On the final stretch of pre-signing. When I get bored I draw ghosts.
It’s not always easy to entertain a room full of librarians, especially in Texas. A group of librarians can be split into thirds. One group fits into the stereotypical, up-tight old coot who whispers “SHHH,” and longs for the good-old-days. The second group consists of librarians by trade who don’t passionately live and breathe books. They’re decent at the craft but used to be gym teachers or chemistry teachers and added on a library certificate for a change of scene. The third librarian group is full of quirky types. Here you find the punk-rock librarians, the uber-nerds, the lipstick librarians and those who excel in their knowledge of specific areas. While perhaps different in personality, what this third group has in common is their painfully obvious, insatiable appetite for books and all things bookish.
Entertaining this diverse group of librarians was the job handed to during the Texas Library Association’s annual meeting in April and he managed to elicit crowd wide laughter, cheers and a standing ovation, even though he said “Fuck” in Texas (or maybe the standing ovation was because he had the sand to say it).
Neil Gaiman chose to revise a speech that he had previously presented, entitled What the Very Bad Swear Word Is A Children’s Book Anyway?
“I write to find out what I think about things.”
Gaiman talked about how children know what they are ready to read and won’t reach to read above their limits. If they attempt to read something that they’re not ready for, they are inevitably bored and put the book down to find something more suitable.
“Children tend to be really good at censorship”
Censorship is an issue that Gaiman is no stranger to. He has had several pieces challenged over the years and commented that he received numerous complaints over the sex scene in Stardust, which was once referred to as embarrassingly specific.
“Walking the line can mean, occasionally, crossing it.”
Gaiman commented that there is a certain level of incomprehensibility for children thinking about the adult world. They are told to trust adults, yet adults lie to them about things such as the myth that the school years are the best years of their lives and telling them things like “shots aren’t going to hurt.”
“Ideas that are old and hackneyed for adults are still fresh and new for children.”
Gaiman concluded with the thought that there really are no discernible answers to what differentiates adult and children’s books. He jokingly stated that one difference is that in adult literature, you can “leave the boring bits in.” Swear words don’t make a book an adult book. Don’t kids deserve stories about magic, adventure and turmoil and to be pushed to the limits of fear that thrill? Kids will take something out of anything that they read even if they don’t understand things in the same way that adults do.
“You do not come to authors for answers. You come to us for questions.”
James McAvoy as Richard - Natalie Dormer as Door - David Harewood as Marquis - Sophie Okonedo as Hunter - Benedict Cumberbatch as Islington - Anthony Head as Croup - Bernard Cribbins as Old Bailey - Romola Garai as Jessica - Christopher Lee as Earl of Earl’s Court [x]
Radio 4’s adaptation of ‘Neverwhere’ beginning March 16, 2013
Pratchett & Gaiman: The Double Act
Neil Gaiman: “The first radio interview we did in New York, the interviewer was asking us ‘Who is Agnes Nutter? What is her history? Is Armageddon happening?” and so on and so forth. After a while, we twigged he hadn’t realized this was fiction. He thought he’d been given two kooks who’d come across these old prophecies and were predicting that the world was going to be ending.”
Terry Pratchett: “Once we realized, it was great fun. We could take over the interview, since we knew he didn’t know enough to stop us.”
NG: “And at that point, we just did the double act.”
NG: “We’re working on seeing how many smart-alec answers we can come up with when people ask us how we collaborated.”
This just arrived in my inbox. They are recording the Neverwhere Radio series right this moment.
Best cast. Best adapter-director. Best everything. AND I AM NOT EVEN IN THE SAME COUNTRY AS THEM.
(I’ll try to reblog the first person who identifies everyone in the photo correctly. I’ll give you a clue to start you off with: Benedict Cumberbatch is on the left and he is playing the Angel Islington.)
Natalie Dormer- Door
James McAvoy- Richard
Benedict Cumberbatch- Islington
David Harewood- The Marquis
Dirk Maggs- Old Bailey
David Shofield-Mr Vandemar
Anthony Head-Mr Croup
Actually, Bernard Cribbins (not in this photo) is Old Bailey. Dirk Maggs is our writer-director. But all the others are right..
