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Home | Interview Database

Interviews: AOL Chat 1

Summary:

Entries

28

Date

Oct 21st, 1994

Type

Verbatim

Reporter

Aaron Bergman

Links

rasfwrj

  • 1

    Robert Jordan

    We're here. We don't know the private-chat commands.

    THopeB

    Ok, thought you were going to be here under another name. :)

    Ok, everyone, let's get started! Tonight we have the honor of presenting the New York Times best-selling fantasy author Robert Jordan!

    Tonight we'll be having a question and answer session and will be on full protocol meaning that if you'd like to ask a question or make a comment please type "!" or "?" onscreen and I'll call on you in turn. That way we won't have 20 conversations going on at one! That's "once". And Robert can answer your questions completely. One more thing after you're done asking or commenting, please type GA for "go ahead", so we can know when you're finished.

    Well, I'm not going to have time to introduce you; let's get right to the questions!

  • 2

    Jdieu

    Hello, just to say I LOVE your books, I was wondering how long you will continue the saga, because I read in the prologue of the first book that the battle lasted about ten years? And it's only been about two up to the sixth book.

    Robert Jordan

    It will last several more books, until I reach the last scene, which has been in my head since the very beginning.

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  • 3

    Drayken

    I was wondering if you will ever write a book based on the Age of Legends.

    Robert Jordan

    No.

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  • 4

    Tibur

    Hi. I love your books and I was just wondering where you got your ideas for the series. It's like nothing ever published before!

    Robert Jordan

    It all started with wondering what it was really like to be tapped on the shoulder and told that you are the savior of mankind. Ten years of thinking about that, and I began writing.

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  • 5

    Scarlet

    Hi, it's such a pleasure to meet you, I'm a BIG fan. Anyway, your books have so many richly developed characters and so many complex, interwoven plot threads, could you please comment on your preliminary processes such as outlining, character biographies, etc.?

    Robert Jordan

    I'm sorry, it just isn't that simple. I simply do it, and it would take me all night to explain how, if I could.

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  • 6

    Drayken

    When did you decide to become a writer? Did you always want to write or did it come later in life?

    Robert Jordan

    At five, while reading Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, I decided I wanted to write, but I always thought I would do it "one day," after I had a practical career. Then I was injured and I had a lot of time on my hands, so I decided to put up or shut up about this "one day" stuff. To my surprise, somebody actually wanted to buy it, and that was that.

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  • 7

    Aaron

    Hi. I suppose you already know through some of the signings and various letters that you have large fan clubs on most of the major online services and that we've basically been going through the books with a fine tooth comb. I believe you've even seen the FAQ. I was wondering on whether you expected anything like this and has it affected you in any way?

    Robert Jordan

    I never expected anything in the least like this, and as far as affecting me in any way–I now look through the peephole before I open doors.

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  • 8

    Jdieu

    I was curious if you could clear something up for me. The Dragon Lews Therin ended the Age of Legends, but Rand Al'Thor is the next Dragon, and he's not coming out of the Age of Legends?

    Robert Jordan

    Jdieu, could you clarify? I'm not sure I understand the question.

    Jdieu

    Well, you write that Lews Therin ends the Age of Legends, that time repeats itself, and I would think that Rand would in turn be ending the repeated Age of Legends, but it doesn't appear to BE a repeated Age of Legends.

    Robert Jordan

    It doesn't follow that simply because the Age that Lews Therin ended is now called the Age of Legends, that this age which Rand lives in in any way is a repeat of that particular age. What is/was the Age of Legends will repeat eventually, but not until the Wheel turns considerably further.

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  • 9

    Pamela

    After reading the first five books (thanks for many wonderful hours) and starting the sixth, I find myself wishing for a "Wheel of Time Encyclopedia"—something with longer glossary entries to help me remember who's who and who's done what. Any chance of that happening?

    Robert Jordan

    An Encyclopedia will have to wait until the Wheel of Time is finished, but the guys who did The Illustrated Guide to Pern and The Illustrated Guide to Amber are interviewing me next month for the same sort of book about the Wheel.

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  • 10

    Drayken

    Are there any other books you are working on now or plan to do that are not involved with this world?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, in a way. I started—about a year ago—thinking about the book or books that I will write immediately after the Wheel is done. That has a little way to go, though.

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  • 11

    Sharon

    Hi Mr. Jordan. I was at your conference yesterday on Compuserve but didn't get to finish asking the rest of my questions. At book signings: how many books do you sign per person and if asked would you sign a book in your real name and pen name?

    Robert Jordan

    Generally I sign as many books as anyone brings, but the practical limit is set by how many people there are and how much time I have to spend at that store. For the rest, are you saying Robert Jordan isn't my real name?

    THopeB

    Sharon, do you want to answer that?

    Sharon

    Nah.

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  • 12

    Batlar

    I'm curious, what happened to the Black Ajah's Warders? Did they kill them?

