There's never been a true war that wasn't fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.
Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent.
Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.
Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.
The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.
The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can."
Keynote Address, University of the Arts, 134th Commencement (Philadelphia, PA, May 17, 2012).
It's more than saying sorry. It's meaning it. It's letting the apology change things. But an apology is where it has to begin.
I suspect there are two kinds of novelists. Those who have a point of view and have something to say and then write a novel in order to say that thing, and those of us who write the book in order to find out what we think about that thing.
Continuity isn't actually something that I ever worry about. You use it where you need to, and you don't use it where you don't need to.
I want to write a play. I'd like to do an original musical. I should probably put together a poetry collection.
And then he'd tried to become an official Atheist and hadn't got the rock-hard self-satisfied strength of belief even for that.
Why didn't adults want to read about Narnia, about secret islands and smugglers and dangerous fairies?
Different people remember things differently, and you'll not get any two people to remember anything the same, whether they were there or not.
Different people remember things differently, and you'll not get any two people to remember anything the same, whether they were there or not. You stand two of you lot next to each other, and you could be continents away for all it means anything.
B is for boat, pushing off into the dark. C is the way that we find and we look. D is for diamonds, the bait on the hook.
There aren't any good guys, and there aren't any bad guys. There's just us. People. Doing our best to get by.
This was the void. Not blackness, not nothingness. This was what lay beneath the thinly painted scrim of reality.
I was writing the kind of comic that would make me, at age 26 or 27, go down to a comic book store every month and spend my $2. That was my starting point. I wanted to write a comic that I would read. And that's still my agenda.
I always wanted to be a writer, but Alan Moore's work and help inspired me to write comics. In some ways the biggest influence on me writing was Punk. There was the idea that you could do something by simply doing it.
I love mythic stuff. I love playing with gods, I love playing with myths. A lot of it has to do with that they're the basic places stories come from. They're the clay that you make the bricks out of.
Never trust a demon. He has a hundred motives for anything he does ... Ninety-nine of them, at least, are malevolent.
Can you believe it? Fifty miles from McDonald's. I didn't think there was anywhere in the world that was fifty miles from McDonald's.
Mr. Vandemar showed them his teeth, demonstrating his sunny and delightful disposition. It was unquestionably the most horrible thing Richard had ever seen.
People seem to think that they can't come up with ideas, and they're wrong. They can and they do, but they just think of it as daydreaming, or wasting time. Kids get told not to make things up, and in my case, nobody told me long enough, or it just didn't stick.
Once you've got to the end, and you know what happens, it's your job to make it look like you knew exactly what you were doing all along.
I love the auditioning process. I love working with the technical guys. I absolutely love the editing room. That was completely fascinating to me, working with an editor in crafting the thing into something you had in your head.
Door folded her arms, and stood taller, putting her head back, raising her pointed chin. She looked less like a ragged street-pixie; more like someone used to getting her own way.
And we held our breath, just for a moment, to see if the world had ended, but it hadn't, so we yawned and drank our champagne and carried on living, except for those of us who died, and everything continued such as before.
On the day the Gjallerhorn is blown, it will wake the gods, no matter where they are, no matter how deeply they sleep.
Heimdall will blow Gjallerhorn only once, at the end of all things, Ragnarok.
Can't say I've ever been too fond of beginnings, myself. Messy little things. Give me a good ending anytime. You know where you are with an ending.
People talk about escapism as if it's a bad thing... Once you've escaped, once you come back, the world is not the same as when you left it. You come back to it with skills, weapons, knowledge you didn't have before. Then you are better equipped to deal with your current reality.
I think all geniuses -- or the ones thet I've run into -- tend to have a faintly tenuous relationship with the real world, because so much is going on on the inside. They may be geniuses but they often need someone to walk around holding a string. They're sort of balloons, bobbing around.
A god's relationship to the world, even a world in which he was walking, was about as emotionally connected as that of a computer gamer playing with knowledge of the overall shape of the game and armed with a complete set of cheat codes.
Because if you don't stand up for the stuff you don't like, when they come for the stuff you do like, you've already lost.
Our word Tragedy comes from the Greek, tragos-ode: The song of the goat. Anybody who has ever heard a goat attempt to sing will know why.
Whereas there are lots of good novels out there; there are a few good movies out there. People have been writing great poems for years, but there aren't a lot of good comics. I like trying to write them.
Some people have great ideas maybe once or twice in their life, and then they discover electricity or fire or outer space or something. I mean, the kind of brilliant ideas that change the whole world.
Some people never have them at all... I get them two or three times a week.
To be honest, I think love is complete bullshit. I don't think anyone ever loves anyone. I think the best people ever get is horny; horny and scared, so when they find someone who makes them horny, and they get too scared of the world outside, they stay together and they call it love.
I came to the conclusion that in comedy, everybody gets what they need, whereas in horror, everybody gets what they deserve. I decided that at the end of the day, I was going to give everybody what they needed.
