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Source:Stories from RJ's LOC signing tour, Fall 1994

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Stories from RJ's LoC signing tour, Fall 1994 - compiled by Carolyn Fusinato

[Note: While most of these reports are from the Lord of Chaos signing tour, an interview from 1993 and a letter from 1995 also are included in this compilation.]


Due to the extraordinary amount of people who attended a signing and were kind enought to relate what was said, the following information merely highlights of what was said.


Atlanta

"At a signing in Atlanta, RJ said that this discrepancy [the "Moiraine sent me" and "I didn't send Verin" quotes] is not a mis-step." (it's in the FAQ...so, somebody probably heard this...who? I don't know.)


Austin Sirkin

"I'm not signing any books soon, just writing one." (From a letter to Austin Sirkin <ttkx18b@prodigy.com> 5/31/95)

"Wait till the Guide to THE WHEEL is out and check a copy. There will be some stuff that isn't in the books. Maps, expansion on some material, historical notes, that sort of thing." (From a letter to Austin Sirkin <ttkx18b@prodigy.com> 5/31/95)

"No, I'm not opposed at all to the idea of a WHEEL OF TIME movie" (From a letter to Austin Sirkin <ttkx18b@prodigy.com> 5/31/95)

"I wrote "Jak o'the Shadows" to the tune of "Gary Owen," but I suppose anybody can put the words to what they wish." (From a letter to Austin Sirkin <ttkx18b@prodigy.com> 5/31/95) [note: The song Garyowen is an old (200 yrs+) Irish drinking ballad that honored the men of the town of the same name. It is played like a jig (ie.fast) and the lyrics are as follows: "Let Bacchus' sons be not dismayed, But join with me, each jovial blade. Come booze and sing, and lend your aid, To help me with the chorus. Instead of Spa we'll drink down ale, And pay the reckoning on the nail, No man for debt shall go to jail, From Garyowen in glory." Michael Holcomb <qedw78a@prodigy.com>]

"The unabridged audio tape should be neat, nifty, and other outdated slang. It will be just what it says: every word of the books. I am talking with the audio publisher about having sections from a male point-of-view read by a man and those from a female point-of-view read by a woman. I think it will make it even better." (From a letter to Austin Sirkin <ttkx18b@prodigy.com> 5/31/95)


Brian Bax (Complete Report)

Since I lived in the styx I decided to differ from the norm and went to the signing thinking there wouldn't be a vast crowd, I was wrong *sigh*. I did manage to get all of my books signed which was great. I talked with RJ, but he appeared to be very distant which is understandable considering his position. What was really neat was that I was able to talk with Mrs. Jordan for 20 minutes. First pff, she was an angel. She talked alot about things that her husband coulsn't since he was busy signing books.

It turns out that she's an editor for Tor, not only for her hudband's work but for others as well. She said that TEotW tooks fours years to write because he had to create all of the countries in Randland first. AS has been mentioned by others on the net, his first idea for the series is going to be the last scene; his next was the breaking down of Rand's door in TEotW. The rest has been adlib from there. Next we talked about LoC and it's creation. It took a long time to compile, in fact TOO much time. It was "supposed" to be done by April 1994 at hte latest. However,it wasn't even close to being done. Somwhere past teh deadline, they lost a chapter [ I believe it was Daemillis Wells (sp), which might explain why it's so choppy]. They flew RJ up to New York and he wrote the final parts in a hotel for about two weeks. He finished on August 28, 1994. Tor had to do MAJOR overtime to check and edit it for it's Oct. 12 release date.

Mrs Jordan also added that LoC was their most difficult one composed ever. It was a real marker as to how fast they could produce a novel at this point in the series. After his book signing tour he's going straight to his word processor and type through Thanksgiving and probably Xmas, cause he hasn't even started yet. RJ made an arrangement with a manager ((I think) from Tor for a March deadline. If book seven wasn't completed by that time, then the fall release would be cancelled, maening that book seven will not be released to as late as Fall 1996 possibly. This manager seems to have forgotten this arrangement and wanted to have it released by fall 1995, under pressure from Tor publishing and the parent St. Martin's it appears.

I myself personally hope RJ doesn't try to kill himself to meet this deadline. Even though I love this series, I would hate to see the style and plot go to hell cause he was rushed, even thought I would tear my hair out for all his waiting. Even though RJ is a good writer, I don't think a writer with a judicial stenographer's hand would be able to make that deadline. I look foward to his next book, whenever it comes.

(signing attendee: Brian Bax, bax2@quads.uchicago.edu)


Daniel Flodin

"Robert Jordan is supposed to be GOH on a Fantasy congress, called 'Easterly to the Sun', that is held in Stockolm...on June 16-18. If someone is interest of place, cost, booking and if Robert Jordan really shows up...then [write to Daniel through e-mail]" (Daniel Flodin, etxdafn@tnll.eua.ericsson.se)


