Monday, July 31, 2006

the resen to bean author

Hi, Neil,
I was reviewing the "Where's Neil" section to see if you've gotten any more "Fragile Things" dates up, and noticed that you don't seem to have many dates scheduled at this point. Do you think/know that more are forthcoming, or do you not plan to tour much with this book? I'm hoping it's the former, but after reading your blogs from previous tours, I understand if it's the latter!
Thanks! I can't wait for the book,

It's going to be a teeny-tiny tour this year. I think there will be one big London event - a Blackwells reading and interview and signing on Monday the 25th of September -- that's not on the list right now. But beyond that it's really small, and the events are planned in the US will mostly centre around readings where possible.

And Morrow and Headline would be quite happy to send me on the road again, but I'm still exhausted after last time.

Hello Neil.
I just don't know did you heard about David Gemmel who passed away recently. I just wanted to ask have you know him, did you read anything written by him, and, could you mention about this and Mr. Gemmel on your blog. I just loved his heroes just as yours.

Thanks and bye.

Polish Stalker.

I just heard and was shocked stupid. "That can't be right," I thought, when I saw the headline at Locus Online. "He can't be dead. I know him."

My favourite David Gemmel conversation was about 16 years ago, in a bar in London. We were talking about writing and the freedoms of writing. And I'd just said that one of the things I liked best about writing was the freedom to write whenever I wanted. "Can you imagine," I said, "there are writers out there who start at nine every morning, take a lunch hour and then type until five. And who won't write on weekends. Why would anyone want to do that?"

And David, who was buying me a drink at the time, said, mildly, "That's my working day, actually. But I start at eight thirty."

Which taught me one of those lesson things, really. Nice man.


It might be worth mentioning that the link you posted in your blog to the video of the chat you gave at Microsoft only works properly, oddly enough, in Microsoft Internet Explorer.


Yup. Not really a surprise, though, is it?

hello, dream king sir. i'm jason tan from the Philippines. here's the introduction video we did for The First Philippine Graphic/Fiction Award you sponsored with Fully Booked. i'm one of the editors/animators who worked on this one, Camille and Edzel(who voiced everything) are the other two. Lyle directed and animated parts of the video as well. i hope you like it!!! cheers!

It's at and is, I should warn people, very silly, at a level that made me expect to look up and see Graham Chapman in Army uniform cautioning us about how silly it had become. Also funny.

Hi Mr Gaiman,

I just read your post about recording some of your short fiction in the studio and I was wondering, what is your approach to preparing for sessions like that? And do you read the stories for an audio book as you would read them in public at events and such?

I've recently finished recording five of my short stories for my very first audio book and I enjoyed the process.

Speaking of short stories (by the way I'm looking forward to Fragile Things) my collection of short stories will be published the first week of September and I'm extremely honored to have a book published in the same month as my hero!

Funnily enough my working title for the collection was Wonderful Things! My publisher is a very small independent one though, and I was wondering what sort of advice would you give me for the next stage?

There's always talk that short fiction is struggling and that its market is very limited and hard to break into. Did you find that to be true when you first started short stories?

I think I just wasted enough of your time.

Ps. chances are you don't remember me (since you meet a gazillion people a day!) but I was at the Anansi Boys signing at Norwich last year. You congratulated me on getting my novel published and I thanked you for inspiring me to become a writer.

I thank you again.

Yours dearly,

Ali Al Saeed
author of QuixotiQ and Moments.

I'm trying to think what preparation I make before recording an audio book, and the only thing I can think of is, try to eat a small but sensible breakfast first, because there's nothing more embarassing than having an engineer tell you that your stomach is rumbling.

As for short stories, I've always been lucky, in that people seemed to like them. ANGELS & VISITATIONS, my first short story collection, was published by DreamHaven in 1993, and it seemed to find its audience. But I'd been around for a while by then, and people had been asking if the short stories would ever be collected, so there was some kind of demand for them, even then.

Good luck with your book.

Hello Mr. Gaiman

My name is Dennis,I'm from Germany and I just loved Stardust (I didn't read the german translation,but the original english one).I'm a total Michelle Pfeiffer Fan and so I came to Stardust and I will not miss this reading experience.I just bought Anansi Boys and I look forward to read it.

I look so much forward to the movie.And I've got some questions and maybe you can answer them.

