The Sword and Laser discussion

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Ever gone to a book signing? Any interesting tales?

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message 1: by Dustin (last edited Aug 22, 2013 08:40PM) (new)

Dustin (tillos) | 365 comments How many book signings have you gone to?

None, one, too many? Any interesting stories to share about one in particular. Any authors you want to meet or signings you missed? What do you have them inscribe?

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I have perhaps four signed books and have only been to one signing...no wait I've been to two but the second is embarrassing so I might not share it.

Okay I'll share it. It was the more interesting story, if somewhat creepy. It was at a county fair. I've never been one for rides and since my family would be showing animals I looked for other ways to waste time. They had a local authors section, by which I mean four tables in a row for authors who live in Oregon. I did some research and found a book that sounded like the best way to spend my only twenty dollars.

It was a Sci Fiction book called Prison Earth Not Guilty As Charged. It was the author's first book about how Earth is used as a prison for aliens. They transfer alien souls to human bodies and they live, die, and are reborn over and over until they serve their sentence. The author was supposed to arrive at 5pm so I arranged things so I'd be there too.

The author section was on the edge of all the booths were they try to sell you hot tubs and satellite TV. When I arrived the other four authors were there, but not Scovell. So I wandered about and came back. Still not there.

Worse, no one else was interested in books so I was the only one lingering about and being the shy teen I was, it felt as if they were all watching me, some of them were. So refusing to engage in any sort of conversation I proceeded to make circuits around the aisles. Which only made things worse for after the eighth pass I started getting looks that made it clear they were wondering why I was acting so odd.

-----------------------

The only real signing I worked up the courage to attend was Sanderson's, The Way of Kings signing. I figured that if I was going to follow this series for the next 20-30 years of my life, I would regret not going to the first book's signing in twenty five years.

So I traveled halfway across the state with my grandpa because we wanted to see the air museum while we were in Portland. So after three hours of driving, another three at the museum we arrived at Powells Books. I barely remember the place. It was incredible, the biggest bookstore I'd seen since I moved to Oregon. I remember that much. But I was exhausted so I just sat down and waited for Sanderson to arrive.

Got some swag and Brent Weeks was also there, he'd been there signing the day before and stopped by to say HI. There were hundreds of people. Perhaps two hundred or more.

I was in the second row so I didn't have to wait long. Didn't say much to Brandon, just tried not to smile too much or giggle.....I think I succeeded. Like I said, really tired. Couldn't think of an inscription so just had it signed. Then got home and realized I couldn't actually read it because I might get it dirty. So I got it on Audible.


message 2: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6740 comments Mod
I don't really have an interesting story, but I also met Brandon Sanderson but for A Memory of Light.

I plan to go to another signing when he comes through again.


message 3: by Michele (new)

Michele | 1154 comments I got the second WoT signed by Robert Jordan back before he was a really big deal - it was a gift for my bf at the time. I remember nothing about him, just stood in line, got it signed and left.

At SDCC this year I got The Guild book signed by Felicia - she said she liked my shirt, I told her my feet hurt, she said hers did too :) They took a pic too, its very dark but I fixed it up so we are recognizable.

Also I met Pat Rothfuss on the floor, said "Hi, love your books, miss the Storyboard show" and he told me he wants to get it going again at some point. Didn't get anything signed though, since all I had with me was the con brochure.


message 4: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 22, 2013 05:39PM) (new)

Ursula Le Guin signed a copy of The Birthday of the World and Other Stories for me as a gift for a friend. It's not an interesting story, but it's the only one I've got.


message 5: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 1212 comments My first signing was for David Brin's Glory Season back in 1993. He's a really brilliant man who obviously reads a lot on a plethora of topics. Being a professor, he would ask questions for the audience to answer. Being a smart-aleck student, I would pipe in. (I think I may have been the only woman there.) When my turn came to get the book signed, he wrote a really nice comment in it.

I met Jerry Pournell at a book signing at Cal State Long Beach when I was a student. That was also in 1993, maybe early 1994. He was signing The Gripping Hand. I thought he was interesting, but I've tried to read that damned book twice now and I can't get past the first chapter.

I've had several books signed at the LA Times festival of books and have gone to a couple of events at Mysterious Galaxy in Redondo Beach. I got The Rapture of the Nerds: A tale of the singularity, posthumanity, and awkward social situations signed by Cory Doctorow when he was there promoting Pirate Cinema. I took my son to that one and he got Pirate Cinema. Cory Doctorow is his favorite author.

