Showing posts with label neil gaiman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label neil gaiman. Show all posts

Thursday, September 19

Neil Gaiman's Advice to Writers

Neil Gaiman's Advice to Writers

Although Stephen King's advice changed my life where my writing is concerned, one of my favorite writers on writing is, and will forever be, Neil Gaiman.

If you want to know why, watch this:

Some things Neil Gaiman says in the video:

"You have to finish things — that’s what you learn from, you learn by finishing things."

"Tell your story. Don’t try and tell the stories that other people can tell. Because [as a] starting writer, you always start out with other people’s voices — you’ve been reading other people for years… But, as quickly as you can, start telling the stories that only you can tell — because there will always be better writers than you, there will always be smarter writers than you … but you are the only you."

Those quotations, and the video, are from Neil Gaiman’s Advice to Aspiring Writers over at Brain Pickings.

(I've made a Neil Gaiman playlist; it can be viewed here. It contains all the videos, below, and a few others.)

Here are a few more videos featuring Neil Gaiman:

1. Neil Gaiman talks about his book The Ocean at the End of The Lane.

2. Neil Gaiman on AtGoogleTalks discussing his book The Ocean at the End of The Lane.

3. Neil Gaiman on the Late Late Show (10th anniversary of American Gods)

4. Neil Gaiman talks about what great art is.


Photo credit: "WonderCon 2011 - Doctor Who panel with writer Neil Gaiman" by Pop Culture Geek
under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

Wednesday, March 6

Amanda Palmer's TED Talk: The Art Of Asking

I just watched Amanda Palmer's TED Talk, The Art of Asking (I've embedded it below): Wow!

Amanda Palmer is an exceptional speaker; it was one of the most moving talks I've seen. Although Neil Gaiman, her husband, is biased I loved his reaction:
I am so proud of her. Really: I've never been happier than when I watched her get a standing ovation, and watching this video go viral is an absolute joy.
.  .  .  .
The people who came up and congratulated her over the next few days were people you've heard of, the ones who make the world different.

And when someone came up to me that afternoon and said "You must be Mr Palmer", I said, Yes, I supposed I must be, and I beamed like a madman.

Watch the speech.
Yes, watch the speech if you haven't already. Or even if you have!

The Art of Asking

I need to watch The Art of Asking a few more times; I'd love to read the transcript as well. Asking is something I have trouble with, I hear those shouts of, "Get a job!" too.

Writers kid and say, "If I didn't write I'd have to get a real job!" Perhaps it sometimes doesn't feel like work because we're doing something we love, or because anything you can do in your pajamas can't really be work.

But that's not the way to look at it.

Watch Amanda Palmer's TED talk. She's not just talking about the art of asking she's talking about a new way of thinking about the relationship--and it is a relationship--between artists and patrons.

What did you think of Amanda Palmer's TED Talk? What did you think about Amanda letting anyone download her music and trusting that her patrons will leave a donation?

Other articles you might like:

- Stephen King Board On Jeopardy Tonight (March 5, 2013)
- Cometdocs: A Good Tool For Writers?
- Moby Dick And Amazon One Star Reviews

Photo credit: "Regardless of how silly I look,I adore this photo." by Zawezome under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

Wednesday, November 14

8 Do's And Don'ts Of Writing Fiction From Neil Gaiman

8 Do's And Don'ts Of Writing Fiction From Neil Gaiman

It's the middle of NaNoWriMo and I need an infusion of writing wisdom. So I've turned to Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, PD James and Ian Rankin for their personal do's and don'ts of writing fiction.

Neil Gaiman

1 Write.

2 Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.

3 Finish what you're writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.

4 Put it aside. Read it pretending you've never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.

5 Remember: when people tell you something's wrong or doesn't work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.

6 Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.

7 Laugh at your own jokes.

8 The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you're allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it's definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matte
"Finish what you're writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it." I need to hang that above my desk.

Margaret Atwood

1 Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can't sharpen it on the plane, because you can't take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils.

2 If both pencils break, you can do a rough sharpening job with a nail file of the metal or glass type.

3 Take something to write on. Paper is good. In a pinch, pieces of wood or your arm will do.

4 If you're using a computer, always safeguard new text with a ­memory stick.

5 Do back exercises. Pain is distracting.

6 Hold the reader's attention. (This is likely to work better if you can hold your own.) But you don't know who the reader is, so it's like shooting fish with a slingshot in the dark. What ­fascinates A will bore the pants off B.

