Search the most comprehensive database of interviews and book signings from Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson and the rest of Team Jordan.
2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.
2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."
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Someone asked him if he was from North or South Carolina (in my experience, most people from these states hate having their state confused with the other).
RJ replied, "If this were a more civilized time, I'd invite you to North Carolina for pistols for two and coffee for one."
So will the male-female duality be resolved? Or is this a "read and find-out" question?
Read and find out. What I consider the major story lines will be resolved. There will be a number of minor story lines that will not be resolved, for the simple reason that there is no point to any real world where everything is resolved. That's always something that has irritated me about some novels—that you reach a point at the end of the book, and everyone's problems have now been solved, and all of the world's problems have been solved. I get the feeling I could put these characters and this world on a shelf and put a bell jar over them and go away. There's nothing left there alive.
That's the way it's going to be. I even intend to set a small hook in the last scene.
I think so. It seemed to me so. It seemed to me that there was no need to go into any more detail. I thought that if I went into any more detail, I was being blatantly obvious, and you know...what do I need to do? Caper around with a sign saying, "Here! Here! There he is, see?"
I mean, I assumed that the people who read my books are intelligent to a certain degree, have a reasonable level of intelligence, and are able to deduce things that you know...I mean, I don't have to tell them water is wet. They know that. I don't have to tell them that if they fall off the roof, it's gonna hurt when they hit, you know, they know that.
So I...no, I...At this point, I must tell you: although I will continue to put clues into the books. Again. A bit here and there. If I see a spot where I can put a clue, for those who are slow of wits to catch up...I will not tell you. For the simple reason I am enjoying watching you all try far too much to deprive myself of the pleasure of that.
Yes...I particularly like, actually, Mick Jagger as answer to that.
Then he looked very closely at the card I had him sign...
Me: It's supposed to be Graendal.
Yeah, well, it is...I just never knew that Graendal had nipple-rings, that's all. Now for once, it's just a thing I hadn't realized about a character in my book, that's all.
I see fantasy writers sometimes at conventions. And no, we don't sit around talking about fantasy. We sit around drinking beer, talking about contracts, mainly. And John M. Ford comes to visit me almost every Christmas, he's a close friend of me, uhm, almost as long as I've been married. [I think that was what he said.] And no, we don't talk about fantasy either. We talk about other writers, and contracts. When...has his book finished, that sort of thing.
I frequently encounter things that make me laugh out loud. WoT fans are an extremely clever bunch. Once, at Wotmania, someone joined using Harriet's name. That person made a lovely post that included the (false) info that Talmanes was a Darkfriend (I have a crush on Talmanes. Not as big as the Mat crush, but . . .). There have also been many posts regarding Bela that tickled my funnybone (Is she the Creator? A Darkfriend? The Neigh'blis?). And somewhere recently I saw someone aver that it stated flat-out in the text who murdered Asmodean; it had just been transcribed inaccurately. According to this poster, Asmodean didn't say "You? No!"; he said "Uno!" And Leigh Butler's reread posts generally make me laugh out loud as well. It's rare for me to go a-lurking and not lol at some point.
'YouNo' lol. That's brilliant. And I guess it means I don't have to ask the tedious 'who killed Asmodean' question and we can just move on into the fan stuff.
Was that yours?
Why is that offensive?
They are a harem.
Noooo! Harem...I don’t know if it really does imply...but a harem implies women who sit around and do nothing...
This is true.
...until the man, um, wishes...
It’s an affectionate name for them.
Yes. But I have seen that um, that phrase before, and...yes. Is the sky clear above Alanna? I’m going to RAFO Alanna. Alanna’s got an interesting thread still, so...
How did they figure it out???
(Everyone in earshot cracked up on that one!)
You’ll have to get to the end of the line [it was a rule that sigs would come first, then anyone who wanted personalization would have to wait in line again]. Then he goes on to tell a story about a guy who was the last in line that wanted a personalization.
RJ: “You’ll have to get in back of the line.”
Fan: “I AM the back of the line.”
RJ: “Don’t make me repeat the rule.”
Fan: *think, think* *walk around in a circle and returns to the table*
RJ: “Hi! *smile, smile*”
[Just included this to show how cruel and sadistic he is.]
You will have to look. Hoid is in the book, though his name doesn't appear. But the things happening here during this interim are not of deep interest to Hoid like the things happening in the original trilogy, so he is playing a much smaller role here than he was in the original trilogy.
Also, High Imperial just cracks me up.
Read and find out.
Okay, fine, be that way.
