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  1. Thank you! I actually made the Cadsuane ornaments to give to Harriet, so they were one-of-a-kind
  2. On January 8th, 2013, Tarmon Gai’don arrived for Wheel of Time fans in the form of A Memory of Light. Some of you have been waiting for that day for decades; others, like myself, considerably less time but with just as much anticipation. We survived the release of the final book, but the journey hasn’t ended yet. On February 18th, the book tour featuring Brandon Sanderson and Harriet McDougal made its way to Hanover, Maryland, and for many fans we got to say one final goodbye to the series that is Robert Jordan’s legacy. We even had the special privilege of getting a live demonstration from the audiobook readers, Michael Kramer and Kate Reading, turning the event into a once in a lifetime experience that won’t soon be forgotten. I journeyed for some two and a half hours to make it to this signing, joining my fellow Memory Keepers for a few rounds of Magic and lunch in the mall before we all made our way to the bookstore to begin preparations for the signing. We handed out goodies to the early birds, giving away everything from Wheel of Time bookbags and iPhone covers to paperback copies of The Way of Kings. In what seemed like no time at all, people were crowding the area where Brandon, Harriet, Michael, and Kate would be doing the Q&A, and soon after that they all arrived and took their places. Because this was such a large event – over 500 people, the second largest crowd ever for a signing at that BAM! – the Q&A was short, but fans were treated to the reading of several passages from A Memory of Light by our beloved audiobook readers. Within half an hour numbers began to be called over the PA for people to line up and have their books signed, and what a line it was! After every number was called it snaked through every aisle along the back wall, out of BAM all the way to the entrance to the mall. In the interest of ensuring everyone was able to have their books signed by both Brandon and Harriet, personalizations were only given to people who got back in line for a second round of signings. Even with that caveat it took from 8 o’clock until nearly midnight to get the first round of books signed! Harriet, the Light bless her, stayed until every last person from the first line had gone, and Brandon made sure the die-hard fans who wanted personalizations were rewarded for their patience. To keep everyone busy while the signing took place, the Memory Keepers walked through the crowd and asked trivia questions. For every correct answer small prizes were given away along with a raffle ticket for the night’s grand prize – a handmade bracelet featuring charms related to Mat Cauthon’s character, which ended up in the lucky hands of Mara F., our big winner of the night. Those who stayed really late were treated to some of the extra goodies we had been giving away earlier in the day. All told, the night ended at 12:30 when Brandon personalized the last Memory Keeper’s book and left for some much deserved rest. I myself didn’t get home until nearly 3 o’clock in the morning, but to be able to take part in such a historic event was well worth one night of lost sleep. For me, February 18th will never again be President’s Day; instead, I will always remember it as the last time so many fans were gathered in one place for a single cause. There are no beginnings or endings to the Wheel of Time, just the next turn of the page before we read the series again. Favorite memories from the Memory Keepers: -Michael Kramer bringing to life the voice of Loial -Harriet telling a fan whose book had coffee spilled on it, “the great thing about books is they dry out. Kindles do not.” -Brandon downplaying his status as a famous author when a couple introduced him to their young daughter -A sbarro pizza box being signed by Brandon, Harriet, Michael, and Kate -Harriet asking, “is the Dark One in this mic?” when reverb kept interrupting her answers -Getting to hear about some of the notes Robert Jordan left behind regarding what happens to different characters that was not revealed in A Memory of Light – sorry, no spoilers! -When Robert was asked to describe the Wheel of Time in 6 words, he said: "Cultures crumble, ages fall, cope. There, that's only 5 words, but I didn't want to be wordy."
  3. @ Heavytabbs - You betcha! If you play Magic, bring your cards and we'll play while we wait :)
  4. I was a Tower Guard and even though Brandon and Harriet were late (stupid flight delays!) and we never got to hang out with them, it was an experience I still gush about whenever I meet another Wheel of Time fan :) Good luck to everyone who applies!
