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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Any chance of giving us another #wotgh clue? There are a few codes left that people seem to have gotten stuck on...
Go ahead and tweet at Peter, my assistant, and prod him. He can give you some hints.
Hi all, Brandon's assistant Peter here. He's off on his tour (Thursday's stop is in the Chicago area), so he doesn't have a lot of time to update the blog. He did write one blog post ahead of time, which I'll post tomorrow probably. And you can keep track of his progress on Twitter and Facebook.
Brandon wanted me to give everyone an update on the promotion for Towers of Midnight that Brandon & Tor are doing in conjunction with the The Way of Kings tour. (The book, by the way, was just announced today as having hit #7 on the New York Times bestseller list to be released in ten days or so. Congrats, Brandon!) This promotion is being called The Great Hunt; Brandon is dropping clues in every stop on his tour that will slowly reveal more of the encrypted text found here. As I write this, 17 clues have been found or guessed outright. Brandon wanted me to list the clues and who found them, but . . . why should I duplicate effort? ;) Terez from Theoryland is already doing a great job at exactly that. So I suggest you pop over to this page if you want a roundup of all clues currently found or guessed. Brandon also adds more information more or less daily on Twitter and Facebook.
OK, here goes... If anyone else has pictures from the signing, please post them also. Thanks to Cuthbert 19 for sending me his pictures.
In case the pictures get deleted from imagehost, I also put them up on a Dragonmount gallery here:
Signing Report Paris—Major spoiler warnings
The signing was a great event with over 100 people present. Brandon was very happy with it. The bookstore people were very nice and had bought some drinks for everyone.
Brandon's wife Emily sent me an email when they got to Paris and they met me in a café beforehand as a thank you for helping set up the book signing. Brandon signed my books and drew a dead Narg for me because I told him that I am on Theoryland and Dragonmount and he had done things like this for other Theorylanders (See Terez's dead Asmodean drawing).
Then we went over to the bookstore.
Here's a picture of the store window with lots of WOT books:
...and the posters they put up:
Brandon began by reading Lan's part of the prologue with great enthusiasm:
Then came the questions & answers session (see detailed description below, videos are also coming).
I met up with Cuthbert and we also talked with some other enthusiastic fans met at the signing, one of which I convinced to buy The Way of Kings. During the line, we read Julien's list of questions deciding which one or two he should ask if Brandon only had time to answer one and speculated about what the answers might be.
Here's a picture of us with the list of questions:
We intentionally placed ourselves at the very back of the line because both Cuthbert and Julien had a very big sack of books, and this gave us more time to talk about our questions and hang out near the diet coke . It took about 2 hours to get through the line, which was fine with us!
Here's a picture of people in line (near the end):
... and Brandon signing books:
When we got to the front of the line, we asked our questions and Cuthbert identified himself as the guy who (almost) found the Venice clue during the great hunt (it was lost, but Brandon sent him a copy of it + another code) who flew to Paris just for the signing. There's a great picture of them at the signing table with the clues:e
Afterwards, the bookstore was planning to take Brandon and mily to dinner but as only one person from the bookstore was coming, Brandon invited Federico, Julien, 2 other fans and I who had waited at the back of the line to come along too which was a very fun experience and we got to ask more questions (yay).
Brandon and Emily opening magic cards from Federico:
The rare card in Brandon's pack (I think this is the one he had Federico sign):
Group picture at dinner:
Please note that here were some topics that Brandon talked about at the signing and also later, so I may have put some things he said later into the description of his answer to the question at the signing to have everything on the same theme in one spot.
This was a really great time and I want to thank Brandon, Emily, the bookstore and everyone who came! For those who were there, let us know who you were and if you remember anything I didn't mention here or got a question in line that I didn't hear.
Signing Q&A Video 1:
Sorry about the shaky beginning, it gets better after about a minute:
Signing Q&A Video 2:
Video 3 and final:
Signing Q&A summary:
I asked if there would be another Great Hunt for A Memory of Light and Brandon said yes and he is thinking about putting in all the chapter names. He said we will notice in Towers of Midnight that not all of the chapter names got put in because he took out some of the ones that he thought would be so easy to guess. Because of this filtering on the chapter names, he was impressed that we guessed so many. I told him that there were 6000 failed guesses we listed and about the list and search engine that was made by Theorylanders to avoid making the same wrong guesses and he was very impressed by that. He said Tor was surprised by the success of the Hunt and that they were very pleased.
At dinner, Cuthbert told us in detail about his involvment with the last clue. He had to get up on the chair of the photobooth to look at what was on top and a lot of the security guards were looking at him funny. He also got a lot of Twitter followers and people encouraging him to go get the clue.
