I got a text from my roommate telling me to turn on NPR in 10 minutes when they’d be interviewing Neil Gaiman for a children’s book segment.  “The graveyard children’s book author” is actually what the text said, but I deduced Gaiman.

O hai, just me Neil hangin’ in this graveyard writing children’s books.

For those of you who haven’t read The Graveyard Book, it’s about a young boy who is orphaned and raised by the dead in a graveyard.  Dammit Gaiman, you and your “death for children” brilliance.

The cover on the left is for adults, the one on the right for kids.

Here is my favorite question from the interview, transcribed on the website later in the day.

 

How did you manage to make such a morose topic so welcoming and light? I love to write stories that have a little bit of creepiness to them, but always manage to over-do it and turn it into a horror story. — Sarah Matthews, 14, Florence, Ala.

 

Gee, you definitely sound like you’re a writer, Sarah … The most important thing to concentrate on is telling the story. Make it interesting. In the case of The Graveyard Book, I loved turning ideas upside down, but I also loved being very, very honest with kids.

When I was a kid, I had to walk past a graveyard every day to get home from school — which was fine in the summer — but in the winter when we had to come home in the dark, it terrified me. I would’ve been 9, 10, 11 at this point. It never occurred to me that walking past this graveyard, there was absolutely nothing in it that was dead that could hurt me. The only thing that could ever have hurt me in that graveyard would’ve been something living. So I like the idea of putting that in my book. The idea of the graveyard as a welcoming place, it’s a very natural place. You know, people have lived, people die.

The Interview Link

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