Daniel L. Rouk

"Jordan was a nuclear engineer for the Army, doing work on submarines. From there he entered government service of some sort, and when he hurt his knee started writting... The recent freebie first half of The Eye of the World was the impetus that got his elder brother to read the books. Apparently his older brother doesn't read much fantasy, and hadn't read any of Jordans books until he saw the freebie in the store and picked it up...Jordan reads voraciously, a book a night. He says if he sat down for an evenings reading he could probably put away 2 books the size of LoC easily. When tested in grade school he was sent to the principle because the teachers were sure he had cheated. No one could read as fast as he did with as much comprehension as he had at that age. Jordan recalls that being called to the principle didn't upset him as much as not being apologized to afterward. Apparently the library where he grew up restricted children under 12 to the kids department. This rankled the young Jordan, who read all he wanted to from that department in two days. He thus swiped books from tables and sat in a corner to read them. His main supply of literature as a kid was through his older brother. (10 years older)...Jordan uses a 486 running at 66 MHz with lots of bells and whistles to write...Jordan doesn't like his first book, but is scared to throw it away because he thinks his luck might be tied to it. He detailed how he sent it to a publisher and it was accepted. When he asked for a few minor changes be made to his contract, they sent a letter dropping him. Since he now knew he could right, he set about doing so... There was one ominous hint that Robert Jordan is going to pull a Tom Sawyer and watch his own funeral. Since we know that Jordan is only a pen name, this is entirely possible...He had a large ring on his right hand with some sort of reddish stone. Is this his Citadel ring?.../He was in the government service at the time, and after using the time to write his first book, his boss thought he was faking the injury simply to write. Jordan was upset because his bosses boss believed that, and put in a resignation with 2 weeks notice./Upset that he was leaving, his boss asked him to stay, mentioning that he was needed on current projects. Jordan had cleaned up his desk and finished those however. The boss mentioned that he was needed on future projects. Jordan mentioned that he had submitted his resignation. The boss mentioned that if he quit Jordan would never be able to work in the government again. Jordan asked if he could have that in writing./He says his wife disbelieves this ever happened, but Jordan swears its true!...Jordan knows about the internet groups, and even mentioned the recent split of the rawsfr-j from its parent group and said that is happening on a lot of other computer boards. Jordan quoted the FAQ! Erica said the relevant part was from Novak, about Bela being a darkfriend and attending the social. 'The cloaked figure of indeterminate sex.'" (signing attendee: Daniel L. Rouk, dlr@uncecs.edu)

"He then went on to say that he had a lesbian friend and they went out together looking for women and made a good team that way. (...I have an idea that he meant over in Vietnam)" (signings attendee: Daniel L. Rouk, dlr@uncecs.edu)

"Robert Jordan won't ever write about these characters again once the series is complete. He may write a series based on the NEXT age though..." (signing attendee: Daniel L. Rouk, dlr@uncecs.edu)

"Erica asked the title of the next book. Jordan doesn't know yet. He is still writing it. I asked how far along he is. Jordan said he didn't really know, as he is constantly writing and cutting parts." (signing attendee: Daniel L. Rouk, dlr@uncecs.edu)

"One humorous story mentions the quote saying he will continue writing until the day the nails are put into his coffin. One elderly lady apparently told him that she was a lot closer to that than he was so he had better hurry up." (signing attendee: Daniel L. Rouk, dlr@uncecs.edu)

"Jordan confirmed that this book is really much as people have said, the first part of a two part story...Robert Jordan won't ever write about these characters again once the series is complete. He may write a series based on the NEXT age though...'Originally, when I[RJ] began thinking about the story, Tam and Rand were the same character. The main character was to be a soldier who had gone out to war and returned to a small village'...The Old Tongue is a mix of Gaelic, Russian, Spanish, Japaneese. A lot of different sources that are not traditionally used to make up fake languages. He has only a few phrases and a few small guides on usage written down...All the female characters are based on his wife. I asked if she pulls her hair, and Jordan responded: 'She pulls mine'/Erica asked the title of the next book. Jordan doesn't know yet. He is still writing it. I asked how far along he is. Jordan said he didn't really know, as he is constantly writing and cutting parts. He writes from the beginning of the story to the end, and then cuts and edits large chunks, pulling together threads. He doesn't even think about a working title, but lets the story determine it....On why the combat scenes are not more involved: Because in combat things never really are clear. Also they are not really important." (signing attendee: Daniel L. Rouk, dlr@uncecs.edu)

"...post card showing the cover scene from Fires of Heaven, with a handwriten number on it. (46) Those earlier than I were awarded with poster sized versions of the Randland map (new color one)." (signing attendee: Daniel L. Rouk, dlr@uncecs.edu)

"Q. Is RJ trying to insinuate that the Red Ajah is made up of lesbians? A: ...Jordan said that he doesn't know how this idea caught on. The Red Ajah does have women who hate men, but not all do. He went on to say that it’s a bad logical jump to say that just because a woman hates men means that she is a lesbian." (signings attendee: Daniel L. Rouk, dlr@uncecs.edu)

"'Originally, when I[RJ] began thinking about the story, Tam and Rand were the same character. The main character was to be a soldier who had gone out to war and returned to a small village'...All the female characters are based on his wife. I asked if she pulls her hair, and Jordan responded: 'She pulls mine'...He writes from the beginning of the story to the end, and then cuts and edits large chunks, pulling together threads. He doesn't even think about a working title, but lets the story determine it..." (signing attendee: Daniel L. Rouk, dlr@uncecs.edu)

"Erica asked Jordan about Shannon Faulkner (sp?), the female attempting to get into the Citadel. Jordan immediately said "She's a liar" and explained how she misrepresented herself on her application. The Citadel has an honor code that views lying as a very serious offense. He thinks the military is one role where men are physically more able to do the job, and if one can't meet the same requirements then they shouldn't be accepted. He frowned on the practice of West Point no longer having women march in combat boots. He mentioned that in Vietnam he had to run for 20 some miles, and if he hadn't been able to make it he wouldn't be here today. He says some fields though women would naturally replace men if tradition didn't keep men involved, such as law." (signing attendee: Daniel L. Rouk, dlr@uncecs.edu)

"He says there will be at least 3 more books, maybe 4. Jordan knows the very last part of the final book, but doesn't know how long it will be till he'll put it in. One humorous story mentions the quote saying he will continue writing until the day the nails are put into his coffin. One elderly lady apparently told him that she was a lot closer to that than he was so he had better hurry up." (signing attendee: Daniel L. Rouk, dlr@uncecs.edu)


