Though rumors have long circulated about Neil Gaiman’s next literary pursuit, there is finally a solid piece of news: Gaiman has signed a five-book deal with Harper Children’s, HarperCollins children’s book division, as reported by Publishers’ Weekly. (Photo: Joel Koyama, Star Tribune)
Gaiman will write two picture books and three middle-grade novels. The picture books are about a panda called Chu, and the first will be out Jan. 8, 2013. Among the middle-grade novels is a sequel to Gaiman’s previous book “Odd and the Frost Giants.” Another one is titled “Fortunately, the Milk,” and the third is untitled.
The news comes after over a year of raised hopes and false leads about Gaiman’s work. A film adaptation of his novel “The Graveyard Book,” which was previously reported as being in principal photography last spring, is now merely “in development.”
Another rumor was that HBO was planning a mini-series based on Gaiman’s best-selling adult novel “American Gods” with Tom Hanks as producer, which HBO quickly dispelled. There is indeed a mini-series in the works, but Tom Hanks’ involvement and the alleged plan for six seasons are merely speculation.
Gaiman is also writing a sequel to his epic “American Gods,” which celebrated the release of a tenth-anniversary edition June 21, 2011.