7 You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality. This latter means: there's no free lunch. Writing is work. It's also gambling. You don't get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but ­essentially you're on your own. ­Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don't whine.

8 You can never read your own book with the innocent anticipation that comes with that first delicious page of a new book, because you wrote the thing. You've been backstage. You've seen how the rabbits were smuggled into the hat. Therefore ask a reading friend or two to look at it before you give it to anyone in the publishing business. This friend should not be someone with whom you have a ­romantic relationship, unless you want to break up.

9 Don't sit down in the middle of the woods. If you're lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. And/or change the person. Change the tense. Change the opening page.

10 Prayer might work. Or reading ­something else. Or a constant visual­isation of the holy grail that is the finished, published version of your resplendent book.

"Don't sit down in the middle of the woods." Yes, I can see that could be dangerous! And in more ways than one. Though it can be painful to delete words, especially during NaNoWriMo.

PD James

1 Increase your word power. Words are the raw material of our craft. The greater your vocabulary the more ­effective your writing. We who write in English are fortunate to have the richest and most versatile language in the world. Respect it.

2 Read widely and with discrimination. Bad writing is contagious.

3 Don't just plan to write – write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.

4 Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.

5 Open your mind to new experiences, particularly to the study of other ­people. Nothing that happens to a writer – however happy, however tragic – is ever wasted.

"Read widely and with discrimination. Bad writing is contagious." I've always thought this might be so. Especially when I was a kid, I had the habit of mimicking the style of the last author I'd read.  But Ms. James' advice flies in the face of the often given admonition to read both good and bad writing. Why read bad writing? I think the idea is that one can learn a great deal about story structure from seeing it go wrong.

Ian Rankin

1 Read lots.

2 Write lots.

3 Learn to be self-critical.

4 Learn what criticism to accept.

5 Be persistent.

6 Have a story worth telling.

7 Don't give up.

8 Know the market.

9 Get lucky.

10 Stay lucky.
"Learn what criticism to accept." Readers tastes differ, what one person likes, another will despise. I've found it helps to send my work to several readers. I pay attention to a criticism if it rings true to me or if a few of my readers complain about the same thing. I've found that being part of a writers' circle helps enormously.

For more writing advice, read Ten rules of writing fiction as well as Ten rules for writing fiction (part two) and find out what advice Elmore Leonard, Diana Athill, Roddy Doyle, Helen Dunmore, Geoff Dyer, Anne Enright, Richard Ford, Esther Freud, David Hare and AL Kennedy, among others, give.

Photo credit: "liquid fire" by paul bica under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

Friday, November 9

A NaNoWriMo Pep Talk From Neil Gaiman

A NaNoWriMo Pep Talk From Neil Gaiman

The Great Swampy Middle

Well, we're into the second week of NaNoWriMo. That first blush of exuberant confidence is gone and we're into the long uphill slog.

That's how I feel at least. The bright-shiny is wearing off and I'm finding it difficult to finish my daytime work and THEN sit and write for another two or three hours for NaNoWriMo.

But I'm going to.

Because I'm a writer.

And writers write.

Neil Gaiman's NaNoWriMo Pep Talk: Find the next word. Write it down. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Just reading Neil Gaiman's prose is an inspiration.
By now you’re probably ready to give up. You’re past that first fine furious rapture when every character and idea is new and entertaining. You’re not yet at the momentous downhill slide to the end, when words and images tumble out of your head sometimes faster than you can get them down on paper. You’re in the middle, a little past the half-way point. The glamour has faded, the magic has gone, your back hurts from all the typing, your family, friends and random email acquaintances have gone from being encouraging or at least accepting to now complaining that they never see you any more—and that even when they do you’re preoccupied and no fun. You don’t know why you started your novel, you no longer remember why you imagined that anyone would want to read it, and you’re pretty sure that even if you finish it it won’t have been worth the time or energy and every time you stop long enough to compare it to the thing that you had in your head when you began—a glittering, brilliant, wonderful novel, in which every word spits fire and burns, a book as good or better than the best book you ever read—it falls so painfully short that you’re pretty sure that it would be a mercy simply to delete the whole thing.