No, that's all right. It's one of the most frequently asked questions. RAFO (read and find out) is also the one of my most frequently given answer to things. Once Harriet asked me what I wanted for dinner and I told her to read and find out.
... Then my partner and I went to get a bite, thinking we'll make it to the Opening ceremony in time. Wrong. We got back after Martin had spoken. Apparently, Jordan made a short speech when he was introduced. You all should ask Trebla or Gareth to report it, since I wasn't there. But it's funny.....
.... The interview was held at 2pm on Saturday. We went to that one after lunch. Martin introduced Jordan, and he repaid Jordan for his quip during the opening ceremony. I'll post both parts since Trebla hasn't come on to post yet.
In the Opening Ceremony, Jordan got up and he started saying that his mother had had some mental illness issues with manic depressive disorder. He went on to say that he had inherited her depressive mood swings and that he's been fighting it on and off for years now. Once in a while, when he's in the depressed mood, he'll write and later on, publish the work under the pseudonym of George R R Martin (because his real name is actually George B B Martin, of course). Hah.
So in the interview session, Martin got up and said that it's true that he didn't write the Song of Ice and Fire, that it was actually Jordan who wrote it. That's why Jordan didn't have time to actually write the WoT, and instead, the WoT was written by David Eddings. Muwahahahahah.
At the end, Jordan said there's a poll on Motley Fool (not sure if he's making it up or not) asking:
Which event will take place first?
1. Robert Jordan finishes WoT series
2. GRRM finishes Song of Ice and Fire series
3. Obscure reference I didn't catch
4. Heat death of the universe
and the poll has #4 leading 5:1 to all other choices.
I told him Asmodean was my favorite character, and he said "Oh, I would have thought Semirhage."
Yow! The Creator takes me for an inhumanly cruel guy on first sight—I need to change my image.
I want, when I die, them to find me sitting in my chair with my face having fallen on the keyboard and having just typed seven thousand pages worth of the letter 'Z.' In this way, I'll have written even after I die.
If you do happen to croak before your time, take care on which letter(s) your face ends up on. The fandom will be overanalyzing your choice for years to come.
Yeah. My kids will probably try to publish it as my final novel...
Moved A Memory of Light from 90% done to 92% done on my website progress bar. Getting very close now.
Writing a conversation between two of the Forsaken right now.
I read this too quickly and thought you said "writing a conversation between two of the Foreskin right now".
That would be a VERY different book, eh?
Okay...we don't really know. No one really knows. It's an ancient artifact, probably not a ter'angreal.
Excuse me, Maria, I have to interrupt for just a moment. I actually found some notes on this, in the bottom of Jim's desk.
I don't know if anyone's interested.
Just a little?
The Horn of Valere, as Maria said, it was created by mortals—we know that; Jim has said as much publicly—and the Horn was created in the Age before the Age of Legends, or at least one Age before; it was not known how far back. But I've discovered that the Horn actually was the original Horn played by Dizzy Gillespie. [laughter] It was manufactured by King—it was the silver flare model. And something happened after this Age...there was so much Bebop imbued in this instrument that it took on its own magical qualities, and when it was found during the Age of Legends, the bent bell was refashioned into a curve, and they put in the Old Tongue inscription inside the bell. [laughter]
That is awesome.
Wow. I never would have guessed that.
Well, it's really obscure. The power of Bebop is unlimited, and it just transformed through the last couple of Ages, to get into Rand's world, with its current...now, originally, when he blew it, musicians would appear.
AH. Backup band.
But because of the needs of the time, you know, it suddenly became, Heroes would emerge when it was played. So, that's all we can really say about it. Do you have anything else to add, Maria?
I can't wait until the Theorylanders get ahold of that.
Oh yeah. So now we know that the Wheel even weaves inanimate objects into the Pattern, and makes use of them as it wishes.
Now, that story I expect to see in the next Great White Book, version two. [laughter]
Well, 1) we haven't seen Elayne in a whole book; we don't really know what she's doing, and 2) she has problems channeling because of this pregnancy deal, and 3) everything's going to be in the Old Tongue and she's a little busy to sit down and translate documents.
But you don't understand the significance of that ter'angreal: Jim foreshadowed the creation of the Kindle. [laughter]
Mmhmm, he did. And actually, Elayne—right now as we speak—is in her bed reading fiction on that.
I bet they're dirty romance novels.
I was going to peg her for an urban fantasy fan.
No, no, no, no, no. She loves the Harlequins. Case closed.
Oh, the Harlequins. Yeah.
Either her or Aviendha, but one of those two is definitely into the Harlequin super-romance.
