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Your search for the tag 'rj the man' yielded 79 results

  • 1

    Interview: Nov 21st, 1998

    Robert Jordan

    Jordan began with a reading, which was fairly short. He read the first few pages from chapter one of The Path of Daggers. I think I'm happier narrating them in my own internal voice. He then commenced with about an hour and a half of rapid signings. I asked politely if I could stand off to the side and record the answers to any questions that he gave. He and the Borders staff were very gracious. They seemed to expect it, somehow... I will make one comment about Mr. Jordan: he seems like a very nice man. He was obviously tired (he commented at one point that he had hit some 27 cities in 32 days) but was cheerful, engaging, willing to chat and banter and seemed generally pleased to be there.

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  • 2

    Interview: Jan, 1991

    Starlog Interview (Verbatim)

    William B. Thompson

    A sort of slenderized Burl Ives, with the same intelligent, probing eyes, ebullient manner, and faintly mischievous grin, Jordan, now in his 40s, is exploring the realm of fantasy after successful sojourns along a number of literary paths.

    Judging by the review and the sales—his pen seems as formidable as a highwayman's blade, or a sorcerer's talisman.

    Jordan, who also writes under the pseudonyms "Reagan O'Neal" and "Jackson O'Reilly," recently completed the second in a planned six-book fantasy series for Tor Books collectively entitled "The Wheel of Time." The first installment, The Eye of the World, was four years in the writing. It was released in February 1990 to broad acclaim, ascending the bestseller list. Volume two, The Great Hunt, was published this fall, with the third book tentatively scheduled for December 1991.

    Robert Jordan

    "Actually, I prefer not to use the term 'series' because it sounds so open-ended, like the writer will continue to produce books in the same creative surroundings indefinitely," says Jordan, a life-long resident of Charleston, South Carolina. "Each book is designed to stand alone. The Great Hunt is a sequel, yes, but I've put a good deal of effort into it to ensure that whoever picks it up first will not feel left out or cheated."

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  • 3

    Interview: Jan, 1991

    Starlog Interview (Verbatim)

    William B. Thompson

    And Jordan is by any measure a voracious reader. There is something evocative of the drawing room about the man, what with his passion for pipe collecting, military history and the sedate, contemplative pursuit of chess, billiards and poker. Yet he is likewise an avid outdoorsman, having a particular relish for hunting, fishing, and sailing.

    His approach to the process of writing is no less enthusiastic or studious.

    Robert Jordan

    "One description of the writing process I find apropos is that you start with a block of stone. Only you don't see the stone; you see a horse within the stone. As a sculptor, you would carve it out. A writer has to claw at it with his fingernails. It crumbles and fights all the way. You work and work on a leg and just can't get it right. Sometimes, you chew the leg off. Sometimes, you chew your own leg off. Sometimes, you sweat on the leg, hoping the salt will smooth it into the desired shape and contour. Then, reviewers come along and say they like or dislike the horse. Or critics say a horse is not what you intended at all.

    "Alternatively, writing fiction is telling imaginative lies. You put them on paper and somebody pays you for it. Both these ideas are equally true. And if you encompass both, you can be a writer. But you also want people to like it and you hope that what you've written is more than just tripe with a sauce on it."

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  • 4

    Interview: Oct, 1992

    Robert Jordan

    Jordan was quite interesting and personable. He said he used to be an engineer of some kind. He LOOKED and sounded somewhat like a computer-type (a little nerdy—I can say that, since I'm one too :-)). It took FOREVER to get through the few people who were there for the signing (it wasn't advertised, at least not very well), because he took a break between each book he signed to tell a little bit more about himself (which was definitely interesting). Several people asked, of course, how the series was going to end, and, of course, he wouldn't say, except to suggest finding out by buying the book when it's published. He mentioned that there was a special limited edition set of the four books in the series so far being published in leather bound, gold-inset (?) volumes, selling for around $200 (or was it $200 per book?). I think he said only 200 copies would be published (200 seemed to come up a lot in his dialogue :-)).

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  • 5

    Interview: 1994

    John-Mark Turner

    RJ was very patient and enthusiastic. He looked different than the picture mostly due to the dark tint in his glasses.

