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Fangirl Squee!

Tonight I went to jimbutcher's talk and signing at the Oswego Public Library. There were about 25 others in attendance including some high school age kids and some retirees. Butcher talked for about an hour and then took questions. Most of his talk was about writing, how he got started, how he got published, and what his plans are for Harry Dresden and the Tavi (the main character of his high fantasy series, The Codex Alera). One of the more interesting things he talked about was the way he built the character of Harry Dresden to resemble a wizard Spiderman--he's fallible, mortal and at the end of the day goes back to his crappy little apartment instead of the Wayne mansion or Reed Richard's penthouse. He fielded questions about the upcoming Dresden Files tv series on the SciFi channel, how he writes (alone with a movie he's seen a hundred times to create the atmosphere he's writing in but not distract him), what he reads (lots of genre), why the Dresden files are set in Chicago (he was living in Kansas City at the time and wanted to set the series there but his writing mentor pointed out that Anita Blake is also set in a Missouri city, so he should pick a different location and Chicago was closer than Nashville), and which video games he plays (Halo, City of Heroes, and City of Villains).
Then he signed, whatever folks had brought with them. Since I decided to go at the last minute and had almost no time to get ready and get out there I only managed to grab Dresden 2-7. I couldn't find my Codex Alera book (I only have the first one as the second's not out in paperback yet) nor Storm Front. The library had most of his titles for sale so I picked up Proven Guilty as I'd read a copy borrowed from pam and spot.
He said, in answer to questions, that he used a mish-mash of traditional vampire and faerie lore for the various Courts and characters of both races, including the Jade Court of the vampires who have only been mentioned in passing so far. He told about sneaking past a Klingon security guard to get into a coffee klatch to meet some authors and editors, meeting Laurel K. Hamilton and asking her "Londo or G'kar?" instead of the typical 'how do you get your ideas? how long is a chapter, etc' questions. That led to an invitation to lunch with a bunch of editors and agents, which led (ultimately) to the sale of his first three Dresden books.
A couple of amusing points that he covered were the titles that he came up with for his books that were rejected by his publisher--"Semi-automagic" for Storm Front, "Money Shot" for Blood Rights and "Holy Sheet" for Death Masks. He plays video/computer games including Halo, City of Heroes (with the character 'Harry Dresden', anyone who tells him that's a copyrighted character gets told that it's ok, he's the copyright holder), and City of Villains (under the name Gentleman Johnny Marcone [a Chicago gangster who's a character in the Dresden Files]).
He was very cool, laid-back and personable, and spent time chatting with everyone who had books signed, including me!
I got to ask him if he'd read skzbrust's Vlad novels, and he had and liked them (duh! Harry's very close to Vlad in some ways). I also asked why Outer Mongolia? He said that the three libraries he was visiting had invited him, paid his (and his wife's) airfare and put them up at a hotel in Geneva, so he came. Lastly I asked if he had a stock response to people who complain about innacurracies in his Chicagonaia(?) Things like talking about the parking lot around Wrigley Field, the wharves and warehouses on the lake front (the river maybe, but not on the lake for a hundred years), the fact that Lincoln Park and Hyde Park are nowhere near each other, etc. He responded that he just says "I do my best." I decided not to be The Asshole and refrained from asking what exactly his editor was being paid for and left it at that.
On the way home I saw a sign for The Lincoln Highway and thought it would be fun to follow it for a little while, like Flea and her family. So I did until I ran out of street lights and street signs. I wound up at a four-way intersection with four stop signs and a sign for the Lincoln Highway, but without an arrow to indicate which road to follow to stay on the Lincoln Highway. After deciding that wingining it could make for a very late night indeed I tried to get back to Ogden but just got lost in Plainfield. Finally found Rt 59 with a combination of luck and a friend on the phone gmapping for me, stopped at Long John Silver's for a very late dinner and am home now, falling asleep on the couch.
'Night all.




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