How to pronounce Neil Gaiman: kneel gay-mn
Neil Gaiman grew up in England and, although Jewish, attended Church of England schools, including Ardingly College, a boarding school in West Sussex (South of England). During the early 1980s he worked as a journalist and book reviewer. His first book was a biography of the band Duran Duran. He moved from England to his wife's hometown in the American midwest several years ago. He and his family now live in a renovated Victorian farmhouse where (he says) his hobbies are writing things down, hiding, and talking about himself in the third person. More about him and his books below.
A professional writer for more than twenty years, Neil Gaiman has been one of the top writers in modern comics, and is now a bestselling novelist. His work has appeared in translation in more than nineteen countries, and nearly all of his novels, graphic and otherwise, have been optioned for films. He is listed in the Dictionary of Literary Biography as one of the top ten living post-modern writers.
Gaiman was the creator/writer of the monthly cult DC Comics series, "Sandman," which won him nine Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, including the award for best writer four times, and three Harvey Awards. "Sandman #19" took the 1991 World Fantasy Award for best short story, making it the first comic ever to be awarded a literary award.
His six-part fantastical TV series for the BBC, "Neverwhere," was broadcast in 1996. His novel, also called "Neverwhere," and set in the same strange underground world as the television series, was released in 1997; it appeared on a number of bestseller lists, including those of the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Locus.
Stardust, an illustrated prose novel in four parts, began to appear from DC Comics in 1997. In 1999 Avon released the all-prose unillustrated version, which appeared on a number of bestseller lists, was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best books of the year, and was awarded the prestigious Mythopoeic Award as best novel for adults.
American Gods, a novel for adults, was published in 2001 and appeared on many best-of- the-year lists, was a New York Times bestseller in both hardcover and paperback, and won the Hugo, Nebula, SFX, Bram Stoker, and Locus Awards.
Coraline (2002), his first novel for children, was a New York Times and international bestseller, was nominated for the Prix Tam Tam, and won the Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award, the BSFA Award, the HUgo, the Nebula and the Bram Stoker Award.
2003 saw the publication of bestseller The Wolves in the Walls, a children's picture book, illustrated by Gaiman's longtime collaborator Dave McKean, which the New York Times named as one of the best illustrated books of the year; and the first Sandman graphic novel in seven years, Endless Nights, the first graphic novel to make the New York Times bestseller list.
In 2004, Gaiman published the a new graphic novel for Marvel called 1602, which was the best-selling comic of 2004, and 2005 saw the Sundance Film Festival premiere of "MirrorMask," a Jim Henson Company Production written by Gaiman and directed by McKean. A lavishly designed book containing the complete script, black and white storyboards, and full-color art from the film will be published by William Morrow in early 2005; a picture book for younger readers, also written by Gaiman and illustrated with art from the movie, will be published by HarperCollins Children's Books at a later date.
In Fall 2005, Anansi Boys, the follow-up to American Gods, was published. This was followed by Interworld (2007) written with Michael Reaves; and The Graveyard Book and Odd and the Frost Giants, both published in 2008.
This biography was last updated on 04/18/2012.
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'Where do you get your Ideas?'
An Essay by Neil Gaiman
Every profession has its pitfalls. Doctors, for example, are always being asked for free medical advice, lawyers are asked for legal information, morticians are told how interesting a profession that must be and then people change the subject fast. And writers are asked where we get our ideas from.
In the beginning, I used to tell people the not very funny answers, the flip ones: 'From the Idea-of-the-Month Club,' I'd say, or 'From a little ideas shop in Bognor Regis,' 'From a dusty old book full of ideas in my basement,' or even 'From Pete Atkins.' (The last is slightly esoteric, and may need a little explanation. Pete Atkins is a screenwriter and novelist friend of mine, and we decided a while ago that when asked, I would say that I got them from him, and he'd say he got them from me. It seemed to make sense at the time.)
Then I got tired of the not very funny answers, and these days I tell people the truth:
'I make them up,' I tell them. 'Out of my head.'
People don't like this answer. I don't know why not. They look unhappy, as if I'm trying to slip a fast one past them...
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