fred still talks (he says "Hurrow," which is a bit odd) and is still a cat who walks by himself and all places are the same to him (but he likes it if someone's sleeping in the attic).

(This is Fred walking by himself.)

Neil, First of all, thanks. Just a general thanks. :) Secondly- I think you (and Maddy) may have yourselves a fairy cat. No, really- a Norwegian Forest Cat, or, more commonly, a Fairy Cat. - Heidi PB

Well, Misty definitely seems to have some Norwegian Forest/Maine Coon blood in her, yes, judging by the coat and mane and the fluffy tail. We'll find out how much as she continues to grow, I expect.

Mr. Gaiman... I'm curious why your creative focus has shifted to novels as opposed to comic books. Is it a desire to be more mainstream (perhaps financial considerations) or something else? You've worked with great artists, but it's an aspect of the finished product of which you do not have complete control. Perhaps that too is a factor. (Having read a number of your scripts, I've noted how the artists have at times ignored certain subtleties which the Sims and Millers of the world would have been sure to include since they are the writer and the artist.) I think the perception in some circles is that you've "graduated" from your work in comics to a more legitimate medium. Personally, I think you've always wanted to be a novelist (it has a great tradition after all) and your infamy in the comic book world allowed it to happen. There's no denying the amount of control it gives you. I guess I'm only asking this because I wish you'd do a monthly comic book again, because I love the comic book medium and wish you were back in it on a regular basis. I imagine this question has been asked 50,387 times already and apologize for asking it again.

And I, for my part, am curious why you think my creative focus has shifted exclusively to novels. I don't think it has. (Then again, this website is run by Harper Collins, who publish the novels and short story collections, so it has a tendency to drift that way in terms of content emphasis.)

I don't do a monthly comic any longer because I'm not the fastest writer on the block and if I did a monthly comic I'd never do anything else and I'd still miss deadlines. But having said that, since the start of this blog I've written 1602 (a series of 8 monthly comics), Endless Nights (about the length of six and a bit monthly comics), several short comics stories (including the recent Deadman story in Teddy Kristiansen's SOLO), and some work for children, like the Gahan Wilson story in Little Lit, and of course The Wolves In the Walls. This year I'll do The Eternals for Marvel as a 6 issue monthly comic. And I've only written one novel.

But I like writing novels, and they take time. I like writing films, and still feel like I have so much to learn there, and they take time. I'd love to write a stage play, and that takes time as well. Then there's directing things, which seems to be necessary if I want to see anything like what I've written turn up on the screen, but which also takes, you guessed it, time.

So it's not money or control keeping me from writing a monthly comic. It's that I did that every month for nine years, and towards the end I didn't do anything else, because there simply wasn't time. And I like being able to tell stories in all the media that people will let me play with.