Neil Gaiman Q&A

Monday’s American Gods Q&A session from the SFX Twitter feed, now rearranged into easier-to-read format!

On Monday, Neil Gaiman took over the SFX Twitter account for an hour to answer questions about American Gods , which is just about the celebrate its 10th anniversary with the release of a special edition. It was a massive success. So massive, in fact, it was often a bit confusing trying to follow the flow of questions and answers.

Never fear, we sifted through the whole goddamed thing and with help of out titantic powers of cut-and-paste managed to re-arrange the thread into something more easily readable. We’ve only included questions that were actually answered. The others may have been answered in an alternate reality.

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Aulayan Alan DeHaan

The one we won't get an answer to: Who is the Forgotten God? #Americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ Aulayan : I think I'll answer it in another American Gods book. But no, not here. Also, I think I've forgotten your question. #AmericanGods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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Jear1106 Joel Cunningham

@ SFXmagazine Would you consider making American gods into a movie or TV serial? #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ Jear1106 It's in the works right now. I should say no more at this time, but I do not think anyone will be disappointed. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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StrawberreField Julia Wallace

@ SFXmagazine Was Mr.World really fully aware of Wednsday's plan or just another sacrificial god? Was the trickster tricked? #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ StrawberreField It was a two man con, and Mr World was half of it #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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Amarien Ayşe Bike Baykara

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@ SFXmagazine #americangods What were Greek and Roman gods doing during the events of American Gods?

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ Amarien I couldn't justify putting them in. But since then I learned about this stash of Roman coins http://bit.ly/ddAcnv #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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MaggieMimsy Maggie Price

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@ SFXmagazine When can we expect the #americangods author's preferred text to come out?

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ MaggieMimsy June 21 in the US and around there for the UK anniversary ed. - although the UK has had the text for 5 years... #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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thefoodgeek Brian J. Geiger

Did #AmericanGods narrative structure used sleight of hand because of Shadow's hobby or because it's effective to keep readers guessing?

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ thefoodgeek Both of those, and because it was what the book was all about. Now you see it, oops, look over there... #AmericanGods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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ianholmes Ian Holmes

@ neilhimself Jesus doesn't appear in #americangods (he's considered aloof by other gods) but if he did, would there be multiple versions?

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ ianholmes Maybe, or maybe a consensus version with satellite versions... #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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ianholmes Ian Holmes

@ neilhimself @ SFXmagazine Are there any new #americangods since you wrote the book?

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ ianholmes I think Smartphones are rising through the ranks rapidly, as the god of telephone fades #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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gathcreator Jael Montellano

@ SFXmagazine #americangods was the working title. Why did you decide to keep it as the final book title?

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ gathcreator Everybody liked it and I never came up with anything better. It's what normally happens with my book titles. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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Maximumguido Brandon Bainter

what scenes from the book do you think would completely ruin a film adaption of #americangods if they were removed?

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ Maximumguido I think the most important thing is to try & keep the races of all the characters correct. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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AtmaSinnan Crimson Darkness

@ SFXmagazine in your books, gods are real bc ppl believe in them. If that was true, you'd still be making up stories abt them? #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ AtmaSinnan No, I don't understand this one. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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_PBJ_ Philip Bolton Jr

#americangods at what point in the creation & dissemination process did you realize American Gods was going to be as widely lauded as it is?

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ _PBJ_ Don't know.I wasn't surprised when it was nominated for awards, was amazed it won them, am still amazed it's in print #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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justplainrii Sydney N.

@ SFXmagazine Why is the choice in songs played in the diner where Shadow and Wednesday eat dinner together? Iko Iko etc. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ justplainrii Pretty important, actually. All the song lyrics reflect on what's happening, especially if you spell sun SON #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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idesignwhatails Dani Carlin

@ SFXmagazine would you ever be tempted to write another Wednesday book? #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ idesignwhatails Yes #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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DJStinky Stace Case

@ SFXmagazine #americangods As a 1-time instructor of World Myth, I'd like to know if you'll ever publish a studyguide/key to the book's gods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ DJStinky Possibly. I've been asked to write a Big Book Of Myth, and it may well happen. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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merlintriss Amanda Wallace

@ SFXmagazine Why in the United States rather than England? #AmericanGods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ merlintriss Because UK Gods is a very different book. MONARCH OF THE GLEN in Fragile Things gives a flavour of it. #AmericanGods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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gathcreator Jael Montellano

@ SFXmagazine As an Englishman writing about America, did you ever feel like #americangods was something you weren't permitted to write?

