After dinner we went straight to the store, arriving there about half an hour early. It was already standing rooming only by then even in a store that had a decent sized events area. The enthusiasm was palpable. By the time they introduced George, which happened 10 or 15 minutes latter than announced, it was packed shoulder to shoulder in any area that had any kind of visiblity of where George was going to be speaking from. After a brief introduction by a staff member of the store (who coincidently was the person who convinced me to read AGoT way back 7 or so years ago) George spoke for about 30 minutes or so. He talked some about his history with the Madison area, having come up here back in his college days at Northwestern for away football bames against UW and latter attending WisCon and other events. He then went through the history of the develpment of AFfC a story that is so very familiar to us on these boards.
He seems very confident that the the PoV split while, not ideal, was the best way to address the problems he was dealing with. There was then about a 15 minute question and answer period. All of the questions that were asked were of a more general sort, about his writing process and the like. The one thing I did take note of, though I'm sure he's said this before, is that he admits ,that while he still intends to finish in 7 books, it may not be possible to do so. After the they cut off the questions the signing started, which was still going strong ( and probably would for quite a while) by the time we got out of there. I did get my copy of Feast signed but not able to do much more than say hi to the man and introduce him to my eldest daugther, who had waited in line about as patiently as a 6 year old could just to meet him.
What really impressed me was not only how many people were there, and there were a lot, but also how really excited everyone was both about George and about the book. Having worked for that border's years ago, when they were in a smaller location half a block down, I knew this by a far exceded the turn out for any event I had worked there. Speaking to the staff, some of who are still around from back then, the turnout they had for this is matched only by the most important 2 or 3 mainstream writers they had in. At least at that location Feast has been selling very, very well. It made me feel very, very positive about the future of the series in terms of exposer and publicity. This kind of response, if its any indication of what's out there, has to be getting the attention of a lot of people in the industry.