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Neil Gaiman Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (13) | Trivia (57) | Personal Quotes (63)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 10 November 1960Portchester, England, UK
Birth NameNeil R. Gaiman
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Neil Gaiman was born on November 10, 1960 in Portchester, England as Neil R. Gaiman. He is a writer and producer, known for Stardust (2007), Coraline (2009) and Beowulf (2007). He has been married to Amanda Palmer since November 10, 2010. They have one child. He was previously married to Mary T. McGrath.

Spouse (2)

Amanda Palmer (10 November 2010 - present) (1 child)
Mary T. McGrath (1985 - ?) (divorced) (3 children)

Trade Mark (13)

Black T-shirt
Often titles his stories after song names, particularly ones by Lou Reed, Joy Division, and Broadway standards.
Messy Black Hair
Supernatural and Occult Themes
Dresses only in black clothing
Elegant prose.
Celestial imagery like the Moon and the stars.
Characters from his books will cross over into other stories he's written.
Crossing thresholds to other worlds.
Immortality.
Mirrors and twins.
Writes dark fantasy for adults and children or for adults from a child's perspective.
Writes about myths and science and horror and symbolism.

Trivia (57)

Is good friends with Tori Amos, who makes references to him on different songs of hers. He, in addition, has based the character "Foxglove", who appears in his comic books "Sandman" and "Death - the high cost of Living", on her.
Featured writer in "Born To Be Wild" comic book speaking out against animal cruelty.
Sandman won him the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards for best writer (1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994), best continuing series (1991, 1992 and 1993), best graphic album-- reprint (1991), and the Best New Graphic Album (1993)
The series also won the Harvey Award for best writer (1990, 1991) and best continuing series (1992)
Sandman #19 took the 1991 World Fantasy Award for best short story (making it the first comic ever to be awarded a literary award).
He is an honorary brother of the Phi Alpha Tau fraternity at Emerson College.
In 1992, he moved his family -- wife Mary, son Michael, and daughter Holly Gaiman -- to Minneapolis, Minnesota, from England.
He sued "Spawn" creator Todd McFarlane for violation of copyright and non-payment of royalties in January, 2002. The case went to court in October 2002, when the seven-person federal jury in Wisconsin took three days to decide in favor of Gaiman, agreeing that McFarlane used Gaiman's created characters without permission or compensation. Gaiman was awarded $45,000 plus court costs.
Claims a new addiction to Calamansi Juice, a citrus fruit product of the Philippines, when he enjoyed many bottles of it while on a recent book tour of Asia, spending several days and nights in Manila.
His ex-wife Mary, an American, is four years older than Neil. He is engaged to Amanda Palmer (2010).
Moved to Menomonie, Wisconsin, with his now ex-wife Mary, two daughters Holly and Maddy, and son Mike.
He has won 4 Stoker Awards from the Horror Fiction Writers of America (2003 for Sandman: Endless Nights, 2002 for Coraline, 2001 for American Gods, and 1999 for Sandman: The Dream Hunters). He's been nominated for the Stokers for 4 other works of fiction as well.
The Hugo Awards are given at the World Science Fiction Convention and the winners are voted on by all attending members. Neil has won 3 Hugos (2004 for the short story "A Study in Emerald", 2003 for Coraline, and 2002 for American Gods).
The World Fantasy Awards are given at the World Fantasy Convention and the winners are voted on by all attending members. Neil has won once (1991 in the short fiction category for his comic book arc from Sandman called "A Midsummer Night's Dream). He's been nominated for 6 additional works.
