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Source:Compuserve Chat, 19 October 1994

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Edited Transcript of the Moderated Conference held on Wednesday, October 19th, 1994 in the CompuServe Convention Center (sponsored by Tor Books and by the Science Fiction/Fantasy Literature Forum) with ROBERT JORDAN author of LORD OF CHAOS and other books in the "Wheel of Time" series


WizOp Wilma Meier: good evening ladies and gentlemen! CompuServe's Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature Forum is pleased to welcome Mr. Robert Jordan as our guest this evening in our moderated conference. If you wish to ask a question we have a question queue set up and ready. Please key in"/question" (sans the quote marks) if you wish to ask Mr. Jordan a question. Good evening Mr. Jordan!

Ben & Chris: Is stones based on GO, the Asian game of skill? It is more complex than chess... so it is appropriate if so. And what stones are used (type ofstone)?

Robert Jordan: Stones is based on Go, and the actual stones used can vary.

Gordon B: Mr Jordan, are you still planing only 7 books in the series, and will the next book be released on the tradtitional dat of mid oct?

Robert Jordan: It's been a long time since I was planning only seven books in the series. There will be several more books, and the next one will be published when I can finish it.

Gordon B: Thank you

Sharon Perdue: Is there any specific reason why there isn't a name given to the continent in which Rand and com(company) inhabit?

Robert Jordan: Simply because people don't generally give names to their homes that way -- it's other places they give names to.

Degan Outridge: Thanks for many hours of enjoyment. there were so many new stories/threads in Loc did you always intend to go in these directions or did it take on a life of it's own?

'Robert Jordan:' For the major threads, I'm going exactly where I intended to go -- and for most of the minor threads, I'm going fairly much where I intended to go. With some minor threads, it seemed, as I went along, that there was a better way than I had first thought.

Tom Knudsen: Much of your work reminds me of J.R.R. Tolkien and David Eddings in scope and character development. My question is, who are YOUR favorite authors and why?

'Robert Jordan:' Mark Twain, followed by Charles Dickens and Jane Austin, because they're _good_.

Mykael: Are any of your charachters based on anyone you know?

Robert Jordan: All of the women are based on my wife.

KEVIN: how did the ajais originate?

Robert Jordan: Simply because I needed an organization for the power structure, and it seemed to me that a collective organization was something women were more likely to come up with, rather than something strictly hierarchal.

steve w>: Are your books based on any biblical themes/characters?

Robert Jordan: Not directly. Influenced by. And not wholly -- there are other influences as well.

Grey: What is/was Garen's Wall? Will it play a role?

Robert Jordan: Garen's Wall is a split between tectonic plates. It is a great cliff that stretches across hundreds of miles. As to whether it plays a part, read and find out! Maybe it do and maybe it don't.

Sat: My question has 3 parts First off, the scope of your work outstrips many of todays other authors, and has spoiled me!. 1. Do you recommend any other authors? and who Are you planning any tours in Canada When is LOC avail in Canada.

'Robert Jordan:' 1. Ray Feist, Janny Wurts, C. S. Friedman, Robert Holdstock, Tad Williams Barry Hughart the problem is that there are a lot of people I like, and these are just the first names that come to mind.Daniel Seldow-Ray Feist is cool I'll be in Toronto at the end of October and beginning of November. 3. By the end of the month.

Gordon B: My question has a few parts When Pe left the Two Rives did he tell people who he was going to see? Did Rands Father come/ Does he know about Rand being The DR?

'Robert Jordan:' 1. Read and find out. 2. No, Rand's father did not come. 3. Read and find out!

Sharon Perdue: Did Egwene as Amrylin happen to be watching people's dreams while Rand was shielded?

Robert Jordan: I'm not quite sure I understand the question. Again?

Sharon Perdue: Since Rand was shielded and couldn't form andy Wards on his dreams could Egwene have spied out that he was in trouble while in Tel aran' rhiod?

Robert Jordan: Ah. Yes, she could have. The problem is, when you've learned that something is impossible, you have a tendency to stop trying it. ga She just didn't try to spy during the period in question. (ga, really this time)

Ben & Chris: This obviously requires huge amounts of plotting and info outlining. Did you have any pertinent WOT info lost during Hurricane Hugo? (And did your house suffer at all?)

Robert Jordan: Yes, my house suffered during Hurricane Hugo, and no, I didn't have any significant information loss.

Degan Outridge: Your societies seem to all place women in a very influential role. Any particular reason why you created so many matriarchies? Also, do you already have a solution for Rand's love triangle<G>?

Robert Jordan: 1. 3000 years ago, the world was destroyedby men: specifically men, and for all of that time, every society has been afraid of any man who can channel. The result has to be greater power and influence for women. 2. Yes.

Joe Rosenman: Greetings! From Rand's Rhuidean vision: If the sharom is the D.O.'s prison, why would it be floating in on place above a city and not in some transcendent plain? Ah Didn't Rand see it there?