How can she get all excited about the cover art of Fabio when she's got Rand? [laughter]
Have you seen the cover of Lord of Chaos?
Yeah, I'm telling you! No comparison.
Yeah, that one was nicknamed at our house 'Passion of the Aes Sedai'. I actually had to take the dust jacket off of that one when I would take it to school, when I was in high school, because I was like, "I do not want people to think I'm reading some kind of filthy romance novel in class."
Well, I'm thinking more of, what was it? A Crown of Swords? Where he's got the, uh…all he needs is some baby oil and a little less clothes and he looks like he's posing…
We love fist-pumping, body-building Rand.
Don't make me get out the water bottle to squirt you ladies. Jeez… [laughter]
I have a big cardboard cut-out of fist-pumping, baby-oil Rand in my garage right now. I use it as a [decoration] at conventions. [Amusingly, it was stolen at JordanCon 2011, a few months after this interview.]
Is that cool, or is that creepy?
Well, it's a little insane I think.
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Want me to tell you about my dreams? I keep dreaming it's the Last Battle, and it's not just, you know, in the book; I'm at the Last Battle, and this is a recurring dream kind of thing, and like, one night was the Last Battle, and Napoleon showed up with his dirigibles to fight the side of the line (?), and we were trying to find out if they were hydrogen or helium, because it, you know, made a big difference.
Makes a difference, yeah.
(?) talking to you…
Another night, Darth Vader—the original one, not Whiny Boy [laughter]—showed up to fight for the Dark One…you know, it just keeps going on and on, and it's fun. Sort of. Sometimes it's scary. There was one where we were fighting the Last Battle in a gated community, and Tam al'Thor showed up, and then we realized it wasn't really Tam al'Thor; it was the Dark One, and so we had to escape. And so we did, and then after that, here comes Wilson Grooms! And, you know, I love Wilson! Wilson is one of my favorite people on earth! And then we realized it wasn't really Wilson, and we had to fight him! And I had a sword, and I had to hit Wilson with—what looked like Wilson—with a sword, and it was just really scary! And unpleasant. And I was glad to wake up for that one...but usually they're fun. [laughter]
You must be a Dreamer!
Uhh…yeah, yeah; I dream. I had a dream once that...
I want whatever you're on. [laughter]
Yeah, I was just thinking that. Send it here immediately!
I think it's called Wheel of Time.
Then he answered a lot of questions, on what it is to be a writer, how the whole Wheel of Time deal went (including a hilarious description of the day Harriet called him) and so on. Nothing really spoilery or cosmere-related here, but a great hour of fun for all. Also, a guy called Jordan was trolled in the worst way via Brandon himself. He called out through the whole room "Is there a guy called X here?" and when that guy replied, Brandon just shouted "Your friend Adam wants you to know that you just lost the game." Half the room nearly died from geek overdose.
I just wanted to say ... I like how the main characters are named Wax and Wayne.
Thanks. In all honesty, I was hesitant about the pun. I liked it, on one hand, but also worried that it was too goofy. By the time I tried changing the character names, however, they were too strongly cemented in my head, so changing them proved too difficult and I just left them as-is.
After some more stuff I didn't hear very clearly, he told his "I could have writing the last chapter 15 years ago" story.
The next person asked if he typed, to which Jordan replied, "If I wrote it longhand it would take 8 years between books."
So the number 16 is importanton Scadrial, on pg 245, Wax is trying to find out where Miles is going to be next and he writes down the number "35.17" I couldn't help but notice that the 3+5+1+7=16, was that intentional or am I seeing things that aren't really there?
I slip it in here and there for fun, but it isn't actually important. It is fun when people notice it, though.
This book is pretty good...!!!
This comment is in regard to Infinity Blade: Awakening.
Ha. I saw this one the other day, and did a double take myself. For the record (if it needs to be said) I didn't write the review. I assume that a person can input whatever name they wish when writing reviews.
Who cares where it's posted, just buy the book and read it.
Just admit it. You're so proud of it, you decided to put your Brandon it.
Nice try, Brandon.
(...somebody was going to say it. Might as well get the sweet, sweet, karma myself.)
Brandon has actually perfectly orchestrated this entire thread. They may appear to be separate accounts, with separate account ages, but it's all been designed to fit the marketing strategy. Now, you might need to ask yourself, am I Brandon too...? Or, more importantly, are YOU Brandon?
Some people said to me, "Brandon, I know a man has to have goals, but you do realize how tough it will be to become ALL OF REDDIT, don't you?"
I replied that if I could not invent millions of fake accounts on a website and contrive fake conversations between them to give a semblance of life, what kind of writer would I be?