    Robert Jordan

    RJ also mentioned being unable to attend West Point due to poor vision in his left eye. Shannon Faulkner and the Citadel...he feels she should not be allowed to attend the Citadel because she lied on her application by not revealing her gender. He also feels that single sex education is beneficial for both men and women. He said men tend to be more successful in a competitive environment while women tend to excel in cooperative environments (e.g., studies have shown that girls that go to all girl colleges have less math fear, stress, etc. than coeds). He also mentioned that he personally feels that the physical standards suffer at military institutions when women attend. He talked about himself being shot down in a helicopter and having to run twenty-five miles literally and anyone who would have been unable to do that would not have survived.

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  • 6

    Interview: Oct 17th, 1994

    Daniel Rouk

    Jordan looks pretty much like the sketch, except add glasses. He was sitting in a nice comfortable chair calmly answering everyone's questions. Erica did rile him a little with one though. :-) He had a large ring on his right hand with some sort of reddish stone. Is this his Citadel ring? I don't know what one looks like, and didn't think to look when he actually signed my book.

    Now to the questions people asked and the answers. I hovered pretty close to the signing table to get as much in as I could...

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  • 7

    Interview: Oct 20th, 1994

    Delemin

    My dear fellow rasfwrjians, as (to the best of my knowledge) the only one of us to attend the signing at Science Fiction, Mysteries, and More on Thursday, I feel obliged to report what Jordan said there, and my impressions.

    Robert Jordan was stockier, shorter, and better cushioned than I expected. He wore a wide brimmed hat and walked with a cane with a ram's horn like handle. Generally he was open and friendly. When he came in late he explained that it was because Princess Di was in New York to meet Bill Clinton to discuss Vince Foster's suicide. However he made repeated references to being worn out and overworked by Lord of Chaos.

    Robert Jordan

    "If I work that hard on this one I'll die," he commented several times. Apparently he worked 12-14 hours a day, 7 days a week. In August (he usually finishes in May) the folks at Tor sequestered him in a hotel in New York City, where he finished the book in two weeks. He said he would try to get the book out on time but he figured we would rather have him finish a book late than finish his life early.

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  • 8

    Interview: Oct 20th, 1994

    Dennis Higbee

    I was at the Robert Jordan signing today at Forbidden Planet on 12th and Broadway in lower Manhattan, NYC. I'm not going to set the scene, except to say that the line wasn't too long, and it moved well. I found him and his wife (who was also present) to be a charming and personable couple. They went out of their way to by nice and patiently answered all my questions. None of them were really of any significance, but he did identify me as a net-denizen from the question "Is Bela ta'veren?" (Yes, I know it's been done, but I could not help myself.)

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  • 9

    Interview: Oct 23rd, 1994

    Brian Bax

    Since I lived in the sticks, I decided to differ from the norm and went to the signing thinking there wouldn't be a vast crowd, I was wrong sigh. I did manage to get all of my books signed which was great. I talked with RJ, but he appeared to be very distant which is understandable considering his position. What was really neat was that I was able to talk with Mrs. Jordan for 20 minutes. First off, she was an angel. She talked a lot about things that her husband couldn't since he was busy signing books.

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    It turns out that she's an editor for Tor, not only for her husband's work but for others as well. She said that The Eye of the World took four years to write because he had to create all of the countries in Randland first. As has been mentioned by others on the net, his first idea for the series is going to be the last scene; his next was the breaking down of Rand's door in The Eye of the World. The rest has been ad lib. from there.

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  • 10

    Interview: Oct 25th, 1994

    Tony Zbaraschuk

    Well, here's the Seattle signing report from the University of Washington bookstore. We had quite a lot of people (probably somewhere around 130-140, according to one of the UW reps there; he didn't think it was quite 150).

    Jordan was quite friendly and accessible, even on the factory line of signatures. I met several other net.inhabitants, and told one guy (who hadn't heard about it) about rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan; he said he'd log on immediately he got home that night.

    I got a number of questions answered, and heard the answers to many more. Herewith the digest. (There ARE some Lord of Chaos spoilers below.)

    Last chance to back out!

    OK, the straight scoop. At least, as straight a scoop as could be gotten. Following "answer" text is my paraphrase of Jordan comments. (I didn't have a tape recorder, sob.)

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  • 11

    Interview: Oct 25th, 1994

    Robert Jordan

    Speaking of the Net, Jordan did say (as noted before) that he'd read the FAQ, and was both impressed and amused by it. We got a lot of stuff right, and a lot of stuff wrong. We also have based a lot of discussion on "facts" we deduced that were actually wrong.

