Neil Gaiman by Beowulf Sheehan

Neil Gaiman.

Beowulf Sheehan

It's had a cult following since it was first published 15 years ago, but Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods is seeing a new wave of attention with its current TV adaptation on Starz—it's already been heralded as one of the strangest series ever to air on American television. (The show already gave us a famous gay sex scene.)

And while he's no stranger to fandom, Gaiman, who's also one of the series's executive producers, has been finding all of the attention somewhat surprising. "I felt like the point where I knew something huge was happening was actually this morning," he said one recent afternoon. "I woke up and realized the column on my TweetDeck that’s just mentions of American Gods had been taken over by little spam bots selling cheap sunglasses and fake Viagra, using the hashtag to promote themselves. It was such a natural, organic trending topic that the bots decided to jump on it, too." Find out what else Gaiman has been reading and watching these days besides TweetDeck in his culture diet, here.

First thing you read in the morning:

WhatsApp, because I’m on the road right now, so the first thing I always care about is if my wife sent any pictures of my 19-month-old baby. He’s the sweetest, most beautiful thing. But mostly, any spare minute I’d normally be reading for pleasure I’ve been writing for pleasure—it's like reading but less pleasurable. Right now, I'm writing something set in a strange world in east London. I’ve been reading a lot of Dickens and a lot of Henry Mayhew, who wrote a three-volume set called _London Labour and the London Poo_r in the 1850s. I’ve been reading a lot of that just to have the rhythms of Victorian speech and the idea of Victorian London going around in my head.

Books on your bedside table right now:

The stack is enormous. Yesterday I bought a new copy—I needed a hardback, not paperback—of Cabin Porn, which is not the pornography shot in cabins you might imagine, but images of cabins around the world. I’ve decided that I want a new little writer’s cabin for me to go out to and write in, with nothing in it except a desk and a chair. I’ve been looking at little cabins and salivating. Other than that, I just read the new Nnedi Okorafor, which is the sequel to Binti, which I loved. I also just read and loved the new Steve Erickson novel, Shadowbahn, which seems peculiarly prescient.

The TV shows keeping you up at night:

I’ve got a ridiculous backlog. Unquestionably Inside No. 9, an English TV show with each episode set in a single location that's somehow a no. 9, whether a house, a desk, or a railway cabin. You never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes they're funny, sometimes they're horrific, sometimes they're nightmarish, sometimes they do a number of things at the same time. Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton write them and are in most of them, and the new season just came out, so I've been watching them on the road as a little treat for myself. But the truth is 99 percent of what I’ve been watching has been cuts of American Gods.

Last movie you saw in theaters:

Karl Marx City with my wife, Amanda [Palmer].

Last thing you saw at the theater:

War Paint. [Screenwriter] Bryan Fuller took the entire AG team.

Last piece of art you bought:

Charles Adams's illustrations of a Ray Bradbury short story that is in fact my favorite short story of all time. I bought it from the Ray Bradbury estate after he passed.

Last museum exhibition that you loved:

The David Bowie exhibition at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, where you can put on the headphones and play his songs, look at Bowie’s stuff, etc. He was still alive at the time so it didn’t feel like a memorial. It was surreal.

Release you’re most eagerly anticipating:

A record that my wife made last summer with Edward Ka-Spel of the Legendary Pink Dots, who's a childhood hero of hers, so I'm quite excited for her. It's a brief, strange, dark album.

Last song you had on repeat:

"Winkin’ Blinkin’ and Nod" by my wife, Amanda—it's the only thing that can get my son (19 months) to sleep. It was 4 a.m. and we were playing it over and over.

Last concert you saw live:

Nick Cave in Sydney, Australia. It took my insides, twisted them, and put them back together—it was so dark and real and powerful.

How you get your news:

I subscribe to the Washington Post, the Guardian, and the New York Times, but it's amazing how much news filters in through the Twitter feed. When I'm in America, I have BBC Radio playing in kitchen even though its five hours off.

Do you read your horoscope?

No, not really—I'm not sure where I would go to find it. It used to be in the newspaper but don’t remember the last time I picked up a newspaper. New Gods are taking over!

Last thing you do before you go to bed:

Depends on whether I'm at home or on the road. If I'm at home, I kiss the baby (in hopes he’s asleep). If I'm on the road, I send a good night text to my loved ones.

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