Last Saturday night, I was privileged enough to have dinner in Seattle with this bunch...
From left to right, here we go: Terry Brooks, Greg Bear, Peter Orullian, Some Guy, Robin Hobb (Megan Lindholm?), Steven Erikson, and Brent Weeks.
This picture was taken about five seconds before I prostrated myself on the floor like a supplicant before the pharaohs of old.
For those of you who missed the backstory of this trip, I won a Worldbuilders charity auction a few months back. The proceeds of the auction went to fund Heifer International, so for the low, low price of "some money," I got to support a great cause and spend six hours with a bunch of the best authors writing today.
Totally worth it.
In the picture above, we're standing in the lobby of the EMP Museum in Seattle, about to head in to their section on the history of the fantasy genre. It was a surreal experience, standing in front of a Terry Brooks exhibit, talking to Terry Brooks, while above his head played a video interview with Terry Brooks.
I believe the appropriate term is "Brookception."
After the museum tour, we all went out to eat (on Peter Orullian's dime, I'll point out). The food was excellent, but honestly that's not why I was there. We could have eaten at Burger King and I would have enjoyed myself just as much.
The high point of the evening, to me, was the dinner conversation. Not only did they let me pick their brains on writing, marketing, and whatever else I wondered about, they were just...cool. You know, when I'm reading another masterpiece from Robin Hobb or Brent Weeks, I don't picture actual people, but rather towering titans of imagination and skill.
They're that as well, of course, but imagine my surprise when we spoke casually, like a bunch of regular human beings.
Steven Erikson told a story about wandering through a jungle for three days after escaping confinement, and that was somehow the least surprising story anyone told all evening. That's how I pictured Steve: like he stars in his own version of Indiana Jones.
After dinner, they each gave me a signed copy of one of their books. I spent the trip back to Florida with plenty to read.
My thanks to everyone on the trip, but especially to Peter Orullian, who organized the whole thing. I can only imagine the time and effort he contributed to putting it all together, and he did an amazing job.
All in all, if they ever do anything like this next year, I highly recommend you place a bid. It was more than worth the price.
But you should know that you'll be bidding against me.
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