WHY ISN’T THIS BEING FILMED.
And many more…
Sir Christopher Lee
Is this the best cast ever or what?
A woman in Cardiff found a readthrough draft of Neil Gaiman’s upcoming Doctor Who episode in a cab. She posted on facebook, her friend posted on reddit, someone tweeted Neil Gaiman, and now it is being returned to the studio, unread, and we remain spoiler free!
“What kind of story would you like me to tell you?”
I was on the phone on Friday afternoon, in the car on the way to the airport, with the folk from Audible.com. They had the idea of doing something really, really fun for Hallowe’en, as an All Hallows Read celebration, something from Audible and from me to the world.
Perhaps, they suggested, I could read a story, and they would put it up for free. Would I like to do a classic horror story?
No, I said. I’d like to read a story I’d written recently, that I’d read at the George Mason Award evening, a story that had scared people.
Even better, they said.
I asked if they could make a “Pay what you want” button that would go to charity. They looked into it, said no, they weren’t set up to do that…
…but for every time a new person downloaded the story they would make a donation to charity. So if we reached a hundred thousand downloads by Hallowe’en, Audible would donate a hundred thousand dollars to the charity of my choice…
And Audible.co.uk got in on the act as well. They’ll make their own donations to a UK charity.
I got on the plane. I flew to London. As soon as the recording studios were open on Monday, I went into a studio in Wardour Street and recorded my story (and another extra bonus story that we’ll put out as a mad gift if enough people download the first one). The Audible people have worked through the nights to get everything together for the roll-out.
Usually there’s a little bit longer time between having the idea and getting it out for sale than a week…
We chose our charities with pride and with care: we picked Donors Choose — http://www.donorschoose.org/ * —for the US; we picked Booktrust - http://www.booktrust.org.uk/ ** — as our charity for the UK.
So. That’s preamble.
Go and download the story NOW. Please.
This is only going to run until Hallowe’en. The story’s only going to be downloadable until Hallowe’en. The donations per download are only going to happen until Hallowe’en.
And please — for now — don’t spread the story too much, or at least, encourage people to go and download it themselves. Each free download is money for Donors Choose or for BookTrust.
So spread the word. Use the hashtag #ScareUs on Twitter or as a label on Tumblr to tell us that you liked it, to tell people about it — or to talk about what scares YOU. Reblog this post — at least until Hallowe’en. And if you like the story, tell people!
The story is unpublished (it will be published in a forthcoming anthology called Impossible Monsters, edited by Kasey Lansdale and coming out from Subterranean Press). It’s funny, a little bit, and it’s scary, just enough for Hallowe’en, I hope, and it has a silly title. It’s called Click-Clack the Rattle Bag.
Please. Go to www.Audible.com/ScareUs to download it if you’re in the US and www.Audible.co.uk/ScareUs to download it if you’re in the UK. And download the story. As I may have told you, it’s free — absolutely, utterly, perfectly free.
It’s a short story, about ten minutes long.
I’m telling the story.
And in case you’re concerned, you don’t have to become an Audible.com member if you don’t want to. You will have to give them an email address so they know you aren’t some kind of downloading ‘bot.
And all I ask of you is that you wait to listen to it until after dark…
*DonorsChoose.org engages the public in public schools by giving people a simple, accountable and personal way to address educational inequity. We envision a nation where children in every community have the tools and experiences needed for an excellent education.
**Booktrust is an independent reading and writing charity that makes a nationwide impact on individuals, families and communities, and culture in the UK. We make a significant positive contribution to the educational outcomes of children from the earliest age. We work to empower people of all ages and abilities by giving them confidence and choices about reading. And we want individuals of all backgrounds to benefit from the wellbeing that a rich and positive engagement in reading and writing can bring.
Our work supports children and young people, parents and carers and indeed anyone who would benefit from the positive impact that books, reading and writing can have on their lives.