Twitter Q&A of "American Gods", by Neil Gaiman.

(compiled by @RJFerret, questions in italics, non-italicized text by @neilhimself, Neil Gaiman, in order of answering, July 9th, 2010)

(click here for Q&A of first six chapters from May 18th, 2010, or for Q&A of first half of "American Gods" from May 28, 2010)

repeat question: so supposedly horus figured out how the war was a set-up but then HE could have stopped it - why bring back shadow?

@kacsaful Horus was pretty crazy. Would you have trusted him with anything?

Are there any AG characters you plan to revisit in a different context as in Anansi Boys?

@T_Lawson I want to do more MONARCH OF THE GLEN stories about Shadow in the UK. Then send him home.

Would you recognize a magically animated corpse if it came up and asked you for your autograph?

@slaphappybunny depends how long the signing had been. By hour three I wouldn't recognise my best friend

Any chance you will be coming to Spain sooner or later ("sooner" would be appreciated)

@Untipoconboina I don't know. I've done a lot of travelling in the last 18 months & need to do more writing now

Sorry to be early - I have a meeting at 10! Where did you write American Gods? Did you travel while writing it?

@shadow_Kat I wrote it in Florida, in the midwest, on a train to San Diego, in Las Vegas and finally in a very cold house in Ireland

Kinda off-topic, but how do you keep the ideas coming enough for a whole book, let alone the series you've done?

@kendermouse I don't know. With American Gods the trouble was having too many ideas for a book, and trying to squeeze them all in

racing a comparison between American Gods & Sandman, which is your favorite god/deity/myth?

@bartrabelo honestly it depends on the day. I loved learning about the Slavic Gods when researching the book though

At one point in AG, Town & Laura stop for a meal of truly appalling sushi in Knoxville. Was it Nama?

@bekitty I do not remember the name. But it was based on a really dire post-convention sushi meal that took forever to come.

Is there a list of all the Gods (and the origins?) from AG? That info would make for a great re-re-re-re-read.

@scaraker There's a great list of Gods in the book over at (mentioned before, but reposted here for tidiness)

SPOILER #1b1tNG Re: Shadow's name in Monarch of Glen. Really? Wasn't his mother mortal? B (supposedly Shadow) is a son of Frigg...

@eun_hye1 Sure. She named him that because he was born when she was working at the US Embassy in Norway at the time.

How long did it take you to write American Gods? How much of this time was spent doing research?

@josephkern It took about two years to write American Gods. Doing nothing much else but writing and sleeping

@josephkern I'd spent most of the previous 40 years researching it. And nothing I read during the writing time wasn't research

Do you consider American Odin to be less powerful / derivative of Norse Odin, or just different but equal?

@meaganoff He's more fun to write, because he's more screwed up. He'd like to be as powerful as Norse Odin was in his glory days.

Do you feel more at home in America now, or are you still a stranger in a strange land?

@MaryGaughan I think I feel too comfortable in the US now. Or at least in my bit of it. Or at least in my house

Any plans to do another collaboration with Terry Pratchett a la Good Omens?

@SammiMD No plans, but occasional hopes

2) is Odin that Shadow meets at the end of the book his father too or just Wednesday?

@MrsTmama "He is me, but I am not him".

What's waiting for Shadow back in the US?

@anywase trouble

More interested in writing process than research really. Do you have a daily word count you try to hit Neil?

@Crowdsourcing On American Gods I tried to hit a solid 1000 words a day. Some days were better. Some were worse. Many words junked.

Why were the Buffalo, Whiskey Jack and the Thunderbird disappointed with Shadow at the end?

@lesterminator I don't know if they were, or if he just thought they were.

As a chattanooga resident, i have to ask...why Rock City? i agree it's a fitting choice, but how did you come to that?

@AntaresDnB Driving to Florida, the first time, to hide and write, I kept seeing signs painted on barn roofs, so I followed them.

I lived in northern WI & love that it was a prominent location in the book. What made you decide to use that area?

@designcoyote I wanted to mostly use places I'd not seen in movies or on TV. The odd sort of Real America that wasn't in the stories

I love that Shadow visits Sam before seeing Czernobog. Have you ever thought about writing a Sam story?

@deviousjen She's a lot of fun.

Loved the book. Is there a reason Wednesday/Odin is always eating, enjoying whatever it is? Always Described in detail.

@HJ3l Definitely, yes.

Did you know Shadow's real name before it was taken or was he always only 'Shadow'?

@peachhugs Oh, I knew it. (You can figure it out. And it's explicit in MONARCH OF THE GLEN.)

What's YOUR favorite character in American Gods?

@anywase favourites for writers tend to be the ones it was most fun to write, and when you tell people they give you odd looks

Was it an effort not to use british english while writing AG, spelling & vocab-wise?

@kacsaful I spelled words how I spell them and let the copy-editors take the Us out of colour

Was their a singular force/influence/person in your life that turned you onto mythology?

@Estrella_Mar Probably CS Lewis in PRINCE CASPIAN, with Bacchus and Silenus and all the maenads

Do you ever see yourself in Mr. Wednesday?

@Asche_zu_Ash if you're doing your job as a writer you had better see yourself in all the characters

Do you think the same problem would arise for gods in any newly discovered land e.g Australia

@chrishainey I think Australian stories would be very different. But then, Australia is very different.

