Last Light of the Sun Tour Journal – Discussion Thread

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE LAST LIGHT OF THE SUN IS NOT OUT YET IN THE UK AND WORLDWIDE A MAJORITY OF PEOPLE STILL HAVEN’T READ IT, SO NO SPOILERS FOR THE NEW NOVEL IN THIS THREAD. If you want to ask GGK a question about a specific book, there are more threads in the ‘Leave your Question for GGK’ area of the board in which to do so, and there are also specific areas of the forums dedicated to each of GGK’s books in which to discuss them, including an area where discussion has already begun on Last Light of the Sun, for those who have already read it. There is also a FAQ on the site for frequently asked questions, which you can find here. Please reserve your questions on this thread to general ones about the tour etc, and avoid spoilers.

By Deborah (Deborah) on Wednesday, February 25, 2004 – 4:34 am:

GGK will be starting a Tour Journal on BW this weekend. The thread he will be posting in will be restricted to him only, but if you wish to leave questions/comments on what he writes, please do so here, and if time allows, he’ll answer.


By Émilie Bee on Wednesday, February 25, 2004 – 6:05 pm:

It occured to me that, even if I’ll be new to this type of event and will most likely just grin and mumble a “Hi” and “Thanks” upon confrontation, I might work up enough humble courage to dare ask a question. That said, I was wondering if I could limit embarrassment by avoiding a question that is all-too-predictable, from an answerer point of view. Any suggestion ?

Émilie – clearly hoping not to look like a 13 year old groupie.

By Jayson Merryfield (Wolfe_boy) on Wednesday, February 25, 2004 – 6:51 pm:

For fear of tooting my own horn a little louder than absolutely necessary…

I thought about this exact idea last week. When I heard that the tour wouldn’t be coming to Edmonton (heck, it’s skipping a sizeable portion of the praries altogether), I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if Mr. Kay kept a blog or something like that during his tour? Kind of like a behind the scenes DVD.”

Boy. Ask and ye shall receive.

Jayson Merryfield – who sadly did act like a 13 year old groupie.

By Firinneach on Wednesday, February 25, 2004 – 7:04 pm:

Considering my own first confrontation (interesting word choice there by the way Emilie ) consisted of a short mumble followed by a longer mumble, I’m not sure how qualified I am to give any suggestion on what to ask. I do, however, feel that I am entirely qualified to make some suggestions on what not to do.

Top five things not to ask Mr. Kay:

5) Um, when’s the sequal to Tigana coming out?
4) Just wondering, how many feet is the restraining order on Thunderchild up to?
3) So, why don’t more of your covers feature towers on the tops of crags or naked red-headed chicks?
2) Will you sign my petition banning baseball?
and the number one thing not to ask Mr Kay…
1) I used to wonder where your website was; now I just want to know why you have one?

P.S.: Really enjoyed the first post.


By Émilie Bee on Wednesday, February 25, 2004 – 10:26 pm:

Does Scelto die with his secret(s) ?

Oh well, I guess I have nothing now ! Just kidding… and thanks.

By Deborah (Deborah) on Thursday, February 26, 2004 – 2:35 am:

After laughing out loud at Alec’s list of what not to ask GGK, particularly that last one, I’d just like to reiterate what I’ve said above in the ‘announcement’ message for this thread – please, no spoilers for the new book here – or for any of them, if at all possible.


By Jayson Merryfield (Wolfe_boy) on Thursday, February 26, 2004 – 11:59 am:

Armour, rumour, honour, colour, glamour. In order.

The soldier put on his armour, smiling at the rumour that there was honour to be won fighting all the people of colour he could find, to the greater glamour of his country of course.

(Pardon the “people of colour” line. Couldn’t come up with much else.)

Jayson Merryfield

By Francois Vincent (Francoisvincent) on Thursday, February 26, 2004 – 1:29 pm:

There is only one armour aganst rumour and innuendo: honour, without colour or shape, without glamour or fanfare, impregnable.


By Simon Fraser (Simonsays) on Thursday, February 26, 2004 – 1:30 pm:

Rhun’s armour was rumoured to have been made in honour of Brandin’s own, even to the colour of the enamel; all to increase the glamour of the Tyrant.

Does the past tense of “rumour” still count?


By Émilie Bee on Thursday, February 26, 2004 – 1:35 pm:

Hum. Sadly I’m too shy to be dulcet or decorous (note that Internet anonymity has a serious effect on this, it seems). And I did imagine that confrontation the other way around, however badly chosen a word it was. I’ll try and blame this on language issues, on my part.

Deborah, sorry if I let slip a spoiler. (I really seem to be adding up goofs now, am I?)

Back on the subject : I am wondering now, seeing how much work is put into publishing and promoting, about how much time these last steps take up, as opposed to researching, writing and editing. Of course I am assuming the three last mentioned are the longest to accomplish, but how surprised would we be at how much time publishing and promoting take ? And is editing more a part of writing, or publishing ?…

Émilie – changing her nickname soon enough 😉

By Francois Vincent (Francoisvincent) on Thursday, February 26, 2004 – 1:41 pm:

Uh, please do a neighbour a favour and come up with another sentence…


By Firinneach on Thursday, February 26, 2004 – 2:50 pm:

(Let’s assumes Jayson’s soldier is smiling at the foolishness of such rumours.)

A bad speller’s steps to getting ready for battle:
Arm our soldiers, rum our troops in the best lodgings, get the public hon our side, col our foes, and accumulate the glamour.

-Alec (why would I think of bad spelling…) Lynch

By Jayson Merryfield (Wolfe_boy) on Thursday, February 26, 2004 – 3:48 pm:

Sorry Francois, I honestly had no intention of offending anyone, though in my own defence much of GGK’s writing does deal with tensions between different races – often with angry and bloody consequences. For all that, his writing is no less pleasurable to read. Not to say that my last sentence was pleasureable to read, it’s a bloomin’ sentence, but… well, I hope no offence was taken, by anyone.

Now, in an attempt at something entirely different…

It looked like the model was wearing armour; rumour had it that the newest fashion designs were in honour of medieval times, all colour and glamour.

Jayson Merryfield

By Broken Wing (Broken_wing) on Thursday, February 26, 2004 – 4:40 pm:

President Bush put on his Bible-banging armour and planted the ridiculous rumour that gay marriage is a threat to our national honour, never hesitating to colour his rhetoric with the glamourof religious (self-)righteousness.

(Sorry for the political rant, but I’m in a very melancholy state these days over this. Every time I open the paper, what I read makes me sick to my stomach and ashamed to be an American.)


By Amanda Bowen on Thursday, February 26, 2004 – 5:28 pm:

Thank you, BW. No, thank you.

And I must say, I’m quite happy that someone decided to browbeat our favo(u)rite author into writing a tour journal. It seems it’s all I’ll have to comfort me until my copy of LLotS comes in.

As for us finding each other highly diverting, I would like to add an exception. I do not find Simon highly diverting. In fact, I find him to be an empty-headed food trough wiper. Nay, I find him to be a secondhand electric donkey bottom biter. He is, in short, a son of a silly person.

That being said, I have a question for GGK. Does Scelto die with his secrets?


ps – The king’s armour, it was rumoured, was made with honour by the most talented smith in the kingdom out of multi-coloured, glamourous plasic pickle barrels.

pps – Actually, our king wears leather and steel.

By Francois Vincent (Francoisvincent) on Thursday, February 26, 2004 – 6:11 pm:

No offense here, but I figured you could try a different flavour of humour.


By Firinneach on Thursday, February 26, 2004 – 6:29 pm:

No doubt we will all endeavour to modify our behaviour and keep our thoughts in a safer harbour.


By Simon Fraser (Simonsays) on Thursday, February 26, 2004 – 6:55 pm:

And here I was planning to wish Amanda a happy birthday next month. (A milestone birthday to boot!) Scratch that off my list of “Things That Just Might Eventually Endear me to the Fairer(?)Sex.”

It’s for the best, I suppose. Now that I check, I do seem to have an inordinate backlog of donkey bottoms to get about biting. March is just full right up…

Yes Deb. Sorry Deb. I’ll keep the rest of this thread’s posts non-confrontational and on topic.

By Melissa Houle on Thursday, February 26, 2004 – 8:24 pm:

Armour, rumour, honour, colour, glamour.

Hmm, can’t resist the challenge!

“Still in armour, the knight heard the rumour of battle below and ran to uphold his family’s honour, only to find the floor was the colour of blood, and a glamour of recent sorcery hung in the air.”


By Amanda Bowen on Thursday, February 26, 2004 – 8:56 pm:

Dang. No in-jokes, per The Man. Alright, Simon, I’m extending an elderberry branch. No more Monty Python.

Back to reading Lymond now, I guess.

whose birthday is indeed March 30

By Broken Wing (Broken_wing) on Friday, February 27, 2004 – 1:37 am:

May I add my sincere thanks to Ser Kay for taking the time to share his thoughts and reflections for the benefit of those of us not fortunate enough to live in Canada.1 Apologies that I didn’t do so to begin with.


1 Ye gods and goddesses, could I possibly fit another infinitive or participial phrase into that sentence??? :-)

By Jayson Merryfield (Wolfe_boy) on Friday, February 27, 2004 – 3:51 pm:

To hopefully get this thread back on topic, a question…

There seems to be equal portions of new experiences mixed with familiar occurences on this book signing tour, short as it has been thus far. After 20 odd years touring the counrty in support of your writing, are there any stops that you’re looking forward to? Old friends in the industry to see again, or past interviewers you are genuinely glad to have a few moments to spend time with? Locations you like visit on successive tours, or possibly any you’ll be missing out on this time? (I’d like to point to a noticable gap across the prairies. I feel Lower Cortean, suddenly.)

Jayson Merryfield

By Amanda Bowen on Friday, February 27, 2004 – 4:21 pm:

I’m actually really interested in what books he’ll take on the road with him Sunday. Maybe I’ll find something I like in his reading list. My bookshelves haven’t had an influx of new material since the first four Aubrey/Maturin books some months ago.

Speaking of…

Wait a minute, that was going to be a great transition. Then I lost my entire train of thought.

And Jayson, I feel even more Lower Cortean than you do. I realize the reasons are obvious, my dear monsieur Kay, but you can’t tell me you’ve never been tempted to make a side trip down to the States. You know you want to…

*puppy dog eyes*


By Jessica on Friday, February 27, 2004 – 5:53 pm:

I’m new to the postings here, but I’ve read all of the books (except the new one, my sister got to it before I had the chance) more than once. I’m hoping to steal my battered copy of “The Summer Tree” back from my friend before GGK arrives in Montreal. I sympathize with Émilie – I’m afraid of acting like a seventeen-year-old groupie! While I’ve read too many postings and comments to think of Mr. Kay as “The Big Bad Intimidating Author,” I’m still afraid of falling into the “mumbling-fan” trap. Any suggestions for the prevention making a fool of myself? I’d obviously prefer to make this a memorable experience…

Oh, and thank you for the top five things not to ask – I wonder what Mr. Kay would say to someone who asked about a Tigana sequel, just to see the look on his face?