I'm thinking we'll try something else that tour. The Storm Leaders were awesome, but we had Jason to set that all up. I may return to doing something like that on another tour, but this one will involve something else. I'll explain eventually.
Brandon, when does your tour for The Way of Kings start? I saw that you would be out this way later on in the month
The Way of Kings tour starts August 31st. Lasts about 3 weeks, with Dragoncon in the middle.
Well, I'm off on my tour. The Alloy of Law release party was a blast, even though the bookstore was a little light on copies. We managed to get everyone a book, I think. So huzzah, and forward.
One of the things I announced yesterday on Twitter and Facebook was another Great Hunt to coincide with my tour. If you aren't familiar with it, this is a concept from the Wheel of Time books which I (very loosely) adapted into a scavenger hunt to hold while on tour. I leave codes hidden around the world for Wheel of Time fans to locate, and they collectively input them into a web page which slowly unlocks text for everyone to see. (You can read a recap of last year's Great Hunt here.)
I have some thirty codes to reveal, hide, or otherwise give out while on tour this time. I may hide some inside books in certain bookstores. I might give them to individuals (like Tor employees) for safe keeping, and require you to figure out who they are. Or, perhaps, you might have to do something else. Whatever strikes me.
Before we go farther, however, some ground rules:
1. The codes are inside envelopes this year, with a label requesting that a bookstore employee NOT open the envelope and read the code over the phone. I'll probably prepare the bookstore employees for what is coming. You are required to fetch the codes yourself, or at least send someone you personally know to get the code. I don't want you bothering employees of any store—whether it be bookstores or someone from a store next door—to do the work for you. They aren't being paid to fetch codes. If you know someone in the area and can send them, go for it. Avoid bothering strangers.
2. All but four of the codes need to be entered in order to reveal the secret, but each one inputted will reveal small bits. This is a collective endeavor. Share information, work together. Once you find a code, input it on this page. Everyone else, feel free to watch the page and try to figure out what the secret is going to be as more is revealed.
3. It is okay to try to guess codes. They have something in common. In a way, they are some fun information themselves.
4. If you want to get involved, both Theoryland and Dragonmount (among others) are likely to have threads where you can post, participate, and see what codes have been found and what others have been tried. You can follow the hunt's progress by searching for the hashtag #wotgh on Twitter.
Now, as to the secret itself, I feel I should manage some expectations. Last year, we revealed a chapter from the upcoming Wheel of Time book. There are no chapters that are ready this time; they're all in first-draft stage. So the secret this time will not be something quite so earth-shattering. (Sorry.)
I still think it is cool, though it is more in the 'cool curiosity' category rather than the 'sneak peek' category. This is something that was written by Robert Jordan himself, and is taken directly from his notes. People have frequently asked us to show some of the notes, and Harriet agreed to let us show you this chunk. It is illustrative of the kinds of things you'd find in the notes themselves.
So, swear the hunter's oath and get to it! Let's have some fun. I plan to give away some of these in each city I visit, so UK Wheel of Time fans, you should have plenty of opportunities this year to help out.
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.
After three weeks on the road, and 25 hours of travel today, am finally home.
Back at home, sitting before my fireplace, taking a deep breath and preparing to dive back into A Memory of Light.
Still hard at work on A Memory of Light here. Want to do a blog post to wrap up The Great Hunt and my tour, but so far, haven't had time.
The prologue ebook for A Memory of Light, "By Grace and Banners Fallen," is up for preorder on Dragonmount. Other vendors to follow.
After prologue is released on October 2nd, will you be able to say which part of it was all RJ?
Will this be part of the whole book when it comes out, or will it only be sold separately?
Tor and Harriet like to sell the prologue early as a separate ebook. It will be the same one in the final book.
I know that this isn't your idea, but selling the prologue is a brutal cash grab. I'll save my $3 and wait for the book.
I have made it clear both to fans and Tor that I do not like this process. But you are right, I do not get to choose.
No normal book??? Only an ebook??
Tor releases the prologue of each WoT early as a for-sale ebook. It is the same one that will be in the print edition in January.
On September 17, the prologue showed up for sale on Google Books in Canada, including some revealing previews that tempted fans (aside from the Canadians who were able to buy it) to piece together the prologue from Google Book searches. Predictably, chaos ensued.
I blame Canada.
Last time it was some guy in China with an early Towers of Midnight copy. But Canada was the dark horse nobody saw coming. #amolgate
I hope moving up release date is a possibility, elsewise a little black market will emerge very soon...
I should disclose that I was essentially the ringleader of the put-the-prologue-together team, but I wasn't trying to make a threat here. It wasn't even my idea, and if I hadn't organized it, someone else would have; that's just how things go in the WoT world. But I was really referring to the possibility that some of the Canadians would share the whole prologue, or even sell it.
