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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There were two plot related questions in the Q&A, both were RAFO'd: Did Aviendha's gateway in beginning of The Path of Daggers go back in time?
He can be reached either by either email or snail mail through Tor in about the same amount of time. Tor prints out his emails and sends him the hard copies about every fortnight. They also send his snail mail biweekly. He does respond to them, but he gets backlogged at the end of writing a book.
Here is the rough time schedule for book eight. The manuscript should be turned in sometime in fall of 1997. Expect it to go on sale in spring of 1998. He worked 10-12 hours a day, 7 days a week for 20 months, except for a couple days for each Thanksgiving and Christmas and a few single vacation days, to write A Crown of Swords. PNH, his wife, and everyone he knows told him he needs to slow down so he doesn't kill himself. Thus, PNH gave him 18 months to do the manuscript.His wife said he is the only author she allows to submit partial manuscripts for editing. She also does Morgan Llewelyn, the Bears and David Drake among others. She said she was starting to reduce the number of authors she edits since she is overloaded. She edited one of RJ's books before they ever dated, so their professional relationship was already established before they married. She feels that mutual respect for the other's work is what keeps the two relationships from interfering with each other.
Considering all the work you've been through already, you'll probably hate this question, but when can we expect the next book, and how many more do you expect?
Will you be writing any other books that are similar fantasy/fiction?
First, I expect to deliver the next book in the fall of next year, which means that it will probably be published in the spring of 1998.
I do not know how many more books there will be. There will be at least ten total, probably more...but the safest way to say that is to say "there will be a few more, not too many, and please god not as many as have already been written!"
Other books? Not until I finish the Wheel of Time. I am already working in my head on what I'll do after that. It is indeed a fantasy series. I have a long gestation period for my books. The Wheel of Time gestated for at least ten years before it appeared on paper, and Shipwreck seems to be doing at least that.
The first is that the reason The Path of Daggers seems short is that Jordan could not go any farther without writing a whole lot more. The stage it seems, is once again set. Another interesting thing was Jordan asking Hawk if she was into leather, and if she was "top, bottom, or switch".
Dirty old man, indeed.
I asked at the signing on Saturday. The exchange went something like this:
What happened with Elayne and that warm ter'angreal?
There was the usual mention of how many books. I heard three or so but then he said something else which I missed. It seemed to create a bit of buzz but I have no idea what it was.
He said he had no idea what the title of the next book was yet. Once again I did not hear the rest of what he said. I think though he said that once the title was firmly established he will let us know. Which is what he did with The Path of Daggers.
The Path of Daggers was finished August 25th, and published in less than 60 days.
The usual "at least three more books" was mentioned several times in an increasingly loud voice.
In answer to a question about the absence of Mat from the last book, RJ pointed out that Mat had just had a wall dropped on him and deserved some time off to rest and recover. At least one person in the front row was taping the Q&A session on a dictaphone, so there may be a transcript somewhere. I lost track of them during the signing afterwards, so I couldn't ask them if they were planning to put it on the net.
The first book took four years. The next five books took, on average, 14 months. I finished Lord of Chaos in August 1994, handed the manuscript in, and in October, two months later, I was on tour for that book. I came back and said, 'There isn't time. I cannot write a book for you in time for you to publish it next fall.' I convinced them I couldn't do it, and it's lucky I did, because it turned out A Crown of Swords took almost two years, and so did The Path of Daggers.
Two things to note on this book in specific. First off, I love how the sections with Rand push him into his wild attack against the Seanchan. It shows how powerful and dangerous Rand is, yet at the same time gets across that he's still vulnerable and capable of being defeated. I've been waiting and waiting for him to use Callandor again and it was very fulfilling to see him pull it here, then have trouble using it. This is, as I recall, the first book which ends by Rand suffering a defeat. (Even if the Seanchan don't think they won either.)
