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An Hour With Harriet

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.

The Bell Tolls

2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."

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  • 1

    Interview: Jul, 2002

    Question

    Did you see the Lord of the Rings movie? What did you think of it? What is your favorite fantasy movie?

    Robert Jordan

    Oh, yes; Harriet and I only waited long enough for the crowds to thin out a little before we went. After all, we both read the books the first time back when they first became available in the United States, and I myself have re-read them perhaps a dozen times since. I thought the movie was most excellent! It is well-crafted and well-acted, it follows the books to a fair degree, and the changes, for the most part, were necessary to fit it into a reasonable length for a movie. Making Arwen more prominent was necessary, too, since she is barely there in the book, but at least they resisted the temptation to make her a sword-babe, though it appears that took quite an effort. At the moment, I would have to say that my favorite fantasy movies are Fellowship of the Ring and Excalibur, an old film about King Arthur. Rent it some time and take a look.

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  • 2

    Interview: Jul, 2002

    Question

    What is your favorite scene to this point in the books? Are there any scenes that you like to go back to and reread, because you like them so much?

    Robert Jordan

    My favorite scene, like my favorite character, is always the one I am working on at the moment. Once I am done with a scene—and I'll admit that can take some time—I don't go back to read it unless I want to check on exactly how I worded something. (The exact wording can turn out to be crucial, later on.) I don't think my ego is particularly mild—ahem!—but I certainly don't sit around reading what I have written for the enjoyment of it. I mean, I wrote the bloody thing! I know what's going to happen and why!

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  • 3

    Interview: Jan 25th, 2005

    Week 11 Question

    Which of your characters would you most like to sit and have a cup of tea with? Why? And if you don't have a preference, which character do you think would want to sit with YOU (the Creator) and have some tea?

    Robert Jordan

    I wouldn't really care to have tea with any of them. In the first place, since I created them, I know exactly what they would say in response to any given question or comment, word for word, which would make for boring conversation. In the second place, I've put these people through some fairly rough paces. If one of them showed up and wanted to have tea with me, I think I'd sneak out the back door and leave town for a while. No joking there; oh, no, not at all.

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  • 4

    Interview: Oct 19th, 1994

    Compuserve Chat (Verbatim)

    Tom Knudsen

    Much of your work reminds me of J.R.R. Tolkien and David Eddings in scope and character development. My question is, who are YOUR favorite authors and why?

    Robert Jordan

    Mark Twain, followed by Charles Dickens and Jane Austen, because they're good.

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  • 5

    Interview: Oct 19th, 1994

    Compuserve Chat (Verbatim)

    Sharon Perdue

    Why weren't Compulsion and Illusion mentioned in the previous books before Lord of Chaos and is there any specific character in the series that you have taken a liking to?

    Robert Jordan

    Compulsion and Illusion: They weren't mentioned primarily because it wasn't necessary. Actually Compulsion has been mentioned a number of times, and I think Illusion has been mentioned in passing at least once or twice. It just wasn't necessary to deal with them in depth. The answer to the rest of the question: All of them. (Sorry.) I like all of them. Whoever I'm writing—that's the one I like.

    Footnote

    Moiraine actually used Illusion a couple of times in The Eye of the World; it just wasn't named as such.

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  • 6

    Interview: 2010

    Matt Hagerman (1 August 2010)

    Is it harder to write a novel with the amount of detailed notes Mr. Jordan left as opposed to creating the world yourself?

    Brandon Sanderson (2 August 2010)

    Some parts are harder, some parts are easier. The notes mean lots of research before I can write some scenes.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That slows me down a lot. But Mr. Jordan was a master worldbuilder, so—in some ways—it is easier. Hard parts have been done.

    Austin Moore

    For WoT specifically, is it tougher to write the good guys or the bad and why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In WoT, I'd say the bad guys. We've seen fewer viewpoints from them, so it's tougher to research them, figure them out.

    Brandon King

    If you could be from any nation in Randland, which one and why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Malkier, I think. Though others ask me this question, and I think my answer changes. I just think the Malkieri are awesome.

    Footnote

    The last Q&A was found later and added here for date proximity.

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  • 7

    Interview: Oct 25th, 1994

    Question

    Which of the three (Elayne, Min, Aviendha) do you like best? I'm not asking which one Rand is going to get; which one is your favorite?

    Robert Jordan

    All my female characters are based on my wife. Am I supposed to dislike something about her?

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  • 8

    Interview: 2010

    Austin Moore (16 August 2010)

    Who is nastier in your opinion between Padan Fain and Isam/Slayer?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 August 2010)

    Nastier? Fain. But I think Slayer is cooler.

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  • 9

    Interview: Jun 26th, 1996

    Compuserve Chat (Verbatim)

    Edward Henry

    Do you have a favorite character? If so whom, and how do you avoid doing bad things to those you "love"?

    Robert Jordan

    One, my favorite character is always the one I am writing at that moment, even when I'm writing one of the Forsaken or Padan Fain. I always try to get into that character's skin, so that I can write about that character with success. As far as doing things to characters I like, well, if the story calls for bad things to happen, so shall it be. We do not all make it to the end of the road, however good or fair.

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  • 10

    Interview: Oct 18th, 1996

    AOL Chat (Verbatim)

    Question

    Which of the first seven books is your favorite?

    Robert Jordan

    My favorite book is always the book I'm working on at the moment.

    Footnote

    The questioner was apparently trying to cleverly evade the stock answer, but RJ didn't fall for it.

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  • 11

    Interview: Oct 18th, 1996

    AOL Chat (Verbatim)

    Question

    Speaking of favorites, do you have a favorite character perhaps?

    Robert Jordan

    I'm afraid that my favorite character also happens to be whoever I'm writing at the moment.

    Tags

  • 12

    Interview: Jun 28th, 1997

    Loial

    What do you think has been your best book thus far? Do you like writing more action or more for the human emotions?

    Robert Jordan

    My best book is the one that I'm working on now. My best book is ALWAYS the one I'm working on now. And, as far as I'm concerned, action is always secondary. The main part of the story is the relationships between people. Those relationships sometimes lead to god-awful troubles, battles, etc., etc., but it's the relationships that are the important things.

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  • 13

    Interview: Nov 11th, 1997

    Matt from Ohio

    I know this is a tough question, but which character in the Wheel of Time is your favorite, and which character is most like you? I'm also eagerly awaiting The Path of Daggers; is there anything specific you can tell us about the plot?

    Robert Jordan

    About The Path of Daggers—Nothing. Read and Find Out (RAFO). As far as who I like best, it's whoever I happen to be writing at the moment. I try to get inside the skin of the point of view character, whether it's Rand or Nynaeve or Semirhage. As to who I am most like, I think I am probably a combination of Rand, Mat, and Perrin. On the other hand, I'm afraid my wife says that I am Loial.

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  • 14

    Interview: Nov 11th, 1998

    jude74

    Who is your favorite author in any writing field?

    Robert Jordan

    I'll have to give six. John D. MacDonald, Jane Austen, Louis L'Amour, Charles Dickens, Robert Heinlein, Mark Twain. And I also like the essays of Montaigne, a lot. Sorry they're all dead guys, but I don't read contemporary stuff! You asked for favs....

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  • 15

    Interview: Aug 30th, 1999

    Question

    Who is your favourite character?

    Robert Jordan

    Whoever I am writing at the moment. That's no lie. Whoever's head I'm inside, whoever the point of view character is and it doesn't matter who that is. If I am writing from Semirhage's point of view I have to like Semirhage to a certain extent. I have to like Semirhage because most people do like themselves to a certain extent. And if I don't, then Semirhage comes across as phony. My wife claims that she can tell when I've been writing certain people. There are days that I've gone into the house and I haven't taken three steps before she says, "Ahaa, you've been writing Padan Fain today, haven't you?"

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  • 16

    Interview: Nov 11th, 2000

    Pablo from Illian, NY

    Mr. Jordan, of all your characters, which would you most like to see die?

    Robert Jordan

    (laughs) I can't say that I'd like to see any of them die!

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  • 17

    Interview: Nov 11th, 2000

    Dustin from Manhattan, Kansas

    Of all the books you have written for the WoT series, which is your favorite and why? Thank You.

    Robert Jordan

    My favorite book is always the book I am working on at present.

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  • 18

    Interview: Nov 11th, 2000

    David Burke from Northeastern University

    Thank you so much Mr. Jordan for writing this series. It has entertained me for a very long time. My question is: If you were to be a member of a group or society represented in your books, which would it be? I think that I would like to be an Ogier because of their simple and peaceful way of life.

    Robert Jordan

    I don't know that I would particularly like to be a part of any of the societies or organizations or groups that I have described. I suppose if I had to choose, it would be a toss-up between being an Asha'man and being a Warder.

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  • 19

    Interview: Nov 11th, 2000

    Jennifer from BarnesandNoble.com

    On behalf of a promotion that BarnesandNoble.com is conducting, I'd like to ask: what are your favorite books, and why?

    Robert Jordan

    I can't give favorite books, but I can give my favorite authors: John D. MacDonald, Jane Austen, Robert Heinlein, Louis L'Amour, Charles Dickens, and Mark Twain.

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  • 20

    Interview: Jan, 2001

    SFBC

    Of all the characters in the Wheel of Time, which ones do you relate to the most?

    Robert Jordan

    I suppose that Lan in many ways typifies the sort of ideals and aspirations that I was raised to aim at, but on the other hand, I've had a couple of women tell me that I remind them of Loial more... Maybe they just mean the beard.

    SFBC

    I hope they don't mean the big ears and big hands.

    Robert Jordan

    ...big nose. I think it's the books and the beard maybe.

    Footnote

    Loial didn't start growing a beard until Knife of Dreams...

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  • 21

    Interview: Jan, 2001

    SFBC

    If you had to pick three characters in your books, who would be your favorites?

    Robert Jordan

    I can't pick three characters who are my favorites because my favorite is always whoever I am writing at the moment; that is, whoever is the point of view character for any given scene, I like that person and I like that person more than anyone else. I think that's a very basic human emotion. We like ourselves. And the reason that sacrificing yourself for someone else is such a big thing is because we do like ourselves very strongly. Now, if I don't like that character that I'm writing more than I like any of the others, then the character doesn't come out as being real.

    There's something tainted in the writing. Something false.

    SFBC

    That's an excellent point.

    Robert Jordan

    Because I'm trying to get inside that character's skin, inside their head while I'm doing it. My wife will surprise the devil out of me. I'll come into the house with the day's writing, and before I've even said a word, she'll say to me, "Oh, you've been writing Padan Fain today, haven't you?"

    And what's really frightening about it is one, I haven't said a word, and two, that even if it wasn't Padan Fain, it was somebody else that you really don't want to be alone with.

    SFBC

    That's really giving some life to the characters.

    Robert Jordan

    That's what I try to do. I think the characters are the most important part. The story flows from character. That's something I've always believed. If your characters are not as real as you can make them, then everything else begins to fall apart.

    SFBC

    By doing it that way, it gives your work a three-dimensional quality that makes it seems like if anything happens to a certain character, the reader feels, "oh, no, this isn't fair!"

    Robert Jordan

    Thank you.

    SFBC

    I have to say that one of my personal favorites is Nynaeve.

    ROBERT JORDAN

    Well, a lot of people like Nynaeve. I've noticed something interesting over the years about Nynaeve. I have had a number of women tell me how much they dislike Nynaeve. But what's interesting is that when I talk with other people who know a woman who's told me how much she dislikes Nynaeve, it turns out that she, herself, is a lot like Nynaeve. What this means, I have no idea.

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  • 22

    Interview: Apr 4th, 2001

    Question

    Is that also where you get your inspiration?

    Robert Jordan

    I don't know, I dont know where the inspiration came from. My favorite authors are ah... Bearly Whitespread [shame on me, this probably isn't the name, but it's the best I can make of it, not recognizing the name], Mark Twain, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, John D. MacDonald, Louis L'Amour. Ah, these are not people you pick up as eh... inspiration for writing science fiction or fantasy, although John D. MacDonald wrote eh, ...was best known for his travel [???] fiction, and did write a book called The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything which is a hilarious science fiction novel.

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  • 23

    Interview: Nov 6th, 1998

    Therese Littleton

    What kind of books do you like to read while working?

    Robert Jordan

    If something doesn't appeal to me, it goes away. If it doesn't turn out to be as good as I thought it was, it goes away. I don't have time to read books through when they no longer measure up. But everything... mysteries, Westerns, science fiction, nonfiction of all sorts. I've been recommending Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel to everyone, and I'm reading a James Patterson mystery right now, and getting ready to read Patrick O'Brian's The Hundred Days... Hornblower meets Jane Austen.

    Sometimes I'll just dig out one of the old Jane Austen or Charles Dickens books and read that, because I love those books. Or John D. MacDonald. My favorite authors are Robert Heinlein, John D. MacDonald, Louis L'Amour, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Mark Twain. These are the people I can pick up and read any time. And you have to throw Montaigne in there as well, but essays are a different sort of thing.

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  • 24

    Interview: Apr 7th, 2001

    Question

    How much are you like the major characters?

    Robert Jordan

    I don't really think that any of the major characters are very much like me, although there's some bits in Mat that remind me of me when I was younger.

    Followed by the regular "I think of myself as Lan; my wife says I'm Loial."

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  • 25

    Interview: Jan 7th, 2003

    Question

    Who is you favorite character, if you have one?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, my favorite character is whoever I am writing about for the moment, but I will tell you which characters I relate to. When I was growing up, I tried to be like Lan. Physically, and partly behavior, I was like Perrin, and behavior wise, I was like Mat. If he had a Harley, I'm sure he would ride one too (chuckles). My wife thinks that I'm "Loial to the life", but I don't see were she gets that."

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  • 26

    Interview: Jan 13th, 2003

    Robert Jordan

    Questions: He again as in the other signing took around 25 minutes for questions after giving a brief expose on the correct pronunciation of various names and places. A note to female fans: He specifically stopped taking questions for a minute to encourage them to participate in the forum. When asked the age-old question about how long until the next book he quipped that it would be released very shortly after he had finished writing it, and that he could not help it if we were greedy. Another question he was about which character he was most like, and he answered that while his wife thinks he is Loial "in toto" he said that Lan is the character who has the traits he aspires for, and Perrin is the most like him, although he at times acted a lot like Mat as a young man. Other questions were much the same as the other signings and did not shed a great deal of light on anything new.

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  • 27

    Interview: Jan 16th, 2003

    Robert Jordan

    He was asked who his favorite character is, and, of course, he said it's the one he's writing at the time. They asked who his favorite character will be when he's done with the whole thing. He said he doesn't know, but there are some that have a lot of him in them. Lan typifies the ideals that he aspired to while growing up. Perrin has a lot of him as a young man in him, and Mat acts the way he acted as a young man. His wife says he's Loial to his toenails, but he doesn't see it.

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  • 28

    Interview: Jan 18th, 2003

    Daniel G

    (when he signed my book): Who is you favorite character, if you have one?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, my favorite character is whoever I am writing about for the moment, but I will tell you which characters I relate to. When I was growing up, I tried to be like Lan. Physically, and partly behavior, I was like Perrin, and behavior wise, I was like Mat. If he had a Harley, I'm sure he would ride one too (chuckles). My wife thinks that I'm "Loial to the life", but I don't see were she gets that.

    (I also heard him talk about speeding in Maine.)

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  • 29

    Interview: Jan 23rd, 2003

    Zeynep Dilli

    His favorite character?

    Robert Jordan

    First he gave the standard answer of "whoever I'm writing at the moment"; then the conversation moved to his esteem for the characters, however, and that gave interesting things away. "Lan embodies the ideal I aspired to be. Perrin...was me while I was growing up, but I also behaved a lot like Mat. Harriet says I'm like Loial."