Then... That would mean that you, Brandon, are concerned about a conspiracy that you started... And that I, also Brandon, am replying to you (me) about my(your) conspiracy that we are all me.
My initials are B.S.
Coincidence? We'll let /r/conspiracy decide.
"And on that fateful night, the 'Nice try, Brandon' meme was born."
And on the morrow, "Nice try, Brandon" was buried in concrete, weighed with heavy things, and thrown in the depths of the ocean, never to be heard from again.
Please, gods of reddit, let it be so. A good meme must be given freedom to die—not forced on in a cruel mockery of life, like the lifeless horrors of Chuck Testa's lab. Friends don't let friends end up on Knowyourmeme
The silly question is, who would win in a fight? Vin or Vasher or the Nightblood?
And who would win in a fight between Vin and Vasher? It would probably depend on who got the jump on who. Vin's a bit more sneaky so I have the feeling that Vasher would be in trouble if it involved sneaking but Vasher is - he only has to get one little cut on you and you're gone so it's, it would probably- my money would be on Vin.
Had insomnia tonight, and I decided to fill this out.
So...uh...I might have skewed your data a little.
180 days until A Memory of Light.
Just six months until this 20+ year journey is finished.
Gah! Don't remind me. (Gets back to editing.)
Are you working on it in San Diego? That's dedication!
Yes, he is. Brandon is not a party animal; his idea of relaxing after a hard afternoon at the con is to go back to his hotel room and write for 8 hours.
So, let’s let Brandon be quiet for a minute and let’s ask Joe and Jeff, what kinds of things are you looking forward to seeing in A Memory of Light? And we’ll just kind of watch what Brandon does. (laughter)
I think one of the biggest things that I’m looking forward to is just having closure on everything. I’ve been reading this book series since I was about twelve years old. It was actually the first book I ever really picked up, was The Eye of the World; before that I read comic books, and I was in a bookstore one day, and I happened to pick it up and of course, Darrell Sweet’s artwork was what really grabbed my attention, and I was standing there and my mom was looking at me, and she said “I bet you can’t read that.” And so I was like, “Oh yeah? Oh, it’s on!” So I read it, and then right when I finished it, I handed it right to her and I said, “I bet you can’t read this.” And so, she’s read the entire series along with me, and it’s been a part of my life since I was twelve, so to have it come to a close is kind of sad in some aspects, and sometimes you don’t want it to end.
We were talking about this the other day. Brandon read a little excerpt from the first chapter at ComicCon last weekend, and I haven’t been able to go to tor.com and read that little excerpt, because I’m not ready to start the last book yet. Usually I’m all over preview material, I’m like “Yes! Fresh Wheel of Time!” But I can’t get started yet; I’m not ready.
I think it's just, I'm looking forward to having closure, but at the same time, I'm not. So I think that overall that's what I'm looking forward to the most.
Well, to comment on what you're saying, I kind of feel the same way, but in a way it doesn't even seem real that it's ending yet, 'cause it just hasn't set in, sort of. So, I don't really know how I feel about it, then, but...more specifically, in the text, I guess I'm really excited to see...a lot of reunions are coming, you know, like maybe Moiraine. I don't know...who knows who she's going to be interacting with throughout the book, so it's gonna be really cool to see a lot of characters that have been separated for so many of the books of the series coming back together for the Last Battle.
Yeah, I kill her in the prologue, sorry. [She] doesn't meet anybody. (laughter)
So, I really like Moiraine. (laughter) But that's going to be cool, I think.
So, Bradley. Any questions for me?
Um, none that I feel won't get RAFO'd. Really, every possible question that I can think of is probably big enough that you're just going to say, "Wait until January." Which kind of hurts me inside, but at the same time, that's the way it's always been.
Ask it anyway.
Or at least for the recorder...
That's right. I'm being recorded for this so I can't tell too many secrets.
That's true. Exactly.
That's the point. [...]
Yes! See, I've always wanted that moment when it's got Nynaeve being awesome, and then Edward shows up and sparkles at her.
Yeah, right, well it's a meeting between Bella and Bela, right?
They're also both Darkfriends.
Bella rides on Bela? I can see it now.
Yeah, that's actually been very interesting for me, because my love of fantasy causes me to seek out and create these, like, what we call secondary worlds, and it certainly leads me to a lot of interesting questions about my own faith and my own belief, and what parts of things that I believe are mythology, and what parts of things I believe are hard-core truths, and what is the line between those? Sometimes, do we tell ourselves stories that are meaningful on multiple levels? All of that sort of thing is fascinating to me, and you find me working that out in my fiction where I approach, you know, the nature of truth, and what does it mean...you know, capital T Truth and lower-case t truth. Very fascinating to me. I'm fascinated by religion; I'm fascinated by belief, and what causes us to believe and what causes myself to believe.
