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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

one of the rudest authors i have ever met


peep
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Robert Jordan was a wonderful writer and an even better person.

Edited by peep
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Interesting. Here is a report from that signing.

 

It was a great experience with courteous people and even after reading about the jokes he tells before going to the signing I still laughed. His personality was so Jovial and warm even my wife had a great time and she has never read any of his books.

I know exactly what you mean about RJ's tone, and him seeming to be a bit over-impressed with himself. But at the same time, I get it.

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I understand what you felt. When you meet people like celebrities you have a perception of how they are. I remember meeting Gallagher (Comedian who smashes watermelons with his giant wooden hammer) when he came to perform locally. He was great on stage but backstage when we got his autograph on our ticket stubs he was making remarks to some other people about them needing to go and buy some of his T-shirts and memorabilia, being rude. It might have been that he is a good guy having a bad day, money seemed to be the subject on stage and some comments of him having to pay out of pocket for the groceries he smashed probably was due to contract or a venue dispute.

 

I happened to meet RJ once, very end of 1998 or beginning of 1999 when his newest book of the time had come out. I by chance heard a mention on the radio while at work and was dirty as all getout as I'd been welding. I clocked out, cashed my check, made it to the bookstore in time to get into line midway. RJ eventually entered, no rules were given at the time and he read a passage from the book and then the line shuffled forward. There were a few hardcore fans there but there was no Q&A, only his assistant telling us to open our books to a certain page prior to approaching the table. I was so excited, he blew my mind when he'd walked in wearing his wide-brimmed hat and cape, (the guy all dressed up in you've got mail entering the diner reminds me of him each time I see it). I'd heard up at the front some guys asking for personalizations but didn't hear anyone decline or the assistant say not to ask, so I got up there finally as the line was massive and RJ stayed something like 3 hours after he was supposed to leave until all the books were signed. I felt like an idiot when I told him he had inspired me to try my hand at writing Fantasy, and asked him to make it to myself. RJ seemed to take offense at my comment that I was trying my hand at writing Fantasy and was a bit brusque saying that he wouldn't personalize. The assistant smoothly told me he was supposed to have left an hour prior, and that RJ wanted to get through all those that wanted signed books. There I was with the edges of my face black and as clean as I could get in a restroom at work, feeling stupid for asking. I felt much better and understood much more later on seeing that he was overdue for dinner and returning to his hotel to sleep before having an early flight. I am thankful to have had a few seconds of his time.

 

I am also certain that people out there have met him one on one and have beautiful stories of awesomeness of meeting him and having a conversation we all wish we could have when we line up. Hopefully they share. I have fond memories and many thanks to the Military who failed to promote Kevin J. Anderson, Charles Henderson, Tom Clancy, and 2-3 other military genre authors. I met Kevin quite by chance, walked into the store on base and there he sat at a table looking bored and he smiled at my interest in the Dune books on the table. I finally noticed the "Meet Kevin J. Anderson" sign and was like, "Holy crap, no way. You are Kevin J. Anderson?" There was no one else there, not even an assistant. We talked a good 15 minutes of all his Star Wars books he'd written and my desire to write Fantasy. He signed my books and I hurried off, shameful to have taken even 15 minutes, thogh after shopping and leaving no one else had even glanced his way. Short of it is, I guess we are all human and all have good days and bad days, and celebrities more so than others. However, good or bad, we make of the day what we will of it.

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Well, if you ever decide to go to a WoT signing again, know that Brandon is an enormously nice guy. Like, chats with each person, signs their book however they want. I was too nervous to talk to him much when I went last year, but he just seemed so sincerely... nice. Never had the chance to meet RJ though. too young. :)

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My words aren't gold -- I'm no absolute control freak of my story.

 

But you deleted about a fifth of it in a way that omits from my story some of Jordan's worst mannerisms. That stuff he said was off color and inapropriate, and coming from him it was even uglier.

 

I understand he has died, and most everyone here is at least a fan of Robert Jordan. and some of my observations probably dont sit right with everyone. And after all, you have the power to alter my post in which ever way you desire.

 

But the thing is, it was true, and it's difficult for me to tell this story.

 

I'm disapointed, but i wont say anything dramatic like 'im never going to post here again!' because it is my one and only story to share.

 

best wishes.

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Well, people have different opinions on off-color jokes and whether or not they are 'inappropriate'. But RJ always said that the women like to ask him dirty questions for some reason.

