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Interviews: Dragonmount Interview with Harriet McDougal

Summary:

Entries

15

Date

Dec 9th, 2002

Type

Verbatim

Links

Dragonmount

  • 1

    Dragonmount

    After recently helping her husband, Robert Jordan, finish Crossroads of Twilight, Harriet McDougal was kind enough to answer some questions from Dragonmount and wotmania.com. Here they are the good ones, listed below:

    We also interviewed Robert Jordan. Be sure to check out that interview, if you have not already done so.

  • 2

    Dragonmount

    Do you often correct inconsistencies in the books? Or does Robert do it himself?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    No, I don't correct inconsistencies. Robert has a wonderful assistant, Maria Simons, who helps enormously in this regard, together with her sidekick Alan Romanczuk. Robert writes long lists of questions for them, and they come up with the answers in time, so that inconsistencies mostly just don't happen. Maria also checks all proper nouns in the manuscript against our own super-glossary, and picks up the occasional glitch that way.

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  • 3

    Dragonmount

    Do you know what will happen in later books or do you have to "Read and Find out?"

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    I know a bit, but for the most part I have to RAFO, too.

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  • 4

    Dragonmount

    Do you ever find yourself reading to find out what happens next and forgetting about editing?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Yes! And so then I have to go back through it.

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  • 5

    Dragonmount

    Who is your favorite character?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Bela, the stout, shaggy little mare.

    DRAGONMOUNT

    Favorite book?

    HARRIET MCDOUGAL RIGNEY

    I love them all.

    DRAGONMOUNT

    Scene?

    HARRIET MCDOUGAL RIGNEY

    Ditto.

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  • 6

    Dragonmount

    Your husband once commented that he could walk into the room and you would know who he was writing about. If this is true, do you ever make him wait outside until he can stop being someone, for example, Padan Fain?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Well, I don't know EXACTLY who he's been writing, but if he's been writing somebody awful, like Padan, yes, I do know it. I never make him wait outside. I just hug him and give him a kiss, and he generally shakes himself like a retriever and begins to come out of it.

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  • 7

    Dragonmount

    How do you think his writing affects your relationship?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    It gives our relationship a tremendous amount of fun.

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  • 8

    Dragonmount

    What is your reaction to Robert telling people that all of the major female characters are partially based off of you? Doesn't that worry you a bit?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    No, it doesn't worry me. I am immensely flattered by it. And a bit amused. The cross wife who says, "you forgot to take the garbage out again": Is this REALLY Moghedien? Goodness!

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  • 9

    Dragonmount

    We've heard that you enjoy reading and writing poetry. Is that just a hobby for yourself, or has your stuff been published? If so, where can we find it?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    I have just begun (in January of this year) submitting stuff, and so far poems of mine have been accepted by Eureka Literary Magazine (ELM), Another Chicago Magazine, and Confrontation. I think Another Chicago Magazine will be out first, some time this winter, with a poem called "North Georgia Woods". Other poems are on submission all over the place. I'm having a wonderful time with this!

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  • 10

    Dragonmount

    Who are some of your favorite poets?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Galway Kinnell!!!! And Sharon Olds, and Mary Oliver, and John M. Ford and John O'Donohue. I've just bought James Tate to read, because of a yummy poem called "Teaching the Ape to Write Poems". A friend has just given me Marina Tsvetaeva, but I haven't read her yet. I also want to read some more Billy Collins. Among the dead white males, I really like Tennyson and Hopkins. And of course Shakespeare.

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  • 11

    Dragonmount

    From a professional point of view as RJ's editor, how many books do you think the series will end up running?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    I think twelve.

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  • 12

    Dragonmount

    How much influence over that number do you have as an editor do you think?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Something approaching Zip. It will depend on how many it takes for him to tell the story as he wants/needs to tell it.

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  • 13

    Dragonmount

    Do you ever call your husband Robert instead of his real name?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Only on book tour.

    DRAGONMOUNT

    Even if you're mad at him?

    HARRIET MCDOUGAL RIGNEY

    When I'm mad at him I call him a word that begins with A, with a lot of asterisks in it, or Warrior God, Perfect in Every Way. It is my contention that these mean the same thing....

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  • 14

    Question

    Do you know who killed Asmodean?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    No.

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  • 15

    Dragonmount

    Thank you, Harriet!