Daily Archives: February 6, 2009

Interview Outtakes

The second half of the interview with Neil Gaiman has been posted at fps!

Here are the promised outtakes.

First, a single line because it made me laugh. The context: The assistant had given me the two minute warning, which meant about seventeen minutes had gone by.

    NG: You haven’t even asked any questions, I’ve just monologued at you!

And here’s the post-interview stuff.

    A: I have tons more questions that I wish I had asked —

    NG: I’m sorry!

    A: But obviously we are out of time. So what I will ask you to do is —

    NG: Do you need me to scribble on anything for you?

    A: I would very much like you to. It took me – I’m not kidding – since I was given this assignment it took me five days to figure out what I would ask you to sign, and finally I said, Well, since the interview’s for Coraline, I shall ask you to sign that.

    NG: Spell your name.

    A: A – r – i – n.

    [NG shakes his fountain pen]

    NG: I, of course, was an idiot, and left this uncapped.

    A: Do you need another? [because OF COURSE I have brought a fountain pen to a Neil Gaiman interview] Oh, you’ve got a back up. Okay. [ballpoint, alas]

    NG: How is this, it should work – A-r-i-n? [writes]

    A: Yes, that’s correct!

    NG: Where’s it from?

    A: My parents made it up.

    NG: Ah! [draws]

    A: Well, obviously it’s all over the place now, but thirty-eight years ago they made it up. My mother is Scottish, from Kirkcaldy, and wanted to call me Aran, for the Isle of Aran.

    NG: Right.

    A: My dad’s Irish, and wanted to call me Erin. So, they compromised. They went halves.

    NG: [laughs] So you have an Aran meets Erin. Which leaves you somewhere around the Isle of Mann in terms of geographics.

    A: [Laughs.]

    [NG continues to draw]

    A: I’m trying to get my son to agree to let me read him The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish.

    NG: How old is he?

    A: He’s going to be four in a few months. And he won’t – ‘No Mama, I don’t want to read it, I just want to look at the pictures.’ And he’ll look at the pictures and say, ‘Why is he holding a gorilla mask?’ And I say, ‘Well, we’ll have to read the book and find out.’ ‘No, I don’t want to do that yet.’

    NG: That’s so cool. The point I knew that The Wolves in the Walls worked as a book was when my friend Gary Wolfe called me from Chicago to tell me his grandchildren had been over, and the 3 yr old had made him read them The Wolves in the Walls and he did. And then the light was going, and she asked if he would read it again. And he couldn’t really see the text properly so he began, ‘Lucy was wandering around the place.’

    A: Telling the pictures.

    NG: And she said, “Granpa. It’s ‘Lucy walked around the place.’” And she, on one listen, had it cold.

    A: That’s great. I love hearing my son start to do that. ‘Here Mum, I’ll read this book to you,’ and you know, he’s pretty darn close, and you realize that reading really is an awful lot of memorization.

    NG: Yeah. It’s – there’s so much of words that is memory, remembering the shapes, the word shapes. We don’t actually read it; we only think we read it.

    [NG shows A the drawing he’s done in the book.]

    A: [laughs] I love it. Thank you, so very, very much.

    NG: You are so very welcome. Thank you for coming.

    A: I’m looking forward to you coming back in August.

    NG: I will be here!

This is the last post on the topic, I promise. But you must understand, it’s been eating my life since Tuesday of last week. In a good way, but still. Now it’s all out of my system.

Here is something totally unconnected: I have an appointment with the luthier tonight to adjust the 7/8 cello, and get the rental thing started. I hope I can stay awake that long, and be focused enough during the appointment to test and evaluate the adjustments.