what do you make of the recent scotsman interview with moffat - particularly the bit where he says it's hard being a middle-class white male? (i'd include the link if tumblr let me.)
I was once interviewed by The Scotsman about Tim Hunter from Books of Magic and his resemblance to Harry Potter, and I spent the whole of the interview explaining that I didn’t think that Rowling had ever read Books of Magic and that the things they had in common (bespectacled English dark haired kids with magical ability, owls etc) were coincidence.
And I remember being surprised to read stories in the UK press following that interview saying that I was claiming to have been ripped off by J. K . Rowling, and learning they were all basing it on what The Scotsman had printed, which wasn’t anything like what I’d actually said.
And I wasn’t very surprised, not really, because 12 years earlier I’d stopped being a Uk newspaper journalist when I noticed that copy-editors were rewriting interviews I’d done with people to “jazz them up” and “make them sexier”, and discovered from editors that so much of what went on in Newspapers was made up in the office.
And when I won the Carnegie Medal I was interviewed by lots of newspapers, and I talked about libraries and literacy and life, and answered an off-handed question about vampires by saying that I felt there was a bit of a glut out there, and the headlines and articles the next day were all Gaiman Attacks Twilight (which I hadn’t).
Which is a long way around saying, I’ve not read it, and I wouldn’t attach much importance to it if I had. It may or may not have been an accurate reflection of something Steven Moffat did or did not say, or what a journalist thought he said, or what someone back at the office thought was a sexy lead. It may have been a joke or a line taken out of context, or something that the reporter thought Steven had said that he didn’t. It’s a newspaper interview. Like sausages and the law, you can only respect them if you’ve not seen them being made.
Amanda & Neil will be your hosts with the mosts, and Steven Mitchell Wright and The Danger Ensemble will ensure that you absolutely do not feel (too) comfortable for one moment too long…. also providing special theatrical diversions of a savory nature. If you look in the bathroom: YOU MIGHT FIND A NICE SURPRISE. you might also be kidnapped. don’t worry, we’ll bring you back.
Near midnight, the author and wonderful trash-arian Marieke 'women of letters' Hardy is going to furnish us all with letter-writing tools. Together, we will pen - under her direction - missives to those beyond the trash masquerade. expect the unexpected. except maybe expect to cry.
Musical prowess will be provided by The Jane Austen Argument, The Bedroom Philosopher, Mikelangelo and Saint Clare, Lyndon 'Flaming Violin' Chester, Lance Horne and another special guest so special we can’t even announce her yet. (but it’s a BIG FUCKING DEAL, we promise.) Neil will read, Amanda will sing, and the two of them will give you some tastes of the songs they played together on their recent tour in the states. it will be DIVINE. so much talent the stage will EXPLODE!
Tickets and VIP “Champagne and Goody Bag and Special Seats and Come To Soundcheck” tickets are onsale now.
Why do so many magicians seem to have alligators or crocodiles hanging from their rafters?
I knew that when I was seven. It was explained in The Magic Bedknob, by Mary Norton. Hang on, I will find the quote:
Gradually, the children discovered other treasures: a chart on which the signs of the zodiac were nicely touched up by Miss Price in water color; a sheep’s skull; a chocolate box full of dried mice; herbs in bunches; a pot of growing hemlock and one of witch’s bane; a small stuffed alligator, which hung by two wires from the ceiling.
"What are alligators used for, Miss Price?" asked Paul.
Again Miss Price’s long training in truthfulness overcame her longing to impress. “Nothing much,” she said. “They’re out of date now. I like to have it there for the look of it.”
To what extent do you consider yourself a part of contemporary Jewish literature? Is it just an incidental element of yourself that doesn't factor into how you evaluate your work (or critiques of your work) or is it something you've thought more about at various phases of your career?
I have no idea what contemporary Jewish literature is.
I mean, I’m me, I write and I’m Jewish. I’ve written comics (and have found myself written about in several books and articles on Jews in Comics, because we go back all the way to the Siegels and Shusters and Eisners and Kanes and Kirbys and Lees and Kurtzmans…) and SF (and it’s astonishing how many SF writers are/were Jewish) which makes me more or less part of something or other.
And Sandman was on the cover of the Jewish Chronicle Magazine in the UK, and someone wrote in to say that the panel in question (the old man saying the Sh’ma as he died in Sandman 8) was blasphemous, so I think I must have been doing something right.
But I don’t give any thought to “How I evaluate my work or critiques of my work”. I’d rather get on with the next thing, and let other people worry about the critiques or the evaluation. That way I am not taking work away from academics, who enjoy that stuff, and are wiser about it than I will ever be.
I am not sure why I was surprised by how nice your singing voice sounds, but I was. Is there anything you are bad at?
Sure. You would not want me driving your taxi or putting up your shelves.
I’m appalling at tidying up - I always mean well when I start, but then I find interesting things on the way, and never quite get there.
I’m completely useless at any kind of organised sports, and spent my entire school experience dreading any kind of games that involved running around, throwing or catching things, which I would unerringly miss, drop, or (most usually) be thinking of something else and never notice.
I just got my Doctor Who–The Brilliant Book 2012. The first thing I did was search the table of contents for all of the Neil Gaimany Goodness. It is all lovely! I remember an interview with Christopher Eccleston as he began his Doctor days and he said he'd be happy if he captured the 8-12 year old fans. He did better than that as did the writers. Did you have a target age group in mind when writing for Doctor Who or has it evolved beyond even needing to think of such things?
When I wrote my Doctor Who episode, I wanted to write the kind of story that would work if you were eight and work if you were sixty, even if it worked in different ways.
And that seemed important: that it be an episode for someone who had never see Doctor Who before and was watching it on a sofa with a parent reassuringly close, and that it would also be for someone like me who had grown up with Doctor Who, who remembered William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton when they were first broadcast.