Dennis

"I asked him what we had picked up on that he thought we wouldn't, and he wouldn't tell me. Did say that the two ways of looking at the Rand/LTT thing (LTT causing Rand's madness/LTT a manifestation of Rand's madness) was intentional. Wouldn't tell me which one it was though...." (signing attendee: Dennis -I think)


Don Harlow

"Overheard early during the signing: the history of the da'shain Aiel is based on the history of the Cheyenne Indians during their several-generation migration from east of the Great Lakes to the Rocky Mountains -- a period in which every man's hand was raised against them. (signing attendee: Don Harlow, donh@netcom.com)


Edward Liu

"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." (signing attendee: Edward Liu, potatoe@u.washington.edu)

"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 Taim as the teacher of the Asha'man). And of course he said, 'Read and find out.'" (signing attendee: Edward Liu, potatoe@u.washington.edu)

"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...conclusion that a man will only go mad or waste away after years of frequent channeling [is incorrect]...[Robert Jordan] pointed out that once a man channels he basically cannot stop himself. He (the man) becomes addicted to it..." (signing attendee: Edward Liu, potatoe@u.washington.edu)

"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.'" (signing attendee: Edward Liu, potatoe@u.washington.edu)


Eric C. Piquette

"I asked RJ where the equator was in Randland. He then pointed to Illian on a map and said that it corresponded approximately to the Florida Keys." (signing attendee: Eric C. Piquette, ecp@strauss.ssdp-yp)


Erica Sadun

"When did you start reading? A: 4. Started with Letters of Thomas Jefferson and Forever Amber." (signing attendee: Erica Sadun, erica@cc.gatech.edu)

"Erica asked Jordan about Shannon Faulkner, the female attempting to get into the Citadel. Jordan immediately said "She's a liar" and explained how she misrepresented herself on her application. The Citadel has an honor code that views lying as a very serious offense. He thinks the military is one role where men are physically more able to do the job, and if one can't meet the same requirements then they shouldn't be accepted. He frowned on the practice of West Point no longer having women march in combat boots. He mentioned that in Vietnam he had to run for 20 some miles, and if he hadn't been able to make it he wouldn't be here today. He says some fields though women would naturally replace men if tradition didn't keep men involved, such as law." (Daniel L. Rouk, dlr@uncecs.edu)

"'Did you deliberately make Rand like Tew/Chew, the god of war who loses his hand?' A: yes 'And Mat is like Odin who loses his eye...' A: yup...but the arthur parallels are spread around many characters. Merlin is Thom Merrilin, The Amyrlin Seat, Lan, etc..." (signing attendee: Erica Sadun, erica@cc.gatech.edu)


"Rand 6'6". Perrin 6'2". Mat 5'11.5". Aviendha 5'8-5'9. Elayne 5'6". Nynaeve 5'4". Egwene 5'2". Moiraine 5'0-5'2." (signing attendee: Erica Sadun, erica@cc.gatech.edu)

"The monkey girl [TSR] is Egwene." (signing attendee: Erica Sadun, erica@cc.gatech.edu)

"An in joke between RJ and Wife. 'A ceremony.'" (signing attendee: Erica Sadun, erica@cc.gatech.edu)

"Isn't LoC half of a book? A: Yes. He wanted to experiment. There's something else which is experimental, but he won't say what." (signing attendee: Erica Sadun, erica@cc.gatech.edu)

"Could Mat have chosen anything else[besides the dagger]? A: Yes, but he wouldn't be Mat then, would he? A dagger would attract him more than a chalice or whatever. Its easy to stick it in the belt." (signing attendee: Erica Sadun, erica@cc.gatech.edu)

"Why did Mat's battle happen off screen? A: That's the way battles really happen. You don't actually see anything happen from the point of view it?s all a matter of waiting and trying not to die." (signing attendee: Erica Sadun, erica@cc.gatech.edu)

"Not based at all on Agnes Scott girls. Based on some girls he knew as a child." (signing attendee: Erica Sadun, erica@cc.gatech.edu)

"Why the swords? A: As in japan, gunpowder is suppressed so martial arts are developed and are based on the sword and on agricultural implements." (signing attendee: Erica Sadun, erica@cc.gatech.edu)

"Tam's Sword: Given to him by the King of Illian." (signing attendee: Erica Sadun, erica@cc.gatech.edu)


Greg

"I'm sure I've captured the spirit of his remarks. Someone asked RJ, 'Why the pseudonym?' He replied, 'What makes you think it's a pseudonym?' which the questioner followed with, 'Well, I've that it is from a number of people.' RJ finished with, 'Well, yeah, I've heard *all* sorts of things from all sorts of people.'/Someone asked him if he was from North or South Carolina (in my experience, most people from these states *hate* having their state confused with the other). RJ replied, 'If this were a more civilized time, I'd invite you to North Carolina for pistols for two and coffee for one.' My girlfriend asked him about the "trolloc" horn on his cane. He said it was a ram's horn." (signing attendee: Greg, gruber@violet.berkeley.edu)

"RJ gave a little height information that slightly contradicts some previous info supposedly gleaned from a signings encounter. Rand is, of course, about 6'6". Moiraine, however, is actually as tall as 5'3", and Egwene and Nynaeve are both about 5'5". Oh, and he said Moiraine 'was' 5'3", if anyone wants to read anything into that. RJ also said that if anyone asked him how much anybody weighed, he'd throw up his hands in exasperation. I definitely got the impression that he cares nothing for the detailed heights and such, but instead goes completely from the mental pictures he's got in his head." (signing attendee: Greg, gruber@violet.berkeley.edu)

