Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dreaming of the Dream King

Tomorrow, Neil Gaiman returns to Manila for a two-day visit. He first came to the Philippines in 2005, when I was fortunate enough to be working for the bookstore that made the trip possible. As then-Media and Publicity Manager, my job was to schedule his interviews, which allowed me to spend a little more time with him than the people who queued for hours just to get a book signed.

Most people who read will agree that this man is more than just the Dream King. One of the best modern-day living writers, he has won countless literary awards and crossed over into scriptwriting, children's and young adult literature as well as storytelling. (Audiobooks narrated by him are fantastic.) He's even done something with stamps.

I first discovered this author in the late 90s. While homesick for the UK and trawling the bookstore aisles, I spotted a novel that featured both a London I longed for and one that was even better than my imaginings. Neverwhere remains my favourite Gaiman book to this day, if only because it features the city I love most in the world.

At any rate, early this morning (I woke up to soothe a fretful Little A from 5-630am and then got another couple of hours' sleep) Neil Gaiman starred in my dream.

As I remember, we were in a large room for some sort of writing workshop before his booksigning was to take place and I mentioned needing to leave early so I could buy one of his books and have it signed later. He gave me a why-don't-you-just-give-it-to-me-now-so-I-can-sign-it-instead-of-joining-the-queue-of-hundreds-later expression.

Then he was offered a granola-type food, which he took, ate and promptly said he loved because it reminded him of a childhood favourite snack, flapjacks. Shortly after this, I woke up.

I have no idea if Neil Gaiman likes flapjacks in waking life, although they are an authentic British snack, but I feel very honoured to have the King of Dreams himself visit one of mine. Tomorrow, I will likely join the thousands of fans waiting to see him in the flesh again.

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