I’ve been a bit quiet of late, because I have been tackling some projects for Neil Gaiman’s website. You may (or may not) know that I wrote some essays for the site, and I’m updating the article on movies and comics, and soon I’ll turn my hand to two new articles.
I don’t remember how I got involved in the first place…I think Neil mentioned that he needed some writing done and I wrote Julia Bannon, his then publisicist, and pointed out that I had some articles and book reviews up, and they paid me, because they are good people and beleive writers should get paid for their work. Julia sent me some review/promo items, including a pretty awesome tee shirt with different types of swords crossed on the front to advertise one of Neal Stephenson’s books.
I remember that I had to call Neil to get the lowdown on all the movie news. I also remember being exceptionally nervous. My tape machine broke that day, so I had to scribble everything by hand, so there are no quotes in the essays because I didn’t want to misquote him. He was…and is…a sweetheart. You know how people are always going on (and on) about how kind he is? It’s utterly true.
Once in awhile, I write him, ashamedly, and tell him that I would like to update the article (the shame comes from the fact it’s been awhile) and he always emails me back and makes me feel like everything is fine.
The first step is to create folders…I use Spring Pad, and it’s been pretty good. And you start mining…you search everything. Thankfully, Gaiman is a pretty uncommon name, so you can type Gaiman + Who and then you go through the search results, and copy and paste sources, quotes…everything of interest. The first stage is about reading and finding more search terms and searching them and reading more. You’ll see something mentioned off handedly three years ago, and find that there are a hundred hits…or none.
Then I revise…or write…the article. When I see holes in my knowledge, or I want to double check something because I have rumors that don’t match up, I put it in my list of questions.
Then I email Neil…that’s where I am with the movie article. I emailed him a list of things to confirm, and then I’ll add what he tells me to the article. My goal is to make something as complete as possible, so that people can go to the essay and find out why/how he’s involved, what he’s doing, and what’s happening with it.
There are some exciting rumors, like the idea that American Gods or even Sandman might make HBO as a series. Having just watched “A Game of Thrones”, I feel like this is an idea that could work. But then, as I go through the list, I see projects that have stalled or died altogether…so the news isn’t always so good.
But it will be fun to see what happens. When I write the article, I make bets with myself, to see what will actually make it and what won’t. What I have learned is to never depend on anything…the only time a section of the article is done is when the movie is made and out on DVD.