Independent Theatre signing report, North Sydney, 30 August 1999Edit

Yesterday (Monday 30th August) Robert Jordan appeared at the Independant Theatre in Sydney. Here's how it went.

After about half and hour of wine and finger food we filed in to the theatre. When Robert Jordan appeared, I, and a number of people were shocked; we had passed by him a number of times in the hallway without recognising him; he's much larger than I expected him, and at first I mistook him for an Irishman.

RJ, and two other people were on the stage, while the rest of us down below at our seats. RJ was the only person who did not use a microphone - he has a large booming voice that carried well across the theatre.

Anyway, the Independant Bookstore rep introduced RJ and allowed him to speak a little about how glad he was to be there etc. Then he began reading from PoD, part of the prologue. We were all bored, and at the end of that, he gave us the option of continuing to listen to him read, or he could leave (he really did). So he next chose TDR, and spent about 10 minutes on that. At the end of that we all dutifully clapped.

The rep then told us about RJ, details about his tour of duties, what medals he was awarded, and other details that we only had a basic knowledge of before (I did not record it, so I can't recall what exactly they were).

Then question time. Strangely enough, no-one in the audience had any questions. To break the silence, the bookstore rep asked his own, regarding how many books would be released. RJ said a minimum of three would be released, but probably moe; he was not sure yet.

Again we were asked if we had any questions. Still silence, we were in awe of the Creator. Then one woman began bitching to him about how his series were ffecting her. I don't recall exactly what was said, but I do remember the last part "How long do I have to love you for before you'll tell us?". We all cracked up, with RJ visible shocked, stuttering "Could you repeat that?". After that everyone raised there hands, no longer shy.

He refused to give any plot details (RAFO) that were to be used in the next books. He did explain why Mat was not in PoD: Mat was in trouble last time we saw him, and the PoD begins before that.

I managed to ask him about the issue of Rand and Elayne, asking why Rand felt so relieved when he was told he was not closely related to Elayne. RJ explained along the lines of how this was a quest that and alone could solve, that he needed to find out without anyone else knowing about it. He did not, however, say that it was settled that Tigraine and Morgase are not cousins. Even when I asked him a second time, he refused to say. Yet he did say, when I asked, that he did not consider Rand and Elayne's relationship through Galad to be of importance, or that they were related by blood. I agreed with the second part.

There were other details about RJ himself that came out. He mentioned the FAQ, and how only 1/3 of it is correct. Another 1/3 is completely wrong, and the remaining 1/3 is parlty correct, but not complete, even though the FAQ concludes some of these. I think this means that the rasfwr-j regulars can stop flaming anyone who asks questions that are covered in the FAQ; NO, it is NOT an excuse anymore that you have discussed everything their is too discuss; according to RJ, 2/3 of your holy FAQ needs rewriting and revising.

His wife was in fact a publisher, and it was through RJ's attempts to get published that he met her. He started dating her, and eventually married her. She did in fact offer to publish his book, but RJ realised it was not a good idea to have his wife as his sole source of income, so took it elsewhere. Another detail that I can remember (whoever was in the front row taping the event; could you write up his exact words throughout the session?) is that he used to write for a women's erotic "soft-porn" author, who gave him a headstart in the writing profession. His pronounciation was interesting, and he was humourous (Lady: "How can you deal with all the stress?" RJ: "I am a Warrior-God").

After the questions, the rep presented some gifts to RJ. One was an Australian Military history (because of RJ's own passion for such matters) and the other was a Two Rivers wine, from the Two Rivers, in Hunter Valley, NSW.

I left the theatre before it ended, so I could be first in line for the signing. Being there early, only another rep and Harriet, RJ's wife, was present. I spent a few minutes chatting with her, before the rest of the crowd and RJ appeared. I did learn something interesting from her; she remember my institence on the Rand-Elayne issue, and told me that to her and RJ 2nd cousins were considered close family. Also, she and the rep got into a small arguement over personalising the signings, with the rep saying there were too many people to personalise it, while Harriet argued on our behalf, that we had paid $20 to come, and we should. Eventually, she won out, at least for the first 20 people. I don't know what happened after that. I got three books signed, and left soon after.

One thing I asked Harriet while RJ was signing was about their stay in Sydney. I'm strongly tempted to go to the places they plan on visiting, but I suppose that is on the verge of stalking. Basically, they're staying here until the 4th, when they go to New Zealand. After that, they're going to Brisbane, but she was not sure about the exact date. So you Brisbanites will have to ring up Penguin Books and find out for yourself. And for those who did not want to pay the $20, you should know that they stopped checking at the door during the signing, so anybody could have gone in and gotten their books signed.

That's it, seeya.

Link to signing report:

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