Glad you liked The Brilliant Book. I love that I got to write my own little slice of Corsair fan-fiction in there, and it’s now sort-of true.
Terri is the creator of groundbreaking fantasy and mythic art and literature over the past several decades, ranging from the influential urban fantasy series Bordertown to the online Journal of Mythic Arts. With co-editor Ellen Datlow, she changed the face of contemporary short fiction with The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and other award-winning anthologies, including Silver Birch, Blood Moon and The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest. Her remarkable Endicott Studio blog continues to bring music, poetry, art and inspiration to people all over the world.
Terri Windling and her family have been coping with health and legal issues that have drained her financial resources at a critical time. Due to the serious nature of these issues, and privacy concerns for individual family members, we can’t be more specific than that, but Terri is in need of our support. As a friend, a colleague and an inspiration, Terri has touched many, many lives over the years. She has been supremely generous in donating her own work and art to support friends and colleagues in crisis. Now, Terri is in need of some serious help from her community. Who better than her colleagues and fans to rise up to make some magick for her?
Through the next 18 days, we’ll be posting personal offerings from the likes of Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, Wendy & Brian Froud, and many more!
When Dad passed on I suppose Mum was my first audience, as well as being my most willing and my most appreciative. She thought the world of me, my mum. She gave a little gasp and filled up when I did his voice and said, ‘I always loved you, Irene.’
Knowing Dad, it was a safe bet that he’d never told her that in life, and when I saw the comfort that I’d brought that woman, my own mum, that’s when I knew I had a gift. That’s when I knew what Ricky Sullivan had been put on this earth for. Oh, there’ll always be the unbelievers and debunkers in the papers, on the telly or what have you and it does, it makes me angry when they say people like me are cold, unfeeling, just taking advantage and all that. I’m sorry, but if they could see the happiness in people’s faces, if they really thought about the service me and others like me are providing, giving people strength to get on with their lives when they’ve just lost a loved one, well, they couldn’t say the things they say. I’m sorry, they just couldn’t. I don’t have to justify myself.
are there things you've had published that you don't let your children read?
I think my kids (and kids in general) are pretty good at self-censoring. I’m pretty sure that I told Maddy she probably wouldn’t enjoy American Gods when she read (and loved) Anansi Boys, when she was 13. But she’s 17, and read American Gods this week while we were away for Thanksgiving, and I felt proud.
I tend to think that if you’re old enough to read and enjoy something and not be bored by it, then you’re old enough to read it. I wouldn’t recommend Michael Moorcock’s Jerry Cornelius books for any 11 year old’s reading list, but I loved them when I was 11.
The lady next door runs a home for pigs. I went down each morning to say my hellos to the pigs and the people: cute little wee black piglings and mighty great boars and snufflers. Not for eating:Vietnamese potbellied pigs, pet pigs, some being boarded, some for sale, some for adoption.
The lady who owns it took me around and introduced me to many of the pigs.
"Now this one," she said, pointing to one small and chirpy looking black fellow in a cage "was a pet pig. He was an ungelded boar, who was owned by people with Pomeranians. But they couldn’t cope, and we’re looking after him until he can be adopted."
"Why couldn’t they cope?"
"Ah," she said. "Well, there’s no way to put this delicately. I gelded him myself a couple of days ago. But an un-neutered boar needs to ejaculate at least twice a day to remain healthy. And this fellow, not being neutered, was trying to meet his ejaculatory needs with whatever came to hand. Mostly the Pomeranians. And the family, well, they really hadn’t bargained for that."
I agreed that they probably hadn’t. And then I shook my head, listening to the grunt and snuffle of the pigs, and contemplating the silence of the Pomeranians.
You look for publishers who publish “that kind of thing”, whatever it is. You send them what you’ve done (a letter asking if they’d like to see a whole manuscript or a few chapters and an outline will always be welcome. And stamped self-addressed envelopes help keep the wheels turning.)
Sooner or later, if you don’t give up and you have some measurable amount of ability or talent or luck, you get published. But for people who don’t know where to begin, let me offer a few suggestions:
“I remember reading a piece by Harold Bloom where he explained that audiobooks were not books because the proper experience goes in through the eyes. The reading experience is only an ocular experience, not an auditory one. That had me sitting there thinking about old John Milton, who obviously was not a proper writer at all because he couldn’t even see what he was writing. He was dictating it to his daughters who wrote it down. What kind of a faux poet was he?”—http://www.salon.com/2011/11/23/neil_gaimans_audiobook_record_label/singleton/
Dear Mr. Gaiman, this is silly & a long shot, but something important to me. If you do have a cardboard cut out of yourself (very likely you do not, as I have asked several other celebrities to help me with this & they do not), would you be willing to help me win a scavenger hunt with the prize as a paid trip to Rome? The assignment "A celebrity wearing a fake mustache posing with a cardboard cutout photo of themselves. (53 points)" If you can, please let me know & I shall message you my email.
No, I don’t have a cardboard cut-out of myself.
One exists in Springfield, but you’d have to ask the Earth-Simpsons Neil Gaiman to help on that. And how would people be able to know if the mustache was fake, if it was drawn on?
You're one of the best writers of this modern time, I think. Your ability to tell stories is unparalleled. I want to become a writer myself. Do you have any tips? And could you talk about your beekeeping? That always interests me. (: - Sarah Gill.
Hello, do you know if "A Little Book of Ghastly Stuff" will be shipping out anytime soon? The website says late October/early November, but nothing has showed up yet.
I know there was a fluke binding problem at the printer that’s delayed the signed editions. Not sure if that affects the unsigned ones or not (it may have done, but I haven’t seen any copies either yet…) They’re definitely a few weeks behind.