The Gathering Storm Book Tour, Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, CA 15 November 2009Edit
Report by Katie Frey
Q: (Our first question was the obligatory) “Who killed Asmodean?”
A: The answer will be in one of these three books.
Q: What character is easiest for you to write? Which is most difficult?
The Two Rivers folk were the easiest (Rand, Perrin, Mat, Egwene, and Nynaeve). Aviendha was the most difficult. She thinks more like an Aiel than most Aiel. But he was glad to bring her back to the forefront because he had always liked the way she thought. Tuon was not easy either.
Q: Is there a connection between the spoilage of food and Rand’s temperament?
A: Look at the Fisher King prophecies, and the prophecies in WoT that mention that the “land and the Dragon are one.”
Q: What is your favorite scene that you got to add?
A: I’m not saying which scenes I added and which parts are Jordan’s until all three books are out. He has lots and lots of notes left by Robert Jordan, which aren’t organized. No one really knew how Robert Jordan was organizing his work. Some files had only sentences, some whole paragraphs and whole scenes. His assistants, Maria and others, what Brandon calls “his own personal Brown Ajah” started asking Robert Jordan questions about all of the chacters, where they would end up and how they got there. So Brandon has so much information all jumbled together without any order. And its his job to take all that and make a book.
Q: What myth’s influences Robert Jordan the most?
A: Native American and Norse mythology are featured prominently, but there are obvious influences from the Fisher King and Grail legends. Brandon also mentioned that Odin and Loki were thought to have originally been one person in the early myths, but was split into two. He noted that Odin had a spear and that Loki was pictured with Ravens. Also, Brandon would sometimes ask Harriet about a particular passage and ask where Jordan got his inspiration. Harriet would pull out a book of myth, turn to a page and point it out.
Q: What is Robert Jordan’s office like?
A: He worked on the first floor of a carriage house, the first room was a big library and the second was like a “wizards workshop.” The Brown Aes Sedai whose quarters he describes in The Gathering Storm, with skeletons everywhere, was basically a description of Robert Jordan’s office. He had skeletons everywhere, and weapons (though the weapons were left out of the Aes Sedai’s room).
Q: Was the passage about Cadsuane spanking Semirhage already written, or was there just information in the notes. How did you feel about writing that section?
A: He was given creative freedom to do what was needed. No author can ever stick 100% to an outline, things change as they are being written, and he was given that kind of control in order to make the books work. Regarding that passage in particular, it made Brandon Sanderson cringe, but Robert Jordan wanted it in the books so it stayed.
Q: When are books 13 and 14 due out?
A: He is three-fourths of the way through Towers of Midnight, and he expects to turn that in in January. He hasn’t been able to write as much as he had hoped during this 26 city tour, so that is putting him back a bit, but he is still confident he can get it in close to on time. It took him 16 months to write The Gathering Storm, and some of that writing ended up being allocated to Towers of Midnight. He expects it to be published in the fall of 2010, or at the latest March of 2011.
Q: Did the ending of the Wheel of Time shock you?
A: No, it “satisfied me.” There were “shocking thing in the notes, such as ‘Egwene’s unexpected visitor’” but on the whole the ending was satisfying.”
Q: Were you surprised to learn who Asmodean’s killer was?
A: No, not really. He had read every theory out there, and there is basically a theory for every character. One of those theories is right (he wont say which of course!), so since he had already read the theory it wasn’t a surprise just a “ah, so it was that person.”
Q: When will we see Way of Kings?
A: I’ll be posting more about it in 2010, this year is for WoT. He expects it to be available around September 2010.