Probably my best story is the one about just happening to notice that Connie Willis was signing at the Mysterious Galaxy booth at the LA Times Festival of Books. There wasn't anyone in line. I actually asked one of the salespeople if that was her. They were out of her latest release, so I got Doomsday Book and something else that I had already read. My daughter was with me. I got seriously fangirl because Willis is my absolutely my favorite author. I've read everything since her first story in Asimov's. She's my daughter's favorite author too. When we were done gushing, we turned around to leave and I almost plowed into Wil Wheaton. Now, a big reason my daughter is a true SF geek and the reason she majored in Geophysics and Space Physics is because I had her watching Star Trek: The Next Generation when she was young and she wanted to go to Starfleet Academy just like Wesley Crusher. That was a pretty exciting afternoon.


message 6: by Kristina (new)

Kristina | 588 comments My first signing was last summer at Origins. I brought my copy of Name of the Wind for Pat Rothfuss to sign. Standing in line I tried to think of all the witty things I could say, but I totally froze up once I got face to face with him. I just said -"Hi, I'm Kristina, here's my book." (SO LAME) Which he looked at and said-"Oh my, you know this is first edition right? I could sign it, but once I write 'To Kristina' it will be worth way less if you ever wanted to sell it." I had no idea, but I didn't care. He went ahead and signed it and I think it's about the coolest thing I own.

Someday I totally would love to meet Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks, Peter Brett and John Scalzi.


message 7: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 1212 comments Kristina wrote: "My first signing was last summer at Origins. I brought my copy of Name of the Wind for Pat Rothfuss to sign. Standing in line I tried to think of all the witty things I could say, but I totally f..."

I've heard that first editions with personalized signatures are worth more, not less than books that are just signed with the author's name.


message 8: by Nils (last edited Aug 23, 2013 04:23AM) (new)

Nils Krebber | 182 comments I've been to two very interesting signings and one rather dull.

The first one was by Neil Gaiman, to promote Anansi Boys and boy was I unaware what a pop star he is at that point. He had acutal groupies running after him and nearly fainting at the photo sessions. But I admit that after the reading and Q&A session I understand why. He is a wonderful person, very mindful of his fans, genuinely funny and all around great guy.

It was a bilingual reading (it was in Germany), and he joked a lot with the german reader about how much better it all sounds if you don't understand a word. The Q&A was fantastic - he always listened attentiveley, repeated the question to make sure everybody in the audience got it, and than took his time to answer.

And he even had something nice to say to every person he signed for. It was a bit embarassing to me, as what I brought was Don't Panic: The Official Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Companion, and the german edition has the ugliest cover in the world. And he mentioned that Douglas was such a wonderful person and what a pity it is that they gave this book such an awful cover. Anyway, great experience overall.

Second one was with Jasper Fforde to promote Shades of Grey, strangeley enough something like 3 years afte rI read it (Germany is slow on translating good books sometimes). Enormously funny guy, and some great insights into what it means to be a writer and how much endurance it takes until you have success (if any). Really motivated me into getting back into writing myself, even though I have no delusions about being anywhere near Fforde. Who in my eyes is one of the greatest contemporary wordsmiths, utterly untranslatable IMO because of the things he is able to do with the english language are simply not transferrable into german.

But enough gushing, another great reading/signing combo.

The third one was just a signing and utterly anticlimatic - it was for Bud Spencer - Mein Leben, meine Filme. Die Autobiografie, a guy that is probably unknown to anyone outside of Italy and Germany, but he is a childhood idol of mine. His life is absolutely inspiring, but the signing was just an enormous qeueing exercise. Understandable, as he's beyond 80, so I appreciate him even taking the time to make the travels, but hey, I was looking at least for a double slap to the ears (his trademark in the cheesy 80's action comedies he did).


message 9: by Ivi_kiwi (new)

Ivi_kiwi | 87 comments Oh my god, you met bud spencer! I love those movies. (Yeah, i am german, too :) ).


message 10: by Dara (last edited Aug 23, 2013 06:57AM) (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments I've never been to one. I check for my favorite authors but nobody comes to Pittsburgh. Although Alton Brown is coming here in February...

