Monday, December 22, 2008

it was just meant to be some snow photos but i kept adding to it...

A handful of photos from the last two days. The first two were taken while it was snowing, the others the next day, after the snow had stopped. They tend to have a dog in them, because if I'm walking anywhere, he's off ahead, scouting for danger and potential rabbits.







Have you seen/heard about the Coraline keys yet? I was on my way to work yesterday and walked past a boarded up building that is usually covered by posters and pretty wonderful street art.

Yesterday it was covered with keys. I looked closer and realized that the tops of they keys were buttons, and grabbed one because they were lovely looking. They were also made of metal, and had a good heft. Once I realized that they were for Coraline, I grabbed a BUNCH (there were literally at LEAST a hundred).

I can send along a picture if you like.

Just wanted to let you know! (I'm in Chicago, by the way). I also have a couple to customers at the bookshop where I work, and was especially happy to give one to the couple who bought a copy of Coraline. That was nifty.


So I wrote back and said, No, this was a new one on me, and yes, I'd love to see pictures.

Hi again!

Here are links to the last few keys left on the wall. Also, a photobooth picture so you can see the key up close (albeit backwards).

Hope you're not buried in too much snow up there - we keep getting waves of it here.

Thank you again for everything you do. You are one of my favorite authors to handsell at the shop where I work (and have been for years) - I'm always trying to convert new people.

Happy holidaze!

-Lauren Vega

Thank you Lauren.

At the end of the Coraline screening, two code words turned up on the screen. I learned from that they have to do with a limited edition of a thousand pairs of Coraline sneakers, that you win, rather than buy.


Dear Neil

if I click on your name in, I get one set of bestselling books. If I type your name and search for you I get a completely different set of bestselling books.  Why is this?


That's a bit mad, I thought. So I tried it. Clicked on my name as the author of The Graveyard Book, and got this set of books (with Absolute Sandmans 3 and 4 in the top ten), then tried typing in my name,  which gave me a whole Amazon Store of me, with no Absolute Sandmans to be seen anywhere, and a completely different bestselling order.

As to why is this... I have no idea. With luck, someone at Amazon is reading this and will write and enlighten us all.


Jouni Koponen's amazing prints arrived. I thought about it, and decided that I'd have enough to send out as New Year gifts, and, given that a lot of people were about to be disappointed, I could forego the copies that would go into my basement (or possibly attic) to be pulled out in the years to come as gifts to charities who need things to be auctioned. So I've sent 250 of the Jouni prints to Cat... (she blogs it at, 
and you can order them at

Meanwhile, my Xmas card from Jouni arrived. And he's put it up on his blog...


When things get quiet I'll sign things. (I ought to do it while I'm on the phone. Sometimes I do.)
is the saga of one man's autographing Odyssey.

Over on the FPI blog, I am interviewed and eat lunch. 
Also you get a nice link to Todd Klein's wonderful prints. Todd has now sold the last of the first printing of the print we did together, and is on to the second printing. He's selling them signed (by me and by Alan Moore and Alex Ross respectively) for $20 each. Details at


Hi, I was sort of wondering about your thoughts of 'literary fiction' and 'genre fiction' and the mixes of both. I would classify your work as something of a mix, leaning towards the literary side.

This has actually been something of concern to me. I'm writing stories and I'm working on a novel (that hopefully I'll complete) and I've sort of been thinking about that a lot lately, about how such a work as mine would be received and looked at critically and all those sorts of things.


I don't worry about it. I don't think about it. It's not something I feel I need to bother with. People put the books where they want to put them, but the books don't change. As long as I have covers that make the books like they might be pleasant reading experiences, as long as people mostly find out about them from other people who liked them rather than being told they needed to read them as a chore, I'm happy. (I'm easily satisfied.)

From where I stand, worrying about how something you are writing is going to be received critically while you're writing it is a whole lot of wasted worrying: there's nothing you can do about it anyway. Why not worry about making what you're writing the best thing that it can be, which is something you can do something about?

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