Gaiman has been an outspoken advocate of independent booksellers, and from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, 2013, he ran a contest on his blog in support of them. The indie that sold the most copies of his most recent novel, "The Ocean at the End of the Lane," would win a visit from the author.
R. J. Julia was among 24 indie bookshops around the country that participated. A suitably enthusiastic post on the store's Facebook page this morning read in part:
"Our entire staff at R.J. Julia Booksellers wants to thank you all for participating in our Neil Gaiman contest over the holiday."
"WE WON!!!! Neil Gaiman will be coming to our store this year!!!! We don't know the date just yet, but you can bet we'll keep you all updated as soon as we finalize the details.
Thanks again and congratulations to you all!!"
To slip into the vernacular for a moment, Yay, us!