Welcome to the club.

That’s how novels get written.
I would encourage you to read Neil Gaiman's entire article, I've just quoted from the beginning. You can find it here: Neil Gaiman’s Pep Talk.

Neil Gaiman is just one of dozens of authors who have written pep talks for NaNoWriMo. You can find them in the NaNoWriMo Pep Talk Archive.

My word count right now is 13,952 and I plan to bring that up to 16,000 by the end of the day. We can do this!! :-)

Other articles you might like:

- How To Earn A Living As A Self-Published Writer
- How To Write 10,000 Words A Day
- NaNoWriMo: A Survival Guide

Photo credit: "Contemplation - Dartmoor, Devon" by Janicskovsky under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

Tuesday, October 30

How To Record Your Own Audiobook: Setting Up A Home Studio

How To Record Your Own Audiobook: Setting Up A Home Studio
"I Giovani e la Musica" by SuperUbO under CC BY 2.0

I've wanted to make an audiobook for close to a year. I think it would be a great way to introduce my work to a new audience (I heard that only 95% of books are made into audiobooks) and some folks like it when authors read their own work.

I think I need to just jump in and DO IT. Go through the short stories I've written and record one. If it turns out ghastly I don't have to inflict it on the world, but if it's half decent it might make a good blog post or podcast. :)

Anyway, what has gotten me thinking about recording an audiobook again is a recent blog post by the singular Elizabeth Spann Craig, Getting the Hang of the Business End of Things in which she shares a link to Jeff Bennington's post, Creating Audio Books is Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy. (What a great blog title!)

Audio Creation Exchange (ACX)

Jeff talks about (If you know what ACX is, or you don't care, skip to "Making An Audiobook," below.) ACX stands for Audio Creation Exchange and was launched by Amazon-owned Audible in May of last year.

What is and what can it do for you? This is from their website:
ACX is a marketplace where professional authors, agents, publishers and any other Rights Holders can post audiobook rights to both new frontlist titles and to backlist titles that were never published as audiobooks. At ACX, those rights get matched with Producers, which include audiobook publishers, narrators, engineers, and recording studios. The result: More audiobooks will be made. (The Basics,
I first became aware of ACX because Neil Gaiman has his own line of books over at Audible: Neil Gaiman Presents. His audiobooks are sold through Audible and produced through ACX. Neil Gaiman has written a number of articles about his experience:

Neil Gaiman's audiobook record label (An interview with Neil Gaiman)
ACX - if you’re a writer, an actor, a producer (A Tumblr article by Neil Gaiman)

Making An Audiobook At Home

Before a writer can take advantage of ACX, or any other technology designed to help us sell audiobooks, we have to produce the darn things! And ACX will help with this, by either matching you with professionals (you either pay them outright or share royalties) or through umpteen tutorials on how to do the work yourself.

Since I'm a do-it-yourself kind of gal I'm going to try doing the recording myself. But it's nice to know that, if I fail miserably, I can turn to the talented folks at ACX.

Now onto the good stuff: How to record an audiobook yourself in a studio you cobble together.

What you need to make an audiobook at home

The number one thing you want to do is cut down on noise. Here are some tips on how to do that from the professionals over at ACX:

Reduce noise
- NO fridge nearby.
- NO heading system nearby.
- Hang blankets over the walls and put a rug on the floor to minimize sound reflection.

Office Equipment
- Desk for your computer.
- Stand for the script.
- Something--for instance, a blanket--to absorb the sound on surfaces.
- A chair that's comfortable and won't creak.

Recording Equipment
- Laptops get noisy when they heat up. Whemn this happens shut the computer off, take a coffee break, and let it cool down.
- Don't record directly to your computer's hard disk. Use a fast peripheral drive with lots of capacity.
- Become obsessive about backing up your work.
- Use a pop filter or shield. This deflects and minimizes sounds that can distort the recording. Sounds such as t's, f's, th's and w's. It will run you about $40 but you can also make your own.

You have a choice here, high tech or low tech.
- high tech: A large diaphram condesor mic is the standard for the industry and costs between $400 and $600.
- Low tech: A USB powered snowball mic will do the job if you want a lower cost solution.

