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Dragon*Con June 1997
Dragon*Con '97: Robert Jordan
June 28, 1997
RobertJordan: Hi guys.
Moderator: OK, let's begin. Robert, any opening statements...
RobertJordan: No. Let the questions begin.
Moderator: <Ishamael> to <Moderator>: Is it true that the 8th book may be released as early as November 97?
RobertJordan: No. The 8th book will be finished sometime this Fall, and published next Spring. The title will be The Path of Daggers.
Moderator: <Ravens> to <Moderator>: How does it feel being the best fantasy writer ever ? *smile*
RobertJordan: Thanks. *blush* Aw, shucks.
Moderator: <Kaldric> to <Moderator>: I've noticed the influence of Stephen Donaldson in the WOT. Has he been a great influence?
RobertJordan: No. I'm really surprised.
Moderator: <Kaldric> to <Moderator>: How many do you expect to write in this series?
RobertJordan: There will be at least 3 more books. I'm not saying that there will be ONLY 3. I'm saying that I can't finish in fewer than 3.
Moderator: <Kjell> to <Moderator>: Mr Jordan, does the name of Book 8 refer to an actual situation in the books or is it a metaphor?
Moderator: <Rand> to <Moderator>: Would you allow the series to be made into a series of movies if the were going to be as great as the books?
RobertJordan: Sure. If they were going to be as good as the books.
Moderator: <Bondoso> to <Moderator>: I think some of the books are a lot better than others in the series... is this because of pressure from your editor? Did you ever have to publish a book when you knew it wasn't quite finished or that it could have been better given more time?
RobertJordan: No, I've never had to publish a book that I believed was not finished. On the other hand, I always have to set myself a cut-off point. otherwise, I will keep rewriting and rewritiing and the period between the books will stretch out to, oh, five or six years.
Moderator: <Eligar> to <Moderator>: What cultures and socieities did you base Saldaea on? And <nervous grin>, is the sa'sara supposed to be a sort of belly-dance? <duck>
RobertJordan: Saldaea is based, in part, on a number of middle eastern cultures and several cultures in countries surrounding the Black Sea.
RobertJordan: In part.
RobertJordan: The sa'sara, now...
Moderator: <Loial> to <Moderator>: Ive notice a bit of an influence from the Star Wars series...is there any truth to this?
RobertJordan: You'll need a certificate from your doctor, a note from your mother and a certificate of health for whoever you intend to dance it for before I can give you any more information beside the name.
RobertJordan: (lol) No.
RobertJordan: I don't read Star Wars books.
Moderator: <Ishamael> to <Moderator>: Who killed Asmodean? ;-)
Moderator: <Bondoso> to <Moderator>: Talking about rewriting your books... I know you have a general idea about what is going to be in a book once you start writing it, but how much does it actually differ from the story layout once you get caught up in the writing process?
RobertJordan: The difference varies. Some parts are very close to what I intended in the beginning, some parts vary to a great degree. it all depends on how I feel things should weave together at the particular moment I'm writing them.
Moderator: <Ishamael> to <Moderator>: WOuld Rand technically be a bladesmaster since he killed the Seanchan BM in Great Hunt? Or is there more to being a bladesmaster than that?
RobertJordan: There's more to it than that.
Moderator: <Agent420> to <Moderator>: Will rand end up with all three girls or just one? =)
Moderator: <Kjell> to <Moderator>: Would making all Aes Sedai reswear the 3 oaths on an oath rod, and then asking them, reveal if they are Black Ajah? (It should...)
RobertJordan: There are certain difficulties with this. It might answer the question but how many sisters do you think will meekly submit to being asked to do such a thing? Being asked to do it is in effect an accusation.
Moderator: <Gurney> to <Moderator>: How much of the series do you plot out beforehand, and how much is written as you go?
RobertJordan: Before I began writing the first book, I knew the beginning, I knew the last scene of the last book, I knew ALL of the major events that I wanted to happen, I knew how all of the major relationship would go, I knew how people would be affected by those relationships, I knew who was going to live, I knew who was going to die...
RobertJordan: You can see, I knew a good bit, including that last scene of the last book and how all of the relationships were going to end up.
RobertJordan: I have left myself the freedom to change the way that I go from one point to another, depending on what seems best at the moment. You might say it's like sketching in the larger out line of the story and leaving the details to be variable.
Moderator: <Kjell> to <Moderator>: Is it possible to go to the Dreamworld in the flesh, and take something with you out through the Gateway?
Moderator: <Gurney> to <Moderator>: Are you online? Do you have any access to the WoT discussion groups?
Moderator: <Demandre> to <Moderator>: Mr Jordan does the guide have pictures of every character?
