What percentage of questions asked through Tumblr do you think you answer? You seem very industrious in that department. Also thanks for coming to Tuscaloosa, AL a couple years back. Still can't believe that happened.
I get about 200 a day, most days. (Fewer if I haven’t answered any for a while.) I normally answer 2 or 3, except for the days I don’t answer any. Right now there’s almost 11,000 sitting unanswered in the in box. So, about 1-2%, I guess.
I love the short short short story "The Sweeper of Dreams". It's a page long, not much more than 100 words, but it is just so lovely and powerful and strange and disturbing and imaginative. This isn't really a question, more of a thank you for writing it.
Why, thank you.
Did you know that if you go to http://www.minioperas.org/ you can make a film of one of their mini-operas of Sweeper of Dreams? There are 23 days to go in the film competition.
I'm 19 and already my friends from high school have pretty much grown up and gotten 'real jobs'. My 20yo brother gets paid several thousand dollars a fortnight for his office job. In the beginning, did you feel like maybe you'd made the wrong choice? That maybe your happiness wasn't worth the scrimping and saving and the questions of "Where is THAT going to get you?"
Sort of. I mean, for most of my twenties I was a broke freelance journalist, bringing up a young family. And my friends had real jobs, in banks and suchlike places. I had entrepreneurial cousins who made lots of money. And I just wanted to write my stories.
But if I ever stopped and thought about money, it wasn’t for very long. I’m not very interested in it. I’m definitely not motivated by it. My goal was to earn enough by writing that I didn’t have to worry about paying the gas or the electricity or the phone bill. Once I got there, which I did about age 28 or 29, life got infinitely easier.
I know you're aware of fanfic in general. You may even be aware of that sub-genre known as "RPF" - Real Person Fanfic. Do you have any thoughts or feelings about your public persona (which may or may not be different from your private self) appearing in the fiction or fannish works of others?
The smallest possible unit that time can be divided into for Neils is that interval between me clicking on a link I was sent that turned out to be real person slash with a version of me in it, and me clicking away to anywhere else.
As long as I do not ever have to read it, or, for preference, know that it exists, I am perfectly sanguine about it.
If we’re talking about stuff that isn’t slash, I guess I’m fine on that. Between Arthur and The Simpsons and such, there are fictional versions of me walking the earth already.
Prolly not your issue but the new look of your tumblr is, well, not good. Makes it very hard to distinguish your answers to people's questions. There is little to no distinction or spacing or anything to indicate where the question ends and your answer begins. Oh how some of us can't get over when a website changes its look/layout! ;)
That was Tumblr’s “your theme recovered” version, which wasn’t actually our theme recovered at all, although it was closer to it than anything else was.
The trouble is, we can’t remember how we put the old version together. So now there’s a new one, which still isn’t the old one, but is better than what we’ve had for the last 18 hours. Sorry about the changes.
Sir, have you ever gotten your writings rejected? I'm an amateur artist and I want to write a children's book. I have lots of interesting ideas for them, but I'm afraid if the publishers would think that the stories would be too weird and too dark for a children's book, regardless of the moral of the story. How do you cope with the rejection? Do you use them to improve your stories? Thank you.
Before you actually become an award winning writer, were you ever afraid to show your writings to people or did you ever once think that your writings weren't good enough? I need to know if these are innate feelings. Or did you already know that what you've written was incredible and it would change lives?
I was lucky. When I wasn’t very good, but was young and had enthusiasm, I thought I was BRILLIANT. Once I started writing and getting halfway decent, I started realising that maybe I hadn’t been anywhere nearly as brilliant as I thought I was.
I’ve never gone “I’ve just written something brilliant that will change someone’s life”. I can’t imagine ever feeling like that. Mostly I finish something nervously going “I hope people like this.”
A couple months ago you posted about an unknown 14 y.o. singer/songwriter named Gal Musette. She is now opening for the Magnetic Fields. I want to be 14 again and I want to do everything differently. I would not watch Three's Company after school every day. I would not eat frozen pizza cooked in the microwave. I would not use Sun-In to bleach my hair orange every summer. Instead, I would write music day and night, and open for the Cure in Glasgow. My hair would be oh so black. Where were you?
