Random (halloranelder) wrote,

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My Day with REF

Raymond E Feist (rhymes with Iced) is one of my favourite authors of all time. This is (as I am aware) the second time he's visited Australia, previously in 1998, just after the release of Shards of a Broken Crown.

He had three appearances in Brisbane, firstly a book signing at the Angus & Robertson bookstore, at Post Office Square at 11:00, secondly another book signing at Myer in the Myer Centre at 1:00, and lastly a Q&A/book signing hosted by Pulp Fiction in the Anzac Square Arcade.

Shane and I went to all three.

Shane and I went to all his Brisbane appearances last time he was here and got all of our collections signed at the time. We jokingly said to him everytime we saw him that there were no stalking laws in Queensland (and as far as I am aware there weren't at the time). However we did give him a bottle of Wine as a Thank-you present, so I don't think was worried about us (maybe worried for us, but...)

Anyway, Shane turns up at my place at just before ten, I pack up my things, and were're out of here. Thankfully I change out of the jeans I was originally going to wear and changed into shorts (even though they make me look fat!) as it was a scortcher of a day for early Spring. Also, as I'm packing my books into my bag (I had six to get signed) Shane notices a trade-paperback copy of Krondor: the Betrayal sitting on my shelf away from the other's of REF's which I had completely forgotten I had. I stuff that in the bag as well.

We get into the city, head for A&R, and get there about 10:15. There's already a line-up (though a small one) by this stage. Us Feist Fans are keen aren't we?

While we're waiting, I pop into the store and buy two copies of the Magician Special Edition, one for me, and one for my brother's birthday present.

11 o'clock rolls around, and the big man arrives. I notice two things straight away, firstly he's lost weight since the last visit, and secondly he's dying his hair (to get rid of a grey skunk-streak).

The line moves forward, and we get to the front of the line, and I get both of the Special Editions signed, and another (standard book-signing rules of no more than three books at a time). We then head back to the tail of the queue for the second round.

This time while we're there I ask about how the bottle of wine was after his strep-throat. During his 1998 visit he got a bad dose of strep-throat, so when we gave him the bottle of wine as a present he wasn't sure if he was actually going to be able to drink it. He was heavily medicated at the time.

This stumped him. He had to cast his mind way back, remembered us giving him the bottle of wine (a Western Australian Red I think), and remembered that by the time he got to his last Sydney visit he was well enough, so he had it with a nice meal there, and enjoyed it.

After getting another three signed (six of nine now), we head back to the tail of the line again. While standing in the line we had been chatting with some of the publishing staff that come along with author tours. It's a good feeling, and slightly disturbing, when they say they remember you from the last tour!

Up to the front of the line again for the last three books, and while he's signing them I pull the bottle of wine out of my bag, and give him his thank-you present for this tour. This time it was a bottle of Queensland Red (a Merlot) from Riversands Winery out in St George where my parents live. He seemed quite happy with that.

We then get back in the queue for the forth time. We had run out of books by this stage, but I had something else for him to sign. Photo's from his last visit. I got him to sign the two photo's I took last time, and gave him a copy of each as well.

Raymond E Feist

Raymond E Feist

We then hung around a bit more, until the line had almost disapeared, and then got one of the publishing staff to take a photo of us with Raymond. We posed, she clicked, camera started to rewind!

So much for that idea. Sometimes the last photo on a roll works, sometimes it doesn't. I then walk about ten meters away to the Kodak shop, put the roll in for processing and buy another film and put it in the camera.

Then we left and had lunch. The A&R had sold out of the Magician Special Edition books by the time Shane decided he wanted one, so we then went to a few other book stores, found one, which Shane then bought, and made our way to Myer for his next signing at 1:00.

We got into line again (recognising a rather large number of people who had been at the first one) for Shane to get his Special Edition signed, and got another photo of us with Ray, just in case the first one didn't take.

After that we just sort of hung around a while until that one finished. Then back to the photo shop for the prints. Thankfully the first shot had worked, so I put it back for some enlargements, plus the negatives from the previous visits because Shane wanted some copies.

Raymond E Feist

We then went home, because Shane had left his ticket to the evening thing at home, plus he still hadn't been able to find one book (Legends, a book of short stories edited by Robert Silverberg, one of them by REF)

We were intending to go back in around five, pick up the reprints, have dinner in the city, and then attend the eveing event, but Shane wasn't feeling that well, so I went in on my own, picked up the prints, etc, and Shane made his own way in later after a nap.

I ran into Byron, Daniel, Tanya, Sonya and someone else who I can't remember the details (Sonya's brother? boyfriend? something?). Byron decides to come along to the final of Ray's events so we head up there.

Shane turns up just before it starts, and then Ray is introduced (badly!) and then he speaks. I agree with something that someone else said in that a lot of the questions put to Ray were ones that are answered on the Feist Fans Mailing List FAQ. Still interesting to listen to (apart from the lousy accoustics) as he's always a great speaker.

Afterwards Byron said that he felt a bit guilty being in there without actually owning a single REF book (he's read most of them, just doesn't own them). However Ray's speaking gave Byron a real urge to read Magician again, so he bought a copy there, and got it signed as well.

Shane and I were also in the line, as I had that mornings photo to get signed, Shane his copy of all three photo's, plus Legends, and I had to give Ray his copy of the photo.

After that, and thanking Ray (and telling him that we'll stop stalking him now (until next time)) Shane went home, and Byron and I went to poker.

btw: The photo's I've scanned in are the signed copies, which is what the scribble is on the bottom.

And before I get any comments on how I'm a geek, a fan-boy, or a groupie: yes, I know I am, and I admit it. Deal!

Thanks Ray, I love your work!

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