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523 pages, Paperback
First published May 31, 2016
We who make stories know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that say true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is someone who needs that story. Someone who will grow up with a different landscape, who without that story will be a different person. And who with that story may have hope, or wisdom, or kindness, or comfort. And that is why we write.He writes about works that and writers who have influenced him, whether those influences were TV Programs (Dr Who), writers of comics (Will Eisner), or of books (Harlan Ellison, and many others), of children’s or adult fiction. I enjoyed his observations of the writing experience. There are details in this collection that will definitely enhance your appreciation for how some of his well-known creations came to be, the what-ifs that sparked the process.
I write to find out what I think about something. I wrote American Gods because I had lived in America for almost a decade and felt it was time that I learned what I thought about it. I wrote Coraline because, when I was a child, I used to wonder what would happen if I went home and my parents had moved away without telling me.He offers insights into some other works of his, for instance Sandman and The Ocean of the End of the Lane.
[...]fiction was an escape from the untolerable, a doorway into impossibly hospitable worlds where things had rules and could be understood; stories had been a way of learning about life without experiencing it, or perhaps of experiencing it as an eighteenth-century poisoner dealt with poisons, taking them in tiny doses, such that the poisoner could cope with ingesting things that would kill someone who was not inured to them. Sometimes fiction is a way of coping with the poison of the world in a way that lets us survive it.
[...]Do not give either of us [Anthony and Neil Gaiman] gifts: give us the tale that accompanies the gift. That is what makes the gift worth having.
[...]as I said, it is the tales that accompany the gift that matter: the stories that show us the joy of event, of the shaping of memories, and the joy of a life lived, as all lives are lived, both in the light and the darkness.