So tonight I got to see and hear Neil Gaiman in his penultimate appearance before he goes off for “a year or so to be a writer.”
“Writing is really lonely…but it’s time to do a novel.”
He started the evening with two stories, the first one about Harlan Ellison and the second about Terry Pratchett. Then he read a poem he wrote shortly after the Charlie Hebdo attacks about ideas which is his credo, so to speak.
“I believe that ideas are invisible and they linger and sometimes they are true.”
I loved his answers to questions people posed before the talk, among them his advice about writing (read, even the things you aren’t into), writer’s block (doesn’t really exist though being stuck in a story does) and how long it takes him to write a story (between 2-1/2 months for Oceans at the End of the Lane and 22 years for The Graveyard Book). He also read a short story, The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury from his book of short stories, Trigger Warning.
“My biggest moment of self-doubt is probably the same reason in up here on the stage in front of you.”
I loved how he spoke about Amanda and his baby, Ash. I love the man, and have loved him since I first read American Gods so many years ago. And I count myself lucky for being there tonight.
Oh, and then I got myself this autographed copy of The Sleeper and The Spindle. So time to get reading!