The Gathering Storm Book Tour, Norcross Cultural Arts Center, Norcross, GA 13 November 2009Edit
Report by Tiffany Franklin
1- Q: “Who killed Asmo?”
Brandon- Harriet you want to do the honors?
Harriet- You want to live?
Brandon- We have our first RAFO of the night. I know, Harriet knows, and he told us to put it in the book somewhere.
2- Q: Were you a part of any of the WT online communities?
a. Usenet for RJ my first day on the internet. I was a member of DM and Wotmania, but never posted. He’d go to DM to check blogs. He’d drop by WoTmania, but they were kinda mean (aggressive about their viewpoints.)
3- Q: Why a pseudonym? Why not his real name?” (Harriet- and why?)
a. A: Harriet – He wanted to write everything there was when he was beginning. In the first place, he said he wanted to save his real name for his history of SC. Then his Vietnam novel.
b. A: Harriet – In youth he loved Louis L’amour’s westerns. He bought a new Louis L’amour book one time and when he read it, it wasn’t a western, it was a mystery! So, he thought he’d have a name for every genre to keep this from happening to his fans. “Robert Jordan” had nothing to do with For Whom the Bell Tolls.
c. Reference to a post from DM’er: The post was from a woman who started reading the series 12 years ago. She had small children, not enough money for drugs or alcohol. A friend gave her The Eye of the World. And it worked! Now her son is reading them and when he picked up the Gathering Storm answered the question of why he didn’t use his own name: “Why of course he did! He’s a superhero! You don’t think Batman’s real name is Batman, do you?”
4- I can’t tell you the question, but I think the answer was insightful, so I’m editing out the spoilers to give you this:
i. You’ll notice that the prologues fulfill a purpose. Most of the prologues are written like epilogue to the book before. [This Prologue]was more of an epilogue to the [end of] Knife of Dreams. Brandon believes that RJ liked giving his fans something to talk about and then answer it in the prologue of the next book. Brandon “I can’t speak for what Robert Jordan was thinking.”
ii. To which Harriet responded, “Even Robert Jordan couldn’t speak for what Robert Jordan was thinking.”
5- Q: How’s The Towers of Midnight coming?
a. ToM is 70% done.
b. Harriet’s answer: “ If I can quote Robert Jordan, I can assure you without fear of contradiction, that ToM will be on the shelves very shortly after Brandon finishes writing it.”
c. “This is a very, very… there’s a lot of work involved. People assume that when I was given the outline, I was given a point by point outline. RJ wasn’t like that. He wouldn’t show it to Harriet until he’d done 12 drafts. We got this in a state of incompleteness. The creative process isn’t as neat and orderly. Things were in dozens of files. “
Harriet: Brandon would say “what order do you want it in?” and I would say “Brandon, you’re the writer. It’s foolish for the editor to take over the part of the writer. And vice-versa.”
d. He dictated some and the assistants transferred it into notes, scoured their memory for anything he’d said and put that in the notes. And then all the files… “this was all handed to me and told ‘ok, let’s write a book.’”
6- Q: Was it difficult for you to find any of the character’s voice?
a. Answer: Brandon: Aviendha- the Aiel way of thinking is so different and I think like a Two River’s folker. It was easy to write the Two Rivers. And when I started writing Aviendha, I was writing like a Two Rivers-er.
7- Q: I am struck by how alike this is to Tolkien. Have you ever talked to Chris Tolkien (since he took over for his father using his notes)?
A: Brandon’s responses:
i. No, but I’d like to.
ii. We’re in a little better shape. Jim actually finished scenes. We have a lot more to work with. He wrote the end himself! He left landmarks to follow from here to the end. Not specific details, just “strong stuff” to get us to the end.
iii. “There are no characters that we don’t know how they end up.”
Some other little tidbits you might be interested in:
*Aviendha is Brandon’s favorite female of the series.
*Brandon’s favorite color is maroon. Green shirt says so!
*He’s planning another stand alone story about a world where virus and germs have evolved and possess magic powers. So if you catch a cold you can fly, when you get over it, you can’t anymore.
*He really likes carrot cake, and he likes Key Lime Pie, too. ‘And you know, a good brownie, with ice cream and… that’s really good, too.”
*For NaNo, he participated for 4 years, but couldn’t “win” since he never wrote anything FOR NaNo. He just continued with what he was already writing. It usually came out to another 70 or 80 thousand words, though!