Edit: I just really want to meet Brandon Sanderson.


message 11: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 52 comments My first ever signing was Terry Pratchett - he was signing Johnny and the Dead hardbacks and Small Gods paperbacks in the Salisbury branch of Ottakars. I was very young and shy and overawed.

I later went to a Pratchett signing in Birmingham's Andromeda bookshop where, somehow, I ended up first in the queue. He looked at me and said: "Crucifixion? Good. First on the left, pick up a cross..."

Other authors I've been to signings for include Iain M Banks, Ben Aaronovitch, Sarah Pinborough, Paul Cornell and China Mieville, plus a bunch of others not so relevant to this forum...

Probably my best story is Robert Rankin at SFX Weekender 2012. For no particular reason I was collecting signatures in the script for a play I was rehearsing at the time Someone Who'll Watch Over Me. Doctor Who's Sophie Aldred signed it with the words 'Break a leg', and many of the other celebs couldn't think of any other comment. Until Robert Rankin wrote "Break the other leg!" underneath.


message 12: by A.J. (new)

A.J. (ajbobo) | 72 comments When I was at BYU, Orson Scott Card showed up to do signings a couple of times. Once I got my copy of Ender's Game signed, once I had a book signed for a friend. I know that a lot of folks around here have strong opinions of him, but he was nice enough when I talked to him for about 30 seconds.

I went to a signing for Brandon Sanderson's Warbreaker the day after it was released. None of his WoT books were out yet, so it was a really small group that showed up. People came and left, but there were never more than maybe 20 people around. That meant that during the Q&A anyone with a question could just ask. No lines, no microphones. Really simple and informal. The most fun part was when I told him that I had finished The Hero of Ages the night before and that I thought the ending was fun. He looked at me like nobody had ever called it that before. I stand behind my review. It was a fun ending.

The BEST signing I've ever been to wasn't with an author. It was a children's book illustrator that I had never heard of. It was one of those times that Borders (the same one where I met Sanderson, actually) had an author or illustrator sitting at a table by the door looking lonely and bored. A girl named Alvina Kwong was sitting there with copies of a book called My Imagination. It looked pretty so I picked it up and flipped through it. The art is beautiful, and the story is great so I bought a copy for my daughters. She asked my girls (ages 3 and 5, then, I think) what their favorite animals were and she signed and drew in it for them. So we have this great, customized children's book. So very cool.


message 13: by Annelien (new)

Annelien (annelienvandebib) Robin Hobb has signed my copy of Assassin's Quest. The line was loooong but she took the time to talk and say thanks to everyone. She is so sweet and kind and lovely.

Neil Gaiman signed my copy of the first Sandman, and he was very nice but a little short on the words :)


message 14: by John (last edited Aug 23, 2013 06:31PM) (new)

John (johnred) I don't have a story myself, but my wife met Salman Rushdie at a book signing. She was helping to organize the event, so she even got to chat with him for a bit. She says he's really nice. He signed her copy of Enchantress of Florence, but unfortunately we haven't taken the best care of it and it's not in great shape. We should have bought a second reading copy.

OK, actually I do have my own story, but it's not an author... I once took a painting workshop with sci-fi artist Rick Berry. At the end of the week-long workshop, I took my copy of "Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman for him to sign. He completely forgot my name and stalled, awkwardly shuffling over to the roll list to check who I was :) He was actually a really cool guy though, very funny.


message 15: by T.R. (new)

T.R. Goodman (trgoodman) | 39 comments I went to two signings back when I was in college. Kevin J Anderson and Brian Herbert were kicking off their tours for House Atreides and House Harkonnen.

I remember Brian being somewhat shy in front of the audience (maybe thirty of us), but Kevin was funny and they both seemed like very nice people.

I had read the entire Dune series up to that point, but did not have my own copies, so I bought all the paperbacks during the Atreides launch before getting into line to get my hardback signed. I was surprised when they offered to sign my whole stack, but I didn't want to hold up the line, so I just asked them to sign my copy of Atreides.

When I went back a year later for the House Harkonnen launch, they recognized me and asked about my girlfriend, who at the time had all of Kevin's Star Wars books. They also showed the trailer for the (now-Syfy) Dune miniseries. I remember all they had to say after the trailer was, "I thought Leto had black hair."

Rebecca Moesta was also there, but I didn't realize who she was until I was on my way out.


message 16: by kvon (new)

kvon | 562 comments Dustin, I'm jealous that you live that close to Powell's Books! I've only been there once, I still remember that signed pillar in the sf section.