By Jayson Merryfield (Wolfe_boy) on Friday, February 27, 2004 – 5:59 pm:


I suppose the easiest advice is to just stay calm, act natural, and try to enjoy yourself. Having met Mr. Kay once myself at a reading, I can honestly say he’s approachable, talkative, and seems to enjoy interacting with his fans.

Of course, when I did meet him I degenerated into mumbling, so… well, there you have it. Those who can’t, teach.

Jayson Merryfield

By Melissa Houle on Friday, February 27, 2004 – 6:12 pm:

Amanda Wrote: And Jayson, I feel even more Lower Cortean than you do. I realize the reasons are obvious, my dear monsieur Kay, but you can’t tell me you’ve never been tempted to make a side trip down to the States. You know you want to…

*puppy dog eyes*

Make that THREE Lower Corteans, Ser Kay. I second Amanda’s plea for you to make a tour in the U.S. May I suggest San Francisco as one of your stops? Kepler’s Bookstore is a VERY nice, independent bookstore in my neck of the woods and would be even nicer….

*More puppy dog eyes and a cute head tilt, too…

Even though I fear that, upon meeting you, I’ll either turn into a tongue-tied klutz who will trip over rug patterns and won’t remember my own name, let alone yours. That, or else a babbling fool who can’t put a stopper in her enthusiasm, and thus say some stupid things. Looking forward to the next tour update, and I had a good laugh over the last book tour entry.


By Simon Fraser (Simonsays) on Friday, February 27, 2004 – 7:21 pm:

RE: Mr. Kay’s last two posts:

I’ve never laughed so hard at the word “doughty” before. And a very subtle riposte at his friend Darren. Would that I could come close to that sort of felicity with words.

And while Mr. Kay may claim that his cover as a curmudgeon may now be blown, I would refute that and say that it was never more than a transparent veneer to begin with, far from being a cover. At least, given what little one can glean from reading posts on a forum, he certainly appears to be far from curmudgeonly. Mind you, he was able to come up with characters such as Alberico, Almalik and Galadan, so his real personality could very well be disguised beneath a finely woven shroud of words. I think I just talked myself in a circle there…

Anyway, what interests me the most is the insight I (we) have already been given into the life of an author on the road. There really does seem to be a fair bit of work to it. My image of Mr. Kay so far has been thus:
1-Just finished last book, kick feet up on the lounger and snuggle up with Mrs. Kay for a holiday.
2-Get tired of holidaying after several months and decide it’s time to start researching a new book.
3-Fly off to appropriate foreign country, read stuff, talk to Important People, scribble madly in a notepad (while occasionally doodling funny images in the margins of Rakoth wearing diapers as a baby), and head home to get down to the serious business of writing a book.
4-spend a year or so writing said book based on interpretations of incomprehensible scribbles in notepad while taking time to improve upon old doodles.
5-Go back to step 1.

While this is a bit of an oversimplification, I’ve really never put much thought into what REALLY goes on. I just like the books. So, for me, this narrative will be quite informative, enlightening and, as proven already, highly amusing.

Thanks for the arm-twisting, Deb!


By Francois Vincent (Francoisvincent) on Saturday, February 28, 2004 – 12:46 am:

From the Georgia Straight piece:
(all things by threes)

Dude! All you had to do was work one more of those in and, BAM!, the circle is now complete.

Cute article regardless.


By Cheryl_Lane on Saturday, February 28, 2004 – 3:18 am:

Hello! I’ve been visiting (lurking around) this site for quite some time now, (enjoying it enormously!) and thought I’d finally emerge during these festive times to post a message. I’d like to say thank you, Mr. Kay, truly, for The Last Light of the Sun. It was a gift to experience this book.

I do have a couple of questions:

What is your funniest memory from a tour?
What was the most memorable thing a fan ever said to you?

I look forward to seeing you and all my fellow fans in Vancouver on tuesday!


By Davka on Saturday, February 28, 2004 – 3:14 pm:

For your voice, Mr, Kay:

Take the juice of a lemon and a tablespoon of honey in a mug of hot water. It’s a remedy that actors swear by.

By Francois Vincent (Francoisvincent) on Saturday, February 28, 2004 – 7:36 pm:

re Voice:
Tea, black with dollop of honey

A Shark jumping the books? What an inversion!


By Lumina_arden (Lumina_arden) on Saturday, February 28, 2004 – 7:47 pm:

Echinacea for the throat, perhaps? Although Davka’s idea is great as well. Hope you’re feeling better for your tour…:-)


(and this journal thing is great btw. can’t wait to see what an author really goes through ‘out on the road.’ [should i have added a malicious grin after that last sentence? :-O])

By (Robin_of_lox) on Saturday, February 28, 2004 – 11:15 pm:

Ahem. Scotch.

For medicinal purposes only, of course.

You’re welcome.



By Amanda Bowen on Sunday, February 29, 2004 – 12:34 am:

Always tea with honey and lemon. I like green myself (tastes better to me) but black works just fine as well.


By Firinneach on Sunday, February 29, 2004 – 10:38 am:

I confess I like book people. I’m interested in how books get sold (or not sold).

Those years I spent working at Coles Bookstore taught me that these days the answer to that one is simple enough:

When people ask how an interview went, right after, I’m almost completely unable to say, unless it was live tv or radio. Given that we talked for an hour, that he’ll have about 800 words, everything lies in the selection … I can say, ‘We had an interesting conversation,’ but I can have no idea what will be extracted from that for the piece.

Makes me wonder if you’ve ever read an interview/article about yourself that was so different from your memory of the conversation you that hardly recognized it.

He picked, as he always does, two short passages for me to read, and – as he always does – picked very good ones. Says he goes for mood and tone, not plot. That makes complete sense in a one or two minute reading.

I wonder, is it generally simple or difficult to decide which passage(s) to share? Do you prefer to find one with the right tone that interests but doesn’t spoil and just use that one for the whole tour…and if so, is it hard to sound as enthusiastic reading it to the tenth audiance as the first? (I suppose Dr. Paul’s cure-all could help with this potential problem as well.)


By miriam on Sunday, February 29, 2004 – 5:48 pm:

sore throat-grandmother’s cure:
-gargle with salt water as warm as you can handle it, twice a day; then have a hot lemon and honey drink, with a tsp. of whiskey(medicinal only!). My father’s addition to the evening ritual was a hot shower before gargling and imbibing and the wearing of flannel pyjamas to bed.
My own addition is drinking sage tea with honey and brandy-yes, the sage is the spice cabinet.
During the day, sipping on pineapple juice is soothing, especially efficacious for touring authors :-)

By Broken Wing (Broken_wing) on Sunday, February 29, 2004 – 10:59 pm:

Going back a little further in the thread, make that four Lower Corteans. Given that I live only a couple of hours from New York, the publishing capital of the U.S., well…. (throws pleading look in GGK’s direction)

Jessica, I sympathize with your fears of coming across like a tongue-tied groupie. Between February 1999 and July 2000, I got to meet my favorite singer seven times, and it never got any easier to come face to face with her without sounding like a blathering fool. My one face-to-face encounter with an author, however, was a little easier. I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Lloyd Alexander back in 1998, and I found him to be very open and personable — much like I imagine GGK to be. If it helps, try to have a couple of things in mind that you want to say — for example, your name, your age, how long you’ve been reading his books, a well thought-out compliment expressing how his writing has affected you and an intelligent question. And of course, when you’re done with that, resist the impulse to prolong the encounter, smile and thank him and move right along — I’ve made an ass of myself once or twice meeting a famous person and not knowing when it was time to shut up and let the next person have a turn.

All of which is much easier said than done, of course. :-)

Glad to hear that Paul’s Rx for the sore throat was effective. :-)


By Miko on Monday, March 01, 2004 – 1:33 am:

I feel like I am in good company here; like Cheryl, I too am posting for the first time though I have been here many times before (enjoying it enormously!) and like those of you who do not wish to look like groupies of any age, I am looking forward to attending the reading (for me Tuesday, in Vancouver) with excitement and a twinge of nervousness.

Maybe some of you can help ease a little of my anxiety by telling me about etiquette at readings. Is it appropriate to bring your book(s) to be signed? If it is, should you be conservative and bring only a couple or is it alright to bring your entire GGK collection?

Just writing this, my nervousness is growing–I already feel like that groupie we are all scared of becoming… in fact, I feel the need to explain myself (in my mind I am hoping you are all smiling kindly at my neuroticism):-). To me GGK’s books are more precious than the art on my walls, they invoke many more scenes, and just as I like to have a signature on the bottom of a painting that reminds me that the artist was a real person who felt and/or thought something that provoked the art which I appreciate, I would like to be able to open my books and see a signature staring back at me.

I must say it is very enjoyable to visit this site and now to be a part of it.


By Broken Wing (Broken_wing) on Monday, March 01, 2004 – 2:14 am:

Incidentally, welcome to all the newcomers and lurkers speaking up for the first time. Hope you’ll all stick around a while (and try not to run screaming for the hills from be intimidated by all the crazy creative regulars here! :-)).


By (Robin_of_lox) on Monday, March 01, 2004 – 9:20 am:

miriam wrote: a hot lemon and honey drink, with a tsp. of whiskey

A teaspoon.

One teaspoon.


The antiseptic properties alone require a thorough wetting of the affected area, and clinically, repeated treatment is substantially more effective than a single dose.

And it should be a good whiskey. All this Buckley’s misinformation has gone on long enough. It works because it tastes bad? Give me a break!



By Darren Nash on Monday, March 01, 2004 – 11:27 am:

So, Ser Kay. I find myself (gently) lampooned, not once but twice! As I am a doughy fellow (we’re out of tea), I accept this in the spirit of bonhomie in which it was doubtless meant…

I must concur with Robin of Lox on the restorative powers of whisky (but I point out that it should be ‘whisky’ – as in Scotch Whisky – rather than ‘whiskey’ – as in Irish Whiskey – or my name’s not Pedant McPedant). Also, agree re: quantity. I’ve always worked on the basis that if a little whisky is good for you, then a lot must be bloody marvellous. It is a philosophy that has served me well thus far. I can’t remember it ever failing. Come to think of it, I can’t remember so many things. Coincidence, surely…?

If the whisky remedy doesn’t work – and I’m assuming you’ll only know this after repeated applications – might I suggest that coltsfoot and fenugreek, sage and wormwood, betony, fennel, hock and melilot are all said to be efficacious, at times 😉

Hope the tour is going well – it’s certainly entertaining from where I’m sitting. Oh, and CONSIDER PHLEBAS isn’t Iain M. Banks’ best (good though it is); try USE OF WEAPONS – amazing novel.

Yours doughily,


By Émilie Bee on Monday, March 01, 2004 – 1:24 pm:

Miko, thank you. I will attend the tour in Quebec city, mainly to see and hear GGK, as well as get a chance to appreciate a small portion of the story tinted by the author’s own view of it. I’m hoping this will help me to form a better interpretation of it.

I was not sure yet about getting a copy signed, though, as I had not found the whole meaning or purpose of it (and wanted to spare such a devoted pen). Your take on it is a great way to look at this.

