Tuesday, April 07, 2009

In the wee small hours of the morning

I think it's time to see what's in the mailbox. I think I'll just grab the last half dozen or so messages that came in and answer, rather than pick them out and select, and see what happens:

I am running under XP Professional SP3. I have three internal drives and two external USB drives. Occasionally the drive letters of one of the internal drives and one of the external drives are exchanged. I have unable to determine the cause. Can you help?

I'm afraid not.


My question is in regards to the upcoming book tour. At the signing sessions will I be able to bring my Sandman book to get signed? or is it only the new book that Neil will be signing?

Thank you for your time Darrell Moher.

When I do book signing tours you're normally welcome to bring anything along to be signed, but I don't think I'm doing a signing tour currently.

Hi Neil,

Kind of a circuitous question, but here we go. Recently, I came across a character in a book whose name was Grace-of-God Milacar, who in turn made me think of your assortment of Witchfinder Army recruits with similar hyphenated religious names. Then I found out that there was a 17th century English economist named Nicholas Unless-Jesus-Christ-Had-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned Barbon, apparently the son of one Praise-God Barbon. I was wondering if Mr. Barbon was an inspiration for the names in Good Omens? Or did you have a different source?


There were lots of great Puritan names like that. I don't think any specific one was our inspiration. A quick google showed a bunch of them at (Here's Nicholas "Damned" Barbon's Wikipedia entry.)

I was wondering who contributed to the image of Robin Goodfellow in The Kindly Ones. Was it yours or the artist's? And what was the inspiration for him?

I've never seen a representation of him like that and I was intrigued

Charles Vess originally designed that version of Robin Goodfellow in Sandman #19, based on my script. ABSOLUTE SANDMAN Volume 1 has the original script and design work for "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in it, and if you read that, all will be made clear.

Good Evening!

I am such a big fan (right, like you've never heard that before)! Imagine my surprise to see you walk into Amazing Thailand in Uptown on April 5 (I was with the large group in front of the window). I have to admit, I had to force myself to stay in my seat and not run all fan-girly up to you and ask for your autograph. At any rate, I just wanted to say that I love your work, especially the movie "Coraline". I am trying to convince my husband that it's the perfect name for a future baby girl. Hope you enjoyed your food as much as I did (it really is "amazing"). ~Mary

Thank you. I would probably have been very nice, if slightly taken aback, if you had run over and asked for me to scribble on something, and I am sure I would have scribbled very cheerfully. And yes, the food was lovely.

Many people, which includes my parents, are doubtful of my choice of career of being a writer and artist, for both comics and novels. Before you had the job you have now, how often (if at all) were people doubtful that you would become the successful writer you are today?


I don't think it ever occurred to anyone that I would be the successful writer I am today, not even me. I'm not quite sure how it happened. I liked the idea of a world in which I could feed my family by making things up and writing them down, and even that seemed pretty unlikely for the first few years.


I've noticed that since you've been accessing Twitter that you don't blog daily. I guess twittering is best for your friends and keeps them in touch with your daily life, but why should we humble fans suffer?

I didn't realise that humble fans were actually suffering. Sorry.

Um, the main reason I'm blogging less is that I was blogging less anyway. I've been blogging here for over eight years now, for a total of a bit over one and a quarter million words (per the stats) and I'm tending to blog less right now partly because I keep thinking "Well, I've already blogged about that..." and partly because the most fun project I'm doing right now is confidential and I can't talk about it yet, and mostly because there's just less time for everything right now - the volume of email's higher than it's ever been, the number of invitations to be places, requests to do things, all that, is just higher than it's ever been, and this year promoting the CORALINE movie, winning the Newbery (which also means that more people want me to do more things) and trying to have a personal life in which I do more than write and sleep means that there's even less time than there is normally.

My deal with myself is that I'll blog here until the day that blogging feels like work, and on that day I'll stop. We're not there yet, but we're closer than we've ever been, just because time is tighter than it's ever been.

(This blog entry is being written because I just woke up after three or four hours sleep, realised I was wide awake, and opened the computer to reply to some backlogged emails.)

Twitter's interesting and relatively new, and I'm fascinated right now by where it's going. It's definitely not blogging, but by the same token, I'm amused that three or four 140 character (um, that's about 25 words) twitter posts cause people to start asking how I find the time for all that twittering. It's also not a reliable communication tool: I can be offline for a day -- or even for a few hours -- and completely miss 1500 twitters from people directed at me.


A few links: The Onion reviews A Walking Tour of the Shambles.

Science fiction great Fred Pohl is blogging.

It looks like Coraline is being released in Australia in August now, not May (a bad thing), although it's no longer being called Coraline and the Secret Door (a good thing).

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