7 Things about Neil Gaiman

I love him; you love him

Yeah, Neil Gaiman is fucking awesome. You’ve read his books; you’ve seen his television shows; you’ve watched his movies. My love for Gaiman goes beyond that page and into what he does outside of the page. His essay about libraries = eternal love.

Here are seven more things you may not know about Gaiman that will make you love him more.

1) He interviewed Stephen King

Two of my writers in the same room: the bonus you get following Gaiman’s blog. When Gaiman asked King why he would write a sequel to The Shining, King replied:

“I did it because it was such a cheesed-off thing to do….The challenge is, maybe it can be as good – or maybe it can be different. It gives you something to push up against. It’s a challenge.” – Stephen King

2) Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, and Margaret Attwood support trans

Another author got herself in hot water last year with her not-so-loving tweets. I couldn’t imagine a better dream team of Gaiman, King, and Attwood to draft a response.

“To that end, we say: non-binary people are non-binary, trans women are women, trans men are men, trans rights are human rights. Your pronouns matter. You matter. You are loved.”

3) Make good art – necessary reading/listening

Neil’s commencement address at the University of Arts in Philadelphia is required reading or viewing. The whole thing is brilliant, but the final quote is standing ovation worthy:

“And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.” – Neil Gaiman

4) Narnia – his inspiration to write

It’s interesting to see what gave inspiration to the writer that has inspired so many. In this case, C.S. Lewis and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader brought Gaiman his inspiration.

“Lewis seemed to be having a wonderful time writing, confiding in and treating the readers as if they were smart friends. It was the first time I was ever aware that there was a person behind the words. It made me want to write. It made me want to do that magic trick.” – Neil Gaiman

5) Self-isolation during a pandemic? Free stuff!

For the billions of people locked inside their nearly-inhabitable habitats, Gaiman unlocked essays and shorts stories, including a David Bowie fan fiction. Did I already mention you should follow Gaiman’s blog?

“He turned towards the mist, before he could change his mind, and he walked into the nothingness, cold and clammy against his skin. With each step he felt himself becoming less. His neural plugs died, and gave him no new information, until even his name and his status were lost to him.”

6) More Free Stuff! Reading Rainbow & LeVar Burton

Guess who is the inaugural PEN/Faulkner Literary Champion? LeVar Burton!! You may know him from Star Trek or Reading Rainbow, but either way, he is a reading CHAMPION. 

When lockdown happened, LeVar went searching for content he could share on his podcast. Something family-appropriate and legally available. Gaiman said, “You have my blanket permission for any of my stories Levar.” Furthermore, when someone asked for blanket permission, Neil gave it, “It’s for all of you.”

7) More free stuff! A Gaiman inspired project for you

Neil Gaiman took Kipling’s Jungle Book and re-wrote it as a kid growing up in a graveyard. So I thought, what if we get over 100 different writers to retell a classic story?  The same story told in 100 different ways. 

I’m still hoping Neil will sign three copies of The Graveyard Book to give away to some of the participating writers. But how cool would it be if Neil himself wrote a story for the challenge!?

Meanwhile, check out some of the media I’ve created to draw Neil and other writers’ attention.

video by author
video by author

For now

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I love you all!

Ryan

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