    He DID say that he had done some things in response to net.speculations. First, if we seemed to be getting too close to something he had intended to stay hidden for a while longer, he would tone it done in later books. And if we seemed to be going off on an incredible tangent (the "How could they think THAT?" sort of thing) he would correct it. In both cases, however, he only did this if it could be fitted unobtrusively into the book.

    Naturally, he refused to provide specifics. I asked if the linking discussion on the Net had led to the glossary entry in Lord of Chaos (which discussed linking in some depth). He said no, the info about linking has been in his notes all along, but he had to cut it out of previous glossaries in order to save space.

    Tony Zbaraschuk

    [I was discussing Moghedien's nature at this point, as an example of how wrong some of our deductions were [specifically mine about Moghedien's exact identity and the nature of her companions—see the FAQ, and compare with the Salidar sections in Lord of Chaos] and said that it was almost impossible to get a straight answer (or any info) out of Moghedien, and Harriet Jordan said that that was a lot like her husband; it was very hard to get info out of him.]

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  • 12

    Interview: Oct 26th, 1994

    Robert Jordan

    RJ had his infamous Mat Hat, but was not wearing it. One of the net. people there—I forget who; would he care to stand up and take credit?—sneaked over and took a peek at the tag inside, and then reported to us that it came from (I think I have this right) "Rand's Custom Hattery" in Billings, MT. Well, at least we now know what the Dragon Reborn does for a hobby...

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  • 13

    Interview: Oct 26th, 1994

    Greg

    My girlfriend asked him about the "Trolloc" horn on his cane.

    Robert Jordan

    He said it was a ram's horn.

    About the time the line was getting fairly long and the people a little restless, someone told RJ that he'd love to have a new WoT book out in February, then another in March, then another in April... RJ asked the crowd (aka "the lynch mob") to turn on this guy.

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  • 14

    Interview: Oct 28th, 1994

    Robert Jordan

    The real Robert Jordan was late arriving (he had an earlier signing and then an interview) and asked for a three book limit. I had six books so got to talk to him twice. He looked kind of tired and seemed to be in a hurry to get to everyone. Most of my questions got a 'read and find out.' He said he had read the 'Is Bela a Darkfriend?' thread from this group. He shook his head in a bemused manner as he said this.

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  • 15

    Interview: Oct 28th, 1994

    Eric Piquette

    I also asked his wife if she was having fun touring the U.S.

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    She said yes, but also that it was tiring.

    Eric C. Piquette

    Indeed, RJ looked like he was ready for the whole thing to be over with, but he still maintained a friendly demeanor. I also really liked his hat.

    Cuen

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  • 16

    Interview: Oct 30th, 1994

    Matthew Hunter

    The signing in Cincinnati was actually quite successful—very little crowd, which made me happy (lots of time to get to know The Creator) and him happy (150+ people showed up in Lexington the day or so before, which he said was draining). The hat and cane were there...

    The bookstore was also passing out the poster-size maps to the first couple of people who showed up... I was late, and didn't get one, but they said they'd order one... :)

    Here's what I got out of him:

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  • 17

    Interview: Oct 28th, 1994

    Michael Thompson

    My wife, my mother, and I arrived at Flights of Fantasy in Santa Monica about 5 minutes after six last night (October 28). We were given numbers 23 and 24. Robert Jordan hadn't arrived so everyone just milled around inside the store which became quite warm. I was wearing my Bela '96 button (ftp://netcom.com/pub/morgno/wot/bela.gif), but nobody commented on it. I heard no indication that any other rasfwrj readers were present, but then, I didn't ask. Someone had two children there, but they seemed ordinary children, not wide eyed and clinging, and I had no reason to suspect that Moghedien was among the crowd.

    About 6:20, they started lining us up, announced a three book limit and requested that we write our names down so he would know how to sign it. I would guess there were maybe fifteen people behind us before the line went out the door.

    A brief moment later, he entered the back of the store wearing, as foreshadowed in the previous signing reports, the hat and carrying the Trolloc-horn cane. The hat and cane were more impressive than I had expected. His wife (I presume—no announcement or introductions were made) has a streak of white in her hair, so I immediately wondered if she were one of the Black Ajah, but she has far too much presence and charisma for that.

