Hullo Reddit. We are Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer. Half of us is a writer and half of us is a singer and musician. We're married. Two years ago we went on tour for a week and recorded each night. Mostly Neil read things and Amanda sang things (but we each did the other one too). Now we've made the album available to the whole wide world. You can ask us anything. We might even answer. Amanda is more likely to answer the embarrassing personal questions than Neil is.

Neil wrote THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE and many other books. And Sandman.

Amanda is sometimes a Dresden Doll, but is mostly a force of nature.

Watch a little of the EVENING WITH... at

(The Amazon link for the album is For Digital and other bundles, go to

AND WE'RE DONE. 1179 Comments later. Thanks so much everyone!

Social Media Proof:

Comments: 2153 • Responses: 40  • Date: 

Tenderfoots939 karma


RealNeilGaiman1163 karma

There is an American Gods TV series in the works. It's no longer with HBO. The moment that things are ready to be announced I am sure they will be, either legitimately or via a leak in a big Hollywood Agency mailroom.

murderbunny739 karma

I don't really have any questions, but I want to thank you both from the bottom of my heart for saving me on two separate occasions.

Neil - One night, due to a lot of problems I was having, I was contemplating going home and offing myself, and I was leaving a friend's house, and he handed me Death: The High Cost of Living, telling me I HAD to read it, but to make sure I brought it home to him the next day. I took it and went home, decided to read it before doing anything else, and I loved it so much that I read it about three times in a row, then went to sleep without doing anything stupid.

Amanda - I came out as trans last year, and your song In My Mind was the first song I listened to the day after coming out. I was dealing with a lot of turmoil about everything, with my wife, regarding the future, etc. and when I listened to the song, I felt perfect. I felt like I was finally the person that I was meant to be. So thank you for that. :)

You two are amazing, and I adore you both.

RealNeilGaiman606 karma

I'm proud of you, and really glad that the story helped save you from doing anything foolish.

SkyNinja7588 karma

Hi Neil and Amanda!

You have said before that you both have an open relationship and I have a couple questions about that. Why did you two decide to open your relationship? And what are some of the benefits to your relationship style?

For those of us who are in open relationships it is really awesome to see public figures who are open about it. More acceptance!

RealNeilGaiman487 karma

I would have been perfectly comfortable being not public about it. But Amanda was interviewed, and asked directly, and, as is her wont, she answered directly. (IT was at I discovered once out that I didn't actually mind being out at all. The credit for that one is all Amanda's, though.

morgueanna424 karma

Thank you for doing this AMA together. I've been a huge fan of Neil for years and more recently an Amanda Palmer fan (2003).

Over the past few years you both have been accosted with questions, comments, and general bitterness from people who say not-so-nice things about your relationship. How do you cope with it at the end of the day, when you've been married for two years now and yet again someone has to say something spiteful or ignorant?

RealNeilGaiman937 karma

I had run into nasty people on the web before I married Amanda, but marrying her opened the door on a whole new level of unpleasantness. It was like lifting up a rock and seeing what squirms underneath. And then slowly I started to realise that an awful lot of the nastiest haters appeared to be one person cutting and pasting away, and industriously spending every evening googling my name and Amanda's and posting strangely unpleasant dispatches from an alternate universe. And then I felt very sorry for that person, because it doesn't seem like much of a life.

kilgore_trout33340 karma

hello to both of you! my question is for Neil: how do you seem to write the child psyche so well? do you draw from your own childhood experiences?

RealNeilGaiman797 karma

Yes. That's pretty much it: it's the only childhood I went through, after all.

mrmaxwellmusic332 karma

How do the two of you force yourselves to write and work when you aren't in the mood? I'm nothing if not inconsistent at being creative and often wonder if there is some sort of Voodoo or Faustian deal you both utilize to be so prolific.

RealNeilGaiman787 karma

I can't speak for Amanda. In the old days I used to do it mostly by telling myself that if I didn't write I wouldn't eat, and neither would my children. That always worked. Also, it was true.

marcovb73312 karma

Neil, You've stated that you have sequal ideas for most of your books, but may not have the time to write them. In the past years, we've seen continuations of both the Dune books and the Lord of the Rings books, based on half-finished notes left by the original authors and guided by their heirs. Will you be leaving behind similar notes one day (many years from now, hopefully)? If so, who do you think will take up the mantle, and which of your books do you feel is most suited for posthumous sequals?

RealNeilGaiman1102 karma

Oh, I hope that doesn't happen. In a perfect world I'll live long enough to write ALL THE BOOKS.

edjca284 karma

What kind of tea do you both like?

