The Gathering Storm Book Tour, Union Square, New York City 9 November 2009Edit

Report by Old (Peter) Salt

- Which Ajah heads will stay in power? It will be dealt with traditional Aes Sedai quietness and generally default to those who were heads before the split.

- There are no tinker prophecies… as we would have seen them already if there were.

- The Dragon on RJ and Harriet’s gate was commissioned after the series began.

- We will most probably not be seeing any actual dragons in the series – the naming of Aludra’s cannons is not because of the shared fire breathing, but simply a general association with power.

- When asked about Harine, Brandon confirmed that Rand was not sticking to the bargain.

- It was mentioned that a fight between Eugene and Cadsuanne would be totally awesome. I concur.

- Brandon initially got hooked for the series because of the hero’s journey – and the size of the books (he was on a budget). It changed as he grew up, and he mentions how much he enjoyed the prologue by contrasting it with generic fantasy prologues that are long and drawn out. What kept him reading was the depth of world building and the secrets embedded within secrets.

- Brandon apparently likes writing so much he would continue putting out a book a year even if they went unpublished. He never even submitted his first five books and jokingly referred to them as sub par.

- He avoids bad reviews like the plague, but when he does stumble across them he then proceeds to read one star reviews of great works of literature, like Shakespeare.

- Writing the Gathering Storm, Brandon admits he received input from numerous sources. He was, however, uncomfortable discussing the amount of input and the amount of freedom he had in writing The Gathering Storm. He says maybe after A Memory of Light he will reveal a bit more about what specifically was RJ’s. Generally though, he was unrestricted in his writing, and Harriet, as editor, was there to perfect what he had done.

- When asked about the outriggers, Harriet responded with the famous line from Kenny Rogers: “Know when to hold-em, know when to fold-em.” It is something they will get into once the A Memory of Light is in the bag, but the tone of their replies seemed to suggest that is was not even close to a done deal.

- Rand and Egwene are in the same time zone, approximately, at the end of tGS.

- Tuon’s scene was 3-4 weeks after her last scene in the previous book. RJ was “crafty” with his use of timelines, but generally they were chronological within a viewpoint.

- When asked if the timeline will ever be published, Brandon referred to a couple admirable efforts by fans, and Maria added that she tracks it with an Excel spreadsheet, but it would take a lot of effort to get it into a publishable format. Also, RJ was uncomfortable showing anyone his unpublished work and would go through a number of drafts, even if it was just for Harriet.

- When asked about the number of years between the breaking and current day Brandon replied that it was well know and referred us to ewot, which is accurate except for a year here or there.

- Regarding the notorious clue that everyone has missed, Brandon pinned it down to somewhere between books 4-6 (reread time!). He reiterated how astonished we would be when we found it… but won’t get any more specific for fear of ruining our surprise. Also, the “never mentioned” aspect of the clue might not be entirely true, but Brandon himself has never come across it. Maria had a knowing smile at the time, suggesting maybe it has been mentioned. Time will tell.

- Brandon confirmed that the wolf dream / fortelling of Rand as a beggar and the one with bandages over his eyes is fulfilled with his visit to Ebou Dar.

- Brandon reiterate how satisfied he was with RJ’s ending to the series but danced around the question of what he imagined the ending to be before he read it. RJ’s ending “satisfied the promise of the books”.

- When the Internet was in its infancy, Brandon (before ever even using email) went to rec.arts.rj. It was the first site he ever visited online.

- RJ was surprised by the devoted fans of the WoT and always felt a bit egotistical when doing readings—hence his use of a pseudonym and bring “low profile”.

The Q&A that followed was filled with interesting tidbits from both Brandon’s work and the WoT series. More bullet points!

- When asked to briefly describe The Way of Kings (Brandon’s forthcoming epic fantasy series) he said he is not good at short descriptions. Harriet humorously interjected that is precisely the reason that he was hired. He went on for a bit about the Way of Kings (WoK?!). What sets it apart from other epic fantasy, which is done in a setting where magic is in decline and the world has lost much of the splendor it once held, is that WoK is about a “renaissance of magic”.

- Harriet commented that she browses fan boards sometimes and that she had looked at people saying: this part is Brandon and this part is RJ. She laughed and said that most of the time they were totally wrong.

- When asked if his religion played a part in his books, Brandon replied that it was a part of him, and that as a consequence it did.

- When asked if he knows who killed Asmodean, he replied, “Yes, I do.”

- When asked why Justice (AH’s sword) was introduced at this point in the series, Brandon refused to answer, saying it was not even certain that Justice had been introduced, and thus he could not say either way without spoilering.

URL for report:

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