It’s strange how we as readers develop images of the characters we read. We somewhat do the same and characterize the author as well, if you pay the author any mind. We develop a view of who this person is. This person who wrote this great work that made us laugh, cry, teeter on the edge of our seat, etc. That person who made us feel emotions with the way they intricately weaved words together into a compelling tale. We create an image of this person. Put them on a form of pedestal in a similar manner that we do with actors and TV personalities. Maybe less so as they are behind the scenes, but they are the reason most actors get to act. They created the characters.
There is one author in particular that I have a strange thought process about. Of course he remains on a pedestal not only because he is a best selling author, but an awesome person and I hope to one day meet him. I’m talking about Neil Gaiman. I’ve read a handful of his books and some of his nonfiction. What I find so strange about my own developed relation to him as a reader is that I find his work better when adapted. His prose is great, don’t get me wrong there, but I believe the adaptations of his books are more impressive then the books themselves. This might be because I’d seen a few movies based off of his work before I read any of his books. The prominent one that comes to mind is Stardust. I saw the movie years before I read the book and found the book lacking, which is often the opposite when it comes to movie adaptations. The movie seems to have a lot more within it as far as magical elements and character development, but the movie of course wouldn’t have been possible without the original material. Gaiman is a master of magic. The movie is great and may contain my favorite Robert De Niro character portrayal. Cracks me up every time.
His latest book to be adapted is American Gods that is now in its first season as a TV series. I’ve yet to delve into it but have heard only great things. I was reading the book when I found out they were adapting it. Consequently, I found out Ian McShane was cast as Mr. Wednesday shortly after I started and throughout the book I read Mr. Wednesday in Ian McShane’s voice.
I enjoy Gaiman’s nonfiction and love seeing interviews with him. He has a very distinguished voice that is of course English accented and deep and dreamlike. A voice that you can just listen to for the sake of listening. Right now there is a fundraiser that will hopefully reach its goal as the reward is Neil will read the entirety of the Cheesecake Factory menu. And the fundraiser will help refugees, so go donate. Search #Neilcake or Neil Gaiman Cheesecake and you’ll find it quickly.
Neil has become one of my favorite authors (and people) the last few years, and I think is the first author I seem more interested in their non-writing lives than their published work. I did enjoy his Norse Mythology book that came out recently, but of course I’ve always loved Norse Mythology and have several other books that I can compare his versions to.
Authors do seem to always be hidden by their work which is something that points to their success, and I think some authors step out from behind the curtain once they reach a certain level of fame, such as Neil Gaiman has done. And Stephen King and J.K. Rowling as well to name a few others. All of them have used their fame to promote good in the world too. They promote charities and have created some such as Rowling’s Lumos project that I myself have donated to. I hope to one day be able to walk among them. To write as well and as broadly as they have. To inspire others and do good as they continue to do. That is a hope I share with everyone.