I met Guy Gavriel Kay (henceforth referred to as GGK, because I’m lazy) last week. The occasion was the launch of his newest book, River of Stars. I am about halfway through it, and it is as beautifully written as everything else he’s done.
Have you ever met one of your heroes? I’m not sure hero is exactly the right word, but you get the picture.
I have read everything GGK has written, except his volume of poetry, which I intend to lay hands on at some point. His A Song for Arbonne may be my favorite book of all time. I have strong-armed family members into reading his books, including my husband, who now counts the Fionavar Tapestry trilogy as his favorite books, having edged out The Lord of the Rings and David Eddings’ Sapphire Rose trilogy. At the bookstore, GGK is my author. I must have sold hundreds of his books by now, guaranteeing that customers will love his writing. And he has no idea who I am.
That’s the strangest feeling. Someone who has been such an influence in your life, through his writing, and it’s entirely a one-sided relationship. It’s not that he doesn’t appreciate his readers, because he does. At the book launch he mentioned that he’s especially lucky to have readers who are willing to let him write slowly, taking years between books, so he can be a perfectionist. But I’m just one of the faceless thousands, and after having signed my giant pile of his books, he will forget me immediately.
I wasn’t really expecting him to hug me like a long-lost relative, but I hadn’t really thought about it until I was actually face-to-face with him. It was very… professional. Oh well.
The library will be posting a video of GGK’s reading and interview on their site soon, if you’re interested.
I’m going back to River of Stars, now.