So I finally made it up to Baltimore on the right day! Heck, because of the holiday, I even got there early: 5:30 for a signing that began at 7:00pm. Unfortunately, I went to go get dinner instead of checking in at the bookstore. Why is that unfortunate? Because they started handing out numbered tickets the day before. So I got #364. But the silver lining was that they handed out about 500 tickets overall.
So in other words, the Books-A-Million was packed with fans, some in costume, many wishing they had worn more comfortable shoes. But the bookstore’s employees and the Memory Keeper volunteers did a great job keeping everyone organized and having fun despite the crowds and the late hours.
Shortly after seven, author Brandon Sanderson, editor (and Robert Jordan’s widow) Harriet McDougal, and audiobook readers Kate Reading and Michael Kramer came out to much applause. Reading and Kramer took turns reading some of their favorite scenes from the book, giving us their best Matt, Elayne, Birgitte, Tuon, Lan, Loial, and Tam voices.
Then, due to the size of the crowd, they had a very brief Q&A session. Among the cool tidbits were the announcements that Universal has the film rights to THE EYE OF THE WORLD, and they are working on the second draft of a screenplay (that’s a long way from production, but hey) and that a Wheel of Time encyclopedia is in the works (if it’s a single volume, this thing is gonna be huge).
At that point, they started calling numbers in batches of ten. So I had some time to kill. I’m glad I brought a book. They ended up snaking the line through the aisles and out the door. I think I finally got back inside the store just before 9:00pm, and I had my copy of A MEMORY OF LIGHT signed around 10:30. Not bad for an event that was supposed to end at 10.
I’d like to thank Brandon Sanderson and Harriet McDougal for sticking it out for all the fans. By the time I got to the front of the line, Sanderson’s voice was almost completely gone. And I can only imagine his hand must have been cramping something awful.
Yeah, my feet and back hurt a little bit today, but it was a lot of fun. I’m glad I could make it up to Baltimore for the signing…twice.