After 22 years of book signings in 47 states, Neil Gaiman's publisher finally scheduled a reading/book signing for Alabama—Tuscaloosa to be exact. When he'd ask why his tour never ventured south, his publisher would tell him that people didn't really buy books there or that there was no demand for this sort of thing.
When tickets went on sale, the first batch sold out in 120 seconds. They thought the website had crashed. What other reason could there be for this kind of interest from a small, southern town? Tickets released later in the week sold at the same speed. In a matter of minutes a 1078-seat theater sold out. Some drove four hours or more to hear Gaiman speak.
Read more about this Tuscaloosa visit at Neil Gaiman's blog.
It's always nice to remind "outsiders" that southerners love to read...and write: Erskine Caldwell; Flannery O'Connor; Tennessee Williams; William Faulkner; James Dickey; Harper Lee; Margaret Mitchell; Alice Walker; Michael McDowell; Rick Bragg; Donna Tartt; Dorothy Allison; Pat Conroy; John Grisham; Robert McCammon; Eudora Welty; John Kennedy Toole; Thomas Wolfe; Anne Rives Siddons; Kay Gibbons; Zora Neale Hurston; Tim Gautreaux; Shelby Foote; Charlaine Harris; Richard Wright; Caitlin Kiernan; Poppy Z. Brite; Booker T. Washington; Walker Percy; James Lee Burke; Ernest Gaines; Katherine Anne Porter; Cormac McCarthy; Mary Monroe; Mark Childress; Carson McCullers; Truman Capote; William Bradford Huie.
Neil Gaiman's Official Website