Saturday, October 4, 2014

I met R.A. Salvatore!!

He's a big guy! Former hockey player,
boxer and bouncer.
Okay, about one hundred close friends of mine and I met R.A. Salvatore.  He was speaking and The Towne Book Center in Collegeville, PA this past Monday night, September 29th.  When I saw this past summer he was going to be at the book store, I became instantly excited.  When I got home, I told my wife I was going to be there, no matter what.  R.A. Salvatore is the fantasy author of my absolute favorite series of books chronicling the life of Drizzt Do'Urden and his companions, Regis, Breunor, Cattie Brie, Wulfgar and many other memorable characters here and there through out the 23? 24? book series.
signing at

R.A. told many interesting stories throughout the hour he talked.  He gave us some background info and told about where he is now in his writing for about 10-15 minutes, then went into some questions and answers.  What's coming up?  Well, definitely one more in the series, possibly two, but he didn't give anything definite about that.  During the Q&A he answered a question I had been wondering that someone else asked: Why the time jump?  The series hopped ahead 100 years, and left Drizzt alone- all his companions dead by battle or age.  Well, that's what Wizards of the Coast wanted (they own/run Dungeons and Dragons, the realm R.A. writes in), so he had to.

He talked about his writing process a bit.  He'll write at his computer while listening to instrumental music (I don't recall specifically to), and does his best work on a plane.  He said he hates flying and popping on his headphones, opening up his laptop and putting himself in another place helps the flights go by quickly.

He talked about how playing dungeons and dragons has influenced him in his writing and how a couple of the characters he played for longer periods of time became characters in his stories- Cadderly and an annoying character who's name eludes me (I should've jotted down some notes...).  Drizzt was never a character of his- one many of us there thought was one of his.

I waited, geekily excited,
to see my favorite author
Then came the signing.  I had gotten there early enough (I work nearby) to be the 7th person in line.  About a week before the signing, I searched the house for my R.A. Salvatore books, but didn't find any.  That's when I realized I had checked every book of his that I read (about 27-28 total) from the library (well, my mom was a librarian- as is my mother-in-law, so what do you expect?).  I ended up buying my all time favorite Drizzt story, the one that led me to R.A. Salvatore and his books, The Lone Drow, as well as his newest one, The Rise of the King, book two of the Companions Codex.

Signing The Lone Drow
When it was my turn, Kit, from the Towne Bookstore, introduced me as Erik Ammon, author of a self-published children's book (woohoo!) and will be talking with a writing group at the Towne Bookstore in October.  R.A. smiled and said he loves self-publishing (which he talked about doing during the Q&A) and said he'll always write since he can always self-publish his work.  He said he loves the freedom to be able to be in complete control of the project, which I readily agreed with.  I would have loved to talk more with him, but there were 90+ people behind me.

I got my books signed, shook hands, got a quick picture and practically skipped back to my car.

If you get a chance to see R.A. Salvatore speak, if he's within a couple hours of you, GO!  He was very funny, friendly, and informative.

Have you ever met your favorite author??  Who was it?

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