How do you think I feel? If there had been an Internet around when I was 14, I could have been supporting David Bowie.
(That’s what I love about Twitter and Tumblr and YouTube and the whole bloody internet, really.)
To celebrate, we’re running a little contest.*** It has to do with a very important element in TPOTS (yes, I pronounce it “teapots”): the mysterious book known as
“The Swordsman Whose Name Was Not Death.”**
Literature, of course, is full of Imaginary Books, referred to in other works of fiction, but never actually published (on this planet, anyhow).
What is your favorite Imaginary Book?*
Just answer below in Comments. You’ve got til 5 p.m. EST September 7th to come up with something.
We will pick a winner based on ancient numerical systems, the position of the stars, and what I had for breakfast. The prize is a copy of the stunningly gorgeous, cloth-bound, gold-stamped, sewn binding’d Limited Edition Hardcover of TPOTS from Small Beer Press.
Now Rebloggable - THE AWFUL TRUTH: Is the Bard Reading Actually Really and Truly Free? (Answer, yes, it is.)
My friend called the organizers of the event at Bard and they said that tickets to see Amanda’s band are needed to see you read but what you posted on here said that your reading will be free. Do you know which is accurate? Thanks!
You obviously WILL need tickets to see Amanda to see Amanda’s gig afterwards.
(The theatre she’s performing in holds 400 people. The one I’m in holds 900 people. I sincerely hope there will be people coming who aren’t going to see Amanda afterwards, or who saw her the day before, or will see her the day afterwards, or my theatre will feel half-empty.)
(This invitation to come and see me read specifically includes Helen, who told me in Albany Airport the other night that she reads my Tumblr feed and wanted to know if I was doing anything like a reading in the area.)
Where can I find your short stories? My local library doesn't have any collections and I have no money to go book-spelunking, but after the gloriousness that is American Gods and Neverwhere (among others) I'm loathe to give you up. (Unrelated: I may have tweaked the concept of London Below rather hard, added some decorations, bent a couple of things and and used a bit of it in a story. THANK YOU for the inspiration. <3)
Ask your library about “interlibrary loans”. That’s when your library borrows books they don’t have from a library in their library system that does have it. Then ask them how you go about ordering Smoke and Mirrors and Fragile Things.
My friend called the organizers of the event at Bard and they said that tickets to see Amanda's band are needed to see you read but what you posted on here said that your reading will be free. Do you know which is accurate? Thanks!
It’s a free reading. Sounds like someone’s a bit confused.
Hello! I just finished "Anansi Boys" and, much like when I finished reading "American Gods", I can't decide whether what I just read was utterly bonkers, or deeply profound. Either way, I loved them both and the characters are still lingering round me now, as I try to choose what to read next. (This isn't really a question, just an expression of gratitude and admiration). x
If there’s a Venn diagram circle labelled Utterly Bonkers, and another labelled Deeply Profound, I’m happy to live at the place they intersect.
in all my life, I have never encountered such an astounding act of trolling as the time I spent an hour and a half downloading what I thought was a Good Omens fanmix and then discovering that it was a Best of Queen album.
I'm a young writer and it's my dream to someday become an author. I've actually been trying to write my own novel. I love writing more than anything else, and I would love to get my novel published someday. Can you give me any advice on getting published or just writing in general?
Go and look at my blog at http://journal.neilgaiman.com/. There’s about 2 million words of blog there, and about a hundred thousand of them are all advice on how to get published and writing in general.
Reading of NEW STORY: Bard College (near Rhinebeck NY), Sosnoff Theatre, 5th Sept 6pm
Award-winning author Neil Gaiman will read his new, not yet published story on Wednesday, September 5, at 6 p.m. in the Fisher Center’s Sosnoff Theater on the Bard College campus. The reading is free and open to the public, and seating is on a first come, first served basis.
The story doesn’t have a title because I keep changing it. I hope it will have a proper title by the time I come to read it. But its title will be something about this:
The story will take about an hour to read. I might do something else as well, something short. (Any requests?)
The Sosnoff Theatre is ENORMOUS. Well, it seats about 900 people. Please come so that I do not feel that I am reading to an empty hall.