My favorite signing story is when I had Julie Czerneda autograph a book at a convention. I apologized to her that I had been reading it at a rock concert and had beer spilled on it, and she was very excited and happily showed it to the other author she was with.

I've had Tim Powers, who signs his books upside down, I can't remember why now; and Charles De Lint, who does this volcano looking scrawl.

I wish Anne McCaffrey had been able to come to Albacon five years back, that was the closest I came to seeing her. I would make an effort to see Jasper Fforde if he were within a hundred miles of me.


message 17: by Hyena (last edited Jan 30, 2014 12:05PM) (new)

Hyena | 41 comments I went to a book signing for Rob Jordan just after EotW came out, about 1990. Had him sign my book and a Conan book. He seem displeased to sign an old Conan book. I asked him about the new series and he said it would be 6 books long and I got a nice map of the WoT world.

I now wish I could go back in time to punch him in the nose and make him sign about 8 more Conan books.


message 18: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 65 comments My first and only signing really was at DragonCon a few years ago. I went there to have Margaret Weiss and Tracey Hickman sign the Annotated Chronicles, as a gift for my brother. Being a newbie to cons,I thought I would just mosey on down there that Saturday and get everything done. Of course, it took me a couple hours just to get through the line to buy my one day pass. So, I missed the panel/signing.

Not wanting to waste my money, I started wondering around the con, and went into the vendors area. As luck would have it, Larry Elmore, who did the artwork for the Chronicles, had a booth there. So, I bought a poster from him and had him sign it. I told him my sob story about missing the Weiss and Hickman signing. That's when Larry said "Well they've got a booth around the corner, maybe they are still there". So, I hightailed it around the corner and, jackpot! Margaret Weiss was in her booth selling some of her solo stuff. I got her to sign my book, and i told her how the Chronicles were my first "real" fantasy books, and how I stole them from my brother's room while he was away at college so I could read them over and over. She said she liked my story, and then she yells out "Hey Tracey, you've got to hear this girl's story and sign her book!". So then Tracey Hickman comes over, I retell my story, and he signs the book as well.

Needless to say, I was one happy nerd that day. :)


message 19: by Jenelle (last edited Jan 30, 2014 01:57PM) (new)

Jenelle Hyena wrote: "I went to a book signing for Rob Jordan just after EotW came out, about 1990. Had him sign my book and a Conan book. He seem displeased to sign an old Conan book. I asked him about the new series..."

Hahahaha... 6 books long... that's funny.

Melissa: that is super cool.

I've only been to one book signing that wasn't my own. I think mine was pretty boring, because I had no idea what I was doing.

But I did get to meet Anne Elisabeth Stengl (who I actually hadn't read before, but she was coming to a B&N in my area and I looked her up and thought, "Yeah, I'd probably like her books.") Thought going to a real author's book signing might be a good idea for future tips, mostly.

Decided to buy the first book in her series, and when I got up to the table she knew exactly who I was (because somehow we had ended up liking each other's pages on facebook... random) and asked me a bunch of questions about MY book and offered to have me over to her blog for an interview.

Totally blew me away, as she actually has a publisher and a 5 book series out, and I'm just a start-up indie author doing this for fun. But I thought she was really super nice, and if I'm ever famous, I want to be just like that.

So, I have a signed copy of "Heartless," which was soon to become a new favorite.


message 20: by Paul (new)

Paul | 18 comments I have meet Terry Brooks, R. A. Salvatore, Robert Jordan, and Brandon Sanderson.

The First Time i met Brandon Sanderson was at a B&N in St Louis. He spoke to everyone until the store employes started to vacuum. Then he told us that if we wanted to we could all go out into the parking lot and he would continue to talk to us. After two more hours of that he told us he was hungry but he was staying in a hotel just down the street. We could all go and he would talk to us in the lobby. We all ate pizza and talked to Mr. Sanderson for another hour or two. Great Guy.


message 21: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8290 comments Yes, I have, and no, I don't. They've all been quite nice.

Larry Niven, John Byrne, Ray Harryhausen, James Gurney, Tom Ryan (Following Atticus), Bev Doolittle, Gahan Wilson... all nice folks.


message 22: by Scott (last edited Jan 31, 2014 07:55AM) (new)

Scott | 312 comments I haven't been to any signings for Sci-Fi/Fantasy authors. But, I have met Vince Flynn and Giada De Laurentiis. I actually got to talk to Giada and got a picture taken with her, and as she moved on to the next person, she told me to "make sure I behave" lol..

