New York City CoT signing 7 January 2003 - report by Ted Herman

Q: Who is you favorite character, if you have one?

RJ: Well, my favorite character is whoever I am writing about for the moment, but I will tell you which characters I relate to. When I was growing up, I tried to be like Lan. Physically, and partly behavior, I was like Perrin, and behavior wise, I was like Mat. If he had a Harley, I'm sure he would ride one too (chuckles). My wife thinks that I'm \"Loial to the life\", but I don't see were she gets that."

Q: How did you know when you’d done enough world building to start? When did you decide it was a fully realized world?

RJ: I’ve never thought that. I’m still coming up with things as I go. As for when to start-flip a coin. I read a book on the history of salt. Because of a particular purpose, I thought it would be useful. Also, I used a good number of articles downloaded off the net. Historical uses, production of salt, every scrap I could find, and in the end I used about 6 words of it. I didn’t need it, I had it in my head. I could have brought the story to a salt-producing town, and I wouldn’t have had to go into many details, and you still would have known it was a salt town."

Q: [Who killed Asmodean?]

RJ: There is enough evidence in the books to put together to find out who killed Asmodean. Think! Think! Some of you are Harvard folk! Think! Someone has found out, actually, but I will not tell you.

Q: Is Taim Demandred?

RJ: No, that is totally bogus.

Q: The question is, with Rand and Lews Therin, do they have one soul or two souls in the body?

RJ: They have one soul with two personalities. The reincarnation of souls does not mean reincarnation of personalities. The personality develops with each reincarnation of the soul. This is the cosmology that I have cobbled together.

WinespringBrother: Could the Dark One have brought back Asmodean if he wanted?

RJ: No.

Q: When you first started, did you know how it was gonna turn out?

RJ: Yes I did, yes I did. But did I plan every single detail? No! I knew the last scene of the last book. It hasn’t changed in 18 years. I know where I’m headed. It’s been difficult to get as much story into any book that I thought I could. It’s why this has not been 5 books. I told Tom Doherty it would be, back when I got the idea: I don’t think it will be more than 5, at most 6. I know the major things, and I know them from the beginning, but how I get from A to Z, and the minor things that will happen along the way, I don’t plan in detail before. It’s much more organic that way. I think it would become very wooden if I planned every detail. Sometimes the main thing that happens is not a battle. Sometimes it’s that 2 people meet., and history changes. History changes because these 2 people met, and now the future will go a different way than if they did not meet.

Q: I enjoy reading about Lan and I was wondering if he, Malkier, and the Malkieri traditions play a bigger part in future books than they have so far?

RJ: Read and Find Out.

Q: Moraine. Is she coming back?

RJ: Read and Find Out.

Q: Did Taim track Rand down for the battle of Dumai’s Wells?

RJ: That ones easy, son! C’mon. At that point, Taim was trying to find him like the devil. He knew pretty much what had happened from the beginning. Things were happening. The Aes Sedai disappeared from Cairhien. Perrin disappeared. Rand disappeared. Taim had an idea that something very bad was going on, and when you can Travel it becomes easier to start tracking down where did these Aes Sedai go and Bingo, we got something very bad going on down here, and I’m gonna come and tear the house down. It’s very easy.

Q: If Rand is the reincarnation of Lews Therin, why does he have no contact with personalities before Lews Therin?

RJ: Read and Find Out.

Q: In The Dragon Reborn, how did the other sisters find Moraine in the Mountains of Mist?

RJ: She’d been putting out feelers. All she had to do in this case was make the first contact herself with an agent of her Ajah, and word would begin to spread. Things are already winding down, so she became a focal point. You might say that the communication networks realigned themselves.

Q: I thought that maybe Min’s viewings had some relation to them. RJ describes the Finn as looking, not at Mat, but at the air around Mat’s head. I thought this was similar to the way Min sees her viewings. Are they related?

RJ: No.

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