RealNeilGaiman958 karma

We both like green tea, and we both like fruity teas. Only one of us likes proper British Tea with milk. I am not going to tell you which one.

TreasurerAlex209 karma

Neil, what's your favorite of Amanda's Songs?

Amanda, what's your favorite of Neil's writings?

and what do you love about it?

RealNeilGaiman370 karma

My favourite of Amanda's songs is The Bed Song. It's clever and honest and moving, and it's like a novel about a relationship compressed into in 6 minutes.

yeahthatchic206 karma

Two part question here

  1. Being polyamorous I'm often curious how others arrive at opening their relationships. How did you two breach the subject of an open marriage and was it a result of rigorous tour schedules or have all your relationships been open?

  2. Was the song lost written because you actually lost your wallet or did the metaphor just make sense in relation to other losses going on at that time?

RealNeilGaiman323 karma

We both came from closed relationships (although Amanda had tried all sorts of relationships before that one). We both wanted to be with each other, but also we wanted more than that. From the very beginning of the relationship, in early 2009, possibly even before we started actually going out, we knew we wanted to be free to be with other people when we were away, and that we wanted to build the kind of a relationship in which that would bring us closer. So far it's working pretty well.

meulop123 karma

Do you think that you would still have an open relationship even if you weren't away from each other on tours etc?

RealNeilGaiman245 karma

I don't know. It works okay currently because we have people we can kiss all over the world. If we both lived in a small town and never left, we might decide it was easier to have a closed relationship. Or we might not.

jjgaybrams202 karma

Neil, which historical figures do you find most fascinating?

RealNeilGaiman293 karma

John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. Queen Elizabeth (the first one).

girl_giant182 karma

What's it like having an open marriage? Are there relationships that seem to detract from your marriage rather than enhance it? How do you handle complications that arise?

RealNeilGaiman316 karma

It's good. So far, it's really good.

We're very aware of each other, and we would not allow another relationship to imperil what we have.

We talk. And talk. And talk. And hug a lot. And talk some more. And then do whatever needs to be done in the real world.

Dr_Library176 karma

I’d like to tell you both that you’re huge inspirations to me not only as a writer, but as a human being.

As a librarian, I’ve defended works by both of you from censorship.

First question, does it surprise you when your works are challenged or censored? Is it a moment of pride when something impassions people so much that they attempt to ban it?

Second question, as a (fairly) young writer, I was hoping for words of advice when it comes to publishing a piece of work (poetry, short story, novella). Anything?

RealNeilGaiman202 karma

It's mingled pride at being thought worthy of censorship and grumpiness at the people who think that the solution to ideas is to try and stop them.

Keep writing. Don't be disheartened when stories don't sell.

nope_nope_nope-173 karma

Neil, First let just say I love your books. Neverwhere is my all time favorite read I've read it seven times now, it never gets old. Now my real question. My husband and I donate monthly to RAINN, simply because I too am a victim of sexual assault in the military. Recently I saw on their website an opportunity to volunteer in the speakers bureau. Ever since I reported my assault I've told myself I would do something and make a difference like a motivational speaker or something and this seems like the perfect avenue to start. The problem is that it's still a very sensitive subject for me and I am terrified just to send in the application. So my question is have you had any interaction with RAINN's speakers bureau and what was it like? What sort of questions were they asked and how did they seem to handle it?

Also, I too am a hopeful future writer/author; tips?

And for Amanda, Not really a question, but your song Boston from No, Virginia is so beautiful and got me through so many hard times and I just want the woman responsible for that to know what she had inadvertently done for me. Thank you both.

RealNeilGaiman112 karma

I've never worked with RAINN's speakers bureau, although I've worked with them and donated to them for many years now. You should talk to them directly.

theirishone160 karma

Figure this question'll get buried and go unanswered, but I can't not try. Not when two of my greatest influences are here to answer questions.

Neil, when I was in college, several professors told me to read your work as they though it would inspire me. I did, and it did. I've been writing for some years now and put a few short stories out to float about in the world. People seem to like them, but here's my struggle: I love writing novels. I've written quite a few, but every time I go to re-read and then send them out on their own, I find something else that needs fixing, something else that could use some tweaking. How do you decide that yours are done? Also, what is your go-to writer's fuel? Do you have a special writer's hat? And how much does your dog help you write? Because mine mostly walks on my chest when I'm trying to work.

Amanda, you are strong and awesome and powerful and "Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under" is my go-to album experience when the doldrums overwhelm. How do you be married and a artist all at once? My husband can get overwhelmed by my artistic rants and rages and I don't want to bury the poor, lovely man.