    From reading reports from the other signings, I knew there wasn't much point in asking any substantive questions. Since the books usually do answer the questions eventually, there's no need to ask what's going to happen; in fact, such are really spoilers anyway. One young man was brandishing three printed pages of questions. The young man stationed himself off Jordan's left shoulder and sort of shouted out questions whenever there was a pause in the action. I don't expect he got much, but perhaps if the young man is one of us, he'll post his results here.

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  • 18

    Interview: Oct 30th, 1994

    Robert Jordan

    I asked if he had anything he wanted to pass on to the net as a whole, and he responded, "50% of the FAQ (pre-The Fires of Heaven) is wrong."

    He wants a copy of the latest FAQ, which I presume can wait until we can incorporate the primary points from Lord of Chaos into it. PNH, can we send that through you or through some other medium?

    He likes Mexican food and treats his driver well. ;)

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  • 19

    Interview: Jun 16th, 1995

    Robert Jordan

    About being shy: RJ claimed that he's been voted the most retiring man in the world for six years running. Has he been reading signatures from this newsgroup?

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  • 20

    Interview: Oct, 1994

    Dave Slusher

    Introduction: July 13, 2008

    Hello, and welcome to the Reality Break podcast. I'm your host Dave Slusher.

    This episode we have an archived interview conducted with the late James Rigney, who is better known by his pen name, Robert Jordan. I spoke with him in his hotel room in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1994 while he was on tour with the sixth Wheel of Time book, Lord of Chaos. His bibliography hardly needs introduction as he is one of the best-known fantasy authors of all time, but let's do it anyway. He was the author of the Wheel of Time series, of which eleven volumes have been published, and the twelfth and final volume is due in late 2009. He was the author of eight Conan novels and a number of other novels outside of the fantasy genre. Sadly, he passed away from cardiac amyloidosis in September of 2007.

    A few words about the circumstances of this interview. Because I overheard him as I was about to knock on his hotel room door, I know that right before we sat down to do the interview, he thought I was an idiot. Despite that, and despite the fact that I was kind of lost after having read 500 pages of Book Five of the series—I still didn't really know what was going on—this interview turned out pretty well. I learned some interesting things about him and his work. And about a month after we conducted this interview, I got a nice hand-written note from him, thanking me at some length for taking the time to sit down with him and interview him.

    He lived in Charleston, South Carolina, which is about 90 miles from where I am right now, and he was every bit the southern gentleman. He is mourned by his legion of friends and fans, and I consider myself lucky to have met the man. And now, without further ado, here is the 1994 interview with author Robert Jordan.

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  • 21

    Interview: Jun 21st, 1996

    Brian Ritchie

    I think that's all that was said of any significance. The rest was personal info that I don't think is important here, and I'm not sure a lot of this was either. BTW, both Mr. and Mrs. RJ are very friendly, outgoing people and were fun to talk with.

    Am I the only one that thinks he looks like an older Bayle Domon?

    This could lead to some interesting speculations. From his web site picture, I'd say Novak might be related.

    Robert Jordan

    RJ seems to actually like the DKS covers. However, he disliked the cover of one of his books that someone brought. (I believe it was the UK version of The Great Hunt.) It was mostly light blue and lavender/purple. He disliked the artwork, not just the color scheme.

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  • 22

    Interview: Jun 27th, 1996

    AOL Chat 1 (Verbatim)

    OMNI Muse

    I was at Balticon and I was quite impressed by your Guest of Honor speech and your commitment to literacy.

    Robert Jordan

    Thank you, Muse! :)

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  • 23

    Interview: Oct 22nd, 1998

    Pam Basham

    A little of this, a little of that. Some general stuff about the signing, self-indulgent personal impressions and Q/A. For those of you just interested in facts, RJ's answers are at the bottom.

    NOTE: I've only read about half the book, so please use Spoiler Protection in any replies. Only one of my questions pertained particularly to new information in The Path of Daggers, and it may be a non-issue by the end of the book, so sorry if it's already been talked about.

