It’s a rare treat for Londoners to see Neil Gaiman in person. The mega-selling author still thinks of England as home, but his wife, musician and geek goddess Amanda Palmer, is American and, says Gaiman, won’t move to England ‘no matter what’.
We can reveal he’ll be heading home temporarily this month for a live appearance in London. On May 31, he’ll be appearing at the Union Chapel in Islington, chatting with fellow author Audrey Niffenegger and taking questions from the audience. The event, which will be streamed around the world, celebrates the release of Gaiman’s new book, ‘The View from the Cheap Seats’.
The collection of nonfiction is a departure for Gaiman, who specialises in, as he puts it, ‘making stuff up’. He has gathered essays, articles and speeches from his long career as a writer, including one written for a certain Time Out magazine in 1990.
The book also includes two tributes to Gaiman’s friend and collaborator, the late Terry Pratchett. Gaiman has almost finished writing episode five of the TV adaptation of ‘Good Omens’, the book they wrote together. It’s been tough working on the series since Pratchett’s death from Alzheimer’s. ‘When I’d get stuck, all I wanted to do was to be able to phone Terry,’ he says.
Gaiman’s name has recently been linked with another fantasy writer. When he went to Santa Fe, there was speculation he must be there to help George RR Martin finish his fantasy saga, ‘Game of Thrones’. (He wasn’t, he was there to spend time with his family.) Gaiman once famously told an impatient ‘Game of Thrones’ fan that ‘George RR Martin is not your bitch’ but even he is anxious for the end of the series. ‘It’s kind of frustrating,’ he says, ‘because I promised myself I wouldn’t watch the show until the last book came out. It was such an easy promise to make six years ago. You can’t shield yourself [from ‘Game of Thrones’ spoilers]. It’s like shielding yourself from political events or from what the Kardashians are doing.’
Gaiman’s fantasy novel, ‘American Gods’, is currently being filmed as a TV series. He suspects that, as with ‘Game of Thrones’, the producers will make the show faster than he can write the story. As the series' plot moves ahead of Martin’s books, Gaiman says: ‘I’m watching it as some kind of social experiment as what will probably happen to "American Gods" … It started shooting about a week ago and it definitely feels like its own thing already.'
Tickets to the Union Chapel event are £20 and available at unionchapel.org.uk.