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Neil Gaiman blogs and tweets the Newbery Medal

January 26, 2009 |  2:03 pm


This morning, as the American Library Assn. prepared to announce its prizewinners, author Neil Gaiman was asleep in an L.A. hotel room. At least until a short time before 6 a.m. He blogs that the phone began ringing very early. The prize committee delivered the good, super-secret advance news: "The Graveyard Book" would be awarded the Newbery Medal.

You are on a speakerphone with at least 14 teachers and librarians and suchlike great, wise and good people, I thought. Do not start swearing like you did when you got the Hugo. This was a wise thing to think because otherwise huge, mighty and fourletter swears were gathering. I mean, that's what they're for. I think I said, You mean it's Monday?

Gaiman is a high-profile author who, as you can see, makes himself atypically available to online fans. Not only does he blog, he blogs about trying to not screw up. And he has continued to chronicle the morning's activities in 140-character bursts on Twitter.

More than 10,000 people follow Gaiman, who is on Twitter as "neilhimself." He provides a window into what it's like to be woken up to find out you've won the biggest award in children's literature. 

Around 8:30am: Thank you all for the  congratulations. (Beams joyfully.)  You can listen to the whole book for free at http://bit.ly/y8gk,  by the way.

Around 8:30am: argh. Interviews needed NOW with NYT, USA Today, PW and Washington Post. Am wet, not dressed and not packed or checked out. Right. Focus.

Around 9:30am: Right now in LAX EN ROUTE TO new york. 4 interviews down. God this is weird and wonderful.

Around 10:30am: On plane. Another 2 interviews done. Head spinning. Doors closed. Bye.

If you decide to follow Gaiman, like 10,000 others, realize that he will use swear words on Twitter. And if you see someone wandering around L.A. in the next couple of days who looks kind of like him, it might just be Neil himself -- he's heading back, he says, for a screening of "Coraline."

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo credit:  Kimberly Butler