A Wheel of Time Wiki Chat 1 January, 2000

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"DrewOfWotism" "I am curious to find out why there are no male Dreamwalkers mentioned since according to the Wise Ones, it is not connected to the One Power."

RJ:"Simply because it's a talent that appears very rarely among men. The Wise Ones are doubtful that there actually can be a male dreamwalker."

"tag" "Aside from pictures, what will be the differences between the Illustrated Guide and \"The World of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time?\""

RJ: "Oh!! Duh! That is the same thing. The Illustrated Guide to the World of Robert Jordan's Wheel Of Time is the full title."

"Moderator" "Is the soul immortal in [WOT]?"

RJ: "Yes, the soul is immortal."

"Silent" "Do you tend to edit your writing often or is your preference to not even look at it again once it is written?"

RJ: "I rewrite constantly while I am writing the book. For example, the prologue of The Path of Daggers had fifteen to eighteen rewrites I don't remember, because i constantly change things as I go along. But towards the end there are fewer rewrites, so the last chapters may have only three or four or five each. When I have finished the book, I go through it one last time and then I cut off, because I realize that I could constantly improve each book."

"Psilink" "Is it possible to pass a warder or any bond to a non-channeler. Or even a latent channeler?"

RJ: "Read And Find Out. I have grown so used to that answer, that when my wife asks me if I want to go out for dinner this evening, I sometimes say \"Read And Find Out.\" That's usually when she hits me."

"Moderator" "I know you're on tour and deluged with fans asking LOTS of questions. What's a question you'd really like to answer that no one's asked?"

RJ: "I don't think there is a question that no one's asked. Including the most personal and intimate that you can imagine. Somebody will always ask anything."

"n/a" "Welcome, Robert! We're thrilled to have you with us here. Why do you think \"The Wheel of Time\" series has struck such a chord with fantasy readers? Do you have any speculations about its amazing popularity?"

RJ: "No, I don't really. I write stories I try to write stories about real people. I'm really glad the books are popular. But, I don't really have any clue why they're so popular, except possibly the fantasy element. I think that we have a real need for fantasy as human beings. Actually Terry Pratchett says it quite clearly. He says that by believing in things that don't exist, we set ourselves up to believe in other things that don't exist such as justice and mercy. *"

"Drollick" "I liked the Conan book you did. On your listed mention of authors who most influenced you, you did not list Robert E. Howard. Is there a reason?"

RJ: "He didn't influence me, that's why. I enjoyed reading the stories when I was a boy and I enjoyed writing the Conan novels, but Howard was never an influence on my style."

"Erica" "Is Tai'Daishar the foal of Daishar? Could someone bond Bela? Why? Any chance that Bela will foal during the series? Exactly how old is Bela supposed to be?"

RJ: "Laughs No, nobody could bond Bela. And for the rest of it, Read And Find Out."

"Kayleigh" "Who is your greatest inspiration? Your greatest influence?"

RJ: "I really have to list five authors I believe are the greatest influence on me. Louis L'Amour,Jane Austen, John D. MacDonald, Charles Dickens, and Mark Twain."

"Ranny" "I don't think this'll come up at all in the series, so hopefully it won't be a RAFO. ;) Just how 'organized' is the institution of blademastery, if we can call it that? I believe you hinted before that there's more to blademastery than beating a blademaster and taking his sword. And, how many blademasters do you imagine exist in Randland at the time of the books? Just how rare is it?"

RJ: "First off, it is a rarity. Fewer than 100 men in the nations that are spoken of in the book. It is a semi-formal thing that is normally one is chosen to become a blademaster by other blademasters. There's no real organization. If you want to become a blademaster, you have to find other blademasters who are willing to acknowledge you as an equal."

"Linda" "We see a lot of characters making estimates about how strong such and such a channeler is or will be, but when we're talking about so far unfulfilled potential, how accurately can it be judged? Especially if the channeler making the judgment doesn't know how much training the channeler being judged previously has had?"

RJ: "One of the themes of the book is that no one knows everything there is to know. Another is that just because you believe something to be true, doesn't mean that it is true. Someone can judge a current strength. This differs between men and women. A woman that can channel can very accurate judgment of another woman's strength whether she is channeling or not if she is standing close enough. Among Aes Sedai at least, knowledge of potential strength, especially if it is thought to be a great strength, becomes very widespread. Among men the circumstances are different. A man who can channel cannot judge the strength of another unless the other is channeling the One Power or holding the One Power, and even then all he can judge is how much of the One Power the other man is holding. He can't say how much he can hold. There are great differences between men and women in the One Power."

"Moderator" "I'm curious about your writing methods - do you write for a set number of hours every day? Morning or night? Do you prefer a computer or do you write long-hand on yellow legal pads? Enquiring minds want to know!"

RJ: "I most definitely write on a computer. I upgrade it about every 18 months. At the moment I'm using a Pentium 266 MMX with 32 MB ram and a 10G hard drive. I'll upgrade that in another six months. My writing day goes as follows: After breakfast i answer the phone calls and letters that I have to answer from yesterday. Then I start writing. I seldom stop for lunch and I stop about six or seven at night. That's seven days a week. Occasionally I take a day off to go fishing."

"Nick" "What were some of the jobs that you did before you were a writer?"

RJ: "Not really a lot. I was a nuclear engineer and I was in the US Army before that. Then I became a writer."

"Linda" "Since the ability to channel seems to be primarily linked to the soul, if a Channeler is gentled/stilled, will this affect his/her soul in a follow life as well, as in, will the ability to Channel still be lost?"

RJ: "No."

"Rothaar" "When Rand takes Verin and the others through a portal stone in The Great Hunt, at the end of each life he hears 'I have won again Lews Therin'. I thought that if the Dark One won even once the wheel would be broken and therefore the Dragon would not be reborn again. How could the Dark One have won before to be able to say "again"?"

RJ: "There are degrees of victory. The Dark One can achieve victory by breaking free, but can also achieve lesser victories. Such as by stopping the Dragon Reborn from doing other things he was born to do. It isn't as simple as him being born to fight The Dark One. It's never simple."

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