The Citadel

The Archive of 'A Song of Ice and Fire' Lore

So Spake Martin

US Signing Tour (Indianapolis, IN)

I'm surprised noone has posted about it yet considering the excellent turnout. There were at least 200 people there, the person from Barnes and Noble in charge of public relations was quite pleased and called it his biggest turnout yet.

The signing was at 7 with tickets being distributed at 5. I showed up at 3:30 and bought the book then sat in the cafe to wait. When I bought the bok the cashier asked if I was coming back for the signing at 7. I told her I was planning to stay in the store until then. She expressed some doubt about how many people show up for book signings and I sort of chuckled and told her I would be very surprised if it was a bad turnout. At about ten to five they started giving out tickets in groups of 30. I'd estimate 20-30 people were in line when they started giving out tickets. I sat in the cafe again (I have a broken collarbone and can't stand for long periods of time or I start to ache). About 20 minutes later I noticed the line was about 20-30 people deep still so I got a chair while I could. I'd say by 6:00 90% of the chairs were taken. By the time GRRM arrived, it was beyond SRO with people standing aisles away and taking down the section signs to see better.

GRRM was a little late, he went to the wrong store at first. He arrived, told the story about -4 people, how his book was three years late, how he had too many manuscript pages, split the book, and is 40-50% done with aDwD. He then opened it up to questions. He was being careful not to spoil the series for anyone in the audience who hadn't read it yet and noone asked any in-depth questions about the series, which was kind of nice, actually.

Someone asked about "Beauty and the Beast" on DVD and he said he didn't know why it wasn't out and was surprised that "The Twilight Zone Revival" was out first since it got worse ratings. He said B&B was out on lasrdisc and that may have caused some delays for the DVD release.

My favorite question of the evening was when someone asked him if he found it difficult to kill his characters. He said the Red Wedding was the hardest scene for him to write and he actually finished the book before going back to fill in that scene. He feels character deaths are important so that when a hero is surrounded by armed men, you can't be secure in the knowledge that he will escape. He wants us to feel the peril his characters are feeling. He wants us to be hungry when we read about eating, be horrified when we read about battles and gore, be when we read the sex scenes.

Someone asked how he goes about writing, or something like that. He explained that he had been writing since he was a boy in the projects and that the stories are just inside him and he has a desire to get them on paper to share. He related a dinner he had with other authors (I'm sorry, I forget who) in which one said he wished he could win $10 million so he could stop witing and he was asked "What if you were given $10 mill with the requirement you never write again". He replied that he couldn't do it. That is how GRRM feels true writers are.

Anyway, the final turnout was definitely >150 (the PR manager said they were getting out group 6 of the tickets - 30 people/group) but I'd imagine it was >180 when all was said and done. GRRM signed in groups of 3 books, I think he was briefed on that by the PR manager since other signings were 5.

I just remembered that someone at the back of the room asked "Who can we expect to live through the series?" GRRM misheard this as "How many"... His answer was "I don't know. 6, 4, 7? 7 has been a good number so far." He did say that he really didn't know "how many" nor did he answer "who" but I doubt he would have anyway.

He also mentioned there were 19 POVs. I think this number was for the book that was AFfC but got broken in twain. He pointed out that in the previous books, one POV character died and was replaced by two new POV characters... no word on if this rule still holds (if we were at 10, 9 would have to die, I suppose).