I had an opportunity to meet him tonight at a reading and signing in support of his latest novel, which was released today.
Seattle is Neal’s hometown, and there were about 800 people in attendance. He read some excerpts from the book and then did some Q&A.
I asked Neal to talk about the tools and tactics that he uses to keep all of the details of multi-thousand-page epics organized, allowing him to pull it all together in the end and to insert references, callbacks, and foreshadowing that cross over multiple books and multiple years of writing time.
His answer was essentially “there’s really nothing special about it”. He compared himself to pretty much anyone in a job that requires constant attention to many details, and claimed that most people keep a tremendous amount of details straight in their heads alone, and that he is no different.
After the Q&A, he stayed long enough to sign everyone’s books, Kindles, iPads, etc. I got my hardcovers of REAMDE and Quicksilver signed and had a chance to shake Neal’s hand. He was incredibly polite, humble, and nice. Given the insane number of hours that I’ve spent reading and re-reading his works, meeting my favorite author was a great experience.