Babylon 5 (1994) producer J. Michael Straczynski was so impressed with Gaiman's writing, he named an alien race after him, the Gaim, who have a visual similarity to Gaiman's "Sandman" character.
Is the son of David Bernard Gaiman, who was a Public Relations Director for the Church of Scientology in England (where it is not recognized as a religion) until his death in 2009.
January 15, 2010: Announced his engagement to Amanda Palmer, lead singer of The Dresden Dolls.
[January 2010] Engaged to The Dresden Dolls singer/pianist Amanda Palmer.
His last name is properly pronounced "gay-mun," not "guy-mun," as he says people often mispronounce it. Gaiman explains that it is an Anglicized version of a name that was originally Polish.
Friend of Lenny Henry.
Married fiancée Amanda Palmer in New Orleans on November 10, 2010.
A huge fan of Harlan Ellison.
Lived in the US since 1989.
Is a huge fan of the TV series 'Supernatural'.
Works frequently with artist Dave McKean.
A huge fan of author Gene Wolfe.
Some of his short stories take years to write and years to be published.
One of the most haunting tales he's ever read is Sweeney Todd.
Parts of his graphic novel Mr Punch are based on true events.
A huge fan of science-fiction, and is surprised he never became a SF author himself. He also covered a SF convention for a national newspaper in 1985.
A huge fan of writer, 17th century collector and historian John Aubrey.
Interviewed celebrities for Penthouse and Knave, two English magazines in the 1980s. He thought they were tamer than they're US counterparts. He reflected that Penthouse had nothing to do with women and everything to do with pictures of women.
A huge fan and a close friend of Alan Moore.
Supports PETA.
Supports the comic book legal defense fund, an organization that defends the 1st Amendment rights of comic book creators, publishers and retailers.
Some of his work derives from his own nightmares.
Ray Bradbury's short story Homecoming inspired Gaiman to become an author.
His interest in comic books came after reading some of Alan Moore's work on 'Swamp Thing'.
Did not attend college or University.
The novel Alice in Wonderland is an influence on Gaiman, e.g. he likens a crescent moon to a grin, like the Cheshire Cat in Gaiman's novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane. His work also seems inspired by the Brothers Grimm.
An acclaimed, award-winning author, he's won two national book awards and the Hugo, Nebula and Bram Stoker awards.
His novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane won Book of the Year 2013 at the Specsavers National Book Awards.
He was nearly strangled as a 10-year old when a school bully pulled his tie so tight he had to have the other kids loosen it.
Gaiman has won the Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, SFX and Locus awards for his writing.
In his novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Gaiman has one of the characters say "spit-spot" from Mary Poppins (1964). He's a big fan of the books written by P.L. Travers.
Likes to write on the Isle of Skye.
A big fan of author C.S. Lewis. He read the entire Chronicles of Narnia after seeing The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe (1988).
When he and Dave McKean collaborated on Mirrormask (2005), McKean did the designs but they worked on the illustrated film script together.
His novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane derived from his own childhood experiences.
Has often collaborated with fellow author Terry Pratchett.
A fan of Ringo Starr.
Authors William Gibson and Philip Pullman are big fans of Gaiman.
When he was a child, he used to read on the branch of a Beech tree by climbing a rope ladder.
As well as film and TV, his work has been adapted for radio and graphic novels.
The works of the Brothers Grimm are an influence on Gaiman.
Son Anthony, with wife Amanda Palmer, born at 8:37 a.m. on September 16, 2015.

Personal Quotes (63)