"I also asked RJ what Tor thought about the length of his series in terms of the number of books in it. RJ said that Tor has told him to write as many books as he wants/needs to, and that Tor has never asked him to 'stretch' the series out into more (money-making) books. He also said that even if Tor pressured him, he wouldn't do it." (signing attendee: Greg, gruber@violet.berkeley.edu)


Grey Culberson

"Q: Does RJ religiously read the WOT newsletter. A: "Absolutely. At least when I get it." To which when we later spoke together after the signing I immediately pulled out the most recent copy which was mailed only a few days prior and gave it over (and just by chance, contained a small article by myself <g>)." (signing attendee: Grey Culberson, 73131.2570@compuserve.com)

"Q: What's the story with the limited editions? A: So far there have been only limited edition of TSR, FOH and LOC, however the publisher will be soon going back to the first three novels and will produce limited editions of those as well. According to the blurbs in the lmt. edts., RJ gets 25 of the less than 200 published but RJ refuted that saying he only signs them and then the publisher hands them out to important types. The publisher's 25 editions are lettered from A to Z (minus I) whereas the public editions are numbered. RJ expressed his disappointment in never getting lmt. eds. to hand out and also his astonishment that people are willing to dole out the greenbacks it takes to purchase one." (signing attendee: Grey Culberson, 73131.2570@compuserve.com)

"Q: Did the map come before you established the travels of the Randlanders or the other way around? A: RJ had drawn a rough map of Randland before he started writing the series." (signing attendee: Grey Culberson, 73131.2570@compuserve.com)

"Q: Have you heard the audio tape abridgments? What are your feelings toward them? A: This brought a mighty hurumph from RJ. He then explained that he had not heard them but expressed his strong disapproval of the project. Apparently the publisher had acquired a portion of the rights to the series of which he was unaware, and those rights enabled them to go ahead with the project without informing or asking him. owever, RJ is planning his own audio tape project which will record the books unabridged. When RJ was asked whether the voice man would be American or English, RJ expressed no opinion either way." (signing attendee: Grey Culberson, 73131.2570@compuserve.com)

"...RJ responded that the crux of the series was based on a disbelieving boy being told he was the savior of mankind, then that youth reluctantly realizing the truth of the matter but unwilling to admit it, and finally the boy assenting to the savior role and that only left puzzling out what he would do as the savior. When asked why RJ had chosen to go into so much depth and detail so as to confuse and overburden the reader, RJ responded,?It's all right there in front of you. Surely, something I've thought about for 15 years and written about for nine is something you can work out over a weekend.?" (signing attendee: Grey Culberson, 73131.2570@compuserve.com)


Hailing Frequency Interview

"HF: In many places in "The Wheel of time," a careful reader will spot echoes of other myth cycles--the sword in the stone, for example. Do these things happen fortuitously or are they laid on in advance, intentionally as it were? Jordan: Well, they were laid on in advance. There are elements from Norse, Chinese, Japanese, and American Indian mythologies, to name just a few. I think it adds resonance to the story, although I've taken great care not to follow the older material in any slavish way. Occasionally, I will add in details here or there, and then discover that I have done something that is absolutely authentic to the myth I was working from. This is not automatic writing or channeling or being guided by something from the Great Beyond, it's simply that I have done a great deal of reading on these subjects and things bubble up in the back of my head all the time."(Hailing Frequency interview featured in the Walden Books sci-fi/fantasy newsletter, issue 4 in Oct/Nov of '93...)

"HF: How would you compare this multi-volume spinning-out of a single story with the "Conan" books, where you did a number of individual works that were part of a larger, but rather looser, series? Jordan: No comparison. I've made an effort to make each book stand by itself, but at the same time, I've tried to make each one a real part of the whole "Wheel of Time." In something like the "Conan" series, the books are really independent; there is no real relationship between them. In this series, while you could read _The Shadow Rising_ first, and enjoy it, I think, you are going to get more out of it if you have read the first three books. You will pick up things that will seem different because of things you know from the first three books, things that are different from what they seem on the surface. There's a slightly different cast to things that people say and do." (Hailing Frequency interview featured in the Walden Books sci-fi/fantasy newsletter, issue 4 in Oct/Nov of '93...)

"HF: Having seen your series grow from what you thought might be five books, to seven, do you find yourself rearranging events in your original outline so each book has an independent structure with climaxes and growth of its own? Jordan: Yes, to some extent, but it's worse than that. I originally thought of it as one book. Well, but the time I went to the publisher, I realized that, no, one book wouldn't do it. I really thought it would be two, or three maybe, but I wasn't sure. But yes, there has been some rearrangement of events-suprisingly little though. I have been startled at how little I have had to shift the major points. Of course, a lot of them are floating, if you will. That's partly because, in the outline, the high points are not fixed-I never intended them to occur in a specific order. They were things that I knew had to happen for the development of one character or another, but there was always some allowance in my mind for things to shift."(Hailing Frequency interview featured in the Walden Books sci-fi/fantasy newsletter, issue 4 in Oct/Nov of '93...)

"HF: Your characters were fairly young when the series started. Did you do that with the idea of picking up an audience that would grow along with the series? Jordan: I receive fan mail from every possible age: kids who aren't in junior high school yet, and people who are seventy or eighty years old. But I made the characters young, fankly, because I wanted them to be innocents. I wanted the character sthemselves to look at the world around them with as much amazement as I could muster-the Candide "gimmick," in a sense. But it was also to emphasize their change.