And, my former boss is actually William Kent Krueger's wife so at her retirement party I got to talk to him for about twenty minutes and got a book signed by him.


message 23: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments I don't know why but I feel like Giada would be totally bitchy.


message 24: by Scott (last edited Jan 31, 2014 02:29PM) (new)

Scott | 312 comments Dara wrote: "I don't know why but I feel like Giada would be totally bitchy."

LOL. She really wasn't. She was actually very sweet and friendly, taking time (even if it was only a few minutes) to chat with people. She even remembered me about a month or two later, when I asked her something (unrelated) on Twitter.
This was actually my third signing of hers that I'd been to and she's always been willing to chat with the people in line to meet her.


message 25: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (deckfullojokers) | 55 comments It's pretty much mandatory for me to be at my most socially awkward at any signing, no matter how many I've been to or who it is. I have yet to be the cool and collected, smooth-talking book lover that always seems to be in front of me in line. It's really silly.

I think the coolest story though is I went to dinner with an author after the signing. It was nice because it allowed me to actually see past the "omg you're a published author" haze and see them as a real and pretty cool real human.


message 26: by library_jim (new)

library_jim | 212 comments John Scalzi, Harlan Ellison, Christopher Moore, David Sedaris, Tom Wolfe, Gary Paulsen, Lawrence Block, Dan Simmons, Pat Cadigan, John Green and a few more. But then I've worked at many bookstores.

Scalzi was the most recent, for Human Division. He was just himself. Read from his blog and a short from the book. It was the end of his tour and he was great but ready to be going home.

David Sedaris decided to write whatever the person in front of you had said to him as a dedication. So in my book he wrote, "Nice to finally meet you in person."

I actually spent quite a bit of time with Harlan and he gave me his phone number for follow up calls. He was visiting the college across from mine for a screenwriting class, then a talk that night in their theater. I was working on a thesis that included him, hence the phone number. I was kinda scared to meet him but he was very nice to me. We just talked about comics and Twilight Zone and all kinds of silly crap.

Christopher Moore actually came to my book club! He was doing a signing here (in Atlanta) and one of the guys in the group knew some people at the store and somehow got it scheduled so he spent the hour or so before the signing holding court with us. Our membership went from about s6 to about 36 that day.

I recognized Pat Cadigan at a Book Expo and she said that never happens to her.

Dan Simmons is an artist as well as a writer and draws really great cartoons when he signs stuff.


message 27: by David(LA,CA) (last edited Jan 31, 2014 02:33PM) (new)

David(LA,CA) (davidscharf) | 327 comments Michele wrote: "Also I met Pat Rothfuss on the floor, said "Hi, love your books, miss the Storyboard show" and he told me he wants to get it going again at some point."

That would be nice. Back when I bumped into him at a con, he wasn't certain yet if Storyboard would be picked up for a second season or not.

I've gotten a signature from Timothy Zahn on Star Wars: Scoundrels. No real stories to be told. It was just after the book had come out, so I think it was post-Disney purchase but pre-EU purge committee.

Also got a signature from Christie Golden on World of Warcraft: The Shattering. It was at Blizzcon, so there wasn't much in the way of a panel or anything. Just her at a booth. Hi, sign, bye.

If we extend this to comics, I can add a signature from Greg Weisman on issue one of the Disney Gargoyles comic line that took place after season two of the show.

There is a definite downside to being a primarily digital consumer of literature. Seems awkward to ask an author to sign the cover of your reader.


message 28: by Ken (last edited Jan 31, 2014 03:11PM) (new)

Ken (kanthr) | 334 comments I randomly went to a bookstore only to discover one of my favorite authors was due to appear for a talk in an hour. Of course I stayed and met China Mieville! We had a short chat on cephalopod geekdom and SF, and I bought Embassytown right then for him to sign.

