Monday, November 30, 2009

Amazing Audio Things, and Pictures. No Blood Anywhere.

For those of you who missed it, here's the NPR "Open Mike" piece I did on audiobooks... You can listen to it here, or download it, or email it...

And here, at closer to full length, are the interviews I did with Martin Jarvis and David Sedaris. If you enjoyed the piece, they are filled with wonderful bits that didn't make it in. And the Martin Jarvis interview is practically a masterclass in how to approach doing Audiobooks.

(The strangest moment for me in the Martin Jarvis interview is when he talks about remembering the voices of teachers, and names John Branston and Dick Glynne Jones. I went to Whitgift School in Croydon, which Martin had also attended twenty years before me, and I was taught by both of them. I was in John Branston's production of Julius Caesar at the Fairfield Halls -- and was taught O-level English by Dick Glynne Jones. As he said their names, I thought "He can't be talking about the same people..." but of course, he was.)

There's a sort of interview with me, and a gallery of snapshots, over at I love the low-tech magic of the camera, and the wonderful hodgepodge nature of the shots, particularly the ones that are a mixture of art and documentary, such as the moment when a collapsing shelf deposited the contents of a make-up bag into a toilet, Amanda's doomed attempts to make friends with sheep, or a photo that should not have come out (given the amount of available light) of my goddaughters watching the DVD of Coraline with their 3D specs on...

For me, the most exciting bit is that they gave Dave McKean a camera to play with. I can't wait to see what he did.

I've grabbed a few more shots from their gallery. Here's the Queen of Sheep herself...

Maddy's friend Claire, at San Diego airport...

And here's Ivy McCloud (almost invisible, far right) and my goddaughters and their friend...


I was reading the book "Coraline". I finished then told my parents about it. I was wondering if this book has any religouiseness to it. I tried, but only found what you've writen so i'm hoping you can tell. Just curiose

I don't think so. Although I think people bring religious points of view to books, and read them from those perspectives.

You sounded good on NPR this morning, so good you need your own radio show.

If I sound good, it's because Maeve McGoran, my producer, and Barry Gordemer, the editor, did such a sterling job. Finding the time to make this, to do the interviews and put it all together, took months. I'd love to do more radio, for NPR or for Radio Four in the UK, but I think it will always be little one-off projects. But I loved doing it.


Here's one that contains a Graveyard Book spoiler:

Dear Mr. Gaiman:

How is Silas erasing Scarlett’s memory of events preceding justified in The Graveyard Book? When the reason given isn’t satisfactory, and is it?, doesn’t it become the Problem of Scarlett? You know what I mean. I've just about read the Problem of Susan from Fragile Things which was so brave of you to write or, rather, re-write.

I thought it was so god-like of Silas to do what he did at the same time so unnatural of him to. It meant a reasonably strong character like her couldn't stare reality in its face bravely and overcome it which is what fairy-tales are about, be it children's, YA's, or adult's.

Your Sandman fan,

Silas did what he did because he thought it was for the best. Whether it was the wisest thing he could have done, in the circumstances, remains to be seen.


Hi Neil,
I live in Naperville, IL, and I just heard about your appearance in February for the Naperville Reads program. No one around town seems to have a whole lot of information about the events so far though. I was wondering if you had more information about what you'll be doing here, and if any of the events will be open to the public? Thanks!

I don't know yet. When I get a schedule, I'll put it here, and at Where's Neil.

Before I book flights I was wondering if you could let us know if you're doing a signing at the NZ talk, or if you plan on doing a signing elsewhere in Wellington that weekend? I'd hate to have to get back on the plane only to discover later that I'd missed out on a signing op at Arty Bees Books by mere hours...
And your Captcha anti-spam thing just asked me to write down "$2-mil manistee". I thought you should know.


I think there's a signing or two involved, but it'll be organised by the Festival (tickets to the main event at (The signings normally follow the events.) I plan to go to Amanda's gig, and will probably sign afterwards to keep her company.

Hi, Neil! Are going to sign any books at UCLA on February 4th, 2010? If so,before or after the discussion? Or do can we buy signed books?

I don't believe there are signings at the UCSB or the UCLA talks. I know I've been asked to sign sheets to stick in books (or perhaps to presign books), so there will definitely be something available.

Hi Neil,

Don't know if anyone's pointed it out to you, but the postscript at the end of your article in The Writer's and Artist's Year Book has the films of Beowulf and Stardust being released in 1987!




Yup. And the wonderful Chris Riddell is Paul Riddell in the text as well. Ah well. Mysterious goofs happen.


Finally, a message from Beth at Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs:

Would you please put up a little plug for the current Vampire sets and tees? I'd like people's winter money to go to a good cause, and we're getting to our cutoff date on orders that we can get out to people in time for Christmas. The perfume plus tarot card sets are at:

And the tees are at:

The Snow, Glass, Apples locket is at:

We still have a few sets of Sunbird left:

I'm happy to plug them here. They'll make great gifts. The Sunbird scent is amazing, comes with a chapbook, and is almost gone. The proceeds from the scents and tee shirts go to the CBLDF. The proceeds from the lockets and medallion go to Alzheimer's Research.

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