It's not a bad thing for a writer not to feel at home. Writers - we're much more comfortable at parties standing in the corner watching everybody else having a good time than we are mingling.
This is a work of fiction. All the characters in it, human and otherwise, are imaginary, excepting only certain of the fairy folk, whom it might be unwise to offend by casting doubt on their existence. Or lack thereof.
We all not only could know everything. We do. We just tell ourselves we don't to make it all bearable.
It is a fool's prerogative to utter truths that no one else will speak.
Firstly, there is no such person as Death. Second, Death's this tall guy with a bone face, like a skeletal monk, with a scythe and an hourglass and a big white horse and a penchant for playing chess with Scandinavians. Third, he doesn't exist either.
I was a "bookie" kid. I was one those kids who had books on them. Before weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, funerals and anything else where you're actually meant to not be reading, my family would frisk me and take the book away. If they didn't find it by this point in the procedure, I would be sitting over in that corner completely unnoticed just reading my book.
Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.
There is never enough time, and I wind up just wanting to do things that I don't have time for.
The biggest difference between England and America is that England has history, while America has geography.
In fiction, why do people never talk while making love?
One day the good and honest townsfolk of Northampton will burn Alan (Moore) as a warlock, and it will be a great loss to the world.
I like writing things that will surprise me.
I think a good short story is a magic trick. That's one reason why I love reading books on magic, because sometimes you realize that the trick is very small, but the effect is huge.
These days AIDS seems to have become, for good or evil, just another disease in Venus's armoury.
Writing is flying in dreams.
I seem to have a career that I enjoy that doesn't involve getting up too early in the morning.
Mirrors are wonderful things. They appear to tell the truth, to reflect life back out at us; but set a mirror correctly and it will lie so convincingly you'll believe something has vanished into thin air, that a box filled with doves and flags and spiders is actually empty, that people hidden in the wings or the pit are floating ghosts upon the stage. Angle it right and a mirror becomes a magic casement; it can show you anything you can imagine and maybe a few things you can't. Stories are in one way or another mirrors. We use them to explain to ourselves how the world works or how it doesn't. Like mirrors, stories prepare us for the day to come. They distract us from the things in the darkness. Fantasy is a mirror, a distorting mirror, and a concealing mirror set at 45 degrees to reality, but a mirror nonetheless, which we use to tell ourselves things we might not otherwise see.
There are people who don't read introductions.
Sometimes the only way I would know that a story had finished was when there weren't any more words to be written down.
I laughed in the face of danger and spat on the shoes of writers block.
Handmade Christmas cards are things of beauty; monuments to inspired creativity.
Every Christmas I feel insignificant and embarrassed and talentless.
The mechanics of writing fascinate me.
You know what you're writing ahead of time.
Writing imaginative tales for the young is like sending coals to Newcastle. For coals.
Stories you read when you're the right age never quite leave you. If a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit. Horror stays with you hardest.
Fantasy gets into your bones.
Science-fiction takes you across the stars, and into other times and minds.
Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and dreams. They are journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner.
The hardest thing to do as a young writer is to finish something.
The good thing about a book of short stories is you don't have to like them all.
M is for magic. All the letters are, if you put them together properly. You can make magic with them, and dreams, and I hope, even a few surprises...
I remember reading books as a child and promising myself I would never forget. Because you'd read books, and they'd obviously been written by someone who'd completely forgot. And I'd go, How can you forget?
I could run down a list of my teachers for you when I was 9 or 10 by the physical punishments they liked inflicting on us. From the spotty young man, Mr. Cook, who made us - and we were wearing short trousers - stand in a desk while hitting the backs of our knees with a ruler, to the ones who would grab you [by the hair] and turn it , to the really kind of perverted ones who would go down for your nipple and squeeze. And the ones who would simply throw things..What the fuck was up with that? Did adults know? Did they care?
I love writing stuff where I get to set the rules. Which is, I guess, a bit like fantasy in that I love being God when I write. Could I have written 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane' with absolutely no magic? Sure I could. But the magic in 'Ocean' for me is like adding a little salt. It brings out the tastes. It makes things that happen, happen more so.
George R R Martin is not your bitch.
What makes children's fiction children's fiction? What makes fiction for adults? What do people respond to and what do I respond to. One of the keys to children's fiction for me is you owe it to the world, and you owe it to the kids, to give them hope.
