Douglas Adams made me a writer: Neil Gaiman salutes his friend and inspiration

Alison Flood, for The Guardian:

Gaiman’s lecture, Immortality and Douglas Adams, is part of a series of annual talks to raise funds for two charities close to the heart of Adams, who died in 2001, aged just 49 – Save the Rhino and the Environmental Investigation Agency.

The novelist spoke of how he first met Adams, in 1983, as a 22-year-old journalist sent to interview him. “I was expecting someone sharp and smart and BBC-ish, someone who would sound like the voice of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I was met at the door by a very tall man with a big smile and a big slightly crooked nose, all gawky and coltish, as if despite his ridiculous size he was still growing,” said Gaiman.

“He was kind, he was funny, and he talked … he showed me his things. He was very keen on computers, which barely existed at that point. He was clumsy. He would back into things, trip over things, or sit down on them very suddenly and break them. He was famously late for deadlines, and did not ever appear to enjoy the act of writing very much.”

Adams was one of the biggest influences on my in my formative years. To this day I miss him the way I’d miss a close relative.