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Posts Tagged ‘Neil Gaiman’

John Green Delivers Commencement Address at Butler University

The Fault in Our Stars author John Green delivered the commencement speech at the graduation ceremony for Butler University’s class of 2013. To read the entire speech, head to Green’s Tumblr page.

Watch the entire speech in the video embedded above (his talk begins at the 1:01:08 mark). Here’s an excerpt:

I would just note that the default assumption is that the point of human life is to be as successful as possible, to acquire lots of fame or glory or money as defined by quantifiable metrics: number of twitter followers, or facebook friends, or dollars in one’s 401k.

This is the hero’s journey, right? The hero starts out with no money and ends up with a lot of it, or starts out an ugly duckling and becomes a beautiful swan, or starts out an awkward girl and becomes a vampire mother, or grows up an orphan living under the staircase and then becomes the wizard who saves the world. We are taught that the hero’s journey is the journey from weakness to strength. But I am here today to tell you that those stories are wrong. The real hero’s journey is the journey from strength to weakness.

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How a Picture Book Is Born

Over at the Muddy Colors blog, children’s book author and illustrator Adam Rex shared his creative process behind Chu’s Day–his picture book collaboration with Neil Gaiman.

The post includes a brief glimpse of Gaiman’s script for their next children’s book project, but we also get priceless shots of storyboards and character sketches from the current book. Here’s an excerpt from the essay:

In a novel you can just throw a bunch of blanks at the end to round out another eight pages if you have to, but with a picture book you need to be more precise. Add to this that nearly all picture books are either 32 or 40 pages long, and it gets even more restrictive. Few PBs are more than 40 pages. None are less than 32 (board books don’t count). I draw 32 or 40 or whatever little boxes on a single page of my sketchbook and start filling them in. I only have the most rudimentary notion what each page is going to look like, but this is where I usually discover the ideas that will make this my book as opposed to a book that was merely illustrated by me. Once I have all my pandas in a row I probably sketch character designs.

Neil Gaiman’s ‘Neverwhere’ Adapted for BBC Radio

Reviving the lost art of the radio drama, BBC4 has released the first episode of an radio adaptation of Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman‘s 1996 novel.

Follow this link to listen onlineJames McAvoy, Natalie DormerChristopher Lee, Benedict Cumberbatch and many other actors star in the adaptation. Here’s more about the show:

An act of kindness sees Richard Mayhew catapulted from his ordinary life into a subterranean world under the streets of London. Stopping to help an injured girl on a London street, Richard is thrust from his workaday existence into the strange world of London Below. So begins a curious and mysterious adventure deep beneath the streets of London, a London of shadows where the tube cry of ‘Mind the Gap’ takes on new meaning; for the inhabitants of this murky domain are those who have fallen through the gaps in society, the dispossessed, the homeless.

Secret Freelancer Knowledge from Neil Gaiman

In May, HarperCollins will publish Make Good Art, a Chip Kidd-designed book version of a Neil Gaiman commencement address. Gaiman’s speech at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia went viral last year, sharing “secret freelancer knowledge” that all kinds of writers, editors and freelance workers can use.

We’ve embedded a video of his speech above–it also contains the best advice he ever received, delivered by the great novelist Stephen King. Here is Gaiman’s secret freelancer knowledge:

You get work however you get work, but keep people keep working in a freelance world (and more and more of today’s world is freelance), because their work is good, because they are easy to get along with and because they deliver the work on time. And you don’t even need all three! Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time. People will forgive the lateness of your work if it is good and they like you. And you don’t have to be as good as everyone else if you’re on time and it’s always a pleasure to hear from you.

Neil Gaiman, Adam Rex & Benjamin Nugent Get Booked

Here are some literary events to pencil in your calendar. To get your event posted on our calendar, visit our Facebook Your Literary Event page. Please post your event at least one week prior to its date.

The Center for Fiction will be celebrating the publication of Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do. Join in on Thursday, February 21st starting 7 p.m. (New York, NY)

The Moth will be having a StorySLAM event on “Patters” at HousingWorks Bookstore Cafe. Check it out on Thursday, February 21st starting 7 p.m. (New York, NY)

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Neil Gaiman Works with BlackBerry on Storytelling Project

Ever wish you could share a story idea with novelist Neil Gaiman? The author has teamed up with BlackBerry have teamed up to create a storytelling project called A Calendar of Tales.

AppNewser has more on how to join the project: “Gaiman will write a new tale for every month of the year, drawing inspiration and illustrations from his millions of online fans. The project will create ‘an amazing calendar showcasing your illustrations beside Neil’s stories.’”

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Neil Gaiman Reveals Cover for New Novel

Novelist Neil Gaiman revealed the covers for two upcoming books on Tumblr.

We’ve included the cover image poster for The Ocean at the End of the Lane above. Below, we’ve included links to free posters you can download for your computer.

The author also showed the Chip Kidd-designed cover for Make Good Art, a book version of the commencement address that Gaiman delivered last year.

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Neil Gaiman Writing American Gods Pilot for HBO

On Twitter, Neil Gaiman shared the fact that he is currently writing an American Gods pilot for HBO. We’ve embedded the tweet above.

Click here to read the first five chapters of the award-winning novel, “a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth.” The news of the possible adaptation emerged last year.

If you want to listen to the American Gods playlist on Spotify, follow this link. We’ve embedded the songlist below, a great collection of writing music.

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FEMA Administrator Recommends Parents Read to Their Children as Storm Approaches

As Hurricane Sandy nears the East Coast, FEMA administrator Craig Fugate urged parents to read with their children.

If you want to know how Hurricane Sandy will affect your state, visit the State-by-State  Guide to Hurricane Sandy at The New York Times.

Readers have been using the #StormReads hashtag to talk about the books they are reading during this difficult time. We’ve embedded some of these tweets below.

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Free Neil Gaiman Audiobook Short Story Raises Money For Charity

Audible has released a new audio short story from author Neil Gaiman called Click-Clack the Rattlebag and is running a charitable promotion to help promote the work.

To encourage downloads, through Halloween Audible will donate $1 per download from Audible.com to DonorsChoose.org up to $100,000, and 50p per download from Audible.co.uk to Booktrust. Both charities promote literacy.

The audio book is free and is read by Gaiman himself. Here is more about the story: ”

‘What kind of story would you like me to tell you?’ ‘Well,’ he said, thoughtfully, ‘I don’t think it should be too scary, because then when I go up to bed, I will just be thinking about monsters the whole time. But if it isn’t just a little bit scary, then I won’t be interested. And you make up scary stories, don’t you?’”

To help spread the word, Gaiman is encouraging readers to tweet the hashtag #ScareUs after downloading the story.

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