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."
Logged In (0):
Newest Members:johnroserking, petermorris, johnadanbvv, AndrewHB, jofwu, Salemcat1, Dhakatimesnews, amazingz, Sasooner, Hasib123,
I've stopped saying how many more books there will be.
"No prequels, no sequels, and no one else writing in my universe."
Jordan said that many fans want to know what he'll write next, and many want to know if he'll ever write about the Age of Legends. He said that other than the Wheel of Time series and the forthcoming Illustrated Guide, he's (probably) not going to write anything else in the same setting. The Illustrated Guide to the Wheel of Time will contain:
* The history and rise of Artur Hawkwing
* The formation of the modern Aes Sedai organization (i.e., post-Breaking)
* The Aiel War, especially the Battle of the Shining Walls (which will be told from several different viewpoints)
* Some things about the Seanchan not included in the WoT story
* Art by someone other than Darrell K. Sweet
This is not a complete list of what will be in the Illustrated Guide.
The possibility of a companion book with all the terms defined is fairly strong—once the series is done of course!
As far as prequels, that would depend entirely on my coming up with a story I'd like to tell that is set there. It's not enough to say, "I just want to write what came before this." I tell the history of this world in great detail already. I will add that we're putting together an illustrated guide which will include some things that are not in the books such as the story of Arthur Hawkwing's rise and fall.
As of right now, what are your plans for supplemental books? Could you give us your plans in regards to the upcoming short novels, a second Illustrated Guide, etc.? Do you have any plans on when you might release them in relation to the upcoming books?
The first short novel is to be an expansion, or rather, re-writing, of New Spring. I had to crop and compress in order to fit the story that I wanted to tell into the required space for a novella, but this time, I intend to simply do it without regard to length. That isn't to say that it will be the length of the books in The Wheel of Time. I expect it to be about sixty thousand words, give or take. The other two short novels will be centered around two other events before the main story that I've often been asked about. How did Tam al'Thor end up back in the Two Rivers with his wife and the child, Rand? And, how did Moiraine arrive in the Two Rivers just in the nick? The intention is to release them in between the larger books of The Wheel.
As for supplemental books, the only thing I intend at present is a sort of Encyclopedia Wotiana based on the list I have giving every created word, every name, place, term, etc. That, of course, won't come until the cycle is completed. There wouldn't be any point doing it earlier. I won't say that there will never be anything else, because never has a way of coming back to bite you on the ankle. I once said that I would never do a prequel, yet that's what these short novels are, prequels, but I don't have any other plans. At present, anyway. And if anybody has any suggestions, please keep them to yourself. I am trying to move on, folks.
Books and other news: He stated that there will be three more supplemental short stories to go along with the series. One of course is a rehash of New Spring, which he plans to expand it to around 70,000 words. He did not mention what the other two would be.
No, not really. There are three short novels that I'm going to do. They're prequels in a way, and they cover specific incidents that I think are interesting, not considering the major characters really.
One of them will be an expansion of the novella, "New Spring", which appeared in the collection called Legends. I wrote that at 35,000 words after a great deal of compressing, and I had to drop several storylines to get it down to that length. So, I'd like to do it the way I'd done it originally, at 70,000 words perhaps. There are two others of that sort that would be shortish, but no, I won't write any more in this universe when I reach the end...unless I come up with something stunning, otherwise I'd just be running over the same ground again, and I don't want to do that. I want to do something different.
There will be two more books in the main story sequence. Twelve will be the final number of books, not including the prequels.
Book 11, Knife of Dreams will be published in October, 2005.
He will finish that book in the Spring of 2005, but instead of the normal six week turn-around to get it on the shelves ultra-fast, he is insisting on a full editorial review. He has not done this since Lord of Chaos was published.
He confirmed (again) that he will finish the last two novels in the series (Knife of Dreams, and the untitled Book 12) before returning to write two more prequels.
At some point I will do the two prequel novels that I talked about, the two other prequel novels, besides New Spring. But, primarily I will give Harriet a small hand on a project she has signed a contract for; she's gonna do an encyclopedia of the Wheel of Time which will have all of the characters, all of the terms, all of the invented words, and roughly and a roughly eight hundred fifty to nine hundred vocabulary in the Old Tongue.
What I will be starting with is a trilogy called Infinity of Heaven, which will be a different universe, different world, different set of rules, different cultures. One culture that you meet eventually will be as close to being inside the Seanchan empire as you can come, but this culture is even more stratified both vertically and horizontally than the Seanchan empire, much more like ancient Japan truly was, or really like medieval Japan truly was.
It's funny I talked about a book I'm gonna call Shipwrecked, some of you may have heard of that. Shipwrecked is actually the second volume of the Infinity of Heaven trilogy, because I realized I needed more of the setup and as I did more of the setup I realized I had another novel here. It could not be the first part of the novel to do that, it had to be this was a novel in itself. So in these things I had thought ten or twelve years ago, would be a trilogy, has become two trilogies, but I intend to try and hold it to that very tightly.
For Rory, I really don't think that I'll do any novels, short or otherwise, about the War of the Shadow. The outcome is already known, and it ain't good for our side.
As for coming to Australia, you'll have to get onto the Australian publisher and bombard them with requests for me. I've been to Oz twice since the books began, both times at the behest of the publisher, though we added some vacation to the business. As an aside, I almost was born in Australia. My father liked Australia so much that my parents planned to emigrate after WWII, but my mother became pregnant with me, and she was concerned about emigrating under those circumstances—I believe wartime rationing was still in effect in Oz—so one way and another the move never happened. But almost.
He said that he plans to finish the two planned prequels "eventually" (he didn't expound on what that meant) and then he said something very surprising to me.
He said that he is considering TWO OR THREE SIDE NOVELS! Stories that suggested themselves to him. I was thinking, "WAY COOL"!
He then went on to talk about "Infinity of Heaven" a bit. Saying that the society portrayed there would be horizontally and vertically stratified, a la the Seanchan, but even stricter. His writing style will stay the same and he won't change the male vs. female viewpoint expressed in WoT.
He showed up about ten minutes late and went through his normal pronunciation spiel looking slightly perturbed. He then reiterated the answers for what have seemed to become the most oft-asked questions this time around: Book twelve will be done when he’s finished with it, it will be last one no matter what, Infinity of Heaven is the next thing he’s doing, the two WoT prequels will be done at some point in the future, and that he’s come up with an idea for a trilogy of “outrigger” novels in the WoT world, but that he has to let it stew for a few years before he decides on doing it.
Then, probably because he arrived late, he skipped the Q&A and went straight to signing. Somewhat disappointing, as the event was billed as a Q&A / Signing, and the Q&A was the main reason I went in the first place. I would have liked to just hear him talk for a little bit.
