I did not want to like Neil Gaiman’s Newbery speech. True, I liked The Graveyard Book, but he isn’t really a children’s book writer; that isn’t his primary form of writing. And, clearly, he hadn’t paid his dues.
Or so I thought.
Then I heard him say that the idea had come to him 20+ years ago and that it was a great idea but that he wasn’t a great writer. I’m paraphrasing, but essentially he said it took him 20 years of work to “earn” the idea, and that there were times “when the cake didn’t rise.” It was pretty clear he’d paid his dues, he’d done the work.
So, now he’s back on my Christmas card list.