I think we can all agree that Neil Gaiman is a very imaginative and atmospheric writer. And in the manner of things, we are all wondering where he gets his crazy ideas from. It seems that at times, his living arrangements are set up to provide appropriate inspiration.. whether this is by accident or design is not clear.
Then I fedexed the tape of the interview off to Wired. I saw Sarah Odedina, my editor at Bloomsbury, for lunch, and talked about the next book I’m writing, which is called The Graveyard Book, and which is for her.
(I had the idea for the book in about 1985, when we lived just over the road from a graveyard, with blocked-off-tunnels beneath the house leading to the graveyard, and the graveyard was also where my two-year-old son used to go to play. And I thought at the time I’d put off writing the book until I was good enough to do it justice. Which, in retrospect, was probably partly silly — you don’t get a better book at different times, just a different book — but probably in other ways sensible, because the idea of writing The Graveyard Book used to scare me, and now the idea of writing it just makes me inordinately happy.)
My family moved into a house next door to a graveyard in 1981, (they still live there though I visit rather less than perhaps I should), in all that time I haven’t discovered any tunnels. Mind you, it did have some wonderful dark and menacing trees straight from central casting that creaked in gales and threw sinister shadows. And we did have a Satanically black and Scoobily soft Great Dane, who used to leap the five foot wall between our garden and the graveyard to run and howl at the moon. (He’d howl at the moon but was petrified of hot air balloons.)
And, come to think of it, it did inspire my first (and only) screenplay.. Something about Trees.