People have frequently asked Neil what they should do at signings, not having to been to one (or one of his before). He wrote this in 2001 for the American Gods signing tour and has reposted it several times since then in his blog:
What a great list. It's nice that even though I didn't read it before the signing (an it was my first such thing) I seemed to follow all of the rules rather nicely, and even not say stupid things (except maybe "you're my favorite". Well, duh.
I actually brought three things...and Anansi Boys that I bought to get in line (If it weren't close to my birthday, I'd have had to wait for paperback). A book each for my oldest two boys (Coraline and The Day I swapped my dad for two goldfish), and an issue one Sandman. I really didn't even know if anything but the new one might possibly get signed, and really just brought the Sandman because I had a postcard from Neil tucked in with it I wanted to show him.
Each of my two older boys got little drawings in their books, for which I am now even more grateful, reading this post.
I'd been in the Mall, after a little over an hours drive with three boys (9,4, and not quite 2) since about 4:15. It was around 8:30 when the bookstore approached me. The littlest was getting very fussy, and I was being trapped in the downstairs childrens section in order to keep him from crying. (taking a boy that age away from Thomas the Train toys is truly a trauma after all). Our letter to get in line had been called, and my husband was just getting out of work, and not answering his dead cell phone. I was at my wits end. I almost gave up and left. When the employee approached me, after my second failed venture toward the line upstairs, he was wonderfully apologetic about having somehow missed us when previously helping those with children to the front of the line.
"Are you waiting for someone in line?" he said. "I'm supposed to be in line", and embarrassingly enough, my eyes got all full of tears. He offered to take the books up for me for signature, and I am not sorry I asked if please we could meet Mr. Gaiman and I'd bought books for my children to have signed. I was allowed to take the elevator up (stroller, you know) and when I arrived the gentleman was holding the next place in line for us.
Neil was tired, a bit haggard. So was I In the state we were both in, I am grateful for his incredible graciousness. There was a bit of conversation, a wistful? wan? smile as he read the postcard he'd written...and I wish I were able to read minds. He explained how he used to be able to do that, and now tries, but mostly just gets to about 75% of the kids, and schools, that write. I should have said "well, of course, children go first". But, he's a parent and I'm sure he knows that. I did express that I was surprised and grateful to have ever gotten that one response to the only fan letter I'd ever written.
My middle child....bless him, he's a monster. Over and over he didn't want me to read the book to him that day while waiting (though he cried when I'd taken it back to the library), and he didn't care about waiting in line or meeting the person who wrote it. However, after it was signed, and a little fish drawn on that Mr. Gaiman held up so he could see it...I was turned around putting the smallest in the stroller and heard him ever so politely saying "thank you sir , for signing my book" (and the crowd said "awwww")
Of course, now I can't read it to him still. We found there is a CD of Neil reading it inside the book when we got home and storytime has become his sitting in front of the emac while the "guy who wrote it and then read it" reads to him.
One last note in this LONG post. The part I hope Mr. Gaiman sees. The thing I forgot to say. Winnie ther pooh.
Has noone ever brought this up? I mean, it took my reading the stories to my children and then re-visiting my Sandman collection to pick up on it (not having read them as a child). But....it seems to be begging to be brought up. ESPECIALLY in Anansi Boys. Sheesh...the "in which" and a mention of a pooh doll, AND a tum tiddle song are all stuffed in a couple pages of this one!
What I want to know, is did it start on purpose? I know it's not coincidence for sure after reading this book; I want to know how this happened and why it lasts in such an unlikely place of tribute.
|Knows what a real civil war should be|
If they don't want my signature, I don't want theirs.
*a legend in his own mind*
HI..very nice list,very useful..thank you for sharing!
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