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2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.
2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."
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The Eternal Question: Mac or PC?
Gattica. The Fifth Element, actually, is up there too. The Prisoner of Azkaban movie. Empire Strikes Back. Sneakers. Jackie Chan's Operation Condor. (I know, I know.) The Emperor's New Groove. Star Trek: First Contact.
To be honest, that's probably not a great list. Those are the movies I watch over and over, but there are a lot of movies I love, but have only seen a few times. I'm not generally a 'watch it over again' type of guy, so it's hard to pick favorites. I come back to the genre films or things like Jackie Chan because they're quirky and rewatchable, but that doesn't actually mean they're my favorite—or that they've influenced me as much as other films. For instance, Lawrence of Arabia blew my mind, and The Sting influenced how I write quite a bit. But I've only ever seen those films once. But I do keep coming back to Gattica as one of the movies I think does what storytelling should do, when done perfectly right.
I usually have to listen to music. For some reason, I don't like the silence; I like something going. And so I usually...I generate Pandora stations based around different moods, and I'll turn them on for different sequences and different scenes. At some points, I will just pick out specific bands that I have music by, and I'll play that, depending on what I need to be writing. And so, yeah...there's a lot of different things, but it's often just Pandora-ish sort of backgroundy generic sort of things.
I do like...during my early years writing, I listened to a lot of what we call OverClocked remixes, because they were great. [cheers, applause] Game music—video game music—that were remixed into different orchestrations and stuff. And I was too poor to buy a lot of music, so I went and grabbed those, and so I still have many favorites among those.
Okay, and then...just...because you two have created something so wonderful that has changed my life—it's my very favorite series—I made something for each of you. (holds up two necklaces) These are Amyrlin chains. They follow the seven colors of the Ajahs in the pattern of the Amyrlin's stole, and they are made from anodized aluminum. I made one of these for Harriet, and one for Brandon. [applause]
Yes. I will use music to inspire me if I'm having a hard time or need a specific punch. Other times, I generally just have Pandora going on a station with lots of classical and electronica. I'm a huge fan of Daft Punk, however, and will use Alive (the live album) to get me in the right mood for some scenes. Soundtracks are great too. Anything by Michael Kamen can usually get me into the right mood for writing. Harry Gregson-Williams is another go-to composer for me.
Oh, and I almost forgot. I love OC Remixes as well. I tend to listen to a lot of them while planning stories while I run on an exercise Machine. One of my favorites is here.
Did you own Thriller by Michael Jackson in the 80s?
I did own Thriller, I can proudly say. Great album. I have a very distinct memory of my brother Jordan and I in the old house we had. I was younger than ten, and we were sitting at the kitchen table staring at a cassette player and listening to "Beat It". I remember the two of us just being in awe of this cool music. Mom walked in, tried to figure out what the lyrics were, and said, "What is this?" She was used to us listening to kids' music, and suddenly we'd discovered Michael Jackson! She was just kind of flabbergasted that her boys were growing up and discovering pop music. My brother went on to get the Thriller video for his birthday that year.
Hey Brandon once upon a time you posted Final Fantasy X song "To Zarkanad" on your Facebook page and said it was perfect for the scene you were writing in A Memory of Light, so tell me if you remember which scene was that?
It was the last few scenes I was working on, Perrin after the Last Battle and a few of the Loial sequences in the epilogue, which were parts I had a hand in writing as opposed to putting in what RJ had written.