Émilie – Still working on her English, almost wrote “tainted” instead of “tinted”, can you imagine…

By JuliaMalin on Monday, March 01, 2004 – 3:42 pm:

Speaking of interviews, if you look at this month’s SF Site there is both an interview with GGK and a review of the novel! On the home page and everything!

If Deb doesn’t mind, I will post the URL here (if you do mind O mistress of threads, please edit it out).


By (Robin_of_lox) on Monday, March 01, 2004 – 4:20 pm:

Well, Darren, if you’re going to get picky with spelling, why don’t we just go back to the original uisge. It seems you contend that it should be drunk like water anyway. Whereas I just prefer mine with water.

Although, the Romans did call it Aqua Vitae. Perhaps you are the more correct.



By Davka on Monday, March 01, 2004 – 8:59 pm:

Given the variety of remedies, I think the only course of action would be for Mr. Kay to try them all, and then report on what works best. Although, since all involved a beverage of some sort, he should excercise caution, lest he drown. At the very least, the experiment should not be undertaken unless the facilities are reasonably nearby.

The sacrifices that must be made in the name of science.


By Firinneach on Monday, March 01, 2004 – 9:30 pm:

Indeed. Were Jehane his doctor, she’d soon need a bigger flask.


p.s.: From a fan’s perspective, if you’re having trouble deciding which of two passages to read–always read both.

By Elissa (Elissa) on Monday, March 01, 2004 – 11:09 pm:

Greetings everyone, and Ser Kay.

This is my first post. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying reading everything on the web site…not to mention the books. I read The Fionavar Tapestry when it first came out, lost touch, read Tigana last year and have spent the last three months doing very little other than reading and re reading everything. It is a bit mind boggling to read so much wonderful writing by one author!

My copy of LLotS is sitting on by night table waiting for the dust to settle in my mind after being blown away by LoE! I cannot wait to read it!

I know the Lower Cortean feeling some others have described upon meeting favorite authors. I have met one or two, waited in line thinking of something intelligent to say, thought of some great stuff…and then said something like, “I love your work” with the obligatory glassy eyed stare. Hmm…maybe, after reading this thread, Ser Kay will know that the star struck comments of fans really mean something deeper.

By Broken Wing (Broken_wing) on Monday, March 01, 2004 – 11:54 pm:

Hello Elissa, and welcome!

“It is a bit mind boggling to read so much wonderful writing by one author!”

Well said! Just when you think there can’t possibly be any better reading, Ser Kay outdoes himself again and again. We see plenty of superlatives among his characters–most notably in Fionavar, where we are at a loss to figure out which among Aileron, Diarmuid, Arthur and Lancelot is supposed to be the best. I would argue that GGK is every bit as superlative as a writer as his characters are in their given professions. He is to writing what Aileron is to military tactics, what Ammar is to poetry, what Crispin is to mosaic, what Scortius is to chariot-racing and what Strumosus is to cooking.

Just to clarify, I believe the “Lower Cortean” feeling people mentioned refers to those of us in locales Mr. Kay will not be visiting during his tour. Remember, in Tigana we are told that only the most desperate musical companies, or those just starting out, would take a job in Lower Corte because of its economic ruin, tense political situation and hint of malevolent sorcery (which the average Palm resident feared). What Jayson, Amanda, Melissa and I were saying is that we feel as left out as the Lower Corteans must have felt with no musicians or performers willing to come to their province.

However, I think it would be accurate to say that those fortunate enough to meet Ser Kay, who are afraid of coming across like babbling groupies, are going through something very similar to what Alvar felt setting out on his first ride with the Captain. :-)


By miriam on Tuesday, March 02, 2004 – 10:13 am:

curses! I am in the throes of a throat infection! I certainly never realized that internet connections could be contagious!
I have been dutifully gargling with salt water, and drinking ginger tea(I forgot about ginger). However, and most unfortunate, there is no drinking alchohol in the house, and no one to fetch me and of the curative whisky or brandy, or rum. O woe is me- unable even to read anything without falling asleep over it- even GGk’s new book!
I think I’ll go lie down now.

By guenever on Tuesday, March 02, 2004 – 10:28 am:

Ggk wrote:

…and two very witty tries at the ‘ours’challenge. Bear with me. (Hmm, that’s a pun.)

Mais on doit parler francais pour comprendre ce calembour, ne c’est pas Émilie?


By Émilie Bee on Tuesday, March 02, 2004 – 12:58 pm:

guenever :

(And if anyone is still wondering, “Ours” is a bear in French.)

By Tasha Vincent on Tuesday, March 02, 2004 – 5:51 pm:

Yeah, I speak french and it took the explanation for me to get it. I must have reread that 5 times. Thanks Emilie. :-) I am apparently very slow to the mark today.


By Simon Fraser (Simonsays) on Tuesday, March 02, 2004 – 7:10 pm:

How many little nuggets like that, do you think, are in the collected text of GGK that so many of us have overlooked entirely (not having had the aid of a helpful reminder), or not ‘gotten’ until the 5th or 6th re-read? Yeah, I didn’t get it either…


By Jayson Merryfield (Wolfe_boy) on Tuesday, March 02, 2004 – 9:06 pm:

I know what you’re talking about, Simon.

I’m ashamed to admit to this, but I missed the whole relevance of the prologue in Tigana. About how their name would still ring out down the ages, that people in the world would know who they were and that they rebelled.

Took me 4 or 5 reads to get it. I felt hugely enlightened (and massively stupid) when I realized what I’d been missing that whole while.

Jayson Merryfield

By Esther on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 – 11:21 am:

funny that…… a lurker on this site myself, and neither French nor English my mother tongue I actually got the “ours” nugget in one go…….ah well….maybe my highschool Latin payed off finally!

I must admit, it’s NICE to find so many people that love Ser Kay’s books as much as I do! Everyone I try to talk to over here about his amazing writings gives me a blank…….

and unfortunately, my whole continent won’t be included in the already legendary bookreadingtour….waiting eagerly by the mailbox to have my copy of the newest book delivered……supposedly it came out yesterday….haven’t seen anything yet though….*wails*

By Simon Fraser (Simonsays) on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 – 1:54 pm:

My goodness. Reader of the Month?? Because of a wee dram? (Well, 4-5 oz at a pour is more like frikkin’ ‘uge than a wee dram, but still…)

I never knew, and certainly never stooped to bother contemplating, that Mr. Kay was (apparently is) succeptible to bribery. That popping you hear is yet another of my idealistic bubbles bursting.

Armed with this knowledge now though, the next time I have an opportunity to see the man in person I shall accoutre myself in a NY Yankees jersey, avail myself of a 20-year old single malt accompanied by a glass tumbler (does he prefer the peatier scotches, I wonder?) and gush most convincingly at his greatness.

That revelation aside, I am wondering what Mr. Kay’s intentions are once the book tour is done? It seems to have been and will continue to be a rather hectic schedule, and you are no doubt looking forward to getting home later this month. Regardless of the amount of imbibed bribery. Do you have any sort of routine for activities after a book tour? If you’ve kept the same autograph pen for the past 20 years, are there other book signing habits that have been formed that we would be interested in? Too prying?



By Tasha Vincent on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 – 5:08 pm:

I certainly hope, Ser Kay, that you have plenty of room in your suitcase for all the bottles of whisky/whiskey you will now be receiving from admirers desperate to one-up Dean for the coveted “Reader of the Month” title. Or, perhaps, was your mention of this incident, knowing it will probably cause such a reaction, intentional? Trying to get a sample of the whiskey available across our fine country, are we? 😉 I may be able to suggest a few good pubs for your stop in Montreal, if you like…



By Melissa houle on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 – 9:21 pm:

And that your wife and sons won’t tie you down in an empty hut on the vast Kay estate when she sees how many bottles of whisky you brought home from your trip. <g>
(Sorry, am immersed in Lions while I wait for Last Light to arrive.)


By Elizabeth_s (Elizabeth_s) on Thursday, March 04, 2004 – 1:36 am:

“feel free to post the page numbers of the 2 pages (that’s probably about 5 minutes)that you think would work”

Well, going for mood and tone, here’s a few I’d like to hear read: (U.S. edition)

– pgs 43 to 46, starting with Alun taking the musician’s stool and ending with Rhiannon’s first quote (or maybe a bit sooner, if pressed for time). I loved the feeling this scene evoked.

– pgs 28 to 30, Bern’s recollection of his father.

– pgs 118 to 120, the description of how to become a Jormsviking mercenary.

– pgs 151 to 153, the flashback of Aeldred, Osbert and Burgred searching for shelter.

Other than the first one, which is my first pick, they aren’t in any particular order of preference.

By Mr Kelly on Thursday, March 04, 2004 – 1:19 pm:

This suggestion is probably a little late, but whenever I had to act on stage with a cold or sore throat, I found that a cup of tea with a small amount of lemon and a copious amount of powdered ginger worked wonders. I’ve tried fresh ginger but, for some reason, it wasn’t as effective. And I do mean a copious amount of ginger. Enough that it burns the throat slightly and, if you’re me, causes you to hiccup (spicy things do that to me). Take the tea about 15 to 30 minutes before the performance (or reading, in this case). Nothing else ever worked for me, including scotch or irish whisky. Good luck!

By Elizabeth_s (Elizabeth_s) on Thursday, March 04, 2004 – 5:09 pm:

Diabolical man – I suppose you deliberately left out which passage you’re recording so we’ll have to go to their website and have a listen. (Which I’d do anyway, in order to see if there’s any truth to the descriptive phrase “a whiskey-mellow voice”)


By Amanda Bowen on Thursday, March 04, 2004 – 6:31 pm:

Evil, evil, diabolical man. But he spins a decent yarn, so we put up with him. 😉

I suppose we’ll all just have to wait impatiently until the Globe and Mail puts the clip up on their site. I have a personal thought on what the clip should be – a thought which I’m sure is very different from Ser Kay’s – and I want to see just how off the mark I really am.

Le sigh.


By Melissa Houle on Thursday, March 04, 2004 – 9:12 pm:

Ser Kay, rest assured that you will not have to contend with offerings of whisky from me. =o) Playfulness was indeed my intent, and I wouldn’t know good scotch from a kettle of water in which old, musty overcoats and gym socks had been boiled.


By Simon Fraser (Simonsays) on Thursday, March 04, 2004 – 10:37 pm:

The good scotch leaves a stronger aftertaste and is much more expensive.


By Rob Retter on Thursday, March 04, 2004 – 11:31 pm:

Well, GGK said:

“I try to keep a rein on these last, because I have so far found no way to have anyone write the books for me while I go wandering about. (Working on it.)”

I shudder to think that he might take the route of too-numerous, commercially-successful, moving-on-in-years writers and start doing “collaboration” books, where the Big Name sells the books and the Little Name ghosts them. Examples that occur to me immediately are McCaffrey and Clancy, and I could think up others if I weren’t too lazy.

God forbid we EVER see two names on a book, where one of them is “Guy Gavriel Kay”.

Please, GGK, tell us you DIDN’T mean that when you said “(Working on it.)”!

