Some more things from the signing yesterday ...
An audience member asked Neil Gaiman why he started raising bees.
Neil stated that everyone should have a hobby that has the potential to kill you.
That and, his more sincere answer, was because he was reading about colony collapse back in 2006 (I think) and he wanted to do something to make the world a better place.
Another question addressed the fact that many of his books' dedications thank people that have allowed him to stay in their houses to write. Does he prefer to write away from home?
Neil Gaiman does like to follow a bit of Ian Fleming's advice (Ian Fleming = author and creator of James Bond ... and he, incidentally, hated the writing process). Fleming's advice was that one should hole up in the worst hotel in a place that you wouldn't want to go out to enjoy for three weeks. Because there'd be nothing else to do, you'd have no choice to work on your novel. So you should go somewhere like Poughkeepsie (And here, Neil confessed, "I like Poughkeepsie.") and crank out that novel.
Neil said that he prefers to be a little bit uncomfortable ... and that he has the fortune to have many friends with more houses than bodies in their family. And that he is talented at asking, "Hey, can I stay at one of your houses for a bit?"
In fact, for his US-version of Neverwhere, he holed himself up into a room at the Marriott in the World Trade Center ... the room didn't even have a window. He's never finished anything so quickly ... because he just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible.
And, another book he wrote be accident was Coraline. He intended it as a short story for his elder daughter. ... He finished it ten years later.
Another question was about how he decided which stories/ideas to write about and which to save for later ...
He responded that he chooses, first, to write what people would want -- because it makes them happy and gets him paid.
And, if there are a lot of things coming up, he tends to decide to write what NOBODY'S asked for. Since it feels unfair to work on ONE thing which would make someone mad that he wasn't working on THEIR thing. And he couldn't work on the other thing, because the FIRST person would get upset ... so he works on his own thing so that EVERYONE can be upset and it's all fair.
He's also had issues with Wikipedia. He hasn't really checked his page since about 2003, when it was full or errors and downright lies. He wrote to the people in charge of the site with corrections. They asked him how he knew these things. "Well, I'm the person they happened to."
"That isn't an authority. We need a written source."
So, he mostly gave up ... however, he's noticed that if he writes a blog post addressing any issues brought to his attention, because it's WRITTEN, that gives him authority ... in regards to his own life.
He also made some great little jokes about how nobody knew that Portland had days like that day ... The weather was sunny and in the nineties. (Usually, people think of Portland like how Meryer's Forks, Washington is written. :P He didn't SAY that, but we all know it.)
But he was VERY concerned with how we were all cooking in there ... which is very sweet of him to be so concerned.
Like I said, he was so very personable and so very nice.
And, when he reads, he does all sorts of voices ... and when he's NOT reading dialogue, his accent is lovely, regardless.
And he knows how to laugh at himself, which is quite sweet, too.
Yes, I am aware that I'm a fangirl. Shush. It's not like I didn't know this previously.
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Stuff I forgot to post because it was late ...