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@Orderofolde - I'm glad to hear Kevin J. is cool. I always liked some of his later Star Wars stuff. I also had a similar situation with the super cool actor who played Dante in Clerks (brian o'halloran). he was alone and bored and was thrilled to talk to people who knew his work (and yes, i have seen Vulgar the clown movie).

 

@Terez - i laid out the details, and they were censored. the details offended me, but i tried to let browsers of the forum see if it offended them. the censoring of the post removed more than a description of Jordan's size, it nixed what he said and what occurred to me at the time. maybe it's not super-enlightened of me to be creeped out more with sexual boasting and jokes based on the boaster's physical stature, but that's how i felt at the time.

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This is something that we discussed here recently on the gay thread, actually. Ask yoniy0 about it. ;) Specifically, we have a tendency to involve ourselves too much, or do too much mental picturing when people talk about sex, which isn't really necessary. Why should an attractive person feel more free to talk about sex than an unattractive person? It's all subjective anyway, but it seems to me like we should be able to handle it either way.

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Dunno, seems arbitrary to me to be honest. They're good at being pc I guess. Didn't bother me personally but then again I'm not easily shocked by text on the internet.

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I dunno either I never met RJ, but now I'm curious to know the gist of what he's saying, I always found his portrayal of women as a bit strange anyway.

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@ Peep

It's kind of strange how our preconceived ideas affect us when we meet people we admire. I've had good and bad experiences at book signings. The one that comes to mind right now is the signing with Bob Salvatore. I drove up to a mall in Wisconsin from Chicago right after work. As it turned out I was the second one in line, and I had brought 3 books from the Dark Elf series, The Demon Awakens, Star Wars Attack of the Clones(which was the book he was signing for) and a couple others from different series. My briefcase was FULL to say the least, but I wasn't sure which ones he would sign, if any. While waiting for Salvatore to show up I struck up a conversation with a young woman who was a store employee and who was setting up the book signing area. In our conversations we talked about authors we had met and books we collected. She mentioned RJ and I immediately asked questions regarding her experience with him. She told me was very, very strange. Back to the story. By the time Mr. Salvatore got there the line wrapped around the mall out of sight, then back into sight and then back out of sight again. I immediately thought that there was nooooo chance of getting him to sign more than the Star Wars book. I had a couple of questions regarding the Dark Elf, Drizzt, and a character named Oliver. I got up there and before I could say anything other than hi he noticed the stack of book I had in my arms. He make a joke and actually signed all of the books with personalization. However, he saw the Demon Awakens book and started asking me questions about it and the other two books in the series. I was dumbstruck, and it took me several seconds before his questions registered to me. In my preconceived notion of him, I didn't see him as being so generous with his time or that interacting with his fans and it caused my embarrassing stutter. A couple minuets after I left the table I realized I never asked any of the questions I had wanted to.

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the sex jokes and the part about how the series wouldn't continue if he were to die should be on record.

Both have been on record for many years, in more detail. Have you ever seen the map of Tar Valon? Just saying.

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Thanks for posting your experience at the book signing event. I don't consider anyone above reproach or criticism, even the beloved author of a beloved fantasy epic series. Balance is important, even among fans, and I assume the vast majority of DM members are solid fans of the WoT. Different views and different impressions are essential to maintaining the integrity of this site as well as message boards in general.

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@ Peep

It's kind of strange how our preconceived ideas affect us when we meet people we admire. I've had good and bad experiences at book signings. The one that comes to mind right now is the signing with Bob Salvatore. I drove up to a mall in Wisconsin from Chicago right after work. As it turned out I was the second one in line, and I had brought 3 books from the Dark Elf series, The Demon Awakens, Star Wars Attack of the Clones(which was the book he was signing for) and a couple others from different series. My briefcase was FULL to say the least, but I wasn't sure which ones he would sign, if any. While waiting for Salvatore to show up I struck up a conversation with a young woman who was a store employee and who was setting up the book signing area. In our conversations we talked about authors we had met and books we collected. She mentioned RJ and I immediately asked questions regarding her experience with him. She told me was very, very strange. Back to the story. By the time Mr. Salvatore got there the line wrapped around the mall out of sight, then back into sight and then back out of sight again. I immediately thought that there was nooooo chance of getting him to sign more than the Star Wars book. I had a couple of questions regarding the Dark Elf, Drizzt, and a character named Oliver. I got up there and before I could say anything other than hi he noticed the stack of book I had in my arms. He make a joke and actually signed all of the books with personalization. However, he saw the Demon Awakens book and started asking me questions about it and the other two books in the series. I was dumbstruck, and it took me several seconds before his questions registered to me. In my preconceived notion of him, I didn't see him as being so generous with his time or that interacting with his fans and it caused my embarrassing stutter. A couple minuets after I left the table I realized I never asked any of the questions I had wanted to.