    Zeynep Dilli

    (Slightly after that, Harriet, who'd been browsing the bookstore, came to stand beside me and we struck up a conversation. She is a wonderful lady. While on the subject of how unpleasant it is to be dragged from city to city and hotel to hotel rather than being snug in your own home, she did repeat the Loial comment about her husband, independently.)

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  • 30

    Interview: Dec 19th, 2003

    Question

    And what SFF movie would you all collapse in front of after the [Holiday] feast?

    Robert Jordan

    Not one, I fear. The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, back to back, in the expanded versions. Pull an all-nighter over brandy and cigars. Mr. Heinlein would be fascinated by the special effects and how they were done, as well as by the story, of course. Mr. Tolkien could grumble about what the movies had done to his books. I've never known a writer who didn't enjoy grumbling, at least in private, about what the movies had done to his book. And Mike and I could just enjoy. Maybe we'd toss in Pirates of the Caribbean and make it a true all-nighter. I went to a charity Halloween ball as Captain Black Jack Sparrow (hair beads by Elise Mattheson), and I am told the resemblance between me and Johnny Depp was amazing. Especially around the eyes. The eyes took two women half an hour to get done!

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  • 31

    Interview: Mar 29th, 2004

    Sci Fi Weekly

    What is your favorite Lord of the Rings movie?

    Robert Jordan

    (Laughs.) If I have to pick a favorite, I will pick The Return of the King. We get the climax, the triumph of good and all of that.

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  • 32

    Interview: Jan 6th, 2004

    St. Louis, Missouri

    Which is your favorite book in the Wheel of Time series?

    Robert Jordan

    My favorite book is always the one that I am working on right now. It doesn't matter which one that is, because the ones I've finished with I've finished with.

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  • 33

    Interview: Jan 6th, 2004

    Cheyenne, Wyoming

    Is there anyone particular character that is your favorite or one you feel is more like you?

    Robert Jordan

    My favorite character is always who I'm writing at the moment, whether it's one of the good guys or one of the villains, because if I don't like that character more than any other, the character will not come across as real. As for who I think is most like me, Lan embodies the ideals that I aspired to growing up. While Perrin is, I think, most like me, on the other hand, my wife thinks I'm Loial.

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  • 34

    Interview: Jul 22nd, 2004

    Question

    Somebody asked what his favorite action scene in the series was.

    Robert Jordan

    RJ replied that although it wasn't necessarily an ACTION scene, his favorite scene in the series, and the one which represents the best of his writing, is where Rand goes into Rhuidean to view the history of the Aiel through the eyes of his ancestors.

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  • 35

    Interview: Jul 14th, 2005

    ComicCon Reports (Paraphrased)

    Question

    If the world turned upside down and you joined an Ajah which one would it be?

    Robert Jordan

    Emphatic answer—Red! There's no way he could handle having a Warder!

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  • 36

    Interview: Jul 14th, 2005

    Question

    One girl asked RJ which Ajah he would be if he were ever, impossibly of course, an Aes Sedai.

    Robert Jordan

    This one actually gave him quite a pause, and when he responded he said it would probably have to be the Red Ajah, since he couldn't imagine having an intimate Warder relationship with another man.

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  • 37

    Interview: Sep 2nd, 2005

    Question

    What's the favorite scene you wrote in the entire series?

    Robert Jordan

    My favorites scenes are the scenes I am writing. I like them all. (laughing)

    Tags

  • 38

    Interview: Sep 4th, 2005

    Matt Hatch

    Skipped [transcription of] question about what is it like to edit these books, to Harriet.

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Harriet enjoys editing the books, and even she asks him why he can't include her favorite character, etc.

    Robert Jordan

    Jordan contributed to the answer, he discussed how he considers the books as one story.

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  • 39

    Interview: Nov 22nd, 2005

    Question

    Who is your favourite character? Have you got any favourite scenes?

    Robert Jordan

    My favorite character is always the one from whose point of view I am writing at the moment. Most people like themselves to one degree of another, and to make the character believable, I have to like him or her, too. They are the star. The favorite scenes work much the same way. At least, when I write a scene and it doesn't feel as if it's my favorite, I keep going back to it to see if I can fix whatever is wrong with it.

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  • 40

    Interview: Dec, 2006

    Question

    You are stranded on a desert island with only one book, one CD, and one DVD—what are they?

    Robert Jordan

    The one book would be whatever book I was currently writing. I mean, I hate falling behind in the work. The one CD would contain the best encyclopedia I could find on desert island survival. The DVD would contain as much of Beethoven, Mozart, and Duke Ellington as I could cram onto it.

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  • 41

    Interview: Jan 26th, 2008

    As I read, I also found myself having a very odd reaction. You see, when I first read these books, I was a teenage boy. It's not odd, then, that I would empathize with Rand, Mat, and Perrin. Each previous time I read through the series, my major sympathies focused on them. I remember being frustrated by how much Nynaeve and Moiraine kept them out of the loop, ordering them around and not telling them anything.

    Now I'm older. It has been years since I've read through these early books. Strangely—almost traitorously—I find myself looking on Rand, Mat, and Perrin as . . . well, reckless teenagers. I'm still very affectionate toward them and interested in their stories. Yet, every time they do something dumb (like run off in Shadar Logoth without telling anyone) I find myself wanting to scream at them "You wool-headed fools!"

    Instead I find that . . . brace yourselves . . . Nynaeve is my favorite character in this book. I always found her annoying in a bossy-older-sister kind of way before. Now, she's the character closest to me in age, and I can see her motivations and feel for her plight. In my opinion, she's one of the most heroic people in this book, as she left the Two Rivers on her own (despite the recent attack) and tracked the others out further than she'd ever been before. Rand and the other boys have no choice but to do as told, buy Nynaeve could have gone home at any time. Instead, she stayed—all because of her determination to help protect those from the Two Rivers. She's trapped between the boys thinking she's bossy, but Moiraine treating her practically like a child. (Well, not really, but you know what I mean.) She's got it rough, but she keeps on going.

    I have to say, I'm impressed again with Mr. Jordan. It's hard to write these posts without sounding like a base sycophant. Yet, if you're an aspiring author, might I suggest that what he did here is something to study? He's managed to craft a book which not only appeals to the teenage readers who see themselves in Egwene or one of the boys, he's inserted characters who think and feel in a way that appeals to other audiences as well. I suspect this is part of why the books work so well. Perhaps after aging a little more and raising children of my own, I will find myself thinking more like Moiraine. (Though, to be honest, she's always been one of my favorite characters. Still is.)

    So, there you have it. Brandon's favorite character of this book: Nynaeve. And I still think that's really strange. Next week, I'll give my reactions to The Great Hunt.

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  • 42

    Interview: Feb 5th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've mentioned that it's sometimes hard for me to remember which events happen in which book. Obviously, I knew going into this one that I'd be reading about the fall of the Stone of Tear—the cover gives a handy hint on that. However, some of what I'd THOUGHT happened here—the pages and pages of Egwene being held by the Seanchan, the training of the three in the White Tower—all was covered in the last book. (Man, he packed a lot into The Great Hunt.) And now, it turns out that another big event (Rand using the lightning to clear the Stone of Shadowspawn) is actually in the next book.

    So, I went into this one a little bit confused, trying to remember what exactly happened in Book Three. About a hundred pages into it, I suddenly remembered. This is the one where Rand disappears.

    As if in foreshadowing of future books in the series, where side characters become main characters, this is the book where we only get brief glimpses of Rand. I remember being annoyed by this when I was younger. Oddly—this is another change between my young self and my older self—I didn't feel that any more. I've grown, over the years, to see the WHEEL OF TIME less as Rand's story, and more of the story of the end of an age. It's the story of the entire world and the people in it, not just the story of one person. And so, I actually enjoyed reading the different viewpoints, which allowed me to get to know the world and setting better. Perhaps that's just the writer in me knowing that in another month or so, I'm going to have to write in this setting, and so anything that shows me more viewpoints, more characters, and more places is going to be well appreciated.

    All admit to a slight longing, however. Not for more Rand viewpoints specifically, but a longing to know him better. The man whom we read about at the beginning of this book has changed a lot since the end of the second book. That progress, that change, is trapped between books, lost to us. A friend recently explained to me that Mr. Jordan looked at Rand's changes during this book as a metaphor for the way he himself changed during his years in Vietnam. That same friend suggested that maybe showing those changes explicitly might have been too close to home for Mr. Jordan. I'd never heard that before, but it makes a whole lot of sense.

    My only other complaint about this books is Moiraine. She's always been one of my favorites, but she got on my nerves here. It's okay to push around Mat—he deserves it. Rand is fair game too; he can blow up cities. He needs direction. But why does she have to pick on Perrin? He doesn't deserve it.

    And, speaking of Perrin, my favorite moment in this book came when Perrin entered the blacksmith's shop near the end and worked the forges. Something about the beauty of the writing there, mixed with Perrin's inner turmoil of the surrounding chapters, worked for me. It was one of the most amazing moments in the series so far for me, and reminded me why I like Perrin as a character so much.

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  • 43

    Interview: Nov 8th, 2008

    Alex C. Telander

    What do you like to read in your spare time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Whatever ends up in my hands. Sometimes nonfiction, sometimes fiction. I still, I mean, I love fantasy. I've been reading a lot of children's lately. Favorite author right now who's still publishing is probably Terry Pratchett. But favorite historical writers have been Robert Jordan, I really like Les Miserables, it's one of my favorite books of all time. I actually really like Melville. A lot of people don't, but I really like Melville.

    ALEX C. TELANDER

    I like Moby Dick, yeah.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Not just Moby Dick, but all of it. Billy Budd and other stuff, too, just fun to read. So, whatever I end up reading.

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  • 44

    Interview: Nov 8th, 2008

    Alex C. Telander

    And then for the last question here tonight, what's your favorite TV show?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Daily Show, Jon Stewart. I used to watch it with Craig Kilborn and think it was the coolest thing ever. And then like, you know, Jon Stewart came along, and I'm like, who's this hoser? And then he made the show like about forty times better.

    ALEX C. TELANDER

    That's how I get my news, usually.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    So yeah, I love The Daily Show.

    ALEX C. TELANDER

    Okay. All right, well thank you very much again.

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  • 45

    Interview: Dec 17th, 2008

    Question

    Which characters or plot threads are you most looking forward to writing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I said Perrin last year. This year, I'm not sure I can claim that any more. Not that my affection for Perrin has waned. I've simply spent too much time writing through the characters' eyes.

    One of the spectacular things about the Wheel of Time was the depth of characterization. No matter who's eyes you were seeing through, they felt real and lively. To each character, they are the most important person in their own story.

    As a writer, you can't play favorites. At least not when you're actually writing. When I sit down to write Egwene, she's my favorite. When I sit down to write Rand, he's my favorite. And when I sit down to write Perrin, he's my favorite.

    Through different points in the books, different characters are my 'favorite' to read about. Rand dominates my interest in books one and two, but I find myself leaning toward Perrin and then Aviendha in the next few books. Nynaeve's story in the middle end, with the rescue by Lan, is a personal favorite. Mat takes center stage after that, and Egwene is my favorite to read in Knife of Dreams.

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  • 46

    Interview: Dec 17th, 2008

    Question

    What are some of your favorite scenes in the Wheel of Time series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Last year, when I did this, I just listed a few off of the top of my head without turning to any reference websites. (Actually, that's how I did the whole interview—I felt that readers need to see the real me, not the coached and scripted me.) That may have been the wrong choice, since there were those who seemed aghast that I couldn't remember if Lan rescuing Nynaeve happened in book six or book seven. (Reference my general absent mindedness from the previous question.)

    Well, you can rest assured that I'm now very aware that it happened in book six, right after the Cleansing of saidar and right before Perrin blew the Horn of Valere. Sorry for getting that wrong.

    Anyway, I also mentioned the prologue to book one, some of the Perrin scenes in the later books (before the wife-vanishing incident), and the climax to the third book. (Though I think that last year I might have said Be'lal in a place where I meant Ba'alzamon. Surprisingly, I didn't see any indignation over this slip up. Perhaps I didn't look closely enough at the message boards—or, perhaps they never realized I made a mistake, since Be'lal was there at the end of Book Three. His scene just wasn't the one I was thinking about. In truth, I was just trying to get across that I've always found the entire end of the third book—with the Stone, and Mat, and Rand, and the Aiel—to be a blast. Literally, in Mat's case.)

    I think a lot of the most memorable points in the books are the climaxes of the stories. Dumai's Wells, Falme, etc. However as I consider it, probably my favorite sequence of scenes in the entire series is the one with Rand going through the ter'angreal at Rhuidean.

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  • 47

    Interview: Dec 17th, 2008

    Question

    And now, just for fun:
    Who's nastier: Moridin, or Padan Fain?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Still Moridin, by a long shot.

    Tags

  • 48

    Interview: Dec 17th, 2008

    Question

    Your favorite Old Guy: Thom, or Noal?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thom. Noal is nifty, but Thom has had a special place in my heart since the page where he saved Rand and Mat.

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  • 49

    Interview: Dec 17th, 2008

    Question

    Coolest wife: Tuon, or Faile?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Still Tuon. Faile is fascinating because of her effect on Perrin, and I do enjoy writing about her. (I'm not in the 'hate Faile' camp. Come on, guys. It's not HER fault that she got kidnapped for a couple of books. Besides, she really grows up a lot during her time in captivity.)

    But you said coolest, so I have to answer honestly. Tuon.

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  • 50

    Interview: Dec 17th, 2008

    Question

    Bigger trouble-maker: Mat or Nynaeve?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm actually leaning toward contradicting myself from last year on this one. I used to see Nynaeve as a big trouble maker, since I often empathized with the Perrin/Mat/Rand crowd. (I started reading these books as a teenage boy, and saw Nynaeve as a frustrating older sister.) However, on a re-read, I found myself empathizing with her quite often.

    I'd still call her a trouble-maker, but not as big a one. Problem is, Mat isn't much of one lately either. He's a whole lot of fun—perhaps the character who is the most purely fun to write. I think he's interesting and well-developed. But what kind of trouble has he been making lately? (Besides kidnapping the Seanchan almost-Empress, of course. I guess that was a little bit of trouble. Particularly if you happen to be a Deathwatch Guard.)

    I'm going to call it a draw.

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  • 51

    Interview: Oct 21st, 1994

    AOL Chat 2 (Verbatim)

    Question

    Who is your favorite of the Wheel characters?

    Robert Jordan

    The one I'm writing at the moment, whichever one that happens to be.

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  • 52

    Interview: Oct 21st, 1994

    AOL Chat 2 (Verbatim)

    Question

    Mr. Jordan, who is your favorite character in Wheel of Time? Who do you relate to most as a person?

    Robert Jordan

    My favorite character, and the one I relate to most, is the one about whom I am writing at whichever moment I happen to be writing.

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  • 53

    Interview: Jul, 2009

    carmen22

    Who or what was your inspiration to start writing fantasy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    When I was 14, I discovered the fantasy genre through Barbara Hambly's Dragonsbane. After her, I read McCaffrey and Rawn. They are really the ones who inspired me to start. When Robert Jordan's books came along, I was done for. ;)

    carmen22

    Which of your books is your favorite?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Tough call. Right now, Warbreaker is the best written—though The Gathering Storm is better, I think. I think that The Way of Kings will be awesome too. But you didn't ask for the best, you asked for my favorite. In that case, I'd probably have to say Elantris, as it was my first.

    carmen22

    Which of your characters is your favorite?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Tie between Lightsong and Vin.

    carmen22

    Were books a natural part of your childhood?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Unlike a lot of writers, I wasn't a big reader when I was younger. I came to it late, when I was in eighth grade. Until then, none of the books (mostly ones about boys with pet dogs) that people had given me worked. And then I discovered fantasy. From then on, you never found me without a book. Often two or three.

    carmen22

    And do you have a favorite book or author?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right now, Pratchett is my favorite living author. Jordan was my favorite for a long, long time. I'd add the original three ladies—McCaffrey, Rawn, and Hambly—to that as well, as they were the ones to get me into this genre.