Reading is important.
Books are important.
Librarians are important. (Also, libraries are not child-care facilities, but sometimes feral children raise themselves among the stacks.).
In a novel, you can always go back and make it look like you knew what you were doing all along before the thing goes out and gets published.
The TV's the altar. I'm what people are sacrificing to.' 'What do they sacrifice?' asked Shadow. 'Their time, mostly,' said Lucy. 'Sometimes each other.
You mourn, for it is proper to mourn. But your grief serves you; you do not become a slave to grief. You bid the dead farewell, and you continue.
In order for stories to work -- for kids and for adults -- they should scare. And you should triumph. There's no point in triumphing over evil if the evil isn't scary.
Instead we have to understand that even lost and forgotten myths are compost, in which stories grow.
Impossible things happen. When they do happen, most people just deal with it. Today, like every day, roughly five thousand people on the face of the planet will experience one-chance-in-a-million things, and not one of them will refuse to believe the evidence of their senses.
I watch with envious eyes and mind, the single-souled who dare not feel
The wind that blows beyond the moon, who do not hear the fairy reel.
Agnes was the worst prophet that's ever existed. Because she was always right. That's why the book never sold.
If you, as a parent, raise your children well, they won't need you anymore. If you did it properly, they go away.
Sharper than a serpent's tooth is a daughter's ingratitude. Still, the proudest spirits can be broken, with love.
This aye night, this aye night; Every night and all; Fire and fleet and candlelight; And Christ receive thy soul.
Anything that keeps you happy and writing is part of my writing ritual: I like music, so I tend to have it playing in the background. But if I'm interested, I can write in an airport waiting areas.
Anyone who calls you little lady has already excluded you from the set of people worth listening to.
I've learned over the years that everything is more or less the same amount of work, so you may as well set your sights high and try and do something really cool.
There are some dogs which, when you meet them, remind you that, despite thousands of years of manmade evolution, every dog is still only two meals away from being a wolf.
Stories are webs, interconnected strand to strand, and you follow each story to the center, because the center is the end. Each person is a strand of the story.
It goes without saying that all of the people, living, dead, and otherwise, in this story are fictional or used in a fictional context. Only the gods are real.
It's an America with strange mythic depths. I see it as a distorting mirror; a book of danger and secrets, of romance and magic. It's about the soul of America, really. What people brought to America; what found them when they came; and the things that lie sleeping beneath it all.
Trees there were, old as trees can be, huge and grasping with hearts black as sin. Strange trees that some said walked in the night.
We do not always remember the things that do no credit to us. We justify them, cover them in bright lies or with the thick dust of forgetfulness.
We do not always remember the things that do no credit to us. We justify them, cover them in bright lies or with the thick dust of forgetfulness. All of the things that Shadow had done in his life of which he was not proud, all the things he wished he had done otherwise or left undone, came at him then in a swirling storm of guilt and regret and shame, and he had nowhere to hide from them. He was as naked and as open as a corpse on a table, and dark Anubis the jackal god was his prosector and his prosecutor and his persecutor.
Will eventually grow up and get a real job. Until then, will keep making things up and writing them down.
When I was four I believed everything, accepted everything, and was scared of nothing. Now I was eight, and I believed in what I could see and was scared of anything I couldn't. Scared of things in the darkness, of things invisible to see.
Growing up, I took so many cues from books. They taught me most of what I knew about what people did, about how to behave. They were my teachers and my advisers.
It is astonishing just how much of what we are can be tied to the beds we wake up in in the morning, and it is astonishing how fragile that can be.
Everything had been going so well, he'd had it really under his thumb
these few centuries. That's how it goes, you think you're on top of the world, and suddenly they spring
Armageddon on you.
But that's how it goes; you think you're on top of the world, and suddenly they spring Armageddon on you.
I started blogging a decade ago because I like blogging. Writing's a kind of lonely thing to do and I liked the idea of demystifying the process because I loved it as a kid and teenager and as somebody who wanted desperately to write.
There is a proverbial saying chiefly concerned with warning against too closely calculating the numerical value of un-hatched chicks.
The irritating question they ask us -- us being writers -- is: Where do you get your ideas?
And the answer is: Confluence. Things come together. The right ingredients and suddenly: Abracadabra!
The cafe door opened. A young man in dusty white leathers entered, and the wind blew in empty crisp packets and newspapers and ice cream wrappers in with him. They danced around his feet like excited children, then fell exhausted to the floor.
For me, I would rather read a good book, from a contented author. I don't really care what it takes to produce that.
If people are standing up there saying, my football team just won with help from God, then obviously God just pissed over the other team.
There are a number of paths that lead to this place. I have been avoiding them for some small time, now.
Inside the pub, Richard's friends continued to celebrate his forthcoming departure with an enthusiasm that, to Richard, was beginning to border on the sinister.