I think it's unlikely to see the rough drafts. Because I know that the team working on the Wheel of Time—Harriet and those—are somewhat more...skeptical is the wrong word. Robert Jordan didn't like to show his work to people until it was on the twelfth draft. Harriet didn't see it until it'd gone through twelve drafts. He was very...Didn't like to show unfinished work to people. That was just how he was. Different authors approach things different ways. With Warbreaker, my own book, I put the first draft on my web site. I do stuff like that. I work from a different kind of angle. I don't know what it is.
But I'm going to probably push to get her to let me publish the notes, or to publish a book talking that includes part of the notes along with a discussion of how I translated the notes to book. Something like that. I would like to do something like that. The call will be Harriet's. And I probably won't even talk about it with her until the book is done. 'Till, you know, we've got the Wheel of Time done. Then I might approach her and say, "Hey, would you mind if I did something like this? Would you be interested?" Because I think the fans would really like to see it.
I think it would be definitely an interesting idea.
You mentioned the three books. And, I mean...The Wheel of Time is huge. There's lots of different places we could go. They are not places that I think we're going to go. Because we don't want to see this turn into something...Not to say anything against the media properties, that's fine, but we don't want to see the Wheel of Time become that. Robert Jordan left notes on this book, which has become three, but it's become three that are collectively of the same length as the book he was going to write. That's the thing you have to remember with the split. He was writing an 800,000 word book, I'm writing an 800,000 word book—8 to 900,000 word book—Tor has decided to slice it up and release it in three segments. It's not like I've decided to write two extra books. I'm writing the one book and I'm allowing them to split it into three. I don't really have the call on it. But that's something different.
He did leave notes on a few other things. One was called the Outriggers, which he had talked about with his fans writing. He actually had a contract with Tor. I don't know what happened with those, but that was a trilogy that he had planned to write that he had notes for. And then he also had notes for two additional prequels. He had done... He had told Tor he wanted to do three of those; he wrote one of them called New Spring. There was going to be one that was focusing on Tam's story—that's Rand's father—and he was going to do one that was essentially the sequel to New Spring, with Moiraine, how she arrived at the—how she and Lan arrived in the Two Rivers. That sort of thing. And those were planned. There's a chance you'll see those. A chance. My suggestion to Harriet has been to, you know, to be very careful. We don't want to exploit the Wheel of Time to make it go on and on and on. And so, while you may see those books—I know Tom Doherty is pushing for them a lot—we're not going to go back and do the prequel about Lews Therin. We're not going to do a prequel about Artur Hawkwing. We're not going to... You're not going to see this—
—shared world sort of thing. And so, if Harriet asks me to do those, I probably will. Meaning the Outriggers or the prequels. Because I don't want anyone else to do them, if that makes any sense.
Since you've taken over, it's a little bit now your baby.
Yeah. But if we do those, there'll be years between. If that makes any sense.
I think there has to be, yeah.
I mean, I got into this because I want to write books. My own stories. And that's what I'm excited about, that's what I do, and I'm really having a blast doing that. And so...the Wheel of Time is an exception. It's a special thing, that I am really honored to be part of. But I don't want to make my career doing other people's books.
This afternoon I got word from Tor that the release date of The Gathering Storm has officially been moved up one week. The new on-sale date in the U.S. and Canada will be October 27, 2009, so mark your calendars. We don't yet know if other markets will be following suit; as more information comes in I'll keep you posted.
Jason Denzel at Dragonmount is one of the lucky few who has had the opportunity to read the finished book, and he posted his review of The Gathering Storm at the end of July. The review does include some very minor spoilers that he's marked off so you can skip them if you want the book to be completely fresh when you open it up in October. Also over at Dragonmount today Jason posted my comments on the situation with the outriggers and prequels. Short version: A Memory of Light is what Harriet and I are focused on right now.
There were going to be two prequels; one about Tam and one about Lan & Moiraine arriving at the Two Rivers. There were also going to be several outrigger novels. Brandon the fan doesn’t want to see the series go on and on, but now that he could be the one to write these books, he also doesn’t want it to turn into “the one ring” so to speak. He’d have to let it go eventually. However, the ultimate decision will be Harriet’s.
There are notes for two prequels, one based around Tam's story, and the other about Moiraine and Lan before they went to the Two Rivers. There are also notes for three additional books, outriggers, which take place in the Wheel of Time world.
Brandon equates being handed the Wheel of Time series with being handed the One Ring—the longer you hold onto it, the harder it gets to let go. He doesn't want to ruin Robert Jordan's world; Robert Jordan and the series deserve to be allowed to rest. However, Tom Doherty wants them to be written, though the decision is ultimately up to Harriet—if she decides they should be written, he'll do it, but his gut says 'no', they won't be. At this, he was met with an "aaawwww!" from the fans, and nodding, he said that it is with a heavy heart but he feels it would be best. The last he heard, Harriet was leaning towards 'no'. If he does write them though, he feels there should be no more after this, "it would be nice to have a will" so no more can be made. He admitted that this is a half answer, but concluded with "Robert Jordan's legacy is more important."
A lot of people have asked this question. It's good to speak of it here because a lot of you are probably still wondering this. I get to answer this about once per signing. The short answer is probably not. I will give you the long answer, though. Robert Jordan was very uncomfortable with people writing in his world. You probably all know that. The stories of...people would ask what happens if you die before the series is done? He says, "I will have my hard drive reformatted and all of my notes burned," is what he used to say. He started changing his tune later in his life. And finally started, said "Well I'll have someone finish it," but mostly just said that to Harriet. Anyway, but he was very uncomfortable. I personally don't think there would be anything wrong with doing the prequels or the outriggers since he said he was going to do them, and he signed contracts for them. However, they are a slippery slope. And I've used the metaphor before on tour that working on the Wheel of Time for us has been a little bit like being handed the One Ring. And we are now standing, holding the Ring over the gulf, and the question is when do we let go? And if we hang on too long, we risk undermining the legacy of a very great man and a very great series. And when we've talked about this, the general sentiment seems to be we would rather stop earlier and err on that side than err on going too far.
Yeah, I mean Tom pretty really wants to see them. You know, it's all going to be up to Harriet. If she makes the call, I will write them. But right now, this is the feeling that pretty much all us of have, and so I have a sense that it's going to be what I say.
One of the questions that I asked him was, "Do you think it is fair to you, as a prolific author, to be asked by the rest of "Team Jordan" to write the prequels and/or outriggers?"
I asked because as a BWS fan and as a WoT fan, I'm torn between wanting to let Brandon get on with his other work (he still has nine Stormlight books to write, six Mistborn books, an Elantris sequel, a Warbreaker sequel or two, AND another 10 book series called Dragonsteel to write!), and wanting to see more WoT after the main series ends. I told him this, and he was very open about it.
