Lord of Chaos signing tour, Seattle 25 October 1994 - report by Edward Liu
I just got back from the signing less than an hour ago (so my memory is pretty fresh) and I was able to find out a few interesting things. I was able to ask him 10-15 questions--anyone top that?. It seems most people didn't have questions for RJ and so I was able to stay near RJ after I got my LoC signed and listen to what he said and occasionally ask him something. I was able to do this for about an hour and a half and I even got to help him stack up books that he signed! Alright, I'll get to the point now.
As some of you know, there was a pretty big debate over this topic, especially whether Thom could or couldn't channel, which I participated in. Well, I'm happy to say that I was mostly correct in my theories. What RJ said was that once a man channeled he will inevitably die (if nothing else kills him first) as a result of the taint, whether from going mad and getting himself killed or from the wasting sickness. When I asked him if continued channeling only speeded up the tainting, he said yes. So the theory that tainting only occurs upon channeling is incorrect as well as the conclusion that a man will only go mad or waste away after years of frequent channeling. The important thing is that once you've channeled, you're doomed. I'm not sure whether if it's the first time you grasp saidin or the first time you channel that counts. He said yes when I asked him something to the effect of, "When a man channels early in his life and never channels again, will he go mad or die from the wasting sickness?" I'd guess it's the latter, but I'm not sure. He pointed out that once a man channels he basically cannot stop himself. He (the man) becomes addicted to it; RJ made an analogy to a junkie: he might want to stop but can't. I know some of you might think, "Well he eventually dies because he can't stop himself from channeling, thus it doesn't mean tainting is a process unaffected by the amount you channel." Realizing this I asked, "Theoretically if he channeled once and never channeled again, would he still die?" The response was still a yes.
Now, regarding Thom, those who argued that Thom could channel are correct. RJ said a man will not go mad or sick away if he never channeled. Thus, he agreed that a male channeler who could be taught to channel (as opposed to having the inborn ability) and has never channeled would not die from the taint. BUT, when I asked him if he ever intended to make people think that Thom could channel, he said no. I brought up the hereditary point (i.e. Owen) but he said just because your parents have a particular gene doesn't mean you'll receive that particular gene. Also he made a point that Owen was his nephew so therefore not necessarily very similar gene-wise. When I pressed him again on it, he said (I'm quoting) "There is no way in hell Thom can channel." All he offered for explanations is that Thom is a "mysterious man." Enough said.
I told him about the theory, which someone posted, that Taim is Demandred who will eventually be discovered and killed with Logain replacing him. He sounded interested at first, but then he laughed (I think about the part of Logain replacing him as the teacher of the Asha'man). And of course he said, "Read and find out."
He said the amount he writes on a single day varies widely. He said slow days could be 8-10 pages and fast days up to 30.
Someone asked him about bonding between AS and [[|Gai'shain|Gai'shan]] (editor's note: Mr. Liu most likely meant gaidin). He said that the ability to locate the other is not at all an exact ability. He said something like they can sense distance only in the sense that the feeling of the other person becomes stronger or weaker. I suppose this is nothing new.
I asked him of the three women in love with Rand who he (RJ) preferred, he said because all the women characters were based on his wife, he couldn't say which he liked most. Maybe I was getting too personal. Dunno.
Oh yes, this is interesting. I asked him if what he has read on the net has ever affected what he writes. He said if many people correctly theorizes what will happen latter on, he tries to put less clues of what will happen in the future. Also he said that if he finds out that too many people have a totally wrong idea of something, he occasionally tries to put in a clue hinting to what is actually right.
Well, that's all I remember at this point maybe I'll remember something later.