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  • 54

    Interview: Jul, 2009

    Joshua_Patrao

    About your characters, Brandon: Which ones are the most like yourself?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's a piece of me in every one of them, but I'm not really like any of them. People who know me well say that Alcatraz's humor reminds them of my humor (which is different from Lightsong's humor or Kelsier's humor, which are different from mine.) Elend in the original Mistborn book represents some of how I've been known to act (bringing books to social events). Shuden in Elantris has a lot of me in him, actually. Raoden has my optimism, Hrathen my logical and thoughtful (and dangerously devious) mind, Vin my pragmatic determination, and Sarene my utter lack of skill with painting or drawing. In the end, I don't know if I can pick one who is most like me. Perhaps you should ask my wife. She'd probably be better at seeing this than I am.

    Joshua_Patrao

    Your favorite male and female characters you've written?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by favorite. A lot of people ask me this question, and my response is often different. Who am I writing at the time, what I am feeling at the time? Lightsong makes me laugh, but Kelsier is conflicted in a more personal, dangerous way—and that appeals to me. Vin is best rounded, but Sazed is (perhaps) closest to my heart.

    Joshua_Patrao

    Your favorite male/female characters of all time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Man, I'm bad at answering questions like this. Okay, male is probably Jean Valjean. Female...urg... Moiraine, maybe? Sioned from Dragon Prince is pretty awesome too. Double urg. I don't know. Jenny from Dragonsbane has long been one of my favorites, so maybe I'd pick her.

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  • 55

    Interview: Jul, 2009

    Joshua_Patrao

    The Eternal Question: Mac or PC?

    Brandon Sanderson

    PC. Not out of any avid devotion, but because it's what I've grown up on. My wife is a Mac person, though.

    Joshua_Patrao

    Your word processor of choice?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Word. Same reason as above.

    Joshua_Patrao

    Do you have music on real loud when you write (I've heard Steve King writes like that) or is it soft in the background?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Soft in the background.

    Joshua_Patrao

    Your favorite movies?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Joshua_Patrao

    Your favorite music?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Depends on the month. Right now? Daft Punk. Before that? Anything by Harry Gregson Williams. (Often, his music is better than the film it is in.) Metallica has been a long-standing favorite of mine, though I've been listening to a lot of Desprez lately.

    Joshua_Patrao

    I'd also like to thank Brandon here for being so wonderfully accessible. It's an excellent gesture Brandon, great of you. Your fans will always love you for it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No problem! Though that list above made me work. (Wipes brow.) I'm terrible at the "What's your favorite..." type questions.

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  • 56

    Interview: Oct 27th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    If he could pick a nationality from the Wheel of Time world, he'd belong to Malkier because he loves the lost kingdom story. He thinks all the Borderlands are cool, but would definitely NOT be a Saldaean.

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  • 57

    Interview: Oct 27th, 2009

    Jennifer McBride

    After a fifteen second countdown, the boxes are opened and the books are released. Brandon begins signing, and signing, and signing. Sometimes he takes questions from the live feed.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I only heard a couple, but one of them was "which Ajah would he be if he could pick an Ajah" and he answered: Brown. Given his love of the Borderlands, I was expecting Green.

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  • 58

    Interview: Oct 27th, 2009

    Katie

    If you could choose an Ajah, which Ajah would you choose?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If there were Ajahs for guys, I would definitely be a Brown.

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  • 59

    Interview: Nov 5th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    Other information that we gleaned from dinner included learning that Aviendha is the favorite out of the three in Rand’s “harem.” Hopefully we’ll get to see more of Pevara being awesome, but that could possibly appear in a novella on Brandon’s web page that will fill in some missing holes. But no promises! And one last interesting fact, in order to get the Illianer and Taraboner accents right, he wrote the book then went back and did a search for all the characters of those nations and then worked on their crazy accents.

    Footnote

    The Pevara novella was to be about the events at the Black Tower. Brandon later decided that the novella probably wasn't going to work. He got two chapters into Towers of Midnight, and the rest into A Memory of Light.

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  • 60

    Interview: Nov 7th, 2009

    Question

    Which character's point of view is your favorite to write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    "Whoever I'm writing at that moment", they're the most important. With some characters it was easier than others, as "Cadsuane already believes she's the most important." [I think I laughed the loudest at that remark.] He also said that the notes on Egwene were the most extensive and she was a pleasure to write. He also enjoys having more Aviendha viewpoints, as he missed her, and commented that writing Rand is both dramatic and draining.

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  • 61

    Interview: Nov 7th, 2009

    Question

    Which character did you perceive yourself as?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Perrin. Quiet, a little bigger than my friends... "I always felt a lot like Perrin." Eventually, his favorite shifted to Mat.

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  • 62

    Interview: Nov 7th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    While Brandon likes all the characters, he said that even he got annoyed at Faile while she was traveling with Perrin through the Ways. He did assure us that he does like her though!

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  • 63

    Interview: Oct 28th, 2009

    Question

    Which character do you most identify with?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon said that it depends on when he read the series through. When he first started reading he really was identifying with Rand, simply because they were both teenagers, so he naturally connected with how he felt. Then he started feeling for Perrin, slightly more mature, also because of the similarities in personality. This last time he read through the series for The Gathering Storm, he most identified with Moiraine and Nynaeve, because he, as a father in his 30's, can see the wisdom and guidance that they have to impart, and how better things would be if the boys just did what they were supposed to, unlike when he was younger when he would simply wish that they would stop butting in all the time.

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  • 64

    Interview: Oct 28th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    When asked about his favorite part of writing this series in specific: "The characters feel like old high school buddies."

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  • 65

    Interview: Nov 13th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    Aviendha is Brandon's favorite female of the series.

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  • 66

    Interview: Nov 13th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon's favorite color is maroon. Green shirt says so!

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  • 67

    Interview: Nov 13th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    He really likes carrot cake, and he likes Key lime pie, too. "And you know, a good brownie, with ice cream and... that's really good, too."

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  • 68

    Interview: Mar 19th, 2010

    Luckers

    So is Talmanes your favorite character then? If not, who is, and have they always been so or has it changed as time has passed?

    Maria Simons

    Mat is my absolute favorite. I love me some Mat. I don't know exactly when the real Mat-love started; I started liking him a lot when he took out Galad and Gawyn with his quarterstaff. I don't remember who my favorite was before that, but I did like Rand, Perrin, Lan, Verin and Moiraine (Mat was okay then, but the whole nasty dagger attitude kept him from being top tier). I didn't love Nynaeve at first, but she has really grown on me over the years. Talmanes is my favorite secondary character. Other second tier characters that I love are Siuan Sanche, Gareth Bryne, Bayle Doman, Rhuarc, Halwin Norry, Bain, Chiad, and Gaul. Okay, I better stop now. That list could get very large.

    Luckers

    Which is the character you most identify with? (Personally I'm thinking you and Verin are peas from a pod).

    Maria Simons

    I do adore sneaky sneaky Verin. I identify myself as a member of the Brown Ajah, that's for sure; I'm constantly studying books and notes. But when I'm handling all the financial stuff, I identify with Halwin Norry.

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  • 69

    Interview: Mar 19th, 2010

    Luckers

    If you had to name a single moment and a single plotline that was your favourite, what would they be? You're only allowed one. *grins evilly*

    Maria Simons

    Your evil grin is wasted. This one is easy. I have a favorite chapter—chapter five of Lord of Chaos, "A Different Dance." There is just so much classic Mat in that chapter: when he can't keep up with Betse's mouth and Talmanes hums "A Frog on the Ice", his dance with Betse with the memories from just before the Trolloc Wars, taking out the Hunter of the Horn with a low blow, and so much more. I absolutely love that chapter. It may have been that chapter that cemented the love for Mat.

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  • 70

    Interview: Mar 19th, 2010

    Luckers

    Are there any characters you really dislike?

    Maria Simons

    Gawyn. Joline. Sevanna. Therava. Elaida . . . oops, I mean Suffa. Liandrin. Padan Fain. Asunawa. The Forsaken. Again, I will stop here. The list could be large, too, but not as large as the "like" list.

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  • 71

    Interview: May 3rd, 2010

    Richard Fife

    Any particular favorite scene in the books?

    Maria Simons

    My favorite chapter is chapter five of Lord of Chaos called "A Different Dance." It's a chapter that showcases Mat; Mat is magnificent. He is in there trying to pick up Betse Silvin, and she's running circles around him. Talmanes is humming "A Frog on the Ice," Mat and Betse dance, and he remembers dancing with a Sea Folk woman. Then he goes out and takes down a Hunter for the Horn with a low blow and meets Olver. It is just a beautiful Mat showcase, and I think that is when I just totally fell in love with the character.

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  • 72

    Interview: May 12th, 2010

    Richard Fife

    Do you have a particularly favorite scene in the books?

    Alan Romanczuk

    My favorite scene is in the fourteenth book. About two-thirds of the way through, there is this fantastic scene . . . .

    Richard Fife

    I'm afraid I haven't read that one yet.

    Alan Romanczuk

    Well, the Last Battle will knock you dead. It will be great.

    Richard Fife

    They do say it will break the world.

    Alan Romanczuk

    Or the bank, whichever comes first.

    Richard Fife

    So, in the published books?

    Alan Romanczuk

    The published books? Ah. I don't have a specifically favorite scene, but in the recent books that Jim had written, the one that comes to mind for me is when Perrin was at his wit's end trying to find his wife and get information on Faile, and he goes to interrogate the captured Shaido they have staked out on the ground. Against all expectations, he chops off the man's limb, and makes it very clear to him that he is not going to kill him, but makes sure he is crippled for the rest of his life and will have to depend on others for his well being.

    What is striking about that is not only the surprise in what happened to Perrin's personality, but the fact that we see the depths of this man who had been operating at an almost emotionless state, or at least with a single, fixed purpose, which was saving his wife. We see him, the peace-loving blacksmith who, just through fate, is thrown into a position of leadership, suddenly do something that is completely out of character, or that we think is out of character, when in fact it is springing from his depths, something that needs to be done. So, in that scene, we see an inkling of Perrin becoming the person that he needs to be to take part in the Last Battle.

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  • 73

    Interview: Jun 30th, 2010

    Luckers

    What is your favorite aspect of the series?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    The people. And the writing.

    Luckers

    What is your favorite character, and why?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Perrin reminds me of Jim, for as you probably know he was a big man, with 54 inch shoulders. Mat reminds me of Jim, because he is such a delightful rascal. Rand reminds me of Jim because he is a world changer.

    I love them all. I also love Hurin, because he reminds me of Jim's father; Basel Gill, because he keeps a good inn, Thom Merrilin because he is a wonderful storyteller—well, you get the idea. There are about 2,000 named characters, and I love them all. Even Mordeth.

    Luckers

    What is your favorite plot-line, and why?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    That's like asking which child is my favorite!

    Luckers

    Are there any characters you really dislike?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Well, the villains of darkest dye, of course, but actually (see above) I love them too.

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  • 74

    Interview: Sep 4th, 2010

    Question

    Two books in, who would you say has become your favorite character to write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I can't really answer, because... I can answer for a given book, generally. Because I would definitely say that for The Gathering Storm Egwene was my favorite to write. And I've said that before.

    Question

    What about for Towers of Midnight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    For Towers of Midnight...see, if I say it's glittery...

    Audience

    I think that's enough answer right there.

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  • 75

    Interview: Sep 4th, 2010

    Question

    Hi, I don't know if you're going to be able to answer this, but Matrim, Perrin, and Rand—the three of them, they've—they all kind of started out similar, they both have done way different things, they've both grow in really different and really interesting ways, but I was just wondering between the three of them, if you had a favorite one, or one you felt that's the most interesting?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Generally, I answer this question by explaining I have different favorites throughout the process of reading the books. When I started, Rand was my favorite because Rand was the main character, and Rand was awesome. Through the middle books, it generally became Perrin because Rand became...he became the Dragon Reborn. And he's cool, he's still awesome, but Perrin was more like me. And then...and then, Perrin got kind of broody, and Mat really became my favorite in the ending books. And I think you'll probably find that's common, I just followed...that's what a lot of the fans I found felt. I would say overall, most of the time, it's been Perrin. He's had the longest....Perrin, you know, he's Perrin.

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  • 76

    Interview: Oct 26th, 2010

    Luckers

    What is your favorite aspect of the series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    As I’ve read each book at different times in my life, my answer to this has changed significantly. So I guess that as I think about it now, my favorite aspect would be how the books change and grow with you as you age. I’ve said before that many of the other books I started reading as a teenager just didn’t age as well. And that’s okay. They were brilliant for the time when I read them, and they were written for who I was when I read them. The fact that they have a much narrower focus does not mean that they are bad books. But as I grew up and became more proficient at understanding stories, and my tastes in stories changed, the Wheel of Time changed with me. The fact that the Wheel of Time has such a breadth and depth to it, that it can work for so many different people in so many different walks of life, is a great monument to Robert Jordan’s ability to write.

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  • 77

    Interview: Oct 26th, 2010

    Luckers

    What is your favorite plot-line, and why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It’s hard to define what a plotline is. I’ve said before that my favorite little chunk in the series is when Rand went into Rhuidean, because I love the nonlinear storytelling, the weaving of past and present, the ability to tell us who current people are by showing their ancestors. I think it’s just a beautiful, wonderful sequence. But I don’t know if that counts as a plotline.

    Maybe Perrin’s defense of the Two Rivers would be my favorite plotline in the series, because it has really great underdog story to it. At that point in the series, Rand is moving mountains, so to speak, and changing the world, yet this plotline focuses narrowly on real people—everyday people—and their struggles and how they’re fighting and changing. So I really enjoy that one.

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  • 78

    Interview: Nov 4th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    We learned that Brandon's favorite scenes of the series turned out to be Rand at Rhuidean in The Shadow Rising, followed closely by the climactic events in the Two Rivers in that same book.

    Chris Treco

    You know the ones I mean, and if you don't, go read!

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  • 79

    Interview: Nov 4th, 2010

    Question

    Are there any characters in particular you find hard to write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are several that I've had more trouble with than others, and in that case, I generally work on them quite a long time. Aviendha, when I first started writing her, was probably the most difficult to get the voice right. There are characters that I write that are more difficult to write than others for different reasons. For instance, Gawyn is kind of...frustrated with himself, and when you step into a character's viewpoint, you start to feel and think like them; that's the goal. And so, him being frustrated with himself and his purpose in life makes it hard to write his scenes, because you feel frustrated and things like that, and Harriet has a great story about that.

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    One of the things that happens with a writer, which certainly happened with Jim (Jordan's real name, FYI), was he was often asked "what was his favorite character?" and he said, "whoever I'm writing today." Because he understood that villains don't think they're villains. They are doing what the world or the devil or something outside has forced them to do. So they think of themselves as gallant victims, generally, while they're slitting somebody's throat. But I could tell when he'd been writing somebody awful. He'd come in the kitchen door at supper time and he'd slink around the walls! I said, "You've been writing Padan Fain today, haven't you?" "How did you know?!"

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  • 80

    Interview: Nov 4th, 2010

    Question

    Who's your favorite villain to write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It depends on the book. The scene that Harriet just read was a huge amount of fun to write, because Fain is just completely bonkers at this point. And so in this book I'd say that was, of the villain viewpoints, my favorite one to write.

    Question

    Can you do a Forsaken "Mwa-ha-ha"?

    Brandon Sanderson

    MWA ha ha ha HA HA HAH HA HA HA!!!

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  • 81

    Interview: Nov 6th, 2010

    Tower Guard

    Questions for Brandon included which character he enjoys writing most vs. which he enjoys reading most.

