Thursday, October 04, 2007
I look embarassingly pleased with myself to have Neil Gaiman actually signing my book! He said he had only been to KLIA in Malaysia and of course politely said he would have loved to go. Oh, he was extremely charming!
He read excerpts from two new stories he is writing - a book about a child who is brought up in a graveyard...he says it is really 8 linked short stories. The story opens with a killer disposing of this boy baby's family, the baby crawls into the graveyard and is rescued and brought up by the ghosts. Someone in the audience asked how could this be a children's book (it had a rather chilling opening paragraph) . I won't be able to post the answer blow by blow but the gist was that children can take such things in their stride. He said that he had loved The Jungle Book as a child and it was full of Death, blood, hunting and killing, and that The Graveyard Book was a nod to it. When he wrote his children's book Coraline, his editor had nightmares about the story, while his two daughters aged 6 or 7 at the time loved it and wanted to know what happened next. Neil Gaiman is a great story teller - he can see the story going on anywhere. He got the idea for his book when he used to live in a house in Surrey with no garden and took his young son on a tricycle to the graveyard near by to cycle along its paths. I look forward to reading this when it comes out.
He also read us a chapter from Odd and the Frost Giants - his World Book Day 2008 contribution, which he's supposed to hand in to the publisher next week. Odd is the son of a woodcutter/woodcarver who is drowned at sea, he has a limp from injuring himself with his father's axe shortly after his father's death as he tries to take over the job, his mother remarries and the story begins as one winter, Odd takes himself off to his father's old woodcutting cabin in the forest and meets (I think...) a grumpy bear and two other creatures who turn out to be argumentative Gods trying to regain Asgard from an invasion of Frost Giants.
All in all a cracking evening - they even sent him on stage in a cloud of dry ice, LOL. Well, you know I'd do it all again. Check out his website for his blog and lots of cool stuff http://www.neilgaiman.com/