By (Robin_of_lox) on Friday, March 05, 2004 – 12:59 pm:

Guy Gavriel Kay’s
The Tigana Chronicles
by Stuart Smith


So, I was in Book City today, picking up my copy of The Last Light Of The Sun. There were a couple of people in line in front of me, buying some other book (sniff). While I waited for my turn, I nosed about a bit, and you’ll never guess what I came across: The Travelling Curmudgeon.

No, no. He’s in Winnipeg (I think). It was a book called The Travelling Curmudgeon. It may me think of Guy, because, well, you know.

Anyways, I didn’t buy it.



By Francois Vincent (Francoisvincent) on Friday, March 05, 2004 – 1:27 pm:

I think half of the appeal of being a curmudgeon is being able to use the word curmudgeon.

“Eeew, what’s that green stuff?”
“Curmudgeon. It won’t come off.”

“And then *smack*, right in the curmudgeon!”

“Add 3 teaspoons of curmudgeon. Stir.”

“What are you playing?”
“Curmudgeons and Dragons.”


PS: Currrrrr-mudgeon

By guenever on Friday, March 05, 2004 – 4:53 pm:

Oooh, word play.

“Listen, sister, one swift kick to the curmudgeon and I guarantee that he won’t bother you again.”

And, not to be forgotten, curmudgeon’s verbal form:

“Aw, sorry to hear that. Curmudge him for me when you see him, will you?”

(Thanks fv)


By Firinneach on Friday, March 05, 2004 – 9:32 pm:

I notice that the Globe and Mail has Mr. Kay’s reading online now. Unfortunately, it seems our author has lost his voice after all, as the link doesn’t seem to be working. Hopefully they have someone looking for the computer equivalent of a single malt.


By Firinneach on Friday, March 05, 2004 – 10:21 pm:


By Simon Fraser (Simonsays) on Saturday, March 06, 2004 – 12:02 pm:

Jad bless you for the link, Alec!

My wife and I shared the experience just now, prior to the breaking of our morning fast. (Our first ever shared GGK experience.) She with her Cream of Wheat (blech!), and me with a full bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios.

Frankly, I didn’t expect his voice to be quite that deep. Although I think it’s been said here that he has somewhat of a bass or baritone. Poor Firaz.


By Broken Wing (Broken_wing) on Sunday, March 07, 2004 – 12:21 am:

I haven’t really used this thread for its intended purpose of commenting on Ser Kay’s journal and asking questions. To this point, the questions I’ve had have been the sort that are more suited to the book-specific threads. But I saw something tonight that made me think a bit.

I happened to catch an hour-long interview with author John Updike on the History Channel. I gather Mr. Updike is rather interview shy and has been known to call the interview a “loathsome” medium. At the end, he was asked to elaborate on that viewpoint, and he explained that it’s difficult for someone used to crafting words carefully in structured formats to formulate answers off the cuff in such a relatively informal setting.

I wonder, Ser Kay, do you ever experience, or have you ever experienced, this feeling when doing interviews, especially when you’re just shifting out of writing mode or when dealing with an interviewer for the first time? Most of your experiences sound refreshingly positive, with the exception of the “Passion” fanatic, but are there many times when you long for the sanctuary of the writing studio and the structure of the written word?


By Tasha Vincent on Sunday, March 07, 2004 – 12:07 pm:

Thanks for the Toronto Star link, Ser Kay. It brought to mind a question. The reviewer states at one point that “Kay never hesitates to kill his darlings”. Is that true? Is killing off a character so easy? I ask because I recall reading an interview with JK Rowling, where she said she was an emotional wreck after killing off one of the characters in her books. I wonder if it is so easy for you.

By (Robin_of_lox) on Sunday, March 07, 2004 – 10:17 pm:

I personally think J.K. Rowling is full of it. She played that up for months before the book came out, and then we find out she killed off a secondary character. She intentionally fed the speculative flames passionlessly. I believe she took great glee in what she did. Both the literary killing, and the shameless exploitation of it. Her work is not at the same level of Kay’s.



By Tasha Vincent on Monday, March 08, 2004 – 12:36 am:

I didn’t mean to imply that Rowling’s words are gospel. I was just using her to draw a comparison. I do enjoy reading the books, but I wasn’t trying to compare them to Kay’s.


By Liliana on Monday, March 08, 2004 – 7:26 am:

I’m trying to distract myself while I wait for LLotS to arrive, so does anyone know anything further about that intriguing reference to a Dorothy Dunnett trivia thing? I wonder how those of us who are Lymond/Niccolo fans would fare in that arena. . . Considering how few GGK things I seem to know on that other thread, I don’t know, but it would be interesting.

Umph. Want Vikings. Even in boats powered by fire-breathing dragons.


By Esther on Monday, March 08, 2004 – 10:54 am:

can relate to Liliana here…..I was told it takes another WEEK before my copy gets in………*grumbles*

is willing to TRAVEL in dragonpowered boat to get to book sooner……….

and as I’m here anyway….I wanted to express my thanks to our beloved writer…whenever I read his books I get the feeling they were written just for ME…….I’m sure this sentiment is shared by many….


By Melissa Houle on Monday, March 08, 2004 – 12:18 pm:

At the risk of a slight spoiler, maybe the Erlings would have appreciated the warmth of having a dragon-powered boat, as their world sounds pretty darn cold and forbidding. =o)


By Liza (Liza) on Monday, March 08, 2004 – 4:19 pm:

I was away from my computer for a long weekend and this morning I read through the posts made during my absence, but I missed something the first time through. Mr. Kay, you used time allocated to promote your book to defend someone else who was put in an unfair position by the radio host. This may sound silly but I’m proud of you.

Now for a question, at what point does the research become writing centered? For example, was researching chariot races part of your general research for The Sarantine Mosaic or did you decide to incorporate that into your story and then do more research on that particular subject?

GGK: Only 9 days left!
BW denizens: Only 9 days left?

Reading this journal has been a wonderful insight, and a pleasure. It quickly became a morning ritual, sipping tea and reading the updates – a great way to begin my day.


By guenever on Monday, March 08, 2004 – 4:48 pm:

Ggk wrote:

Wonder if I should do Bern in the tavern outside Jormsvik? Does that work as a reading passage? I’ll have a look. Otherwise, I’m increasingly preferring to read the very beginning

I think that’s a good choice (one I’d like to hear read), as is the (hilarious) scene with Aeldred’s royal children in the meadow, post practical joke. But then I’m fond of funny passages in readings, and it’s not exactly representative of the book as a whole.


By Elissa (Elissa) on Monday, March 08, 2004 – 8:41 pm:

When I made my last post, my brain was firmly anchored in Sarantium after thoroughly enjoying the voyage. That’s why I got my Tigana imagery muddled :-). I have to say, the Sarantium books are among the most wonderful stories I have ever read, I cannot get them out of my mind…not that I would want to…except maybe to read LLOTS.

I have begun the book and the first thing I noticed is the difference in writing style. Shorter sentences. Shorter words. Each word packed with meaning. Gives a different feel to the story. Was the transition natural? Was it something you thought about and had to concentrate on while writing, did it naturally fit in with the subject, or maybe a little of both? It is intriguing.

Another thought that comes to mind: with the gasoline prices as they have been the last few weeks, dragon-power sounds like a good alternative.

By Émilie Bee on Monday, March 08, 2004 – 10:54 pm:

I just re-checked the LLofS Tour details on the readings page, and noticed a new entry on March 12. I am wondering : is the lecture at St-Lawrence College is an open-to-all kind of event ?

By Melissa Houle on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 – 1:22 am:

Elissa Wrote: Another thought that comes to mind: with the gasoline prices as they have been the last few weeks, dragon-power sounds like a good alternative.

Well… true. The gas prices around here bite and bite hard. Still, feeding a dragon ain’t cheap unless you don’t mind it snacking on the crew. (I know Erlings are prone to battle scars, but this might be a little more than even they bargained for.) Dragons don’t get many miles per peasant, anyway. Too tough and stringy.


By Clinton Hammond (Clintonhammond) on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 – 12:43 pm:

“My current working theory on dragon-powered boats”

To quote Eric The Viking

There is no Edge-Of-The-World
There is no Dragon-Of-The-North-Sea


By Love’sUnguent on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 – 3:21 pm:

To that fellow who presented GGK with a film treatment manuscript: Good on you! Its unfortunate that GGK’s response was (by the sounds of it) so discouraging. He’s right to not accept the manuscript (what would he do with it?), and accurate about the details of “the business” (big producers wanting to work with writers they know, etc), but sheesh, he coulda been a little more encouraging. Oh well, where he failed, I shall succeed.

Congratulations on producing a manuscipt dude. Writing is hard work. Adapting material for film is also very hard work. How about sending your manuscript in to this site, maybe they’ll post it? I’d also encourage you to study up on the business and talk to working sceenwriters about how to break in. Keep going, write more stuff, and hang on to it all. Before you know it, you’ll have a teriffic body of work at the ready for some fat cat producer to snap up and pay you big bucks for. Above all, enjoy your writing and don’t get discouraged just because your labour of love wasn’t snapped up by an author you admire.

By Broken Wing (Broken_wing) on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 – 5:37 pm:

A couple of comments and a question before I disappear into my newly-arrived copy of TLLotS. :-)

First of all, anybody want to take bets on the likelihood of someone showing up at the next book singing with a copy of Tigana, asking Ser Kay to alter the end?

I had to blush upon reading about the aspiring writer who showed up with his resume. I actually sent a half-finished copy of what I realize in retrospect was a very poorly-written manuscript to a favorite author at the time, not realizing the colossal degree of nerve such an action implied. Needless to say, I never got a response. We unpublished would-be writers sometimes have no sense of propriety. [insert blushing emoticon here]

Incidentally, I read a column in the paper not too long ago that offered the traditional definition of “chutzpah” as when you murder your parents, then petition the court for leniency because you’re an orphan. (I believe the column then went on to apply the term to Alan Greenspan for his handling of the economy and the Federal Reserve.)

Now, my question. Ser Kay, your stories always have very clear and well-developed themes. Have you always started out a story knowing exactly what the themes were going to be, or has a theme ever crept up on you unexpectedly? I’ve noticed in my own (vastly inferior) writing that I started my novel with one central theme in mind, only to realize that it has evolved into a completely different theme. Do “real” authors go through this, too? :-)


By Jessica on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 – 6:45 pm:

Woe is me, I am unable to attend tonight’s Montreal signing/reading. I had planned to bring along my years-old copy of The Summer Tree, read many times and lugged around to many places, in the hopes of getting it signed. I can only hope that our fair city treats Ser Kay as a mensch would, and that I can go the next time around : )

By Olivier St-Amand (Loa) on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 – 8:54 pm:

Hello people,

Just got back from the Montreal reading. I’ll leave the more descriptive comments to fv & tv. Just one thing:

GGK has a secret he doesn’t want you guys, who can’t come and meet him, to learn about…



P.S. Mr. Kay: they’re not really awful. Not really… Anyways, thanks again for the visit! 😀

By franc11 on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 – 9:30 pm:

Just got back from the montral reading. It was my first encounter with GGK. The lecture was quite good. He made a couple of good jokes and there was a lot of good questions asked by the crowd and mostly great answers.

