So, as every fan of the genre knows, A Dance with Dragons published on Tuesday. What not many people do know is that it has already become the best selling fiction book of 2011. That's one of the the things George R. R. Martin told the assembled mass of about 1,000 fans at the book signing I attended with my brother-in-law and our friend last night at the Barnes & Noble Union Square in NYC. We arrived at about 2PM, so we were lucky enough to get seats though about 200-250 people were already seated by the time we arrived.
Mr. Martin also informed the crowd, some of whom claimed to have been waiting since 8 AM, of the 13 Emmy nominations Game of Thrones received, including Best Drama, Best Supporting actor for Peter Dinklage, Best director, Best Writing, as well as the other awards. He went on to talk a bit about the delay and indicated he wouldn't be making any promises about deliveries of future novels or adding notes in the back of books telling readers to expect the next book "in about a year." He also said, along these lines, he wants to keep the series to seven and is doing everything he can to stick with 7 books. He won't promise, but thinks it is possible although he reminded us that the series was originally a trilogy.
He spoke of the split between A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, how he thought he had a head start with 500 pages ready for Dance. As we all know, that wasn't quite the case as the final manuscript for Dance turned into 1500 pages with some of those original 500 pages scrapped.
Mr. Martin reminisced about one early signing for A Game of Thrones where the four people in the store walked out after he was announced. He likes signings like last nights just a little bit more than that first signing. Some of the other things he touched upon he'd said in previous interviews and talks, like Tyrion being his favorite character, though he loves all of his literary children, especially when writing that specific character.
With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Mr. Martin voiced the frustration of taking six years to write the book and "some of you finished the goddamned book in one day!"
When asked what book he'd recently read that really blew him away he said Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey. He of course recused himself by admitting that Daniel Abraham, one half of the author, is a friend.
This was the first real author-specific book signing I attended and it was a bit different than I expected. The people around whom I was sitting, who indicated they were members of the Westeros forum, and I expected to see at least a few people decked out in costumes. What we did see on a lot of people were the shirts from the HBO shop. For my part, I wore the HODOR shirt I had made as part of the team theme my wife, brother-in-law and our friends wore about a month ago for WARRIOR DASH.
Quite a few people commented on my HODOR shirt and even Mr. Martin gave me a HODOR of approval just before signing the glorious tome.
All told, a great evening, despite the horrendous traffic on the NJ Turnpike Extension after exiting the Holland Tunnel.