It will end before the Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra concert in Theatre Two starts, if anyone is concerned about missing that.
It’s free to get in. They may be issuing (free) tickets - I’ll put info up when I know.
If you want to see Amanda & the band afterwards (and you should), ticket information is here.
How does someone Make Good Art when they are feeling low and empty like a beach ball?
Same answer that you’d get to How does someone Make Good Art when they are feeling free and glorious like a kite on a spring day?, or How does someone Make Good Art when they are feeling like everything’s been done before and there is no purpose to even living?
You make good art. (Or, you don’t. Nobody’s keeping score. The art police will not come to check on you. And at the end of the day, it’s your art and your life.)
But it’s always worked for me. Good days and bad days. You just do it. That’s the point of the speech.
Can you make your lunch time reading a dinner time reading because for us Red Hook residents, September 5th is the first day of high school. I'm having an internal war about missing my first day of senior year to see my favorite author in person.
I asked My Man at Bard if I could do it late afternoon or early evening, before Amanda’s gig, but they seemed very set on lunchtime. I’ll ask again.
Edit to add: your pleas actually worked. Well, yours and a number of other local high schoolers. So yes. 6pm.
Just a hasty note to say that I want to read the short story I finished two days ago to an audience, to find out whether it works or not, and so on. It’s a fairy tale, I suppose, and will probably take about an hour, or a little more, to read.
I’m out in upstate New York right now with Amanda, who is rehearsing her stage show at Bard (and will be doing the first ever test performances of the new show, in all its high tech MIT magic and low tech glitz and glitter) on the 5th and 6th of September. (Tickets for the show on the 4th have already sold out.)
Information and tickets for Amanda’s Grand Theft Orchestra shows can be found here.
The current plan is that I’m going to read my story at Bard College on the 5th around lunch time. Maybe I’ll read a few other new things and round the time up to 90 minutes. Venue to be decided, and tickets are either going to be free, or very cheap (so that people who reserve tickets will actually show up.)
As soon as the venue is confirmed I’ll put up a link to wherever you can go to sign up for it.
The new Discworld series “The Watch” (AKA CSI:Ankh-Morpork) has been approved by Terry Pratchett and will go into production with BBC Worldwide.
The project to film GOOD OMENS is also going forward. A “mood reel” of images evocative of the story was put together by the production company and was shown as part of the announcement. (This was commonly being referred to at the convention as “the trailer”, though it wasn’t a trailer as such: it is way too early for there to be a trailer in the conventional sense, as no script material has been written, and therefore the’s no way for there to be genuine footage or any information about casting, etc. No release date was specified. The mood reel video said “COMING SOON”, so your guess as to when is as good as anybody’s.)
Meanwhile, let joy be unrestrained!
(PS: Terry is in excellent fettle. Had a long chat with him last night and the Master is still very, very much in the building, in case anyone was wondering.)
Diane Duane clarifies what was actually shown at the Discworld convention. Short answer, it wasn’t a trailer…
My girlfriend has trouble believing in her own writing sometimes but I really do think it's great. Do you have any ideas on how I can help her boost her own self confidence?
I don’t. Probably you need to ask Amanda, who wishes she could do the same thing for me. (“When was the last time you finished a story and thought it was good?” she asked last night. “Er… A Study In Emerald? 2002?” Oh, come on. You must have thought The Graveyard Book was good!” “I suppose…”)
I know you can't fix this, but I just wanted to share my sadness. The tickets for your event in Pittsburgh in Nov. went on sale at 12:01 tonight. My friend was pressing refresh since 11:50 so we could get VIP tickets for the meet and greet. At 12:01, not a single VIP ticket was available. We suspect they were sold out to subscribers before we even had a chance. I am very sad. I had all my copies of Stardust set aside for signing, as well as a photo of my Stardust tattoo. :( Sincerely; a sad fan.
I’m really sorry. It’s not anything I had anything to do with, as you correctly surmised. And tickets do go fast. (When I did a talk in Alabama a few years ago, they sold all 1500 tickets in 4 minutes, and we thought the ticketing computers had crashed.) I hope I get to see your Stardust tattoo anyway.