Neil Gaiman – We could go out for tea (authentic British tea that doesn’t suck like American tea, or so he says) and real sushi (which I never get because my wife is afraid of raw food, so I have to get the kind from the supermarket). I could ask him about all the cool stuff he’s done, like movies and have a panda on his lap. And how he did his writing with his kids around and what it’s like living a public life as a writer and private life as a parent. I want to talk about how he plots, because he has a talent for making every page interesting. Also, I want to figure out some stuff from Sandman, because there’s a lot of neat stuff that seems like I should know where it comes from.
Stephen King – We would eat Maine lobster, because, I suppose, that’s what you eat when you’re in Maine. Or clam chowder. Unless that’s Boston. Anyway, I’m sure I’ll be happy because I love seafood, and I never get it because my wife is allergic to seafood preservatives.
Our conversation might be a little more antagonistic because, although I admire the guy and he’s the first of my inspirations to become an author, he’s done some pecuiliar stuff. But first of all I’d ask him why he’s such a proponent of free speech (“you can have my book when you pry it from my cold dead hand”), but then he goes and pulls his own book “Rage” from printing. And then I’d talk about his addiction and how it affected his writing, mostly because I want to know how you could write a novel in three days and not remember any of it. Also how he got away with having a sex scene with children in It. And there’s lots of other questions I have.
Also, he’s a Sox fan, so I’ll have to rag him on his team while promoting the Twins.
Charles Dickens – I suppose we could have something British. Whatever they ate back in the day. Blood pudding? Bangers and mash? English muffins? Whatever it was, it probably wasn’t very good, but I want to maintain authenticity.
To be honest, the only two works I’ve read of his in full are “A Tale of Two Cities” and “A Christmas Carol”. I partially read “Great Expectations” (semester ended before we finished), and I’d hardly call “A Christmas Carol” hard reading. But this guy made the modern novel and wrote a lot about social reform. He created some great stories and great characters. And I’d like to know what he was thinking when he did so. Also, how/why did he make those ridiculous names for his characters.
Hans Christian Andersen – Super Grimm Bros. get all the credit for the fairy tales, but Andersen created a bunch of greats that he never gets proper credit for. I have some Danish blood in me, and sometimes I fantasize that I’m his descendant. Plus, if you look at his bio on Wikipedia, the guy sounds like a riot at get-togethers. Apparently, he and Dickens were great friends, until he came to stay at Dickens’s house and got on his nerves (hmm, that should be another question for Charles). I have a feeling he’s a guy who’s a ball to hang out with for a few hours, but longer than that, and you get sick of him.
What do they eat in Denmark? Pancakes? Pancakes would be good. I could bring some American maple syrup. Then afterwards we’d go party at the tavern, sing old Danish sea chanties and talk about mermaids and snow queens.
Michael Crichton – How awesome would this guy’s brain? He was a walking wikipedia, probably the smartest author I’ve ever known. He wrote books on dinosaurs, DNA, medieval times, time travel, global warming, computers, space, monkeys, deep oceans. Everything a geek is interested in, he wrote out and added the science. It’s so terrible that he died before his time that I wonder if it wasn’t a government conspiracy. But then again, I’m paranoid.
I have no idea what we’d have, since he came from America in modern times. I’m sure he knows a fancy expensive restaurant that he’d pay for, since he’s so famous. Maybe we could get into one of those exclusive restaurants that you can’t get into unless you know something, and he has “a table”. I wish I had a table. I have to eat of cardboard boxes I find in the alley.
That’s my list for now. More to come…?