My editor was commenting on how much, in the fourth book, the characters have grown, and how much the readers' view of things in this world has changed from the first book. It's not because the things themselves have changed, but because the characters whose eyes we're seeing these things through have changed. So while thereare still things they look at and say, "Golly!" on the other hand, there are things I had them doing in the first book that they're quite used to now, and don't at all see the way they saw them then."(Hailing Frequency interview featured in the Walden Books sci-fi/fantasy newsletter, issue 4 in Oct/Nov of '93...)

"HF:...There's an enormous geographical and historical sweep in this book. How much of this was define when you began? What kinds of things are you finding in those obscureplaces on the map that the characters are getting to for the first time?

Jordan: Well, the cultures, the people they meet in different countries, were only very sketchy in the beginning. They're really no more divergent than the United States, France, and Germany were before you had televisionand movies. So there are well-defined national distinctions of dress and behavior and on top of that, national reputations in other countreies. You know Americans are so and so, Germans are like this__fill in the blank... As far as the rest of it goes, there is perhaps more of a difference in the cultures than is explained byt he size of the continent. In an earlier book, one of the characters talks about humanity falling back and shrinking, that nations were not there any more. National borders don't always run straight up to one another,a nd there are someties very large unclaimed spaces between countries. That sort of thing makes for mroe isolation, and of course, isolation makes for cultures being more different." (Hailing Frequency interview featured in the Walden Books sci-fi/fantasy newsletter, issue 4 in Oct/Nov of '93...)


Jennifer Cross

He said he writes as the ideas come and he has no clue as to how long the series will be! So that throws out 8, 10, or 16 books out the window. He also gave hights for the characters. As for Rand being unusually tall, how about 6'6". Ahvienda is 5'10". You can deduce from there." (Jennifer Cross, NKHW38B 10/19 10:56 PM)


John-Mark Turner

"Like you, John, I discussed *P and said that I was one of probably dozens who had sent him one of those free subscript packets (I have no idea if *P still does it). Turned out it was a revelation to him..."I was wondering why I kept getting subscriptions in the mail occasionally!" And we had a whole discussion on the net, which boils down to that he wasn't really crazy about getting onto the nets (Compuserve, *P, etc) because he saw how addicting it is for a friend of his, but that occasionally he gets copies of stuff from the various nets ...I even suggested he just peek in without writing, or use a pseudonym. He just smiled. All in all, a REAL nice guy." (Kris Quinn, EEEB70B 10/19 11:08 PM) "RJ was very patient and enthusiastic. He looked different than the picture mostly due to the dark tint in his glasses...RJ also mentioned being unable to attend West Point due to poor vision in his left eye." (signing attendee: John-Mark Turner, BNFK47A 10/19 11:19 PM)

"...Shannon Faulkner and The Citadel...he feels she should not be allowed to attend the Citadel because she lied on her application by not revealing her gender. He also feels that single sex education is beneficial for both men and women. He said men tend to be more successful in a competitive environment while women tend to excel in cooperative environments (e.g. studies have shown that girls that go to all girl colleges have less math fear, stress, etc. than co-eds. He also mentioned that he personally feels that the physical standards suffer at military institutions when women attend. He talked about himself being shot down in a helicopter and having to run 25 miles literally and anyone who would have been unable to do that would not have survived." (signing attendee: John-Mark Turner, BNFK47A)


Judy Ghirardelli

"Q: "Is the Tower of Ghenji based on the dark tower from the story of Childe Roland? A: no." (signing attendee: Judy Ghirardelli, judy@ren.psy.jhu.edu)

"Q: "Theoretically...if someone...had sex in T'A'R, could they be pregnant in the real world? A: Read and find out. I *like* the dirty questions! You notice it's always the women who ask the dirty questions, never the men." (signing attendee: Judy Ghirardelli, judy@ren.psy.jhu.edu)


Julie Kangas

"I asked him if he based any of the male characters on himself. He answered 'Of course not. All of them are flawed.'" (signing attendee: Julie Kangas, julie@eddi.jpl.nasa.gov)


Justin Howell

"He also refused to state Beldeine's Ajah, saying something to the effect of "Wait and find out. It's not really very important, anyway." (signing attendee: Justin Howell, jhhowell@cco.caltech.edu)

"Where did Artur Hawkwing start out?...he said that one could figure it out given a careful reading of the books. When I asked about the hemisphere of the Seanchan continent, RJ said that it had parts in both the northern and southern hemispheres, but that Rand and Aviendha Travelled to a part in the southern hemisphere...RJ said there is no connection whatsoever between the Gholam (Aginor's monster), and the Gho'hlem (a tribe of Trollocs). He also refused to state Beldeine's ajah, saying something to the effect of "Wait and find out. It's not really very important, anyway." (signing attendee: Justin Howell, jhhowell@cco.caltech.edu)

"When I asked about the hemisphere of the Seanchan continent, RJ said that it had parts in both the northern and southern hemispheres, but that Rand and Aviendha Traveled to a part in the southern hemisphere." (signing attendee: Justin Howell, jhhowell@cco.caltech.edu)


Kris Quinn

"Like you, John, I discussed *P and said that I was one of probably dozens who had sent him one of those free subscript packets (I have no idea if *P still does it). Turned out it was a revelation to him..."I was wondering why I kept getting subscriptions in the mail occasionally!" And we had a whole discussion on the net, which boils down to that he wasn't really crazy about getting onto the nets (Compuserve, *P, etc) because he saw how addicting it is for a friend of his, but that occasionally he gets copies of stuff from the various nets...All in all, a REAL nice guy." (signing attendee: Kris Quinn, EEEB70B)