It is one of my top to-do list things for my book geekness to meet Gene Wolfe. He doesn't have to sign anything, I just want to shake his hand and say "Thanks".


message 29: by Valerie (new)

Valerie | 50 comments Neil Gaiman's last US signing tour was crazy. I went to his appearance at the Tattered Cover in Denver and so many people had shown up that once the room was filled everyone just found places to sit throughout the store and they piped him over the intercom. All us nerds lying around on the floor, leaning against the nonfiction sections, half of the people in bootleg Dr. Who gear, and listening to Neil read The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It was a very surreal experience. Then he stuck around till the wee hours of the morning signing books. I totally get why it was his last signing tour, but wow what an experience.


message 30: by Ben (new)

Ben (bennewton_1) | 253 comments No awesome story but I met Alastair Reynolds at Pulp Fiction Books here in Brisbane when he was touring for Terminal World. He was really friendly, asked me which of his books was the first I'd read and which was my favourite, and signed a copy of TW for myself and another with a birthday message for my friend.


message 31: by Rob (last edited Feb 02, 2014 06:59AM) (new)

Rob Rowntree | 21 comments Unbound Brothers by Rob Rowntree It's interesting seeing all the comments here, and I thought I drop in another - from the other side so to speak.

Back in 2011 I attended Bristolcon in the UK. It was for a signing of the anthology I was in Transtories. My first reading and signing. The experience was humbling. I read for five minutes, along with other authors and then the queue formed, and I couldn't quite believe that these lovely people were buying the book I was in and asking for my signature.

When I set out a to write a story I mostly wonder whether I can pull it together and make it satisfying as read. To have people come and tell you how much they enjoyed it and ask for you to sign is gratifying but also daunting.

I guess for big authors they build up an immunity to the emotional aspects of it all, but for me it still puts me in awe of the written word. Nerve wracking.


message 32: by Neil (new)

Neil Clarke (clarkesworld) | 36 comments Over the years, I've had hundreds of books signed, though one of my favorites is a rare Tim Powers book that he kind enough to draw a picture in. Most amusing was from Peter Watts. I came across a defective ARC of one of his novels. It was bound upside-down and backwards, so he signed and inscribed it that way. Took some effort.

The back of my first Kindle was also signed by a lot of authors. It was early enough in the days of ebooks that it caused a lot of interesting conversations. Many claiming it was their first.


message 33: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 163 comments Many years ago Stephen R. Donaldson spoke at the community college I was going to.It was pretty awesome. There was a very small group listening and he signed my copy of The Power that Preserves. Which the ex husband took...but thats ok.


message 34: by Will (new)

Will (longklaw) | 261 comments Neil Gaiman and Aisha Tyler last year. I had planned to see Brandon Sanderson twice at Powell's but work got in the way. Also had to miss Terry Brooks and John Scalzi


message 35: by Joe Informatico (last edited Feb 03, 2014 06:35AM) (new)

Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 888 comments My first signing was Guy Gavriel Kay around 2000 (IIRC he was touring for Lord of Emperors). Coincidentally, he's also been my most recent signing (just under a year ago). The first time I asked him about his historical inspirations and he went off on a tangent about mosaics and religious iconography. I realized at that moment that novelists are huge nerds.

In between, I've been to quite a few, both by attending SF conventions, and professional events as a librarian. Some of the genre authors I've met have included:

John Scalzi, as funny and personable in person as I find his writing. He liked my EFF T-shirt.

Jo Walton, I told her the Small Change series was the best alternate-history I've read, and we briefly talked about how she used the model of the English tea-cozy mystery in those books.

Cory Doctorow gave a keynote at a publisher's event, talking up Little Brother and mentioning that he and his wife have wedding rings engraved in a code designed by cryptography expert Bruce Schneier. When he was signing my copy of LB, he talked about how he used to be a page at Toronto Public Library.

Cherie Priest's Q&A was a lot of fun. I think I asked her if she came up with her plots first and wrote characters to fit them, or if it was the other way around, and she went off on a 20-minute tangent about how her last 3 books came about. I don't remember if she actually answered my question, but she was very entertaining. Even my friends who'd never read her books liked her.

My friends and I had lunch with Tim Powers at a steampunk con, because my one friend has been a huge fan and correspondent of his for decades. He makes a unique comment every time he signs a book. E.g. he signed my friend's copy of On Stranger Tides, which Disney was about to very, very loosely adapt for Pirates of the Caribbean 4, with "Enjoy this official Disney film handbook".

Also Robert J. Sawyer about half a dozen times. He's an intelligent and confident speaker on science and science fiction, the publishing industry, and more recently the ins and outs of Hollywood, well worth listening to even if you're not a fan of his work.


message 36: by Gordon (new)

Gordon (daftyman) | 28 comments I've been to a few Pratchett signings and he was always really nice. My favourite would be Neil Gaiman for Neverwhere. I had a few things with me and one of those was Good Omens and he was amazed that PTerry hadn't signed it.

