When there’s a big cheer for a Dalek being wheeled on as stage dressing, you know you’re in a certain type of company.
Internationally-renowned fantasy writer Neil Gaiman spent his early years in Portchester and Southsea, and this had been billed as a bit of a homecoming.
The packed Guildhall audience listened in rapt attention as Gaiman talked about his childhood, mythologies and ties to Dr Who.
We heard about how new book The Ocean at the End of the Lane started as a short story for his wife and ended with a note to his publisher: ‘I’ve written a novel none of us was expecting.’
And he explains how he’s found that although the new book is rooted in his own experiences, others have told him how it echoed their own childhood and he believes: ‘If you get specific enough you become universal.’
We also learned about how to beat the Chinese censors when it comes to anti-authoritarian themes in kids’ books - make your protagonist a cute panda.