Author Neil Gaiman says being afraid of monsters under the bed can be a sign of creativity

Why it’s good for kids to be scared: Fear of monsters under the bed can be a sign that they’re growing up with great creativity, says author Neil Gaiman

  • Gaiman said he viewed his overactive imagination as his “major weakness”
  • On BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, he said he found many things terrifying
  • He added that his father fumbled him for hidden books at family gatherings










It’s okay for kids to be afraid of monsters as it could be a sign that they’re getting creative, said author Neil Gaiman.

Gaiman, whose books include the gritty children’s novel Coraline, said he viewed his overactive imagination as his “great weakness” and did not know it would become a “superpower.”

On BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, the author said that as a kid he found many things scary.

When asked what he was afraid of, he said, “You call it, definitely the darkness, shadows, witches, everything that really existed and everything that didn’t exist.

It's okay for kids to be afraid of monsters as it could be a sign that they're getting creative, said author Neil Gaiman

It’s okay for kids to be afraid of monsters as it could be a sign that they’re getting creative, said author Neil Gaiman

“I couldn’t turn it off and thought that was my weakness and didn’t know that one day I would grow up and that it would be my superpower.”

Gaiman added that the darker elements of some of his works, including Coraline, were means to calm his younger self.

“I just wanted to be able to tell myself that as a seven-year-old I was afraid of the dark, that it was okay to be afraid. Being brave doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid. It means that you are scared and still do the right thing. ‘

Gaiman also revealed that his father had patted him for hidden books at family gatherings to keep him from reading constantly.

The second season of the Amazon Original fantasy comedy series is directed by co-writer Neil Gaiman and director Douglas Mackinnon

The second season of the Amazon Original fantasy comedy series is directed by co-writer Neil Gaiman and director Douglas Mackinnon

He said that he was searched for smuggling literature at family gatherings and continued, “(It was) always my father.

“He literally patted me because I was known to hide books under my sweater, and he locked her in the car.

“It never really worked because wherever we were I could usually find something to read, it just wouldn’t have been what I wanted to read.

“But I was at a family reunion and I would read Leo Rosten’s The Joys of Jiddish in the corner or something because it was the book I found.”

Desert Island Discs airs Sundays at 11 a.m. on BBC Sounds and BBC Radio 4.

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