    Robert Jordan

    Those who did not die on the night that Liandrin and the others left, died not long thereafter. Not all of them had Warders, remember. And not just the Reds.

    Footnote

    RJ apparently changed his mind on this later; in Winter's Heart Chapter 10, we discover that Eldrith's Warder Kennit still lives. RJ commented further on the Warders of Black Ajah members in 1998.

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  • 13

    Jdieu

    I was wondering if the Dark One is ever going to be manifested into a single person, and was also wondering where you went to college?

    Robert Jordan

    I graduated from The Citadel and, for the rest, read and find out! That is neither to say yes nor no; just read and find out.

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  • 14

    Phylwriter

    I was wondering more what your "writing life" was like...you know, like an every day kinda thing—could you tell us what a normal, RJ day is like?

    Robert Jordan

    Average day at beginning of book is: have breakfast, answer letters and telephone calls, then write for six to eight hours. Do this five days a week. After a while, this gets to be: drink a quart or two of strong coffee, write for twelve to fourteen hours a day, and do this seven days a week. Eventually the book is finished or I am dead.

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  • 15

    JayRL

    My father & I love the series. If I remember War and Peace was how long. We cannot get over how you continually capture our imaginations while we anticipate every page that's turned.

    Robert Jordan

    You're welcome!
  • 16

    Mnemnose

    The flow of your work is ASTOUNDING—is it as easy to write as it is to read? Are you a conduit/observer to the world you've created or is it a constant struggle?

    Robert Jordan

    Not hardly, Jack!

    I meant: that it's a constant struggle.

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  • 17

    BelaHorse

    How about, I've noticed that the history of Rand's "parents" hasn't really been developed. We know a bit about Tam (and the original correlation with Rand's character). Could you tell us something about Kari?

    Robert Jordan

    Not really at this point. We'll find out a little bit more later.

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  • 18

    Sharon

    Is your wife on the book signing tour with you—if so will she be at the signings?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes and yes.

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  • 19

    Astrocyte

    A basic question.....How do you approach Point of View in your stories?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, I tiptoe up to it, then I grab it by the throat, throw it down, and kick it.

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  • 20

    CyberLanky

    Do you ever write on other types of books to take a break from your series?

    Robert Jordan

    I have written other kinds of books in the past and I will write other kinds of books in the future, but at the moment the Wheel takes all of my time.

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  • 21

    Batlar

    I have noticed some similarities to The Lord of the Rings. Was Tolkien an inspiration for for you?

    Robert Jordan

    I suppose to the degree that he inspires any fantasy writer in the English language, certainly.

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  • 22

    J Cool ET

    You seem to have a great grasp of history; what is your background? Do you know how the Wheel will finally turn, yet?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, I've been reading history as a hobby since I was five or six, and yes, I do know how it will turn, and how it will end.

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  • 23

    MonaS

    I enjoy the many nations and peoples in The Wheel of Time and how richly their societies are detailed! What was your inspiration for the Ogier?

    Robert Jordan

    It's really impossible to say here. The Ogier came from a dozen different sources, at least.

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  • 24

    Paendrag

    Could you discuss your imagery as it relates to book of Revelation—and other sources/language use?

    Robert Jordan

    Sorry, not in under four or five hours.

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  • 25

    Fable

    I've always admired the incredible patience you show in your writing moving from major event to major event (like moving Rand from the Stone of Tear to the completion of events in the Aiel Waste). Do you have any precise method you use, or does that flow naturally? Do you ever write the events then fill in the spaces, so to speak?

    Robert Jordan

    No, I never "fill in the spaces." Sometimes I have to cut events out, because I've become entirely too patient, getting from one place to another. For the rest, I don't really have a "method" beyond telling the story.

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  • 26

    Jdieu

    I was just wondering two things: one, what books do YOU read, and what are some of the titles and types of your other written books? I'm really interested in reading more of your writing!

    Robert Jordan

    I read about four hundred or so books a year, half nonfiction, the fiction spread over almost every genre. I have written Westerns, historical fiction, international intrigue; I've ghostwritten some books; but everything except the fantasy is out of print at the moment.

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  • 27

    BelaHorse

    Why did you choose to go with such an experimental style for Lord of Chaos? It seems to me that Lord of Chaos is really just half a book. Many characters become more fully fleshed out but very little happens. Some characters seem to develop positively, others negatively—but all within a framework of "wait, wait, wait..." How did you choose this approach?

    Robert Jordan

    Sorry—that's just the way it worked out.

    Footnote

    If the concept of Lord of Chaos being 'half a book' confuses you, see the footnote of this Q&A from Erica Sadun's signing report.

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  • 28

    THopeB

    Robert Jordan, thank you very much for joining us in the Writers Club tonight!

    Robert Jordan

    Thanks, everybody, for having me.