Last night, I had the opportunity to attend a book signing with Guy Gavriel Kay, author of many novels (including the recently released Under Heaven, which I shall be reviewing soon). He’s one of my absolute writing idols, helping to craft and inspire my own works of fiction.

The reading began like many, Guy Kay was introduced by the always charming Robert Wiersema (reviewer for several well regarded Canadian publications and accomplished writer himself) and proceeded to speak quite candidly about Under Heaven and how he came to find that story amongst China’s history. He speaks with a confident tongue, just like you’d expect, given the tonality and elegance of his work, and, during the reading of Under Heaven, brought his characters to life with a verve that my inner voice is unable to achieve.

The real highlight of my night, though, happened at the end of the long lineup of fans waiting with books in hand. As with most book signings, I waited until the end of the line, not liking to feel pressured for time while getting my chance to meet a favourite author. The last one left, I walked up to the table and Mr. Kay thanked me for my patience. I smiled, then wrote my name down on a little sticky note (no misspellings, right?) and handed it to him. He took it, looked down, read it, paused, then looked back at me.

He said, “Well… I know who you are!”

I probably looked like this guy:

Turns out Mr. Kay knows about and reads A Dribble of Ink. He had some very flattering things to say as he introduced me and my blog to Mr. Wiersema.

Having gathered myself, we had a chance to talk about eBook readers (he took a gander at my new Kobo eReader), the filter writers put over the stories they’re telling and a few other things that were lost to memory thanks to the fanboy seizure I was having through the whole event. Certainly, it was a night to remember and reinforced my opinions of Kay as a person (he’s lovely) and a writer.

  • neth May 5, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    It’s always a shock when I meet a writer who has ‘heard of me’. It happened when I met John Scalzi and Brandon Sanderson (and maybe one or two others).

    It sounds like you had fun – now if we can only get him to an event down in Arizona.

  • Mike May 5, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    That’s so awesome. :)


  • Joe Sherry May 5, 2010 at 5:15 pm


    I got that from Alan DeNiro once. I’m waiting for my GRRM moment. ;)

  • aidan May 5, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    @Ken — There are some authors I know would recognize me, based on previous interactions. Kay blew me away because I’ve never spoken to him, or emailed him in the past!

    Just when I worry I’m getting jaded about blogging… something like this comes along and reminds me why I love it so much.

    @Joe — A few years ago I met George Martin at a book signing and tried my damnedest to get him to use my name in A Dance with Dragons. I didn’t run my blog yet, so there’s no reason to expect that he’d remember me, but it’s yet one more reason to anticipate the release of the book.

  • The Evil Hat/Nat May 5, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    That sounds awesome, congratulations!

  • sqt May 5, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    That’s awesome. And I’m jealous.

  • Mihai (Dark Wolf) May 6, 2010 at 12:19 am

    These moments are truly magic. My only regret is that I don’t have many chances to meet the authors I love, since they don’t have their books translated in Romanian and if they do, they are not invited for a book launch or a signing. That happens, but not for the speculative fiction.
    I am happy for you, Aidan! Especially because you do an excellent job. I hope that someday this thing will happen to me too :)

  • Rob B May 6, 2010 at 6:26 am

    That’s really cool Aiden. A similar thing happened last year when I met China Mieville and mentioned that I do reviews and stuff for SFFWorld – he was familiar with the site.

  • Erika May 6, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Highly amused. I love the icon.