Will there be prequels or books about the Age of Legends?
Brandon stated he didn't want WOT to be like Star Wars with books telling scattered stories, but would like to do the prequels that RJ planned about Tam and Moiraine, and possibly the outriggers about Mat and Tuon as well (but not the other planned series, Infinity of Heaven).
He did mention the forthcoming WOT encyclopedia, and how extensive RJ's notes were—when he asked for a file on Perrin, he got notes that included 50 people from the Two Rivers who never even appeared in the books.
Will the series EVER END?
Edit: I swear, my wife is karmic poison. This was her question. She's a huge fan of the Wheel of Time but wants some resolution.
Don't mind the downvoters, Warlizard. I'm sure people just are worried about me taking offense. They forget that I've been involved as a fan with this series for twenty years. I've felt the feeling you express several times during my history with the WoT—and I bet most of us have.
It WILL END. I am about halfway through the final book. I have told Harriet that I would prefer that we not do any more books, as to not exploit RJ's legacy. Even if she decided to do those (the other two prequels RJ mentioned, for example) the real ending to the series is here.
Also, on another note, I've watched many of your posts and been interested in your publishing experiences. I find that you often have very useful things to say, and are a real strength to the reddit writing/publishing community. I don't always agree with you, but what you bring is very engaging. So thank you for what you do. I'm going to have to read one of your books, eventually. (I'm sorry that I haven't gotten to them yet.)
Thanks for the response. Just told my wife and she said, "Oh thank GOD!" It's a bit like watching Star Wars, having Empire finish up, then waiting 6 more books to find out if Darth Vader is REALLY his father.
I know there has to be vast pressure to continue writing books and not just because of the financial aspects. People want to read them more about that universe and it's hard to deny them that.
I don't mind the downvotes. Reddit has been pretty good to me and I wouldn't have put out any of my stories if the feedback hadn't been so strong and persistent. I always give away the books to Redditors first and put 'em up on Amazon second as a way of saying thanks.
I appreciate your kind words and if you'd like a copy of anything I've written, please feel free to PM me an email address were I can send them.
Well, let me change that. Stories, maybe. But when I finish the Wheel of Time I have no intention of doing novels that are prequels or sequels. I'm going to go to another fantasy universe, another world, another set of characters, another set of cultures, another set of rules. I won't say that I'll never do something like that, but I have no plans to.
Cadsuane Melaidhrin was born in 705 NE in the city-state of Far Madding. At the age of fifteen, she went to the White Tower. There she spent six years as a novice and five years as Accepted. She might have moved faster as novice and Accepted—in fact almost certainly should have—but she was noted for both her stubbornness and her pride (read arrogance). At age 26, she was raised Aes Sedai and chose the Green Ajah.
Cadsuane was very strong in the One Power; for many years she served as the gauge by which every incoming novice was judged. In the last thousand years, no one had matched her and few had come close. Certainly no one in that time had exceeded her. Not even with her full strength yet, she was, on the very day she attained the shawl, at the pinnacle of the Aes Sedai social hierarchy.
She stood about 5'5" tall and was neither slender nor stout. She was not pretty, but she was strikingly handsome with a fair complexion. She had dark eyes, which some people occasionally mistook for black, especially when she was focused on them in an unpleasant fashion. Her hair became iron-gray, and she wore it in a bun on top of her head; the bun was decorated with small dangling golden ornaments, stars and moons and birds and fish. These hair ornaments were considered something of a trademark because she had worn them for as long as anyone could remember. For many sisters, the fact that she had was just one more indication of how set in her ways she was; they thought Cadsuane would never change, could never change. Of course, that was far from true; Cadsuane was remarkably adaptable, as befits someone who survived as long as she.
Cadsuane was considered by many to be a second Caraighan, although unlike Caraighin, she always refused offices. She preferred the field, so to speak; adventures were her bag. It was said that Cadsuane went through more Warders than most sisters have shoes; she didn't have all that many, since she was as vulnerable to the effects of a Warder's death as anyone else. Later in life, she refused to take another Warder because she felt that at her age, bonding a Warder would not be fair to the man.
Cadsuane first refused to be raised a Sitter in 846 NE; she reportedly did so a second time as well, though even one refusal was unheard of. She refused to be raised head of the Green Ajah in 862 NE, another thing that was unheard of. She was said to have vanished from the Tower for ten years (from roughly 890 NE to 900 NE) when she learned that the Hall intended to raise her Amyrlin after Sereille Bagand. She retired to northern Ghealdan about twenty-five years before the Aiel War, but came out of retirement, with her two surviving Warders, for that conflict. Soon after the Aiel War ended, she returned to her rustication. She claimed to have been raising roses when Logain appeared. His appearance drew her out of retirement again, but she was not interested in escorting him to Tar Valon and decided to wander a bit. Then Mazrim Taim rose up, and she headed for Saldaea as fast as she could ride.
When Siuan Sanche and Moiraine Damodred had reason to research Cadsuane because of their encounter with her shortly after reaching the shawl, they found many stories regarding Cadsuane. All of the ones that they were able to trace down turned out to be true, and in some cases the truth was more than the story. They were not able to follow or confirm all of the stories, of course.
One of the most prevalent Cadsuane stories was that she had once physically assaulted an Amyrlin Seat. Since physically assaulting any sister is a serious offense—and an Amyrlin even more so—the fact that Cadsuane apparently escaped any punishment at all, and that the tale is vague about which Amyrlin it was supposed to be, made most everyone think this story was false. It wasn't; it was the method Cadsuane used to turn Myriam Copan from a weak Amyrlin to a strong one in 758 NE. Myriam was thought to have gone on a two-month retreat by herself, but she had, in fact, been all but kidnaped by Cadsuane. Turning Myriam around involved, among other things, turning her upside down at least once. Although Myriam certainly had reason to keep the events of those two months secret (and was able to make a statement which seemed to deny that Cadsuane had assaulted her), it is the basis of the tale that Cadsuane once physically assaulted an Amyrlin.
Another story said that long ago she had removed a sitting king from his palace and taken him to Tar Valon to be gentled. In truth, Cadsuane had "a nose" for men who can channel. She faced more of them than any other sister living; she herself said more than any two Reds, maybe more than any ten. That seems to indicate at least twenty of them by that time, maybe more. She brought more of them to Tar Valon than any other sister. Of these, she never had to kill one, either because she could not capture him or because he was trying to escape. These men have ranged over the years from farmboys to nobles to the king of Tarabon, but one and all, they made much better adjustments to their fate than is considered normal. They eventually died short of a normal span, but they lived considerably longer than usual. And that King of Tarabon: he had to be winkled out of his palace, avoiding his army, which sought to rescue him. She carried him all the way to Tar Valon for gentling by herself, though pursued by his army that refused to believe that he was what he was.
