My First Signing

I had my first reading and book signing last Tuesday. A cool if slightly surreal experience.

I showed up at the Barnes and Noble in Madison about ten minutes before the signing was supposed to start. There were about a half-dozen of my friends hanging around, and my grampa was sitting in the front row. That was about it. Ten people tops, and that was including me.

Honestly, I was kinda relieved. With less than ten people the potential for looking stupid is greatly reduced. And since everyone was either a friend or a relative, I could trust that they’d already seen me humiliate myself on a far grander scale than anything I was likely to achieve tonight.

But I was pretty disappointed. You want a little fanfair for your maiden voyage, and in terms of the beginning of my writing career, a turnout of less than ten people is not a good omen.

But soon the place started to fill up. We put out more chairs and they filled up too. Eventually we ended up with about two hundred people. A crowd. Perhaps even a throng.

I read some of the book out loud, which was a new experience for me. We also did some Q & A, which I very much enjoyed, as I love talking about writing. I got a few laughs and avoided walking around with my fly undone, so, as a whole, the experience was a positive one.

Then came the signing. I was a little nervous because of certain penmanship and spelling issues I posses. However, the B & N organizer had everyone sign a little post-it and put it on their book, so when they got to the front of the line, I could personalize the books without having to ask the spelling of names.

I made my way through about 40 or 50 people without any trouble. I’m chatting with people, shaking hands, having a good time. I feel just a little bit like a rockstar. And that, of course, is when I let my guard down.

A woman gets to the front of the line and hands me her book. “Could you inscribe this ‘to Helen?’ ” she asks.

“No problem,” I say. I take the post-it off the book and stick it on the table where I can look at it: H-e-l-e-n.

Because I’m feeling pretty good, I try to chat with the woman while I’m signing. As a result, I misspell the name.

I laugh it off and move her book over to the side, replacing it with the book I brought with me to read from. I stop talking and focus my considerable intellect at the task at hand. Using my full concentration, massive brain, and over eleven years of higher education, I’m able to successfully transcribe a five-letter name… the second time around.

So now I’m left with this: a memento of my first signing.


Yeah. That’s all me. Totally rockstar.


This entry was posted in my dumbness, my rockstar lifeBy Pat19 Responses


  1. K. M. Hammond
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

    *cracks up and falls over*“To Hell”–That’s awesome!This was at a Barnes and Noble? How big was their reading area? The one where I live might be able to fit 75 people max in the place where they usually have readings.And congrats on a great first signing. Sounds like it went really, really well.

  2. Darkson
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

    Great story. Hopefully you’ll run into Hell somewhere on your tour so they can have their signed copy. I’m 200 pages into the story and loving it.

  3. Steven Ford
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 3:22 PM | Permalink

    Place that book in a hand basket, quick!

  4. Pat
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 6:09 PM | Permalink

    Resurrectedwarrior: This was a pretty big Barnes and Noble, but even so, there were a bunch of people standing in the back, there weren’t enough chairs for everyone.

  5. duderoony
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 8:04 PM | Permalink

    ha! That’s amazing. I got a message that said you had written a book, so I went to your website and checked it out. It looks awesome. I like the UK cover. It seems the most intriguing to me.

  6. Sean T. M. Stiennon
    Posted April 3, 2007 at 2:47 AM | Permalink

    Well, once I was signing a copy of my small-press short story collection. Only after the guy had walked off did I realize that I had written a dedication and a little note, but hadn’t actually signed my name….Thankfully I was able to catch up with him and rectify my mistake ;).

  7. Miriam
    Posted April 5, 2007 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    Wow, 200! Brilliant! …I cracked up over “To Hell”. Haha!

  8. Stefie
    Posted April 8, 2007 at 11:33 PM | Permalink

    I want that book! If you decide not to keep it send it to me. You can FedEx it receipent paid. (I’m a big fan of typos and fudge ups) don’t ask me why I just am.

  9. pyewacket41
    Posted April 11, 2007 at 4:01 AM | Permalink

    I just want that book. I’ve been there before and will surely end up there again at some point….possibly even frequently. Is it for sale?

  10. Pat
    Posted April 11, 2007 at 6:25 AM | Permalink

    Heh. I’ve actually had a lot of people try to buy the book since I mentioned it. But I’m holding onto it for now. With all the good reviews I’ve been getting lately, I need something like that to keep me humble.

  11. Seraphim
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 7:49 PM | Permalink

    I would like to hug you and kick you at the same time. When I got close to the end of the book, I realized I wasn’t even near the middle of the story. ARRRGGGHHH!I love Kvothe and hope you publish again and again. You have a new dedicated fan.I’shalomSeraphim

  12. Seraphim
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 7:50 PM | Permalink

    oh, title and publish date of book 2?

  13. Anonymous
    Posted July 4, 2007 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

    July 4th….just heard of Trilogy from a German friend ..Stuck in Ohio unable to find book let alone get signed!!!

  14. Caligonis
    Posted February 22, 2009 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

    When I saw the picture of the book… well, I was at the work reading your post… and when I laughed out loudly (it was a reception in a Hospital), all the patients looked very strange at me. “grin”But I think, was smiling the whole time while reading your Interwievs. I am very happy for you and I think your really deserve it!

  15. Posted April 13, 2010 at 2:38 PM | Permalink

    Maybe you like to read some of my lyrics!?
    I believe that your “the kingkiller chronicle day two”
    will be printed soon.
    I believe in you ; ) and me ; )


  16. Posted April 13, 2010 at 2:42 PM | Permalink

    Hope you understand german!?


    Ein zarter Frühlingsduft
    von seinen Fesseln befreit
    als warmer Sommerwind beschwingt
    die Wolken sanft berührt.
    Angstfrei und verliebt
    in den Baumkronen mit den Blättern spielt,
    als aus heiterem Himmel ein Gewitter aufzieht.
    Ein Blitz die Verbindung zur Erde entzweit.
    Die stürmische Herbstnacht
    reißt Ihn mit hinfort.
    Strömender Regen,
    weder klärend noch rein
    fließt nicht zurück an seinen Ausgangsort.
    Nur der Durst eines tiefen Stausees
    wird von den Tränen gestillt.
    Seine Oberfläche,
    keine Spur von lebendig sein
    ganz schwarz und ganz glatt
    zeigt seiner Umgebung
    nur noch ein Spiegelbild,
    doch kein Licht findet
    den Weg mehr hinein.
    Wie ein Wunder
    durchbricht im tiefsten Winter
    ein zarter warmer Sonnenstrahl
    unerwartet das klirrende Blau
    Setzt einen Samen
    der langsam im Frühling erwacht.
    Eingehüllt in magisch glitzerndes Licht
    blickt nun diese zart besaitete Seele
    nach langer Trauer und Bewusstlosigkeit,
    wieder beflügelt und wieder befreit
    in unendlicher Dankbarkeit,
    dem neuen Morgen
    voller Sehnsucht scheu entgegen.

    • Darb07
      Posted May 27, 2010 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

      wow Rosanna, i had to use a translator and it’s still obvious you put alot of work into it. wish i could read german so i could truly apreciate it.

  17. Mark
    Posted December 4, 2018 at 4:04 PM | Permalink

    That gave me a good laugh. Thank you!
    (I realize this is probably really weird literally over 11 years after you posted this.)

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