BRIDGEPORT, CONNECTICUT—In one of the greatest upsets of modern literary history, it was revealed that multi-media author Neil Gaiman has been working with a ghostwriter. And it’s Larry.
After nearly two and a half decades of silence, Larry Miller, the cheerful 68-year-old shop-owner of Larry’s General Store & Tackle in Bridgeport, Connecticut, divulged the well-kept secret in a now-viral YouTube upload.
“I just thought it was about time that credit was given where it was due,” said Larry.
The announcement caught his family and friends by surprise, having no idea he was the creative force behind The Sandman, a dark and introspective comic book series and one of the few of its genre to make it on The New York Times Best Seller list.
“Man, everyone knows Larry,” said local Bridgeport student, Tim Zuckerman. “Real friendly guy, always asks me how class is going—who’d have thought he’d written Coraline or Stardust? Wasn’t Robert de Niro in the movie?”
“My father is a fly-fishing enthusiast and subsists mostly on Wonderbread, Smuckers, and canned cream corn,” told Larry’s daughter, Samantha Hutchinson. “I’m supposed to believe that he’s behind a comic book, a BBC-miniseries, and game-changing works of modern fantasy? What the f—-, Dad?”
“I’ve always been a bait-and-tackle man,” said Larry, with his typical mischievous grin that the neighbourhood of South End Bridgeport has come to know and love. “But, writing has always been my great passion. And it’s time I reaped the rewards of that hard work: the after-parties, the booze, the rocker chicks—it’s Larry’s turn!”
Following Neil Gaiman’s own announcement that the award-winning novel The Graveyard Book had been picked up by Walt Disney Pictures, good ol’ Larry took to YouTube to discredit the oft-described “rock star” of modern literature as merely a handsome, enigmatic face for a larger marketing campaign.
Larry, who said he was paid minimally and without acknowledgement of authorship, was merely the creative-writing arm in a body of works carefully grafted together by publishing executives and agencies and branded with the Neil Gaiman name.
“I was the one who worked with Dave McKean, Terry Pratchett, and Roger Avary, though I admit they carried me most of the way,” said Larry, with his typical but charming false-modesty. “They all signed high-priced contracts not to divulge the conspiracy.”
The conspiracy in question—a decade-long experiment to infuse indie credibility into fantasy writing—was described by Larry as the publishing industry’s attempt to fast-track a profitable author to Stephen-King-esque levels of brand-recognition, capitalizing on the burgeoning nerd culture.
“Neil Gaiman, with his tussled hair, handsome features, and leather jacket—d’yah think a man like that can write?” said Larry. “That’s where I’d come in. Neil’s just a pretty face to sell a product. And you don’t get Snooki to write her own book—you hire a ghostwriter who can actually string sentences together.”
Gaiman could not be reached at his Minnesota home, though he did publish a blog post that denied Larry’s allegations while also seeming to confirm them:
“Fans, Larry’s video is full of lies. Sure he helped edit my stuff cause nobodys perfect, but im pretty sure larry’s just jealous of my sucesses and fame and full head of hair (lol). I know my fans will support me. Lotsa luv mates.”
Larry said he wasn’t angry about the under-appreciation of his work, but that he merely wanted a piece of the hot, sexy action that a popular author enjoyed.
“I’m 68, my wife has passed, and I want to retire soon,” said a heartfelt Larry. “But I want to have some of the fun that Mr. Gaiman has enjoyed—namely, I want one night alone with his rocker-wife, Amanda Palmer, that feisty siren.”
M. Scott Caldwell is The Daily Sprat’s senior arts and culture correspondent and has written a number of unpublished novels that you’d probably really like. He happens to have a couple manuscripts in his book bag if you’d like to have a look. Really, he’s got lots of copies—what are you into, noir or space operas?