It was also said that she kidnaped a King of Arad Doman and a Queen of Saldaea. After she released them, a war that had seemed inevitable simply faded away. She did actually spank or switch three reigning kings and four queens, though the facts of these are hidden in rumor.
Cadsuane is alleged to have once single-handedly stopped a coup in the White Tower. This did happen, though no one seems to know or agree on when. The true story: Cadsuane and Sereille Bagand did not get on with each other. In fact, they could not stand one another. Each was the sort of woman who dominated a room—or for that matter, a city!—by simply entering, and they struck sparks at every meeting. Despite her dislike for Sereille, though, Cadsuane uncovered a plot to overthrow Sereille and crushed it. The plotters thought she would be eager to join them, but she dragged the weeping ringleaders to Sereille and made them throw themselves on Sereille's rather small mercies. Sereille was not particularly pleased to have been saved—the plot was well laid out and ready to leap off—by one she so disliked.
She had a reputation for standing White Tower custom on its head, twisting it as she chose, and even violating it outright, as in her frank speech about age, her direct questions and refusals to accept oblique answers, and her interference in the actions of other sisters. The same could be said of her regarding Tower law, for that matter. She had a reputation for taking direct action, even to the point of violence, slapping faces, boxing ears, and more (especially when faced with what she considered stupidity), with high as often as low, or rather, more often. She also had a reputation for not caring whether she dented somebody's pride, if she thought it necessary.
There are the usual tales expected of a Green, only more of them. Riots suppressed and wars stopped single-handedly; rulers steadied on their thrones, or pulled from them, sometimes toppled openly and sometimes more subtly (toppling rulers was something Aes Sedai had not really done much of in the last thousand years, but Cadsuane seemed in many ways a throwback). Rescuing people carried into the Blight or kidnaped by dangerous bands of Darkfriends, breaking up murderous rings of Darkfriends plaguing villages and towns, and exposing powerful Darkfriends who tried to kill her to protect themselves. There are dozens, even hundreds, of improbable and sometimes seemingly impossible tales.
Some of these are not so much tales about her as an impression, a belief: Cadsuane will do what she intends to do, and no one can stop her: not a king or a queen, not an Amyrlin—not even the Dark One himself, some claimed. And when Rand al'Thor arose to power as the Dragon Reborn, Cadsuane once again chose to take part in directing the events of the world.
One is New Spring, which was published in reduced form in the book Legends 2. Actually, Silverberg had asked Jordan to write a story for Legends, but Jordan wrote a novel. Since it was too long to be included in the anthology he shortened it considerably, and the result was what we were able to read even in Italy. When Jordan's American publisher learned of this story, he asked Jordan if he couldn’t expand it into a novel.
One of the other two prequels (Jordan said he will write them only after he has finished narrating the events in the saga) covers Tam al'Thor and his decision to leave the army to retire to the Two Rivers. The other, I don’t remember.
The third prequel would tell the story of how Lan and Moraine reach the Two Rivers and find the three ta’veren.
Also at Turin Jordan said that he has serious health problems .... if I remember correctly he was involved in a traffic accident and had a narrow escape (and this is why he now walks with a cane).
In addition, our Jordan also fought in Vietnam.
Regarding the prequels, there are three:
1) The meeting between Lan and Moiraine, if I remember correctly
2) Tam al'Thor, his military career and his return to Emond's Field
3) The travels of Lan and Moraine to Emond's Field before the start of The Eye of the World
Still hard at work on A Memory of Light. Today's scenes involve lots of loud noises.
Just curious, have you read the end scenes that RJ wrote? Or are you waiting till you get there?
I read them as soon as I got them. I needed to use them as a target 'goal' for the book.
Now, on to a scene that finally, at long last, fulfills something Min saw long ago...
I've finished all characters except Rand and Mat. (Note, I'm not writing in order; other characters have already-written scenes after this.)
Now, I have to finish Mat's climax, write a few more Rand scenes, then add in RJ's ending material. Then we're done. Very close now.
What are your thoughts on ending the WoT series that Robert Jordan started so long ago? :)
After a few hours with the family, am back at work on A Memory of Light. It's slightly possible that I'll finish it sometime during the night.
Would that make tonight A Memory of Light Eve?
Ha. Yes, I guess it would.
You can follow along, if you wish. I have twenty small points on my outline left to hit. Maybe 10k words or so. I'll tweet as I pass them.
First scene out of twenty finished. (Note that I'm using 'scene' here liberally to mean a point on the plot outline.)
Can you tell us who has the last chapter?
Afraid that would spoil too much.
Note that as I approach an ending, my writing speed goes up, as I get momentum. 10k tonight is not impossible. (Though most days I do 2-3.)
Two out of twenty scenes done. Eighteen left, and A Memory of Light will be finished.
Three out of Twenty of the remaining scenes in A Memory of Light have been finished. (If you're just now seeing this, check back to my last few posts.)
How long was it after the first two books were finished until they were published?
For the first one, about a year. For the next, about six months. This will probably be closer to the first than the second.
Scene four was slightly shorter than the others. 4 out of 20 finished so far tonight.
Scene #5 finished. 25% through the ending of A Memory of Light. Feeling good about these scenes. All is going very well.
Some of you have asked if I got the Magic cards you sent me off of my Amazon wishlist. I did! I'm waiting to open them until I'm done with A Memory of Light.
A few of these scenes are pretty emotional ones for me. It's been a long, long road. I started reading the WoT twenty-one years ago.
Just finished scene #6 out of the 20 remaining in A Memory of Light.
Scene seven is done. Thirteen more to go. This one...this one was tough to write.
I've apparently inspired a drinking game with this on both Twitter and Facebook. I'd join in, but: 1) Mormon. 2) BUSY WRITING END OF WOT. :)
Scene #8 is a tricky one. I know how it has to go, I just need to do it carefully. Getting close to having it right.
Scene #8 is finished. This is going well. I often build momentum like this during a powerful book ending, and this one is very powerful.
We shall see. We've still got three or four hours before I'd normally turn in for bed. If I start to get sleepy, I'll call it for the night.
No sense in pushing on if the quality starts to flag. Knowing myself, though, I'll be too excited to be tired for a while yet. Onward!
Glad to hear things are ending well! I can't wait to read it. Think I have time for a full re-read before A Memory of Light?
Depends on how quickly you read. :)
Cannot wait, but I agree. Is it really going to take a year to edit and publish?
I've done a dozen drafts each of the previous two books. That kind of thing takes a little bit of time...