There were dozens of stones of all sizes in the small meadow. Tall stones, bigger than either of the boys, and small ones, just the right size for sitting on. There were some broken stones. The Runt knew what sort of place this was, but it did not scare him. It was a loved place.
I thought about adults. I wondered if that was true: if they were all really children wrapped in adult bodies.
Mister whoever-the-fuck you are, said Shadow, just loud enough to be heard over the din of the engines, there isn't enough money in the world.
You people talk about the living and the dead as if they were two mutually exclusive categories. As if you can not have a river that is also a road, or a song that is also a color.
One thing that I get from a lot of people with American Gods is people saying that they would love some kind of glossary with a list of all the Gods and who they are, so that they can look them up.
I once read that you die because you see the Angel of Death, and you fall in love. And you fall in love so hard your soul is sucked out through your eyes, and that's the moment of death. It's a lovely, strange old Jewish legend.
They were having an argument as old and comfortable as an armchair, the kind of argument that no one ever really wins or loses but which can go on forever, if both parties are willing.
The comic convention itself tends to come second to the giant announcements in Hall H and the movies and the TV. So I think it's always good to remind people that there is a wonderful comic convention going on.
People talk about books that write themselves, and it's a lie. Books don't write themselves. It takes thought and research and backache and notes and more time and more work than you'd believe.
I think I would rather be a man than a god. We don't need anyone to believe in us. We just keep going anyhow. It's what we do.
Nothing I did where the only reason for doing it was the money was ever worth it, except as bitter experience.
I think you're doing better than you were the last time we saw you. You're growing a new heart, for a start.
My stuff gets published in some countries as fiction and in some countries as fantasy. It's just where they think it will do best in the bookshops.
Ray Bradbury was not ahead of his time. He was perfectly of his time, and more than that: he created his time and left his mark on the time that followed.
She was witchy, yes, and in charge of a cauldron roiling with ideas and stories, but she always gave the impression that the stories, the ones she wrote and wrote so very well and so wisely, had simply happened, and that all she had done was to hold the pen. (On Diana Wynne Jones).
I wondered if that was true: if they were all really children wrapped up in adult bodies, like children's books hidden in the middle of dull, long adult books, the kind with no pictures or conversations.
Going to Comic-Con for me is always hard and weird, so it just makes me feel guilty. There's always a hundre thousand people out there who have copies of things that I've written and they really want signed and they're not going to get them signed.
You can buy a book new, buy it in hardback or wait for the paperback, find it used or as a collectible. I don't mind. What I care about most is that people are reading.
We are small but we are many We are many we are small We were here before you rose We will be here when you fall.
It won't hurt, said her other father. Coraline knew that when grown-ups told you something wouldn't hurt it almost always did. She shook her head.
On the first day Coraline's family moved in, Miss Spink and Miss Forcible made a point of telling Coraline how dangerous the well was, and they warned her to be sure she kept away from it. So Coraline set off to explore for it, so that she knew where it was, to keep away from it properly.
Let her tell stories and dance in the rain, somersault, tumble and run, her joys must be high as her sorrows are deep, let her grow like a weed in the sun.
Stories are in one way or another mirrors. We use them to explain to ourselves how the world works or how it doesn't work. Like mirrors stories prepare us for the day to come. They distract us from the things in darkness.
Birds are the last of the dinosaurs. Tiny velociraptors with wings. Devouring defenseless wiggly things and, and nuts, and fish, and, and other birds. They get the early worms. And have you ever watched a chicken eat? They may look innocent, but birds are, well, they're vicious.
If you are protected from dark things then you have no protection of, knowledge of, or understanding of dark things when they show up.
It was a dream, and in dreams you have no choices: either there are no decisions to be made, or they were made for you long before ever the dream began.
The world is always ending, and the end is always being averted, by love or foolishness or just plain old dumb luck.
But I have always thought that these tulips must have had names. They were red, and orange and red, and red and orange and yellow, like the ember in a nursery fire of a winter's evening. I remember them.
You are not dead, until every person who knew you is dead as well. Where did I hear that? It doesn't matter. There is a village in my head.
When I was a child, adults would tell me not to make things up, warning me of what would happen if I did. As far as I can tell so far, it seems to involve lots of foreign travel and not having to get up too early in the morning.
This was beyond a joke. This had moved beyond foolishness, slipped over the line into genuine 24 karat Jesus-Christ-I-fucked-up-bigtime territory.
Honesty matters. Vulnerability matters. Being open about who you were at a moment in time when you were in a difficult or an impossible place matters more than anything.
You don't want to ask after the health of anyone, if you're a funeral director. They think maybe you're scouting for business.
The cartoon me writes the books cartoon people read in the cartoon world, because they need things to read there too.
I'm an author. We don't want to lead. We don't need to follow. We stay home and make stuff up and write it down and send it out into the world, and get inside people's heads. Perhaps we change the world and perhaps we don't. We never know. We just make stuff up.
It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.