Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Criterion reminder

The event with Susanna Clarke was lovely, except for the, oh, 45 minutes or thereabouts that all 250 of us spent standing outside on the pavement in the cold, waiting for the fire brigade to establish that the problems in the nanotech lab next door were a false alarm.

I was asked tonight who'd win in a fight -- probably a no holds barred cage match, I suspect -- between me and Bill Gibson. I said me, but my daughter Holly, who was there, just laughed at me afterwards and said she couldn't imagine me fighting anyone. Holly says that Me vs Bill Gibson would be like a fight between a baby bunny and a duckling, and she is probably right.

I'm still really jet-lagged. I feel as if the going-to-Japan and the coming-back-from-Japan crash came at the same time -- just had a completely failed conversation with my agent, who soon figured out that the communication things simply wasn't happening, and told me to call him back tomorrow.


If you're in the UK, remember that next Tuesday, Oct 2nd is the big event at the Criterion:

Tuesday 02 October 07 Event 422 at 18:00

Neil Gaiman in conversation

Featuring: Neil Gaiman

Exclusive event-only book signing afterwards, at Waterstone's Piccadilly

Don't miss this one-off London appearance by one of the world’s greatest imaginative minds, and author of many bestselling novels, including American Gods, Anansi Boys, and the cult novel Stardust . The film of Stardust, directed by Matthew Vaughan and starring Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Sienna Miller, Ricky Gervais, Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro, premieres in London on Wednesday 3 October at Odeon Leicester Square. We have a pair of tickets to the premiere: all ticket-holders to the event will be entered into a draw and the winner will be announced after the performance.

Price: £5.00

Venue: Criterion Theatre, Piccadilly

I think I'll probably do a reading from Stardust as part of it. If you want to come, it's always wisest to order tickets early -- there will probably be seats on the night, but you can never be too sure.

(Also the Bath Children's Literary Festival event is this Saturday at 6.00pm -- for details.)

Mr. Gaiman,I live in Beijing and your CCTV interview just aired (Sept. 25). I was really impressed that you could follow her random questions. I was disappointed that you were not deemed important enough to get the male reporter who usually interviews heads of state. I wanted you to know that the piece had aired and may air again Sept. 26. Thanks, Kade

Not to worry. I'm not a head of state.

Neil, Neil, Neil, Neil! Reading your blog can be so bloodly frustrating! What was your opinion of that Lolita restaurant? What do you, as a father of a young teenage daugther on the threshold of her maidenhood thinks of those young women exploiting the idea of pedophilia?

I'm not comfortable enough with the by-roads of Japanese pop culture to be able to say what exactly was going on in that place, but it didn't seem to be about paedophilia, not in any way I understand the term. It seemed to be about a whole set of cultural cues that I wasn't really able to read -- the clientele were about 60/40 male to female, most of the men were the same age as the girls working there (early 20s), and I got the impression it was much more about the girls getting to exercise their fantasies of being maids, whatever maids were in this context, and the customers of both genders seemed to enjoy playing rock, paper, scissors with them. My opinion was one of, mostly, complete bafflement and bemusement, and I was there because the guide felt that, like the fish market and the Meiji Shrine and the modern art museum, going to one of the maid cafes was one of the unique things about Tokyo.

Hi Neil, I have a quick question about agents and the submission process...
Months ago, shortly after completing my first novel (YA fantasy), I drew up a list of agencies that I thought might be a match. Several envelopes were dispatched to said agents. Fingers were crossed.I waited.Three weeks later, the replies began trickeling in. A few were form rejections; others had some decent comments, but were rejections all the same.Then an unfamiliar envelope fell through the letterbox. It turns out that this was the reply from my Dream Agency (why not aim high?). The gist of the letter was this: Your writing shows great promise, but this is not yet ready for representation. Send us your next project.
Here is my question:My second novel, which I think is a stark improvement on the first, is almost ready. Should I send it exclusively to my new contact at The Literary Agency Of My Dreams? Or should I treat the process exactly as I did first time round, and send out simultaneous submissions? Many thanks for your time.

I don't think there are any rules. If it was me, I'd send it to the new contact who thought you had potential, with a letter saying, you said to send you my next project and this is it, and I'm not showing it to anyone else until you've seen it, because they were nice, and deserve something for that, and if they feel they grew you from a bean they will work harder for you. But there aren't any rules. And if it was me I'd be sending my book to editors and not to agents anyway.


Why am I typing? Why aren't I sleeping?

Labels: , , , , ,