I just did something to Mat that I've been gleefully waiting to do for three years.
Don't stress the thing I did to Mat too much. It's a little (and fun) thing I've wanted to see him do for a long time.
I have finished scene #9 out of 20 I need to write before A Memory of Light is done.
Best of luck to @BrandSanderson as I turn in for the night. I'm giddy for A Memory of Light.
Hopefully, you will wake to find the book finished.
It's almost 3:30am here and I SHOULD be in bed, but I feel like I need 2 stay up and cheer you on and also to witness THE END!
Ha. Well, there are still hours left to go, I suspect. I started at...what, 9:00 here? I'm to 1/2 and it's almost 2:00?
For those asking, it's almost 2:00 am here. The night is still young.
Just finished Scene #10. Halfway there!
I don't expect it to go longer than those. After editing, I'm pretty sure we'll settle at 350-360k words. (About 10% longer than Towers of Midnight.)
Brace yourselves. I just finished the last Mat Cauthon scene that, in all likelihood, will ever be written.
General writing question: after The editor edits, is it typical for an author to add/rewrite, or only the editor?
Only the author rewrites or adds. Never the editor. (in most cases.)
The fourteenth scene was Mat's, and now I've finished the fifteenth scene. Five more to go, and A Memory of Light is done.
Just finished scene #16. Four more to go. Guess I'm not stopping tonight, eh?
Scene #17 is finished. I was a tad on the longer side for the ones I'm doing here, as are the last three. 5:00 am here.
I keep flashing back to times I've read the WoT books through my life. Looking back, you could call Rand/Mat/Perrin my oldest friends.
Scene #18 is done. Two more to go.
Scene #19 is done. Deep breath. I'm beginning the last scene I will write in the Wheel of Time, then will add RJ's ending.
I've been listening to Pandora as I do this, but am wondering if I should pick a specific song to listen to as I finish. Suggestions?
My choice for a song to play as I write the last few paragraphs here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-0G_FI61a8
Ladies and gentlemen, A Memory of Light—the final book in The Wheel of Time—has been finished.
Now I'll open a metric gigaton of Magic cards that have been sent to me by fans, sleep for a day, and rest until next week.Then: revisions!
As for when the book will come out, Tor should do an announcement soon. Revisions will take a good six months. So fall, I expect.
Another common question: How many revisions will I do? The last two took about a dozen. (On non-WoT books, I do about seven or eight.)
Also, it's going to be tough to give direct replies to questions right now, what with like 1000 people tweeting/facebooking at me. :)
But lots of people are asking about outriggers/prequels. The answer is still the same. We'd rather not risk exploiting RJ's legacy.
It is a step I don't think we want to take. Better to stop while we're ahead. I'm sorry, but they probably won't ever happen.
And now, yes, I will go to sleep. 7am here. That's 10 hours of solid writing after a full day of solid writing, so I'm beat.
Thank you all for the good wishes. May you find water and shade.
Ah. Good morning, all. (Yes, it's five in the afternoon here.) Checking email, and...INBOX EXPLOSION. I guess I was expecting it. :)
The idea for the "short" novels came about because of a comment I made to Tom Doherty concerning the writing of New Spring. I almost always find that my initial plans for what to put into a story are too ambitious, and if I had followed the initial guidelines I set up for New Spring, it would have been somewhere between half again and twice as long, much too long to have fit Legends. Very early in the writing, I decided to cut down some of the storylines and alter others to make them shorter. Tom's idea was that I should, in effect, restore the cuts, though it will be more complex than that because I never wrote them in the first place. I had long ago promised Tom that I would do another novella-length or longer story, and it was when he reminded me of that that this came up.
New Spring, of course, concerns events around the time of the birth of Rand al'Thor, with the "program" launched by the Black Ajah against men who might be able to channel (and the resulting deaths of many senior Aes Sedai, which in turn led to many Aes Sedai reaching positions of authority at younger ages that normally would have been expected) in the background, and the whole wrapped around the first meetings of Lan and Moiraine and the revelations of how someone as junior as Moiraine became part of the search for the Dragon Reborn and why Lan gave up his personal war against the Blight to become Moiraine's Warder. The framework of the other two stories I have in mind center around, first, Tam finding the infant and how and why a man who had risen to a position of some authority and responsibility as a soldier in the elite Companions threw that over to return to his childhood home and become a farmer, and second, around how and why Moiraine and Lan reached the Two Rivers just at the point that the Shadow's search for the young man who would become the Dragon Reborn had also focused in on the Two Rivers. There are some clues to events in those time frames in the larger books, though certainly not indications of everything that will be in those stories. That is, somebody might be able to pick up a few clues by close reading and study, but not the whole picture.
These three short novels will be spaced out between the larger novels, with (knock wood) the revised New Spring coming out some time late next year.
RJ was very uncomfortable with the idea of people writing in his world. I want to respect that. You might see the Outriggers or the two prequels he planned to write. But no Age of Legends or Hawkwing. At least, that has been my suggestion to Harriet. It is her call.
Yes! Please do what you can to get the prequels or outriggers published once you've finished writing A Memory of Light.
When asked about the total number of books, he gave the stock answer of at least three more books. When I suggested that 13 is a nice symmetrical number, he looked up at the ceiling and said "Don't listen to this man." I can only assume by his reaction that he took my comment to mean 13 additional books, instead of 13 total books.
I then asked him if there was going to be any more short fiction, he said, "I don't know. Maybe." He went on to explain about how the day that Bob Silverberg called him about Legends, he had been going through some notes about Lan and Moiraine's meeting. Lucky for us. He had to stop work on the novel to write the short story.
Will the prequels or outriggers be written?
Harriet answered no.
To be clear, the question was were there any plans to do the outriggers/prequels, and she said no, there are no plans. She still hasn't given a straight answer; I paid very close attention to the wording.
If no official prequels or outriggers will be written, will permission be given for others to write in the world of the Wheel?
Harriet answered absolutely not. She said that RJ threatened to rise up from his grave in wrath if that ever happened.
After Memory of Light would you finish the 2 Wheel of Time prequels that Robert Jordan was planning?
: Oh boy, okay so serious question. Harriet and I have both given this much thought and we feel that there is a danger in continuing to write in the Wheel of Time. The metaphor I like to use is that we've been handed the One Ring and we are marching toward Mordor and we have to let go of that ring. The longer we keep a hold of it, the more dangerous it is for us, the more we will want to keep hold of it, and the more we just risk exploiting Robert Jordan's name and legacy, rather than just doing what he envisioned being the appropriate thing to do with his world and his series.
