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Neil Gaiman: 'The Graveyard Book' will stay a book

January 22, 2010 |  2:36 pm

Neil Gaiman is all over the pop culture map, from comic books to novels to Twitter to the movie "Coraline." But his recent young adult novel, "The Graveyard Book," which won a Newbery Medal and a Hugo award -- will remain in book form only. For now, anyway. Geoff Boucher reports:

Neil Gaiman knows that the best stories must be both bitter and sweet -- he is, after all, the author of “The Graveyard Book,” the tender children’s novel that opens with a nasty knife murder. Still, the 49-year-old Brit sounds dazed when he reflects on the past year of his life.

“I had a really strange year,” the author said in a faraway voice. “I was leading up to the writing of an ‘Anansi Boy’ screenplay [based on my 2005 novel], which begins with an incredibly funny sequence where the protagonist's father keels over from a surprise heart attack. And as I was doing that my father keeled over and died of a surprise heart attack. It’s not terribly funny though, is it?”...

Gaiman is also mourning the loss of a highly anticipated film project: “The Graveyard Book” adaptation that was to be written and directed by Neil Jordan (“The Brave One,” “The Crying Game” and “Interview with the Vampire”) has fallen apart on the financing front. It’s a demoralizing setback for Gaiman, who had announced Jordan’s participation last January on “The Today Show.” It may all still happen, of course, but it added to a year of tumult for the author.

Gaiman will speak at UCLA Live on Feb. 4. Read Geoff Boucher's complete article here.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Philippe Matas / HarperCollins