Books

An Open Letter to Neil Gaiman

Books by Neil Gaiman

Disclaimer

For those of you that have been reading my blog for quite a while, you may very well be a bit sick of hearing about Neil Gaiman. Well, it’s been a while since I talked about him, so just shut up. That’s all. Oh, and this was sparked in part because I’m reading his The View from the Cheap Seats right now and am loving the chance to hear his thoughts on a variety of subject matter. I highly recommend it, especially if you are a fan of Neil Gaiman. Or of reading in general.

Dear Mr. Gaiman,

I’m not sure when or where I first heard about you. I know at some point, I ended up buying a copy of American Gods and reading it, but I never finished it. In all honesty, I still haven’t. I do, however, know when I started paying attention. In 2013, you released a book called The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I think it was your first new novel in a while. You did a book signing tour for it, claiming it would be your last book signing tour ever. I kind of hope that’s not true, just because at that point I didn’t really know much about you, and when you were signing my books I was just a bit too starstruck to even know what to say to you.

Neil Gaiman signing my copy of The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Signing my copy of The Ocean at the End of the Lane

I do hope that at some point I get another opportunity to at least declare my admiration in person. I know you are planning to be here in Arizona next year, and I bought a ticket to that. Maybe I will get my opportunity then. I know I asked you on Twitter if there would be any opportunity at that event to meet you, to which you replied “there’s always the stage door”, so that’s promising.

It’s funny, really.

I know I have a tendency to be a fangirl. But then doesn’t everyone have something or someone that they’re a big fan of? Kind of seems to be the human thing to do, doesn’t it? What kind of seems weird to me, though, is that it’s hard for me to explain simply why I’m a fan of yours. You’re an author, of course, and now that I have read a few of your books, I actually am a fan of them. They read so beautifully, and the stories, while dark, just seem to have such an epic feel to them. The darkness doesn’t bother me. At times I’ve been referred to as a cloudy day sort of person, so that darkness is mostly beautiful to me. But as magical as your books are (and I’ve watched enough videos and heard you speak in person, so when I read them, it’s your voice I hear in my head… but who wouldn’t want books read to them in a British accent?), I think it’s you as a person that I’m a bigger fan of.

While I may not know when or where I first heard of you, I know it was positive.

In fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever heard anyone say a negative thing about you. That says something, but so does your interaction with your fans. Your interaction with anyone, seemingly. You have a profound intelligence about you that would almost give you the right to be cocky, but you’re anything but that. Instead, you’re humble. You’re slightly self-deprecating, but not really. You have a quirkiness about you that somehow comes off as cool, because you’re not trying to be – you’re just being you and doing what makes you feel most comfortable without wasting energy trying to impress anyone. You just do you, and without trying that is enough to impress people. You create, and create, and create… seldom stopping for long, while also continuing to learn as well as advocate others to create. And in doing that, you’ve ensured a lasting effect on the world, or at least somewhat of a legacy.

So why am I a fan?

In short, I guess it’s the intelligent humility, the realness, and your approach to life. I’m not trying to lift you up on a pedestal. You’re just doing you, as I said. And we all do that. But watching you do you… I learn from that. I identify with it. It resonates with me. And that’s what I’m a fan of. We all tend to feel a bit lost in the world at times, like no one gets us. So to have someone out there that you can look at and go, “That person makes sense, what he says and does makes sense to me” and even “I want to be more like that”, is at times priceless. And you are that for me.

So please, please… just keep doing you. Keep creating, and interacting, and just being your intelligent, humble self. Keep being a source of sanity (or insanity, as some might say) for myself and all your other crazy kindred souls out there. We definitely thank you.

Much admiration,
Sheryl aka girl vs planet

 

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