The official Neil Gaiman Website for younger Readers
ANANSI BOYS. I got stuck for months in the middle.
I quite like having more than one thing on the go. Then when I get stuck on one thing I can go and mess around with something else.
There’s a book set in the STARDUST world called WALL, which I began before STARDUST and will finish one of these days, really.
I’d love to write a book with Roger Zelazny, or with my friend John M. Ford, but I would want them alive again so we could collaborate. I don’t know. I love what Diane Wynne Jones does.
AMERICAN GODS was the longest. So it probably had more interesting bits and more bits that made me wish that I wasn’t a writer any more and that I could go and get the kind of job that didn’t involve making things up.
Depends on the story. I often use the computer for the second draft, so that what I type in is slightly better than what I wrote by hand.
Glad you liked it! Terry and I like it too. I can’t imagine that we’d ever do it again, though.
I think that would be a bit intimidating. When I read his last short story collection I thought it might be fun to write an audio thing.
You may be thinking of a story of mine called THE PRICE.
Maybe one day. And there’s a book called ANANSI BOYS which may sort of do some AMERICAN GODS things in a different direction.
A: Not really. It would have to be as good as CORALINE, for a start, and not something we’ve seen told again.
A: Very well.
A: Argh. I do not know. They just seemed right.
A: Not really. The story in MIRROR MASK is Dave McKean’s, a dream he had that he wanted to tell as a story.
A: I knew them, and what they were, pretty much before I knew anything else. Originally I thought that Miss Lupescu would be there from the start, but when I wrote the book she didn’t turn up until Chapter Three.
A: What a great question. Here’s another nine songs for a ten-song playlist:
I think every graveyard, and every grave, will take you somewhere.
A: It’s not that the ghouls actually were the people they call themselves after. Each ghoul names itself after its first meal, once it has become a ghoul, and they like to make it someone important, so they can boast about it.
A: The last few pages. I wonder what happens next.
A: I got pretty sniffly on the last few pages of The Graveyard Book, when I wrote the first draft in longhand, late at night down at the bottom of the garden in the February cold. I used to get angry when books made my eyes sting, as if the author or the book had somehow taken advantage of me. Now I think it’s wonderful that I can be made to care.
A: Silas is a Very Important Character in THE GRAVEYARD BOOK. Also, he is Bod’s Guardian.
A: I will, yes, but it will go to very different places—and it may not get back to the Graveyard.
A: WRITE. FINISH THINGS. KEEP WRITING.
A: I start off a story when I know where it begins; and the dialogue is something I mostly do by being quiet and listening.
A: I cheat and write something else in the meanwhile.
A: I think trees and wildness make a good graveyard, and the feeling that nature is out to reclaim its own. And peace. The best graveyards are such peaceful places. My favorite graveyards are Highgate Cemetery (West), Abney Park (Stoke Newington) and Glasgow Necropolis.
A: Strangely, books never frightened me. Short stories frightened me, I think because so much happened before or after the story, and there was so much to know. I was terrified as a boy by Charles Birkin’s story “The Harlem Horror” (about a couple whose daughter had been turned into a circus freak by a mad scientist), and Manly Wade Wellman’s “School for the Unspeakable,” which I read in one of the Armada Books of Ghost Stories, published for children.
A: I just finished a book called The Irregulars, about Roald Dahl’s wartime exploits as a British Spy in America. Great fun.
Also, if they haven’t read Coraline they should. I forget who wrote it, though.
A: I’d like to go on a road trip from Narnia to Oz. I could stop off in Ursula K. Leguin’s EARTHSEA and Roger Zelazny’s AMBER on the way. But, I don’t think I’d want to be anyone else’s character.
A: I pretty much always enjoy them. Sometimes I shake my head and wish they had done something a different way, but mostly they just make me happy—it’s a wonderful thing to see creative people take an idea of yours and try to make it real.
A: I don’t think I can answer that. But I love Delirium and Merv Pumpkinhead and Silas and Anaesthesia and the Little Hairy Man in STARDUST—the kind of characters who never stand in the spotlight, but who make the book work.
A: It spooks me too.
A: It’s Gaym’n.
A: It’s a painted piece of wood with Beware of the Mongoose on it… oh, you didn’t mean that sign. I was born on November the tenth, 1960, which makes me a Scorpio Rat.
A: There used to be a sort of unofficial fan club and info service called the MAGIAN LINE, but once the web started and information was easy to find it drifted out of use.
A: Come close. Closer. Okay. Lean over here. Now…. I’m going to whisper. Nope, closer, so only you can hear…. …nope. I’m not.
A: It’s a formal title. Like The Honorable, or Mister President. My full title is Critically Acclaimed and Award Winning Author Neil Gaiman. But because we’re friends you can call me Neil for short.
A: As a child I liked to explore the gardens and grounds of old, empty houses in the town I lived in. Now I like exploring stories best.
A: Probably the colobus. It’s something in the eyes.
A: I could tell you. But then Clive Barker and your dad would have to kill me.
A: Clive and I have been friends for about eighteen years now. We met because people kept mistaking us for each other, which puzzled us as we don’t look much alike. I put off reading THIEF OF ALWAYS for years, because I was afraid it would be too much like CORALINE, and finally read it a few years ago when I was asked to get involved in the film adaptation, and was relieved that it wasn’t. Good book.
A: I don’t know the mysterious Mr Snicket, but I am fortunate enough to know his associate, Mr Daniel Handler of San Francisco, who is charming and delightful and the accordion player for the Magnetic Fields.
A: Well, there are a lot of them who are pretty much me — lots of narrators of short stories, are as me as you can get. But there’s bits of me in all of them. I’m not sure I’d want to be any of the ones I’ve written. But there are a few in books I’ve not yet written whose shoes I’d like to inhabit for a while.
A: A pomegranate, I expect. Or a mango.
A: I don’t know. When it comes to signings, I go where the publisher sends me. If they say ‘Go to Peoria’ to Peoria I shall go.
A: Tim Burton came along much too late to inspire me. I think the people who influence you probably did it before you were twenty – in my case the list would have to include C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Harlan Ellison, Lou Reed, R. A. Lafferty, E. Nesbit, David Bowie, Jim Henson, Roger Zelazny, Will Eisner, Dr Who (the Hartnell, Troughton and Pertwee incarnations), Jules Feiffer, Noel Langley, Ursula K. LeGuin, Michael Moorcock, Hope Mirrlees, Margaret Storey, Robert Heinlein, Al Stewart, Charles Addams and the people who did the black and white episodes of The Avengers… and that’s just for starters…
A: I think it was always sparked reading the Roger Lancelyn Green Legends of the Norsemen and Legends of Ancient Egypt when I was seven certainly fanned the flames.
A: I get stories from everywhere, and yes, artwork is one of those places. I wrote a number of stories inspired by Lisa Snellings statues, for example.
A: I think my favourite city is Venice. I like architecture when it evokes something interesting.
A: Because dreams are important.
A: Depends on the translator – many of them send me e-mails asking me to clarify things for them, and I’m always willing to help.
A: A few words here and there — the UK edition is metric, so it has centimetres, while the US edition is in feet and inches.
A: I’m not sure — I do know that they are out there, because I’ve signed them in Buenos Aires. The publisher of most of the books in Spanish is NORMA EDITORIAL.
A: Cool! There’s lots more Snicket than Gaiman to read, of course. For kids, anyway. For adults it’s the other way around.
A: I don’t think so. Ideas are often very similar. It’s what you do with them that makes the magic.
A: As long as he’ll let me.