    Brandon Sanderson

    For writing, he quoted Robert Jordan, saying that it tended to be whichever he was writing, though he admitted that it depended a lot upon the type of scene he was writing vs. the type of mood he was in. For reading, he said his favorite was Perrin earlier in the series, with Mat claiming the title later in the series. Brandon also spent several moments praising Harriet as an editor and a titan in the field, only breaking off when Harriet got so embarrassed that she made him stop.

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  • 82

    Interview: Nov 8th, 2010

    Question

    What was your favorite non Wheel of Time book to write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say The Way of Kings.

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  • 83

    Interview: Nov 8th, 2010

    Question

    When you were just another reader of the Wheel of Time was there anything you didn't like?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I was not a big fan of Cadsuane.

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  • 84

    Interview: Nov 8th, 2010

    Question

    Which kind of Misting would you want to be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A Coinshot so I could jump around.

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  • 85

    Interview: Nov 8th, 2010

    Question

    Who is your favorite character to write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Aviendha, but she's also the hardest. I've just always liked her. Egwene was fun to write, particularly in The Gathering Storm.

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  • 86

    Interview: Nov 4th, 2010

    Question

    Somebody asked who his least favorite character is to write.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He said it was probably Gawyn. He said when you write a character, you try to think like them, and Gawyn is so frustrated with his situation that Brandon would get frustrated writing him. He asked Harriet to tell a funny story about Jim.

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Jim would get into his characters so much that sometimes when he came to dinner I could tell who he had been writing. For example he would come in kinda hunched and slinking around near the walls and I would say "Have you been writing Padan Fain?" (Harriet and Brandon laugh)

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  • 87

    Interview: Nov 4th, 2010

    Question

    Somebody asked who his favorite villain is to write.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He says that he enjoys a lot of them, but that writing Padan Fain is very enjoyable, because by this point in the story he is just bonkers (his word) so it's fun to write such an insane perspective. He said specifically, the excerpt Harriet read aloud was pretty much his favorite to write. (see above)

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  • 88

    Interview: Jan 10th, 2011

    Jvstin ()

    On your Writing Excuses podcast you mentioned a love of maps, especially maps that thematically work with the world of the book (such as the maps in your The Way of Kings). Given that, what is your all-time favorite fantasy novel map?

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    Wow, that's putting me on the spot. There are many different aspects I like about a lot of different maps. I love how the map in The Hobbit is the map the characters carry around. That struck me when I read that book. I really liked how David Eddings' books had a big map and then a zoom-in for every section when the characters would go there. But I wouldn't call either of those my favorite fantasy map.

    The main Wheel of Time map is certainly one of the prettiest. But the best I've probably seen is the one from Leviathan. That one kind of blew me away.


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  • 89

    Interview: Dec 23rd, 2010

    Scott Wilson

    What are you reading at the moment and who are your favorite authors?

    Brandon Sanderson

    At the moment sitting on my shelf next to be read is The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett. I also have a manuscript of Variant, a novel by a friend of mine, Robison Wells, which will will be coming out in a year or so from Harper Teen.

    Favorite authors, in no particular order: Robert Jordan, Terry Pratchett, Victor Hugo, and Dan Wells. The list really depends on my mood at the time, who I've been reading a lot of recently. There are many authors from whom I'll love one book and not be as blown away by their other novels. Here's a sampling of single books I think are fantastic: A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge, Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly, Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay, and Sabriel by Garth Nix.

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  • 90

    Interview: Jun 4th, 2011

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sanderson revealed some of his favourite scenes from the Wheel of Time—Rand at Rhuidean; Nynaeve and Lan when she overcame her block; and Perrin and the siege of the Two Rivers.

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  • 91

    Interview: Aug 1st, 2011

    SciFi Bulgaria

    What kind of literature do you prefer to read in your spare time and what is your favourite book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Reading fantasy is what got me into writing fantasy, and that's still what I prefer to read. But I do like novels and nonfiction in some other genres—Les Misérables is one of my favorite books of all time; I think Victor Hugo was a genius. But there are many authors from whom I'll love one book and not be as blown away by their other novels. Here's a sampling of single books I think are fantastic: A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge, Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly, Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay, and Sabriel by Garth Nix.

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  • 92

    Interview: Aug 29th, 2011

    Literatopia

    Who's your personal favorite in The Wheel of Time and why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably Perrin. Growing up I identified most with him, and in many ways he's the character most similar to me. But when I'm writing, when I'm in a character's head, that character is the most important in the book. They're all my favorite when I'm writing them—that's just the way it has to be as a writer.

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  • 93

    Interview: Aug 31st, 2011

    Reddit AMA 2011 (Verbatim)

    rand althor ()

    I know Robert Jordan always answered this by saying, whichever character he was writing at the moment, but, as you were fan of WoT to start with...who are some of your favorite characters, as a fan of the series, from Wheel of Time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Now: Whoever I'm writing.

    Before I started: Perrin, Aviendha, Tuon, Mat, Rand, Tam.

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  • 94

    Interview: Jul 11th, 2010

    ShaiZ

    Brandon who is your favorite character from WoT? Or do you have one?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably Perrin, most days. It's hard to say. It's the one I'm writing at the moment, usually.

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  • 95

    Interview: Jul 11th, 2010

    koboldninja

    Which of your books was your favorite to write thus far, and why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Each is different. The WoT books are the most challenging, the Alcatraz books the most fun. I think The Way of Kings was the most enthralling. Each have their high points.

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  • 96

    Interview: Jul, 2009

    TaurusRW

    Which is your favorite Pratchett novel and why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Truth is my favorite. As a writer, and one who likes to explore the nature of the truth in his works, a novel that deals with someone trying to publish a newspaper in a fantasy world mixed philosophy and laughs in the way only Pratchett can. However, Guards Guards is the book where I suggest people new to Pratchett start. (I suggest avoiding the Colour of Magic as your first experience, even though it's technically the first book in the series. They are all stand alone novels, really, and Guards Guards can be seen as the beginning of the best sub-series within the series.)

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  • 97

    Interview: Jul, 2009

    ErrantKnave

    Also, who was your favorite character to write? And don't say Bela.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's really, really hard for me to answer this, since when I'm in a character's head, that character is the most important in the book. They're all my favorite when I'm writing them—that's just the way it has to be as a writer.

    It is also hard to answer without giving spoilers that I'm not certain I want to give. For instance, some characters were interesting to write for different reasons. In some places, I was expanding on things Mr. Jordan left behind, in other places I was trying to piece together what I think he would have done based on the momentum of the books. In some places, I was writing based mostly on my instincts as a writer. I was doing a lot of different things with a lot of different characters, getting a balance of action, drama, and fun. Which is my favorite among all of that? It depends on what I'm feeling like that day.

    If really pressed on it, I'll probably say that going into this, my favorite thing that I anticipated would be finally (after all of this time) writing Rand's character through the end of the series. Like many, I was initially hooked into this all by his story, and—regardless of other favorites at different points in the series—who he is as a person is vitally important for driving these last books.

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  • 98

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Justin Huckaby (14 November 2011)

    Who has been your favorite character to write in WoT?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    Perrin has long been my favorite, and continues to be one. Mat was hard, but fun.

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  • 99

    Interview: Nov 21st, 2011

    LordJuss

    You’ve said previously that when you were a young man you identified with Rand over the other boys, but now you’re older, you identify more with the older characters. Do you think when you are 80 you will identify with Cadsuane?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Maybe with Thom Merrilin. I think I would need to be the full 300 to completely identify with Cadsuane.

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  • 100

    Interview: Apr 10th, 2001

    Kurafire

    If you could be one of the characters from your books, within your own story, who would you like to be most?

    Robert Jordan

    [laughs loudly] I don’t wanna be in this story. This world is entirely too interesting, too much going on. Any sane man wants to live in a place where there’s not a lot going on. Where there’s not a lot going on, and they can have a peaceful existence, and a long life. Trying to live in the world of my books would be, miserable, and probably short. I don’t know about [...] but, definitely miserable and short.

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  • 101

    Interview: 2001

    Rochelle O'Gorman

    Do you have a favorite of your books?

    Robert Jordan

    The books that I am working on at the moment. Every book has been my favorite while I was writing it, and when I finish it, well, I'm done with that and it's another book that's a favorite. It's the same way with the characters. Whoever's point of view that I'm writing from is my favorite character right then, even if it's somebody nasty. Because to write from a character's point of view you have to be inside that character's head, inside their skin, and that means that you have to like them, because most people do like themselves. And if you don't like that character you're writing, if you really don't identify with that character for that time, then the character—I believe—comes across false.

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  • 102

    Interview: Aug 31st, 2011

    Reddit AMA 2011 (Verbatim)

    crucix ()

    Which of the many characters you have written do you like the most?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's a tough call. You kind of get into a character's head, and enjoy them all. I had a blast with Mat in Towers of Midnight, where I feel I finally started to get him 'right.' But each book has characters that are just plain fun to write. (Kelsier in the first Mistborn, Sazed in the last.) I can't really chose.

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  • 103

    Interview: Aug 31st, 2011

    Reddit AMA 2011 (Verbatim)

    Nolder ()

    What's your favorite webcomic?

    Brandon Sanderson

    How about my top five? I go back and forth on rankings.

    1) Dr. McNinja 2) Sam and Fuzzy 3) Schlock Mercenary 4) Order of the stick 5) Uh...Sinfest or SMBC (I guess it's my top six.)

    Really digging Kate Beaton lately, but man, she's worse than Order of the Stick at updating. And that's saying something.

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  • 104

    Interview: Dec 5th, 2011

    Helen Lowe

    Elantris and Warbreaker are both standalone novels, but the greater body of your work comprises series. Should this be interpreted as a preference for the series form or do you enjoy both equally?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can indeed interpret that as a bit of a preference. I grew up reading the big classic fantasy series like the Wheel of Time, and I don't think you can do that as a writer like myself without developing a deep fondness and a desire to write your own. So I would say a slight preference, but some of my favorite books are standalones, like Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay. I do think that the form of the standalone epic fantasy is a really cool one, and one that I want to experiment with more, and one that I like a lot. So while there's a slight preference, I wouldn't say that it's a deep overriding preference. I do what feels right for me for any given story.

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  • 105

    Interview: May 19th, 2004

    Robert Jordan

    He was asked which one of the characters he prefers; he answered "nobody in particular", and that he'd like to be like Lan, but that he's more similar to Perrin, while his wife said that for what concerns her, he is Loial ...

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  • 106

    Interview: Jun 11th, 2007

    Frank McIntyre

    Mistborn was good. Elantris was better, I think. I have a pretty low tolerance for sex and gore in novels and neither of these bothered me. Both were very interesting fantasy that actually spent some time thinking about new ways a world could work.

    JOHNNA CORNETT

    Oh Frank, Mistborn is much better than Elantris, but then I'm prejudiced against zombies. And as an added bonus, Mistborn had the best cover art ever—that unusual angle, so intriguing, and not contra the text as book covers so often are. In fact, after I finished the book I could see, in retrospect, that the cover depicts an important plot point at the end of the book—what a fabulous Easter egg is that!

    It's fun that my oldest child is now old enough to pass my books too. We both love Mistborn. No undue influence from the woman who houses and feeds her, I assume. She wrote one of her big literature projects on Mistborn this year.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Elantris vs Mistborn debate: To be honest, I expected this. The books are actually rather different. I think the same audience will enjoy them both, but I fully expect some readers to like the philosophy and metaphorical nature of Elantris, while others will like the action of Mistborn. Just wait until Alcatraz hits—it's quite different too, and I don't know what people are going to think of it.

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  • 107

    Interview: Jul, 2009

    Banvard

    Snake or the Fox?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Fox. They look cooler.

    BANVARD

    All my gold on the Fox beating the game for only a ta'veren can cheat at the unbeatable. Cough, Mat.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Maybe the answer should have been “Fox or Snake? Neither. Raven.”

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  • 108

    Interview: Jul, 2009

    eliyannakaiser

    How goes loverboy's Min/[Elayne]/Aviendha thingee? And which girl would you go with?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It’s interesting, as could be expected. I’d pick Min for me, but Aviendha for Rand. Know that RJ was very clear on how that whole thing was to end up. So no guesswork by me. (whew).

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  • 109

    Interview: Nov 8th, 2011

    Question

    What’s your favorite fantasy/scf characters that you haven’t written?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Excluding my books and the wheel of time, Sam Vimes from the Discworld books, I really, really like. I have a strong affection for Harry Dresden. I really am fond of Lesa from Dragon Riders. Dragon Riders was one of the early books that I really really liked. Let’s see, who else. That guy from Dragon Prince. Dragon Prince is one of my favorite all-time books. Who else? Who else is good characters? The Fool from the Assassin books by Robin Hobb that she wrote is really awesome. That’s a good place for you. I would like to say Kvothe, because I love those books, but I don’t think he and I wouldn’t get along. I love the books and think that Kvothe is a jerk, and that’s part of why I love Name of the Wind, because Kvothe is kind of a jerk.

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  • 110

    Interview: Jul, 2009

    pmrbluepat

    Who is your favorite character that you have ever created in any of your books?

    Brandon Sanderson (2009-07-08)

    You ask a tough question. Very tough. I'll have to say Hoid is my favorite.

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  • 111

    Interview: Jul, 2009

    Rinzi

    Are there any characters in your books who you actually DON'T like?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Does Cadsuane count? (J/K. I love you Cads. Really, don’t beat me up.) I have characters that didn’t bloom like I wanted. Parlin in Warbreaker still itches at me. Could have been done better. I always wished I could give Ham more time in Mistborn. But I can’t think of anyone I don’t like. When I write as someone, as oily as they are, I see life as them.

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  • 112

    Interview: Jul, 2009

    Fiirvoen

    What is your favorite book that you've written and had published?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I’d pick Mistborn 3 if I had to. But The Gathering Stormand Kings are both better than it is.

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  • 113

    Interview: Jul, 2009

    Feifner

    Who is your favorite character from The Way of Kings?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Favorite character is Lightsong. I had long wanted to do a character who would have fit in an Oscar Wilde play. If you want to cast Rupert Everett as Lightsong in your head, feel free. [Mistake on Brandon's part? This was the closest match I found.]

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  • 114

    Interview: Jul, 2009

    Danbarbour

    Out of everything that you have written, what would you say is your favorite and/or most proud of?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Gathering Storm is, by far, the best—and most difficult—thing I’ve written. It’s what I’m most proud of. For what is published, though, Warbreaker has the best writing of anything I’ve done.

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  • 115

    Interview: Jul, 2009

    Meeeeech

    Which magic system of yours would you be most inclined to use? (Also include channeling!)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably Feruchemy. The memorization potential would help me be a better writer.

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  • 116

    Interview: Nov 14th, 2011

    seaksstamp (14 November 2011)

    What is your favorite book you've written?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    Favorite is hard to pin down. I'm most proud of either The Gathering Storm or The Way of Kings, as they were among the hardest and most satisfying.

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  • 117

    Interview: Nov 14th, 2011

    derek_downey (14 November 2011)

    Do you read ebooks or are you a purist (Have to have the physical book)?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    I prefer to read physical when I am at home, and ebook when I'm on the road. (Like now.)

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  • 118

    Interview: Nov 14th, 2011

    valveriefrankel (14 November 2011)

    What's your favorite book of all time?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    Probably Les Miserables. Hope I spelled that right . . .

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  • 119

    Interview: Nov 14th, 2011

    athenainlove (14 November 2011)

    Which author would you like to meet and get a book signed by him/her?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    Alive? Terry Practhett. Dead? Robert Jordan.

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  • 120

    Interview: Dec 5th, 2000

    Br00se

    The first question I heard was concerning his favorite character.