Maybe next time I wont be shy and I’ll talk a little bit with him. I’ll have to practice my english first…great evening.

By Francois Vincent (Francoisvincent) on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 – 11:53 pm:

You’ve a cruel heart. Good job. :-)

The Montreal Reading:
I met up with Tasha at Paragraphe books, got some primo seats (thanks, dear!) and said hello to Loa when he arrived a bit later.

Mr. Kay arrived, sallied forth with opening banter, read the epigraph (still don’t know why an epigraph is at the start of a book; what are quotations at the end called?), and read the opening section. Julie Andrews said it best: “Let’s start at the very beginning. It’s a very good place to start.”

A pleasant reading, very relaxed. It was my first Mr. Kay reading (I didn’t listen to the Globe Reading so can’t compare) and liked his chosen style. Some authors get a little too grandiose for my taste, not so here. This was also where Mr. Kay’s supposedly dark secret was uncovered. Yes, our hero, now requires (the horror!) reading glasses. While most men would crumble under so weighty a burden, with little more than a sly comment, what could have become a grotesque menagerie of terror instead became an anecdote, ripe for rumours whispered in dark corners and the inflated hyperbole of a BW denizen.

The floor was then opened to questions. The one that piqued my interest most was the comment about potential movies made from the books. We got the usual weather report of light discussions with no forecast of movie. However, it was revealed that two books are being looked at closely (which two? undisclosed!) but certainly nothing imminent, barely more than immanent. Mr. Kay did say that the reality of such films would rely less on the success of big-book Fantasy (Harry Potter or LoTR) and more on the box office of historical epics (Cold Mountain and Master & Commander).

Nothing noteworthy after that. Got book signed. Can report trusty pen in good working order. Left with wife for food.



By francois_lambertfranc11 on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 – 9:16 am:

When I heard the question about movies, I thought GGK would answer as usual taht ther ewere discussions but nothing more, but I was suprised that he mentionned that two of his books were seriously been considered. My guest would be The lions of Al-Rassan and the Sarantine mosaic, because they are closet to historical fantasy than the other books and closet to movies like the Last Samurai or master and commander.

By Jayson Merryfield (Wolfe_boy) on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 – 12:45 pm:

Well now… for the bunch of inquisitive people we all seem to be, no one has asked this question yet.

What change was made to the ending of Lions? What was that added last sentence? Even if his idea of how it should end differs from my own, I am whole-heartedly admitting that I am interested.

Is no one else?

Jayson Merryfield

By Melissa Houle on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 – 12:48 pm:

Oh yeah. I’m interested. Please Ser Kay, will you tell us, or must we be consumed with curiousity?


By Meg on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 – 5:16 pm:

And, of course, someone else must be curious about Loa’s cruelty–is it just something like new glasses or is there something more embarrassing that Ser Kay is trying to hide from us??? Whatever it is it’s a “they” and “they are not awful. Not really.” Hmmmm…


By Francois Vincent (Francoisvincent) on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 – 6:07 pm:

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Mr. Kay’s torso ripped in half and, from the hollow form that was once the author, emerged a three-headed Hyrda, twice the height of any man, who proceeded to give the reading. Only one of the three heads required reading glasses. After the reading the Hydra split once again in the same horrific manner. Except this time showering those of us in the front with a viscous green fluid. From the scaly shell, as though it were some hellish moulting process, stepped our humble author, in human form once again.

Slipped my mind.


PS: Loa’s right. The three heads aren’t awful at all.

By Francois Vincent (Francoisvincent) on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 – 6:08 pm:

No, wait. It was just the glasses. They‘re frameless so you barely notice them.


By Amanda Bowen on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 – 9:58 pm:

Methinks the poor dear is a bit embarassed (or has affected to seem embarassed, which might be nearer the truth) over their necessity. We should start a support group for the eyesight-challenged. *grin*


By Meg on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 – 11:08 pm:

My poor sister was told she needs reading glasses at the tender age of 31…she has changed eye doctors, of course.


By Paula Servin on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 – 11:12 pm:

I only discovered this site this weekend and am very much enjoying the journal and the postings. I must have been in a cave these past few years.

I would like to say hello to Guy from a traveling casting couch original. It’s quite a surprise to be featured so many years later, and pathetically gratifying to be found, at age 40, under the category “Fun Stuff”. It was truly a wonderful adventure to see you in Winnipeg, and 9 years later, thanks are still in order for your generosity, wit, “living room” readings, and staying up far too late with Cyn-D, Joanne and I. Even when we acted much too much like giggling 13 year old groupies.

I’m quite disappointed not to see you at Harbourfront next week, but my children are expecting to visit their grandparents in Florida, with no concerns about their mother’s happiness. Selfish ingrates.

Feeling 9 years younger,

By Olivier St-Amand (Loa) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 – 4:29 pm:


You just have to stop messing with those poor people’s minds. But perhaps you’re still reeling in the aftermath? I thought we had agreed that the viscous green fluid “had” no effect on us, even if a small portion was swallowed…

About the three heads (now that the cat’s out of the bag), they definitely not awful. In fact, they were kind’a cute!!! Especially the one with glasses…


P.S. By the way, has GGK contacted you to explain what the “minor” side effects could be?

By Amanda Bowen on Thursday, March 11, 2004 – 6:26 pm:

I don’t think they’ll be too noticeable in fv. Besides his legendary lack of pulchritude, the very fact that he hangs out with all of us here serves as eloquent testament to his insanity. In short, there’s nothing else to mess up.* :-)


ps – I really don’t know about the pulchritude, but if GGK juice *does* make people melt, it shouldn’t be -too- bad, should it?

* Just kidding, fv, you know you’re great.

By Mr Kelly on Thursday, March 11, 2004 – 6:33 pm:

Mr. Kay, you simply have to tell us what you wrote at the end of that fellow’s copy of “Lions”. If all you’re worried about is a spoiler, put it in one of the “Lions” forums with a link on the tour journal page (or heck, just a note). That should be sufficient, no? Its just not fair to dangle such a tantalizing carrot in front of your fans and then not deliver. Come on, man, have out with it we say!! (hear hear)!!

By Firinneach on Thursday, March 11, 2004 – 7:19 pm:

A valiant plea Mr Kelly, but I suspect one done in vain. Besides, I wonder if this isn’t a mystery that could be reasoned out. There are, after all, only a few possibilities.

What actually interests me so much is the very fact that this is something we find so intriging. I mean, all of us readers have likely wished that one character or another had avoided a given fate. Does this particular case intrigue us because we want to know which character so touched a person that they asked the author to add a line? And what if Mr. Kay hadn’t added the line–would we still be just as curious–or is it the very fact that he agreed which strikes our fancy? Does the fact that Mr. Kay actually wrote the line somehow make the change “real?”


By Double-post boy on Thursday, March 11, 2004 – 7:25 pm:

(it occurs to me that I should point out my suggestion that this mystery could be reasoned out does not necessary mean it should be reasoned out…at least not on this thread :-))

By Francois Vincent (Francoisvincent) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 – 10:26 pm:

All right, you’ve twisted my arm. I admit it: I’m great.



By Paula Servin on Thursday, March 11, 2004 – 10:49 pm:

Re: Contemplating the pleasure of a good meal. This is not gastro-porn, this is mindfulness. Choosing to slow down, focusing on the sensations of an excellent meal is the raison d’etre of an excellent meal. Without the distraction of company at dinner, it’s almost an imperative to experience it in the moment.

Mindfulness-based activities are therapeutic by nature, and used as stress-reduction techniques for all manners of maladies (if one could call a book tour a malady!) Nonetheless, take all opportunities to slow down and observe….and appreciate.


By Simon Fraser (Simonsays) on Thursday, March 11, 2004 – 11:34 pm:

You’re not all that great. In fact, you can sometimes grate. But in a great way.
So I guess that must make you at least OK.


By Amanda Bowen on Thursday, March 11, 2004 – 11:56 pm:

As ever, Simon, late to the party and with unnecessary clarifications. 😀 However, you have somehow managed to sum up my exact thoughts. Bravo.


By Francois Vincent (Francoisvincent) on Friday, March 12, 2004 – 1:20 am:

Waitasec. “Great”? Who decided it should be pronounced that way? What an anomaly! It looks like “greet” but rhymes with “eight”?! Hoity-toity non-conformist…

Get thee behind me, freakshow.


By Melissa Houle on Friday, March 12, 2004 – 2:52 am:

Ser Kay,

I wouldn’t a little gastroporn now and then. Although I don’t think describing a delicious meal falls under that heading. Leave the Gastroporn to Lysippus, if you must. You are, after all the creator of Strumosus of Amoria, and his great appreciation for great cooking did not come out of nowhere. In reading about Strumosus, I had you pegged as an appreciator of fine food well prepared after reading the Sarantine Mosaic if not before.

On my trip to Europe last fall, I dined both in company and alone. While each had their pleasures, I did find that eating alone does enhance the attention one pays to one’s meal. I made myself eat a very leisurely supper in Dublin, and enjoyed every bite extraordinarily. And this was after two weeks of absolutely divine Italian meals eaten family style at the place where I was staying. (Picture really excellent Italian home cooking, and you’ve got it.)


By Brian S. on Friday, March 12, 2004 – 6:14 am:

I was wondering if anything has been finalized as, to a time amd place for GGK’s reading in Halifax?

By Meg on Friday, March 12, 2004 – 11:52 am:

Ser Kay, in case you hadn’t realized it yet, most of us would read your “Adapted Yellow Pages” trilogy. How much more, then, would we enjoy reading about your dinner–not to mention the fact that some of us as are counting points (aka on Weight Watchers) and need to live out our food fantasies vicariously :-).

It’s funny you should call that “gastroporn” since I have been calling the Food Network “food porn” for a while now. I am afraid I am going to have to steal your turn of phrase, though, as it is (naturally) much more elegant.

Meg (aka “will read for food”)

By Melissa Houle on Friday, March 12, 2004 – 12:59 pm:

OOps, In my earlier post I left out a few significant words. What I meant was, I wouldn’t object to a little gastroporn now and then. But I don’t think describing the dishes of a supper enjoyed at one’s leisure falls under that heading. Food is necessary for all living things, and at its best, it is much more than just fuel for our bones and muscles etc etc. I’m sure Strumosus would agree.


By Émilie Bee on Saturday, March 13, 2004 – 2:41 pm:

[I use that word because somehow, it seems I’ve been made allowed to call it my own]

** Be warned, this is awfully long I know, but I’m *hoping* this tale might interest people who could not attend the tour. It’s highly tinted by my own views and emotions, but if I’m blessed there won’t be too much ranting and it’ll be thanks, of some sort, to this author, for this evening.


Oddly enough, every event leading to the evening went awfully smoothly.
1. I didn’t get lost when I got to the city (which highly defies all my travel-driving experience).
2. I found a parking close-by.
3. I found the library in minutes (seconds, even).
That all contributed to allow some quiet time to have a look around (isn’t it what army generals do before a confrontation?) and buy (at last!) a copy of Last Light of the Sun, along with the second of Al-Narnia’s chronicles that people on here have said nice things about (the first one wasn’t there, as it happened).

