U.K. blogger Adam Whitehead has written for years about genre fiction, sci-fi, and fantasy storytelling on big and small screens. As the seventh season of “Game of Thrones” heads toward its closing episodes — and as the series itself gets ready for a 2018 conclusion — Whitehead recalls the time he met the cast of the show, years before it became a cultural phenomenon. In November 2009, the actors were new to Belfast and shooting the pilot for the HBO show, and author George R.R. Martin happened to be in that city, too, promoting the book series on which the drama is based. Here, Whitehead chronicles that night eight years ago, where he got to tell the actors who’d go on to be very famous about the characters they’d be playing.
“Oh, hello. I’m just shelving; may I help you?” she said.
It took him a minute to wrap his head around the scene in front of him. She seemed to be a living, breathing, and blindingly eye-catching part of the bookstore itself. “So this is what they mean by ‘Book Happy Hour,’” he thought.
He would soon discover that she represented the living embodiment of the full breadth of the store’s shelves. She was Austen, Hemingway, Clark, Martin, Rowling, Whitehead, Didion, Yeats, Le Guin, and every other writer and book on these shelves. All wrapped up in one ethereally beautiful woman. She laced her conversation with excerpts from the books she lived among and with. She contained within her all of the accumulated knowledge and ideas and concepts contained within the thousands of books around her. She was overwhelming and comforting and exhausting and electrifying and so much more, all at once.
Too brilliant to comprehend, too captivating to ignore.
She was, simply, the ultimate expression of the published history of the written word.
— Excerpt from the science-fiction/urban fantasy novel, The Girl Who Became a Bookstore. Forthcoming from Penguin, Spring 2017.
(not really, but maybe there actually is a book in this idea)