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ gathcreator Very much so, yes. But nobody else was going to write it, if I didn't, so I buckled down and wrote. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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Sevywevy Sharon McCullough

@ SFXmagazine what part of you is contained in your character Shadow? #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ Sevywevy I'm in everybody there. But probably my distinct lack of amazement at strange things. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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gramophone23 Alan Keenan

#americangods did you intend the book to read like a road trip?

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ gramophone23 Yes, very much so. #americangods is a Road Novel. partly because the endless road is something we don't have in the UK.

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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MaryGaughan Mary Gaughan

@ SFXmagazine Do you pick up hitchhikers? If so, have you met any interesting characters? #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ MaryGaughan I always used to. I've not seen a hitchhiker in the US for about 10 years now. Still in the UK sometimes #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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Snarglepip Rebecca Robson

@ SFXmagazine is there any character from any of your other works that you feel would feel right at home in the world of #americangods ?

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ Snarglepip I think all of my books join up around the back. Perhaps they share a communal parking space. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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Enting Enting

@ SFXmagazine What was the most surprising thing, that you discovered writing Shadow's journey #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ Enting That I needed to trust the book and not try and impose my own ideas of what ought to happen in it #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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Booky_Lillz Lei

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@ SFXmagazine So can look forward to a new American Gods Book? & Will there be a follow up of Graveyard book linking in to it? #AmericanGods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ Booky_Lillz I don't think so. The Graveyard Book Universe has its own agenda. #AmericanGods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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ekuntzsch Erik Kuntzsch

@ SFXmagazine How much time did you put into researching the different gods/mythologies? And who is your favorite/why? #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ ekuntzsch I put about 40 years into researching #americangods , although I could only read for about 35 of them.

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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Hardigirl Samyogita Hardikar

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@ SFXmagazine What genre would you say the book belongs to? #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ Hardigirl What genre is #americangods ? Hmm. Is "Big Strange Book About America With Cons, Magic Tricks, Sex & Gods in" actually a genre?

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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DanSoloLives Dan Shenton

@ SFXmagazine who would win in a bar fight, Mad Sweeney or Czernobog? #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ DanSoloLives If Shadow could beat Mad Sweeney in a bar brawl then Czernobog could take him with ease. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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dxferris d.x. ferris

@ SFXmagazine #americangods Were Norse gods always central, or did you contemplate centering it on other characters/mythoses (sp?)?

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ dxferris Norse Gods seemed central as there's something so dark & fatalistic about them. Other pantheons get happy endings. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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mshamah Mozy Shamah

@ SFXmagazine #americangods was the book difficult to sell to editors/agents?

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ mshamah No. The only trouble was it was too long originally, so I cut it a bit. Now the cut stuff has been restored. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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Hardigirl Samyogita Hardikar

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@ SFXmagazine If the present Neil Gaiman had to write the novel, do you think he could do it? #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ Hardigirl The present Neil Gaiman would write a different novel, about a different time. But that's always true. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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CircesIsland Niamh Keoghan

@ SFXmagazine just read Anansi Boys in about three days and loved it, but which story was the first you thought of, it or #Americangods ?

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ CircesIsland Anansi Boys came first, although it was written later. I borrowed Mr Nancy from it for #Americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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idesignwhatails Dani Carlin

@ SFXmagazine why did you decide to make it a novel rather than a comic book? #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ idesignwhatails I think an #americangods comic would be thousands of pages long. Writing a book it took 2 years of my life, not 10.

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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madasahattress Mary Feely

@ sfxmagazine did you travel the us while writing #americangods ? including chattanooga (i'm from there)

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ madasahattress I did. I bought a 2nd hand Camry and I drove, and what I saw went into the book. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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MariaLuiza_M Iza

Why can't we find #americangods in brazil anymore? :(

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ MariaLuiza_M I think #americangods has been out of print in Brazil for a while now, but that should change very soon.

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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ClaireyMil Claire Miller

@ SFXmagazine Who was your favourite person/god/other to write in the book? #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ ClaireyMil I loved writing Sam. Loved all the Zorya - they felt like relatives. Mr Ibis, Bast, Easter, Whisky Jack. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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@ ClaireyMil my LEAST favourite person to write was Shadow, as he doesn't let you inside his head, which is hard for an author. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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StrangeBum DMcNeilJr

@ SFXmagazine did you ever have plans to flesh out Shadow's character further before writing Anansi Boys? #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ StrangeBum My vague plan was to write another 2 or 3 Shadow stories like MONARCH OF THE GLEN & then the next #americangods novel. We'll see

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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TehGoob Andy Gober

@ SFXmagazine Why do you think people either really hate or really love #americangods with few ho-hummers in-between?

