Friday, July 15, 2011

George R. R. Martin "A Dance With Dragons" Signing in New York City

 My friend snapped this excellent picture of GRRM storming into the signing.

George R. R. Martin, author of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, made an appearance at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square on July 14th to support the release of his latest novel, A Dance With Dragons, which has already had the highest opening day sales of any book released this year. Below is a 50 minute video of the spoiler-free talk/Q&A he gave to a packed crowd before the signing began. Under the video I have included my highlights with timestamps of when in the video they take place. I wish the video quality was better, but unfortunately my video camera charger was misplaced in the move and I had to rely on my cell phone.


1:50 – His 1996 A Game of Thrones signing ignored due in part to Ray Bradbury
(3:55 on stays zoomed in)
10:00 – When will the next book be out? “It is somewhat disturbing for me to take six years to write these things and you read it in a day.”
11:24 – his progress toward Winds of Winter
11:57 – 4th Dunk and Egg Novella and A World of Ice and Fire
13:17 – What does he think of the Game of Thrones TV show?
16:00 – “Nothing can replace the book and the scale of things in the imagination in the reader where you have no budget and you have no limitations.”
19:25 – “I would like to do it in seven books. I’m trying to do it in seven books.”
22:35 –


“My philosophy is that fiction is not about necessarily advancing the plot. I mean, If all that concerns you is the plot, then you don’t need to read Moby Dick, you can just read the Cliff Notes of Moby Dick and you’ll get the plot… and you know, that’s true for my work as well. What I’m trying to do is give my readers a vicarious experience: to create a world, to create a cast of characters, to make them feel  ten years after they put this book down, not that they read a book ten years ago, but they lived these experiences ten years ago. And this, you know, kind of arises from my own experiences as a reader, as a child and all that, when I look back growing up in Bayonne, New Jersey, when I remember reading the Lord of the Rings…”


25:00 – “My advice to a would-be writer after I’ve written Dance is: don’t try to write something so gigantic! You know, this is obviously my Magnum Opus. If my work is remembered at all in the years and decades to come, it will be for this series. That being said, when I finish the series, and I do intend to finish this series, I’m never going to do it again. I think I’m going to go back to writing short stories, little stand alone novels… This is a once in a lifetime kind of challenge that I’ve taken on.”
30:00 – GRRM talks his way around a potential A Dance With Dragons spoiler, discusses gay characters in the series.
32:35 – “I’m trying to represent the whole humanity in all its colors, and to make each one of those varied within the group.”
33:38 – Cameo in HBO series
48:40 – Inn At The Crossroads blog presents GRRM dinner, talk of a potential Cookbook of Ice and Fire.

I had a chance to ask George R. R. Martin if the opening direwolf pup scene in the show was anything like the way he originally imagined it when he conceived the book series. He told me that with the time and budget restrictions of TV, they couldn’t put in all the dialogue and everything, and that to make the scene the same, they would have had to spend at least ten minutes on it. My impression was that he felt a bit disappointed by the filmed version of the scene and it didn’t have as prominent of a role in the show, but that he was very happy with the show overall, so he didn’t want to be too negative about it.
For more Game of Thrones-related pictures from previous events in New York City, visit my Facebook Fan Page.

UPDATE: This post was originally going to include pictures of what I got signed, but it got late last night and I forgot.

 My Kindle the morning of the event, unsuspecting of what would happen to it.


They announced that you could get your eReader signed if you had an electronic copy of the book, so I thought it might be fun to have GRRM sign my Kindle.


There's the lovely cover page, hand-signed by the very hand that brought the story into the world. Triserao commented that it looks like the signature belongs there.
The Barnes and Noble in Union Square.

LINKS:
Anne Groell, GRRM's editor's post about the event. "B&N clocked the crowd at 1,800 strong... They said it was one of the best author signings they had ever hosted–in large part due to the general froodiness of all the fans. So thanks for being such a stand-up bunch, you guys! You did us all proud."

The AP story about the event. "Fans stand and cheer for fantasy writer George R.R. Martin."