“All the words do just what they’re meant to do.”
That’s how Neil Gaiman described his latest book to a crowd of 1,500 people at the City Center Thursday night. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a very personal book to Gaiman. He began writing it as a short story for his wife, Amanda Palmer. A musician, she was away in Australia last year producing an album. “I missed her. I missed her a lot,” he told the crowd.
Lonely, Gaiman started writing – but not in his usual style. “She really doesn’t like fantasy that much. But she likes me.” She also likes feelings, he said. “I don’t really do feelings. I’m English,” as the crowd roared. “And I’m male.” The crowd cheered again.
So where that left him was writing a story about childhood – much of it his, some of it not. And when he was done writing, he realized what had begun as a short story had become so much more. “When I was done, I did a word count … And I sent a note to my editor – ‘I wrote a novel.’”