So, I got a call the other day. It was from Neil, and it was actually for me. The last time or two I spoke to him he wasn't calling for me, but for one of the girls, but this time it was me.
Ok, quick history here: Before Sky was born, or maybe it was right after, we got a phone call late at night. Scott answered, and it was Neil calling for me. Scott woke me up and put me on the phone. Neil informed me that he had just finished writing a new book. This was his first children's book and since I did stuff with kids and stories and such, he thought of me, and wanted to read it to me. So he did. That was The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, and I believe that he had finished it, read it to his agent and then read it to me, making me the second person, ever, to hear it.
This seemed to start a trend, and whenever he wrote a "geared to younger people" type book, I would get to read it before it was out, and as the girls had soon been added to the family, I read it to them as well.
Which brings us to The Graveyard Book, which, frankly, I was getting all excited about, but figured that I would have to wait like everyone else to read it. (It has been quite some time since he finished Coraline, which was the last book I got to read before it saw print, well, ok, I did get to read a short story he wrote, because there was a bit in it that he put in for me, but...)
Which brings us to the call the other day, where he asked me for my current email address so that he could send it on, if I so desired. Which I did. And he did. I am a slow reader, so, though it is not too long, it took me most of today to read it. And read it I did.
So now I am still somewhere in the graveyard, and I miss everyone already. What a wonderful book, the only thing I didn't like about it was that it ended. I mean it had to end eventually, and I knew that it would end exactly where it did, but I didn't want it to. I wanted to know what happened next.
Hmm, I am not sure how much to say as I don't want to give anything away, even though bits and pieces are floating around everywhere... Neil has said that he was worried that it would be too scary for some adults, but I don't think so. The very worst happens in the first few pages, and it happens subtly enough that I am not sure that all the kids will catch on right away as to what is going on., but they would eventually. I can't wait for Sky and Winter to read it, but it might be a while before they have time with their busy school schedule.
For me, though, the book reads differently than it will for anyone else. Why? Because it takes place in a graveyard and there is ivy everywhere. I am all over this book. No, really. Ok, it makes me happy anyway.
But, it is a great book, I think it is my favorite of his yet. I look forward to it coming out for real, so I can read it again, and see what/if anything gets changed. Thank you Neil for letting me read it, and for writing it. Just lovely.
Speaking of Neil; It's a long story, but, the Neil Winterview, which is quite wonderful, has finally been sent off. This means it should be online fairly soon. We will let you know when it is up.