Alright, and we should mention the scale of your own work because it's prolific. There are four novellas, three standalone novels, four books in the Alcatraz series, four books in your Mistborn series, you've started a new series called The Stormlight Archive....can I just stay on this business of being a Mormon, because it's been pointed out that there are many science fiction and fantasy writers who are Mormons. Do you think that's right, that the Mormon writers are attracted to this as a genre?
You know, I've actually talked about this a lot with people, and everyone has their pet theory. It may just be that by being part of a kind of distinctive sub-group, we're noticeable, and so people make the connection. We may not have much of a higher percentage than anyone else. That might be true; I don't know if it is. It certainly does seem there's a lot of us. Orson Scott Card, Stephenie Meyer, myself, Shannon Hale....all of these people. We write fantastic stories. I can trace my involvement in it back to the fact that there is an author named Tracy Hickman who wrote Dragonlance and he was Mormon, and I read those books and loved them; I think that's the first time I experienced an LDS fantasy or science fiction author. I went to Brigham Young University, and there was a class there that was started by someone who just loved science fiction and fantasy and was teaching it, and a lot of us who are now writing it took that class, and maybe it's just the class. I don't know; I really don't know what it is. Maybe it's the focus on literacy in LDS culture, and—there is a very high focus on literacy; a lot of readers, a lot of writers—and so you find a lot of Mormon writers in all genres. My own pet theory is, for me, fantasy and science fiction was a safe counterculture. Growing up as a kid who basically wanted to be a good kid but also wanted to rebel a little bit—do something his parents didn't understand—I started playing Dungeons and Dragons. I started reading fantasy novels, and I found myself in them when I read them—something distinctive, something imaginative, something new, but also something a little bit bizarre, and I like being a little bit bizarre.
(laughs) Yes, well that's a good thing to be in the world; I think "A Little Bit Bizarre" would be a great thing to put on your coat of arms, really. You know, rather than "Seek the Truth" or, you know, "Be Noble".
Here lies Brandon Sanderson: A Little Bit Bizarre.
Hello. My name is Brigitte Reed; I'm from Kearns, Utah, and I just wanted to say that I started reading the series when I was thirteen, and I was in the 8th grade, and so I've been reading it over...about fourteen years, and it's the best series I've ever read, and I'm so thankful to you, Harriet, for being willing to give it over to Brandon so that he could finish it for us.
And I actually have a question for Maria, and this is a question that I asked Brandon in November that he didn't know the answer to. [laughter] So he told me to email him, and he would email you. But I wanted to know if the women in Randland shaved. [laughter]
I thought I had answered this one somewhere along the line. Um...not really. [laughter] This is...I went digging around in the notes, and...basically, in the...the razors the men shave with are just not really good for shaving legs...so, it would be dangerous. Also, we see how they brush their teeth in the Wheel of Time, and we see men shaving, and a lot of things. And I think if they did, at some point Jim would have had a woman with her leg outstretched, shaving.... [laughter] You know? So, I am reasonably certain they did not.
Thank you very much.
But I think, in the thousands of years since the Breaking, there's been a certain amount of blessed evolution, so that women no longer have hair on their legs. [applause, cheers]
That was my other thought. [laughter]
My name is [?] from [?] Utah. This is for you, Brandon. In his book Maphead, your former roommate and Jeopardy! champion [Ken Jennings] said that he liked having you as a roommate because you made him look good for the ladies. Would you like to defend yourself in public? [laughter, applause]
Well, referencing Ken, the second-most-famous roommate that lived together during that time...[laughter, cheers, applause]...I would have to say that I didn't take any liberties in my books to take public potshots at him, because I'm more secure than that. [laughter, applause] Our other roommate is actually right here filming us—Earl [Cahill], who was our roommate...[?].
Thanks, Brent. And congrats on making just about everyone's "best books of 2012" list. You deserve it.
Jumped on the internet on the plane flight. Thought "I'll check my email quickly." Ten billion new emails. Oh, right. New book out . . .
Sorry, I was overly excited about the book. My bad.
Ha. No, it makes me feel loved. Thanks! Unless you sent them all. Then you are scaring me.
How do you handle that? Interns? You can't possibly read them all yourself.
I try to at least look all of them over. Most can be answered quickly with a pre-written email.