RobertJordan: Not every character, but a good many of them.
RobertJordan: All of the major characters, certainly.
Moderator: <Loial> to <Moderator>: me and my fiancee met in a channel devoted to your books, if we send you an invitation will you come? *smile*
RobertJordan: Thanks for the invitation but I'm sorry, I just am too busy writing the books.
Moderator: <Ishamael> to <Moderator>: You mentioned a museum-quality Wheel of Time weapons series a while back. Can you give us some more information on this?
RobertJordan: I will be talking to Hank Reinhardt of Museum Replicas this weekend and he will be showing me the prototypes of the first weapons that are to be manufactured.
RobertJordan: I believe that they will be available for the first time in the Fall of this year, but I'm not certain about that, it might be the Spring of next year.
Moderator: <Rand> to <Moderator>: is Rand the most powerful channeler alive right now?
Moderator: <Mel> to <Moderator>: Do you put any of your friends or your personal character traits into your characters?
RobertJordan: No, none of my friends, none of me.
RobertJordan: There is a touch of my wife in all of the major female characters, however, and a good many of the secondary female characters. She's a very complex woman.
Moderator: <Eligar> to <Moderator>: So far all that is known about the final test before becoming Aes Sedai is that it involves channeling under extreme pressure. Would you be willing to give a little more detail? And if not, will we find out more later in the books or perhaps the Guide?
Moderator: Uhh.. Technical difficulties, folks
Moderator: Our connection to Dragon*Con went down, we are reconnecting...
Moderator: Let's go unmoderated temporarily, so you can chat amongst yourselves...
Moderator: OK, we're moderated again...
Moderator: Can you speak, Robert?
Moderator: <Gurney> to <Moderator>: How do you keep a series this complex together in your mind?
Moderator: More technical difficulties... Sorry.
RobertJordan: There will be more specific information about testing for Aes Sedai in the books themselves. For that reason, I really don't want to tell you anything here because it might spoil some surprises. At the very least, it might make you get to that point and say "gee, I know this stuff! He's getting boring!"
RobertJordan: Gurney: Nothing that any genius couldn't do.
Moderator: <Ravens> to <Moderator>: About the upcoming (and looking really great) Wheel of Time game by Legend Entertainment... how much control over the game do you have ? (I'd hate seeing it ripped for the wot feeling)... do you think it would be possible to move the one power into the game, working as it is to be understood in the books, and what is your overall opinion about making a game of the books b4 the books are finished ? (I know it's a prequel, but anywayz ... )
RobertJordan: I'm happy about making a game about the books before the books are finished.
RobertJordan: There have been some compromises between what I wanted in the games and what Legand wanted.
RobertJordan: At first, they told me that they couldn't do certain things until later and I said "well, here's your money back."
Moderator: <Bondoso> to <Moderator>: Mr.Jordan, how do you feel when someone finds a minor or perhaps a major inconsistency in your books (I'm not saying there are any :P)? Do you say "Oh well, better luck next time" or do you get really upset?
RobertJordan: After which, they decided that maybe they could do those things now and, in fact, it seems that these things are part of what look to make this one of the hottest games - and maybe the hottest game - anywhere in sight.
RobertJordan: Sometimes people have found things that are typos, and sometimes people have found a place where a change or correction that I had intended to be put into the book was not before it was published. I always try to get those corrected as soon as possible after they're found. And, while I don't like having them there, I'm glad when someone points one out to me.
RobertJordan: As for inconsistencies, I'm afraid inconsistancies are a failure to read the books correctly. Everytime somebody has come to me with an inconsistency, I have been able to point out in a return letter where their mistake was.
Moderator: <SamMaEL> to <Moderator>: I've noticed a lot of the names in your books are based of historical cultures. Which culture do you think has influenced your books the most?
RobertJordan: I think it's a toss-up between the ancient Celts, the Japanese of the Shogunates, and France of the 17th Century.
RobertJordan: But then, there are a lot of bits and pieces that have come from a great many sources.
RobertJordan: I'm not truthfully certain that the three that I gave you really ARE the greatest influences.
Moderator: <Ishamael> to <Moderator>: how much of Jesus Christ is there in Rand? We have the wounded palms, side wound, crown of swords...How representational of JC is Rand?
RobertJordan: Rand has some elements of Jesus Christ, yes. But he is intended more to be a general "messiah figure." An archetype such as Arthur, rather than a manifestation of Jesus Christ in any way.
Moderator: <borg> to <Moderator>: has your background in physics and as a member of the US army influenced your books?
RobertJordan: It could hardly help having done so.
Moderator: <Loial> to <Moderator>: What do you think has been your best book thus far? Do you like writing more action or more for the human emotions?
