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Neil Gaiman's big year

Posted at 2:47 PM on October 5, 2006 by Euan Kerr

Every couple of years Neil Gaiman comes in to talk about his latest project. This is the Neil Gaiman who wrote the cult comic book "The Sandman," a series of successful novels including "Neverwhere," "Stardust," and "American Gods," a bunch of children's books, and some film scripts, including the English dialogue for Miyazaki's "Princess Mononoke."

He came in today to talk about his new short story collection "Fragile Things" which he just learned entered the New York Times bestseller list at number 14.

But of course we also talked about the three films he's involved in which will come out in the next year or so. There's "Stardust" with Nicole Kidman, "Beowulf" with Angelina Jolie, and a stopframe action version of his children's book "Coraline."

I asked him is he thought this was going to change the way he lives his life. He's extremely prolific, and he admits it been tough to find time to write in the last year. However he thinks the films coming out won't make that much of a difference.

"I remember an article they wrote four, maybe five, years ago for the Hollywood Reporter," he says. "And it was a front page article on the fact that I was the person with the most things bought by Hollywood and not made. That's not news! That's just the way that it works."

Now he's got three films going, and he says that's pretty good given the numbers of books and scripts Hollywood buys and then never uses for a film.

He says he doesn't know if there will ever be a Sandman film. If there is he says he hopes it's made by a director who has the same passion for the character and the stories as Peter Jackson had for Lord of the Rings.

"We are definitely in no hurry," he says.

He says he sometimes tells people working in Hollywood is a bit like the situations you find in fairy stories.

"In fairy tales, you work for the fairies," he says. "And you work really hard, and you are exhausted and the work is there, but in the morning the gold they gave you turns to leaves and blows away. And working in Hollywood is a bit like that up-side down, because you work very very hard and you get up one morning and the work you have turned into leaves and blown away, but it's left enormous quantities of gold behind."

Gaiman will read from "Fragile Things" tonight at the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis. Afterwards he'll sign books, and other things, (LISTEN HERE!) for as long as it takes, as his film "Mirrormask" screens in the theater. The event begins at 7, but doors open at 6, and the consensus seems to be it's best to get there early. Details are available at the Dreamhaven Bookstore site.

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