After an easy journey to Bath and stopping briefly to collect my sister, we parked up and made our way to the venue. The details on the Bath Literature Festival weren’t a great help so I only had a rough idea of where the venue was. We arrived with about 5 minutes to spare and joined a large queue that was snaking around the building, but it moved forward at a good speed.
Thankfully there was no arranged seating, so we could sit well back and if my expectations of the event were correct, it would allow us to laugh exessively load without the danger of deafening a small child in the process. After a brief introduction, Neil appeared on stage along with an excessive amount of dry ice, which had slowly enveloped the stage minutes before.
We were treated to a sample from the new childrens book Neil Gaiman is working on called The Graveyard Book, which is in Neils own words ‘like the Jungle Book, only set in a graveyard instead of the jungle’. The sample left you eager to know more the instant it finshed, but I guess we’ll have to wait until next year for the completed book to be released.
The second extract that Neil read was from the book he is writing for World Book Day entitled Odd and the Frost Giants. Again another kids book that this in progress, although will be pulished on the 6th of march next year for £1.
There is something very magical about hearing an author read his own work, espically as Neil explains that finding the right tone of voice for each book also helps him in the creative process. The fact that the whole story is already in Neils head and at certain points during the narration he would ad-lib parts of the story to connect two parts together.
After the reading there was a Q&A with the audience.
With some very interesting questions regarding another Neverwhere story, creative processes, the coraline film due out next year and how Neil ‘broke’ into the graphic novel business.
Hats off to Mr Gaiman that appears to be one of the busiest authors in the world, between traveling, appearances and interviews, it amazes me that he find time to write some of the greatest novels around.
A very enjoyable evening.