 

Now that seems like a terrific enounter!

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Thank you for sharing Peep. When I love a movie too much I google it to find some comments about what was wrong about the movie. Maybe bcz I lose myselft to much into it. Your comment did the same job. No book is perfect, no man is perfect. Even if someone prove that robert jordan is (put some ugly word here that can be moderated) it still wouldn't change how I approach to his books. I dont care about his personality in that manner but I would like to read what you actually wrote about him anyways. Also your question was a good one. I'd really want to hear a proper answer for that one.

 

I met him in a book signing too. I think it was 2005. It was a such a chance all of you including peep would like to had. He came to istanbul/turkey and here very very few people even know about him. There were no assistants, no crowd not even a line. He was sitting there alone, tapping his fingers on the table and looking flaming bored. Obviously the publishers made him come here to promote the sales and he was cursing inside to the publishers. It was a very rainy and cold day to go out but I went 4 hours of way and all the way I was thinking about what to say to him.

 

There I went near him, then only thing that I could say was "Is baalzamon dead?" I didn't know how to speak english then :)) You see, I had the chance to speak with him for hours but this was all I said and he replied dryly, "keep reading". This simple encounter kept me thinking for all the years that passed. I have the feeling even I could speak english better than him, it wouldn't make a longer conversation.

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Very few writers seem to have real life personalities that match their writing personas. Quite a few are paralysed by enforced contact with the fanbase and develop bizarre tics or onstage personae as a result.

I've had the dubious pleasure of meeting dozens of well-known writers, including four Nobel winners, both "on" and "off-stage", and they rarely seem to slot into the personality you'd expect, from reading their books.

As such, readings/ panel discussions, etc., can be dreadfully deflating, disappointing events for the committed fan who goes with preconceptions.

Note something else though, Peeps.

What you thought was a rude and off-putting personality might have seemed "funny and jolly" for a lot of fans.

Edited by Sharaman
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I sort of feel qualified to say that most people had a good experience with RJ at signings, but he definitely had bad days. It's to be expected. He was probably in a particularly bad mood on the COT tour because of the book's horrible reception. He'd probably been getting complaints about it nonstop by then.

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Meh, I've heard mostly good things from people who met RJ. However, I really don't care if he thought he was the best thing to happen to Fiction in a hundred years and had a interpreter talk for him like a Seanchan high blood.

 

 

I read his books and enjoy them. Thats all that mattered. How polite or nice he is is irrelevant to me. I usually treat authors like I do celebrities/directors. Sure, I love your movie. But, I wouldn't care to meet them.

 

 

Maybe I'm just weird.

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Guest PiotrekS

Meh, I've heard mostly good things from people who met RJ. However, I really don't care if he thought he was the best thing to happen to Fiction in a hundred years and had a interpreter talk for him like a Seanchan high blood.

 

 

I read his books and enjoy them. Thats all that mattered. How polite or nice he is is irrelevant to me. I usually treat authors like I do celebrities/directors. Sure, I love your movie. But, I wouldn't care to meet them.

 

 

Maybe I'm just weird.

 

I agree. Loving somebody's work and loving that person are two totally different things.

 

What most of fans know about RJ is that he was a great fantasy writer and it is enough. Of course, if you try to get some personal knowledge of any author as a person, you can discover something you would never expect based on books alone.

 

For example, I am not a great fan of Brandon Sanderson's writing style as far as WOT is concerned, but after what I heard and read I have to agree that he is probably the nicest and politest writer on earth.

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...authors communicating through an interpreter, like the Seanchan High Blood?

 

If I ever become a famous author I'm definitely doing that.

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...authors communicating through an interpreter, like the Seanchan High Blood?

 

If I ever become a famous author I'm definitely doing that.

 

I dunno... working out the hand gestures would be annoying.

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...authors communicating through an interpreter, like the Seanchan High Blood?

 

If I ever become a famous author I'm definitely doing that.

 

I dunno... working out the hand gestures would be annoying.

Just think of all the smugness !

Edited by Zentari
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