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Happy Birthday, Robert Jordan


Jason Denzel

Today, October 17th, would have been Robert Jordan's 63rd birthday. Happy Birthday, RJ!

 

Did you ever have a chance to meet our favorite author in person? Did he tell you something interesting or funny? If so, leave a comment below and tell us the story.

 

To celebrate his birthday, Ta'Veren Tees is having a 1-day only sale on one of their popular Wheel of Time t-shirts. Go check out how you can get it for only $17 (US)

 

(The photo here is courtesy of Wilson Grooms)

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I have had exactly three personal interactions with Robert Jordan. The first was via a letter he sent to me while I was in the Air Force back in 1995. In the letter he had commented about how he had given up on the idea that the series would be completed in 8 novels. Book 6 had just come out, and he said that his hope was that he'd be able to finish it without writing another 6 books.

 

The second time was an in-person meeting in San Jose, at the book signing for Winter's Heart. I was too nervous to ask him anything, so it was very awkward.

 

And the last time I met him, was for the Knife of Dreams signing. I thanked him for the great story, and all the great books that had given me endless hours of enjoyment. He smiled and said "you're very welcome!" Then I told him that it was extremely cool of him to do these book tours and remain accessible to his fans, even when he knew his books would sell just as well without the personal appearances. He said that he enjoyed the book tours and signing appearance specifically because he treasured the interaction with fans, and that even if he outsold every other author in the world, he's still do the appearances as long as people wanted to come meet him.

 

I count myself very lucky to have met one of my artistic heroes, and to have had the opportunity to thank him for his work, and to tell him that it meant a lot to me.

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I met Robert Jordan briefly when I was fourteen years old. It was in San Francisco, and Robert Jordan was on his Knife of Dreams book tour.

 

I remember being so scared because I love writing and reading, and Robert Jordan's books had been filling my life for the past three years already. He stood up there, explaining how to pronounce names, (and boy was I embarrassed when I realized just how badly I was pronouncing those names!), when he came to Mazrim Taim.

 

"Ah yes, Mazrim (maz-rim) Taim (tah-eem). The man is not tame. If you were to call him tame he would rip out your lungs and make you eat them."

 

I went on to threaten someone who stole my pizza with this line. They gave it back quickly.

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I can't remember the exact year, but the late 90's or early 2000's. I came across a flyer for one of his book signings that wasn't even a 5 minute walk from my dorm. Of course I had get all my hardbacks signed & had a few family & friends request I get theirs signed also. There was a 2 book limit, so I made at least 6 trips, but it was no biggie because it wasn't even a 5 minute walk.

 

It was the first time I ever met him (I made it a tradition to always attend a signing with every new book since then). He extremely down to earth & extremely friendly. He noticed me coming back over & over again so he started teasing me everytime he saw me come through the door. The two lines I remember was, "the next time I see you come through that door, I'm getting a restraining order", and , "you do realize there's more to life than just reading these books"

 

After the line died down completely he stayed a pretty long time just answering random questions, and talking about pretty much everything under the sun. I had a blast & I think the world of him.

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During the Winter's Heart tour, three of us headed to one of his signings in Evanston, Illinois. I was very nervous. When it was my turn he asked how I was. I said "Wonderful!" like a complete dork. He looked at me for a moment and growled that it was snowing. A nice heavy flurry had begun as he arrived. He then said that it only had ever snowed once in Charleston in his life. Very cool. Very surreal very cool. I never made to any other signings

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