    Robert Jordan

    His reply was whomever he was writing at the time. He then went on to say that his wife could guess whom he had been writing just by looking at him. I missed the next question, but the answer was: "Don't name your son Chad."

    Footnote

    This comment no doubt had something to do with the infamous 2000 US presidential election (Bush v. Gore), the results of which (thanks to Florida's ambiguous 'hanging chad' ballots) were not officially and finally declared until December 12, one week after this signing (despite the election having occurred on November 7).

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  • 121

    Interview: Dec 8th, 2007

    Jason Denzel

    Which characters or plot threads are you most looking forward to writing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Wheel of Time turns. The most exciting thing for me will be to tie the events of this last book back to those of the first book, as I think that is what this story is all about. On a more personal note, Perrin has always been a favorite of mine. I think his story is the one I'm most looking forward to resolving.

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  • 122

    Interview: Dec 8th, 2007

    Jason Denzel

    What are some of your favorite scenes in The Wheel of Time series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's probably a cliché to say so, but my favorite is still that opening scene of The Eye of the World—that's what grabbed me as a fifteen year old boy and said "You NEED to read this book!" Lews Therin standing over the body of his wife while he calls for her, after being driven insane. . . wow.

    Though, that one's probably too obvious. There are a lot of others to choose from. The fight between Rand and Be'lal at the end of The Dragon Reborn was just plain cool. Another of my favorites is the scene where Lan rescues Nynaeve after that whole Moghedien-balefire incident. (I can't even remember which book that is right now.) Oh, and pretty much anything with Perrin in the later books. Not to mention the cleansing of saidin.

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  • 123

    Interview: Dec 8th, 2007

    Jason Denzel

    And now, just for fun:

    Who's nastier: Moridin, or Padan Fain?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No contest: Moridin. You can't really top Ishamael when it comes to nastiness, particularly if his opponent is just a little Darkfriend weasel. Yeah, Padan Fain facilitated the attack on Emond's Field and all that, but he's still just a weasel.

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  • 124

    Interview: Dec 8th, 2007

    Jason Denzel

    Your favorite Old Guy: Thom, or Noal?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hum. . . Thom. He's more interesting to me. Plus, he has that cool mustache. Old guys should have cool drooping mustaches.

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  • 125

    Interview: Dec 8th, 2007

    Jason Denzel

    Coolest wife: Tuon, or Faile?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Coolest? Tuon. Most whiny and frustrating, yet strangely interesting? Faile.

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  • 126

    Interview: Dec 8th, 2007

    Jason Denzel

    Bigger trouble-maker: Mat or Nynaeve?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You're kidding, right? Nynaeve. That girl causes more problems than the Dark One himself. (Okay, not really, but still. . . .)

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  • 127

    Interview: May 15th, 2003

    Dario Olivero

    What is your view of the trilogy of films from the Lord of the Rings?

    Robert Jordan

    I like them, I have seen the first two episodes, I'll go see the third and I bought the DVD.

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  • 128

    Interview: Apr, 2012

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon spoke of how sometimes the characters he liked did get more air time, and that this was a side effect of having a fan write the books. He spoke of his love of Perrin, and how he wanted Towers of Midnight to be a 'big, awesome, Perrin book', and that that is what he hoped he delivered.

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  • 129

    Interview: Apr 21st, 2012

    Matt Hatch

    Before you became an editor, who were your favorite authors, or favorite books?

    Harriet McDougal

    Well, that would be while I was still in school. I had a favorite book as a child called The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge, who then wrote a number of books for adults. I used to pretend to be sick so I could stay home in bed and read this book over and over and over. It was pretty remarkable, written not long after WWII. A little girl and her desiccated nanny are going to a new place to live, and there's a really wonderful kind of gateway they have to go through, it's like a hole in a cliff and there's a big bluff guy—what it is is a thinly-disguised Brit-loving thing. The man who's head of the household they're going to is obviously John Bull and there's a big dog in the house, but it's a lion, and she sees the little white horse, which has a horn, out of her window, the lion and the unicorn, and then these gypsies, and a stolen pearl necklace, and it's all about reconciling the grown-ups, which tells you another thing about my parents' marriage. (laughter) Anyway, I loved it, and it's full of the porn of food. It was written while rationing still went on, which was well into the 50s, and butter simply drips from every page. (laughter) And I loved it.

    That was a big favorite, and I also loved horror comics, until my mother found out where I was buying them, and she told me I was never to go to that drugstore again, and what's more, she went to the drugstore and told them I was not allowed to come in. And to this day, I've been unable to visit that perfectly inoffensive drugstore, which still exists. It's about to close up—not my fault! But I loved them.

    Matt Hatch

    What's the name of the drugstore?

    Harriet McDougal

    Well, I don't know the—they know this, and since they're closing up, and feeling blue...they're perfectly nice people. But I did love horror comics. And I borrowed the first Nancy Drew; mother found it and made me take it back; she only wanted me to read Caldecott and Newbery winners. I read a lot of bad Newbery winners.

    Matt Hatch

    So has your taste changed since then?

    Harriet McDougal

    Not much, not much. That's why I grew up to edit paperbacks.

    Matt Hatch

    Today, who do you read when you pick up a book?

    Harriet McDougal

    Well, at the moment, I'm fond of Jacqueline Winspear mysteries—they're the Maisie Dobbs mysteries—and she's begun to hit the big time. She's an interesting character; she's a working-class Englishwoman, who saw life as a nurse during WWI, and the books are set between WWI and WWII, which is a period of history I know very little about, and they're fun.

    Matt Hatch

    Is it the mystery adventure elements that—

    Harriet McDougal

    It's not particularly—no, it's not adventure; it's figuring out what happened. They're not cosies, exactly, but they're not shoot-em-ups either. Somewhere in between. They're unusual books. I like mysteries, and I've been going through a period of reading oldies. I love Terry Pratchett—I have one with me as a matter of fact.

    Matt Hatch

    Everyone keeps telling me I need to read them; I just haven't.

    Harriet McDougal

    Well he's perfectly wonderful, and at times of sadness and trouble, I just think he's a tonic.

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  • 130

    Interview: Apr 17th, 2012

    Google+ Hangout (Verbatim)

    Lauren Newberg

    If you could have the abilities of one of your characters what abilities would you want and why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Any one of my characters? Well I would love to be able to- If I were to pick one superpower it would probably be flying and so I would totally go with, probably steelpushing just because I think it would be so much fun, the idea of the, of the Lashings from Way of Kings would be a nice second but the, the Steelpushing just sounds like fun, so I would totally be a Mistborn, I would get them all.

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  • 131

    Interview: Oct 18th, 2004

    Brandon Sanderson (Chapter 2)

    So, this chapter gets the grand prize for most edited and revised chapter in the book. There are other chapters that have more new material—but only because they were added in completely after the original draft. This chapter, good old chapter two, was the one that underwent the most tweaks, face-lifts, additions, and edits during the ten drafts I did of ELANTRIS.

    And, I think poor little Sarene is the cause of it.

    You could say that she played havoc with the book in much the same way she did with Hrathen, Iadon, and Raoden in the story.

    As I worked on the novel, Sarene as a character took on a much more dominant role in the plot than I had intended. Perhaps it's because she's the intermediary between the other two characters, or maybe it's because I liked her best of the three characters. Either way, in my mind, this book is about Sarene. She's the catalyst, the force of change.

    In the end, she's the one that provides the solutions to both Raoden and Hrathen's problems. She gives Raoden the hint he needs to fix ELANTRIS, and she gives Hrathen the moment of courage he needs in order to turn against Dilaf.

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  • 132

    Interview: Oct 18th, 2004

    Brandon Sanderson

    However, I've found that Sarene is many people's least-favorite of the three characters. I had a lot of trouble in the original drafts of this book, since many alpha readers didn't like her in this chapter. They thought she came off as too brusque and manipulative. It was always my intention to show a more sensitive side to her later in the novel, but I didn't intend to lead with it quite as quickly as I ended up doing.

    The first edit to the chapter came with the addition of the Sarene-and-Ashe-travel-to-the-palace scene. This is the section were Sarene sits in the carriage, thinking about her anger at Raoden and her insecurity. This counteracts a bit of the strength we see from her in the first scene at the docks, rounding her out as a character.

    The second big addition came in the form of the funeral tent scene. This was added as a tangent to one of Moshe's suggestions—he wanted us to have an opportunity to see Sarene investigating Raoden's death. In the original drafts of the book, we felt the narrative made it too obvious to outsiders that Raoden must have been thrown into Elantris. Moshe and I felt that it seemed silly that people wouldn't consider the possibility that Raoden wasn't dead. This wasn't what I wanted—I wanted most people to accept the event. Only someone as overly-curious as Sarene would have been suspicious.

    So, I revised the story to downplay the suspicion around Raoden's death. Instead of having Iadon rush through the funeral (an element of the original draft) I added the funeral tent and had Sarene (off-stage) attend the funeral itself. These changes made it more reasonable that very few people would have suspicions regarding the prince's death, and therefore made it more plausible that people wouldn't think that he had been thrown into Elantris.

    Other small tweaks to this chapter included the removal of a line that almost everyone seemed to hate but me. After Sarene meets Iadon for the first time, she is pulled away by Eshen to leave the throne room. At this time, I had Sarene mutter "Oh dear. THIS will never do." Everyone thought that was too forceful, and made her sound to callous, so I changed it to "Merciful Domi! What have I gotten myself into?" A piece of me, however, still misses Sarene's little quip there.

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  • 133

    Interview: Oct 18th, 2004

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's a tie for best line of the chapter, in my opinion. The first one goes to Sarene, and it's in her thoughts. "The problem with being clever," Sarene thought with a sigh, "is that everyone assumes you're always planning something." This was an original line from the first draft, and it's always struck me as a rather true statement. The other line goes to Roial, and it was actually added in one of the last drafts. "Mean young men are trivial, and kindly old men boring."

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  • 134

    Interview: Oct 18th, 2004

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's a tie—best cheesy line from this chapter.

    FINALIST NUMBER ONE:

    He half-smiled, his eyes unconvinced. Then, however, he regarded her with an unreadable expression. "Well, I suppose the time during your Trial wasn't a complete loss. I gained something very important during those weeks."

    "The supplies?" Sarene asked.

    "That too."

    FINALIST NUMBER TWO:

    "When I opened my eyes, I thought that time I had died for certain." (Remember, when this happened, Raoden was laying on his back. He oppened his eyes, and the first thing he would have seen was Sarene's face hovering above him.)

    What can we learn from this? That people who are falling in love are utter cheese-heads.

    Tags

  • 135

    Interview: Oct 18th, 2004

    Brandon Sanderson

    The saddest part about Kaloo, I think, is that he's not a real character. I had a lot of fun writing him, and when I was done, I wished that I had a full character to play with. Even in these few chapters, I got across a complexity for him that I thought was most interesting. (His line about acting the fool on purpose, as well as the one "The revolution rolled over us while we were still discussing what to have for dinner" are some of my personal favorites.)

    Unfortunately, all of this characterization is undermined by the fact that Kaloo is really just Raoden playing a part. I often develop characters in my mind based solely on their dialect—and everyone has a dialect, despite what you may think. Galladon's might be the most obvious, but—in my mind, at least—everyone in the book speaks a little differently. Roial is dignified mischievous, Ahan favors flamboyant words, Kaloo favors frivolousness words, and Ashe likes words that make him sound solemn. Karata is curt, Lukel likes to quip, and Raoden firm.

    That's probably why I grew so attached to Kaloo—he had a lot of dialogue, and through that I created who he was in my mind. This tendency of mine to characterize through dialogue is why I had so much trouble cutting Galladon's frequent use of 'kolo', which always bothered Moshe. Galladon's dialect is so much a part of who he is that each cut made me cringe.

    Tags

  • 136

    Interview: Jul 10th, 2012

    Sabrina Fish

    What is your favorite part of The Alloy of Law?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say my favorite part was getting to finally write about interactions between guns and Allomancy.

    Tags

  • 137

    Interview: May, 2012

    Nalini Haynes

    On Friday 13 I met Brandon to talk to him about his career and his novels. We chatted in the foyer of the Stamford Grand, a hotel in central Melbourne. The foyer has a lounge where we sat in plush chairs at a little side table, surprisingly secluded for a lobby section of a busy international hotel. Brandon was wearing jeans, a tee with a check shirt hanging open over the top and—wait for it—a brown suede folding akubra, or the Australian equivalent of a cowboy hat.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You notice I’m wearing my Akubra, just special for you guys. I don’t know if it looks good or if it makes me look like a total tourist, but I decided I would wear it.

    Nalini Haynes

    I like it, personally. I think it looks good and they’re so practical.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It’s really practical. I mean, it folds up and stuff—it’s great. I like it.

    Nalini Haynes

    Be careful about folding it up: my husband used to have one of them and the wire gets bent and it gets really hard to get back into shape.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, okay. Don’t fold it too much is what you’re saying? Okay. I am kind of a hat person: I like hats. I brought my bowler with me to wear around but then I switched to the Akubra.

    Nalini Haynes

    Very nice.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I figure I need a local hat. I forced my wife to buy one too.

    Nalini Haynes

    So she's here too?

    Brandon Sanderson

    She was here in Perth and stayed for the first half of the tour, then she flew home. It gets a little bit wearying. I mean, I’m here for three weeks. She wanted to get home to the family. My mother was babysitting. Again, babysitting the kids for a week is great for Grandma, but after a week it does get a little—you know—so we didn’t want to wear out our welcome.

    Nalini Haynes

    Babysitting privileges are very important.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, they are, they are indeed.

    Nalini Haynes

    How many kids do you have?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We have two, a little four-year-old boy and a little two-year-old boy.

    Nalini Haynes

    So they’re a handful.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are. They always say you get what is coming to you. I have a little brother who is two years younger than myself, and we were supposedly a handful at that age too. So now I get to know the joys. They’re wonderful, they’re delightful, but two little boys are just balls of energy. I wish you could find some way to plug in to them and harness that energy. You could probably power the whole city. They’re just always going somewhere, you turn around and they’ve climbed up four shelves trying to reach something you’ve put up there.

    Nalini Haynes

    Yes, oh yes. I remember when my son was that age. It was so scary. What are their names?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Joel and Dallin. Dallin is a local name; you don’t hear it much outside the area but it’s very common in the West there. A lot of people seem confused by it—Dallin, where’d you get that?—but it’s fairly common. I don’t know what the original derivation is, I should look it up, but it’s one of those names that we see that we liked.

    Tags

  • 138

    Interview: May, 2012

    Nalini Haynes

    Some characters are there for you to hate, do you find that fans want you to change that character?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Reader feedback is an interesting thing. I’ll use the Wheel of Time as a model. When I took the Wheel of Time, I was a fan and reader. There were certain things that the super fan in me wanted to see happen and I had to say, ‘No, wait a minute. That would take the book into the ridiculous.’ If I put in all the cameos and brought back the characters with just the lines all the fans would love, I would risk turning the book into a comedy. With all the callouts and sendups, it turns into Shrek, which is just one huge pop culture extravaganza. That’s not what we want to do, not what we want to write. When fans are often asking for these things, they are not really asking for them.

    I think there are certain things, as a fan, that you do want: great moments, huge payoffs that were a long time coming; after waiting so many many years there are things you want to have come together, a climax you want to read—these are important. So walking that line is difficult, and working on the Wheel of Time has taught me how to do it better. Characters the fans love to hate—you get a sense of when you want to make sure they are in the fans’ face plenty, and when you want to back off.

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  • 139

    Interview: Sep 22nd, 2012

    Question

    If you were a misting, what would you be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would be a Coinshot. Because I would love to be able to have that flight thing going on, jumping around.

    Tags

  • 140

    Interview: 2012

    Question (August 2012)

    What's your favorite plot thread in WoT?

