It's a silly thing, but for some reason, I really want to win this contest. Or, at least, place in the top 20.
I have long been a fan and student of Neil Gaiman's work. That's how writers learn. They study other writers, their work, their careers, their marketing strategies, and their behavior. It sounds stalkerish, but the fact of the matter is that there's no school out there that teaches a writer how to be successful and how to behave once you are.
Thus, the stalking. It's a respectful stalking, purely professional (though he is a cutie).
There's so much that adds to Neil's success that goes beyond his writing. He's a package of awesome, and while I don't know how much of that is natural, and how much is cultivated for the public, it feels quite sincere.
This package includes:
- his general courtesy and friendliness to everyone
- his ability to give good speech
- his accent
- his looks
- his "costume" of black pants, black tee, and leather jacket
- his cultivation of associations with other famous people
- his general sense of whimsy in his own life, and how he expresses that outward to the world
- his willingness to travel, do keynotes at conventions, and readings in churches
- his readiness to donate his stories to benefit anthologies
I've been in Neil's presence numerous times, at World Horror Conventions and here in Seattle when he came and did a reading/talk in the University District. He's larger than life, and yet, his ease with his audience bridges the gap between them and him. It's uncanny. Even sitting in a room with hundreds of people, and him up on the stage, you feel like you're just hanging out with him. He's lanky and loose like that. It's lovely.
Long ago, I heard the best advice I've ever received about how to become a successful/good writer. This advice wasn't about writers, but about careers in general, but it applies quite aptly. The advice was this: "Find someone who is doing what you want to do, then study them. Follow their lead."
For me, Neil Gaiman is that person. I suppose you could say he's my unwitting mentor, unaware that he teaches just by being.
It's pure whimsy to even consider that I might win this, but you know what? I learned that from him too. Why couldn't it be me? I believe it could!
So, please take a moment and vote for me. Every day, if you're willing. You can vote anew every 24 hours. You would be doing me a solid, as they say.
Some links regarding American Gods