You know how people meet someone they've only seen in films or on TV and the cliché reaction is to say "I thought you'd be taller"? I had to keep reminding myself that, for most of the nearly 20 years I've read Peter David, I imagined his voice wrong.
I figured he had a deep voice. I'd read his But I Digress... columns imagining he was speaking in a deep voice. I knew he has a big voice, a doesn't-need-megaphones voice, a singing voice even (he's done community theater near where he lives on Long Island), and I -- maybe because I'm someone with a deep voice -- figured his was deep, too. I'd probably describe Peter David's voice wrong, so I'll keep it simple. It's higher than I expected. I first found that out back in 2007 when I saw a video clip of him talking about his work on the Dark Tower comic series he, Robin Furth and Stephen King are writing. Then I saw his clip in the Harlan Ellison documentary Dreams With Sharp Teeth and had that reinforced. Now I know it's that way in real life. I'll try to recalibrate how I hear his voice!
I'm used to deep voices, I decided. I've grown up around a lot of deep-voiced people. I notice voices. Heck, I'm often attracted to voices. Alicia has a good voice. Another deep one, actually. Or deep by female standards. My paying-attention-to-voices made me notice how many high-voiced people tend to show up, for instance, in Joss Whedon casts. Firefly had more voice variety -- finally we get the deep voices of Ron Glass and Adam Baldwin -- but maybe Whedon likes the higher voices. Hmm: what's his wife's voice like?
But I digress. Wow, who'd've thought I'd do that while writing about Peter David?
Anyway. I had a happy in-person meeting with a guy I've read since 1991. I saw him while he was signing at the Boom! Studios booth, signing the comic Amory Wars which he's working on with artist Claudio Sanchez. I didn't get anything signed -- I hadn't brought anything for signing, and I tend not to ask for signatures (though FRANK DARABONT AND DREW STRUZAN? SPECIAL CASE), plus hey, maybe that'll give him a rest from signing, which if you do it long enough is murder on your wrist. I'm providing a public service!
By the way, Peter's a conscientious parent. I was hovering near the booth to get photos when a woman with a child handed him a little bendable Gumby doll, and he got concerned and said not to have that around kids because of the wires and the dangerous swallow-ability of the thing and how he'd hate for that to happen to anyone's kids. He's a father of four daughters, all neat people, so he knows what he's talking about.
(I should've mentioned to Peter that one of my favorite people, my Grandpa Bob, was also the father of four daughters.)
Thank you for your time, your work, and your being a good person, Peter David.