The bottom line:
Research it and find out what is available in your area. Go to audio stores, try out their microphones, ask questions, and find a balance of price and performance that suits you.

These tips have been taken from: ACX: Setting up a Home Studio and Want To Narrate Your Own Book?

I've concentrated on setting up a home studio cheaply so I didn't mention some higher priced options a home narrator may want to consider. I highly recommend ACX's series of YouTube videos on how to record your own audiobook.

Here are the first two videos in the series:

This series continues on YouTube here: AudibleACX.

I hope you've been inspired to do an audio recording of your work! Or, if you have done an audio recording, I'd love to hear about your experience. Did you set up a make-shift studio at home, and, if so, perhaps you have some tips you'd like to share. :-)

Links to articles on recording an audiobook:
Podcasting on the iPad
How to record an audiobook at home
- Joanna Pen: How to Podcast (I love Joanna's advice: Just start!)

Other articles you might like:
- Making A Scene: Using Conflicts And Setbacks To Create Narrative Drive
- Building A Writer's Platform
- SEO Tips & Tricks: How To Make Google Love Your Blog

Sunday, September 16

Neil Gaiman's Hell: A Blank Sheet Of Paper

Neil Gaiman's Hell: A Blank Sheet Of Paper

When I researched my blog post, How Do Writers Get Their Ideas?, I came across this quotation. I didn't use it for my Idea post but it was too delightful to keep to myself.

Neil Gaiman:
My idea of hell is a blank sheet of paper. Or a blank screen. And me, staring at it, unable to think of a single thing worth saying, a single character that people could believe in, a single story that hasn't been told before.

Staring at a blank sheet of paper.

From: Where do you get your ideas?.

Other articles you might like:
- Stephen King: How His Novel "Carrie" Changed His Life
- Harper Voyager Open To Unagented Submissions For 2 Weeks
- Writing Resources

Photo credit: Kyle Cassidy

Friday, September 14

How Do Writers Get Their Ideas? Neil Gaiman, Seth Godin & Stephen King

How Do Writers Get Their Ideas? Neil Gaiman, Seth Godin & Stephen King

Have you ever woken up with a question on your mind? This morning I woke up wondering: How do writers get their ideas?

So I Googled it. (This amuses me endlessly. Did I mediate on the quesiton or ask friends? No. I Googled. Nothing wrong with that, but it is incredible the extent to which a technology--the internet & Google--has changed my life over the course of a decade.)

Here's what Seth Godin has to say:
- Ideas occur when dissimilar universes collide
- Ideas often strive to meet expectations. If people expect them to appear, they do
- Ideas come out of the corner of the eye, or in the shower, when we're not trying
To read the rest of Seth's ruminations, click here: Where do ideas come from?

My ideas seem to hide in the shower, ready to pounce the moment I've gotten my hands wet and there's no paper in sight. But that's okay. I love their mischievousness.

Here's how Neil Gaiman answered the question for a group of 7-year-olds:
You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it.

You get ideas when you ask yourself simple questions. The most important of the questions is just, What if...?

(What if you woke up with wings? What if your sister turned into a mouse? What if you all found out that your teacher was planning to eat one of you at the end of term - but you didn't know who?)

Another important question is, If only...

(If only real life was like it is in Hollywood musicals. If only I could shrink myself small as a button. If only a ghost would do my homework.)

And then there are the others: I wonder... ('I wonder what she does when she's alone...') and If This Goes On... ('If this goes on telephones are going to start talking to each other, and cut out the middleman...') and Wouldn't it be interesting if... ('Wouldn't it be interesting if the world used to be ruled by cats?')...

Those questions, and others like them, and the questions they, in their turn, pose ('Well, if cats used to rule the world, why don't they any more? And how do they feel about that?') are one of the places ideas come from.

An idea doesn't have to be a plot notion, just a place to begin creating. Plots often generate themselves when one begins to ask oneself questions about whatever the starting point is.

Sometimes an idea is a person ('There's a boy who wants to know about magic'). Sometimes it's a place ('There's a castle at the end of time, which is the only place there is...'). Sometimes it's an image ('A woman, sifting in a dark room filled with empty faces.')

Often ideas come from two things coming together that haven't come together before. ('If a person bitten by a werewolf turns into a wolf what would happen if a goldfish was bitten by a werewolf? What would happen if a chair was bitten by a werewolf?')