HUMBLEBRAG SOME MORE, BRANDON.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW? YOU'RE JUST A DIRTY SELL-OUT! SCALZIIIII!!!! :)
I am taking bets on the impending @scalzi and @BrandSanderson knife match.
Scalzi writes SF. He'd bring a laser rifle. This is why I only taunt him from 30k feet in the air.
IT'S A COHERENT BEAM, FANTASY BOY. ONLY THE CURVE OF THE EARTH WILL SAVE YOU NOW
. . . Did you just call me your "fantasy boy?" I don't quite know how to take that.
...and I got that first RAFO part, which was then answered in this book. And I was wondering if that question that I gave to Robert Jordan so many years ago, and he gave that wonderful answer, was the reason [?] or was it...[?]
(laughs) You're dog girl. Yes, you are! I will say...there's an inside joke here. Once, this wonderful young woman asked Robert Jordan what would happen if you balefired yourself through a gateway, and what exactly did he say?
He said, "Young woman, I need you to go have an affair—with man, woman, or German Shepherd; it doesn't matter. Either way, you need to get a life." (laughter, applause)
Now, I, uh...(laughter continues)
I also happened to then, several years later, marry a man who also read, and this is our daughter Aviendha.
I don't have one either, and I'm worried...my big question was always about gateways, and when I began reading the series, as soon as I discovered them, I started to think about what would happen, cause I'm a magic system guy, right? And I'm like, "Oooh, what could you do with this? What could you do with this?" In fact, I started taking notes on what I could do, and they sat there in my notes file for years and years because I eventually started moving away from things I had seen done by other authors, and that meant, specifically the few things I was most interested in in the Wheel of Time. I didn't end up ever writing a magic system using. gateways and the World of Dreams, the way Robert Jordan had it. I avoided these things intentionally. And yet I had all these notes of things that I would like to have done, if I ever did a magic system with them.
Lo and behold, I got that opportunity, and so I found ways to....when I got the project, I didn't want to come in and make any sweeping changes—that wasn't my goal—but there are some places where I felt it appropriate to add some of my touch to the books, and one was with the gateways. I didn't want to be spending a lot of time doing anything with the magic system, you know—inventing a lot of new weaves, or anything like that—but I did want to expand some parts.
And so I actually....I went to Charleston, and we needed a new viewpoint character, specifically someone in the Black Tower—we hadn't had...we didn't have the right viewpoint character for the Black Tower—so I said, is there an Asha'man you guys think that I could take over, so to speak, and really flesh out and make into a more...you know, elevate a side character to a medium level character, which is something Robert Jordan frequently did in the series, and they came to the decision that Androl was the person that I should take, and I gave him the gateway Talent because I wanted to explore what happens with gateways.
And so, right there....we are all on the same wavelength; it wasn't necessarily me trying to answer your question. It was me answering questions to myself as a young man reading the series, wondering a lot about gateways. And so, Androl was a lot of fun.
In fact, there's another story there. At one point, I'm working on the series, and I get in the mail this envelope—it's a manila envelope from Charleston, and in it are a bunch of photocopied pages, and Harriet has written on the front of them: "Jim planned to use this somewhere. Can you fit it in?" And what it was was a detailed explanation from the viewpoint of a leatherworker about how one goes about using leather, and leatherworking. And this is the sort of detail, craftsman-style sort of things that Robert Jordan really liked to find places for that sort of detail in the books, and meanwhile, I've been sitting here trying to build a character for Androl, and I'm like, "Okay! I've got a place for it." And that's how Androl became a leatherworker, is from that stack of pages from Robert Jordan; it was just a photocopy of a leatherworker talking about their work.
So, there's some Androl stories. And so the answer is, it's half to you, but it's mostly to me (laughter). It's to both of us.
At this point, Brandon started signing my books. I recorded the conversation while he was doing it, so from here on out it's transcribed. I always ask for something unique, but this time around bossman insisted the HCFFs should ask for a unique personalization—probably because Brandalization kind of decreases the value of signed books!—so Brandon took it as a matter of course. I asked for Zombie's infamous love pentagram.
....you have to draw a pentagram....and then, you know, you can start with Moiraine on one tip, and then just follow it around, right?
Uh-huh. Okay, yeah, that is...I do remember that. Okay. So.... (draws two lines) Can I even draw a pentagram?
Now, they go up to the middle...
Yeah, now they go up like this...
...like that, and then across.
(laughs) Yes. It's perfect.
And then Thom...
No, nonononono! Because, like, Moiraine connects to Thom here...
Oh, it goes like that! I see what it is...
Right, right. Yeah.
And then Thom connects to...
Is this like the hook-up quadrilateral?