We have both decided that we don't feel comfortable doing the prequels, perhaps that will change. I don't think it will, but for right now the answer is no. We are not going to do the prequels or the outriggers, which is another sequel series he had planned. Simply because there's nothing wrong with those, he said he was going to do them, but the longer we keep going the more dangerous and risky it becomes and we'd rather just stop while we're ahead.
Brandon said that he didn’t know but he hoped that the answer would be no. His reasoning was that WoT was RJ’s universe and that after A Memory of Light and the encyclopedia it should be “allowed to go to rest” however he did say that the final decision was Harriet’s.
Harriet said there was a Kenny Rogers song that fit perfectly here. “Know when to hold them and know when to fold them”. She said that she hadn’t made up her mind yet and would not until after A Memory of Light and the Encyclopedia were published. [From Peter's other report: "It is something they will get into once the A Memory of Light is in the bag, but the tone of their replies seemed to suggest that is was not even close to a done deal."
He is particularly interested in the story of Tam.
Later, I also overhead Brandon say that chances are very slim on the books (prequels and/or sequels—couldn't hear which) being written. He is concerned on the commercialization of RJ's name—where can they draw the line if they start with the prequels/sequels?
For what it's worth, I would love to read about Moiraine and Lan's adventures searching for Rand.
Myself and many others love the universe of the Wheel of Time. I know the possibility of future books has been discussed between yourself, Mr. Jordan's wife, and the publishers. And it's been said none of you wish to "cash-in" on Mr. Jordan's work.
I for one think you are all looking at this backwards, for you to continue writing books about the world and characters we've all come to know and love over the past two decades would do nothing but keep Mr. Jordan's legacy alive! It would not be "cashing-in" to make all his (and your) fans happy by providing them many more stories that we will all enjoy. I don't believe any of us want to just give up this universe after following it for this many years.
I for one do not want this story to end with A Memory of Light. I would love to be able to continue reading about all our friends for another 20 years. None of us want Mr. Jordan's world to simply end, he created a vast and wonderful world that is filled with endless stories. Please continue to write them!
If you truly believe it would be bad for Mr Jordan's memory or that it would appear you're writing more to make money off him then by all means donate the proceeds of any future books to a worthy charity.
Please don't deny us the future stories.
Signed, A dedicated fan
A thoughtful letter. Thank you for writing it.
Let me make a few points. The first is that Robert Jordan was very uncomfortable about people writing in his world. He said several times that if he died before the series was finished, he intended to have the notes destroyed and the series left undone. (He later changed his mind about this, or may have been mostly joking in the first place.)
The Guide to the Wheel of Time (known as the big white book) was originally going to have fiction in it written by other authors in the Wheel of Time world. Robert Jordan eventually decided he was uncomfortable with this idea, and they pulled the stories.
To be honest, there probably wouldn't be anything wrong with doing a few more books—the ones RJ said he was planning to write, like the two other prequels or the Outriggers. However, I worry that the further we go, the more we will invariably stray from RJ's original vision for the series. (Because we'll have less and less direction left by him.) Therefore, I will have to step in to fill the gaps, and the series will more and more become about me and less about him.
I don't want that to happen. I never want to reach a point, for example, where I've written more WoT books than RJ did. Is it not much better to quit while we're ahead? I'd rather be Bill Watterson than George Lucas. I'd rather stop on a high note and not drive the series into the ground.
Perhaps I will change my mind eventually. (Though, I should point out it's not even my call, but Harriet's.) However, the price of stopping now is leaving a few stories untold that might have been great to tell. The price of continuing on is to risk undermining the Wheel of Time's integrity and Robert Jordan's legacy. I don't know that I want to roll those dice.
If I could do one absolutely terribly immoral thing, and get away scott-free, it would be to steal the notes after A Memory of Light is done. I want to read them very badly.
It's not impossible that Harriet will let me post them once this is through. I've asked before, and she's undecided.
If it really matters either way, what I'm after is not super-spoilerific, but things that are either interesting but ultimately unimportant easter-eggs (the allusions to modern events at the beginning of The Eye of the World for example) and things like character notes and place notes (if those exist.) Above all else, I want to see what Jordan was thinking when he wrote the world.
I think these are completely reasonable questions that should either be answered in the Encyclopedia or (hopefully) when we're allowed to release the notes. I'll say what I can once the book is out.
Are the notes for the prequels quite extensive like for the final three you have written, or are they just general theme and plot?
The notes are not great for most of the outriggers or prequels. We'd be relying mostly on things Team Jordan remembers of what he said about them.
One conversation we've had is potentially doing these other stories as video games. That way, the fans can experience the stories—but if we flub them, they won't detract from the main sequence of books.
If we're very lucky, there will be some good video games that come out and things like that, and that could be...I've always felt that's a great way to kind of continue the Wheel of Time without having to risk Jim's legacy with more books, if that makes sense. If there was a way that the outriggers could be done as an epic trilogy of RPG adventures, or something like that, or you know, some of the prequel stuff, I would love to play something that's like the Mass Effect / Dragon Age version of Tam's story, going out of the Two Rivers and going and fighting a war, and things like that. And so, if...hopefully, if that can happen and Red Eagle is able to get those going, you will still have some stuff like those coming that don't necessarily have to be 100% canon, that you can accept and say, "Okay, this is interpretation..."
It's a Portal Stone.
Yeah, exactly; it's a Portal Stone version of things, and I hope that will happen.
That would be exciting, if they do that.
Yeah, I might actually start playing video games again if that was going on.
No. Excuse me, there will be an encyclopedia of the Wheel of Time, but that's the only other book that's planned.
As a continuance, will you be willing to license it out to people who you feel are worthy to do it?
No. My husband was very strong that he would rise from the grave in wrath if that happened. He really, really didn't want it.
No zombie Jordan!
Will you write this before or after you finish the WoT prequels?
Infinity of Heaven almost certainly will be written before the prequels, though I might do them between the Infinity books.
You know, the reception of New Spring: the Novel surprised me. Some people were upset or even angry that I wasn't getting on with the main story. I even heard people say there was no reason to read the novel if you had read the novella. (That, by the way, is very wrong. There is stuff in that novel that won't ever be anywhere else, including the test for Aes Sedai and the reasons why certain people have the relationships they do in the books among other things.) Anyway, given the reactions of so many people, I decided to shelve the other two prequels for a while.
First (and most surprising to me—did I miss something) he mentioned that he is considering writing 2 or 3 "outrigger" novels in the Wheel of Time world in addition to the final book and the two other prequels. He said that he had always maintained that he wouldn't write any more in the WoT world unless he came up with a really good idea. Now he's afraid he has come up with such an idea, but he says he'll have to think about it for a couple years to really decide if it's good enough. So, it sounded like those novels wouldn't come out until after his "Infinity of Heaven" series, but he made it seem like they were a definite possibility and that they'd be about a side story or minor character from the main sequence books.