RealNeilGaiman271 karma

There's always a point where you have to let a story go. Art isn't finished, as many people before me have pointed out, only abandoned. And eventually you abandon your new child and hope that you'll get it right next time, or the time after that, and you never do.

LobsterintheJukebox146 karma

Neil, I'm thinking of getting a tattoo of Merv and Destiny playing a board game. What game should they be playing?

RealNeilGaiman316 karma


My vote would be for Scrabble. Or Monopoly. Either way, Destiny wins.

Kashue143 karma

For Neil If you were the show runner for Doctor Who what aspect of the Doctor would you spend the course of seasons exploring? What would you like to discover about the Doctor's character?

ShadowEl58 karma

A more writery Doctor Who question for Mr. Gaiman: Between your two television episodes and the 50th anniversary short story, you've written a bit of the Eleventh Doctor (and quite enjoyably, I might add). If you were to write a story involving any other Doctor, who would it be and why?

RealNeilGaiman257 karma

The Doctor is the Doctor. Matt Smith wasn't cast when I wrote the first draft of The Doctor's Wife.

modern_day_merlin141 karma

How did you guys meet?

RealNeilGaiman382 karma

We were introduced over email by Jason Webley, after I said something nice about one of the songs he and Amanda did together as Evelyn Evelyn on my blog. We met because Amanda asked me to write some stories to accompany photographs of her dead, to make a book called WHO KILLED AMANDA PALMER. We met in the green room of the NYC Comic Con, and we didn't fancy each other at all. There are photographs of us and Stan Lee together there. Amanda did not know who he was. I found this refreshing.

amanda_palmer377 karma

it's true. i was also in a relationship at the time with no interest in falling in love with neil gaiman...and i barely knew his work. we've looked back at the photos from that day and had a good laugh. neil looks like hell and has a black eye (his dog gave it to him.....long story) and i looked (according to neil) pudgy and mannish and absolutely "not his type". nor was he mine.

the reason we're convinced this relationship has legs is that we fell in love with each other's personalities and brains and then, later, with each others bodies and faces....from a deeper place.

WigglestonTheFourth94 karma

Long story about a dog and a black eye? This is the perfect crowd for a long story!

RealNeilGaiman168 karma

Here's a photograph of me the day or so before I met her:

SelfishIdol137 karma

As not only talented creators, but aficionados of your respective arts ...

Neil: Who would be your favourite supporting character in any novel?

Amanda: What song would you turn to to cheer yourself the f*ck up?


RealNeilGaiman305 karma

Puddleglum, in The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis.

Kineticillation117 karma

Amanda: First, I adore your art and sense of style, you just seem so quirky and fun! I get scared when I start to stand out too much, even when I'm feeling more 'myself' in whatever I'm wearing. I don't have a question, just wanted to say thanks for being so out there and helping me be braver. =)

Neil: Your writing has encouraged me to think in big pictures and I always fall back to it when I'm wrestling with some difficult stuff. I really feel like Shadow sometimes, just kind of going along with things while this vibrant crazy life whirls around me. Thanks for joining us since I know you're not really into reddit and Amanda has always been our point of communication. What is a book or multiple books you'd recommend for getting into mythology and religion, and how it all fits together? The Sandman and American Gods seemed to only give me the tip of the iceberg.

Kudos to you both for being very open and forthcoming about being in an open marriage, and how you handle it. You're an excellent example for couples everywhere, who are thinking of trying that relationship model.

Definitely buying the album, love you both!

Now for kind of a silly question: How would each of you describe the other in bed?

RealNeilGaiman281 karma

Amanda tends to sleep on the right and often sleeps naked. She's cuddly, much less talky than I am, unless she decides that she wants to talk. She likes sex. She reads in bed before sleeping more than I do these days.

empathyx115 karma

Why did Delight become Delirium?
Since I am smart enough to know you will never answer this on an internet forum I will also ask...will you ever tell the reason in comics?
I went to the Sandman convention, Fiddler's Green, in 2004 and it is still one of the most amazing experiences. Any highlights for you from the convention?
I must say to anyone reading this I've had the pleasure of meeting Neil Gaiman twice and he is an amazing, warm, and friendly man. Thank you Neil for all your work and your great relationship with your fans. Shameless plug for my subreddit /r/Sandman
If you could go over there an make a post Neil that would be amazing. If not you are still amazing. Much love to you both.