Letter to Bruce

"As for Common, Plain Chant, and High Chant: Common is ordinary speech, of course; telling a story as one man in the street might tell another. Plain Chant adds a rhythmic half-singing to poetic imagery; nothing is ever described plainly; conveying emotion is as important as conveying description. High Chant is sung, really, as though Benedictine monks had been brought up in a tradition of Chinese music; the rhythms are more precise, and emotional content is more important than mere description. High Chant can be all but unintelligible to those who are not used to it; it is a form used only by court bards and the like. I should point out that Common, Plain and High are not language names, but names used by bards for different forms of recitation." (letter to Bruce42288@aol.com, dated Nov. 21, 1994)


Matthew Hunter

"Rand is in control, one way or the other -- depending on exact oaths, who was Black Ajah, and how willing they are to hold to those oaths." (signing attendee: Matthew Hunter, mhunter@iglou.iglou.com)

"He mentioned 'Never trust anyone with power who isn't uncomfortable with it' as being related to Rand's leaving so many sa'angreals in safe places..." (Matthew Hunter, mhunter@iglou.iglou.com)

"The 'extra' character in tEotW really was in the book, but was cut out later, because he had too little to do. His parts were distributed out to the other characters, but they never got around to cutting him from the cover." (signing attendee: Matthew Hunter, mhunter@iglou.iglou.com)

"I asked if he had studied the sword fighting arts or just researched. It's research, and the forms come from Japanese sword fighting and some European fencing, before the advent of well-designed and well-made guns made swords obsolete." (signing attendee: Matthew Hunter, mhunter@iglou.iglou.com)


Michael Thompson

"His wife...has a streak of white in her hair, so I immediately wondered if she were one of the Black Ajah, but she has far too much presence and charisma for that." (signing attendee: Michael Thompson, morgno@netcom.com)

"?No prequels, no sequels, and no one else writing in my universe.?" (signing attendee: Michael Thompson, morgno@netcom.com)


Pam Korda

"[The Ajahs] were created a few hundred years in the aftermath of the Breaking." (signing attendee: Pam Korda, kor2@kimbark.uchicago.edu)


Roxanne e

"The signing at The Stars Our Destination was an overwhelming success by any measure you want to use. We had about a hundred people show up (this was hard to determine, really since many people went through the line multiple times in order to get all of their books/maps/paraphernalia signed). We sold about 75 copies of LoC during the day. Everyone who wanted a book signed was able to get it signed." (signing attendee: Roxanne e, roxanne@MCS.COM)

"He is a *big* person, probably about 6'4" and broad. He smokes a *huge* pipe and carries a cane (I did not see him walk enough to be able to tell if he uses it or not, as the limo was able to pull up just outside the store). He looks pretty much like his pictures, but he's bigger. I suspect he would empathize a lot with the Ogier, with finding everything everywhere not quite big enough." (signing attendee: Roxanne e, roxanne@MCS.COM)

"At one point, RJ raised his voice to scold his wife, 'No! No hints! They can figure it out!' She was grinning, apparently not chagrined at all. But she did stop saying any more at that point. This leads me to believe that Mr. Jordan enjoys *immensely* weaving the puzzle, as much as writing the book/He repeatedly reassured us that we have all the clues we need to figure out who killed Asmodean. Now for the major announcement (and they specifically said we could blab): Jody Lynn Nye, Todd Cameron Hamilton, et. al., are hard at work on a compendium, "Guide to the Wheel of Time." They have already produced the well-regarded books, "Guide to Pern" and "Guide to Xanth." Todd was at the signing but left early; Jody's husband (Bill Fawcett) arrived quite late and stayed after (which is where we learned this little tidbit). _The Guide to the Wheel of Time_ is scheduled to be released with the paperback of _Lord of Chaos_ sometime next fall..." (signing attendee: Roxanne e, roxanne@MCS.COM)

"Robert Jordan does not plan to do a signing tour next fall. He has been invited to be GOH at the Swedish National Convention next year, and will accept as soon as he gets home and can write a letter (i.e. in a couple of weeks)./He is a *big* person, probably about 6'4" and broad. He smokes a *huge* pipe and carries a cane (I did not see him walk enough to be able to tell if he uses it or not, as the limo was able to pull up just outside the store). He looks pretty much like his pictures, but he's bigger. I suspect he would empathize a lot with the Ogier, with finding everything everywhere not quite big enough." (signing attendee: Roxanne e, roxanne@MCS.COM)

"He repeatedly reassured us that we have all the clues we need to figure out who killed Asmodean." (signing attendee: Roxanne e, roxanne@MCS.COM)


Ryangran

"The Tor representitives were handing out book marks and postcards with the cover art from tFoH depicted on them. In any case, by arriving 40 minutes early, I was number 16, and it took about an hour to get to me. I saw numbers in the high 60s, so I'm not sure if RJ was going to make an effort to get through everyone or not. He took the time to answer questions from each person, signed the books "For first_name, Best Wishes ... Robert Jordan" on the flip side of the page with edition information. He also signed maps and "The Wheel of Time" sampler, which SF&M was giving out." (signing attendee: ryangran@mindspring.com)

"One thing I did catch, Robert Jordan claims to have enough notes to write books based on WoT for the rest of his life. That's not a quote, but he mentioned something to that effect." (signing attendee: ryangran@mindspring.com)


TISB

"...he went to the Citadel and served a single term in the military./When he started writing he imagined living on the French River, working 2-3 hours in the morning, and spending the day on the beach with _a blond, a brunette, and a redhead. _ Sound familiar?/He sees some correlation between Randland's "magic" (a term he frowns on) and quantum physics, but he says it is not deliberate. He disbelieves 95-99 % of modern physics but says it will be 50 years before it is put in the same file as phlogiston. He writes on a PC but has some files on an Apple III. He writes Elizabethan sonnets to his wife but will not publish them. Someone in the audience supported him in this quoting Heinlan that 'a poet who reads his work in public may have other nasty habits.' Jordan said he never reads any of his work." (signing attendee: TISB, delemin@aol.com (Delemin))