All fiction is a process of imagining: whatever you write, in whatever genre or medium, your task is to make things up convincingly and interestingly and new.

And when you've an idea - which is, after all, merely something to hold on to as you begin - what then?

Well, then you write. You put one word after another until it's finished - whatever it is.

Sometimes it won't work, or not in the way you first imagined. Sometimes it doesn't work at all. Sometimes you throw it out and start again.
Neil Gaiman: Where do you get your ideas?

I'll close with a quotation from Stephen King:
I get my ideas from everywhere. But what all of my ideas boil down to is seeing maybe one thing, but in a lot of cases it's seeing two things and having them come together in some new and interesting way, and then adding the question 'What if?' 'What if' is always the key question. ( FAQ)
That nicely brings together what Seth Godin and Neil Gaiman had to say! I love it when things work out. :-)

Other articles you might like:
- The Role Of The Unconscious In Writing
- Writing Resources
- Harper Voyager Open To Unagented Submissions For 2 Weeks

Photo credit: technicolor76

Friday, June 8

Stephen King on Ray Bradbury: The sound I hear today is the thunder of a giant's footsteps fading away.

The tributes to Ray Bradbury keep coming.
Stephen King:
The sound I hear today is the thunder of a giant's footsteps fading away. But the novels and stories remain, in all their resonance and strange beauty.

Neil Gaiman:
I'm writing something now. But I wanted to put this up. I wrote it a couple of years ago as an introduction to the PS edition of The Machineries of Joy and it was reprinted in the Times. If you want to quote me, you can take anything you like from this, and add that he was kind, and gentle, and always filled with enthusiasm, and that the landscape of the world we live in would have been diminished if we had not had him in our world.

And that I am so glad that I knew him.
- Ray Bradbury

Last week, at dinner, a friend told me that when he was a boy of 11 or 12 he met Ray Bradbury. When Bradbury found out that he wanted to be a writer, he invited him to his office and spent half a day telling him the important stuff: if you want to be a writer, you have to write. Every day. Whether you feel like it or not. That you can't write one book and stop. That it's work, but the best kind of work. My friend grew up to be a writer, the kind who writes and supports himself through writing.

Ray Bradbury was the kind of person who would give half a day to a kid who wanted to be a writer when he grew up.
- Ray Bradbury: In Memoriam and In Green Town Illinois

Stephen Spielberg
He was my muse for the better part of my sci-fi career. ... He lives on through his legion of fans. In the world of science fiction and fantasy and imagination he is immortal.

President Obama
His gift for storytelling reshaped our culture and expanded our world.  But Ray also understood that our imaginations could be used as a tool for better understanding, a vehicle for change, and an expression of our most cherished values.  There is no doubt that Ray will continue to inspire many more generations with his writing.
Read more homages here: Spielberg, Lindelof, Stephen King and Others Remember Ray Bradbury

Monday, June 4

The Secret To Making A Living As A Writer: Work For Free

Penelope Trunk writes,
High performers work for free. The difference between working for free because you’re a loser and working for free because you’re a high performer is what you get from the deal.

People often ask me how to become a writer. The answer is to write for free. You won’t get paid for years. I wrote for decades before I saw any money from my writing.
- How to decide when to work for free?
I guess this is what you would call a long term plan for writing success. On the other hand, if you've written for years--blogging, journaling, scribbling on the walls, whatever--you can count that as part of your unpaid apprenticeship.

In any case, let's say someone approaches you with a project, it's something you wouldn't mind doing, but you would be expected to work for free. How do you know whether this opportunity would represent a stepping stone or just one more thing to take you away from that novel you swore you'd finish this year?

I'm reminded of Neil Gaiman's recent commencement address where he compared ones goal, whatever it is, to a mountain. He said, and I'm paraphrasing: If you have a choice to make ask yourself, If I do this, will it take me farther toward, or farther away from, the mountain?

Simple, huh?

What follows is an unholy mashup of Neil Gaiman and Penelope Trunk. Here are guidelines on how to tell whether working for free would take you farther toward, or farther away from, your mountain.