  5. Happy Birthday from the Hanover Tower Guard!
  6. ReneeTG2010

    ToM Baltimore Signing

    November 05, 2010
  7. The day begins much like the previous twenty-four hours have passed by, with an oppressive blanket of steel grey clouds and constant rain making the already brisk November air seem that much colder. But today is different; today is the book signing in Hanover for the release of Towers of Midnight, and as if by the blessing of the Light, when I set out at midday the sun has finally broken through the overcast skies to shine brightly on my journey south and west towards my fellow Tower Guard. I carefully dodge Darkfriends in black cars, Aes Sedai of every Ajah driving green SUVs, blue four-doors, or yellow minivans, and Asha’man in their sleek sports cars. As a Tower Guard it is my duty to brave such lonesome odds, so I continue on unabated, happy to drive the two hours it will take to reach my destination. When I arrive there is already a crowd of people waiting to make petitions to the Amyrlin and her Keeper of the Chronicles, but there is a while yet before they will arrive and so I do my best to see that everyone is kept happy along with the other Tower Guard. During my talks with some, I find that they have come from cities as far away as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and in the case of one gentleman, London, England. They are all excited to be here, however, and are as pleased as I was to make the journey if it meant getting the opportunity to have an audience with Harriet and Brandon. After a short delay -- planes will simply never be as reliable as Traveling -- the two arrived to much applause and got right down to business. The evening started with a reading by Harriet from the prologue of Towers of Midnight. We were given the choice of hearing a section from Lan’s point of view or Padan Fain’s, though it wasn’t much of a competition when it came time to raise our hands and vote. For the next quarter hour we listened as Harriet read about Fain’s trek north into the Blight, sometimes laughing and sometimes nodding our heads thoughtfully as she read the passage with a slight southern drawl. Once Harriet was finished, Brandon stepped up to the podium and proceeded to answer questions posed by those in the audience for another twenty minutes, covering topics ranging from the Mistborn series to future works within the Wheel of Time universe after A Memory of Light is complete. The hour is already growing late, however, and we must move quickly if we are to get all the books signed before Tarmon Gai’don arrives. My duty is to prepare the thick tomes by making sure dust jackets and post-it notes are in their proper place, while others of the Tower Guard perform their assigned tasks. Melody is taking professional photos to document the event; Cassy, ever ebullient, stays nearby to assist Harriet and take pictures for people on their personal cameras; David, Maureen, and Gavin stroll through the crowd waiting in line and play trivia games to win a bookmark or conduct interviews about who their favorite characters and moments are from the Wheel of Time. Eric, our leader, is stalwart by Harriet and Brandon’s table, ready to marshal the other Tower Guard into action when needed. All things considered, in short order the last person made their way through the line, and by eleven o’clock there were only a handful of people left roaming about the Tower. I was able to absorb a lot in that brief window of time, due in most part to Brandon and Harriet’s unflagging dedication to their fans. Over and over Brandon made sure to ask each person if they had any questions, not just about the Wheel of Time but about any of the projects he is involved in, and more than a few people were brave enough to ask the occasional question of Harriet or tell her how Robert Jordan’s work has changed their life. I felt almost like a Brown, quietly sitting back to listen and make mental notes to jot down once I returned home. If I can take away anything from that experience to pass on and share with the rest of you, it would only be to say that we truly are blessed to have Robert’s life’s work left in such capable, enthusiastic hands. All too soon I’m on my way home, after a few precious moments getting to talk one on one with Harriet and Brandon about the books they’ve been a part of writing. I asked a single question each of the duo, receiving a RAFO response from Brandon when I asked if we ever get to see Shara, and finally solving the mystery of how, exactly, to pronounce Cairhien from Harriet. A group wolf howl and several goodbyes later, I find myself driving back down Route 50, and this late at night I am the only car on the road. I have left the other Tower Guard to go our separate directions, forging a lone path of light through the darkness as I travel east and north to await the Last Battle. Until then, my friends, may you always find water and shade. - Renee, Tower Guard 11/05/2010 Damn. That was awesome. It seemed that our event was going to be plagued with transportation issues. From traffic for the Tower Guard to the tarmac for Harriet and Brandon, the world was just running late. (Oh, who are we kidding? It's the DC-Baltimore metro area on a Friday. That is the Lord of Chaos' time to shine!) But Brandon and Harriet stuck it out, and Books-a-Million allowed people to stay waaaay past their closing time. And just like many years ago with Robert Jordan, Brandon and Harriet inquired and responded to every fan so everyone felt like they had a personal moment. Everyone that wanted to wait had the opportunity to get signatures and to have a small amount of time with Brandon and Harriet. It seems like the word for the signing was "gracious." Thanks, Books-a-Million! Thanks, Harriet and Brandon! But gracious did not just apply to the people responsible for the event, it also describes the people that got to enjoy the event: the fans. At 11:00, while putting personalizations on post-its, people were still smiling and laughing, sharing their WoT experiences and theories, having a good time despite some having waited for as long as four hours. I got to meet many cool fans, from Bobby and Tammy to Karina, Christoph and Aviendha to Aryn, the birthday girl -- everyone had a WoT story. I will remember Dawn, although I never met her, and her stoic (but unnamed) friend. Dawn, I hope that somewhere you know that there is a Towers of Midnight book dedicated to your memory by Brandon. And some of the theories were fantastic; Paul and Sandy were discussing Rhuidean and the possibility that your sanity passing through the ter'angreal depended on your lineage. Waaaaaay cool, Sandy! It was great that people were excited about the crossword puzzle (even if I did make a few mistakes -- thanks for not lynching me, guys!), and it was more wonderful seeing people reading in line, because before I had WoT friends to go to signings with, that's what I was doing. It's been many years, but this was the first time I got to be on the other side. Damn. That was awesome. - Maureen, Tower Guard 11/05/2010 The book signing was so much fun! My role was basically helping out with the fans, talking to everyone, and handing out numbers and stickers (red for -No Spoilers!