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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Neil Gaiman: Live Talk and Book Signing

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
This event was scheduled on the day I came back from my vacation in England (refer to yesterday's post), so it's lucky that my trip ended in time, as after this I probably would never get the chance to see Neil Gaiman!  On the other hand, boy was I tired!

The "Live Talk" session began a bit late, but was totally worth the wait.  Neil talked about how he came to write his new book The Ocean at the End of the Lane which started as a short story for his wife who was away recording an album.  And it kept getting longer and longer until he had written a novella he hadn't meant to.  Since his wife, Amanda, doesn't care for fantasy (the audience had an audible reaction to that!) he wanted to write a story about feelings and emotions which was foreign to him because he's "British and male." LOL  But the book has a lot of Neil in it - not that it's autobiographical but he drew on his past a lot for the characters.  And the photo on the back cover is of Neil as a child standing on a drainpipe!

Neil read an excerpt from the book as well, which is always lovely because he has such a nice reading voice!  He also read an excerpt from the book that is coming out later this year - Fortunately, the Milk which sounded like such a fun, tall tale type story with that dry British humor.

There were a couple questions emailed from Stephen King that Neil answered, and his answer to one question where he talked about how his dreams changed after he wrote Sandman was so interesting.  He said that before he would have frightening, vivid nightmares that would scare him, but when he became an author, those nightmares would inspire him and he would write them down to use later.  And then those sorts of dreams just started going away.

And of course there was a Doctor Who question!  Neil mentioned that he had never seen so many unlicensed Doctor Who shirts as he had on this tour. :)  The question was about when he thought of writing a story about the TARDIS incarnate, and he said that it started off as wanting to write a story about the TARDIS - usually the safest place in a Doctor Who story as the most dangerous place, with a malevolent being inside it.  And Neil hadn't thought the focus was on Idris so much, but Steven Moffat latched onto "TARDIS girl."

After the talk, the book signing began - one row at a time up to the stage, and I think because Neil agreed to sign as many copies of The Ocean at the End of the Lane as people wanted, and an additional item, and because he takes his time to talk to people and draw little pictures in the books sometimes, it took quite a long time for my row to go up to the stage.  Like three hours.  And I was so tired, did I mention?  But if I was tired, I can't imagine how he did it, signing for everyone there, and there must have been at least a third of the audience still to get through after me! And when I finally got up, the adrenaline took over, and I was so awed to see him up close, I admire his writing so much!  And he gave me strawberries!  Well they were from the green room and intended for everyone in line, but I received the bowl of them from his hands!

This is the little Vine video I took when I got closer to the front of the line:

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12 comments:

  1. LOL Yeah we sat in line for like 6 hours at his signing down here! He does have a lovely speaking voice...and apparently he isn't going on any more signing tours so this is the last chance! Have you started ocean yet? I have a copy but I have yet to dig into it!

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    1. OMG, 6 hours! I can't imagine waiting that long! I did finish Ocean and loved it! It's so magical! I hope to have my review up by Friday!

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  2. I've never actually met an author before, but this sounds like a great experience.

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    1. Oh never? I'm sure you'll get the opportunity to - I feel like I've gone to more book signings because I've been blogging and hearing about them more. I think it's so cool to meet the author of a book that you have just read and loved!

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  3. I am so jealous. He did come to Denver, and I too got back from my vacation only 2 days before. Unlike you I was too lazy to go. The problem was I would have to drive up to Denver get the ticket and then drive back the day of the signing. I regret it sooo much! Sometimes Laziness is a bummer! What were the questions by Stephen King?????? I am dying to know!

    Angie

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    1. Oh I was so on the fence on going to this signing too, because of laziness- but the thought that he wouldn't tour any more decided me. I didn't have such a long drive though thankfully! Hmm, I can't remember the first question that Stephen King asked - because I Neil's answer was basically a "no" to it. But the second question was along the lines of how becoming a writer has changed his consciousness/ the way he thinks - something like that. I believe! Sorry, I was planning to take notes, but they turned down the lights! Neil did talk about his friendship with Stephen and that he gave him some great advice to just enjoy it - all the book signing and meeting with fans.

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  4. I. Am. So. Jealous. You got to meet Neil Gaiman and get strawberries? How cool! It's really awesome that you got to do this before he goes MIA for the next six months (well, I guess just from the internet). I'm about to read his The Graveyard Book for the Summer Lovin' Read-a-thon.

    I know how bad jetlag can get, so it's pretty intense that you were able to over come that, attend the event, and wait in line for three hours.

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    1. LOL, the strawberries was definitely an unexpected perk! But I didn't know he would be going MIA from the internet for a few months - I guess he is working on something? That's good though, I'll be glad to read more new things from him. And The Graveyard Book is so good!

      I think at the time I was not able to fully comprehend how happy I was to be at the event because of the jetlag, but the next day I was so happy I made it. :) I just wish I had known it would take so long, because then I might have tried to sleep more on the plane!

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  5. Sooooooooo jealous!!! Lucky you!! AND HE GAVE YOU STRAWBERRIES. I bet that made your life Officially Awesome haha! Great post, thanks for continuing to let me live vicariously through your adventures~

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    1. LOL, I think I hesitated for a second too long when he was holding them, because I couldn't believe he was giving them to me! Hope he didn't notice! :D

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  6. (currently too incoherent to form a proper comment)

    ...

    (deep breaths)

    ...

    JUST OMG. I am so happy and so envious of you! I'm not sure if I'll be able to react as calmly as you did or I probably will because I usually clamp up when I meet my favourite famous people, weeps (USELESS SELF!!!!!).

    Now I am just officially upset it's taking international mail forever to get me my copy of Ocean. MORE TEARS. *borrows your shoulder to sob*

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    1. Aww, I hope he will tour near you soon! Though I know what you mean about clamping up around celebrities- I'm afraid I didn't say any of the things I was thinking I could say- I don't know why I even bother thinking about it!

      And boo for international mail, don't they know that some things should be rushed! *hands you handkerchief* I'll go kick some postal service butt for you now!

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