    Brandon Sanderson (August 2012)

    Tough choice. I'd say that overall, it was either the Perrin Two Rivers sequence or Rand in Rhuidean. I'm not sure if those count as plot threads, or if you want something larger-scale. The plot thread of Mat becoming awesome across many books is very well done, and I might pick that as a larger scale item.

    Question

    Nice. three great choices from each of the ta'veren. :)

    Tags

  • 141

    Interview: May 2nd, 2012

    Mark Grayson ()

    I'll try to sum up a few other things I remember:

    Brandon Sanderson

    We talked about if he laughed when fans were guessing who wrote what and getting it way wrong. He said the story he could tell about that was someone looking at the chapter titles to tGS and saying they could tell that Brandon wrote those when of course Harriet has named all the chapters since the start.

    He was disappointed that DKS couldn't finished the last cover even though he really thinks Whelan is the best fantasy artist around. He likened it to the same as it being too bad that he had to finish the series instead of RJ.

    He talked some more about how he felt Mat was the hardest character to get write because he's pretty complicated. His thoughts don't always match up with his actions and it was hard to strike the right tone.

    He knows that his action sequences don't sound like RJ's. He said he just doesn't have the real world experience that RJ did as a combat soldier so he just writes them as the best action scenes that he can.

    He said Perrin was his favorite character so one of his goals was to redeem the character a bit and make him awesome again.

    I asked about his Alcatraz books and he said there will be one more but it's not high on the priority list and will be several years. He also said the Scholastic distribution wasn't great and he's working on buying back the rights and bringing the series to TOR for wider distribution and ebook release.

    Mark Grayson

    Stuff like that. Nothing that hasn't been covered before.

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  • 142

    Interview: Jan 12th, 2013

    Question

    Which of the great captains do you identify with?

    Alan Romanczuk

    Bela (lots of laughter from everyone). They are all really great.

    Tags

  • 143

    Interview: Jan 8th, 2013

    Question ()

    Who is your favorite character?

    Harriet McDougal

    Verin, I'm a Brown. But I'm a lot like Nynaeve.

    Tags

  • 144

    Interview: Jan 7th, 2013

    Michael Chantry

    Hi, I'm Michael Chantry from Podunk [?] Idaho—[claps] someone knows the area. Thank you for the books; they're amazing. Thanks Robert Jordan for the books. I like them so much I actually named my second child Perrin. [applause]

    My question is to both Brandon and Harriet. I know you love this new book, A Memory of Light, that you've created for us, and out of it, is there anything that we... What is your favorite part? What did you enjoy most about it? If you can give us a chapter, a section...anything. I know you're going to say "the whole thing." [laughter]

    Brandon Sanderson

    (flips through book) [laughter] There's a 200-page chapter in this book. [hoots, buzz of talking] I felt it very thematically important, and my favorite part is right at the end of that chapter and the beginning of the next chapter, and the next chapter is actually very short, and so really, it's probably Chapter 39, but with the lead-in at the end of chapter 38.

    Michael Chantry

    And Harriet, do you have a favorite part?

    Brandon Sanderson

    (talks to Peter) 37 and 38? Okay, 37 and 38. Peter knows these things better than I do. [laughter]

    Harriet McDougal

    Well, I love the end of Chapter 23—the final sequence—and as you're aware from Brandon's other books, I mean a lot of the chapters will have a piece here, and then there's a two-line space and you jump five hundred miles away, and so on, but the last segment of 23 I think is just super. But there are an awful lot of things that I do love in this book; the scene I read for you is one of my favorites; there's more of it, but I thought, "Oh, I don't know; I think I'm getting on too long," because we hadn't quite timed it out. I think it's a wonderful book. [laughter, applause]

    Jason Denzel

    I know that the question wasn't directed up here to me, but I think I definitely need to say that—without being cliché—the ending, the epilogue, was far and away everything I could have hoped it was, and it was my favorite part of the book. It was just...I can't wait for all of you to eventually read it, and hopefully have the same kind of reaction that I did. It's pretty awesome.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I can talk a little bit more about that, because...I told you the Asmodean story, but next under that sheet was this, was the...were the scenes that Robert Jordan had written for the book. And so, that included sections from the prologue, which got split into various pieces of the various prologues of the three novels; sections out of the book; and then this ending, the epilogue, and it's one of the most...one of the scenes where you're able to preserve, a sequence that's the most close to the way Robert Jordan left it. Because a lot of scenes he'd leave, he'd leave like a paragraph, and then it's like I have to expand that into, or I have to work a whole thing and then have that paragraph in.

    There's a famous scene, for instance, with Verin in Gathering Storm where he left, you know, the kinda...what you would imagine is the important parts, but it's only the important parts, and then it doesn't have a lead-in or an exit to the scene, and so I had to write up and then lead in to what he'd written, and then lead out of it, and that sort of stuff. And this, it's actually...we've got complete sequences that he wrote before he passed away. And so, when you get to that epilogue, you can know...there's some very non-touched-by-the-rest-of-us stuff that he had in a very good shape to be published before he passed away.

    Harriet McDougal

    And I should have thought of that, but as he read it in 2007—and so did I, and I had known some bits of it for years before that—but it really is splendid.

    Michael Chantry

    Thank you very much. [applause]

    Footnote

    More info on who wrote what in the epilogue.

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  • 145

    Interview: Jan 7th, 2013

    Kevin

    My name is Kevin [?] from Orem, Utah. My question is mostly directed at Harriet, but also anybody else on the panel who wants to jump in here.

    One of the things I love about the books is that there's so many characters, and there are moments where like, each of the characters has their ups and downs, and there's chapters where like, "Man, Perrin is on fire," or "Mat is the greatest!" But if you could hang out with any character from this universe, you know—even disregarding what we know about Mat's similarities with Robert Jordan now—but if you could hang out with any character, who would it be?

    And then also, for Harriet and Maria, if you could be any Ajah in the White Tower, which would you pick?

    Harriet McDougal

    Well, Maria and I have different fancies about the male characters. [laughter] She fancies herself...she fancies some Mat. Big time. [laughter] And I, on the other hand, have always been stuck by the numerous ways in which Robert Jordan resembles Perrin. Very large, as a former lineman for Clemson University would-be, and hairy, and very gentle, and I just...anyway, I think it'd be Perrin. And I'm torn between the Blue and the Brown. I think mostly Blue.

    Maria Simons

    And I am so Brown. [laughter]

    Harriet McDougal

    Actually, on one of these last book tours, Brandon looked at this thing I'm wearing around my neck, because this is a nice, non-losable thing to put on some color. [It resembles an Amyrlin's stole, narrow and tied in a knot.] And he said, "Oh..." looking at the stripes, "Orange. My favorite Ajah." [laughter]

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  • 146

    Interview: Jan 7th, 2013

    Question

    After a lot of those, my question is kind of simple. First of all, Harriet, thank you. These characters have been my friends for twenty years, and so just thank you to you for helping...everything that you've done in that process. But my question is—reading this so many times, I've always associated myself with a few characters: Perrin and then Lan Mandragoran—and I'm just wondering—and this could be open to anybody, but mainly you three—who do you really relate yourselves with, of the main characters there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have frequently said that Perrin was my favorite all along. I was a Perrin fan, even when Perrin was in...some...some...a darker place in his life. [laughter] You know, if you're a Cubs fan, you don't abandon the Cubs just because they haven't, you know, won a World Series in a hundred years. [laughter] And if you're a Perrin fan, you don't abandon Perrin just because he's struggling in his life with some important questions. No, it's been Perrin. Even though Mat stole the show in later books, I was still a Perrin guy.

    Harriet McDougal

    And I guess I'm....I love 'em all. [laughter]

    Audience

    Perrin! [laughter]

    Maria Simons

    I wish I was ....well, like some of Verin. I didn't really want to be evil, or anything. [laughter] But I like Verin. She was sneaky, sneaky...but she got things done, and she turned out alright.

    Harriet McDougal

    And she had that owl. [laughter]

    Tags

  • 147

    Interview: Jan 10th, 2013

    Question

    Which character will you miss writing the most?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That’s an interesting question, because usually people ask me my favorite character which is easy, because it's Perrin, and always has been Perrin. But, miss writing the most? I’m actually going to say Mat, because Mat was one of the ones I struggled with to get right, and Mat for me was an evolution between Gathering Storm, Towers of Midnight, and finally this book when I feel like I finally got Mat, like I really understood him, if that makes sense. And in this one, I finally got down the mix of incorrigible silliness and complete awesomeness that is Mat. It's a really hard dichotomy to get right. And so I'm going to miss Mat because it's something I finally got good at, I feel, whereas I started good with Perrin. Perrin's always made sense to me. So there you go.

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  • 148

    Interview: 2013

    Twitter 2013 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Bellygod (23 January 2013)

    Which character was easiest to write and who was the hardest?

    Brandon Sanderson (23 January 2013)

    Easiest: Perrin. Hardest: Mat. Followed by Aviendha and Tuon.

    Dave West

    Now that you're finished, what was your favorite scene to write? Character?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Perrin, and the forging of his hammer. In A Memory of Light it was the sequence with Lan near the end.

    Dan Zambito

    What character was most difficult to write for?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mat was the most difficult for me to get right.

    Jacob Corbin

    The Rand and Mat dialogue where they try to one up each other was amazing. Thank you for that (and the whole book).

    Brandon Sanderson

    That scene was one of my favorites to work on.

    JB Tank

    What was the most shocking thing you learned when first reading RJ's notes?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Verin.

    Tags

  • 149

    Interview: Nov, 2012

    Szabó Dominik

    Given the choice, which of your universes would you most like to live in? Which magic system would you most like to try?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, those are actually two different questions for me, because Allomancy is the one I'd like to have, but that world is pretty awful, at least during the era under the Lord Ruler, and I certainly wouldn't want to live there. The question becomes what period in what books are you talking about, because, you know, by the Alloy of Law Era, the world of Mistborn would be a pretty decent place to live. However, I do think if you're going to pick one to live in, probably Elantris at the end of the first book is the best place. They've just got a lot of neat nice things going on, and it's a pretty modernized society, so I think that would probably be the best one.

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  • 150

    Interview: Aug 31st, 2012

    Lenore Applehans

    What are your top 5 Dystopian lit recs and why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    These are in no particular order. 1984 has to be on the list; it was the first big dystopian book that I read, and it has shaped this genre, in a way. I would put up there The Giver as well, which most people count as dystopian; it's kind of an interesting blend of dystopian and other sub genres, but I enjoy it. Among more recent fiction, I would say Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, and The Maze Runner by James Dashner, for something very recent. Finally, another good classic—probably my favorite of all time is Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut.

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  • 151

    Interview: Jun 3rd, 2011

    Helen O'Hara

    Who are your favorite writers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    My favorite living writer right now is probably Terry Pratchett. There is no one who can balance humor and plot and character like he does, particularly in his books about Vimes. I really like Guy Gavriel Kay a lot, and I try to read a lot of new writers to see what's going on in the field, so recently I read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin, and that was a great book. I read a lot of history books and non-fiction as well. If you opened up my eReader you'd find three or four Terry Pratchetts, all the Wheel of Time, all the current Hugo nominees and a bunch of books right now on psychology. When I do research I cast my net very widely and then snatch what feels right out of that. Occasionally I'll read a specific book for a specific book, but usually I'm trying to increase my general understanding.

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  • 152

    Interview: May 11th, 2012

    Sean

    I first heard about Patrick Rothfuss's Kingkiller Chronicles series from one of your blog posts and absolutely love it. Are there other writers or books that you think are flying under the radar that you'd recommend?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Some of my favorite authors are Anne McCaffrey (If you haven't read her books I don't know why you're reading mine. You need to go and read hers immediately!) I like Guy Gavriel Kay's works quite a bit. Tigana is a wonderful work. Melanie Rawn is a great author, I especially like her epic fantasy, I haven't read her urban fantasy but Dragon Prince is one of my favorite books of all time. And Terry Pratchett (start with the books in the middle of his career, not the beginning because his books get better and better as he goes along.)

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  • 153

    Interview: Oct 27th, 2009

    Details

    Who's your favorite character in the series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    When I first started reading, the character that drew me in was Rand. I was a teenage boy, Rand was a teenage boy, and I very much empathized with him on his classical hero's journey. Later, I really empathized with a character named Perrin, who was kind of quiet and sturdy. That's who I am in a lot of ways, particularly during that era in my life. And lately I've found myself liking characters who are a little bit older and more mature. Really, it's not the story of one or two characters, but of all of them together, and what it's like to live in this world during the end of days. It's the world-building—the strength and depth of these many characters—that has pulled people along for 20 years.

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  • 154

    Interview: Feb 1st, 2013

    Question

    When you read the books, did you have an affinity for a character and as you wrote did you change?

    Brandon Sanderson

    When I read it was mostly Perrin. I'll admit I had a fondness for Mat later on, but it never became my supportive Perrin, even when he was down in the dumps. I didn't stop being a Perrin fan because he moped a little. He was my favorite all along. When it came time to write the books, Perrin remained my favorite. He was among my favorite viewpoints to write as well. I was very excited by the prospect of being able to do a lot of Perrin in Towers of Midnight, and having a lot of freedom with his sequences was a real pleasure. When I finished the rough draft of A Memory of Light, there was a lot of, like 20% more Perrin than Rand, so that didn't turn out right. It's really Rand's series, it needs more Rand, so when I sent it to Team Jordan, they said there was a lot of Perrin, so we upped the Rand count. There was a Perrin sequence that didn't really feel right for the book that was about 20,000 words, so we cut that out and added a Rand sequence that was about the same length which I had already been working on, and that helped restore the balance. When I started A Memory of Light I was fresh off Towers of Midnight and in a Perrin mindset, so I was like PERRIN IS AWESOME, did his stuff, then moved on to the other characters' arcs in succession.

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  • 155

    Interview: Feb 6th, 2013

    Question

    Which character's contribution to A Memory of Light did you enjoy most?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This book was supposed to be about Rand, and so Rand's contribution is the most important to me. So much so, that in the revising process we felt several times we needed to bring out more. One of the big elements of revision was, we needed to make sure that Rand remains the focus of this book, and even though things are going where there are lots of different sections and regions where Rand is not involved, we needed Rand to be at least the heart of the book.

    Tags

  • 156

    Interview: Feb 6th, 2013

    Question

    Of Rand's three girls, who is your favorite?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Aviendha. Easy answer there, definitely Aviendha.

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  • 157

    Interview: Apr, 2003

    Galgóczi Móni

    Your brother read a lot of books aloud to you when you were a child. What was your favorite book, and which one had the greatest impact on you?

    Robert Jordan

    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is my favorite one, and the one that has had the biggest influence on me. Aside from that, I like works by John D. McDonald, Louis L'Amour, Robert A. Heinlein, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Mark Twain.

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  • 158

    Interview: Feb 8th, 2013

    DJ Stipe

    Non-WOT Questions:

    Brandon and Harriet (paraphrased)

    Asked what their favorite animal was, Harriet said an elephant, Brandon a dragon (he then revised to say the family dog).

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  • 159

    Interview: Feb 7th, 2013

    Question

    Who was his favorite character to write and who does he see himself the most in?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Perrin was his favorite. Even though Perrin went through "a slump" in the series in order to build tension, Brandon always stayed "Team Perrin." Perrin was the most natural. Mat was tough and thus a cooler character to write. Brandon enjoyed writing Mat, especially in A Memory of Light. Mat challenged his skills more than anyone else. The saddest part for him with finishing the series is that he can't write Mat anymore.

    Harriet added that there will not be any more WoT books (other than the encyclopedia). She said that Robert Jordan hated the idea of someone taking his material, although he did want the series finished. He stated he would run over his hard drive before allowing others to "sharecrop." Harriet stated that the two sentences about the outriggers that Robert Jordan left behind will be released in April or May. She said that with the encyclopedia there is "the work of at least a year."