- and green for -Spoiler Alert!-) so people would know who had finished Towers of Midnight and who you had to watch what you say around. It was amazing seeing everyone there, hanging out and talking about Wheel of Time. Thanks to Brandon Sanderson's Alcatraz series, there were some kids who came out to see him. Brandon and Harriet were running late due to plane issues, but they were all smiles when they arrived. Both of them made sure to give each and every fan their attention, thanking them for waiting, asking if anyone had questions and signing many, many books. And in the end, even after spending the day on a plane and signing books until 11:00pm, they made sure to spend a little bit of time with the Tower Guard. Harriet told me a story about Robert Jordan and even howled with "Perrin" -- a fan who stayed around until the very end. All in all, this experience was so much fun, and being a bigger part of this event meant so much to me. I've made some great friends, saw some people from last year, and was able to talk to people who are as big a fan of Robert Jordan's work as I am. - Cassy, Tower Guard 11/05/2010 My day began with an early start at around 9:00am ... yes, people, for me that is a very early start! I had to get my son, husband, and camera loaded into the car for a several hour drive from Prince George, Virginia, all the way to Hanover, Maryland. I had plenty of movies for Perrin, my 4 year old amazing son, stocked up in my car and we were ready to get started on our trip. When we hit D.C. we were bombarded with rush hour traffic and sure we were not going to make it on time; then, of course, as all trips go we ended up taking the wrong exit and drove a very long ways out of our way through about 1000 stop lights, which inadvertently turned red every time we approached one. Needless to say, we arrived at Books-a-Million with only 30 minutes to spare! I was really shocked to see about 30 people already sitting down ready to get their books signed. I remember in 2001 at the Winter's Heart signing there were only about 30 people total -- this was before Facebook and crazy internet blogs -- so I was really shocked when over 300 people poured in to see both Brandon and Harriet arrive. I was in charge of photography so I basically sat back, listened, and took candids of fans doing their thing. When the signing began, I posted myself near the signing station so I was able to make sure I got a good view of everyone who came to the event. I wanted to make sure I caught all the stories and questions and heard what people were asking. There were a lot of RAFO question asked, but there were also a few really neat concepts and ideas brought forth. I probably have this wrong, but I believe Brandon answered one fan with: "The interesting thing about Robert Jordan's WoT is that there is race but no racism, religion but no sects or deities, there are genders who are equal -- both male and female -- and both respect each other for their stations." I may have that quote wrong, so (Brandon) if you are out there, correct that for me. There were also fans of every age group -- I saw 11 year olds and 80 year olds. It's fantastic to see a series which transcends generations. I met another fan who also named their child after a character in the books: Aviendha. I felt kind of honored that he came up to me and introduced me to his daughter, and I hope that he loves the photos I got of him and his baby with Brandon and Harriet. I also have to mention the howler; probably the best part of the entire event was a fan howling for Harriet ... not once, but several times! In fact, I think it was so infectious that he caused everyone to howl at the end (and yes, I have video). Ironically, Harriet was still howling with him as we wrapped things up and headed out for the night. So, now for the juicy stuff ... I have only read up to book 9 in the series. (Tower Guard, I finished the last 30 pages -- only to find out it was really only 10 pages left as I read it!) Of course, my husband has read the entire series up to book 11 several times and is now on his re-read before he starts the next 2 books. However, I hate surprises ... but my curiosity got the better of me so I forced Cassy (one of the Tower Guard) to give me spoilers. And so all of you know, all that did was make me want to read more! I should also probably mention that my son, Perrin, was named after the series. My husband and I decided long before he was ever even thought of being born that we would name our child that. It was so important to me to have Perrin's photo taken with Harriet and Brandon and to have an autograph for him. Perrin, however, was not so cooperative and had to wait outside with his dad for the duration of the signing. However, we did manage to get the photo (thanks to Eric!! much love bro!) and I am beyond happy to have this for my son's memories of childhood. I really want to thank Jennifer and Dragonmount for allowing me to be a part of this event, and also curse them for making me stay up late reading! - Melody, Tower Guard 11/05/2010 Perrin Fun Facts: -- Most difficult trivia question: What gifts does Mat give Tuon while courting her during Crossroads of Twilight and Knife of Dreams? Answer: Jewelry, Silk Rosebuds, and a Razor (rare breed of horse). -- Most popular character: Matrim Cauthon by a landslide; 17 votes. Egwene took second place; 4 votes. Verin took third place; 3 votes. There were 19 characters total mentioned by members of the audience. -- Favorite Moment from WoT: A tie between when Rand cleanses the Taint and when he travels to Rhuidean; 4 votes each. Second place was a three way tie between Rand’s battle with himself/Lews Therin on top Dragonmount, when Aviendha and Elayne become first sisters, and the battle at Dumai’s Wells; 3 votes each. Third place was another three way tie between when Rand and Aviendha took shelter in the igloo in Seanchan, when Egwene solidifies her authority with the rebel Aes Sedai, and the romance between Mat and Tuon; 2 votes each. -- Best answer why ________ is your favorite character: “Thom, [because any] old man who can do back flips has my heart.” - Karina -- Best answer how you found the Wheel of Time: “A friend named Michelle [introduced me to the series] but died before she graduated. [i am on a] mission to get people to read [the books] in her honor.” - Christoph -- There were two children present who were named after the books: Perrin and Aviendha. Aviendha This post has been promoted to an article This post has been promoted to an article This post has been promoted to an article This post has been promoted to an article
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