The Event

The event was nicely set up. La Maison Anglaise is located in a mall, so it’s a small library. There’s something to be said, though, about a specialized all-English library in a wholly French city (even more so than Montreal, by far). They had set up the reading just outside the storefront. I could make a small complaint about the disturbance of passers-by, but it could have been a whole lot worse and I did elect to sit in the last row of chairs, too. A remnant habit of my high school years, I suppose. Then again, in some way, I do consider GGK as one of my literature teachers. A great inspiration. I’ll hazard the guess that he is aware of being this to many, and confirm that he does an exceptionally good job playing this role. But let’s go on…

Ser Kay showed up a little before 7, with excellent timing. I bent my head a little from where I was sitting to see him enter the library, but remembered I had decided to play it low-key and refrained from running into the place with a huge grin on my face and no intelligent question to make the bother worth. People kept coming in, and a nice enthusiastic young couple sat next to us. Not BW denizens, though. I reminded myself that contrary to my own assumption, not everyone my age is a fervent Internet user. The places were eventually filled, and a lady from La Maison Anglaise came to introduce Mr. Kay (and finally shedding light on the mystery of the pronunciation of his name – the English way, as it turns out).

I knew that a presentation word was in order, but wondered how many people present didn’t know much or haven’t already read a book by GGK. The presentation didn’t last long, however, and the man himself came to take place at the front. He quickly noted how all this traveling was taking a toll on his certitude of which day this was, but he seemed to be in a good mood, and I’ll attest, having read the journal’s every entry, that he was looking well, despite having worked so much in the last two weeks. Incidentally, he shared some thoughts about his hectic schedule and grudged about his publicist in the curmudgeon way we’ve all learned to see right through. The glasses came up. I made no comments to my boyfriend on his likeliness to joke about them – I’d told him the story in advance. :-) And now that the ground rules are off, I’ll confirm to Ser Kay that they do make him look “distinguished”.

He’s a talented speaker, it has to be said. This wasn’t his first event, as he noted at some point, and he seemed comfortable speaking in public. He proceeded to the reading. I had expected him to read the beginning of the book and, what do you know? he did. I had cheated and heard the online audio of this exact passage, but I was glad to have done so, as it allowed me to concentrate on the delivery, and not on following the story as much. As it happened, Mr. Kay does have a deep voice, and it suits the northern stories well. Now I extend my apologies to all who listened to the online excerpt, but I have to say that it is ten times better live. And he read further into the book, too. I’ll note that my significant other, who is not as big on literature and had read only the Tapestry before, enjoyed the reading and noticed different things than I, mostly about the author’s talent with verbal language and his ability to tell a tale. Soon enough we could forget our present location, and travel miles to that market place, north of Europe. (Plus, I had the “joy” to have that trance-like effect emphasized by a threatening Kim-sized headache, but oh well.)

The reading ended, as most pleasant things have to end at some point, and we were left wondering about a horse (I’d be worried of giving out a spoiler if that wasn’t the subject of the very first sentence of the book, after all… so don’t worry). Signing portion of the event started. I let some of the crowd pass, and then stepped in line with my freshly acquired copy of Last Light. The young boy just before me, if I understood right, asked about how long it took to write a novel like this and Ser Kay, after raising three fingers to illustrate the years, stated “I’m not fast”, which made me laugh. I know how much work this author puts in his books. He did grace the boy with a quick explanation of his writing process, however. Then me, palms sweating on the book and cursing myself at my lack of verbal practice with English. He recognized me at the name, too (been expecting my presence as I’ve seen, belatedly, in his last post of Friday). He’s a charming fellow, and as I’ve always admired his intelligence, I might have underestimated his ability to make people feel comfortable to come up with questions and comments – though not underestimated by much : we do have a privileged insight on his good nature and his appreciation of good company on BW. I had considered three possible questions to ask, and finally opted for the one I was the most curious about: the book’s title not naming a location, as opposed to earlier titles. He told me (I can share the answer, right?) about how he didn’t like to be predictable and then, more precisely, that he was avoiding a name that might have looked too much like the starting of a trilogy, or series. As I’ve said before on here, I just think this title holds a great poetic charm. :-)

I got my copy back – personalized now, how wonderful! – and went back to my patiently-waiting boyfriend. I hesitated then, considering lingering on location, but finally walked away – partly because my nervousness invariably settles in afterwards, partly because I had promised my best friend a visit while I was in the city… and partly because of my boyfriend silently indulging my GGeeKy venture. 😉


Later that night, driving back to Trois-Rivières with boyfriend trying to teach me how to whistle properly, I’ve somewhat regretted not staying a while after the event, trying to catch a conversation with a beloved author, but the world is full of missed opportunities, and I decided to focus on the highly enjoyable rest of the event which brought not only a meeting, a pleasant reading, a potentially great new novel to read and a new experience, but the discovery of a new library, a chance to see old friends and tired laughter to share with my significant other at the sound of my mediocre attempts at melody. (Boy, that’s a long sentence.) Moreover, unlike that enthusiastic Internet-less young couple, we BW denizens have another great way to have access to this author’s thoughts. Finally, I think I can easily assume that 13 days, 8 cities, 3 dozens posts and countless interviews later, a “guy” (pun, yes) deserves a break. That said, have a great vacation, Mr. Kay !

Émilie Bee – soon enough joining in the Last Light discussions elsewhere on this forum!! :-)

By Vicky on Saturday, March 13, 2004 – 4:53 pm:

I just wanted to say thank you for describing your experience Emilie Bee; I lived vicariously (sp?) through you.

I just know that if I actually came face to face with any author I revered, and especially Ser Kay, I’d gibber like a random idiot. 🙂 Not that I wouldn’t love the chance to try!

By Simon Fraser (Simonsays) on Monday, March 15, 2004 – 6:53 pm:

GGK said:
“…I really prefer to stay out of any back-and-forth on the books.”

I’d like to comment that this is one of the many finer points that keeps me coming back here. Inasmuch as Mr. Kay is the be-all and end-all when it comes to being an authority on his books, it’s a gosh-darned lot of fun both posting and reading opinions left by us, the readers.

Unless a particular discussion gets waaay off track or is *this* close to getting it right, Mr. Kay will keep his nose out of it and allow us the freedom of uninterrupted discourse. (I am trying very hard not to name ‘other author’ names right now…) Were The Author to rear his head more often (peering through shampoo or not), I would be less inclined to enter into debate given that we’d hear from the horse’s mouth as to the Truth of the matter eventually.

I think it safe to say that not even Deborah can call herself an authority on GGeeKdom; at least not enough to prevent the rest of us from embroiling ourselves in potentially erroneous debate and sometimes a few dollops of tomfoolery.

Mr. Kay, meanwhile, maintains sort of a Jad-like persona:
Riding his chariot (Boeing 747) to the underside of the world (book tours) to do battle against the forces of evil (publishers, agents, soundproofed signing rooms, horrible confrontations with gibbering fans), all for the good of his worshipful masses. (Well, perhaps not all. A Guy’s gotta eat.) He also takes the time to perform the benevolent aspect of his reign: researching his material, writing books and occasionally checking in on the Denizens of his realm; leaving them to find their own way for the most part, but offering subtle guidance and hints in the manner of Lao Tsu: “But a good leader, when his aim is met and his dreams fulfilled, they will say – we did it ourselves.”

So thanks for letting us do it ourselves, Mr. Kay. I think the journey is a whole heap more fun than the destination anyway. Speaking of which, anybody know where we’re going?


By Broken Wing (Broken_wing) on Monday, March 15, 2004 – 9:14 pm:

I signed on here from work tonight to catch up on the LLotS discussion, and was amazed, stunned and delighted to read the following in Ser Kay’s tour journal:

quote:“Broken Wing,” in particular, is an exceptionally thoughtful, generous, careful reader…

Wow. What can I say, except a heartfelt thank you! I’m touched beyond belief that a man of such great talent and intellect, and one I admire so much as Ser Kay, would acknowledge myhumble contributions here. And it bears pointing out that it is because the stories are so thoughtful, generous and carefully-written, with so many touching and thought-provoking moments and subtle nuances, that they inspire me (and, I’m sure, everyone else here) to examine the characters and situations–and by extension, our own lives and our own world–in a deeper, more insightful manner.

I must say that there is definitely a collective consciousness at work here (although that phrase calls up interesting images of the Borg–cue Star Trek music here). I know my reading experience is enhanced a thousandfold by reading what other insightful GGeeKs have to say here. We offer each other greater insight into the stories and build upon each other’s observations. The result, I believe, is a greater understanding and appreciation of the books for all of us.


By Meg on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 – 12:42 pm:

A second printing already–congratulations!

Having already done my level best to up your numbers with my (accidental, bi-national) dual purchase, I also did my bit by making sure my local library was ordering a copy. I’m happy to report, someone else had gotten there first and LLotS was already “on order”.

Again, kudos.


By Francois Vincent (Francoisvincent) on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 – 12:47 pm:

Congrats on the rapid second printing!


By Meg on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 – 1:13 pm:

Ser Kay,

I have a question about your feeling that the map issue is “silly”. Is it silly because some of us can’t figure out the correlates to our world, because some of us are trying to figure out correlates to the real world at all, or because some people can’t seem to visualize the world you have created by words alone? (Or because of something else entirely?)

For me, while I am reading a history or a fantasy or a/an historical fantasy the first time, I rarely refer to a map (even if there is one). I get so absorbed in the journey the author is taking me on that it rarely seems necessary. (I also rarely look at the cast of characters ahead of time or during the first pass.) But later, during discussions or rereads, I enjoy having a map for reference and to refresh my memory–or sometimes to clarify or reframe my thinking.
You didn’t call us silly, just the issue, so I’m honestly not being defensive here. I just wanted to shed a bit more light on it to help you understand one person’s reason for interest in the map question–though, for me, it’s more one of “what fits where” than “why isn’t there a map”.

Respectfully curious,


By Joey Nacino on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 – 11:03 pm:

Hallo everyone and especially to Ser Kay!

Am a first timer on this forum but a long time fan of GGK. Fact is, I consider “Tigana” as the milestone in my book readings, that’s how much impact it made on me. So that every time a new book by GGK comes out, it’s always a time to celebrate. Heck, since I got my girlfriend hooked on the Sarantium and Fionavar series, it’s been a double-celebration too.

And it was because of this that I picked up LLotS in hardbound even though it costs more in this part of the world (Asia).

Anyway, the reason I came out from the shadows here is that I was reading this one SFF review site and found this bad review of LLotS. Well, maybe not bad but more like ‘untrue’.

Of course I thought that maybe the reviewer hadn’t read the book yet (maybe a UK reviewer?). Still, I thought it an injustice to GGK and wondered what can be done as I really like this review site. (Heck, it’s one of the few places that a forthcoming books section on the web!)

Anyway, here’s the review:

Thanks to y’all.