"After WoT, Jordan will work on a book tentatively called "Shipwreck". As mentioned by previous posters, it is about people from a mix of Elizabethan England and Renaissance Italy, coming to a "Seanchanlike" land. At the signing he expanding on this, saying the homeland had no countries larger than England, but a unified Church with a Father, a Mother, and a Daughter and intercessor for humanity. Heretics from the South, who claim the Daughter had a human parent, are tolerated. In "Pseudo-Seanchan" there are several large empires but the religion is fragmented." (signing attendee: TISB, delemin@aol.com (Delemin))

"He kept open the possibility of doing a book set in the Fourth Age after the events of WoT had become myth, but refused to do a prequel or sequel. When asked about doing a series on the AoL, he said that before the bore the AoL was too dull, and by the end of WoT we will know enough about the AoL after the bore that a book about it would have nothing new..." (signing attendee: TISB, delemin@aol.com (Delemin))

"He expressed several views about various translations of WoT. He heard the Swedish translation was very good, and the Dutch translators had an extensive correspondence with him. He said the only translation he read was the beginning of the German translation, but he hated the covers, he mentioned one as featuring a rear view woman, wearing only a strand of pearls, raising her hand to stop a band of armored horsemen. His favorite covers were on the Spanish editions." (signing attendee: TISB, delemin@aol.com (Delemin))

"Not only did he decline to set the number of future WoT books, but he denied ever setting a number and says he never planned it to be only a trilogy. But he seemed to indicate he was planning 9-10 Books total. When faced with the prospect of about 12 books, his wife threatened to divorce him and his editor began to make jokes about the Irish Mafia. (Apparently they don't break your kneecaps, they take out your anklebones, 'It must be a cultural thing' said Jordan.)" (signing attendee: TISB, delemin@aol.com (Delemin))

"However he made repeated references to being worn out and overworked by LoC. 'If I work that hard on this one I'll die.' He commented several times. Apparently he worked 12-14 hours a day, 7 days a week. In August (he usually finishes in May) the folks at Tor sequestered him in a hotel in New York City, where he finished the books in two weeks. He said he would try to get the book out on time but he figured we would rather have him finish a book late than finish his life early./When a latecomer asked when he intended to "pop out next one", Jordan responded by telling him that he once sat at a table with G. Gordon Liddy, who explained how to kill someone with chopsticks. Having found this fascinating dinner conversation, Jordan was willing to bet he could reproduce the effect with a pen./.../He kept open the possibility of doing a book set in the Fourth Age after the events of WoT had become myth, but refused to do a prequel or sequel. When asked about doing a series on the AoL, he said that before the bore the AoL was too dull, and by the end of WoT we will know enough about the AoL after the bore that a book about it would have nothing new.../When asked about Role Playing Games he said he was in contact with Wizards of the Coast (makers of the popular Magic card game. Are we in for Daes Dae'mar: the Deckmaster Game of Games?), and he was approached with an offer for an AD&D module./Jordan said he didn't give Randland a name because he always found it unrealistic for a fantasy world to have a name. After all, we don't have a real name for our world. He also said he always left something unresolved at the end of each book. He says we never have everything wrapped up in our lives, so why should his characters? He considered leaving a hook at the end of the last book and never resolving it." (signing attendee: TISB, delemin@aol.com (Delemin))


Tom Burke

"...Aiel culture...Amer-Indian, Arab, and African cultures." (signing attendee: Tom Burke, tomb@tfs.com)

"I told him that my feeling was that the number of darkfriends in Randland were probably between 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 100,000. He replied, 'closer to the latter, of course we see more of them because of the Ta'veren.' I asked if there were fewer amongst the Aiel than in the great cities. He responded, 'Yes, of course.'...I stated that 20 darkfriends would be a heavy investment to lose all at once. Jordan replied, 'Not at all. It's very easy for me to make some more. It is their trustworthiness that is more of a problem.'" (signing attendee: Tom Burke, tomb@tfs.com)

"I asked him to confirm that he had said that Rand will physically lose his hand and that Mat will physically lose his eye. He stated, 'If I have said something similar to that, I may have misspoken.' The sense that I had from Jordan was that if he had led someone to believe it, he hadn't meant to. Whether that was because it not true or because he didn't want to give it away, I don't know." (signing attendee: Tom Burkek, tomb@tfs.com)


Tony Zbaraschuk

"He DID say that he had done some things in response to net speculations. First, if we seemed to be getting too close to something he had intended to stay hidden for a while longer, he would tone it done in later books. And if we seemed to be going off on an incredible tangent he would correct it. In both cases, however, he only did this if it could be fitted unobtrusively into the book." (signing attendee: Tony Zbaraschuk, tonyz@eskimo.com)

"Q: How does the Black Ajah recruit new members? A: Very carefully. You have to understand that EVERY Ajah recruits carefully and subtly. Generally, after all those years as novice and Accepted, your teachers know your character and personality VERY well, and you are guided to the Ajah where you fit. The Black Ajah watches too. And recruitment is a one-shot offer: they offer, and you can accept or die. There are a lot of ways to die that wouldn't lead to any suspicion; for instance, it's pretty easy to kill yourself experimenting with the One Power. Who would think that such a death wasn't accidental? [I mentioned Katerine Sedai, 17 years Aes Sedai, 12 years Black.] One thing they do, for instance, is watch new Aes Sedai. Sometimes women get past the final tests and then discover that they don't have anywhere near as much power and freedom as they thought they would have." (signing attendee: Tony Zbaraschuk, tonyz@eskimo.com)

