Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Favourite Author Interviews - Neil Gaiman

As I trawl the internet I keep finding these fabulous videos by writers.  It certainly saves me from paying out my dollars and getting dolled up to see and hear them in person.  Plus, remember I live in Perth, Western Australia (the most isolated city in the world) and even authors don't visit here much.
After downloading them on to my iPhone I usually listen whilst trucking around in my car.  You learn a lot listening to these guys and I figure I really don’t need to hear that Rhiannon song for the hundredth time. So, why not educate myself on the publishing industry via the people who know.
What may surprise you is that many of these mega-stars of writerdom still face the same insecurities that novice writers face.  Their words offer encouragement, wisdom and vision.  Sometimes, they are simply inspiring and you can feel your fingers itching for that keyboard.
I will keep putting up my favourite interviews as I come upon them, so check back regularly.  And if any strike a chord, please leave a comment. That’s how we humble bloggers get paid.  No, I don’t reach through and get into your wallet, I mean we are paid by the thrill of receiving a comment. 
So pay, people, pay with your words.

         Click here for Video
          From Coraline to The Sandman and American Gods to Doctor Who, Neil Gaiman has made his mark by bringing fantasy and sci-fi from the fringe and into the spotlight. Gaiman joins Clem Bastow onstage to talk about his varied work, the tyranny of genre, sneezing baby pandas and red daleks.
Gaiman’s conversation is lively and wide-ranging; he moves quickly from describing why he feels like a fraud to discussing why he’s not published in mainland China (and how a sneezing panda named Chu might change that). When Bastow asks him if he’s bothered by the effect genre prejudices may have on whether all of his work is read or not, he says that beginning as a comic writer, “every single possible prejudice that can be levelled at an area of the arts is levelled at you.”
          The breadth of his output is one of Gaiman’s most distinctive features. Speaking about his reluctance to be pigeonholed as a writer, he reveals that his restlessness stems from what he learned during early days as a journalist interviewing other writers. He also describes how he tries to enter the storytelling process as openly as possible.
Questions are invited early in the session, prefaced by Gaiman’s explanation of what he considers a question. Gaiman engages playfully with his audience, who ask questions about his inspiration for Neverwhere, his creative approach, his resistance to his work appearing in school curriculums, plot outlines and his knowledge of his characters.
He’s queried on where his ideas originate — “the question that must not be asked of writers” — and elucidates the experience of writing for Doctor Who (“um… it was awesome!”).
          On weightier topics, Gaiman talks about the ideas behind his unconventional characterisation of death and the kind of death he’d prefer to meet. He offers his thoughts on love and vulnerability and confesses that as a social creature, “writing is peculiarly lonely”.
          To close the evening, Gaiman slips his iPad onto his lap and reads a poem he wrote for an Australia Day event earlier in 2011. “There are so few places in the world that I could possibly read this poem,” he explains.
Click here for Video

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  1. Neil Gaiman is one I would go all a gush and star stuck giggles at. I love this guy. A true modern master of imagination. I soo want to see more of his work actually made into movies, Neverwhere for one, the BBC mini series didn't do it justice and the sandman graphic novels, if only David Bowie were younger he would make a fab samdman, maybe johnny Dep.

    1. He is also a fascinating guy with a wonderful wit. Thank you for leaving a comment Adrienne and visiting.

  2. Hi Susan,
    Interesting thoughts from Neil. I'm from Adelaide originally, but now live near London, U.K. Love writing, love life. Anyone else's thoughts on the subject are always welcome. There--paid.

    1. Hi Francene,
      You are a long way from home aren't you? I find it fascinating listening to other authors. It makes you feel more normal when all your friends wonder what you mean that you lose control of your characters.
      Thanks for paying in such a lovely way. :)

  3. Hello Susan,
    Thanks to your 'follow' on Twitter I discovered (a) YOU, (b) Neil Gaiman's fascinating personality through his interview, and (c) The Wheeler Center! That makes it a productive day!
    Often people tell me how "stupid" social media are and "intrusive" and I invariably say that I came to love them because they bring us altogether, make us all one as we share our silly and important stories and see ourselves in each other. So, thank you for your participation in the evolution of our species ;)

    Wafa Faith Hallam
    PS: Please fine me on facebook, twitter, and my blog: www.theroadfrommorocco.coom

    1. Thank you for visiting Wafa and leaving such a lovely comment. yes, social media is fantastic for connecting with people and information. I feel like I am on top of the news in the publishing and film industry thanks to twitter and Facebook. Lovely to connect with you and I will say hi on Twitter. Glad you enjoyed Neil. He is brilliant. :)


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