Huntington Village, NY KoD signing, 11 October 2005 - report by NaClH2OEdit

originally posted at Wotmania

A tale of two signings
NaClH2O - 10/11/2005 11:44:55 PM

I went out to Huntington and it was a completely different story. Indie book store, helpful friendly people willing to bend a little. I would say there were about 75-100 people at the signing.

He started off with the usual pronounciations and then immediately went to questions. My hand shot up like Hermione Granger.
"There seen to be some time disrepancies surrounding the incident where Elayne and company Traveled to the Kin Farm. Did the Gateway Aviendha opened to the countryside near the Kin Farm at the beginning of tPoD allow Elayne's party to travel forward or backward in time?"
He chuckled of a brief moment and then said "RAFO."

Somebody then asked how he kept up his interest over the long haul. He answered that he has been writing WoT for over 21 years, and that his work day remains the same: Reads the newspaper at breakfast; goes to his study (which isn't in the house it seems) answers necessary e-mails and phone calls, and then starts writing. He's supposed to take a break for lunch, but sometimes that isn't until 3 or so. Around six he goes back into the house and helps Harriet get dinner together. He does this 7 days a week. Occasionally he'll take a day off for golf or fishing but then mentioned that he's been golfing once and fishing twice. He then said that one of the things that keeps him interested is the growth of the characters.

The next question was
"Over the years you have changed as a person. If you were to write tEotW today, what would you change?" He said he would not have done much differently, just better as he is a better writer today.

The next question was about women and men characters. The questioner said that the women characters seemed to be written by a different person, and wanted to know if that person was Harriet. It got a big laugh. He answered NO and then proceeded to say that he tries very hard to get into the character he's writing about. He mentioned that sometimes when he's helping Harriet prepare dinner she'll go "Have you been writing about Padan Fain today?" He said she's usually spot on, tho it might not be Padan Fain but Semi, or Graendal or someone of that ilk.

He then told a story about how when he was a little boy (I didn't catch the age but I would guess 5 or younger) a neighbor woman went to pick him up. He mentioned that he had noticed the way the dress shifted with her movements and how unlike it was with his mother and how the perfume this woman was wearing was different than his mothers, and when this woman went to pick him up she slipped a bit and his "face got buried in her bosum" and he felt a bit light headed. (big laugh) The woman laughed and called him precocious. He then said that ever since that day he's paid special attention to women. He said that he's paid so much attention to women that he now has an insight into how they react. This is why he has tried to create a gender equal environment in Wot.

I'm going to break it here because this is getting very long.

The next question was about the mechanics of his writing.

He said that when he first started writing, he wrote longhand on a tablet and transposed it onto a typewriter. Eventually he graduated to an IBM Selectric which he called the "cadilac of typewriters" His first computer was an Apple III and he then went to a Mac but all the software was imcompatible and he swore off Apple products. He doesnt like Apple it was obvious. He then talked about early computers, and waxed prosiacally about how much easier computers, even the very old ones, made writing.

The next question was "How do you keep track of all the characters?"

He talked about his files, and said that he doesn't start out with huge files, just the basic outlines, but as the story grew so did the files and now he has a huge file database. He said that he is going to take these file and make an Encyclopedia out of them. (He did not mention Harriet as being the author)He talked a bit about the encyclopedia, saying it will include every invented term, character, place etc. It will also include a 1000 word Old Tongue dictionary. The same questioner then asked about the raw files and RJ said he wouldn't publish those, but he may give them to a university, "maybe my own".

The next question was about other writing projects.

He said that he plans to finish the two planned prequels "eventually" (he didn't expound on what that meant) and then he said something very surprising to me.

He said that he is considering TWO OR THREE SIDE NOVELS! Stories that suggested themselves to him. I was thinking "WAY COOL"!
He then went on to talk about "Infinity of Heaven" a bit. Saying that the society portrayed there would be horizontally and vertically stratified, a la the Seanchan, but even stricter. His writing style will stay the same and he won't change the male vs female viewpoint expressed in Wot.

The next questions were about possible movies, and we got the same answers. The rights have been granted but that's where it sits now. He speculated that IF (the capitals were heard) it ever gets produced it will be tEotW only and that it will probably be 2 or 3 movies or a miniseries.

The next question I only partially heard. It was something about the infiniteness of the OP and something something. RJ replied Rafo, and then said "come on son, I write fantasy, only fantasy."

The next question was
"Are your characters based on real people?"
RJ's answer. "No" but

He then said that there is at least one character trait of Harriet's in each of the main female characters. He gave the joke of Harriet is Semirhage when the garbage doesn't get taken out to the curb. He then went on to talk about the male characters and himself

When he was growing up he most wanted to be someone like Lan

Rand exhibits many of the feelings he felt growing up

He was big for his age like Perrin, and learned to be careful around others as he might accidentally hurt someone. Most of his fights were with 3 or more kids

He said that Harriet insists he's Loial "down to his toenails" he said he had no idea why, he doesn't even have tufted ears. (big laugh)

Someone then shouted out "Mat?"
"Mat is me as a teenager and into my early twenties" (bigger laugh)

The Q&A then broke up. I was gathering up my note taking stuff and ended up nearly last in line, so I didn't get to hear what others asked him as he was signing.

When I finally got up to the desk I asked.
"After Moggy was mind trapped, Moridin said that had she not managed to do some good by accident, she would have been dead. What good did was Moridin referring to.
His answer? "I RAFO'd that in the bolg"

so the 3 direct Q's I asked him all got RAFO'd

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