[DWJ] DWJ article

Kait Bessing kait.bessing at comhem.se
Sun Dec 23 15:29:43 EST 2007

What a wonderful story, Minnow!

I'm glad you helped DWJ out like that. And I think it's shown in her books 
too, because women don't all have to be uniformly villanous anymore. So 
that's a good thing!

About fan letters, I think the writers I've sent them to have been rather 
tickled to know that they've got such a fan in Sweden. It's just I've 
assumed that they must be too busy to reply to many fan letters.

The only writer I have a personal relationship with these days is Jean Ure. 
We correspond a lot, I've met her once, and she even dedicated a book to me 
once (swank, swank!!).


Minnow wrote:
> It's actually quite fun as a story, now I come to look at it!
> I got to know Neil Gaiman when he started comics-writing, and we were
> both going to a convention in Exeter called 'Microcon'.  I got there
> a while before he did, and got talking with people in the bar whilst
> I waited for everyone to arrive.
> One of the people I was talking with was a lovely lady who knew all
> about university life, and Oxford, and we were chatting away when
> Neil arrived. Whereupon he said that he had been wanting to introduce
> us to each other, and did, even though by then we were on first-name
> terms anyway...
> Then it turned out she came from Bristol and so did I, so she invited
> me to come round and see her and I did once I was sure that she meant
> it, and it went on from there.  She sort-of adopted my two children a
> bit, and stood godmother to the third when she arrived, and generally
> became friends-of-the-family because her husband had nothing but sons
> and rather enjoyed being a semi-uncle to small girls for a change --
> still does, though these days he plays piano duets with them rather
> than silly board-games!  Mostly.  Silly board-games do still happen
> occasionally, and so do deep philosophy discussions and Terrible
> Arguments on the same subject.
> To this day Neil will claim that he introduced us, but Diana and I
> both say he didn't because he wasn't there when we met.
>> I wrote fan letters to her in the late 80s, and she was kind enough
>> to reply. That's when she told me that about her mother.
> I take credit for one thing, some time around then.  DWJ was really
> worried and even went to see a professional about the relationship
> with her mother, and felt dreadful because, well, one ought to Love
> one's mother and she really didn't.  After my son aged about nine had
> been Polite to the woman one day, and I remarked ruefully that he
> obviously didn't like her much or he wouldn't have been so formally
> well-mannered at her, this all came out, and I spontaneously
> exclaimed 'Of course you don't love her!  I don't think anyone could!
> I mean, oh dear, that was very rude...' and DWJ was very taken aback
> and then incredibly relieved, because apparently she really had
> thought that it was All Her Fault and she was an Unnatural Child.
> Absolute rubbish, of course: her mother simply was horrid.  And after
> I put my foot in it so very thoroughly, DWJ was more able to see that
> for herself.  Thank goodness.
> (Authors are just people too.  People who happen to write wonderful
> books, but people.  And they do like getting letters that tell them
> their books are good, because they wonder about it sometimes --
> unless they have inflated egoes and think they can do no wrong, of
> course, but those ones mostly don't write wonderful books.)
> Minnow
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