Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Scary eyes

I went to the British Library today and recorded a podcasted interview about the Ramayana. In case you were worrying. And I had lunch with my editor at Bloomsbury. Oddly enough, Dave and Claire McKean were at the next table (in town to hang an exhibition of art at Foyles). It was lucky that my editor really liked the new The Graveyard Book cover, and so did I, or bread rolls might have been flung.


It's worth drawing people's attention to the fact that the free online reading copy of American Gods is now in its last six days online (it ends 31 March 08). I learned this from an email from Harper Collins, which also told me the latest batch of statistics.

For American Gods:

68,000 unique visitors to the book pages of American Gods

3,000,000 book pages viewed in aggregate

And that the weekly book sales of American Gods have apparently gone up by 300%, rather than tumbling into the abyss. (Which is -- the rise, not the tumble -- what I thought would happen. Or at least, what I devoutly hoped would happen.)

The book is up at This URL, if you're interested, or want to pass it along to a friend.

I was wondering if you'd consider giving a shout out for Don Rosa, the prolific writer/artist behind many great Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck comics. He is spending the next six months recuperating from surgery for a detached retina, and I thought people might like to keep him in their thoughts and prayers.

Of course. We used to sit together a lot at foreign conventions, Don and I. People would look at us puzzled, and obviously wonder why the Uncle Scrooge guy was talking to the Sandman guy and what we could possibly have to talk about. Mostly I would be learning all about hummingbird feeders and bluebirds, and how to look after woodlands and suchlike, and sometimes I would be explaining to Don how comics business was conducted outside of Disney, and he would take that information and use it to better his lot across Europe. He's a really good guy, and I hope he recovers quickly.

Dear Neil,

This isn't a question, but rather, an apology for something I've felt badly about for quite a while now. I attended your reading and signing, in Toronto, for Anansi Boys. It was a fabulous evening, and I was lucky enough to be one of the first people in line to have my book signed. You drew me a very nice Mr. Punch, unasked, much to my delight. Thank you for that.

The reason I need to apologize is because, of the many photos I took that evening, one fills me with such terrible guilt I can't even look at it. The reason? My camera's auto flash setting. Which turned back on every time my camera went into standby, and which I'd not thought about until I perpetrated the following upon you . . .

There's one photo I snapped of you during your reading where you have extremely intense red-eye happening, and I can only imagine the blinding that must have caused. I am so, so sorry. I fully intended to respect the no-flash policy, and should have remembered to switch off the default setting. Every time I walk by that church, I feel terrible guilt. Moreso than I normally feel when walking past any church.

It's a small thing, and it's ridiculously late in coming, but I thought I'd at least get it said. Now my church-related guilt levels can return to their normal, questionably healthy levels.

Thanks, and sorry,

Not to worry. I have world class photographic red-eye pretty much all the time. As a general rule, if it's taken with a flash, I look like I am possessed by the blazing forces of darkness, at least in the eye department.


It's sold a lot of copies, but Odd and the Frost Giants hasn't got many reviews -- is one of the few.

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