I just got back from George R.R. Martin's New York City signing. I got there at about six for a seven o'clock event, and the 150 bracelets that allowed you to get a seat were already gone. It was packed! The Astor Place B&N is not a large space so it got hot and yucky. I stood for like an hour in the back until the lady running the show asked people to raise there hands if there were free seats that bracelet people weren't taking so I managed to get up front! Score!
George didn't come out until about 7:05 or so, to loud applause. He talked to some people before they gave the official introduction and then he got up. He said that his flight from Michigan had left without him this morning so he didn't think he'd get there. But he did hurrah!
He was pleased with the turnout and told the -4 signing story. He spoke about why the five year gap didn't work and why this book took so long. He talked about how he liked to end books with stopping points and that's why he didn't just cut the thing in half.
Then people asked questions. Someone asked if Syrio was dead. And he said to "draw your own conclusions" based on the fact that his sword was broken, etc, which I took to mean yes. Someone asked if he had to go back and change things so information in ADWD wasn't revealed in AFFC and he said not really but he did do some retouching in spots.
Someone asked about R+L=J and if he would change the story because everyone seems to be on to that. I thought it was interesting that he didn't restate the part about Rheager/Lyanna when he repeated the question so everyone to hear. He restated it as, would you change something because people online have theories (ie to make them be wrong). And he asked how many people talked on internet boards and only a few people raised their hands, so he pointed out that theories that are rampant on the internet aren't known by everyone.
He also says he doesn't read the online posting boards so he doesn't see the theories unless someone emails it to him.
Someone asked if he forgets details and has to look them up in the old books. He said yes. He mentioned that people have pointed out to him that his horses tend to switch genders and he said mocked his editor for not catching these sex changing horses.
Someone asked about his future plans and he said to collect social security. Basically he wouldn't commit but did say he wanted to write different stuff.
My favorite question was when someone asked if he would consider writing a pronunciation guide to the series. He laughed and said no because he doesn't really know how to pronounce them himself. He did say that the Audio Books do have errors in pronunciation. (Petyr is just Peter, for example.)
Some he did say during the course of the evening:
Cersei = Sir-say
Jaime = Jamie (I think that was obvious but just in case)
Sansa = Sahn-sa
Tyrion = Tear-ion
Brienne = BriennE (pronounced long e at the end there)
Arya = Ar-Ya (Ex, Are ya?)
Daenerys = Dane-err-is
That was the end of the questions, there were a lot more people with their hands up but he couldn't accomodate them all.
I did get to ask him a question when I went up to have my book signed. The guy before me had the British AFFC and he asked the guy if he had finished and the guy said no. So I spoke up and said I had finished it. And he was like, "yeah?" and I said I had lots of questions but I couldn't ask without spoiling people who just got it today.
So I asked if there would be any new POV characters in A Dance With Dragons and he said he hadn't really sat down to deal with that yet, but that the way he plans it now (which could change) he does hope to include one new POV character in ADWD.