One person asked about a rumor that there would be a 13th book and he stood up and addressed the line.
He informed us that the next book would be the last book for this "story", it might be a 2,000 page hard cover that you need a luggage cart to get out of the bookstore but it will be the last one.
He also mentioned that after the last book he is considering two more prequels but I got the impression that he was not completely committed to both of them.
It's not likely. We feel that RJ's legacy is better protected by doing fewer books.
Would Harriet publishing RJs notes regarding the prequels and outriggers in the encyclopedia she's going to write?
It's possible. You could always ask her if she will. I'll have very little to do with the process.
Honestly, I'm hoping that they will release his [RJ's] raw notes, untouched. I'd like to see how he planned and imagined the universe in his own form of organization.
I would like that too just as long as Sanderson isn't planning to do anything with them. If Sanderson is planning an Age of Legends series after this then I would rather not know everything about everything. Considering that there was approximately 100 years between to creation of the bore and Lews Therin and the companions sealing it, that creates a lot of opportunity to expand upon.
I have only read up to Winter's Heart in the series so far so I don't know how much more is revealed about the creation of the bore, if the people involved in the creation of the bore did it intentionally or if it was accidental and about a million other questions on top of that. What we learned in Rhuidean in book 4 was only the tip of the iceberg compared to what could have been done.
There aren't any plans to do future books. We don't have any desire to see the Wheel of Time turn into a legacy series, like some have become, with writer after writer taking a turn at the helm. There isn't anything wrong with that for the series where it works, but I have the sense that Robert Jordan wouldn't want it to happen—and so I am against it happening. That being the case, it is my goal to do what Davenport suggested, and release the notes in as much detail as I am allowed.
I know he had planned outriggers; do you happen to know if any of the notes touch on that, or was all that info lost to the hands of The Greatest Foe? Regardless, thanks for advocating for releasing the notes. Also, squeeeeeeereplyingtoBrandonSanderson.
There is a tiny bit about the outriggers, mostly little tidbits. (Some are pretty cool.) Not a plot, really, but some character touchstones. Certainly not enough to write like we've done these last three, however. The notes are far, far more thin.
Is Memory of Light definitely the conclusion of The Wheel of Time?
"There have been a lot of questions about this! Robert Jordan certainly wanted us to finish the series but we don't feel that he would have wanted us to write anything else after this. For all the desire of fans to want more, Robert Jordan—as far as I can see—did not want The Wheel Of Time to become a legacy series like Conan or Star Wars, where you have other authors working on stories. Robert Jordan didn't want that to be the vision for these books, so we're going to stop here. We're going to end on a high note and not continue it with any prequels or anything like that."
What about the outriggers? (The sequel trilogy to the Wheel of Time series that Robert Jordan had planned to write.)
It's not going to happen. Harriet and I are both firm on this. Robert Jordan wouldn't have wanted it to happen. He said that he wanted the series to be finished, but he did not want anything more. (He was even uncomfortable with the idea of someone like myself finishing the series.)
Beyond this, at the Q&A on Monday, Harriet revealed something I previously haven't been able to tell you but that I've known for quite some time—that Robert Jordan didn't leave much of anything in the way of notes for the outriggers. There are, quite literally, only two sentences of explanation from RJ telling us what the plot of the outriggers was to be about.
So no, no outriggers. I highly doubt you will see the prequels either, and for similar reasons. All good things must come to an ending. And this is ours.
Will the prequels be written?
The answer, directly quoted from Harriet, is, "This is it. Except for the Encyclopedia, this is it." There are not enough notes to write them, and Robert Jordan didn't want any sharecropping, once stating he would "run over his hard disks three times in a semi" before he'd let that happen (which makes Tom Doherty sad).
Robert Jordan left two sentences about the outriggers. Later, someone asked what the two sentences were. Harriet stated they contained spoilers, but they would be released at a later time, possibly six to seven months, possibly included in the Encyclopedia.
Afraid not. RJ did not leave notes about that series, and we feel that to do it would be exploiting his legacy.
Do you think you might revisit WoT to continue some of the stories left untold?
No. It is very unlikely. I feel that from here out, writing in the WoT world would be against RJ's wishes.
I understand the series as it were is complete, but is there any chance for further novellas?
Unlikely. I don't believe that RJ would want us to do that.
Will you be finishing the prequels as well?
Unlikely. I don't think RJ would want me to.
Rereading the series, what is your opinion, could more books be written on the Fourth Age?
Yes, many could—but they would be our projections, not RJ's vision. So we shouldn't do them.
Is this the absolute end? Darkfriends must still exist and the future is very unclear. Seems scope for more?
It is not the end, but it is the end of what we will write. The rest is left to fan imaginations.
Oh, excellent question. I should have put this during the frequently asked ones at the beginning. Are there any more plans to do anything else with the Wheel of Time universe?
No, there are not. The encyclopedia was put under contract in my husband's lifetime. He did enter into a contract for a trilogy of novels that are not part of the series but set in the world. He left either one or two sentences about that trilogy, which is not enough for anyone to work with so that it would very much still be his. He also said that—in the trade, it's called sharecropping in somebody's universe—and he said if anybody tries to sharecrop in my universe, I'll take out the hard disk, and I'll rent a semi—or a big rig, you might say, since his name was Rigney—and I will drive it backwards and forwards over the hard drive three or four times to be sure that no one will be able to do it. He really didn't want it done. And since he made it clear in his last months and weeks that he really did want the series finished, you have the end of the series, but there won't be any more done in the Wheel of Time world. [applause]
Along those lines, though, I will mention—people ask a lot—the film rights are held by Universal Pictures, and they're working toward feature films, one film per book. We don't know how far along they are. They have a second draft of a screenplay, which I have not seen. They're on a second draft.
And I haven't either.
Yeah, and Harriet hasn't either. There is one other little tidbit—there's an anthology coming out called Unfettered. It's a charity anthology for a member of our community, in the science fiction and fantasy community, who had huge medical bills. And in order to help pay those off, we donated a deleted sequence from A Memory of Light. It's something that was written, but we decided for pacing reasons did not fit in the book. And so we donated that to Unfettered and so you can read that to see something behind the scenes. I will admit it's much more me than Robert Jordan, but it is something that we cut from A Memory of Light, just it didn't fit, pacing-wise, in the book.
When a fan asked about the Outrigger novels and Prequels, Harriet answered "No." After a moment of silence, she recounted that while Jim very much wanted the mainline Wheel of Time series to be finished, he didn't want anybody making up things in his sandbox. Jordan's extensive notes, dictated and written, were the framework for the final three novels while three sentences at most constitute the Outrigger and prequel novels.