Robert Jordan: But it isn't. The sharom and the collam dann are a university/research center. Or were.

Joe Rosenman: Also, did Mierin *i to createthe bore? (we seem to be out of synch! <g>

Robert Jordan: In part, yes. Not alone.

nick stuchbery: Is Rand's world an atheistic world, based on only human "powers" - there seems to be a "devil" but nothing on the flip side .

Robert Jordan: What would you say the Creator is? The Light?

Richard Sowash: How do you keep up with all of the plotlines, prophecies, etc.?

Robert Jordan: With difficulty.

Richard Sowash: Do you use story boards, flow charts, etc. or just the FAQs?

Robert Jordan: No, I don't use story boards, etc. I just do outlines in the sense of synopses of what I intend to write.

Sat: is the Hawking era and or the Seanchan based on any actual historical era and do you plan on including some more historical data about the age of legends and maybe a separate serieas

Robert Jordan: The first part of your question: no. It's based on several combined. The second part: Only insofar as it affects the story in the "here and now." In a separate series: no.

Sharon Perdue: Why weren't Compulsion and Illusion mentioned in the previous books before LoC and is there any specific character in the series that you have taken a liking to?

Robert Jordan: Compulsion and Illusion: They weren't mentioned primarily because it wasn't necessary. Actually Compulsion has been mentioned a number of times, and I think Illusion has been mentioned in passing at least once or twice. It just wasn't necessary to deal with them in depth. The answer to the rest of the question: All of them. (Sorry.) ga I like all of them. Whoever I'm writing -- that's the one I like.

Andrew S.: Did you think the series would be come this popular?

Robert Jordan: No. I hoped, but I never thought.

Andrew S.: Did you think you were going to write only the first book without sequels? If you wife is all the female characters are you all the male ones?

Robert Jordan: No, I knew from the start that I was writing something that would be multiple books. I just never knew how many, exactly. The last question: Probably, God help me. Never thought of it that way, though.

Lou Person: Hello all + Mr. Jordan. I am a big WOT fan and I am amazed by some of the themes, i.e. struggle between men and women. Mr. Jordan truly sheds some light on diferences between men and women. There also seem to be some allusions to Native Americans, weaves of fire, air, etc. The politicing and warring of the Games of Houses and battle scenes are told with the clarity of someone who has military experience. Can you briefly state what from your background makes WOT so realistic?

Robert Jordan: Forty-odd years of life. "Briefly?" It's what it boils down to.

Kevin: Are Mins visions absolute foretellings or probabilities?

Robert Jordan: Her visions are absolute foretellings. The problem is, she doesn't always know what it means. The only changes from that are two visions she's had which indicated the possibility of the future forking, an "either/or." And that's the only time she's ever had anything like that.

Ben & Chris: There is a big influence (already mentioned) from wide ranging source materials. This is a great deal of fun, tracking down all of the various sources whilst reading. Is there a reason that the Arthur and other Avalon legends are refered to so much. Gawyn, Morgase, et.al.

Robert Jordan: They really aren't referred to any more than many other legends and myths, but they're simply more recognizable to most Americans.

Gordon B: Mr Jordan Just curious do you know how many words you've typed into this series, some authours have it in the Epilo?

Robert Jordan: My answer is not closer than plus-or-minus 100,000 words or so. give or take a million.

Pug: Firstly, I'd like to thank you for my mother's autographed The Fires of Heaven, 10/150 and also, what inspires your deft writing?

Robert Jordan: Everything!

Pug: Specifically?

Robert Jordan: Everything specifically!

Degan Outridge: We have been speculating regarding Demandred's current doings and his possible location/appearance care to comment?

Robert Jordan: Well, no.

Degan Outridge: Will we be getting more glimpses into the DO prison as we go?

Robert Jordan: The prison: maybe.

Ami: Hi Mr. Jordan & everyone I was wondering about Artur hawkwing I notice parallels to the King Arthur legends in particular... But what other stories inspired this?

Robert Jordan: Too many to go into -- truly too many.

SysOp Barbara: Folks, I'm afraid I'll have to bring this conference to a close. I would like to thank Robert Jordan for being our guest tonight! And I'd like to thank you all for coming!

Robert Jordan: Thanks to everyone for coming. We have to go!

WizOp Wilma Meier: Night Mr. Jordan! And thank you Patrick for your assistance!

Patrick Nielsen Hayden: Natalie Farsi, Tor's publicist, says thank you all. I say thank you all. RJ and Harriet are two tired folks. But this was fun. And we're off. Have a good time!

WizOp Wilma Meier: Thank you Patrick! Thank you Natalie!!!!!

SysOp Barbara: Patrick and Natalie, many thanks for all your help tonight!

WizOp Wilma Meier: Applause!!!!!

(General applause from participants)


Copyright (c) 1994 The Science Fiction/Fantasy Literature Forum All rights reserved.

http://web.archive.org/web/20030405223013/www.princeton.edu/~abergman/jordan/chat3.txt

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