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.
6/3/2014 06:02:08 am
6/3/2014 07:16:59 am
My dad actually witnessed a police drug bust in the parking lot of a Burger King one time. True story.
6/3/2014 07:24:17 am
I loved Brent Weeks' Night Angel trilogy. It's that whole Bildungsroman thing. I love seeing a character progress. I'm incredibly excited for your opportunity!
6/3/2014 07:30:49 am
Oh ps- I worked at Burger King once when I was ages 15-17 and 13 years later I've still not been back... Maybe bc one night I witnessed a shooting at a BK... My first thought was, "who's shooting off fireworks in September?" Then everyone started screaming and running and I drive my ass around the nearest corner about to call 912 when I heard tons of cop cars... Omg. Freak ing scary! There were some ppl just laying on the parking lot behind their cars just taking shelter out of fear!
6/5/2014 09:34:50 am
That's exactly what I said, Lewis. It's pretty much a quote.
6/4/2014 02:15:47 am
Disclaimer, Mesmerizing Suggestion and all affiliates thereof are not responsible for aneurysms and other brain injuries caused by run on posts. nor sentient gibbering mass injuries. (i'm looking at you Shoggoth.)
6/5/2014 09:36:14 am
Curse those Shoggoths and their sesquipedalian loquaciousness!
6/4/2014 03:23:20 pm
Had any of these titans read your stuff? Heard of you? Just wondering if they had specific advice for you or just general biz stuff.
6/5/2014 09:43:04 am
They hadn't, which was no surprise to me. I would have been shocked if any of them had heard of me.
6/7/2014 07:45:56 am
That's awesome, could you do a post summarizing their advice? I'd be really interested in what they had to say? Did they know you were an author and self-publishing beforehand, or did that just come out throughout the conversation, and how'd the react?
6/14/2014 04:06:18 am
So, Will I have seen a particular subtype of a dramatically underutilized genre appear twice in my entire life in literature ( no mean feat as I recently calculated that I have read 9650 square feet of books ( both digital and physical ignoring re-reads.) ) anyway, the genre which I don't have the mindset to write, ( wish I did!) Is a recovering earth setting, not necessarily ours but, I think you could write a good one (bonus points for magic). If you do write it keep in mind this genre works best in huge one-offs or a size similar to house of blades in a series. Ever sesquipedalian - Mesmerizing Suggestion.
6/14/2014 08:46:45 am
If I'm deciphering your Riddler-esque code correctly, that means you're asking me to write a fantasy novel in a world that's recovering from an apocalypse.
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