Aka, How Leigh Was A Massive Idiot Who Almost Missed The Whole Thing.
Oh, yes. For I am a frickin’ GENIUS, you guys. A genius who apparently was absent the day they taught calendar reading, or numbers, or really I don’t know what the hell my problem was that I was convinced the NYC signing was on Tuesday, when in fact it so, so was not.
Apparently it is physically impossible for me to do anything without Drama becoming attached to it. I know, you’re all, like, gasping in shock over there. Y’all hush.
Many thanks to Storm Leader Ted, who called me at 5 PM or so Monday evening to ask if I was still planning on coming, considering we were all supposed to show up at 4 PM. Which everyone else except me did. Because they are not IDIOTS. He was also very nice and endured with great patience the resulting avalanche of self-flagellating profanities from my end once I realized what had happened. Oy. Sorry about that, man.
Long story short, sometimes the NYC Metro system does not completely suck, and I arrived at Tor’s offices only an hour and a half late. (ONLY.) I looked like complete crap and was flustered beyond belief, but I made it. Dot Lin (of Tor marketing awesomeness) may never stop laughing at me for the way I barreled in, but there you go. I probably deserve it.
Brandon, Harriet, Maria, and everyone else there were very nice about my tardiness, of course, and I caught the tail end of the chat/Q&A the Storm Leaders were having with them. Someone was taking notes, so presumably someone else will be able to tell you what questions were asked, for I was far too flummoxed at the time to retain anything, except that Brandon gave a shout-out to my boy Steven Cooper, whose Wheel of Time chronology has saved my FAQ-editing life on too many occasions to enumerate.
Well, that and Harriet joking that the paperback version of The Gathering Storm is going to have “‘HOLY SHIT!’ – Leigh Butler” as a blurb on the back. I grinned and told her I DOUBLE-DOG DARED her to do it. Somehow I really doubt Tor is really going to stick their tongue to this particular flagpole, of course, but it’s damn funny to think about.
Then we all tromped over to the Barnes & Noble in Union Square (well, most of us tromped; Harriet and Brandon took a car, as is right and proper), and the signing went off without a hitch, thanks to the lovely B&N staff (one of whom confided in us that they loved “geek-heavy” signings, because everyone is always so respectful and well-behaved; apparently they have horror stories about more “mainstream” author appearances), and also thanks to the Storm Leaders, who kept everything running like clockwork as far as I could tell. I do not include myself in their number because they did all the work, and thus deserve all the credit. You did awesome, guys.
Brandon’s introductory speech was lovely and moving, and Harriet’s reading (of the “Masema” scene in the Prologue) was great (and, incidentally, showed me that I’ve been pronouncing “Aybara” wrong this whole time). I got to meet a bunch of people I hadn’t met before from Team Jordan and/or Tor, and got to chat for a bit with the always congenial Tom Doherty, who (like just about everyone there including myself) was pleased as punch that not only had The Gathering Storm climbed to the top of the New York Times’ Bestseller List, but had knocked Dan Brown from the top spot in doing so. Dan frickin’ Brown, you guys. It ain’t just any book can do that, I’m here to tell you. Go WOT!
Brandon and Harriet and Maria were as gracious and lovely to everyone as you might expect, and while I sadly did not get a chance to get my own copy of the book signed (because, as I may have mentioned, I am a damn non-calendar-interpreting fool, and thus my copy was at home), I did get a moment to get on record with Brandon as to what my guess about the big clue he claims we all missed in Books 4-6 is about. (Apparently he said this somewhere, in an interview or something, but I don’t know where it came from; someone else asked him about it. Maybe someone can toss out a link and/or explanation in the comments?) I won’t tell you what my guess is, so as to properly retain bragging rights should I turn out to be correct. We Shall See.
And... that’s about it, really. I did say this would be quick and dirty. The short of it is, I had a great time, and I’m sure links to pictures and more coherent reports and such will appear in the comments. And thanks to everyone who came up and said they enjoyed the Re-read, that was seriously so cool.
Team Jordan: Y’all did good. Now just survive the rest of the tour, eh?
Leigh Butler is a writer and blogger for Tor.com, where she conducts, often punctually even, the Re-read of the Wheel of Time series, which is currently completed through Book Six, Lord of Chaos. She lives in New York City, which still makes her laugh on occasion.