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  • 160

    Interview: Feb 7th, 2013

    Question

    Did Robert Jordan have a favorite character?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes—the one that he was writing that day. She said that some days after writing he would come into the kitchen slouching and sidling up against the wall, and she would say, "Have you been writing Padan Fain today?" She went on to say that he always wrote from "a position of love" for every character.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon tells about one of the editing notes that he received from Harriet which read "Padan Fain needs more crazy."

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  • 161

    Interview: Feb 7th, 2013

    Question

    Who was his favorite villain to write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Demandred.

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  • 162

    Interview: Feb 19th, 2013

    Question

    What was BWS' favorite miserable situation in A Memory of Light?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was a tie. The scene at the end of the Last Battle Chapter (the 200 page chapter) and the scene in the garden at night concerning the character BWS likes to put in miserable situations. (BWS phrased the answer in this manner due to a no spoiler rule.)

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  • 163

    Interview: Feb 20th, 2013

    Question

    Who is Harriet's favorite character?

    Harriet McDougal

    The one I'm reading at the moment. There's one guy who's a peddler in the Waste, and we sort of think he's a good guy, but he's not, he's perfectly awful, and he's thinking at one point about his sister, and how tragic it was when he had to kill her, and I thought about how he's just so beautifully drawn. My husband always made a point. Everybody thinks they're wonderful human beings, including him. Wasn't his fault—he had to do it. I just love that about each and every character, even that son-of-a-gun. I couldn't help loving him a little bit. Very human, but I wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley.

    Question

    What's your favorite female character in the series?

    Harriet McDougal

    I've always had a sneaker for Siuan Sanche. And when she's on the lam, in a straw hat, wanted for barn burning, I thought, "Yeah, that's my kind of dame."

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  • 164

    Interview: Feb 20th, 2013

    Question

    What makes you like Aviendha so much?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's hard to explain. Always as a reader, I thought she was awesome. She didn't take any nonsense, and put Rand in his place when he needed it. I liked reading about her. Her viewpoint was different. When I read the Aiel, I thought they were weird, and then reading Aviendha, I saw they were just different. It was something Robert Jordan did very well.

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  • 165

    Interview: Feb 22nd, 2013

    Question

    If you could associate yourself with a particular character, who would it be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've always felt the most like Perrin.

    Question

    Are you good with women?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Only one.

    Harriet McDougal

    No.

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  • 166

    Interview: Feb 22nd, 2013

    Question

    If you each could live in any land of the Wheel of Time, what would that land be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say for me, oh it's probably just going to be Andor. Because that's simple and normal and fewer people are trying to kill me there.

    Harriet McDougal

    I think I second the vote.

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  • 167

    Interview: Feb 22nd, 2013

    Question

    If you have a favorite book from the series, what would it be and why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do have a favorite book, one of the nice things is, I can answer as a fan, because I was a fan for many years before I took this over. As the writer you don't answer these sorts of things very easily. But I was part of a lot of the discussions where we argued about the best books, and which characters annoyed us, which characters we loved. My favorite book is book four, because of two specific events, yeah. I really love Rand's trip through the glass columns, I think it's my favorite sequence in the series. But also, the siege of the Two Rivers is one of my favorites. How about you, Harriet?

    Harriet McDougal

    I love the trip through the columns too. I was just blown away by it once again. I said, "Honey, you’ve done it again." But I'm very fond of A Memory of Light, too.

    All

    Awww.

    Tags

  • 168

    Interview: Feb 22nd, 2013

    Question

    If you were to choose (to be) a Feruchemist or an Allomancer, which would you choose?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would choose Allomancy, because I would want to have Steel Pushing; that's my favorite of the powers.

    Question

    Is that why you gave Waxillium Steel Pushing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Tags

  • 169

    Interview: Feb 22nd, 2013

    Question

    Two words that I find very evocative are Dreadbane and Balescream. What's yours?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can usually guess that if it's not Old Tongue, it's probably me.

    Question

    I mean what's your favorite word? What's the word you find most evocative from the series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In the series. Let me see. Hmm. I've always liked the term Heartstone. I would think. That one is very evocative to me.

    Tags

  • 170

    Interview: Apr 15th, 2013

    Reddit AMA 2013 (Verbatim)

    zeusfireair ()

    What is your favorite scene from any of your books that you've written?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Boy...favorite scene? That's going to be tough, as anything about my books plays into the "which of your children do you like the most" mentality that authors have. It's hard to choose.

    I would say either Raoden finally gaining his Elantrian powers at the end of Elantris, since it was the first scene like that I ever managed to pull off in a book, or the final Lan/Demandred sequence at the end of A Memory of Light. I had planned that one for five years, and was pushing toward it all through my work on the Wheel of Time.

    Tags

  • 171

    Interview: Apr 15th, 2013

    Reddit AMA 2013 (Verbatim)

    evilmeg ()

    What is your favorite place/city to visit?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Lately, it's been London. Good food, great theater. NYC is up there for the same reason.

    Tags

  • 172

    Interview: Apr 15th, 2013

    Reddit AMA 2013 (Verbatim)

    AptoCanavalian ()

    Dear Brandon, If you could have a dinner party with six of the characters that you have written about, which six would you choose and why? Would your answer change if the party was in someone else's house?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, it would be tough—I'd have to decide if I wanted the party to be crazy, interesting, or low risk.

    For example, inviting Hoid and Kelsier to the same party could result in murdering. Having Sazed around with someone like Jasnah would lead to some great discussions of philosophy.

    In the end, I'd probably pick the core WoT cast, just because they've been my friends for so long. Longer than anyone other than Wit and Dalinar, actually. So Perrin, Rand, Mat, Egwene, Nynaeve, and Thom. Fourth book era.

    ngu_ns

    Wait—are you implying Hoid and Kelsier would want to murder each other, or that they would team up to murder other people?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid and Kelsier do not get along. At all.

    Tags

  • 173

    Interview: Sep, 2012

    Kchan

    In your books, we see a lot of really interesting and diverse world elements that make these places and cultures really come to life. What are some of the world elements you've had the most fun creating, and what do you like best about them? Thanks again, and I hope you enjoy it here! We're crazy, but we like it that way.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'd say that the spren on Roshar have been my favorite so far--they are so different, but also so RIGHT. They have a mythological fae-feel to them, but also fit into the cosmere arcanum just perfectly. I also like writing them.

    Tags

  • 174

    Interview: Sep, 2012

    Stroniax

    What is your favorite world of the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Favorite world? Probably Roshar, as it's the most unique.

    Tags

  • 175

    Interview: Sep, 2012

    Yamato

    What is your favorite of your own books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I can never answer this. It's like trying to choose your favorite child.

    Tags

  • 176

    Interview: Sep, 2012

    Yamato

    Out of all your magic systems, which one would you choose to be a user of?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'd be a Mistborn if possible. So many fun interactions. Not quite as powerful as some of those on Roshar, perhaps, but very fun.

    Tags

  • 177

    Interview: Nov 6th, 2012

    Question

    What colors do you play (MTG)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am historically Azorius, so white blue, though occasionally Esper so white, blue, black. If I had to pick one, it’s going to be white.

    Tags

  • 178

    Interview: Dec 6th, 2012

    Question

    With the Wheel of Time, who’s your favorite character to read about, and then your favorite one to write about?

    Brandon Sanderson

    My favorite one to read- during the early parts of the series it was Perrin and during the later parts of the series it was Mat. And my favorite one to write was probably Perrin because- historically, like when I was a young guy reading the books, he was my favorite, he was the one I identified with.

    Tags

  • 179

    Interview: May 13th, 2013

    The Book Smugglers

    Do you read YA speculative fiction? Which books or authors are your favorites in the young readers category?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've already mentioned a bunch of my favorites, but I could go on! I'm quite fond of Westerfeld's work. I think it's quite marvelous. I've read Terry Pratchett's teen books. If you've only read his adult work, you're really missing out. He is quite good. I've also enjoyed James Dashner's and Eva Ibbotson's books.

    I got into a lot of the YA classics in the late 90s, well after everyone else had been into them. Things like The Giver by Lois Lowry and Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen. Jane Yolen has long been one of my favorite writers. There's just a lot of exciting things happening in YA, and I feel inspired by a lot of the works by those authors I've mentioned.

    Tags

  • 180

    Interview: Jan 8th, 2013

    ziggl

    I met the man yesterday and asked him what he was reading lately...then promptly forgot his recommendation. Help?

    First of all, I have no clue why Brandon and Harriet chose to be in Minnesota on release day (after a midnight release in Utah) but OMG THANKS for that, it was a really fun experience. It was the same spot I met George Martin some time ago.

    When I met George, I was way too starstruck to say anything, so I knew I had to be prepared for Brandon, a far less intimidating figure. I went with a casual, "Assuming you have any free time, what have you been reading lately?"

    He responded with a funny anecdote about something recent he just picked up and was reading on the plane...but he thought it was pretty poor and didn't want to share the name or author, haha.

    Then, really quickly at the end, he said that the last thing he read was Fire Upon the Pond by Someone or Other. Yeah, I totally missed the author, but I thought I would be good with the title. I came away with words "Fire" and "Pond" for sure, but google searches reveal nothing...I have tried googling for a list of his favorite books and nothing I found helped.

    Reddit, I give to you this quest. Do not fail me!

    EDIT: I didn't make this clear, but he mentioned this book was one of his favorites, which is why I was looking for lists of his favorite books, AND why I think someone here might know it (instead of just shooting in the dark).

    gze

    I think it's A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge based on his twitter.

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    Yup. That's it.

    Other favorites: Dragonsbane, Tigana.

    ziggl

    Oh man, hello sir, thank you for this/these. I just wanted the line to keep moving, I swear, otherwise I would've asked again to confirm the name.

    Thanks! I could tell you enjoy meeting the fans, I mean you were chatty and friendly even for me, #330 in line! That really meant a lot, and made the whole thing a great experience.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is my pleasure.

    Tags

  • 181

    Interview: Apr 15th, 2013

    Reddit AMA 2013 (Verbatim)

    TheFinisher4Ever ()

    If you had to pick one of your worlds to live on, which would it be and why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably Scadrial. Allomancy would be my chosen magic, and the technological progress appeals to me.

    Tags

  • 182

    Interview: Apr 15th, 2013

    Reddit AMA 2013 (Verbatim)

    smb89 ()

    What was your favorite bit of A Memory of Light to write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Lan/Demandred

    Tags

  • 183

    Interview: Apr 15th, 2013

    Reddit AMA 2013 (Verbatim)

    DangerMacAwesome ()

    If you had to be a Misting, but got to pick your metal, what would you be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Coinshot.

    Tags

  • 184

    Interview: Apr 15th, 2013

    Reddit AMA 2013 (Verbatim)

    DangerMacAwesome ()

    In your opinion, which pony is best pony?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Bill the pony.

    Tags

  • 185

    Interview: 2011

    geemachine (January 2011)

    So Song of Ice and Fire has hooked me into fantasy reading—what can you recommend?

    What I particularly liked was the grittyness and adult themes, not to mention the epicness of the plot and story. I'm into the action and swordplay but not too much magic. Searching the threads there seems to be a lot to say for WoT and Mazalan but they seem very magic based. Any suggestions and some education to the genre much appreciated!

    EDIT: Thanks a bunch everyone—great stuff—Gonna carry on with WoT for time being and lots of great options for after—Name of the Wind probs. Cheers everyone.

    nowonmai666

    If you are looking more for swordplay than magic, then perhaps some historical fiction might be more up your street than out and out fantasy? I'm thinking here of Bernard Cornwell, whose Saxon Chronicles (start with The Last Kingdom) and Warlord Trilogy (about King Arthur; start with The Winter King) might suit nicely. For fantasy written for grown-ups, my favourites are Guy Gavriel Kay (his standalone novels set in an alternate Europe, such as Tigana or Last Light of The Sun, not the trite Summer Tree series) and Louis McMaster Bujold (start with The Curse of Chalion). These, like A Song of Ice and Fire, feature complex, believable characters with human motives, as opposed to the Good Guys vs The Dark Lord style of fantasy. They are as real and believable as ASOIAF, although the worlds they are set in are more overtly magical.

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    OP, listen to this person. They know exactly what they're talking about. Might I add that you try David Gemmell? (Think of his books as being much like the movie 300 in novel form.) Moorcock is the other I'd suggest.

    I'll warn you, though, that Martin tends to be one of the few that does what you're talking about. Generally, in fantasy, epic tends to be equated with high magic. Gritty, real-world tends to be equated with shorter, fast-paced stories. It's not always that way, but it is a rule of thumb.

    So, you'll find that epics like WoT, Name of the Wind, and Malazan are going to be high magic, while gritty, swordplay tales like Abercombie and Gemmell are going to be shorter and more self-contained. Guy Gavriel Kay tends to do epics in a single volume with a lot of 'grown up' storytelling, but there's not as much swordplay.

    Maybe Codex Alera by Jim Butcher? (Mentioned by djduni.) It's more high magic, but the magic is focused on battle magic, and the pacing is much more of a swordplay story while the tale at length is an epic.

    SgtScream

    I have to ask: What are your top 5 fantasy novels?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wow. That'll be a tough one—I'm not one to pick favorites. And, when pushed into it, I have a habit of changing 'favorites' with my mood. But I'll do my best, but I won't put them in any order.

    - The Shadow Rising, Robert Jordan. My favorite of the WoT books.
    - Tigana, Guy Gavriel Kay.
    - Dragonsbane, Barbara Hambly (The book that got me into fantasy, so it has a very special place in my heart.)
    - The Truth, Terry Pratchett (My favorite Pratchett.)
    - Watchmen. (Can I count that?)

    Honorable Mention
    - Name of the Wind. (Hasn't been around long enough to see if it stands the test of time.)
    - Dragonflight

    As you can see, my 'favorites' slant strongly toward older books, but that's because I've read them more often, and because of the 'first' factor. (The Truth was my first Pratchett, Tigana my first Kay.) I very much enjoy Jim Butcher, among newer writers, among many others.

    I think GRRM is a genius, and certainly one of the very best fantasy writers around. (Up there with Kay and Pratchett.) The reason he's not on the list is because he's just too brutal for me. I've said before that I admire him and think he's a great writer, but just can't take the level of grit he includes in his books. By the time I get done with one, I feel sick. Love his short stories, though.

    Tags

  • 186

    Interview: Aug 31st, 2013

    WorldCon Flash AMA (Verbatim)

    The_Second_Best (August 2013)

    Hey Brandon, I'm a huge fan of your books and a result I've spent a disproportionate amount of time researching your stories and the Cosmere and as a result I doubt there's many questions I have that you can answer without revealing secrets you've been growing for a while so I'll ask who is your favorite James Bond?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Connery. When I was twelve or so, and had insomnia, I'd sneak down (past my mother) to my father's den and watch Connery Bond films with him. Still cherish those memories.

    I always though Brosnan would be the greatest Bond ever—and then he was just TOO good. It felt like a parody. He was somehow just way over the top as bond. Craig has been a breath of fresh air story-wise, and I think his might be the best films in the series. But his films itch just slightly at me, as if they are failing to fully be "Bond" films, despite their excellence.

    Tags

  • 187

    Interview: Apr 15th, 2013

    Reddit AMA 2013 (Verbatim)

    Shadowrise_ (October 2013)

    Not sure if this question has already been posted. Which author would you say has influenced your writing the most? From deciding to be an author to making you write like you do. You are my favorite author right now and therefore what made you decide to start and to have the style of writing that I so love.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's really hard to judge the MOST influential. Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly was the book that got me into fantasy, and the Dragonriders of Pern books kept me there. My favorite classic is Les Miserables. Tad Williams, Robert Jordan, and Melanie Rawn were very influential on me during my early years as a writer.

