It's every fiction writer's fantasy: publish a novel that has an initial press run of 600,000, debuts on all of the nation's most watched bestselling lists at No. 1, and sells nearly 90,000 copies in the first week. In Charleston author Robert Jordan's case, it's both reality and fantasy -- high fantasy, to be precise. Knife of Dreams, published on Oct. 11, is the 11th book in Jordan's (the pen name of downtown resident James Rigney) Wheel of Time series, and it's the second-to-last installment in that epic high-fantasy cycle. Jordan's been working on the Wheel of Time for 15 years, and it took him 33 months to knock out Knife of Dreams. He recently returned from a whirlwind national tour in support of the book and, if you're interested in meeting a local whose books have been translated into 23 languages and are available on four continents, he'll be signing copies of Knife of Dreams at Barnes & Noble in Towne Centre on Nov. 20 at 3 p.m.. Wanna see for yourself how popular the series is? Do a Google search for "Wheel of Time" and see how many results come up. See that number? By comparison, a search for "The Great Gatsby" yields a mere 1.9 million results. We'll let you, gentle reader, impose upon that statistic your own significance. -- PS


If the poster for the upcoming Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line looks familiar to Charlestonians, there's a good reason for that: it's the work of Charleston-born graphic artist and permanent prodigal son Shepard Fairey. If you're not sure you know Fairey's work, trust us: you do. While attending the Rhode Island School of Design in 1990, he created the "André the Giant Has a Posse" sticker campaign, which went global, mushrooming into the "Obey Giant" iconography now seen around the world.

Now living in Los Angeles, Fairey chose to make Walk the Line star Joaquin Phoenix's face only a secondary element of the poster design -- usually anathema to big Hollywood studios, who don't pay big bucks for A-list stars so that the poster image can focus on their backsides (with the notable exception of J-Lo). As Fairey explained in last week's Entertainment Weekly, though, Fox 2000 Pictures went for the simple, graphic-intensive image against his expectations. Now, with Walk the Line under his belt, Fairey's walking tall. -- PS


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