By Firinneach on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 – 9:39 am:

It does read somewhat like a review by someone who has only read or heard chapter one. Of course, that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you want to aviod spoilers in a review, but it does tend to leave a lot of themes out.


By Simon Fraser (Simonsays) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 – 9:57 am:

That was a *horrible* review!

Bad spelling, punctuation, grammar; and I fail to recall the part of the book where Bern (when did he become a stable boy?) had to ‘team up’ with Firaz ibn Bakir. I won’t say any more here since I don’t want to spell out any spoilers on this particular thread.

Overall, the reviewer seemed to like the book, I just have issues with his interpretation of events. It seems poorly written to me with a very loose grasp of the story. Maybe he was working with a strict deadline. Who knows. I tend to stray away from book and movie reviews in general, and this is just reinforcement for me.

Thanks for the link, Joey. Welcome to the forum!


By Eric Leblanc on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 – 4:17 pm:

I just read Emilie’s nice description of the “La Maison Anglaise” reading, which I also did attend. She was correct in her description.

However, I thought to add up to her description with two pictures I took of the event:

That was the first time I met GGK, and I must admit I was struck dumb. I managed to tell him that among all the writers I know, he is the one who put the most emotions in his words, that he writes with emotion. He gently explained to me the manner in writes, to reach the readers, but I must say I was so transfixed by him I lost half of what he said. Me fool :-). GGK signed my “Last Light” copy, and was kind enough to sign another one I brought with me, my Fionavar Tapestry book.

PS: Emilie, my native town is Trois-Rivières. Hello to a fellow “trifluvien” 🙂


By Eric Leblanc on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 – 4:19 pm:

Just a comment, if you want to see my pictures, paste them into your browser, don’t click the link.


By Rosebeth285 (Rosebeth285) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 – 6:47 pm:

A ridiciously off topic comment but…

Trois-Rivières – how lovely a placename.

-Beth <—– missed Brightweavings, posting with a vengeance now.

By Broken Wing (Broken_wing) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 – 9:38 pm:

Regarding the “bad” review…I followed the link and read it, and I have to agree that it was terribly written. Of course, Ser Kay is correct in saying it’s a good thing when a reviewer reads the book and likes it, even if he/she doesn’t “get” it. And there’s no such thing as harmful good publicity.

The thing that bothered me about this particular review, however, is that it seems clear the reviewer didn’t read anything beyond the first chapter. I don’t want to mention any specifics here in order to avoid spoilers, but the review seems to describe a completely different book than the one I read. I don’t just mean in terms of themes and characterization, but the plot she describes is nothing like what I read.

If I may draw a comparison here…My favorite singer, Martina McBride, released a new album of contemporary country music a few months ago. Some of the reviews seemed to “get” the statement she was making with the album, and others didn’t but were still positive reviews. And that’s fine. But suppose a reviewer listened only to the first song, which has a decidedly Celtic flavor to it, and proceeded to give a glowing review of Martina McBride’s new album with Celtic instrumentation and strong Celtic influences throughout–this despite the fact that the rest of the album has almost nothing even resembling a Celtic sound. Such a review would have the CD-buying public expecting a very different album than the one that was actually released.

And that’s essentially the problem with this review of TLLotS. To me, it reads like a book report written by a tenth-grader who waited till the night before it was due to even look at the book, read the as far as the first chapter and made some semi-educated guesses as to what the rest of the story would be like. By contrast, there’s another poorly-written review referenced in the “Anticipatory Thoughts” thread, but that one at least was clearly written by someone who read the entire book or at least a good portion of it.

Just my two cents on the book review issue. Of course it’s going to be a rare reviewer who reads something so intricate and nuanced as a GGK novel and truly “gets” it. But for someone to make it so clear that he/she didn’t read past the first chapter, feels to me like an insult to Ser Kay and to the people reading the review who deserve a better effort from the reviewer.

BW, who can’t even get her friends to finish reading her own dubious masterpiece

By Broken Wing (Broken_wing) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 – 9:55 pm:

Please excuse the double post, but I have a question that somehow seemed inappropriate to append to the end of the above rant.

I noticed, and I think I can safely say this without it being a spoiler, that there are a number of little “treats” scattered throughout TLLotS as kind of a wink to the seasoned GGeeK. Now, this is the first time we had a book set in the same world as a previous book, in a time period after that of the previous book, so some of these little “treats” may not have been possible before. But it does seem like Ser Kay wrote this book with a certain awareness of those of us who have read his previous works.

Which leads me to my question: Ser Kay, given that this is the first new book since the advent of these forums, did the presence of an online fan community, the conversations taking place here and your awareness of what was being said, have any kind of effect on your writing? I’m sure you’ve heard from plenty of readers in the past, whether in fan letters or at publicity events, but did being privy to continuous discussions of your writing among your readers make any difference in, say, your decision to include more grace notes than usual?

I hope that question made sense. I’m truly curious as to how an author’s increased awareness of his/her fans’ reactions can impact future writing, if at all.


By Joey Nacino on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 – 10:07 pm:

Hi people! Ser Kay!

Most of the people echo the same feelings I had when reading the review. I know that the reviewer had a positive view of LLoftS and actually kinda pegged Ser Kay’s point.

Ironically, it also seemed like that the reviewer just read the coverflap and the first chapter and assumed the rest. Which is kinda sad and smacks of a lazy review to me.

But anyway, I’m sorry if this how I introduce myself to the forum (not my thing to rock the boat normally). But since I will never have a chance to actually meet GGK *snif* in person (unless he ever comes to Asia), I will just have to satisfy myself in being acknowledged in his journal. *shivers in delight*

(Btw, Broken Wing, … uhm, pardon for the stupid question but what’s GGeeK?)

Thanks again!


By Broken Wing (Broken_wing) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 – 10:24 pm:

Joey, “GGeeK,” a play on the word “geek,” is a term the seasoned readers in this forum have coined to describe those of us who are obsessively devoted to The Man’s writings.

Qualifications for the title of GGeeK may include: having read every book at least once, and preferably multiple times; checking these forums at least several times a week, if not one or more times a day; ability to remember minor characters and other minutiae without looking them up; having been moved to tears one or more times while reading a GGK book; and I’m sure others here can think of some more. :-)

In other words, a GGeeK is more or less the Guy Kay reader’s equivalent of a Trekkie. :-)


By (Robin_of_lox) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 – 10:45 pm:

Isn’t coining a name, or descriptive term for yourself one of the most obvious signs of true geekdom?




By Olivier St-Amand (Loa) on Thursday, March 18, 2004 – 9:04 am:


Beth, I’m following you down the off-topic post: Trois-Rivières is a great name, but in this context it sounds suspiciously like Two-Rivers.

Eric, do you know anyone named Rand?



By GaryRussell on Thursday, March 18, 2004 – 12:19 pm:

I had the good fortune to be at Guy Kay’s Harbourfront reading last night. There have to be benefits of living in a place like Toronto and one of the best for me has been that one of my favourite authors lives here. I’ve been lucky to hear Guy speak and read over the years, often at Ad Astra, but memorably also in the Byzantine section of the Royal Ontario Museum for Lord of Emperors.

Last night was a good night, like that evening at the ROM. I headed down early and bumped into some friends, headed that way. Like-minded folk, and it is always added enjoyment to share fun unexpectedly. I got to make a friend there from a mutual acquaintance and that’s something else to thank Guy for. I saw Martin Springett on the way in and said hello. He plans to play at Ad Astra (in two weeks) so I’ll see him again there. The Bakka-Phoenix folks had a table with copies of Martin’s new CD, Bright Weavings (a shout-out? Couldn’t be). I got one and will give it a listen this week.

We got seats near the front. It was a good-sized room, the Brigantine. I don’t know what the number at stake was in the bet between Debby dG and Guy, but the seats were as close to full as I could tell and there must have been around a hundred people (roughly, I didn’t count). I’m guessing Debby wins again. The lights dimmed. The candles on each table was a very nice touch by the Harbourfront people. After an introduction, Guy and Mark Askwith took the stage in a very Masterpiece theatre-like setting. Mark has been a major contributor to the Toronto and Canadian SF scene with his work on Prisoners of Gravity and Space: The Imagination Station and could be counted on to have done his homework. Mark got Guy talking about some of his key themes and inspirations. GGK talked about his view on “identity theft”, privacy incursions of authors writing about real people and how writing about characters and places that are inspired by historical events frees him delve into the details of his fictional characters’ lives and relationships, rather than being pinned to what we don’t know about historical figures. Mark asked his long-awaited “how cool was it?” question about Guy’s work on the Silmarillion and Guy said that the greatest asset he took away from that experience was the demystifying nature of the work. He said that the awe seeps away after working, elbows-deep, with the many drafts and rewrites, and that experience freed him from any intimidation of working in the professor’s field when other eminent fantasists (like Charles deLint and Jane Yolen, for example) of GGK’s generation went in other directions and stepped away from high fantasy to avoid being in the shadow of Tolkien, or just as much, caught up with the imitators who followed. I thought that was a very illuminating comment.

Mark then said that he had always been confused that Guy had followed the Silmarillion work, not by launching into his writing career, but rather, law school. Guy said that it had been a pragmatic choice while waiting for his thinking about what he was going to write to coalesce in his mind. He said that if you launch a career as a Canadian writer of fantasy fiction while planning to raise and feed a family, without a backup plan, then you aren’t … from Winnepeg. Mark commented that it was an odd experience attending at the old Queen street location of Bakka for a Fionavar signing and finding the place full of lawyers. Not the usual crowd there, for certain (in spite of the old Street Legal location next door).

After some good questions from the audience (I didn’t take any notes, this is from memory, and I would love to see a transcript), Guy prepared to read the young people in the meadow sequence. He prefaced his remarks with the now-familiar threat (he would say “invitation”) that any reference to his reading glasses (he used a phrase like insidious instruments of incipient senescence, but his was better) making him look distinguished would lead to a misspelling of one’s name at the signing.

Guy described himself as slow to come to realization a couple of times during the Q&A and during this reading, I finally realized (after reading him since the Summer Tree first came out) that as a writer, he is an unabashed purveyor of delayed gratification. This might also explain his proclivity to engage in blood sports like teasing with people like Mark and Debby, often to his peril. Guy loves to craft scenes that build like this: innocuous setting, nature and peace. A threat slowly intrudes and grows. A confrontation, which then pauses. Time passes very slowly as the reader is drawn deeper and deeper into the scene with detailed description of the surroundings and/or key instrument. Sweat drips. Suddenly the tension is resolved, but obliquely. (What, what? says the reader) Detailed gentle description follows (birds chirp) as the reader agonizes over the resolution while lingering over the sensuous details. Pushed and pulled at the same time. The young people in the meadow scene is emblematic of the sort of scene that Guy writes so well and a technique he uses so effectively. I love his execution but it has taken me 20 years of reading to come to the slow realization that Guy just loves to tease. In life, and as a writer.

