Neil Gaiman, where do you start in explaining the phenomenon and brilliance of this wonderful man?
I have admired him for so long I cannot even remember how it started.
He has been writing for many, many years, starting in journalism before moving into comics, then fantasy hybrid styled books through to pretty much everything in between. As much as I love fantasy and sci-fi film and television I have never really been an avid reader of this genre.
He writes for children, teens, and adults. He writes in most genres, more often than not writing multiple genres within one book.
Neil is also a huge lover and supporter of literacy and libraries. Which, as you can imagine, makes him a guru of sorts to me. And that is without everything else he does! He is prolific generally but specifically online. And whilst I knew of his books, these things are what led me to him and his writing.
I first read Coraline, a book for tweens. It was essentially light horror, but so beautifully written, like a wicked fairy tale and I was entranced. This led me to Stardust, which remains my favourite title of his to this day. An adult fairy tale, in the vein of The Princess Bride, incredibly romantic but also very sexy and a little bit rude and naughty. Listening to him read this book has got to be one of the most remarkable things I have experienced. His voice is so soft, lilting, lyrical in tone, expressive, cute, and naughty. He really is born to be a reader (as well as a writer).
And then there is his online presence, this is what I tend to devour the most, his blog, his tumblr, his twitter account, articles for serials and magazines, think pieces, opinions, and interesting thoughts and advice. He is there all knowing, and all being. He may take breaks from being 'there' to meet a deadline or concentrate whatever he is working on at the time, but otherwise he is available to all, all the time. He is very open to one and all, answering questions, offering up work online for free, asking people to answer his questions to assist in something he is dabbling in. This, as you can imagine, gives him the most loyal and amazing fan-base.
I have not read everything by him...there is simply too much, but I will endeavor to do so.
You name it, he has done it, lyrics for songs, screenplays for movies, his books made into television, film, and radio-plays.
Here are his words for the New Year, a sometimes thing he does:
I love that he is married to Amanda Palmer, another amazing person I have admired for many years, their coupling blew my mind, and I always say they are the gold standard of relationships, so very different yet so similar and so in touch with each other, witnessing any exchange between them will always make my heart warm and happy.
But I guess it is his fierce intellect and that extraordinary mind I adore the most. Because these are the things I look for in people generally - intellect and imagination - without these we are simply vessels of mediocrity. Listening to him speak or reading anything by him will show that his intellect and imagination is of the highest order, and that mix, to me, equates to absolute genius.
And you know on top of all of that he remains down to earth, sweet, and kind. A mild mannered English man, who exudes gorgeousness within and without, and he is indeed, swoonworthy.