Bookstream Bookwrap - Knife of Dreams 2005Edit
These are transcripts of short video clips of an interview with RJ around the time of the release of Knife of Dreams.
Who appears in Knife of Dreams?
For an overview of who appears in Knife of Dreams: Elayne Trakand's struggle for the throne of Andor reaches its culmination. The relationship between Mat Cauthon and Tuon, the Daughter of the Nine Moons, heir to the Seanchna throne, also reaches a culmination in a most unusual way. Perrin Aybara rescues his wife Faile from the Shaido finally, and that also comes about in not exactly the way that anybody's going to expect. And there are other minor story lines that get wrapped up, but as I say, other story lines get advanced. And Rand al'Thor, I've heard it said that Rand al'Thor does not appear in this book as often as some people would like. But he has a few chapters and the chapters where he appears are choice.
Experiences as a soldier
I'm not certain that my background in the military has informed my writing at all really. My experiences in Vietnam certainly did, because anything that you live through really has some effect on who you are and how you write. I know what being in a battle is like. I know what it is like to have somebody trying to kill me personally. I know what it's like to kill somebody. And I know what it's like to believe that you are going to die in the next two minutes. These things are very useful when you're writing high fantasy. Your characters know what it is like to experience these things; you can put that into those characters.
I've been quite astounded by the fans, especially the online community. There are hundreds I'm told, and some people say thousands, but I think I can safely say hundreds of web sites dedicated to fans, run by fans. It's one reason why I don't really have a fan site of my own, a web site of my own, aside from what Tor Books gives me. The fans are really remarkable. They discuss the books in incredible detail, argue about things in incredible detail. I was at a convention called Dragon*Con in Atlanta, which has a track dedicated to the Wheel of Time, and one of the things that I did was to hand out the awards after the final round of the trivia contest. Some of the questions that these people were answering, I would have had to go to my notes to find the answer to. I mean, "What is the name of the cat at the inn called The Queen's Blessing in Caemlyn?" Ahhh, and they knew it. It was remarkable.
Retirement and Comic Books
I certainly have no intention of retiring. As a matter of fact, I've said quite seriously, I intend to keep writing until they nail my coffin shut, and if I can get a keyboard into the coffin, or even a yellow pad and a pencil, I'm not guaranteeing I'll stop then. At the moment, I am working on a comic book with the Dabel Brothers and Red Eagle Entertainment. It is a comic book adaptation of New Spring, the novel. It will be eight issues, I believe it is, and when it is done, they will be gathered as a graphic novel. The artwork is by a guy named Mike Miller, and it is simply fantastic, I have to tell you. It's really just fantastic artwork. The way we worked that is Chuck Dixon, who's a well known writer of comic books, comes up with the script, sends it to me. I make changes and send it back to him, and then it goes to Mike Miller for the drawings. And then the inks are sent to me, and I say, "Well, you've got to do this, you have to do that." And then the colors are sent to me, and I say, "Well, no no no, this is not quite right and that's right." And eventually the comic comes out.
When is the last book coming out?
You know, it's a strange thing. People come up to me at a signing, and they have just bought the new book. They haven't even finished reading it yet. And while I'm signing it, they will say, "When's the next book coming out? " Well, for people who want to know when the twelfth book of the Wheel of Time will be coming out: I absolutely, positively guarantee that book will be on the shelves in the stores very shortly after I finish writing it.
The ending of the Wheel of Time
I don't think I feel any additional pressure because I will soon be starting the final book of the Wheel of Time. It's possible that I do, but I look at it in this way: I thought I was signing up for a 15K run, and somewhere along the line I found I was in a marathon. Now, I think I've made a pretty good showing so far. You know, if you're running a marathon, it doesn't matter if you've run a good time for the first 20 miles. The only thing that counts is when you cross the finish line. When I finish the twelfth book, I will have crossed the finish line. And, as I said, maybe there's the possibility I will enter another 15K in the Wheel of Time universe, we'll see if we make it a 10K. And then again, maybe I won't, we'll have to see. But I would finally cross the finish line, and to me that means a lot.