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Interviews: AMOL Signing Report - Renee

Summary:

Entries

1

Date

Feb 18th, 2013

Type

Paraphrased

Location

Hanover, MD

TourCon

AMOL Book Tour

Bookstore

Books-A-Million

Reporter

Renee

Links

Dragonmount

  • 1

    Renee

    On January 8th, 2013, Tarmon Gai'don arrived for Wheel of Time fans in the form of A Memory of Light. Some of you have been waiting for that day for decades; others, like myself, considerably less time but with just as much anticipation. We survived the release of the final book, but the journey hasn't ended yet. On February 18th, the book tour featuring Brandon Sanderson and Harriet McDougal made its way to Hanover, Maryland, and for many fans we got to say one final goodbye to the series that is Robert Jordan's legacy. We even had the special privilege of getting a live demonstration from the audiobook readers, Michael Kramer and Kate Reading, turning the event into a once in a lifetime experience that won't soon be forgotten.

    I journeyed for some two and a half hours to make it to this signing, joining my fellow Memory Keepers for a few rounds of Magic and lunch in the mall before we all made our way to the bookstore to begin preparations for the signing. We handed out goodies to the early birds, giving away everything from Wheel of Time bookbags and iPhone covers to paperback copies of The Way of Kings. In what seemed like no time at all, people were crowding the area where Brandon, Harriet, Michael, and Kate would be doing the Q&A, and soon after that they all arrived and took their places. Because this was such a large event—over 500 people, the second largest crowd ever for a signing at that BAM!—the Q&A was short, but fans were treated to the reading of several passages from A Memory of Light by our beloved audiobook readers.

    Within half an hour numbers began to be called over the PA for people to line up and have their books signed, and what a line it was! After every number was called it snaked through every aisle along the back wall, out of BAM all the way to the entrance to the mall. In the interest of ensuring everyone was able to have their books signed by both Brandon and Harriet, personalizations were only given to people who got back in line for a second round of signings. Even with that caveat it took from 8 o'clock until nearly midnight to get the first round of books signed! Harriet, the Light bless her, stayed until every last person from the first line had gone, and Brandon made sure the die-hard fans who wanted personalizations were rewarded for their patience.

    To keep everyone busy while the signing took place, the Memory Keepers walked through the crowd and asked trivia questions. For every correct answer small prizes were given away along with a raffle ticket for the night's grand prize—a handmade bracelet featuring charms related to Mat Cauthon's character, which ended up in the lucky hands of Mara F., our big winner of the night. Those who stayed really late were treated to some of the extra goodies we had been giving away earlier in the day. All told, the night ended at 12:30 when Brandon personalized the last Memory Keeper's book and left for some much deserved rest. I myself didn't get home until nearly 3 o'clock in the morning, but to be able to take part in such a historic event was well worth one night of lost sleep. For me, February 18th will never again be President's Day; instead, I will always remember it as the last time so many fans were gathered in one place for a single cause.

    There are no beginnings or endings to the Wheel of Time, just the next turn of the page before we read the series again.

    Favorite memories from the Memory Keepers:
    —Michael Kramer bringing to life the voice of Loial.
    —Harriet telling a fan whose book had coffee spilled on it, "the great thing about books is they dry out. Kindles do not."
    —Brandon downplaying his status as a famous author when a couple introduced him to their young daughter.
    —A Sbarro pizza box being signed by Brandon, Harriet, Michael, and Kate.
    —Harriet asking, "Is the Dark One in this mic?" when reverb kept interrupting her answers.
    —Getting to hear about some of the notes Robert Jordan left behind regarding what happens to different characters that was not revealed in A Memory of Light—sorry, no spoilers!
    —When Robert was asked to describe the Wheel of Time in 6 words, he said: "Cultures crumble, ages fall, cope. There, that's only 5 words, but I didn't want to be wordy."

    Footnote

    The five-word summary that RJ gave of the series was actually, "Cultures clash, worlds change; cope."