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ TehGoob I don't know. It took me by surprise. I do not know why #americangods is so divisive, although it may be a good thing.

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ TehGoob And I am fascinated that people who hate #americangods are often very clear on how they would want that story told differently.

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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TheIdleLaureate Sean Okundaye

@ SFXmagazine Dear Mr Gaiman, when you wrote #americangods WHAT WERE YOU DRINKING?! Fantastic book, but I felt a little dazed upon finishing.

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ TheIdleLaureate For the first third of #americangods , I was drinking Tori Amos's fine red wine. After that I had to drive home from writing

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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AdamLanceGarcia Adam Lance Garcia

Where do you the see the deities of the major, modern faiths fitting into the world of #americangods ? @ neilhimself

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ AdamLanceGarcia In much the same way that important politicians & movie stars fit into a story about poor grifters #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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GodTheMother Lady of 10,000 Names

Hi, Neil, dear. @ SFXmagazine Curious what's your favorite Art inspired by #AmericanGods (song, statue, painting)?

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ GodTheMother Dear Godthemother, the HOUSE ON THE ROCK costume contest put a smile on my face that still hasn't faded yet. #AmericanGods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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wonderwoman1100 Melissa Tapley

@ SFXmagazine If you were choosing a band or musician to create a soundtrack for the book, who would you choose? #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ wonderwoman1100 I wrote it to a soundtrack of Greg Brown, & The Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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czeagler Chris Zeagler

@ SFXmagazine Did you actually visit the attractions you talk about in the book, or did you learn about them through research? #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ czeagler I visited them. Some I knew before I wrote the book, some I bumped into while writing it. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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Aluhdeen Aladeen

#americangods Are you ever embarrassed about what you did to(for) The House on the Rock? :)

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ Aluhdeen It makes the House on the Rock people happy, and it brings people who love the place there, so no. Not even a bit. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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dpknowles David

@ sfxmagazine #americangods how much did Julian of Norwich's visions influence your writing?

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ dpknowles I don't know. But she was definitely in the mix. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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pdav21 Paul Davey

@ SFXmagazine #AmericanGods I'd love to see Shadow meet The Endless. Any possibility, or have you left them in the past?

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ pdav21 For copyright reasons, I do not believe that could ever happen. But I suppose it's possible (Superman met Spider-Man) #AmericanGods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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admiralross2400 Charles Ross

#americangods what was working with terry pratchett like when writing good omens?

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ admiralross2400 That is absolutely not an #americangods question. #deceptivehashtagfail

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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halcyonhalcyoff Kyle Murray

@ SFXmagazine How much of Shadow is you and how much of you is Shadow? #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ halcyonhalcyoff "He's me, but I am not him." But then, that's true of everyone in the book, good & bad, male & female. #americangods

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whooshing Elaine Greywalker

@ SFXmagazine I hope there is going to be a web page (or something that can be read later) of Neil's answers to the #americangods questions.

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ whooshing I hope someone can organise all the questions and answers -- it's a bit of a flurry... #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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justplainrii Sydney N.

@ SFXmagazine So how's the latest incarnation of the Technological Kid holding up? I imagine he's matured a bit. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ justplainrii I think he has. But he's still looking over his shoulder. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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Hardigirl Samyogita Hardikar

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@ SFXmagazine being an indian I can say that #americangods is v well researched. But were youu nervous about gettin things wrong?

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ Hardigirl I was terrified about getting things wrong, yes. And I did get a few things very wrong, when research failed. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ Hardigirl The things I'd get most wrong were things that people would tell me about places that they had misremembered #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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PolytropicProds Vincenzo Tortorici

Outline? or just pull from the aether once you have gathered the experiences and info that open you to the story? #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ PolytropicProds Every now and again I'd write an outline for what I had to do next, but it was like walking through fog #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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antonomasia09 Sandra Tamarin

@ SFXMagazine Would Shadow and Fat Charlie get along? #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ antonomasia09 I think Fat Charlie would be scared of Shadow. What Shadow would think of Fat Charlie only Shadow knows. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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cathyby Cathy

@ sfxmagazine Does the Morrigan roam the America of #AmericanGods ? Can a god hitch-hike on superstition or is active belief required? Thanks!

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ cathyby If someone once believed, that's enough. One person's superstition is another person's worship, after all. #AmericanGods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete

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sprunka Sean Prunka

@ SFXmagazine @ neilhimself #americangods What is going to happen to all of the questions you did not get to?

11 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

SFXmagazine SFX magazine

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@ sprunka I think they will float around the universe, and be answered by time, or never. #americangods

11 Apr Favorite Reply Delete