Chris Bolton recently interviewed Neil Gaiman for Powells.com. They cover a lot of ground here, from Anansi Boys all the way back to Don’t Panic. Gaiman also talks about his never-do-the-same-thing-twice approach to writing. Excellent, insightful reading.
When it [Marvel 1602] came out, everybody was going, “But this isn’t Sandman.” But that’s what people always do. Going back to the place we were at in the beginning of this conversation, where I was saying that as a writer you try to be an otter, you know what the audience wants, and what the readership always wants is the same thing it got from you last time that it liked. “Can I have some more of that?” And if you’re someone like me, they’re not gonna get that. But you really hope they’re gonna like what they get this time.
If I could be McDonald’s and standardize the product, I’d probably be a much more famous author, and a much more wealthy author. If American Gods had been followed immediately by British Gods, or More American Gods, or something like that… [Laughter] But I’m never really going to be one of those people. I’m going to be the kind of person, if you really like the hamburger one day and you come back, the next thing you’ll be served is sushi. And the next thing you’ll be served is ice cream.