It's a love pentagram. (laughs)
Okay, and then Morgase is not going to be Tallanvor....
Morgase is going to be Gareth Bryne, and then Bryne is going to be Siuan....
Oh, Siuan and Moiraine, pillow-friends! Right, yeah....
...and then Siuan comes back to Moiraine! Yeah!
Yeah, yeah, okay.
It works perfectly.
Yeah, the Wheel of Time is basically one big hook-up chain. (laughter)
Well, I thought this was special, cause it's like...it's not a love triangle; it's a love pentagram.
Yeah, okay. Again, sorry for my handwriting.
And then you have to draw a heart.
(draws heart and sparklies)
(laughs) That's great. Now for the questions!
Alright, now for the questions.
If you could create your own weave that we haven't seen yet, what would it be?
I sure would like some more time to write more books.
I would like to destroy the federal deficit.
Do we know what Moridin was doing in the Town?
Umm, Define we.
Will we know what Moridin was doing in the town?
That depends on how good you are at guessing.
I think he was building a new Westin Hotel.
Sounds reasonable to me.
Who was the first Feruchemist? I don't have their name written down. [Laughter] It's fairly ancient of date.
Were they born or were they created?
The first Feruchemist, were they born or created? Both. [Laughter] I don't see those two as mutually exclusive. See how good I am at dodging questions, now? I've been dealing with the Wheel of Time fans long enough. They've really whipped me into shape for dodging questions. Anything else? I promise not to dodge all of them
Hey Brandon, just wanted to say, thanks for finishing the Wheel of Time. Halfway through A Memory of Light right now and it is fantastic, you really did an incredible job.
I am sad WoT is finally over...but now we have Stormlight, which is shaping up to be magnificent. Can't wait for the next book!
Many thanks. Hope you enjoy the ending.
I like the part where Rand is really the name of the sled from his childhood.
And Perrin was a ghost all along.
I just want you to know that I have a job interview on Thursday-Friday and am refusing to get A Memory of Light until Friday evening, because I know I will stay up all night reading and stumble around like a zombie the next day if I get it now.
Very much looking forward to it, though. In this long time fantasy fan's opinion, your contribution (and, dare I say, reboot) was the best thing to ever happen to WoT.
Ha. Well, good luck with the interview.
Another book?? I cannot wait to delve into it. I started on your books with The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight. Then I picked up Emperor's Soul because the story looked intriguing and omg the cover art was so brilliant, and now am reading The Way of Kings. I have to say I became an instant fan, I cannot wait to read your other books. I love the way you portray your characters. I don't know if you will ever see this but thank you, your book, your writings they filled me with hope.
I did see it. Thank you for reading, and for the kind words.
Wait seriously? Is this actually Sanderson's reddit account or some guy doing the most long-term-troll ever?
It's him, he's done an AMA before :)
Oh. Wow. Um. Cool.
I'm actually his half-formed clone, stuck in the basement with a computer, never allowed to see the light. help....me....
If I send you a bucket of fishheads, could you send me a autograph?
I'm sure hundreds of people have Sanderson's signature... but his half-formed clone? It'd be worth millions.
Mmm.... Fishheads. Brandon hates them, but WE loves them.
While you're here, I want you to know that you're the reason I finally got into Wheel of Time. Mistborn, Elantris... pretty much everything you've written, including some unpublished bits, have been my favorite fantasy books in a long, long time. I'd tried Wheel of Time but just couldn't get past the opening for the longest time. When I heard you were set to finish it I knew I had to try again, and after finally pushing through the introduction again I love it! I absolutely can't wait to get to your section of the story, even though it means I'll be closing the book (literally!) on what's quickly become another of my favorite epics.
Awesome! Thanks for that.
Just wanted you to know you nearly gave me a heart attack with your April Fools' prank this year. Thanks for doing the AmA!
:) I almost did something like post, "Seventeen new Wheel of Time novels announced!" But that felt TOO cruel. Also, I didn't want to be getting hundreds of questions about it for the next two decades...
Could someone fill me in? I somehow missed it. :(
Here you are!
Dreamworks has acquired the film rights for The Way of Kings.
In an official PR broadcast today, Dreamworks Studios announced the acquisition of film rights for Brandon Sanderson's NYT best-selling fantasy novel, The Way of Kings.
"We're very excited to bring The Way of Kings to the screen," Dreamworks CEO April Firston says. "We're dedicated to giving this epic story the exposure it deserves, and plan on staying completely true to the book, unlike that hack Peter Jackson."
