I love it when you pick up the morning paper and find a little treat inside to start your week. Today I found an interview with one of my favourite fantasy writers Neil Gaiman, who mentions there may be another Sandman graphic novel in the pipeline, which is fantastic news to start my week.
Neil Gaiman’s been sitting with his arm in a bowl of iced water and he’s moved our interview from morning to afternoon because, after signing for and chatting to 1,000 fans until 1am, he’s on the verge of losing his voice. Such are the pitfalls of embarking on a nine-week signing tour.
‘I enjoy meeting the people,’ he says. ‘They want to say thanks – it’s wonderful and touching and magic. A thousand people a night is like a marathon, though. Around hour three, you look up and the line doesn’t seem any shorter and you have to keep going.’
The promotional push is for his latest novel, The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, which has spent six weeks on the top ten bestseller list.
His first adult novel since 2005, it’s the story of how a boy’s life is disrupted when a malevolent supernatural entity moves into the family home. It’s partly a gripping, unsettling portrayal of how powerless children are in a family dynamic, while the bits set in a good witch’s house down the road are a cosy, nostalgic celebration of the comforting power of jam sponge and custard.
Gaiman’s first book – if you don’t count the Duran Duran biography he wrote when he was still a journalist in the 1980s – was 1991’s Good Omens, with Terry Pratchett. However, he was well-established before then in ‘geek’ circles, thanks to his comic book series Sandman.
- Stripped: Neil Gaiman on Sandman! (bigcomicpage.com)
- A Writer’s Wisdom: Neil Gaiman (plottingbunnies.wordpress.com)