Monday 24 March 2014

THINKING you don't like something, is not DISLIKING something, It's called SELF-DEPRIVATION.

I'm halfway through my very first Neil Gaiman book: NEVERWHERE.

Since puberty, I have avoided reading all and any fantasy under the false impression that I wouldn't enjoy it. I'm a lover and writer of literary and contemporary fiction. Unless it's Margaret Atwood, I very rarely pick books up that are "out of this world." And when I do, I almost never finish them. For some reason, I just can't get swept up in a world that I have no experience living in.

But I am a changed woman.

Neil Gaiman has changed me. Forever. I feel as excited to pick up Neverwhere as I did when I was a kid reading Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton.

I am devouring it.

I had known for years that I was probably depriving myself by avoiding fantasy, but it didn't seem to make any difference. I remained stubborn about it.

Until ... I started to write my own novel that is a little "out of this world."

This made me wonder. How many other things in this world am I missing out on because I think I won't like it? Can you imagine the amount of people out there who are missing out on fulfilling and enlightening experiences because they think they won't like something?

Here's some food for thought ... Why do you think we close ourselves up like that?

This has nothing to do with my question, but a friend of mine shared this video of Neil Gaiman with me on Facebook, and it is hilarious, and insightful, (and so true!) so I thought I'd share.

Have a great week!!!

CLICK HERE to subscribe to Jessica's newsletter. Every subscriber will receive Book #1 of the Writing in a Nutshell SeriesShow & Tell in a Nutshell, for FREE. And be the first to know about new releases and giveaways!


  1. Hi Jess - funnily enough that's one of the books I've got out to read - better get on with it. Great interview though ... and the werewolf thoughts, or the 'out of my head' ... so funny - where else would we get them - wish I could cook some up ...

    Cheers and great video .. Hilary

  2. I read in all sorts of genres, so I can't relate to this really. But I DO actively avoid all Christian fiction, so in a way I guess I can relate. ;) I don't think there's any point in me reading any, though.

    But I've loved fantasy since high school. Once upon a time it was all I'd read. I'm glad to have branched out since then. ;)

  3. oh man, i could have told you you'd probably dig the Gaiman, since he pretty much appeals to everyone. Or at least has something that can appeal. If you liked Neverwhere, you'll probably like American Gods and Ocean at the End of the Lane, but my favorite is Stardust (it has such a great ending)(it's definitely a bit more "fantasy" though) and if you're looking for humor, you can't beat Good Omens

  4. oh, i forgot to add, if you like to read short stories, he has two short story collections which are AWESOME

  5. Welcome to the world of speculative fiction! It's a big world. Have fun getting lost in it.
    If I'm in the right frame of mine, I usually enjoy something new and different that I didn't think I would enjoy.

  6. That was the first Neil Gaimon book I read too, Jessica, and in Paris at that. I left it in the rental apartment since they had a book exchange, but I too was blown away by Gaimon's writing. Loved it. I had grabbed it at the airport.

    I used to say I didn't like mysteries or most paranormal, but now I'm reading lots of mysteries as I want to incorporate some of the elements into my scifi. Fantasy and scifi have been much maligned, and due to the Game of Thrones is getting more attention now, too. I think that's a good thing (especially for authors).

  7. I loved NEVERWHERE. It's so dark. May I recommend THE GRAVEYARD BOOK for your next Gaiman fix.

  8. Jessica, I was the same way. When I was about your age, I worked in a class where the kids were taking a test. I didn't read fantasy and hadn't picked up a kid's book since I was a kid. I read The Giver by Lois Lowry. It was amazing. I still didn't think I liked fantasy. Then my son insisted I read him Harry Potter. On the nights my husband would read, I'd ask him what I missed. Then I took the book to find out what I'd missed myself. Since then I love fantasy books--both children's and adult. When I first discovered Gaiman, it was through my kids. He writing so impressed me, I began to read his a adult books too.

  9. Great post. I had the same feeling with Chick-lit but was asked to become a reader for an author of the genre. I fell in love with it as it is a light read for when I am not knee-deep in historical research. Since setting up The Virtual Bookcase, many writers send me free gifts of their books, and I am now finding new genre I would have ignored in the past.


“I'm using my art to comment on what I see. You don't have to agree with it.” ~John Mellencamp

“Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass without comment is a wonderful social grace” ~Judith S. Marin

“I don't ever try to make a serious social comment.” ~Paul McCartney

“I'd make a comment at a meeting and nobody would even acknowledge me. Then some man would say the same thing and they'd all nod.” ~Charlotte Bunch

“Probably what my comment meant was that I don't care about the circumstances if I can tell the truth.” ~Sally Kirkland

“We're not going to pay attention to the silliness and the petty comments. And quite frankly, women have joined me in this effort, and so it's not about appearances. It's about effectiveness.” ~Katherine Harris