Initial reports are that the book will be split into seven 4-hour long animated movies, each to be directed by M. Night Shaylaman. Ben McSweeney, interior artist for the original book, is quoted as saying, "Well, they got the rockbuds right, so that's something, I guess." Brandon Sanderson didn't have time to comment, as he's currently working on fifteen additional tie-in novels taking place over a thousand-year time span in eight different interconnecting worlds.
Casting is still underway, but Robert Pattinson is rumored to be in talks to voice Kaladin, and Pauly Shore has expressed interest in Hoid. Eighteen musical numbers will be added, including "Why Can't I Just Die," "What the Hell Are These Symbol Headed Things?" and "Livin' La Vida Roshar."
EDIT: Obviously this was an April Fool's joke. Happy Spring everyone, and stormfather forbid what I've written above should ever come to pass. Thanks to /u/virgiliart and /u/catastrophesnail for brainstorming on ideas.
You got it wrong. I'm not busy because I'm writing other books, I'm working on the licensing deals! Cardboard shardplate! Official Bridge Four loincloths! "There's spren in my poop" toilet paper!
Serious question: are there poopspren, and how would they fare in indoor plumbing situations?
Well, it depends on how you're defining spren. In the books, they don't make a distinction, but there are several varieties. At the basic level, everything has an identity—a soul, you might say, but more than that. This is based on how it is viewed, and how long it has been viewed that way. Feces would have this, but wouldn't have a very strong cognitive identity because of its transitional nature.
Other types of spren, the type that characters see and interact with, are cognitive ideals or concepts which have taken on literal personification over time. These are usually related to forces or emotions, and don't relate to this particular topic.
And that's far more than I ever expected to say on this...
I heard that if he's away from a keyboard for more than fifteen minutes he develops a nervous tick where he starts tapping out rough drafts with his fingers in Morse code. He doesn't even know he's doing it.
. .- -.-. .... / - .. -- . / -.-- --- ..- / .- .-.. .-.. --- .-- / - .... .. ... --..-- / .- -- .- .-. .- -- / ... .- .. -.. --..-- / .. - / -.. .-. .. ...- . ... / .- / .-- . -.. --. . / -... . - .-- . . -. / .... .. -- / .- -. -.. / - .... . / - .... .-. --- -. . .-.-.- / .- -- .- .-. .- -- / - --- --- -.- / -.. .- .-.. .. -. .- .-. / -... -.-- / - .... . / .- .-. -- --..-- / ... - --- .--. .--. .. -. --. / .... .. -- / ..-. .-. --- -- / -.-. --- -. - .. -. ..- .. -. --. / ..-. --- .-. .-- .- .-. -.. .-.-.- / .-- . / .... .- ...- . / -... .. --. --. . .-. / .--. .-. --- -... .-.. . -- ... / - .... .- -. / -.-- --- ..- / .- -. -.. / ... .- -.. . .- ... --..-- / -- -.-- / ..-. .-. .. . -. -.. .-.-.- / -.-- . ... --..-- / .... . / -... . - .-. .- -.-- . -.. / -.-- --- ..- .-.-.- / -.-- . ... --..-- / .... . / .-.. .. -.- . .-.. -.-- / .-- .. .-.. .-.. / .- --. .- .. -. .-.-.- / -... ..- - / .-- . / -.-. .- -. / - / .- ..-. ..-. --- .-. -.. / - --- / .-.. . - / - .... . / - .-- --- / --- ..-. / -.-- --- ..- / --. --- / - --- / .-- .- .-. .-.-.- / - .... . / ...- --- .. -.. -... .-. .. -. --. . .-. ... / .- .-. . / -.-. --- -- .. -. --. .-.-.-
Crying from laughing. That's a real passage. You're awesome, Brandon.
EACH/TIME/YOU/ALLOW/THIS,/AMARAM/SAID,/IT/DRIVES/A/WEDGE/BETWEEN/HIM/AND/THE/THRONE./ AMARAM/TOOK/DALINAR/BY/THE/ARM,/STOPPING/HIM/FROM/CONTINUING/FORWARD./ WE/HAVE/BIGGER/PROBLEMS/THAN/YOU/AND/SADEAS,/MY/FRIEND./ YES,/HE/BETRAYED/YOU./YES,/HE/LIKELY/WILL/AGAIN./BUT/WE/CAN/T/AFFORD/ TO/LET/THE/TWO/OF/YOU/GO/TO/WAR./THE/VOIDBRINGERS/ARE/COMING.
Sitting in the audience at Superstars right now. We miss you this year, man. Tracy Hickman and Joan Johnston have been quite awesome, though.
Say hi to everyone for me!