RealNeilGaiman111 karma

I'll go and find it. And thank you for the kind words.

hasufelmere114 karma

Neil, I (like everyone else in this thread) am a big fan. Not only do I adore your books, but "The Doctor's Wife" and "Nightmare in Silver" are two of my favorite Doctor Who episodes of all time. So, thanks for being fantastic!

I am curious about your opinion of the movie adaptation of Stardust. I absolutely love the book, and I absolutely love the movie--but the two bear little resemblance to each other. Do you feel that the movie was able to uphold the spirit of your work even with a mostly altered plot? (You may have answered a similar question elsewhere, so I will keep scrolling through...just wanted to put that out there while I could!)

I will say that I LOVE the melancholy ending of the book, but I can see how that might not have translated well into a film adaptation.

Thank you for being brilliant!

RealNeilGaiman145 karma

I like to think of the two Stardusts as the Earth-1 and Earth-2 versions.

I produced the movie, and lots of things in it, like the "What do stars do, shine..." showdown were mine. They felt right for a movie but wrong for a book.

Sometimes I think I'd love to see a stage production or TV adaptation that was closer to the book, though: more melancholy, for a start...

fruitbatmonster111 karma

Aaahh I fucking love you guys!

How does your marriage work what with travelling, shows and such? A bit of a personal question but I'm sincerely intrigued.

RealNeilGaiman192 karma

It works, although it bumps sometimes, especially if we've been apart more than a month. On the good hand, we rarely run into a situation where one of us is on tour and the other is at home feeling lonely. We get lots of wonderful reunions out of it.

AliKira106 karma

What was the hardest part about performing An Evening With Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer?

RealNeilGaiman260 karma

The hardest part was that both Amanda and I were used to being the Last Word when we were on stage or doing an event. Lots of people could have opinions, but at the end of the day, I'd say "Yes, I'll do this" or "No, I don't think so". Which, oddly enough, was Amanda's world too.

And now we were both trying to put a show together in which each of us felt (knew?) that we should be the one who makes the final decision. On everything. And we kept bumping into each other, and learning to give way with good grace.

Sort of like a marriage in miniature, now I come to think about it.

thelibrariangirl87 karma

Neil and Amanda: which of you is the better cook? Do you have a favorite meal to make together?

Ps: Neil, I'm a huge fan and thank you for all the nice things you say about libraries!

RealNeilGaiman117 karma

I don't know which of us is a better cook, but I enjoy cooking more.

imafallacy80 karma


RealNeilGaiman151 karma

I think I spent about 35 years researching American Gods. Only one or two years actually researching it while writing though.

JosephCampbellsCat75 karma

Hi Neil, huuuuuge freaking fan here. My question is :

Stephen King said, "The Road to hell is paved with adverbs," yet you use truck loads full of adverbs. Is Mr. King too confident in his statement or is it just an English thing or perhaps a stylistic choice?

RealNeilGaiman154 karma

The puritans had a saying "God loveth adverbs, and careth not how good but how well". Which would seem to indicate that God is on the Road to Hell...

I think Steve's rules work well for him, Elmore Leonard's worked fine for him, and mine ( work just fine for me.

olganunes69 karma

Hullo Mr. & Mrs. Palmer. :D

Question for you both: What was the hardest thing about doing this album together?

amanda_palmer114 karma

hardest thing....rggggg.

probably the night in san francicso where we wound up bickering about the set list and running order. i'd just realized that i'd left my passport back in boston because i'd forgotten i'd need it on the trip to get over the canadian border to the vancouver show. that set me on edge to begin with. then i sat down to write my set list and it finally dawned on me that i was only going to have a few shots at performing perfectly all the songs i wanted to try to squeeze onto this collection.

so that night ended up being a minor stress-fest, mostly my fault to begin with...but as in any relationship the testy feelings wound up snowballing and we bot treated each other grumpily.

that's in the relationship the practical DIY record-label given how many decisions needed to be made (about artwork, about track listing, about money, about materials, about timelines) it's actually quite refreshing to look back and see that we barely had a single disagreement. but that's why we did this project...we wanted it to be fun, not hard, not stressful.

aside from the togetherness... i had a generally difficult time trying to decide which tracks to pick for the SHOWS themselves, because i knew i'd be releasing those songs exclusively on this album, at least for now. songs like "dear old house", "judy blume" and "look mummy, no hands" had never been available before. and i wanted them to have the best possible presentation when tehy made their debuts to the listener's ears...which is impossible to control when you're in a live setting and not a recording studio. so a lot of moments on stage i felt like i was on a fucking tightrope, since i had to absolutely nail the takes and not be as sloppy as i usually allow myself to be.

at the end of the day i'm actually REALLY proud of how all the recordings came out, mine, neil's, and the "together" ones. when i heard the first set of recordings and calculated that we actually had a killer take of each tune, my heart soared with relief.