The inscription was to burn this book. My favourite from him was in Death: The high Cost of Living:-
To Gordon, Don't Die, Neil

Words I have lived by since then!

Strangest experience was getting a Status Quo autobiography signed and hearing the crowd/line cheer when they appeared.
All the authors have been really nice even took my kids for a signing by Julia Donaldson which happened after a show/reading that she held at the Edinburgh Book Fair.


message 37: by Jonshann0w (last edited Feb 05, 2014 07:26AM) (new)

Jonshann0w | 7 comments Only been to one. I meet David Gemmell at a local bookshop for a signing. It was for his then new book, Echoes of a Great Song, which unfortunately was his worst book.

But I do have a great story from that meeting, I also took along my first edition of Legend for him to sign. He kindly agreed to sign it too, then went on to talk about the cover art, which had always interested me as it has a man in armour with a sword on the front and a werewolf like creature on the back. But there are no werewolf like creatures in Legend. He mentioned this to the publisher bu,t as a first time author no one cared so the book goes out with this on the cover. This then became the motivation for his second Drenai novel the King Beyond the Gate, where he introduced human/wolf and bear characters into the story, purely I guess to put order back into the universe and set his mind at rest with the original Legend cover.

We was a very nice and friendly person to met and having read every single one of his books and thoroughly enjoyed all of them (except the above mention Echoes), miss not having a new Gemmell every year.


message 38: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Preiman | 347 comments Been to a few signings over the years, Brent Weeks gives the best show, Brandon Sanderson draws a serious crowd but will take time for every one of them, but Scott Sigler is of yet the only author I've met who will go drinking with you after the event.


message 39: by John (john) (new)

John (john) (dowdykitchenman) | 130 comments William Gibson chatted amiably with the guy in front of me as he signed the 2 copies of Distrust That Particular Flavor I bought. He then turned to the guy behind me. I don't think we spoke or even made eye contact. It was still a really cool event, but I might be slightly scarred..


message 40: by Jason (new)

Jason | 5 comments I've been to several events where I have gotten books signed (like BEA, conventions) as opposed to signing tours, but last year I went to see Neil Gaiman in NYC for The Ocean at the End of the Lane tour. That was a great event. He had some interesting and entertaining stories, an awesome Q&A and he read a few passages. Getting the actual autograph was about a 4 hour process since I was sitting in a balcony and basically the rest of the theater was in front of me. I don't know how some of these guys sign for that long. He also made a point to talk to everyone and thanked us for waiting so long. I was very much blown away by how cool he was. He really has this unbelievable presence that even some big actors I have met did not seem to posses. Highlight of my night was when he commented on my Doctor Who shirt. He told Erin Morgenstern earlier in the night that she needs to watch the show and should start with "Blink" so that just thrilled the hell out of me. (Besides, who didn't love "The Doctor's Wife").


message 41: by Jack (new)

Jack | 46 comments I haven't, but my lovely wife stood in line for two hours to get my 1st edition of Fight Club signed. He inscribed it "Jack, (your wife) is going to kill you. Chuck Pahlaniuk"


message 42: by Virginia (new)

Virginia (vlhildreth) My best book signing was with Lev Grossman. Even though he wasn't at a signing, he still took the time to sign both of his books for me. He was so genial and nice. I wrote him a thank you email later and he replied to that too! On the other aide of the spectrum, I met Mercedes Lackey at a scheduled signing. She was very short with the entire crowd. It was not a great experience. As a result, I only get her books from the library now.


message 43: by Scott (new)

Scott | 4 comments The only one I have made it to is George R R Martin, who signed my A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4) by George R.R. Martin with WInter is coming.... in 2006(Just didn't say how long it was going to take to get here..)


message 44: by Janet (new)

Janet | 51 comments When I was nine, my school librarian and teacher took me to see Brian Jacques, who was my favorite author by far at the time. Because it was the 90s, I wore a sweet pair of oshgosh b gosh pale green overalls and a green tshirt underneath. When I got to the table with my copy of Mariel of Redwall (still my favorite), absolutely terrified of what to say, he looked at my outfit and said "well look at you, you would blend right into the foliage!". I don't think I actually was able to say anything back to him, but it was my favorite outfit for the next year :)


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