Thursday, January 13, 2005

Neil Gaiman

In October my daughter and I attended (actually, I worked and she pouted) the National Book Fair on the Mall in Washington DC. I worked in the children and teens and children pavilions but never got to walk around to the other ones. Next year I plan on not working, just enjoying.

On the way out I allowed Clare to look in the Book Sales tent. When she was finished she mentioned that she wanted a book called Coraline. She had heard of it from a friend. A few weeks later she was at a book store and we tried to buy the book but it was not in stock. The book store sales person wrote down the name of the author, Neil Gaiman. I looked him up online, but didn't buy the book. I did suggest to people that they give it to her for Christmas though.

We like to listen to books on tape on long car trips, so this time I checked out from the library the audio version of Coraline read by the author. We all found it to be delightful and I made a note to pick up more of his books when I had a chance.

The other day I bought myself Smoke and Mirrors, a collection of short stories by Gaiman and Good Omens, a novel written with Terry Pratchett. I began reading Smoke and Mirrors the night I got it and am in love with the writing. I wrote the following on 100 words:

January Batch - 13

Sometimes, discovering a new author is like falling in love. If that is the case then I must be in love with Neil Gaiman*. His writing is so refreshing and readable that I cannot seem to get enough of it. We listened to his Coraline on the drive to Illinois and I recently bought myself two of his books, Smoke and Mirrors and Good Omens, written with Terry Pratchett. Something about his writing, his voice, tickles my insides and makes me feel good all over.

*Of course I am not really in love with Mr. Gaiman -- just with his writing.

What I like about Gaiman is mostly his humor. He writes in a style that is amusing and clever and intelligent. Another reason I like him is his accessibility. He has a journal on his site that he updates regularly. Recently someone wrote him and asked about literary agents. He answered her in depth on his blog so she and anyone else interested in the subject could learn from him and his experiences.

I hope someday to see him on tour. Had I known of him, I could have seen him in October when he was at the very book fair where I worked in the science fiction and fantasy pavilion. Until then I will just have to watch the cybercast (click on Neil Gaiman under Science Fiction and Fantasy and wait for the real player popup) instead.

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