RealNeilGaiman178 karma

I had it easier, because I didn't have any real agenda on what I wanted to record or not record.

The hardest thing was listening to EVERYTHING. About 25 hours of material. And then deciding what would go on.

No, that's not true. The hardest thing was singing in public, and listening to recordings of me singing in public. Everything else was easy compared to that.

circularherpin64 karma

To Both: Hey, I absolutely adore both of yours' work, long may it continue.

What is your biggest fear for the future?

RealNeilGaiman150 karma

My biggest fear for the future is that we'll kill the oceans. We seem to be well on the way.

I look at things like the TerraMar project - - and hope that they have some kind of chance of delaying things for long enough to turn it around.

wtfitz58 karma

Neil, as a kid, did your unique outlook on life ever creep your parents out?

RealNeilGaiman99 karma

I don't know.

blackgold3346 karma

Neil, what is your best advice for keeping the relationship going when dating an artist can be frustrating and lonely at times?

RealNeilGaiman117 karma

I think you have to accept that an artist also has a relationship with his or her art and his or her fans: you are in an open relationship whether you like it or not. Give the artist room to go into the place they create (literally or metaphorically). And love them when they can't remember where they put their keys.

Isbit38 karma

Neil: I love your books, they make for a great escape. I also really enjoy the articles you write.

Amanda: Although I'd heard about you before, I didn't think too much about it until the Dear Daily Mail performance. I can only say I wish I can be as awesome one day :)

I don't really have a relevant question, so I'm just gonna ask how many toasters you have at home?

RealNeilGaiman122 karma

There is only one toaster and it is TERRIBLE. It eats toast, and then I have to turn it on its side and shake it to get the toast out. And toast crumbs come out too and go all over the kitchen.

Why do I have such a toaster? Surely I can afford to replace it. Sigh.

mafnxxx26 karma

Will we see a sequel to your acclaimed young adult book, The Troll Twins of Underbridge Academy?

RealNeilGaiman40 karma

As soon as I can get people to write it for me. Bwahahaha. Er, heh-heh-heh.

Ailurophile5223 karma

What are your views on Welcome To Night Vale? (Former, writing half) How do you feel about all the criticism TOATEOFL got? To clarify, I loved it, just interested.

RealNeilGaiman40 karma

I think I must have missed all the criticism. I saw lots of lovely reviews, a couple of not-so-nice, and the Book Award nominations, and the Best of Year appearances. I don't remember releasing a book that got so much love on its immediate release. (It's very nice, by the way, and refreshing.)

Cascascena18 karma

I have two questions: Amanda, is there a REAL Blake (in Blake says?)? And Neil, in "I Google You" were you googling amanda?

RealNeilGaiman85 karma

I wrote "I Google You" when a singer named Peri Lyons asked me to write a torch song for her cabaret. (I only tend to write songs when asked.) When Amanda and I first met properly, in August 2008, we were talking about Sinatra, and I mentioned that I'd written a torch song, and sang it to her. She went and got a recorder and made me sing it again. I was amazed and delighted when, a week later, I saw her perform it on YouTube in San Francisco.

And googling Amanda is about as pointless as googling me: there's too damn much stuff out there, so I've never bothered. Googling should be reserved, late at night, for that girlfriend who broke up with you when you were both sixteen, to try and figure out if she's still alive and where in the world she is these days.

marcovb7317 karma

Any plans to do more "Evening with"'s together, preferably in Europe?

RealNeilGaiman28 karma

We plan to do them whenever we know we are going to be in the same place at the same time and we feel like it. They are for fun, not our day job, after all.

We'd love to do one in London, for a start.

(I'd generally only want to do European gigs in places where most of the people in the audience spoke English, though. You don't need to speak English to love a song. You do to listen to a poem or a story.)

sayobel7 karma

Hi, Neil and Amanda!

I am super excited to see you guys on Saturday. I'm curious - will these new "Evening With..." shows be filled with different things than the album release? What's your process like for deciding what goes into one?

RealNeilGaiman9 karma

There is always new stuff. That's the fun of it.

gigalowen5 karma

Hi Neil, I saw you at a booking signing in Ely, I was with the lass who is the current poet Laurent of the Fens. We summited a question to you but we think it was filtered out. If you could answer it would make my friend very happy.

Would you rather have feet sized ears or ear size feet?

RealNeilGaiman11 karma

Ear sized feet. Some ears are pretty big.