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Towers of Midnight Book Tour, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH 3 November 2010Edit
Report by Tower Guards
As Tower Guards our book signing began much sooner than the general attendees. As fans we felt a strong desire to do right by the community to which we are a part of and love. As such, we had planned for a night of fun and camaraderie with prizes and games in order to celebrate the release of Towers of Midnight. Arriving at the bookstore at 4pm I proceeded to contact the store event manager a lady by the name of Barb. Unfortunately the Tower Guards for whatever reason were viewed at this point as somewhat of a nuisance by the bookstore. As Tower Guards we recognized that in effect we were simply volunteers extremely honored to be granted this chance. To Joseph-Beth, they had a well-trained staff ready to do what was needed for the book signing to be successful. That and a gentleman by the name of Brian who is probably one of the most well-read fantasy/science fiction people I have ever met and a friend of Brandon Sanderson's. Brian was extremely pleasant to deal with but due to the lack of a final authority for the Tower Guards we were required to wait until Brandon Arrived in order to do anything.
The Tower Guards had agreed to meet before the signing at the Rusty Bucket near the bookstore and after meeting with the bookstore I headed over there to meet my fellow tower guards. Upon arrival I passed out our shirts and sat down. We ordered drinks and began by introducing ourselves and what we knew of each other. Skipping the details of our planning we began to discuss the books themselves. Only two of us, myself included had finished Towers of Midnight so we had to be careful with our discussion lest we ruin it all. Where nerds gather the conversation is bound to get animated and we discussed many things over good drinks and some homemade brownies that one of our Tower Guards provided. Yum, mint.
We talked for almost two hours before we needed to be at the bookstore to meet Brandon at six. Around 5:45 we paid our tabs and moved over to the bookstore to meet with the staff again. Since the question of our duties during the signing were still up in the air we were herded into the upstairs break-room. We made ourselves at home and discussed our impending meet with Brandon and Harriet. Unfortunately, Brandon's flight due to the time difference going from the West to East coast was due in at 6pm as opposed to the 2:45PM the bookstore staff expected. Brandon and Harriet themselves arrived straight from the airport at 6:30ish and proceeded once freshening up to being signing pre-release copies for those attendees who wanted a signed copy but could not stay.
During this time we got to chat a bit and ask a few questions. One of our Tower Guards, Lynn asked Harriet which Aes Sedai had Jim used Harriet as a pattern for. She replied that they Jim had a bit of her, Harriet in many of them, including some of the Forsaken like Moghedien. That bit with a bit of laughter and a follow-up did Jim get to sleep on the couch after that revelation. (No) Despite their willingness to answer questions both Brandon and Harriet were pressed for time having arrived less then 30mins before the signing. Joseph-Beth had a couple of Nacho trays sent up so Brandon could get something to eat before going in. Tor was supposed to have provided meals but those were not present so the Joseph Beth staff reacted quickly so Brandon would not go out on an empty stomach to sign books for almost 4hours.
For the Tower Guards the arrival of Brandon finally dispelled any worries over our duties as we were able to take our positions before the event started. For the actual signing what follows is a bit of creative blogging by one of our Tower Guards, Mark for the event:
CINCINNATI - Evidence of a startling reality is readily apparent at the Joseph-Beth Bookseller in Norwood tonight (November 3rd): the WOT virus has spread more rapidly than originally projected. Hundreds of the afflicted are present here to engage two of the leading experts in the field of WOT, Brandon Sanderson and Harriet McDougal.
Drs. Sanderson and McDougal emerge from the second floor and nervous anticipation fills the air (along with the WOT virus, which is airborne) as Sanderson introduces McDougal to read from the latest book on the subject, Towers of Midnight, in which he co-wrote with the most prominent WOT researcher, the late Dr. Robert Jordan. Dr. McDougal reads the first section of the Prologue, holding her audience in rapt attention.
Please note that as of now, there has been no cure found for the WOT virus, but it is treatable and people with the virus are able to lead normal and productive lives. However, occasional flare-ups of RLDS (Real Life Deficiency Syndrome) do occur, and it is during these times that the virus is so dangerous to those afflicted. Symptoms include uncontrollable reading, a lack of sleep, dementia, mania (mainly laughing hysterically over things that only people with the virus find funny), depression (mainly weeping over things that only people with the virus find sad), and an inability to care about responsibilities such as work, school, or household chores.
Generally, with the release of a new book by Dr. Sanderson, an RLDS flare-up wanes once the afflicted person finishes the book, and within weeks usually reverts back to only being WOT-positive. Also, attacks usually go away quicker if other WOT-positive people or RLDS sufferers are there to coax the patient into speaking about his or her affliction, and this is done mainly on websites attributed to information about the disease or those afflicted, such as Tor.com or Dragonmount.com, to name a few.
However, this has brought hundreds of those suffering from RLDS or that are WOT-positive into interaction with each other on a more personal basis. And even though those of us that are unaffected by the WOT virus may not understand the nonsense they discuss, play or wear, that does not make them any less worthy of our thoughts and/or prayers (if so inclined).
For instance, two men are arguing whether a Role-Playing Game that they invented should use a D20, or another type of die. Men dressed as “Asha’man” and women dressed as “Aes Sedai” are in attendance. When one woman dressed as an “Aes Sedai” is asked about her costume, she exclaims that she is not “full Aes Sedai, only Accepted,” whatever that means. Another group of afflicted people are playing a game called “Stones,” which may offer them some level of comfort, but does not seem to have any sort of point.
Clearly, these people are tormented with a significant level of dementia. Among the most common nonsense questions that RLDS sufferers are asking the researchers, who are here to sign the most recent book written by Drs. Jordan and Sanderson: “Who killed Asmodean?,” “Who is Demandred?,” and “Who is Mesaana?” But others, seemingly more thought-out, and therefore indicating an even deeper level of dementia, are: “Is Shara just a red herring?,” [to Dr. Sanderson] “Did you find yourself disagreeing with anything in Robert Jordan’s notes?”, [to Dr. McDougal] “What Aes Sedai are you most like?”, “What is the Book of Translation?,” and finally, “Why was the female Choedan Kal sa’angreal destroyed during the cleansing of saidin, and not the male?”
Drs. Sanderson and McDougal are very generous with their time and Brandon is a lesson in humility, especially when people thank him for writing the books. The hope is evident on their faces; it is clear that they believe Dr. Sanderson may be able to deliver them from RLDS and possibly even the WOT-virus itself, which has now spread since its first discovery 20 years ago.
Let us hope this most recent book, Towers of Midnight, and the last book co-written by Drs. Jordan and Sanderson, A Memory of Light (to be released in 2012), will help them to reach the finally reach the goal of being WOT-free. Because I have been breathing the air in here for so long, and I just picked up a book called The Eye of the World, and it is very interesting, but I am starting to feel a little strange myself…
[Marvin Knorr, Lynn McDonald, Kathy Eisen, Andrew Gelos, Leah Jent and Rosie Kraftick contributed to this report.]
The signing itself went on for almost 4 hours. Brandon and Harriet were very much troopers for the event handling themselves with grace and kindness for a seemingly endless horde of fans. We were honored to be able to represent the Cincinnati crew for the signing despite our limited time with Brandon and Harriet, that was just more time for the fans. We were happy to see several fans dressed up as well as play some trivia for swag for the estimated 400 attendees.
See you guys for AMoL!