Cincinnati, OH CoT signing 14 January 2003 - report by Matthew Julius
report from rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan
So, I travel down to my friend's place early this morning hoping to get me one signed copy of CoT ...
Random aside: The weeks leading up to the signing I had planned on getting him to sign all of my books, but the last week I was too busy to think about it, and sadly left all of my other books at home.
We have arrive at the Kroger's (Yes, Kroger's) about an hour early and there's not much happening so we waste an hour (literally; it's a long story). We arrive back at the Kroger's right at noon, see what's going on -- a small line has formed -- and go back to the truck to pick up our books.
Well, like I said, it was a small line, and there was about 30 people there waiting and the line went fairly quickly and smoothly. Most were just regular Kroger's customers and didn't really have much to say to him, it seems. I kept my ears perked listening for any signs of intell^Wnewsgroup regulars and I spied none -- If you were there, sorry I missed you.
Robert Jordan starts off by "answering a few questions". He starts with a whole slew of pronunciations ... lesse, if I remember them all:
Aviendha - Ahh-vee-en-duh
Nynaeve - Nigh-neeve
Aes Sedai - Eye-said-eye / Eye-suh-die
Saidin - Sigh-deen
Saidar - Sigh-dar
Seanchan - Shawn-chan or Shawn-chawn (I can't remember which sadly)
Egwene - Eh-gwain / Egg-wain (He was irritated at this one)
Tar Valon - Tar-val-on (I believe, I seriously can't remember)
Also, he mentioned that all the clues for Asmodean's (Az-moedee-in, not Az-moe-dee-in) death are there and he won't answer any questions about it. This wasn't the kind of crowd that would ask them anyway.
I was in the line having fun with my friends and couldn't hear what RJ was saying, but I guess somebody asked him how many more books to go and he stood up and answered it to all:
"[Apologizes for taking so many books to finish] If I can finish it in two more books, I will. I promise you. [very slight pause as he thinks about that] _IF_ I can do it in two I will, I promise. Again I apologize."
Or something very close to that. It was more of an IF instead of an _IF_, but the emphasis was definitely there. I suspect that when the next book progresses and he says that there's one book to go, I think he'll mean it (or any other time he says one book to go). But otherwise, I think there's quite a few more books to go.
We get close up in line and I can start hearing things, but nothing of importance. A lady -- clearly a fan -- in front of me must have asked him about the female characters in his books:
His reply is that his whole family is filled with very strong women... "All of the men in my family are strong, because the women in my family would kill and eat the weak ones."
Me, being a dork and not being able to come up with any questions that would not be a RAFO, just stood by and listened as my friend calmly chatted with RJ. My friend brought his copy of Legends (and 4 other books), and had me get it signed since I only had CoT. I hadn't thought about it and asked my friend where he wanted it signed (he was planning on getting all the authors to sign it...). RJ solved the problem by signing in his section only, suggesting that to sign at the front would invoke the ire of Robert Silverberg. A nice man, he said, just not the man you'd want to piss off. My friend also asked him what he enjoyed reading. RJ's response was *mumble mumble* (names escape me, sadly), and that he was currently in his fifth reread of *mumble mumble*'s series. My friend's unavailable for comment right now, so I'll add it later. RJ also got a little amused by my friend's copy of TSR complete with library tags and stickers.
We didn't stick around after that, having completed all that we could've done, that is, we had no more books to have signed. All in all, we had a good time and RJ was very pleasant to talk with, and he seemed to be enjoying himself too. My only regret is that I did not bring all of my books; I could've gotten them all signed easily, with much time to spare.
Another random aside: I was waiting in line thinking about the red pens... I would never do such a thing myself, but I'd like to say this to anyone who's thinking about it. Do it with respect, please. I was looking to see if I could figure out how he'd respond to it but, if anything, I don't think he'd take it too well. He's a regular dude, just like you and me, so think about it carefully before you just throw a red pen down and tell him to find a damn editor -- especially with Harriet standing next to him.
My friends and I will also be at the Dayton signing, which is very near where I live, so hopefully I'll be able to get all of my books signed I don't know though, the crowd's going to be huge. If I'm going to ask questions, these are what I'm going to ask:
See if he can confirm that he said that Taim was not Demandred.
Does Tuon or Suroth have the "sad" bracelets?
Is Egwene going to use her dreaming talents to communicate with anyone outside of the Tower?
Again, I can't think of anything that won't be a RAFO at this point, but it's worth a shot anyway. I wanted to ask them at the Dayton signing because the environment will be a little more fan based than in the Kroger's; might be a better place to ask them, I think.