I'm going to pretend like Brandon did this on purpose. #wotgh
Now I just blame Google. What a cluster****.
What's sad about the prologue leak is that Harriet and others in publishing will likely see this as proof ebook releases should be delayed.
Wow. I know I'd be pretty pissed. Wonder how Sanderson feels about it. @BrandSanderson Spoiler thoughts?
Google's stopped the sale now, but some people already have copies and shared spoilers. So Harriet & Co. probably aren't happy.
I'm not fond of spoilers, but I can't see the original comment, so I don't know the specifics of this discussion.
This sort of thing happens. I don't really mind, personally. Harriet is probably upset, however.
If you're the type who wants the $2.99 A Memory of Light prologue ebook, it will be available September 19th instead of October 2nd.
Is that correct? The ebook will be available tomorrow instead of October 2nd? Pre-order or not?
I believe so.
Was the RJ part of the prologue the Bayrd scene?
No, actually. It was the Isam part, though I filled in a hole in the middle of the scene.
Looking forward to it. But do you know when it'll be available in Europe?
I don't know, I'm afraid. That is up to the UK publisher, and I don't think ebooks are as big a concern to them as they are here.
Where can European people get it from? Dragonmount won't sell it to me. Do I have to go for a torrent?
The problem is that Tor doesn't have rights to sell it in Europe. It's a frustrating system, but Orion UK has the European rights.
The system made more sense back before ebooks; a European company needed assurance US publishers wouldn't flood their markets.
I will check Orion UK once at work. Thanks for the tip!
Warning: they might have been planning to release it in October. This whole "Release it two weeks early" thing surprised us.
It's because of leaked copies in Canada. (Also, it's Orbit in UK—not Orion. I get them mixed up.)
What is your opinion on the North American exclusivity of the A Memory Of Light prologue?
It's because Tor doesn't have rights to sell anywhere else; Orbit UK has those rights. If you want the book, ask them.
I wish Orbit had it out too, and I'm seeing what I can do. But it is their call.
Tor has a post indicating that the A Memory of Light prologue ebook is now for sale in select countries outside the U.S.
Note that this doesn't include countries where Orbit UK has rights to the books. To buy it there, you'll need to ask them to release it.
Who do we contact to ask them to release it? Is there an email address we can write to?
They have a form on their website. That might work.
Where can Australian fans get a copy of the WOT release?
Orbit UK owns the rights. They'd have to either release it or authorize Dragonmount. You can email them through their website.
Is the prologue going to come out in audio or do I need to pick it up the written down on magic pixel paper version?
No audio I'm aware of. (Until the full book is out, of course.)
Oh, just saw that there was one. Never mind.
Any idea as to when will Weller @WellerBookWorks starts taking autograph orders for A Memory of Light?
By grace and banners fallen. Was that your line or RJ's? Exquisitely eloquent if I say so myself.
How bad is this? I honestly can't remember. It's one of my favorite lines, but I don't know if it was in the notes or not.
Will it be possible to order A Memory of Light signed, like the previous two books?
Yes, it should be.
Jason of Dragonmount writes the world's first review of A Memory of Light in the form of a touching letter to Robert Jordan.
The Encyclopedia's already been published [BWB], but we have the raw notes. To keep track of what I've written, I have all sorts of "Remember" files. Every nation has a file listing culture, customs, everything about that country I might need to know plus every character who has been mentioned as a native of that country, all the information that's been given about him or her in the books, even some things that haven't been used yet. There's a file for everyone: named and unnamed, living, dead, historical, whatever! "Who Is Where" is a file that lists, country by country, the last place every character in the book was seen. "ABC" (which used to be called "The Glossary") has every word or term or name I've created including every word in the Old Tongue. If I printed out all the "Remember" files, they'd be somewhere between 1,300 and 1,500 pages—but there are limits! They would probably be insanely boring for most people, but I want to make sure I remember what I created on the fly.
Tor has set up a website with a Question and Answer of the week. And Jason Denzel at Dragonmount.com set up a blog for me. When I'm not touring I'll post maybe once every week or two. I haven't been flamed yet on my site and trolls haven't shown up, but I don't know that I expect them to. My fans are generally pretty nice, polite people. In their discussion groups they say who they hate and what they hate about what I've written—that's OK; if I can create somebody powerful enough that people really hate them, I'm doing my job even if I didn't mean for them to be hated. The characters don't have lives of their own, though. Whatever my readers may think, I'm an Old Testament God with my fist in the middle of my characters' lives: I created them and they do what I want, when I want them to! I do figure out why they're behaving that way, as if they werereal people, and that helps the reader believe in them.