Last Friday I drove to DC in record time to spend an evening with Neil Gaiman at the DAR Constitution Hall. This was exciting for me on several levels. First, I thought Neil was going to stop touring/signings when he married Amanda, especially now that she’s expecting. So, I was delighted when I learned about it. By delighted, of course I mean that I squealed, freaked out, bought tickets as fast as I could while simultaneously texting Neal to buy the seat next to me. Second, I felt like a Gilmore Girl going to an event at the DAR.
I had no idea what an evening with Neil consisted of. Turns out, it was like a coffee date with him and a few hundred other people. He walked out, frumpy and graying, with a two-inch stack of notecards full of questions and started answering them. His answers lead to stories and readings and jokes.
One notecard he read said, “Hey Neil, will you wish my girlfriend a happy birthday?”
Neil answered, “No,” to chuckles and moved on.
Another one was asking about writing for children versus writing for adults. This lead him to tell us about how his kids gave him ideas for his children’s books. Gaiman’s book The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish was inspired by his son. Gaiman said he was telling him to go to bed or eat his veg or some other equally offensive thing that parents do when his son said, “I wish I didn’t have a dad! I wish, I wish I had… a goldfish!”
“That’s brilliant,” Neil said to himself. And it became a book.
Another question read, “Batman or Superman boxers?”
Gaiman’s mouth twisted before being set firmly serious again. “Well,” he started. “If it was Batman versus Superman underwear, my money’s on Batman.” The smitten crowd cheered.
He read stories and made the auditorium swoon at his wit and British accent. My evening with Neil Gaiman wasn’t ill spent nor long enough.