“Am I a creature that feeds on lost sleep?” Nick Setch­field puts your ques­tions to the Dream King

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Your ques­tions an­swered on Death and Doc­tor Who.

char­coal- suited

Neil Gaiman

Ais fac­ing in­qui­si­tion in a London ho­tel suite. “Will there be spikes?” he asks, re­fus­ing another pot of tea on the grounds that he has at­tained a state of “hy­per- caf­feina­tion”. As ever he’s charis­matic company, a mazy, di­vert­ing book­shop in hu­man form. Plac­ing his boots on the posh sofa with the diplo­matic im­mu­nity of the fa­mous, he’s here to talk up

The Sleeper And The Spin­dle, an in­trigu­ingly fresh take on some well- worn fairy­tale char­ac­ters (“What age group is it for? Hu­mans”). SFX is tak­ing this op­por­tu­nity to throw your ques­tions at him. Even the one that asks him to con­front his own Death…

At what point do you de­cide an idea for a story is worth keep­ing?

Phillip Nicholson

It could be any­thing from 20 years be­fore it gets writ­ten in the case of The Grave­yard

Book, to ten years after you wrote it, when you look at a thing and you go “What was I do­ing? What was that for? That was rub­bish.” A lot of the time it has to do with if some­thing has stick­ing power, if it sticks around in your head. With The Sleeper And The Spin­dle it be­gan with about five dif­fer­ent things com­ing to­gether, in­clud­ing my in­cred­i­ble bore­dom. When I did Snow Glass Ap­ples 21 years ago it didn’t feel like any­body was re­vis­it­ing fairy sto­ries. And then you had that pe­riod where any idea that I would have had about do­ing some­thing with fairy sto­ries seemed almost re­dun­dant, be­cause the whole world was do­ing them. And then, hav­ing the idea for this, I thought, ac­tu­ally, that’s a Snow White that no­body’s told, and it’ll be a re­ally in­ter­est­ing

Snow White to tell, and it’s a Sleep­ing Beauty that no­body’s told. And I can bring them both to­gether, and it wouldn’t be about the things that peo­ple thought they were about. And even then I wasn’t sure if it was any good. I just knew that it was in­ter­est­ing enough to want to write it.

Ra­mon Macario Martins

I don’t be­lieve in writer’s block. I re­ally don’t. I be­lieve that writ­ers are re­ally clever and we made up writer’s block to im­press peo­ple, be­cause it sounds so much bet­ter than “I got stuck” or even “I didn’t have any­thing to say”. Gar­den­ers don’t get gar­dener’s block. Cel­lists don’t get cel­list’s block. Taxi driv­ers rarely get up in the morn­ing and say “Oh, I can’t do it to­day. I’m just blocked. I can’t find it in my­self to taxi drive.” One of the things that I learned do­ing Sand­man on a monthly dead­line was that you can write on the bad days. You may not get as much done, and you may think it’s all stupid, but the truth is that the next day may be one of the good days, and you look at

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