Friday, January 25, 2008

electric blue

Sorry. Writing Chapter Seven, still, and doing almost nothing else. (In the book, Scarlett Perkins has just arrived at the library to look at the microfiche files of old newspapers.) It's a bit of a wrench to go back from the fountain pen to the keyboard. Just received the sad news that the writing cabin in the woods I use sometimes -- mostly to type or proofread undisturbed -- now has wireless... (damn!)

This came in a couple of weeks ago, but I've held off on answering it until I knew what was happening...

Whatever became of the annual Dave Sim/Neil Gaiman lithograph auction mentioned here: ? I was one of many who didn't win the first one, and I was hoping to have another crack at it...

What happened was the US Post Office.

I got the second one in a year ago, painted and collaged on it, sent it off (insured) to the CBLDF. Then we waited. It didn't arrive. And then we discovered that simply insuring something for a value doesn't really matter if the Post Office doesn't want to pay... A saga that went on for a year.

Dave Sim just sent me a new 2007 lithograph -- I think this may be my personal one -- which I plan to art all over and give to the CBLDF to auction, to make up for the one the Post Office lost. And I think we'll send it FedEx, as well, just to be on the safe side. And the 2008 one should happen fairly soon -- possibly to coincide with the New York Comic-Con. We'll see.

Look, Neil!

I just thought that would be the kind of site you would like...


It is! How wonderful.

Hi Neil

I've noticed on your blog that you often say the stories you write have been in your head for years. I was wondering, do you deliberately leave ideas gestating for years before doing anything with them, or is it simply because you have a large backlog of ideas? I've noticed with my own writing that for some reason, the older the idea, the more comfortable it feels to write. Do you find that?


A bit of both. Sometimes it's nice to have an idea for a book or a story in the back of your head for years, accreting bits to it, growing and becoming bigger and more interesting, sometimes it's a worrying thing having a story you'd like to write and aren't getting to, for very occasionally, alone in the darkness, they die and rot and turn to mould and slime.

It tends to be less intentional (except for The Graveyard Book, which was a better idea than I was a writer twenty years ago) than to do with how much I write and who's waiting for what.

Sometimes an old idea gets relegated to the back of the line in the mad delight of a new idea, one you've never had before, and that you write fast in the thrill of the new. No rules. Just stories, and you tell as many of them as you can.

Hello Neil,Is there any significant difference between Anansi Boys and Anansi Boys: a novel (P.S)? I have read Anansi Boys and want to buy my own copy, and Amazon has both editions/versions. When I was nine or ten my teacher read Anansi stories to the class. I've had a soft spot for him ever since.Thank you
Morag Gray

The (P.S.) editions of the books on are the large format "trade paperback" editions, with interviews in the back (and, in the case of Anansi Boys, an extract from American Gods) published by Harper Perennial. The (P.S.) edition of Anansi Boys has a cover that's electric blue and eye-burning yellow, and is unmissable. It's bigger than the "mass-market paperback", printed on better paper, but contains the same novel.

I can't find a good image of it online, so here's the new cover of the P.S. trade paperback of Smoke and Mirrors, which comes out later this week, a vision in purple and green.

Why are you writing just kid's books? Why don't you write another adult novel?

Everything in its time. Truth to tell, I don't honestly think of The Graveyard Book as a children's book. It's a novel, and the protagonist grows from about 18 months to about 16 years during the course of it. I think some young readers will like it and I think that some older readers will like it (and some young readers, and some adults, will find it too scary or too morbid or too odd). It's not like anything else I've done, anyway...

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