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You probably know that Neil Gaiman is one of the greatest literary influences of our generation. Penning over twenty books, some of which were even turned into blockbuster movies, he is a true genius. His books, including works such as Coraline, Stardust and The Ocean At The End Of The Lane have appeared on the New York Times Bestseller list. But did you know that his least favorite sound in the whole world is the squeal of car brakes, or that he once had a talking cat? Journey with us as we delve deeper into the enigma that is Gaiman.
1. The Life Of Bees
Gaiman is an avid beekeeper. See?
2. Comforting Foods
Typically, when we hear the words “comfort foods,” foods like macaroni and cheese, a bowl of hot soup or a nice and stringy grilled cheese come to mind. However, Gaiman’s favorite comfort food is fish. That’s right, his favorite food is sushi.
At age 16, Neil and his closest friends started a magazine called “Metro.” Gaiman said, “We started a zine. It was called Metro (a name I think I came up with, mostly because it sounded like a magazine people might vaguely have heard of), got a few local stores to pay for enough advertising to print the thing (very cheaply) and did interviews with anyone we could get (Michael Moorcock and artist Roger Dean are the only ones I remember, and they were rather surprised when their interviewers turned out to be sixteen-year-old boys in school uniforms). It was sold in local record and bookstores (this was Croydon in about 1976).”
4. Literary Love
Gaiman had a love of books from early on. When he was a child, he ended up alphabetizing all of the books on his bookshelf.
All writers know the importance of a space that is all their own. Some of us have offices, some of us just have desks, but we all have our own place to write. Gaiman himself has his very own writing shed, where he goes to have quiet and pen his literary works.
6. Book Genders
Gaiman believes that all of his books have genders. Here is what he has to say about it, “Books have sexes; or to be more precise, books have genders. They do in my head, anyway. Or at least, the ones that I write do. And these are genders that have something, but not everything, to do with the gender of the main character of the story. Stardust, on the other hand, is a girl’s book, even though it also has an everyman hero, young Tristan Thorne, not to mention seven Lords bent on assassinating each other.”
7. What A Comic
When Gaiman was 16 years old, he thoroughly enjoyed creating comics. He mostly attempted to tell the stories of Michael Moorcock’s science fiction in thirty panels or so.
Neil and his friends were in a punk-rock band in high school named the Ex-Execs. While the band was offered a record deal, they chose to pass on it because it would have totally screwed them over. Gaiman even attempted to bleach his hair a la Billy Idol, but it didn’t turn out so well.