Learning lots here but not getting it all. Who is Shadow, really? Does he still have his name?

@lesterminator It's in the book. Promise.

I really like Mad Sweeney. Beside the legend, what inspired the character?

@anywase Well, the legend, & the need to have someone in that role, and the suspicion that leprechauns were little like Little John

Do you feel like you completely know your AG universe or do you sometimes still wonder about this and that?

@PrecisionGrace I don't think I know the AG universe any more than I know the universe. I know the bits I've visited.

Are there any more plans to extend these characters and universe, beyond the already published Monarch of the Glen?

@johnytyh Yes. With caveats on living long enough.

Were there any gods/pantheons you considered using in AG but rejected? Why?

@wmsnedden I couldn't convince myself of the Roman/Greek Gods in the US. (Then as I finished the book: Hmm... )

I figure you're not likely to reveal the idenity of the forgotten god, but I thought I'd ask just in case.

@tiboribi very wise of you

Neil, what happens to the gods that die, like Bilquis? Do they have multiple incarnations like Odin?

@naitch13 Depends. Even Wednesday was only hanging around after death as a ghost. If there's enough belief they'd come back.

So many things in American Gods made me think of GG Kay's Fionavar Tapestry trilogy - hanging from tree bit especially. Any link?

@MiPiAi I think Norse mythology is the link in each case. That's where the tree-hanging comes from.

Did the mythology fall naturally into the story of AG or did you have to change parts of it to incorporate the myths?

@TrishaCornelius Not sure I get the Q. It's like "Did the ice cream fall naturally into the sundae, or did you have to change it?"

#1b1tNG curious about the gods in the final battle: pig, monkey and ghoul: journey to the east?

@thurisaz83 Actually, going up that hill from the direction they were starting in, I think they were walking west.

Is there any song or any kind of music that, that you link to AG, for any reason?

@Harriet_Edlyn The Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs and Greg Brown's Dream Cafe were CDs I played to death while writing it

It is an odd sort of place. I love that the magic of House on the Rock is better known now. What is your favorite room?

@designcoyote I think The Mikado is my favourite place in the House on the Rock. That off-key, jangly Danse Macabre...

The spanish translation was AWFUL. Any plans of a new edition with new translation?

@nentupucha I heard that the Spanish translation of American Gods was a very bad book from many people. So sorry.

@nentupucha I hope that a new publisher would do a fresh translation, but it would need a new publisher.

With AG being a best seller and GYB winning a lot of awards, how do you deal with the pressure to write better books?

@mahlemedved You just write the next thing and hope. It's not like you can afford better adverbs and shinier prepositions now.

please, check out my Helena costume for #CTcon2010 - made w sheets & tulle & lots of hairspray

@Grrrl1der brilliant!

I was interested in your use of dreams & the name Shadow for the protagonist. Any Jungian influences there?

@chrisjpaxton Probably. The whole Laura relationship came from a dream.

I would love to read the version of AG in Dream's library, how long a book do you think that would be?

@poodlemaster I think it would either fill a dozen shelves, or be twice as good and half as long.

What ever happened to everyone reading and discussing your book? I bought and read it (loved it) but guess I forgot to discuss!

@marcusjroberts The discussions went really well, from what I saw, but it all went on for a bit too long (in my opinion).

Question about Thor. Why do he do that in 1932? Is there some related historical event in 1932 Philadelphia?

@noxcape1126 No, that was just where he ran out of wanting to live.

I'm sure I'm not the first to ask but, I really want an American Gods movie, is there any hope there?

@Drwho22 There are people talking seriously about it. But then, they have talked seriously about it before.

we take an Xmas trip every yr to Rock City. did you visit in your research & why did you pick it for the climatic scene

@heathernoye Yes, I visited it a few times. I wanted to get Ruby Falls in, but I failed.

Any idea what Shadow would tell you if he walked up to a signing of yours?

@KristineLCruz he wouldn't say very much. he doesn't.

There was only passing mention to the Greek pantheon, despite their enormous popularity. Any reason for excluding them?

@NocturnalNico yup. I couldn't convince myself the Greeks or Romans had come to the US then. (Given I can now)

Why only that one? People liked other books you've written too... why not Graveyard Book replies?

@valence28 because The Graveyard Book was not the #1b1t "One Book One Twitter" book club read.

Did you have any writerly doubts while writing AG or was it all a smooth process?

@KristineLCruz (laughs bitterly and hollowly.) It wasn't ever smooth.

How much creative license did you need to take with the myths to get them to fit in AG? sorry for confusion.

@TrishaCornelius Not much. I didn't need to. I made up a goddess, but that was about it.

Pan noted as an early comedian in AG. Only the gods are real suggests Fatty Arbuckle...Did you have a comedian in mind?

@MrsTmama There are a lot of early comedians we've now mostly forgotten. And Fatty played heavies, not comics.

have you encountered any real town clunker traditions? Doesnt seem good to leave the cars in the lake after break thru.

@MacKash most of the places that do the real thing haul the car out on a chain (and remove the engine first)

American Gods features sexual scenarios, I think it's the first I've seen you write. Any hesitation with writing them?

@Qatami I try to write sex when it's appropriate (ie, when the characters are having it).

Have they ever found a body in one?

@poodlemaster Yes, fairly locally, a few years after I wrote American Gods.