Do you think that there will be post AMoL books that follow Rand or his children at any point in time, or is the Wheel of Time series done for good?
Edit: Actually more like the Wheel of Time universe, since the series that lead to the last battle is completed.
Edit2: Also sorry if you mentioned that you were or weren't going to continue with that universe already, but I had to ask. I just finished the book today at 3:30 am and I just don't want to move on... :(
Sorry for the slow reply. Haven't been around much lately. I figured you'd still want some sort of response, however.
There is no more. I'm sorry. I understand not wanting to move on (I still hope for some good video games or films that will let you explore the world more) but I don't feel comfortable going forward in the world any more. I'm confident Robert Jordan wouldn't have wanted it. He didn't leave enough notes for future books that I feel they would be able to be true to his voice.
I'm sad about this too, honestly. I love the world and the characters. But all good things must end, and it is for the strength of the work as a whole that I think we must allow this one to conclude.
The second time through I made sure I was last in line. There was one guy who tried to be last until I convinced him I had more questions than he did. He was asking stuff on behalf of his friend David who was ill and couldn't be there. He video-recorded it and asked Brandon to address David personally because it would 'make his world'.
Robert Jordan...did he lay out all the war tactics for you, because he is a war historian, or was...
Actually, David, no he didn't; he didn't have an opportunity to do that. He indicated that it was supposed to be a big, long battle for the last book—basically all battle—but he didn't give us much of the tactics. There are a few things that he put in there, that he told us to do. But what we did is, we went to several experts that Harriet knows, and asked them for suggestions, and then we relied on Alan Romanczuk, who is part of Team Jordan, and we had him outline the battle tactics, which I then used to tell the story.
Okay, good. Thank you. And another question:
When you got his notes, were they digitized or was it a big stack of papers?
It was both. I got them in digital form—the bulk of it was in digital form—but they had printed off about 200 pages of them for me, which were ones that were relevant specifically to the last book, which turned into three.
Okay, and the final question is:
Are there any—and I'm sure you get this question a lot—are there any plans for any aspect of the Wheel of Time universe to keep going, maybe in another story?
No, we are not doing any more books. Robert Jordan specifically didn't want more books being written, so we feel it's best to both respect his wishes and stop while we're ahead. That doesn't preclude video games from being made, and so we perhaps may see films or video games or sort of things like that that will tell some of these other stories, but as for fiction, it is done. So, thank you for the questions, David, and thank you for reading.
A movie would be irritating, because it would just ruin it. They could never capture it.
No, The Wheel of Time universe will not become open source.
At a book signing the other day Brandon said that there would be no more books written, prequels, sequels etc. He said that the only extra book would be this updated encyclopedia. Will all the characters bios include what happened before and after the WOT series?
Some characters' bios will contain more information about a character’s history. For the most part, they will not contain what happened to them after the end of A Memory of Light. Robert Jordan is on record as having no intention of wrapping things up neatly for all characters. As a fan myself, I like this, because it means that in my own mind, the character that I loved can live on happily forever, and the characters that I hate can suffer woefully and die painful deaths.
In addition, Robert Jordan’s notes did not have information about what happened to each character before and after the series, and since we at Team Jordan don’t know his thoughts on these things, we are reluctant to just make things up. I would be happy to share my personal imaginings for the characters that I care about, but they are not canon.
I do not have permission or inclination. Mostly because I don’t think that Robert Jordan would have wanted it to continue. If Harriet decides she wants to do more I would probably say yes, if she asked me, to the prequels, because we at least know he wanted to do those. But my instinct says we should just let it be done.
We might see them as video games. I really would love to see them done as videogames. Because that’s not canon, but you can still experience the story. Anyway, something like that.
After Knife of Dreams, there's going to be one more main-sequence Wheel of Time novel, working title A Memory of Light. It may be a 2,000-page hardcover that you'll need a luggage cart and a back brace to get out of the store. (I think I could get Tor to issue them with a shoulder strap embossed with the Tor logo, since I've already forced them to expand the edges of paperback technology to nearly a thousand pages!) Well, it probably won't be that long, but if I'm going to make it a coherent novel it's all got to be in one volume. The major storylines will all be tied up, along with some of the secondary, and even some of the tertiary, but others will be left hanging. I'm doing that deliberately, because I believe it will give the feel of a world that's still out there alive and kicking, with things still going on. I've always hated reaching the end of a trilogy and finding all of the characters', all the country's, all the world's, problems are solved. It's this neat resolution of everything, and that never happens in real life.
I originally thought I was signing up for a 10 or 15K run, and somewhere along the line I found out it was a marathon. So yes, I would like to cross the finish line on this thing and get on to what's next. I'm not that old, and I've got a lot of writing left. There are two more short prequel novels to be done at some point, but aside from that, I have said I would never write again in this universe unless I get a really great idea—which would have to be an idea that would support two or three of what I call "outrigger" novels, not part of the main storyline. Well, I may have had one! But I'll have to set it aside for a year or two because I've already signed contracts for an unrelated trilogy called Infinity of Heaven, which I'm very excited about. I've been poking that idea around in my head for 10 or 12 years.
I've also thought about doing a book set during the Vietnam War, but Jim Rigney will probably never write the Vietnam book. If I did, it would be history now, and I decided a long time ago that Rigney was going to be or contemporary fiction, and my name for historical novels is Reagan O'Neill. Maybe Jim Rigney will never become a writer!
There have been some computer games and comics, and a movie based on The Eye of the World is still in the works (with contracts that allow me a lot of involvement), but nobody else is ever going to write Wheel of Time books. For after I die, I've purchased an insurance policy with a couple of guys who have a kneecap concession in the southeastern United States, and they have rights to expand this concession should it be desired. For a very small fee, they have guaranteed that they will crack the kneecaps of anybody who writes in my universe, and nail them to the floor!
Will you write any other WoT Books after the series is finished?
That depends on a lot of things. First of all, if Harriet wants them written. Second, if Brandon feels that they are being written for the right reasons. He would consider writing the Prequels and outriggers if and only if he felt they were being written to complete and enhance the story. If on the other hand he feels like they are just continuing the WoT Franchise, then no. He also said he wouldn't write anything other than the prequels and outriggers no matter what.
It's unlikely that I'll ever do any more Wheel of Time books. I don't think that Robert Jordan would want it to keep going.
What about your Steelheart, how many—?
That is a trilogy. I've finished the second book and turned it in, then one more left to do, and then it'll be done.
Final and kaput? No multiple trilogies?
Hmm ... you know, I could see ... but I have no plans right now to do any more. I have my next YA book that I've already got planned what I'm going to do.
The Rithmatist, how many in that series?
That's also three.