content by

Hank Wagner

In the beginning…

In the beginning were the words, Gaiman’s words. And lo, those words inspired three Neil Gaiman admirers to tackle the daunting task of fashioning a book which both praised and analyzed those words. And thus was Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman, born.

Kind of a highfalutin’ way to describe the creation process for our
book, but it has the virtue of being succinct. The real story is a bit
more complicated.

That tale begins in the months following the issue of the updated
version of my 2001 book The Stephen King Universe (now titled The Complete Stephen King Universe—catchy, huh?), a book upon which I had collaborated with my colleagues Christopher Golden and Stanley Wiater. My memories of the hard work and stress and anxiety required to put that project together had faded to the point that I was actually thinking of embarking on a similar project, but what? What would be interesting to work on, and stand a chance of selling decently? What, what?

Then, my daughter Leigh remarked one evening that she was going to
reread Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, a book she had read a couple of times already. It was a Eureka! moment if there ever was one.

The plan came together almost immediately. I’d try to pitch a book on the guy who revolutionized comics with his creation of The Sandman, and who had gone on to storm the literary world with such popular works as American Gods, The Wolves in the Walls, and yes, Coraline.

Sometimes I’m blinded by my own brilliance.

How to proceed? Well, I know when I need help, and when I need help, I call my pal, Chris Golden, author of myriad books like … well,
trust me, they’re too myriad to name—it’s a lot. Chris, who had also
forgotten how hard it was to finish the King book, and agreed to come onboard as co-author. From there, I crafted a proposal, which Chris forwarded to our extremely wise and compassionate future editor on the book, Marc Resnick (who would have been referred to here as “the dim-witted and know nothing editor” had he foolishly rejected the book).

After Marc accepted the proposal, it was all laughs from there,

Wrong, but more on that in a future installment, where I’ll detail the trials and travails of writing about a guy as prolific as Gaiman, and the trouble we had arranging an interview with the man himself,
who, despite being one of the most accommodating people on the face of the planet, also has to be one of the most traveled.

NEXT: We begin work, and acquire a strange traveling companion from Vermont.

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