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,
Jordan knows about the internet groups, and even mentioned the recent split of the rawsfr-j from its parent group and said that is happening on a lot of other computer boards.
Jordan quoted the FAQ! Erica said the relevant part was from Novak, about Bela being a Darkfriend and attending the social. "The cloaked figure of indeterminate sex."
Speaking of the Net, Jordan did say (as noted before) that he'd read the FAQ, and was both impressed and amused by it. We got a lot of stuff right, and a lot of stuff wrong. We also have based a lot of discussion on "facts" we deduced that were actually wrong.
He DID say that he had done some things in response to net.speculations. First, if we seemed to be getting too close to something he had intended to stay hidden for a while longer, he would tone it done in later books. And if we seemed to be going off on an incredible tangent (the "How could they think THAT?" sort of thing) he would correct it. In both cases, however, he only did this if it could be fitted unobtrusively into the book.
Naturally, he refused to provide specifics. I asked if the linking discussion on the Net had led to the glossary entry in Lord of Chaos (which discussed linking in some depth). He said no, the info about linking has been in his notes all along, but he had to cut it out of previous glossaries in order to save space.
RJ also told someone that about 25% of what had been figured out on the net was correct, about 25% was on the right track, and the rest was wrong.
I had trouble hearing these figures, so maybe someone can correct me if I've made any small errors with them. I wonder how RJ would come up with such figures, anyway? No doubt most of the "looney theories" are wrong, but I have trouble believing that the FAQ (which we pretty much know RJ has read) is 50% wrong. Then again, the FAQ does give bunch of "reasons for" and "reasons against" for certain ideas—maybe that's what he means! Who knows?
I asked if he had anything he wanted to pass on to the net as a whole, and he responded, "50% of the FAQ (pre-The Fires of Heaven) is wrong."
He wants a copy of the latest FAQ, which I presume can wait until we can incorporate the primary points from Lord of Chaos into it. PNH, can we send that through you or through some other medium?
He likes Mexican food and treats his driver well. ;)
On our FAQ, he stated that 30-35% is fully correct, 30-35% is close, but not quite correct, and the rest is "way off in the left field". He though saw it more as a conclusive document than a synopsis of earlier discussions.
He also noted that some things we have rooted out he thought he had hidden immensely deep in the books, and we still managed to deduce the right "answers", while some things he saw as fully clear we had missed entirely or were totally clueless on.
About the FAQ: he gave some actual numbers: 30-40% dead on, 30-40% not quite but in the right direction, the rest way off. No hints about which is which, though. :-) Also, he seems to have gotten the usual impression that the answers are final and the questions must never be brought up again.
There were about 30-40 of us there who attended the signing, but I don't know who (if any) regularly read the group. So, unless someone else can independently confirm my description of the replies, I guess it's really only on my word that this is standing on...
(I don't suppose Ryan came down from OSU for the signing, did he??)
Pam: I apologize for forgetting to send you the blurb about Asmodean; reformatting my mail for posting to the group jogged my memory about it...
Brief NY and Social Signing Report
Well, the book signing was mobbed. There were well over 150 seats and people were standing. It was strictly controlled with people going to have books signed one row at a time. This, of course, left little time for conversation.
I was seated next to three random people who happened to have lurked on the group. I also had a copy of the FAQ with me that two people recognized. So, perhaps the great lurker hordes do exist.
RJ was very personable and seemed to genuinely enjoy the interaction with the fans. I was disappointed, however, by how few questions there were—most people simply stood there silently while he signed. I was also surprised by how few people seemed to know about the newsgroup, the FAQ, and the Compleat Index.
There were a number of people there who were only partway through the series (although I guess we all are only partway through the series!) and many had not yet read the book.
(And then the first half of my tape was gone, and I decided to save most of the rest for the audience questions.)
Jordan mentioned all the different cultures and myths he used in WoT. That he'd mined everything from Europe and Asia and Africa etc...
