Writers in the World

As part of the Writer in the World section of my OU Masters Course, we have been asked to blog a little bit about a couple of our favourite authors, their career paths etc...

The two authors I chose where Neil Gaiman and Ruth Ozeki.


First off, both these writers aren't just bog-standard fiction writers; Gaiman has pretty much been credited with reinventing the modern comic, whilst writing graphic novels, screenplays, children's & adult novels. He's also been in a couple of films... just for fun (where does the man find the time!). Whilst Ozeki was an Art Director and Filmmaker before she came to novel writing. She also became Zen Buddhist Priest in 2010 and is a teacher of Creative Writing at Smith College in British Columbia.

I am beginning to think I have been twiddling my thumbs at home, whilst working full time, being a Mum etc. I should have given up all forms of relaxation and in every spare moment done nothing but write. write. write.

Gaimen at the age of 19 wrote to his favourite author RA Lafferty for tips and advice on how to be a writer, who very kindly replied. Then he went on to have a career in journalism (initially writing for the likes of Knave) but continued writing fiction, getting his first short story 'Featherquest' published in Imagine Magazine in May 1984.

Ozeki's autobiographical film 'Halving the Bones' won awards at the Sundance festival amongst others. To some extent she admits she distorted (fictionalised) this story in order to make it more interesting. Which led her to write fiction. Her first novel 'My Year in Meats' was published in 1998 by Viking Penguin.

I would have also added a photo of Good Omens, but that would have involved standing on a stool and finding it amongst the plethora of other books, so here is the lazy photo instead.
Gaiman's first book was a biography of Duran Duran but he quickly moved to fiction, publishing Good Omens with Terry Pratchett in 1990. His first solo novel was based on his teleplay, Neverwhere and was published in 1996. In between all this was the DC Sandman Comics, then the children's books, starting with Coraline in 2002. 

Gaiman appears to be a prolific writer, writing/creating constantly and appears to have several projects on the go at the same time, whereas Ozeki is the opposite, there are significant gaps between her three novels which were first published 1998, 2003 and 2013 (She also wrote The Face:A Time Code which is a personal non-fiction piece where she documents her thoughts whilst studying her face in a mirror).

Both writers have professional websites Gaiman's is here and Ozeki's here, both have vast amounts of information about the writers, including interviews, podcasts etc, but Gaiman's is my preference, as he has a personal blog on his. This hasn't been written by his publishers PR machine. It is personal and thoughtful, apparently, he was one of the first novelist's to use a blog. (which takes me back to my previous blog about why Blogging is Awesome - I hope you like what I did there - a little bit of self-promotion. πŸ˜‡)

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