Interview: Feb 9th, 2003
In the wake of book nine, Winter's Heart (2000), Jordan confided that he might prefer that the 10th volume be the capstone of the story. But there will be two more books, at least.
"I tried, but I've had a problem with that from the beginning. I knew the last scene of the last book in 1984. When I started writing I knew where I was going. But some things had to be pushed forward. The story hasn't expanded; it's just taken me more time. In Crossroads of Twilight, things are reaching that stage where everything really is balanced on the point of a pin, or of a sword, if you prefer. There are a lot of things that could go in many directions. Good or evil can win in any number of different places and different levels."
If the book marks a departure from its predecessors, it rests with one particular device.
"One big departure is that each of the major segments of the book begins on exactly the same day, and it's a very significant day in terms of these books. The characters are reacting to the effects of that one significant day, as well as reacting to what is happening around them."
While Jordan hopes to bring matters to fruition in two more volumes, some of the more devoted fans would be only too happy if he took ten more books to complete the saga. When such ardent calls fall on the ears of the folks at Tor Books, Jordan is moved to cry, "Don't listen to them! Don't listen!"
"I have spent 18 years of my life on this, and I would like to finish it. I thought I was signing up for a 10K run. I knew it was not a stroll in the park. I knew I was doing something that was going to be longer than usual. But when I first started I thought that 'longer than usual' meant five or six books. I honestly thought I would finish it in five. But I discovered it wasn't a 10K run. It was a marathon, and I want to cross the finish line. Because these books are the way they are, I have to finish it for them to mean anything. After I complete the cycle I can take a breath. I can really go on a vacation."
RJ is referencing here the header of Crossroads of Twilight
: "And it shall come to pass, in the days when the Dark Hunt rides, when the right hand falters and the left hand strays, that mankind shall come to the Crossroads of Twilight and all that is, all that was, and all that will be shall balance on the point of a sword, while the winds of the Shadow grow.—From The Prophecies of the Dragon
, translation believed done by Jain Charin, known as Jain Farstrider, shortly before his disappearance"