[first sentence paraphrased...only started taping again halfway through this] I don't know how it is in other places, but the best known legend for the American audience, that I had in mind ... when I wrote this for ... that legend is King Arthur. I would imagine that more people know the complete story of King Arthur and Guenever and the round table and the whole nine yards than know any other myth or legend, or perhaps more than know all the other myths put together. Now there are Arthurian elements in these books, but I had to try to bury them, for that reason, make them not so readily apparent. And while I had a particular part of the Arthurian legend mentioned from the first book, it was not until the third book that people began to realize what it was. In fact my editor, who is my wife, and who is a very very sharp woman, uhm, had edited the book and was writing the first version of the flap copy for the book, when she suddenly shouted down the stairs to me (if you're young, forgive me):
[loud] You son of a bitch, you've done it it to me again! [laughter]
Because she had suddenly spotted, not until reaching this... not until reaching the cover flap, she suddenly spotted by a... chance connection of words, this one particular Arthurian thing. [Jordan never mentioned what this was, but the logical option is of course Callandor.] And that you see, to me it's very obvious that the Arthur legend and all of the others are in there. If you spend time on the net, you find sites where they discuss these legends. [People sitting around me knowingly chuckle] I have to tell you that if you visit any of these FAQs... I haven't seen one in a couple of years, but the last time I was sent copies, I've read the printout of the FAQ, and when I was through it. And about a third of the answers in there were correct.
The talk continued in the direction of fan fiction, with Jordan talking about stacks of paper he sometimes received. Sitting there I felt certain the female Dragon debate I'd given him was doomed, but listening to this again now, I have better hopes.
People occasionally send me various compilations of FAQs and things of that sort they've done about the books, or analyses of the books, and I will occasionally read that if I have time, but fan fiction, or other fiction, or 'I've read this book and would you please tell me what you think of it?' or stories, it gets returned to them.
I do not read it, I'm sorry. It's not because I think that anything is going to compete with my works, it's not, but it's because what Terry said, there are bozos out there.
I was accused in an anonymous letter to my publisher, of plagiarizing. That The Dragon Reborn was plagiarized. Now this infuriated me to such an extent that I'm going to incredible efforts to find out who'd written the damned letter. I knew it was a nutcase bozo somewhere, because I knew that every word was ripped out of the inside of my skull. And I'm going to find him, and push him into a corner, and beat him half to death with my walking stick [laughter], because he made me that mad, that he would make this accusation against me. And this was...in an anonymous letter, who is not making any effort, he's not trying to make any money out of it, he just wants to cause trouble.
There are guys out there who I know who said 'you know, I have this great idea' and the great idea they want to share with you is worth about as much as 'let's write a book about pilots' and the worst case is when they see something in the book and say, and they think that they can claim it was stolen from them. So I will not read fan fiction, I will not read anything that somebody sends to me. The only things I read are the books I buy.
The following is from my recording and observations from meeting Robert Jordan at Waldenbooks, located in Waterford, CT on January 17, 2003. There were about 200 people waiting in line, and I was about 2/3 of the way in the line. The line was shaped like a horseshoe and I found myself directly opposite the entrance to Waldenbooks. A Waldenbooks employee was informing every new comer of the rules, "Mr. Jordan will sign only two books. They must be books from the Wheel of Time series. Mr. Jordan will not personalize. Mr. Jordan will sign only hardcover books." Somebody near me asked if the RPG books were okay. The employee left and came back to inform him that Jordan would sign the RPG books.
At around 6:00 Jordan stepped out of Waldenbooks with his cane and a slight limp. He looked around and announced, "There are too many people here, I'm going home." After the laughter subsided, he made a joke about being security's worst nightmare because, "I'm going to stand here and talk with you for a few minutes. Before I go and sign I'm going to answer questions a lot of people ask, that way you can ask something else and not waste time at the table.
For kcf again, I haven't visited the FAQs recently. I'll have to do so when I have time. It does take time to go through everything in even one FAQ, you know. I suspect by this time you guys may have bettered what I said a few years ago, that one-third of the FAQ information was right, one-third was close but no cigar, and one-third was pure blue sky fantasy. Occasionally I'll see something posted and think, "Well, you really have been paying attention, haven't you, now. You hit that dead on." This is especially interesting when somebody has accurately figured out what I intend to do in the future, or close to it. Of course, I also see posts that make me chuckle. Somebody who though he was taking the train to Boston but jumped on a roller-coaster instead.