1. Is the path to your mountain jammed with other people or is it an empty thoroughfare?

The more crowded the path, the more attractive free work becomes because it allows you to build your resume.  Penelope writes:
But you know how you can tell when it’s a job no one else wants? It’s really easy to get. If you are having trouble doing the work you want to do then it’s a pretty good bet that it’s not easy work to get.
- How to decide when to work for free?
If it's not easy work to get then working for free can help you fly about the crowds as you work you way closer to your mountain.

2. This job will get you closer to your mountain, but will you starve along the way?

Do your research. Make sure the path you are on really does lead to your mountain and not into a quagmire.

If you're a photographer, taking free pictures for Penelope Trunk's blog makes sense. It's read by thousands of people, potential customers, who will see your work. It's great advertising.

On the other hand, taking pictures for Jane Doe's blog who has 1 subscriber, someone who is currently lost in the subarctic, doesn't make a lot of sense.

3. Will this job help you establish contacts with other people who are heading in the same direction you are?

Everyone is the hero of their own journey and every hero needs a mentor. If working for free will help you meet people you can learn from, perhaps people who would be valuable business contacts for the rest of your professional life, then what are you waiting for?

4. Is the mountain your mountain?

Sometimes we think our goals are the ones we chose when they're really the ones our parents picked out for us, or our society wanted us to have. Perhaps we got swept along a certain path without actively choosing it for ourselves.

Say you want to go into business for yourself. Taking a free internship that will allow you to observe business leaders in action, that will allow you to learn about various aspects of an actual business first hand, could be great experience. Not only if you keep entrepreneurship as your goal, but perhaps as a test to see if going into business for yourself really is your mountain.

Best of luck on your journey toward your mountain.

Other articles you might like:
- Penelope Trunk Discusses Time Management
- Pixar: 22 Ways To Tell A Great Story
- Kristen Lamb: Don't Let Trolls Make You Crazy

Thursday, May 10

Neil Gaiman Interviews Stephen King, King talks about Dr. Sleep

Neil Gaiman and Stephen King are two of my favorite writers, so I was looking forward to reading King's interview and it didn't disappoint.

I was hoping King would say something about the sequel to The Shining he's been working on, Dr. Sleep. Everyone I've talked to about King doing a sequel has looked at me and said, "He's doing a sequel?" as though they must have misheard.
I did it [wrote Dr. Sleep] because it was such a cheesed-off thing to do. To say you were going back to the book that was really popular and write the sequel ... People think of that book, they read it as kids. Kids read it and say it was a really scary book, and then as adults they might read the sequel and think, this isn’t as good. The challenge is, maybe it can be as good - or maybe it can be different. It gives you something to push up against. It's a challenge.

I wanted to write Dr Sleep because I wanted to see what would happen to Danny Torrence when he grew up. And I knew that he would be a drunk because his father was a drunk. One of the holes it seemed to me in The Shining is that Jack Torrance was this white-knuckle dry drunk who never tried one of the self-help groups, the like Alcoholics Anonymous. I thought, okay, I'll start with Danny Torrence at age forty. He is going to be one of those people who says 'I am never going to be like my father, I am never going to be abusive like my father was'. Then you wake up at 37 or 38 and you're a drunk. Then I thought, what kind of a life does that person like that have? He'll do a bunch of low-bottom jobs, he'll get canned, and now he works in a hospice as a janitor. I really want him to be in a hospice worker because he has the shining and he can help people get across as they die. They call him Dr Sleep, and they know to call for him when the cat goes into their room and sits on their bed. This was writing about guy who rides the bus, and he's eating in a McDonalds, or on a special night out maybe Red Lobster. We are not talking about a guy who goes to Sardi's.
King's explanation/description makes me want to read the book; it also nicely explains the title, which I was curious about.

Let me give you one more excerpt. Here King is talking about something he mentioned in On Writing .
I never think of stories as made things; I think of them as found things. As if you pull them out of the ground, and you just pick them up. Someone once told me that that was me low-balling my own creativity. That might or might not be the case. But still,  on the story I am working on now, I do have some unresolved problem. It doesn’t keep me awake at nights. I feel like when it comes down, it will be there...
This has just scratched the surface of Neil Gaiman's original interview with Stephen King. Gaiman has put the unabridged version up on his site, it's over 4,000 words and well worth the read.

Neil Gaiman interviews Stephen King.

Photo credit: