June 06, 2005

Dreams into reality

Holy crap, people! Neil Gaiman liked my book! (Insert long sequence of excited "squee!" noises while you are scrolling down, or read the excerpt here.)

Also people gave me books [at the Book Expo], and didn't seem to want blurbs, just for me to have the books, which I liked. Early yesterday morning, in an airport, I found myself reading The Holy Tango of Literature, which poses the question: what sort of poems and plays would have been written if authors had to write something that was an anagram of their names. It's really sharp, and it had me laughing aloud in an airport and getting odd looks. (Unless anyone wants to use the preceding sentence as a blurb, in which case it was all extremely depressing.)

He is correct that I was not angling for a blurb, just jazzed to give a copy of my book to someone I am a big fan of. (To give you some idea: the Sandman series was on my wedding registry.) However, if my book goes into a second printing, you can bet I will be lobbying to add a blurb that reads "It was all extremely depressing. -- Neil Gaiman"

(Thanks to Stephanie for calling the shout-out to my attention!)

Posted by Francis at 11:05 PM

YEAH!!! I just read the mention. Nice!

Posted by: marsha at June 7, 2005 02:57 AM

I think it was actually really shitty and passive-aggressive of him to post that little caveat. It's an arrogant awareness of his own clout -- and instead of guarding it warily, why not be a nice, normal generous person about it, and say, Please author, feel free to include that as a blurb! OR FREAKING EMAIL YOU INSTEAD OF PUBLICLY POSTING IT like a big drama queen and expecting some 'head to forward it to you. I don't know if he thought he was keeping himself real, but I think he's a bit of an asshole.

Posted by: Col at June 8, 2005 10:58 AM

In defense of the asshole, he's cranky about the fact that lots and lots and lots of people give him books specifically in order to get blurbs, rather than because the book might, you know, entertain him. Since Blurb from Famous Guy + [hand waving bit] = PROFIT!, I understand how he could feel like people look at him as if he had an ATM sign over his head. Which would be, you know, all extremely depressing.

That said, you'd think that, having seen the actual blurbs on the actual book, Mr. Gaiman could have left off that last bit. On the other hand, nothing actually obliges him to tell people about random entertaining books, does it?


Posted by: Vardibidian at June 8, 2005 08:29 PM

Yeah, I had mixed feelings about his parenthetical comment as well. My first reaction was, but I didn't ask you for a blurb (and, indeed, as Vardibidian points out, my book was published months ago and comes fully pre-blurbed), so why the attitude?

After rereading, I decided that he seemed to be expressing two separate thoughts -- I liked this book; I don't like people who ask me for blurbs -- and that it was not his intention to undercut his compliment with his joke about blurbs, even if it does kind of come off that way.

His comment the next day (in response to someone who asked him what his deal was with the blurbs, since the questioner had, in fact, only started reading Gaiman's work thanks to a Stephen King blurb) said, in part, "Well, it's not that I don't give blurbs any longer.... Several blurbs over the last couple of years, from authors as diverse as Greg McDonald, Nick Sagan, Robin McKinley and Peter Straub were actually taken from entries in this blog (not that I mind that)." It hardly makes sense that he would seriously single me out as the one person who is not allowed to extract a blurb from his blog, so I think the only reasonable interpretation is that he was joking.

Posted by: Francis at June 9, 2005 01:42 AM