It seemed like half the room lined up to get a book signed and we were duly handed sticky notes to have the spellings of our names handy, and I discovered I was a thorn amongst roses, between the Two Tanyas, waiting in line. Guy signed for the ladies, and some wag pointed out that everyone else’s book would be signed to “Not-Tanya”. I paid my respects, noted I had been enjoying following his exploits at Bright Weavings, and Guy said that the weblog was ending, for which he was in a sense grateful because he was concerned that it risked becoming writerly, or that the experiences would bleed one into the other, the consciousness of the audience.

Thanks for a very enjoyable evening, Guy. I’m glad to hear the book is doing so well.

By Simon Fraser (Simonsays) on Thursday, March 18, 2004 – 1:49 pm:

And thank you, Gary, for a wonderful exposition on your experience at the reading/signing.

Those of us unable to attend due to geographic restrictions appreciate such detailed narratives. Some small compensation for not being able to be there in person.


By GaryRussell on Thursday, March 18, 2004 – 2:44 pm:

Simon, I’m glad you enjoyed my comments. I like very much reading other folks’ reports from their locations, so I thought I would reciprocate for those who couldn’t be there last night. Cheers.

By GaryRussell on Thursday, March 18, 2004 – 5:55 pm:

You know, I suspected I was flipping the sequence while I was writing it and was thinking to myself that this is why I should take notes. “Why are you referring to your notes, officer?” “To refresh my memory, Mister Kay.”

Do you know John Turtle at Ryerson? He is doing interesting work on the (non)reliability of eyewitness evidence and trying to help the various sectors of the justice community get better (ie. less contaminated) results from witnesses, by treating their testimony like any other evidence (time-sensitive, subject to decay, needing careful handling, etc).

Correct on the bearded me. The two Tanyas were happy happenstance, I swear.

200? Nice. Those were long rows at the back. I should have done an rough estimate at the time, but it wasn’t until this morning that it struck me that I should share like generous other people had, and I was pulling details from an unprepared memory. Apologies for the scrambled facts.

By Émilie Bee on Thursday, March 18, 2004 – 9:48 pm:

To Gary: Thanks, for the tale :-)

To Eric: Thanks, for the pictures. (*looking* …there’s my knee and bag!) I’m saving and keeping those for personnal archives (unless you are strict on copyright). Oh, and hello to a fellow ‘trifluvien’ as well.

To Beth: :-) Trois-Rivières means Three-Rivers, basically (but I suspect you knew that).

To Loa: What’s Two-Rivers ?…

Émilie – Eager and apprehensive as well to read the last entry of the journal. Oh, and *loving* LLotS so far.

By Eric Leblanc on Friday, March 19, 2004 – 12:54 am:

Emily, feel free to keep those pictures, they are for everybody anyway :-). I can even send you the full-sized ones (1 meg each) if you want.

As for Loa, she was makng a reference to the Wheel of Time books, as the main character (Rand) comes from the Two-Rivers.

Going back to LLotS…


By Melissa Houle on Friday, March 19, 2004 – 2:42 am:

Umm….Eric, I’d love to see the pictures of the GGK event, but couldn’t see anything but white screen when I clicked on the tripod links. =o( How DO we download them? Any advice would be appreciated.

Gary and Emilie, thank you for your respective reporting of the GGK events you both attended. As a “Lower Cortean” it was nice to have a taste of the event, even if I couldn’t be there in person.

And finally Ser Kay, THANK YOU very much for taking the time to post your tour journal. Especially with all the late nights and early mornings for the past two weeks. I very much enjoyed reading your entries about your experiences on the road, at bookstores and signings and of the interviews. I will miss them when they stop. They really made me wish I could have attended one of the events. DO please keep a U.S. tour in mind, if such a thing would be at all feasible. We “Lower Corteans” will be endlessly grateful for a chance to get some books signed. As a piece of blatant bribery to get you back to the West Coast, I can tell you there is NO snow on the ground here in California, and temps are in the 70’s.


By Lumina_arden (Lumina_arden) on Friday, March 19, 2004 – 9:40 am:


I had trouble with this too at first but…

right click on the link. scroll down and click on ‘properties.’ when that box pops up, highlight the http address and paste it onto your address bar.

That worked for me.

Hope this helps,

By Eric Leblanc on Friday, March 19, 2004 – 10:10 am:

Yes, or simply copy/paste the link from my original message into the address bar.

I hate Tripod for that, they refuse to link pictures from other pages. However, it is a free and fast host, so I guess I must keep up with the inconveniences… 🙂


By Meg on Friday, March 19, 2004 – 11:42 am:

May I add my shameless plug for the SF Bay area as well. As Melissa says, it’s gorgeous weather-wise. Two days ago it was in the low-80’s in Livermore.

Plus, people are very friendly.

I have no idea about the situation on single-malts, but I am sure we can find something to quench your thirst (at least temporarily). Any chance you’re a wine-lover as well???



By Melissa Houle on Friday, March 19, 2004 – 2:50 pm:

Ah! Much better. Of course, right after I wrote my plea, I discovered Eric’s instructions… I will just say I am sometimes electronically challenged. I did view the pictures successfully just now–very nice. Now I REALLY wish I’d been able to be there.

Ser Kay if you come to Kepler’s in Menlo Park, we “Lower Corteans” will be so ecstatic at having the chance to hear you read and meet you in person, we may well turn back into “Tiganese.” <g> no snow…Warm air…Sunshine…good wine and food….No, I’m not trying to plant ideas in your head…


By Broken Wing (Broken_wing) on Friday, March 19, 2004 – 4:42 pm:

Might I make a case for some “East Coast balance” here? :-)

Granted, there’s really no logical reason I can propose for coming to Scranton or Wilkes-Barre. Even U.S. authors generally don’t come here on their publicity tours. But it seems obvious to me that no U.S. publicity tour should exclude New York City or Philadelphia, both of which are a feasible drive from me. :-)


By Rosebeth285 (Rosebeth285) on Friday, March 19, 2004 – 8:25 pm:

Also for the sake of balancing the East/West coast of the US…may I suggest Omaha ? A sort of centering point. I’d be glad to research the availibilty of whiskey/whisky :-)

I’d like to add my thanks to GGK for taking the time to write the journal entries, I’ve enjoyed it all immensely. (Deb…you’ll start begging GGK for a UK/Isreal journal, right ? please…)
And I’ll echo Simon in thanking the folks who’ve described their signing experiences for those of us who are geographically challenged.


By Vicky on Saturday, March 20, 2004 – 6:34 am:

Let me join the chorus in thanking GGK for the recent tour journal – it made for tantalising reading as I waited for my copy of LLoTS to wing its way across the Atlantic. And even provided me with some quotes for my forthcoming essay on literary appropriations of Anglo-Saxon culture. 🙂

So, next stop UK and Israel? I vote a loud “yay” for more journalling. 🙂

By Francois Vincent (Francoisvincent) on Saturday, March 20, 2004 – 3:19 pm:

I truly enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look at an author’s routine on tour (hassles dealt and received included). I almost feel like this book came with a Special Features section. Now all I need is an Author’s Commentary function in my books and I can finally throw out all my DVDs.

Giant thank you for giving us a piggy-back across Canada.


By Miko (Miko) on Sunday, March 21, 2004 – 9:15 pm:

I couldn’t have said it better fv!

I feel incredibly lucky that I had the opportunity to attend the reading in Vancouver and to share in the journal experience with all the Bright Weavings denizens.

Thank you Ser Kay; March has been a wonderful month :-)


By Cheryl Lane on Monday, March 22, 2004 – 2:01 am:

I enjoyed the tour journal so much I actually printed it out(I’m so sentimental)! All 22 pages!
I had a lot of laughs reading it while eating my breakfast in the mornings. Especially over the shower post : )

Thanks Mr. Kay! Enjoy a well-deserved break!


By Liliana on Monday, March 22, 2004 – 7:35 am:

I’m going to add to the thanks, but in my case, it’s a thank you for helping me not go crazy while I wait for LLotS to arrive. If I can’t read an actual book, a tour journal talking about the book is a pretty nice substitute.

But by all means, stop writing that if you’re ready to start the next book. I won’t complain in the slightest. . .


By Shawn Burns on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 – 6:04 pm:

Thanks Mr. Kay, and thanks all of you on BW, for a very diverting weekend. I found the book during a random (but much needed) stop at Barnes and Noble in San Diego, was aware of neither a forthcoming book nor the website, and after reading the book, the journal, the thread about the journal, and some other threads I feel like I know all of you and that I’ve met some great people I’d like to know more about. It’s been 3 days of solid GGK and I think my brain is going to explode if I don’t go play some miniature golf soon.

As a side note, whenever I read a new GGK book I think of U of T, since I spent many nights walking along philosopher’s walk fearing (hoping) that something was following me :}

And Mr. Kay, Ser Kay, Guy, The Man, consider San Diego if you are coming to California. There are an awful lot of Trans-Canada-plants down here. Dave Duncan did it. C’mon, you know you want to.

Thanks All


By Broken Wing (Broken_wing) on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 – 11:02 pm:

Allow me to add my voice to the chorus of thank yous here. It was enlightening and quite often amusing to read the tour journal and gain some insight into the world of a reasonably successful author with a newly-published tome. Thank you, Ser Kay, for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with us, especially for those of us Lower Cortean geographically challenged folks. And thank you also to Emilie et al. for taking the time to recount your confrontations encounters with the man himself.


By Émilie Bee on Sunday, April 04, 2004 – 9:03 pm:

Belatedly, as the sun is setting on this thread, I will be arrogant once more and, having written the first post, will write what seems to be one of the last ones (though it might re-live when GGK goes to Israel… oh well).

I think the overall agreement is that the journal was greatly enjoyable with sincere, interesting and (surely) funny moments. Miko has said: “March has been a wonderful month”. I can’t say the same because life has a way of balancing happy and sad moments, but the tour, the journal and everything surrounding it (especially the book!) has certainly been the shining jewel of March, so I thank Ser Kay, Deborah, “Debby” the publicist, and all responsible for all of this.

I know I can only speak for me, but I also believe I translate a lot of people’s thoughts when I say: it was well worth it.

By Crystal Mansfield on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 – 5:48 am:

I read the proof of your book and thought it was fantastic. I work for Ottakars in Hastings (A bookshop in the UK) and we would love to have you come for a signing when you are over here in the autum. I of course will attempt to get your publicists ear the usual way, but thought that a direct question wouldnt hurt.
If you would like to see what we are about log on to:
I hope your tour goes very well

By Brian Gilstrap on Saturday, April 24, 2004 – 12:55 am:

Very late to the thread, but hoping not too late…

He wore his grief like armour, a protection from rumour and truth alike, defending his honour with words transparent as quartz, steadfastly devoid of colour and glamour.

By Brian S. on Sunday, April 25, 2004 – 11:11 am:

I was wondering what had happened to the planned reading for early April in Halifax? The only reason I ask is that April is almost over and no word as of yet?

By Guy Gavriel Kay (Ggk) on Sunday, April 25, 2004 – 4:08 pm:

Alas, the Halifax trip became a casualty of commitments and time squeezes. I’m sorry about it, because I really like the city.


By Firinneach on Sunday, April 25, 2004 – 4:57 pm:

Maybe you could make it down the end of July? Tamara and I are looking for a couple readers for the wedding…


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