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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You have a very solid international fan base. When the books are translated, do you ever worry that maybe some of the story might be lost in translation?
Not really. The possibility of something being lost in translation is always there, and I have been told by some foreign readers that they buy the English language versions because the translation in their language is terrible. Then again, I've been told that some translations are excellent. And there are always the difficulties of conveying the author's intent versus a literal translation, and difference of meaning or nuance in some phrases from language to language, not to mention colloquialisms, Southernisms, invented words and the like. Worrying too hard about matters over which you have no control will earn you stomach ulcers, but it won't change a thing, so I smile when I hear of a good translation, and when I hear of a bad one, I go look at the goldfish and smoke a pipe.
For Jordan, Fantasy Remains Fertile Field
[Released on Jan. 7, Robert Jordan's Crossroads of Twilight immediately hit No. 1 on USA TODAY's best-selling books list.]
The "brag shelf" at Robert Jordan's Charleston, S.C., home has expanded to a huge bookcase, groaning with foreign-language editions. That's an occupational hazard when your fantasy best sellers have been translated into 24 languages. Jordan has 15 million books in print in North America alone. Book 10 of The Wheel of Time series hit stores Jan. 7: Crossroads of Twilight (Tor, $29.95) immediately hit No. 1 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list last week. Set in a mythic land, the series explores the battle of good vs. evil and the looming threat of "the Dark One."
Jordan, 54, confesses he has thought about putting some foreign editions away. His wife, Harriet, will not hear of it. Jordan listens; she has been editing his work for longer than their 22-year marriage.
I guess his answer applies to a possible Canadian signing as well: If the publisher in $COUNTRY invites him and pays for the journey. The person who asked the question specifically inquired after Belgium. He hasn't had any leads that way from France or Belgium yet, but he mentioned a Hungarian tour is coming up since the publisher there contacted him.
On a slightly related note, and I guess I'm the one that cares most, a Turkish publisher has finally contacted him for a translation. Fantasy translation is a new thing in Turkey, although sci-fi have been translated for years—we got Lord of the Rings in Turkish only in 1998, for example—and we'll see how good the translation will turn out to be.
Today at 18:15 I arrived at the Mondadori bookshop near Fontana di Trevi, Rome (Italy). I asked for directions and I went to the café area while waiting for Jordan's arrival. At exactly 18:30 Mr. Jordan came in, together with his wife, with Sergio Fanucci and Valeria Ciocci [the translator of the Italian version of WoT books, at least until the 5th book]; the evening started after a few minutes.
First of all, Sergio Fanucci gave an introduction both "pro domo sua" and for Jordan's sake; afterwards, Jordan himself answered the questions of the (few...) fans which were there, while the priceless Valeria translated.
Many questions were asked; out of the ones I remember, I will especially quote mine.
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.
Honestly, I don’t know. When I first started working about fifteen years ago, I assumed that there would be four or five books. Then, I understood that I could not fit my work within these limits.
On one internet site I came across information that the Wheel of Time will consist of ten volumes.
Well, it's not entirely true. I think the number will be greater. You see, every book is devoted to certain events that occur with Rand and the other heroes of the series. The plot, of course, is undergoing changes to the original plan, so sometimes it is necessary to sacrifice some things. Attentive readers may have noticed that Rand, after appearing at the beginning of the novels, only comes again to the forefront at the very end of the books ... I think, to complete the entire story I need to write three or four more volumes. In the summer of 2000, I completed and passed to the publishing house TOR a new, ninth book, which is called Winter's Heart, and it came out on November 7th. Let's hope there will soon be a Russian translation.
I daresay it's into 22-23 languages. We most recently signed contracts with the Turkish, Taiwanese, and Korean publishers.
How satisfied are you with the translations and the covers of the books published in all the different countries?
Overall I am satisfied, though there are one or two countries where the appearance of the covers seems a bit odd to me.
They do say that--well let's just say that some books exist in translation over the centuries with the primary text having been lost, or things like this.
But you're not going to say if the translation is guaranteed to be accurate.
I am not going to say that.