1.Will the Comic-Con footage show up on the internet (or pictures of it?)

2.When will there be a trailer and/or more production stills of photos like costume sketches?

3.What is planed regarding merchandise?Can I expect a Lamia/Michelle Pfeiffer Statue or Action figure?

4:Is there any chance I could get a piece from the movie?something from Michelle's character?(By the way:NOT to sell it!I'm a fan and no seller)

5.Would you please sign my copy of Stardust,when i send it to you?With a small inscription?Of course I'll pay for the send-back shipping-costs.

Lot of questions and I hope you find the time,to answer them.

Yours faithfully,

Dennis Weber

1) No idea. The panel began with a disembodied voice telling the audience not to take photos or record stuff, and perhaps they haven't. I tried looking for likely Youtube headers and found nothing.

2) The trailer will come out when it's ready. I don't know what the release campaign will be, or how long in advance films get trailered. Stardust will be out in March. Titan books will be doing a Making of Stardust book, containing the script, stills, interviews and, quite probably, some of the costumes (which are amazing).

3) I don't know.

4) I doubt it. I've never been quite sure how these things work. Certainly a few things may get out in charity auctions and the like -- if I hear of anything I'll post it here.

5) Depends mostly on DreamHaven, over at, and whether they are currently accepting books for signing and posting back. They did for a while, and they got very tired of it, because people wouldn't send them enough postage, or they'd send stamps from foreign countries and so on.

Hi Neil! A couple of questions:

1- I haven't heard anything about your online store in a while. Have they decided yet what items they'll be selling? Will they have something for the release of Fragile Things?

2- I just read about you wanting to direct "Death: The High Cost of Living", which was something shockingly new to me. I don't want to underestimate your talent but, do you feel confident enough to direct a movie? How does a writer turn himself into a director? Would you consider co-directing with someone (maybe Dave McKean) รก la Frank Miller/Robert Rodriguez?



1) It was getting silly -- Chelsea, who will be doing the online store, was sending me stuff to approve and I wasn't getting to it, so weve put everything off until later in the year, when my schedule is less hectic.

2) I enjoyed directing A Short Film About John Bolton, and it left me confient that I enjoyed the process of making a film. And a lot of what I enjoyed was the feeling that at the end of the day, succeed or fail, it was ultimately my decision and my vision.

It might be fun to direct something with Dave McKean but it would be more fun to do it all alone, at least the first time.

I know I've said I won't do homework, but something about the spelling in this one made me want to help out...

Dear Neil

Hi my name is jay smith and i am 10 years old.In my year5 class we are researching 'international Author'.I have chosen you.I am going to write a biography about you and in order to do this i have a few questions to ask.
Q1.what inspiard you to write coraline.
Q2.did any books you have read have any thing to do whith coraline. do you feel about coraline being made into a move. old wear you when you started as an author.
Q5.what books would you recamend for 10year old boys.
Q6.what was the resen to bean author.
Q7.what is your favoirt book at the moment and why.
Q8.did you like shool and if so and why
Q9.what were your dreams as a kid
Q10.where you intelligent as a kid.

thank you for taking the time to anser my questions.

1) Wanting to tell a story my daughter Holly would enjoy.
2) Not specifically, no.
3) Happy but nervous. I hope it's good.
4) about 20. I think I was 22 when I first started selling things I'd written.
5) It depends on the ten year old boy. I don't think any two would like all the same things. But I might point him at
6) It seemed like a good idea at the time.
7) I'm reading a very scary book called Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill right now, which is my favourite book because I want to get back to it and find out what happens next.
8) I liked bits of it. But not being at school is better.
9) Tangledy things filled with witches and foxes and woods.
10) Sort of. I was good at reading, which made many things easy for me. But I could be amazingly stupid about things I wasn't interested in. I still can be.

My apologies if this has been asked and answered. I did check the search function.

I have seen advice for writers that says to read widely in the genre you are writing in, so that you know what has come before and don't repeat it. However, I am concerned that reading fiction while working on a project would influence the writing too much and result in something unoriginal or derivative.

What's your take? How do you balance continuing to read fiction you enjoy without regurgitating it in your work?

Many thanks,


It's a balancing act. If I know I'm going to be writing a book about something I'll avoid books that, from the back jacket copy, might head into similar territory. But I'll try to be familiar with the kind of thing that I'm writing ahead of time.