"Q: What were the female Aes Sedai doing during the Breaking? Surely they could have got together in circles of six or 13 or whatever, cut off one man from the Source, and gone onto the next. A: Several things. Partly, you have to find the men before you can do anything. Partly, by the time they realized what was going on, it was too late. The massive geological upheavals were only a part (and not the most important part) of the Breaking. There was also the cumulative social collapse, breakdown of transportation systems, etc..Imagine a city like Seattle that suddenly loses ALL contact with the outside world. Also, the women were (after a point) trying to preserve what they could, not fight the men directly. Finally, in order to make someone stop doing something, you have to be able to threaten them. What can you threaten a madman with, that he will listen to you and stop?...Q: Speaking of the Breaking, how did Dragonmount survive all that rearrangement of geography? A: Well, the Breaking had different effects in different areas. Some areas were raised up, others lowered, others moved around...but the effects were relatively mild in some areas; Dragonmount was one of them. Note that Shayol Ghul used to be a subtropical island. The Tar Valon area was moved, but as an entire piece, so the mountain, the island, and the river stayed in the same places relative to each other." (signing attendee: Tony Zbaraschuk, tonyz@eskimo.com)

"Q: What about those Warders in Caemlyn around Logain in tEotW? Didn't Moiraine say that they were all Red sisters? Reds don't have Warders! A: Moiraine never mentioned the sisters escorting Logain (not all of whom were Red). The ones with Logain weren't in Caemlyn at the time [evidently they stayed with the army, which stayed outside the city--TZ]. Moiraine was referring to those that were in Caemlyn. ["There are perhaps twenty Aes Sedai in Caemlyn at this moment, and every one but I of the Red Ajah." <EOW: 42, 637-8, Rememberance of Dreams>] There is something explaining this in LoC. Remember that the interleaving of plot threads goes backward as well as forward." (signing attendee: Tony Zbaraschuk, tonyz@eskimo.com)

"Q: Can the Power really be used to make you different? A: Illusion is illusion. Doesn't fool the sense of touch, so you have to be really subtle (such as Moghedien's disguise) to avoid detection. Q: So Sammael couldn't make himself taller? A: He could make himself look taller, but he's not interested in looking taller. He wants to be taller. Besides, any sufficiently experienced man would be able to tell that it was illusion. Q: So the Power really isn't capable of genetic reconstruction? A: Maybe, in the Age of Legends, someone might have been able to pull it off, if they were really skilled. Might have. Q: Like Aginor? He seemed to be the expert among the Forsaken on that. A: Aginor was damn good, but he wasn't that good." (signing attendee: Tony Zbaraschuk, tonyz@eskimo.com)

"Q: What about Gawyn? A: Well, all the information he can find indicates that his mother's dead. (First the rumor, then it apparently got confirmed when he reached Cairhien. [Even Rand thinks that Morgase is dead.--TZ]). Rand probably killed her. His sister is missing, maybe dead. Rand's involved again. He released the woman responsible for finding Rand because he loved Egwene. Egwene is tied up with Rand, who killed his mother and is probably responsible for his sister's disappearance. Why do you think he's under any stress?" (signing attendee: Tony Zbaraschuk, tonyz@eskimo.com)

"...I asked if the linking discussion on the Net had led to the Glossary entry in LoC. He said no, the info about linking has been in his notes all along, but he had to cut it out of previous Glossaries in order to save space...Q: What about Warders? I thought the previous Glossaries (up to tFoH) said that Aes Sedai couldn't sense the direction of their Warders? A: The link goes both ways. Aes Sedai CAN sense the direction (and, roughly, with some practice) the distance of their Warders. Those earlier Glossary entries were an error carried over from a very early version of the Glossary. If you read carefully, you will notice references in the earlier books to Aes Sedai sensing the direction of their Warders." (signing attendee: Tony Zbaraschuk, tonyz@eskimo.com)

"...I'm not even speculating now on how many books I hope it will take, because every time I do mention a number I hope I can finish it in, it turns out to take longer. It will be at least 8, because I've signed the contracts for books 7 and 8." (signing attendee: Tony Zbaraschuk, tonyz@eskimo.com)

"Q: What about Mazrim Taim? Isn't his withstanding of the madness for 15 years something exceptional? A: The duration varies from man to man; the circumstances are different, and the men themselves. Nobody really knows how long the process takes (or has to take), since once you start channeling the Aes Sedai usually find you pretty quickly, and gentling stops the progression of the madness and the taint (though it does not cure what's already happened). Channeling is addictive; once you've done it, you can't stop. The Breaking took about a hundred years before all the men finally died, though some of them did shelter in the stedding for a while. Nobody knows how long the process takes, except that there is variation. It's all in my notes." (signing attendee: Tony Zbaraschuk, tonyz@eskimo.com)

"Jordan also strongly implied that Thom was not Elayne's father." (signing attendee: Tony Zbaraschuk, tonyz@eskimo.com)

"What about your characters? Are there any of them you don't like? A: You have to like a character to get inside of them, to make them real to the reader. Ever read a book where several characters felt right, and one of them was just wrong, where your reaction is "That can't be a real person?" If so, odds are that the writer didn't like that character. I get into each of my characters. For instance, I'm really a mean SOB when I'm writing Semirhage. (signing attendee: Tony Zbaraschuk, tonyz@eskimo.com)


Stories from RJ's Lord of Chaos Signing Tour / Carolyn Fusinato

http://web.archive.org/web/19990427161037/uts.cc.utexas.edu/~moiraine/jordan/files/signing-stories.html

OR http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan/msg/ec3214aa708ac387

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