I'm sure a lot of other blogs covered this, and better, but here's my notes from the P&P signing.
Gaiman attracted a crowd of about 450-500 people to the site in the church. This was the first signing that P&P had there, and it's a good venue, although it was a bit strange to see Gaiman in a pulpit. He noted that these are all the stories he's written since the last collection, except for a story called "Orange" I think. He talked about putting poetry in the book, which his fans are divided about, but included it because the book would be the same length whether or not it was included. So he read his included poem, The Day The Saucers Came to a good bit of laughter.
He then read the first story in his book, A Study in Emerald after determining that he'd read another one at a con in Baltimore recently. After that, he took questions.
Asked what is Alan Moore like, Gaiman gave an amusing description of meeting him with Moore while Moore was wearing a bright red suit. He also gave an amusing account of Moore deciding to short-circuit his midlife crisis by worshipping an imaginary snake.
Asked how he can let characters go, Gaiman noted that 10 years of Sandman was long enough and it was a relief for all parties to let go some times.
Asked how long American Gods took to write, he explained 2 years, but the book had been gestating for longer.
Anansi was the central figure of the sequel because 8 years earlier he'd been working with Lenny Henry on his audiobooks. Henry noted that there were no black characters in horror movies because they all get killed offstage. Lenny's a bespectacled comics nerd offstage, but wanted a role written for him, so Anansi Boys is all written with Caribbean black characters unless otherwise noted. Originally it was to be a novella, along with Stardust and Neverwhere stories, but editor Jenny Brown insisted it would be a book.
Asked about his personal relationship with God, as it were, he said, "I think religions are the coolest things on earth and I hope people keep making them up until the end of time." He followed this by stating, "I think they're really cool and odd and I wish people wouldn't kill each other over them."
After questions, he gave his film FAQ.
John Hodgeman is the father in Coraline which is being done as stop-motion and will be ready in 2008. The misic is by They Might Be Giants. Also Ian McShane will be the upstairs neighbor.
The 1st movie out, March 2007, will be Stardust. Filmed in Highland Studios in England.
On November 22, 2007, Beowulf, starring John Malkovich, Anthony Hopkins, Crispin Glover predictably as Grendel, and Angelie Jolie as Grendel's mother. He began the script with a friend in 1998. The friend planned to direct it until Zimeckis offered them, not one, which wasn't enough, but two wheelbarrows of money. It's being done like Polar Express but better.
Corrections, especially those of names, are welcomed.