The one thing that used to absolutely terrify me was the shadow of my dressing gown. There was something about the shadow of the dressing gown hanging on the door that looked like somebody just standing on the wall - even if the door was open and the light was on. That shadow would be cast on the wall and I'd think there would be somebody there, someone waiting on the other side of the door for me - and it was very, very terrifying.
There were apparently limits to what you could take out of South Africa.
Normally the audience for any of my books is me. Sometimes if I am writing a book - even my kids' books - I tend to be very, very aware, if I can be, of the fact that adults are going to be reading them too. You're very aware that some adult is going to have to read it as well as a kid, but you're also trying to put yourself back in the frame of mind of a kid for whom every turning of the page is an adventure.
I think you can absolutely have absolute truths, just as I believe you can absolutely never have two people who were there agree on what that absolute truth is. It's the glory and the magic of the way memory works. Memories are being rewritten all the time and the view changes wherever you're standing. So while there probably are absolute truths, I would hesitate to pronounce on what they are. I think that there are definitely no personal absolute truths. Because I think personal absolute truths are colored by memory and feeling and point of view.
[writing chunks from 1930s and 40s girls-school stories] I loved writing them. I loved the fact that I got to make them up and could have just made them up forever.
The Mary Poppins books by PL Travers stayed with me. A lot of the ones that stayed with me are the ones I've actually discovered that as an adult I could go back and re-read, discovering they are still great books. PL Travers is such a fantastic writer. So smart and invested so much for kids. Another is CS Lewis.
I love marital squabbles. Not the kind where you're actually fighting about anything that means anything. Just ones where what you're actually hearing is this wonderful porridge that memory turns into. People take other people's memories, people remember things differently, and if there was an anything that at the exact moment it happened all you have to reconstruct it with is a subjective truth.
I think the joy of perfectly new experiences is that they should be a surprise - and the joy of writing about kids is that so much is absolutely new, you can give them first times for everything.
I remember my first ever experience with death - I must have been maybe three. I remember thinking my goldfish bowl looked dirty, and very proudly squirted some washing-up liquid in there just to help. And the next day I came down and both of my goldfish were just floating on their bodies, dead. And I was absolutely and utterly heartbroken.
There is this weird, glorious magic of anything being done for the first time. And of course the joy of anything being done for the first time is that it should always be completely unpredictable and unexpected. I wouldn't just say I'd like to swim with dolphins, because truly what I'd like is to be astonished. And then to go, 'this is the first time I've ever done this - how cool!' So, not to be expecting it is a huge part of it.
[surviving a near-death experience as a child] I just had a feeling that I'd known everything in that time, that I'd been somewhere you could know everything and now I had to go back to being human again, being one person with a strange small head. I wanted to reproduce that feeling.
There are things I think some kids are really good at. I was really good at living inside books, the sort of relationship kids have with fiction, the relationship kids have with books.
They don't teach you the facts of death, your Mum and Dad. They give you pets. And actually it's true. For many of us, pets are the way we initially discover death and the heartbreak of death. And we have to discover it. We encounter it, we learn how to live with it, learn how to survive it. And that, in some horrible way, is what pets are for.
I think there's a bonding experience between children and pets whereas adults would be hard pushed to make that amount of emotional investment in pets. My pets were pretty much always cats.
[why he likes giving lectures] To try and understand what I was writing and who it was for.
I needed to change and fix and rebuild.
I am really fascinated by the power of myths. You don't go to a myth for characterization - what you go to a really good myth for is a kind of glorious inevitability.
[photographs] Memory-jogging.
I owe thanks to so many people, the ones who were there in my life when I needed them, the ones who brought me tea, the ones who wrote the books that brought me up. To single any of them out is foolish.
[driving down a narrow country lane at night in fog] If you drive slowly, you can see far enough in front of you to drive safely and keep going, but you can't drive very fast, and you really don't know what's going to be around each corner.
In Sarasota, Florida, Stephen King reminded me of the joy of just writing every day. Words save our lives, sometimes.
I have wonderful editors on both sides of the Atlantic.
[his novel] The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a novel of childhood and memory. It's a story of magic, about the power of stories and how we face the darkness inside of us. It's about fear, and love, and death and families. But, fundamentally, I hope, at its heart, it's a novel about survival.
[acknowledgements in a book] You do not have to read it. It's mostly just names.
The good folk of Twitter were extremely helpful when I needed to double-check how much Blackjacks and fruit salad sweets cost in the 1960s.
I learned more about the words I'd written when reading aloud than I ever have learned about anything I've written.

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