To kick off the New Year, we have a new mentor (who had been scheduled late last year before I got all overwhelmed and schtuff). You may recognize the name:
*and the crowd cheers*
And to emphasize the importance of mentors - whether the mentors know they're mentoring or not - I direct you to the dedication page of the hardcover Anansi Boys:
"Note: the author would like to take this opportunity to tip his hat respectfully to the ghosts of Zora Neale Hurston, Thorne Smith, P.G. Wodehouse, and Frederick 'Tex' Avery."
Ah yes, our mentor recognized those who had come before him...and, I would assume, influenced him in some way.
Because, as I've often said and will certainly say again, we don't write in a vaccuum people. (Unless, of course, you're a Little and the vaccuum happens to be a cozy, if hayfever inducing, location.) As writers we are always responding to the literature that has come before us, and to the literature that is coming at us.
Gaiman is an author who is coming at us. His books rest on the shelves, dominate the bestseller lists, and he is still producing. This makes him someone you, as a writer living at this point in history, will probably have to respond to at some point. So it's good that we look on him as someone to learn from, because, damn, his work has a lot of stuff to teach.
So, this blogger would like to take this opportunity to tip her hat respectfully to this inspiring and inspired author. And, dear readers, it is especially cool to be examining a living author who is so active in the world of social media. You wanna hear what he thinks? Check out his blog Neil Gaiman's Journal and follow him on Twitter @Neilhimself.
And to get this party started, I would like to end on a question: What is your favorite Neil Gaiman book?
P.S. For those who may have missed it, I did start to do some work on Gaiman, and here are the links from back in December if you'd like to see where I'm coming from:
Seeing in the Dark: The YA Novel in General and The Graveyard Book in Particular
How to Avoid Being Too Dark?
Thursday Reviews: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (A Mentor Review!)
Winning the Newbery Medal: What Does It Take?