RobertJordan: My best book is the one that I'm working on now. My best book is ALWAYS the one I'm working on now.
RobertJordan: And, as far as I'm concerned, action is always secondary. The main part of the story is the relationships between people. Those relationships sometimes lead to god-awful troubles, battles, etc., etc. but it's the relationships that are the important things.
Moderator: <Gemmell> to <Moderator>: Are you considering writing any more short stories based on the Wheel of Time?
RobertJordan: I have agreed to do a short story in the universe of the Wheel of Time for an anthology put together by Bob Silverberg called "Masters of Fantasy," which I understand will include Stephen King, Anne Rice, Terry Pratchett, Ray Feist and some other people.
RobertJordan: That's it, really, as far as short fiction. I don't normally have the time to write short fiction.
Moderator: <Bondoso> to <Moderator>: what other things keep you busy apart from working a lot on The Wheel of Time?
RobertJordan: Hmm. Trying to finish the books would be enough for any sane person. I occasionally find time to go fishing, although not so far this year. I find time to read a little bit. Less than one book a day now.
RobertJordan: And I don't really have a great deal of time for anything else. When I'm doing anything else, I feel I should be writing.
RobertJordan: It's a sickness. [smiles]
Moderator: <LadyWolff> to <Moderator>: Is there an E-mail address where we can write to you??
RobertJordan: There is a way that you can get the latest information on the Wheel of Time series.
RobertJordan: By dialing: 1-800-221-7945. Then extension 701. This number is St. Martin's press, and the extension has me telling you what the latest information is about when the next book will be out, what the price will be, that sort of thing.
Moderator: <Agent420> to <Moderator>: Will we being seeing more of the snakes and foxes in the next book?
Moderator: <Loial> to <Moderator>: Do you think a two hour movie could ever do the series justice? Or would it at least have to be a trilogy of some sort?
RobertJordan: I think it would take at least 18 or 20 hours of movie to do any one of the books. Which means, I suppose, that none of them will ever be done as movies.
Moderator: <Hawkeye> to <Moderator>: did you anticipate, and do you appreciate such a cultish following?
RobertJordan: I certainly never anticipated it. I'm not certain that it is a "cultish" following. I hope that it doesn't fall under that definition.
RobertJordan: As far as appreciating it, I'm very appreciative.
RobertJordan: I hope that's what you mean.
Moderator: <Ishamael> to <Moderator>: What made you decide on Robert Jordan as your pseudonym? Is it Hemingway?
RobertJordan: No, it wasn't Hemingway. I simply wanted to separate the different kinds of books that I wrote with different names, and I made lists of names with my real initials and picked one name from one list and one from another, and Robert Jordan was one of the names that popped out.
RobertJordan: Moderator, last question or two, please.
Moderator: <Tas> to <Moderator>: Will you do any more Conan books?
RobertJordan: I *did* that a loooooong time ago.
Moderator: <Rand> to <Moderator>: How do you feel personally about fan fiction such as drawings and music about the wheel of time?
RobertJordan: I enjoy hearing music about the Wheel of Time and seeing drawings about the Wheel of Time. As far as the fan fiction goes - that is, stories - please remember copyright, guys. To protect my copyright, I have to keep on top of anyone who violates it.
RobertJordan: So, no fan fiction using my characters or my world. Sorry.
RobertJordan: Using the ornaments out of the books is a different matter. That is a violation of copyrights, trademarks.
RobertJordan: When I say I like seeing art about the Wheel of Time, I mean art that the fans created themselves. And remember guys, you can't try to make money out of this stuff.
Moderator: <Rahvin> to <Moderator>: Was Ishamael ever REALLY sealed in Shayol Ghul with the DO and the rest of the Forsaken/Chosen?
RobertJordan: Would I lie to you? For details, RAFO.
RobertJordan: Thanks for coming guys. It was good talking with you.
Moderator: Thank you!
Moderator: We will now make the room unmoderated...
Kestra: Thanks Mr. Jordan! Keep em coming and have a great time at DRAGON*CON!
Daniel: About how many people live on the main continent and on Seanchan ?
Gurney: Thanks, Mr. Jordan! You are my favorite author of all time, thanks!
Hawkeye: RJ.. please don't comprise quality in response to fan or editor pressure to finish a book. (COS)
Kaldric: Thank you, thank you
Rand: I know that you probably don't want to be bothered on query so i am only going to send you one message. I have a webpage describing the whole situation at http://www.servtech.com/public/lapoint/wot/wot.html I would be amazingly greatful if you could give it a look and e-mail me with your reaction. Its not and art or discussion page it have to do with a very special project. sorry about the annoyance :)