And the much longer version....
Neil Gaiman was born in Hampshire, UK, and
now lives in the United States near Minneapolis. As a child he discovered his
love of books, reading, and stories, devouring the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R.
Tolkien, James Branch Cabell, Edgar Allan Poe, Michael Moorcock, Ursula K.
LeGuin, Gene Wolfe, and G.K. Chesterton. A self-described "feral child who was
raised in libraries,"
Gaiman credits librarians with fostering a life-long love of reading: "I wouldn't
be who I am without libraries. I was the sort of kid who devoured books, and my
happiest times as a boy were when I persuaded my parents to drop me off in the
local library on their way to work, and I spent the day there. I discovered
that librarians actually want to help you: they taught me about interlibrary
Early Writing Career
Gaiman began his writing career in England as
a journalist. His first book was a Duran Duran biography that took him three
months to write, and his second was a biography of Douglas Adams, 'Don't Panic:
The Official Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy Companion.' Gaiman describes
his early writing: "I was very, very good at taking a voice that already
existed and parodying or pastiching it." 'Violent Cases' was the first
of many collaborations with artist Dave McKean. This early graphic novel led
to their series 'Black Orchid,' published by DC Comics.
The groundbreaking series 'Sandman' followed,
collecting a large number of US awards in its 75 issue run, including nine Will
Eisner Comic Industry Awards and three Harvey Awards. In 1991, 'Sandman'
became the first comic ever to receive a literary award, the 1991 World Fantasy
Award for Best Short Story.
Established Writer & Creator
Neil Gaiman is credited with being one of the
creators of modern comics, as well as an author whose work crosses genres and
reaches audiences of all ages. He is listed in the Dictionary of Literary
Biography as one of the top ten living post-modern writers and is a prolific
creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and
Gaiman has achieved cult status and attracted
increased media attention, with recent profiles in The New Yorker
magazine and by 'CBS News Sunday Morning.'
Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Social Media
Audiences for science fiction and fantasy
form a substantial part of Gaiman's fan base, and he has continuously used
social media to communicate with readers. In 2001, Gaiman became one of the
first writers to establish a blog, which now has over a million regular
In 2008, Gaiman joined Twitter as
@neilhimself and now has over 1.5 million followers and counting on the
micro-blogging site. He won the Twitter category in the inaugural Author Blog
Awards, and his adult novel 'American Gods' was the first selection for the One
Book, One Twitter (1b1t) book
Writing for Young Readers
Neil Gaiman writes books for readers of all
ages, including the following collections and picture books for young readers:
'M is for Magic' (2007); 'Interworld' (2007), co-authored with Michael Reaves;
'The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish' (1997); 'The Wolves in the Walls'
(2003); the Greenaway-shortlisted 'Crazy Hair' (2009), illustrated by Dave
McKean; 'The Dangerous Alphabet' (2008), illustrated by Gris Grimly; 'Blueberry
Girl' (2009); and 'Instructions' (2010), illustrated by Charles Vess; and 'Chu’s Day' (2013), illustrated by Adam Rex.
Gaiman's books are genre works that refuse to
remain true to their genres. Gothic horror was out of fashion in the early
1990s when Gaiman started work on 'Coraline' (2002). Originally considered too
frightening for children, 'Coraline' went on to win the British Science Fiction
Award, the Hugo, the Nebula, the Bram Stoker, and the American Elizabeth
Burr/Worzalla award. 'Odd and the Frost Giants', originally written for 2009's
World Book Day, has gone on to receive worldwide critical acclaim.
'The Wolves in the Walls' was made into an
opera by the Scottish National Theatre in
2006, and 'Coraline' was adapted as a musical by Stephin Merritt in 2009.
Writing for Adults
Gaiman is the New York Times
bestselling author of the novels 'Neverwhere' (1995), 'Stardust' (1999), the
Hugo and Nebula Award-winning 'American Gods' (2001), 'Anansi Boys' (2005), and
'Good Omens' (with Terry Pratchett, 1990), as well as the short story
collections 'Smoke and Mirrors' (1998) and 'Fragile Things' (2006).
His first collection of short fiction, 'Smoke
and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions,' was nominated for the UK's
MacMillan Silver Pen Awards as the best short story collection of the year.
Most recently, Gaiman was both a contributor to and co-editor with Al
Sarrantonio of 'Stories' (2010), and his own story in the volume, 'The Truth Is
A Cave In The Black Mountains,' has been nominated for a number of awards.
'American Gods' has just been released in an
expanded tenth anniversary edition, and there is an HBO series in the works.
Film and Television
Gaiman wrote the screenplay for the original
BBC TV series of 'Neverwhere' (1996); Dave McKean's first feature film,
'Mirrormask' (2005), for the Jim Henson Company; and cowrote the script to
Robert Zemeckis's 'Beowulf.' He produced 'Stardust,' Matthew Vaughn's film
based on Gaiman's book by the same name.
He has written and directed two films: 'A
Short Film About John Bolton' (2002) and Sky Television's 'Statuesque' (2009)
starring Bill Nighy and Amanda Palmer.
An animated feature film based on Gaiman's
'Coraline,' directed by Henry Selick and released in early 2009, secured a
BAFTA for Best Animated Film and was nominated for an Oscar in the same
Gaiman's 2011 episode of Doctor Who, "The
Doctor's Wife," caused the Times to describe him as "a hero."
'The Graveyard Book'
First published in the UK at the end of 2008,
'The Graveyard Book' has won the UK's Booktrust Prize for Teenage Fiction and
the Newbery Medal, the highest honor given in US children's literature, as well
as the Locus Young Adult Award and the Hugo Best Novel Prize. The awarding of
the 2010 UK CILIP Carnegie Medal makes Gaiman the first author ever to win both
the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal with the same book. 'The Graveyard
Book,' with its illustrations by Chris Riddell, was also shortlisted for the
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration – the first time a book has made
both Medal shortlists in 30 years.
"Twenty-three years ago, we lived in a little
Sussex town in a tall house across the lane from a graveyard. We didn't have a
garden, and our 18-month-old son loved riding a tricycle. If he tried riding in
the house he would have died because there were stairs everywhere, so every day
I would take him down our precipitous stairs, and he would ride his little
tricycle round and round the gravestones. As I watched him happily toddling I
would think about how incredibly at home he looked. I thought that I could do
something like 'The Jungle Book' with that same equation of boy, orphaned,
growing up somewhere else, but I could do it in a graveyard. I had that idea
when I was 24 years old. I sat down and tried writing it and thought, 'This is
a really good idea, and this isn't very good writing. I'm not good enough for
this yet, and I will put it off until I'm better."
The film adaptation of 'The Graveyard Book'
is in production.