Secondly, I'm reminded of how annoying the Sea Folk are. They seem to be a burr in the side of pretty much every group of major characters from here to Book Eleven. That's nice, in a frustrating way. It's less that they themselves are annoying and that they represent a kind of impotence to the White Tower. I'm a little bit sad, personally, to see the Aes Sedai growing less and less in control as all of these other groups of channeling women show up and seem to have it together far more than the White Tower. (However, I wonder if this is just due to the fact that we see a lot more through Aes Sedai viewpoints. Perhaps the other groups wouldn't seem so 'together' if we saw as much from their eyes.) It also presents a lot more room for growth, which is nice for the narrative. The Aes Sedai have to pull themselves together and become what they were in lore in order to face the dark days that are coming. I just wish that so many of my favorite characters weren't getting bullied so often by the Sea Folk or the Kin.
(Or, maybe this is all due to the fact that I think the Sea Folk totally took advantage of the whole Bowl of Winds thing. If they hadn't helped, the entire world might have starved and dried up. But instead of doing the honorable thing and helping in order to fight the Dark One and save lives, they insisted on an outrageous deal. They got to keep one of the most powerful artifacts in the world, AND got a whole bunch of privileges over the White Tower. They should be ashamed of themselves. Of course, on their side, if you CAN get away with it, then why not?)
Also, one more note. I was really glad to read Winter's Heart and get Mat back! (If you're following along, I've actually finished Winter's Heart and am now reading Crossroads. I hope to finish both that and New Spring by the end of the week.)
Um...perhaps. (Terez laughs.) Was that one of yours?
Yes, that was.
I didn’t answer it, but I didn’t RAFO it.
Yeah. It’s all good.
Question for those in the know: is the written content in the WoT ARCs or galley copies any different from the retail version? Any changed lines or new/missing parts?
I own a few ARCs of other books, and they don't seem any different from the retail version (as far as I can tell), but reviewers were asked to make sure any quoted text matched with the final version.
For the various versions that I have of this series, the results are all over the place; here are few examples:
A lot of the pre-publication versions I have such as The Great Hunt, The Dragon Reborn, The Fires of Heaven, Winter's Heart and Knife of Dreams have no obvious noticeable differences from the retail versions (although I haven't read through each in great detail so as to not damage them).
The galley for The Shadow Rising has a prologue of approximately 1.5 pages that was integrated into the first chapter of the finished book.
The advance version (2-book set) for Lord of Chaos has line edits, handwritten notes including some chapter titles written in and notes of what icon is to be used for certain chapters.
For The Path of Daggers, the book I have is labeled as an advance uncorrected bound manuscript that includes tons of changes: many, many line edits, actual chapter revision numbers, and in one spot, a chapter was moved to a different sequence in the book, and that's just what I noticed scanning through it quickly a few years ago.
My intention always has been, if/whenever I get the time to do a detailed review of each book, but that maybe just a pipe dream as I own a small business that consumes my life.
I started discussing some of this with Bob Kluttz of Encyclopaedia-Wot a few years ago in order to try get some info posted on-line, but I don't have the time to do the work nor the space or skills to post the info.
Hope this helps a little.
It's been an interesting experience. So far as I know, I'm the only person in the world to have ever read through—beginning to end—the Wheel of Time, starting with Book One and continuing through until I reached the final scenes Robert Jordan wrote before he passed away. (Maria might have done it, but I don't think so—she pretty much has the books memorized by now, and seems to spot-read more than she reads straight through.)
This is an experience others will start having in the coming years, and perhaps they'll agree with me that it DOES change the series. First off, you gain a better appreciation for Robert Jordan's ability to foreshadow. Second, the slow parts don't seem so slow any longer, particularly as you see books seven through fourteen as being one large novel.
Thank you for your letter. I am glad you like The Wheel of Time, and hope that you will enjoy the future volumes, too. I am currently at work on book eight, which does not yet have a title, and I am scheduled to deliver it to my publisher in the fall of 1997. Both my editor and my publisher feel that I have been working much too hard over the past ten years—especially the last six—and that I need to slow down if I am not to fall over.
Thanks again for writing.
With best wishes,
RJ: mls [<—this means Maria put it together... hehe!]
I had two questions for him. The first was if we were going to be moving to more of a "short timespan, lotsa action" format, since the past couple of books seemed to have fit this format (disclaimer: it's been a couple of years since I've read A Crown of Swords, much less Lord of Chaos, so my sense of book-time may be off slightly), at which point he replied that he didn't deliberately plan the book to be in that format, but if he continued the book would be another 600 pages in length.