Monday, May 05, 2008 | 21:13
Just some general updates to get the niceties out of the way. I got my MacBook back unscathed and working fine, still guiltily and sadly unemployed, still baking and cooking like an old grandmum, visiting the gym almost every day, and trying to find various ways to spend my endless spare time.
So today's afternoon was a very pleasant change from the norm.
Neil Gaiman is in Melbourne for a few days for some book signings and other events for those influential artists and authors type people. A few of us managed to book some seats at his free talk and book signing event that was held at the State Library of Victoria. It was quite a cozy hall and he read a bit from the yet to be released children's book 'The Graveyard Book'. I need to remind myself to get it when it's apparently going to be released in Australia sometime near Halloween which is very appropriate timing.
I regretted not taking pictures when he was reading but I didn't want to spoil the moment when the audience, which ranged from uni students to funky late twenties adults and more mature enthusiasts, was listening intently and attentively to Mr. Gaiman. After the reading, which he read from this beautiful manuscript with original illustrations that was displayed during the signing where we got to flip through it as well, was the Q & A session. It went quite alright and I never really thought of him as a quite humorous and witty person before today when he replied to some people dead-panned-ly but actually very funny manner and others with obscured curiosity, which got us all laughing, especially when the topic got to his children, in particulate Maddy.
Soon after, was what all us people were there for; the book signing. Fans brought their favourite dog-eared, chewed up and battered Gaiman books, some their entire collection of The Sandman graphic novels, CDs and DVDs. After waiting in line for almost an hour since the signing started, my friend and I finally got to our turn. He was really polite and obligatory, not only for taking the time to carefully sign every single person's item personally; he doodled on my friend's 'American Gods' and 'Neverwhere', he actually paused and posed for two seconds to smile for the camera with me. In addition to signing my 'Anansi Boys' novel of course.
Let me just make it clear that he didn't do it for anyone else before my turn. Friends would take their friend's pictures with him signing but he didn't stop to take a proper photo like he did with me. I feel special. In a quite off-putting and arrogant way I know. But I need to gloat sometimes. My friend who took the photo apologizes for the blurness of the photo but you can clearly see him looking at the camera. I think he's probably one of the nicer, if not nicest, writer in person and when he blogs which is quite often and is very popular. I know I haven't been to many book signings as the only other book signing I've been to was Jeffrey Archer's one at Borders recently which was quite uneventful to say the least because I wanted to get a book for my mum who is quite a reader of his books. His signings went quite fast and though there weren't many people there, he talked for a bit only with the stragglers who bothered to stay and talk with him.
This is not a Jeff Archer bashing alright, I'm just trying to make a comparison between these two authors. I just think that Neil is more relatable and personable when he meets his fans. Hopefully this second visit for him won't be his last. For now, I will enjoy 'Anansi' and drift off into his unique imagination that can only be Neil's.