    My style came as a mix of many of the things I was reading, as a reaction against some elements—and toward others. Brent Weeks, I've noticed, has a very similar style to my own, particularly in his Lightbringer books. I believe we're both products of the same era and books.

    Phantine

    Did you read any Steven Brust? He's got a recurring character who cameos in every book, and a repeated number with great mystical significance (17, not 16). And, of course, lots of snarky conversations.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't read as much Brust as I should, but what I have read has been excellent.

    Tags

  • 188

    Interview: Nov 12th, 2013

    Sara

    What are some books, or who are some authors, that you enjoy reading?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Terry Pratchett is brilliant, and I buy everything that he writes. If you haven't read him, you really need to do yourself a favor and pick him up. I also have to mention Guy Gavriel Kay. He's one of the great writers of the genre, and he's amazing. His writing is beautiful, interesting, fun, and exciting, but also lyrical.

    Tags

  • 189

    Interview: Nov 12th, 2013

    Sara

    Bonus question, I ask all of my interviewees: who are your fictional crushes?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wow. Probably I would have to go back to being a high schooler, which is the last time I would feel that the word "crush" applied to what I felt, and I would say Sioned from Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince. I was totally into that woman. She was awesome.

    Tags

  • 190

    Interview: 2011

    TheFinn (January 2011)

    r/Fantasy Recommend me a book to borrow from work.

    So for those of you that don't know my employer Barnes&Noble has a policy where employees can borrow any hardcover book in the store for 2 weeks. I just recently borrowed Farlander and have since finished it*. And I find myself in need of something new to read. We have the Internet at work so I will be able to periodically check reddit throughout my shift this evening.

    So here are the requirements:

    - Obviously I would prefer fantasy but I will also accept Sci-fi or really any kind of fiction if I were to put my interests into order it would be as follows Fantasy>scifi>historical>everything else.
    - It has to be currently available in hard cover.
    - It has to be in stock within my store. Now on this last bit I don't expect you guys to go searching through bn.com punching in the zip for my store (01527) to see if it is available I can totally do that while being bored in music/dvd dept.

    If you have any questions about my taste feel free to ask. Otherwise I look forward to your input.

    *I don't know how I feel about this book The world and characters are all very interesting. However the ending left quite a bit to be desired.

    EDIT: thanks for all the suggestions i was fortunate enough to have a copy of The Way of Kings in my store that I was able to borrow

    Lord_Leto

    The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    You are a scholar and a gentleman. (Or, perhaps, woman.) However, I did hear from the publisher that B&N is on no-replenish/return on the book now that the holidays are over. B&N tends to cycle hardcovers more than some other bookstores—they order a large stock up front, then keep them on hand for three or four months. There's really only a 1/10 chance that they've got a KINGS in stock.

    TheFinn, I've got some ARCs of it, though, and might be able to have one sent to your store for you.

    As for books you can borrow...it depends on your preferences. If you like lyrical, literary style books, The Bards of Bone Plain by Patricia A. McKillip might still be in stock in hardcover.

    If you like gritty heroic, The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie releases in about a week. You may want to hold out for that.

    I think that a publisher just did a new Last Unicorn re-release in hardcover, which is a great book. Also, the Gunslinger graphic novels have a new collection coming out, which might be in hardcover. I've heard good things about them, but haven't read them.

    Your best bet, though? Wise Man's Fear, Pat Rothfuss, coming in a month or so.

    Tags

  • 191

    Interview: Nov 16th, 2013

    Question

    Who is your favorite character you have written?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    It is like picking between your children, blah blah, Perrin, blah blah. Picking between my own, I would probably say Dalinar. I started writing a story about Dalinar when I was 15, and then I finally got to write his book years later, so yeah.

    Tags

  • 192

    Interview: Mar 29th, 2014

    Nicrosil

    Who's your favorite character to write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mat Cauthon, especially later on when I really got his character down.

    Tags

  • 193

    Interview: Jan 10th, 2013

    NutiketAiel

    Brandon Sanderson

    When asked about his favorite Forsaken, he said "My favorite Forsaken is probably Demandred." He went on to say that his second favorite was Lanfear, and that "I was happy to bring Lanfear back into the forefront of the series."

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  • 194

    Interview: Jan 10th, 2013

    NutiketAiel

    Brandon Sanderson

    When asked what his favorite Wheel of Time book was, Brandon said it was Book 4.

    Tags

  • 195

    Interview: Jan 10th, 2013

    NutiketAiel

    Brandon Sanderson

    When asked his favorite female Wheel of Time Character, Brandon said that it was Aviendha.

    Tags

  • 196

    Interview: Mar 21st, 2014

    Question

    So what's your favorite thing from The Way of Kings? Quotes, coming from the actual book in The Way of Kings.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The book in-world? I would say it's the story that Nohadon shares about walking and passing the man with his burden.

    Tags

  • 197

    Interview: Mar 21st, 2014

    Question

    My friends were appalled that I didn't know my favorite author's birthday and favorite color.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Koloss head-munching day (December 19) and maroon.

    Tags

  • 198

    Interview: Feb 2nd, 2014

    Henry L. Herz

    If you could have three authors over for dinner, who would it be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    First would be Robert Jordan, easily, because I would like to question him about the things he wanted to do with the Wheel of Time that he didn't leave us notes on and get answers to the questions that he didn't leave us answers for. Then I would pick Terry Pratchett because I've seen him at conventions and he seems like a blast. After that, probably Moses. I'd have to get an interpreter, but hanging out with Moses would be pretty awesome, and I would have a lot of questions for him as well.

    Henry L. Herz

    Great choices (and what an honor for you to be chosen to complete Robert Jordan's work). And kudos for remembering you'd need an interpreter for Moses. Can you imagine how frustrating it would be to have Moses over for dinner, but not be able to converse with him? I'm guessing dinner would include matzoh and quail.

    Tags

  • 199

    Interview: Apr 22nd, 2014

    Frannie Jackson

    Sanderson's Three Laws of Magics:
    1) An author's ability to solve conflict with magic is DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL to how well the reader understands said magic.
    2) Limitations > Powers (i.e. "Superman is not his powers. Superman is his weaknesses.")
    3) Expand what you already have before you add something new.

    In the years leading up to and during his time concluding The Wheel of Time series, Sanderson developed three Laws of Magics for the fantasy genre. He's been quick to point out on his blog that the laws merely serve as "guidelines" for his own writing, but his insight is revolutionizing the traditional approach to fantasy writing.

    Literature has a history of ignoring rules when it comes to magic—it is magic, after all. But the 21st century is cultivating a new breed of reader who doesn't take magic for granted. Sanderson's laws appeal to their desire to understand how Dorothy's ruby slippers transport her between worlds and why the Phial of Galadriel shines brighter when used by Sam vs. Frodo. From allomancy to surgebinding, the magic systems in Sanderson's novels are both incredibly original and comprehensively detailed.

    Beyond his penchant for establishing unique systems of magic in multiple worlds, Sanderson has a tendency to dream astronomically.

    Brandon Sanderson

    "At some point," Sanderson says, "I was inspired by Michael Moorcock's Multiverse and the way Isaac Asimov eventually connected his Foundation novels and robot novels, to write a 'stealth' series into the background of my novels." Enter the Cosmere.

    Frannie Jackson

    An entire universe distinct from our own, the Cosmere consists of 10 (and counting) planets with autonomous magic systems, geographic characteristics and storylines. All of Sanderson's novels (excluding his YA and The Wheel of Time titles) exist within the Cosmere, but each planet's book(s) can be read independently of the others. In simpler terms, Sanderson has subtly connected everything—so subtly, in fact, that only one character is granted the ability to travel between worlds.

    Hoid, the world jumper and mysterious fan favorite, appears in every Cosmere-set novel. But don't plan on always recognizing him; the intelligent trickster favors disguises. And, to be honest, no one besides Sanderson understands Hoid's significance at this point.

    Brandon Sanderson

    "I have said before that choosing a favorite [character] is a tough question," Sanderson says. "Very tough. I'll have to say Hoid, but I can't say why without giving spoilers."

    Tags

  • 200

    Interview: Mar 7th, 2014

    Question (Paraphrased)

    Eighth—Favorite character from Stormlight and why?

    Brandon Sanderson (Paraphrased)

    Obligatory 'like picking a favorite child'.

    Tags

  • 201

    Interview: Mar 7th, 2014

    Question (Paraphrased)

    Eleventh—Who's your favorite Firefly character?

    Brandon Sanderson (Paraphrased)

    Wash.

    Tags

  • 202

    Interview: Aug 13th, 2014

    Shauna Mahana (Goodreads)

    If you had to pick any one of your characters to be your new best friend (besides your wife) for the rest of your life, who would would it be and what do you imagine would be your weekend "Let's hang out, but I don't want to plan anything, so let's do the 'usual'" ritual?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think I'd dig hanging out with Sazed. The usual would be, "tell me about a religion you've studied."

    Tags

  • 203

    Interview: Aug 13th, 2014

    Question

    Which current fantasy author(s) would you recommend to someone who has read all of the WoT books? (Well, besides for yourself.) :) I plan to read your books%mdash;I've heard great feedback from friends; but other than that, I have a hard time knowing who is 'good enough' to try out.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I very much like the following: Pat Rothfuss, Brent Weeks, N.K.Jemison, Robin Hobb, Steven Erickson, Guy Gavrial Kay, Naomi Novik. (And I don't have any idea which of those I spelled correctly and which I didn't.) But there are a ton of great authors out there. That's just the beginning of the list. One of my current favorites is Terry Pratchett, but his work is VERY different from the WoT.

    Tags

  • 204

    Interview: Aug 13th, 2014

    Question

    Out of all the books you've written which do you think is the best?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, Emperor's Soul is the one that won a Hugo, which gives it some objective credibility for being the best. AMOL was the hardest by a long shot, and in some ways the most satisfying, but I'm perhaps most proud of The Way of Kings. So one of those three, likely.

    Tags

  • 205

    Interview: Aug 13th, 2014

    Question

    Out of all the books you've written so far, which character is your favorite?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I can't answer that, I'm afraid, as it would be like trying to tell you which of my children is my favorite! When asked this question, Robert Jordan would just say, "My favorite is the one I'm working on right now." I like that answer.

    Tags

  • 206

    Interview: Aug 13th, 2014

    Question

    What has been your favorite book to write so far?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've liked them all for different reasons. Some are fun and fast, others are deep and challenging. My favorite would change day by day based on my mood.

    Tags

  • 207

    Interview: Mar 22nd, 2014

    Question

    Favorite Order of the Knights Radiant?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'd probably be a Bondsmith. Though becoming a Bondsmith is hard, I don't know if I'd make it.

    Tags

  • 208

    Interview: Dec 6th, 2014

    Question

    Who's your favorite side character?

    Brandon Sanderson (Paraphrased)

    That's a hard one, but I might have to say Syl. Or Wayne! He's just so much fun to write. Oh, and about him, look out for intentional misspellings in Shadows of Self. My alpha readers skipped completely over them!

    Tags

  • 209

    Interview: Sep 4th, 2014

    Question

    Who is your favorite character you've written, if you had to pick one?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a hard question, I can't pick a favorite character. Dalinar is what I normally say, just because I've been working on him the longest. Honestly, I don't know. It's whoever I'm working on at the time.

    Question

    Dalinar is a good character, I like Kaladin a lot too.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kaladin has really worked out well. It's interesting because Kaladin-- the first time I wrote The Way of Kings, in 2002, did not work and I had to rip him out and try a completely different personality and things for him. So it's cool to see it finally working.

    Tags

  • 210

    Interview: Sep 4th, 2014

    Question

    What is your favorite color?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Maroon.

    Tags

  • 211

    Interview: Jan 8th, 2015

    fletchershair

    Out of all your characters, who would you most want to be like, personality-wise?

    Brandon Sanderson (Paraphrased)

    Dalinar.

    Tags

  • 212

    Interview: Jul 29th, 2006

    Brandon Sanderson (Chapter 34 Part 2)

    Kelsier saving Elend in this chapter was indeed something of a homage to LES MISERABLES. It is one of my favorite classics, and Elend's own character—with his group of idealistic noble friends—was partially inspired by Marius and his cohorts. I wasn't originally going to have Elend in this scene, but I decided to throw him in and give Kelsier the opportunity to save him, partially as an inside reference to the story that inspired him, and partially to let Kelsier do something truly selfless as a final send-off before he died.

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  • 213

    Interview: Jul 29th, 2006

    Brandon Sanderson

    We get a quick Elend Scene here. This is the best I could do for a climax for him, since he really doesn't have much of a part in the book. (I think he only gets three viewpoints or so.) Considering the limited time, I think this is a fairly good character climax for him. He gets to stand up to his father and try to put some of his beliefs into action. One of my favorite lines is when he's sitting and thinking about the realities of a skaa rebellion, only to realize that he's on the wrong side.

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  • 214

    Interview: Jul 29th, 2006

    Brandon Sanderson (Chapter 38 Part 1)

    Vin's entrance here is one of my favorite scenes in the book. Short, but very cinematic. It brings together all of the best images in the book—Allomantic pushes, stained glass, swirling mist, and the mistcloaks.

    The cloaks are something I really wanted to do. I realize that some readers have trouble imagining them the right way, but I wanted something distinctive for the mistborn to wear. Regular cloaks and capes are nice, but I wanted something that I could make my own, and the multi-layered tassel thing seemed to fit very well with the mist theme.

    As I mentioned earlier, I tend to multiply viewpoints near the end of books. Kar's viewpoint here is another one—I knew I wanted to be outside of Vin's head for the entrance here so I could describe it properly. Plus, this let me show how Inquisitors see.

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  • 215

    Interview: Jan 6th, 2015

    Question

    Which is your favorite Epic to write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    To write? Obliteration, because he's creepy in the way I like people to be creepy.

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  • 216

    Interview: Mar 21st, 2014

    Question

    If you had to pick one favorite character from the Stormlight Archive, right now, who would it be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's hard to say. Dalinar was my first character, so he'll always have a special place in my heart.

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  • 217

    Interview: Jan 17th, 2015

    Question

    What has been your most favorite character arc to write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um… Normally it’s very hard to answer questions like this because it’s like all my characters are my favorites, but in this case I can say writing Perrin’s arc in the Wheel of Time was very satisfying and fulfilling since I’ve been a fan for so many years and being able to do the things there, yeah. That was very satisfying, how about that?

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  • 218

    Interview: Mar 12th, 2015

    francosantos (Reddit)

    Do you have a favorite character? (Of your own works).

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    I am usually befuddled by this question, as I tend to not play favorites. It's whoever I happen to be writing at the moment.

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  • 219

    Interview: Mar 12th, 2015

    Mazrim_Tiem (Reddit)

    Thanks for jumping on today Mr. Sanderson!

    I just wanted to pop in and say you're one of the reasons I even read Wheel of Time. When I heard you were finishing the story up, I decided to take six months to read it. All I can say is thank you for finishing what Robert Jordan set out to do.

    I guess since I'm here, I'll ask:

    Which Wheel of Time character is your favorite now, and which one do you feel you identify with most?

    Thanks again for doing this AMA, can't wait to meet you someday!

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    It was an honor.

    My favorite now, after actually finishing the series, is Mat. But my favorite all time is Perrin, and he is the one I identify with the most.

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  • 220

    Interview: Apr 23rd, 2016

    Question

    I know the whole, like, “all those characters are your children” type of thing, but is there a favourite one of yours, from your writing and, or how the character is played out.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uhm, I… you know… Robert Jordan always said, “It’s whoever I’m writing at the moment”, which I’ve stolen wholesale and said that a lot of times. If I’m pressed, I’ll usually pick Dalinar, just cause he was one of the first, but that doesn’t do it justice, because you really do need to... whoever you’re writing needs to be your favourite at the time.

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