A self-described "feral child who was raised in libraries," Gaiman credits librarians with fostering a life-long love of reading: "I wouldn't be who I am without libraries. I was the sort of kid who devoured books, and my happiest times as a boy were when I persuaded my parents to drop me off in the local library on their way to work, and I spent the day there.
Gaiman began his writing career in England as a journalist. His first book was a Duran Duran biography that took him three months to write, and his second was a biography of Douglas Adams, Don't Panic: The Official Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy Companion. Gaiman describes his early writing: "I was very, very good at taking a voice that already existed and parodying or pastiching it." Violent Cases was the first of many collaborations with artist Dave McKean. This early graphic novel led to their series Black Orchid, published by DC Comics.
The groundbreaking series Sandman followed, collecting a large number of US awards in its 75 issue run, including nine Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards and three Harvey Awards. In 1991, Sandman became the first comic ever to receive a literary award, the 1991 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story.
Neil Gaiman is credited with being one of the creators of modern comics, as well as an author whose work crosses genres and reaches audiences of all ages.
Neil Gaiman writes books for readers of all ages, including the following collections and picture books for young readers: M is for Magic (2007); Interworld (2007), co-authored with Michael Reaves; The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish (1997); The Wolves in the Walls (2003); the Greenaway-shortlisted Crazy Hair (2009), illustrated by Dave McKean; The Dangerous Alphabet (2008), illustrated by Gris Grimly; Blueberry Girl (2009); and Instructions (2010), illustrated by Charles Vess.
Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Neverwhere (1995), Stardust (1999), the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning American Gods (2001), Anansi Boys (2005), and Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett, 1990), as well as the short story collections Smoke and Mirrors (1998) and Fragile Things (2006).
His first collection of short fiction, Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions, was nominated for the UK's MacMillan Silver Pen Awards as the best short story collection of the year. Most recently, Gaiman was both a contributor to and co-editor with Al Sarrantonio of Stories (2010), and his own story in the volume, The Truth Is A Cave In The Black Mountains, has been nominated for a number of awards.
American Gods has been released in an expanded tenth anniversary edition, and there is an HBO series in the works.
Gaiman was the first author ever to win both the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal with the same book. "Twenty-three years ago, we lived in a little Sussex town in a tall house across the lane from a graveyard. We didn't have a garden, and our 18-month-old son loved riding a tricycle. If he tried riding in the house he would have died because there were stairs everywhere, so every day I would take him down our precipitous stairs, and he would ride his little tricycle round and round the gravestones. As I watched him happily toddling I would think about how incredibly at home he looked. I thought that I could do something like The Jungle Book with that same equation of boy, orphaned, growing up somewhere else, but I could do it in a graveyard. I had that idea when I was 24 years old. I sat down and tried writing it and thought, "This is a really good idea, and this isn't very good writing. I'm not good enough for this yet, and I will put it off until I'm better."
The film adaptation of The Graveyard Book is in production.