It’s been a while since I talked about Neil Gaiman on my blog. If you are new here, you might not know about my fascination with this man and his work. He’s my favorite author and probably always will be. I’ve written multiple blog posts about him since I first got my hands on one of his novels, including reviews of his books, an account of a book signing I went to where I briefly met him, and even an open letter to Mr. Gaiman (which he’s seen, he confirmed this on Twitter after I posted it). I think his books are wonderful, and the man himself is simply a gem. There’s even a poem he wrote that I’d like to have read at our wedding when Ricky and I eventually get married.
There was one interaction that I had with him that I don’t think I’ve blogged about, and that happened last April. I think that’s worth describing before I even talk about this “interview” that occurred, so let’s discuss it first. See, one thing that he does on a regular basis when he’s traveling is to visit airport bookshops and sign copies of his own works. He’ll then tweet about it, and people that happen to be traveling through those airports might get lucky and find (or simply just discover) a signed copy of one of his books for purchase. It’s kind of just become a thing he does, and has done for a while. I’ve always paid attention and noticed when he has tweeted about it, but I was just never in the right airport at the right time. Until last April, when I happened to be making a visit to New York and was flying home from JFK airport. He had tweeted about signing some books there and even where they were located in the airport (it’s huge). So on the day I flew home, I got to the airport super early and even left the terminal I was flying out from to make the hike to Terminal 4, with the Hudson Booksellers in it where I hoped to get lucky. Sure enough, after looking through a few paperback copies of Norse Mythology, I found one for myself and one for a friend! I sat down in the airport to take a look at them and tweeted at him about finding them.
SUCCESS!! After much determination and a long walk through a terminal at JFK that I’m not even flying out of, I secured a lovely rogue-signed copy of #NorseMythology for myself and a friend. Thanks @neilhimself for the tip on where to find them. Perfect end to a great trip. pic.twitter.com/98KbwPpmEv
— Sheryl ??? (@girlvsplanet) April 15, 2018
Neil liked this tweet and retweeted it. Then I discovered the first page of the copies of Norse Mythology that I’d purchased, and had to tweet about that as well. He retweeted that with the comment, “Big smile.”, which pretty much made my day.
Big smile. https://t.co/xvW8EOG5cp
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) April 15, 2018
I thanked him for making it a great flight delay, and he said I was welcome and that is why he does it. So, mission accomplished and then some!
And that is why I do it. (You are welcome!) https://t.co/t2D3930oyL
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) April 16, 2018
Now, fast forward to 2019. Neil Gaiman’s joint work with Terry Pratchett, Good Omens, is becoming a TV show on Amazon Prime that will be released this spring. Good Omens was actually a book I had a copy of, but hadn’t read yet. So I decided to make that my first read of 2019. I finished it on Saturday. Between my favorite author, the book having quite a few laugh-out-loud moments, and the religious commentary that I could relate to based on my background, I absolutely loved it. It has already become a favorite, and I am even more excited about the upcoming series now. My first book of the year, and I’m not sure anything I read after it this year can top it. So, I’ve been in “Gaiman mode” a bit the past few days, still pondering Good Omens. And I’ve also been trying to think of more things to write about on my blog. One thing that Ricky does a lot on his blog is to do interviews with people. A lot of times the interviews are just over email, so it’s a pretty simple way to get to “talk” to some interesting people. Knowing how responsive Neil can be on Twitter at times, I decided to try and see if I might be able to get one with him. You never know. So I tweeted this:
@neilhimself Would it be possible to do an interview with you for my blog? It would be completely via email, just a few questions for you to answer. Any chance of that happening?
— Sheryl ??? (@girlvsplanet) January 29, 2019
He responded (definitely click on the tweet above to see the whole thread) and said I could ask him two questions on Twitter right now. Whoa. Not the interview I’d hoped for, but still fun and worthwhile and obviously still a good blog post subject! But the pressure of coming up with two questions on the spot? So, here’s what I asked him. And his answers.
My favourites right now are a kid’s book called Pirate Stew, and Neverwhere The Seven Sisters. Nobody has seen them yet. One of them isn’t even finished. They are my children before they go out into the world.
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) January 30, 2019
Meeting and making friends with a young lady with cancer. She’s a poet. We invited her to set, as her doctors didn’t expect her to live long enough to see Good Omens, but right now theres a really good chance she’ll see it and enjoy it. She’s been an inspiration.
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) January 30, 2019
Both quality answers, I think. I have read Neverwhere, but now this makes me even more inclined to reread it, as it’s been a while. And I always enjoy hearing about his encounters with fans. It was very gracious of them to invite this young lady to the set of Good Omens, and I’m glad it sounds like she will get a chance to enjoy it.
Not quite the interview I was hoping for, but I’m not disappointed! Who knows, maybe one day I’ll possibly get that too. When I first met Mr. Gaiman in 2013, I was just reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane and wasn’t very familiar with him or his work yet. Obviously, I’ve come a long way since then. It quickly became a bucket list item to meet him again, but that was his last official book signing tour. So many people come when he does book signings that he ends up staying until everyone’s books are signed, which can end up being into the early morning hours. I’ve seen pictures of him having to ice his hand because of signing so many books. I can understand how that would be hard on anyone. However, he does do speaking engagements, and when we lived in Phoenix, I secured a ticket to one in 2017. But then we moved in 2016, and I had to sell out. I kept watching when he would announce appearances, but I really wanted to actually meet him again and hopefully have a chance to get a hug and a picture with him, not just hear him speak. That was the only way it was worthwhile to me to fly somewhere for the event (unless I happened to already be there). And finally, I got my chance. A few months back he posted about an event in Santa Rosa, CA, in May 2019. Somehow I got lucky enough to hear about it in time to snag a VIP ticket! So I not only get the chance to meet him again, but my seat is in the first row for his speaking event. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to this in May.
So there you have it – my Neil Gaiman story to date. Obviously, there will be more to come. But I just can’t get enough of this man’s work. He’s inspiring as well as being a very kind and intelligent soul. (Also, his wife Amanda Palmer is pretty cool too!) I highly recommend checking out any of his work. Maybe when you’re going through an airport and pass a bookshop. You might just find a signed copy!