    As a member of the "great lurker hordes," per Aaron Bergman's NY Signing Report, I'm here to assert our existence. I kept trying to ferret out members of the 'froup by asking pointed questions like, "So... how did you find out about this signing?" and throwing out random bits of 'froupness such as information about the NY Signing. But no one one around us bit. I kept looking for Tony Z., Julie Kangas or Hohn Cho (sorry if I mangled the spelling), but either my memory's going and I didn't recognize them after 2-1/2 years (post-A Crown of Swords Darkfriends Social) or I didn't see them. The line went up the block to the corner, but I'd guess that it was a considerably smaller crowd than in NYC.

    At any rate, after getting stuck at Sta. Monica Blvd. and the 405 Fwy and wishing desperately for a gateway we could drive through, we (my husband, Kevin, and I) arrived at Flights of Fantasy at 4:30 and there were a couple dozen people in line ahead of us. As it was my first Jordan signing and I was too manic to stand still, I ended up in the store spending money. As I signed my life away to the credit company for a copy of Legends, RJ arrived at the back of the store. I found it extremely gratifying to find out that even store owners get nervous about such things as RJ arriving at their back door while they're finishing up a sale.

    Back outside, in line, the store personnel announced that RJ would be signing only WOT books, and no personalizations, please. Legends, for the purposes of the signing, was considered WOT. We were not, however, obliged to buy The Path of Daggers there, or to include it as one of the two books signed.

    There seemed to be a number of people there who weren't actual fans, serving as ambulatory book holders for friends or family. So perhaps that made RJ a little more tolerant about answering questions from the people who are reading the books. But he seemed genuinely interested in talking about them, and was very warm and responsive.

    Harriet was with him, and I was really pleased to meet her, as well. She's a lovely, elegant lady. But she sat up suddenly with a startled look several times during our chat, and the whole effect was somehow birdlike. I couldn't help but think of Verin in her "pay no attention to the little brown sister in the corner" mode.

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  • 24

    Interview: Oct 24th, 1998

    Drew Gillmore

    I don't remember most of the other questions. A couple of interesting things I do remember, however:

    Robert Jordan

    The first is that the reason The Path of Daggers seems short is that Jordan could not go any farther without writing a whole lot more. The stage it seems, is once again set. Another interesting thing was Jordan asking Hawk if she was into leather, and if she was "top, bottom, or switch".

    Dirty old man, indeed.

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  • 25

    Interview: Oct 25th, 1998

    Robert Jordan

    He said the book-signing tour will run through November 22nd. He'll spend two days fishing in Canada, and then return home to Charleston for Thanksgiving. (He said he finds being on tour exhausting, and always spends the following several days doing nothing at all.) After Thanksgiving, he'll start in on the next volume.

    Someone mentioned the Internet-based rumors about him suffering from heart attacks / other forms of poor health. I couldn't tell from his expression whether RJ was amused or annoyed: Probably both equally. He replied that he's in good health with a resting heart rate of 71 beats per minute and good cholesterol.

    He told quite a few people that the series would be requiring a minimum of three more volumes, perhaps more—and pointed out that he'd had to find time to work on "New Spring" and the Guide, in addition to The Path of Daggers. He also pointed out that, so far, the books have always been published within a month of completion, which he called "instantaneous for the publishing world". He stressed that he wants to reach the end (the final scene that he worked out 15 years ago), and would like to be "as compact as possible". (He said "Don't laugh.")

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  • 26

    Interview: Oct 25th, 1998

    Question

    Another reader asked how long he's been married to Harriet.

    Robert Jordan

    He said 18 years—and that he has to have Harriet remind him, since it seems like last month.

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  • 27

    Interview: Oct 29th, 1998

    Kevin Bartlett

    Hello all,

    Last night I went to the Seattle signing at the UW bookstore, and all in all it was ... anticlimactic. Admission was ticketed, and in order to get a ticket, you had to have a receipt from the bookstore for The Path of Daggers, Legends or The World of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. There were 350 tickets distributed, but more people showed up, and they waited in a first-come, first-served line. He would only sign two hardcover books per ticketholder from the WoT, Legends, or The World of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time.

    Of approximately 400 people, I was the only person who tried to ask him plot-related questions, as far as I know. I stood around up near the front until my number (157) was almost up, and heard not a single interesting tidbit. He should really consider putting together a Signing FAQ: "Book 9 will be published shortly after I finish writing it." "There will be at least three more books in the series, and that's a minimum. I've known the last scene of the last book since I started writing, and the series will keep on going until I get there." He must have gotten really tired of giving those answers.

    I only got to ask two of the five questions I had prepared, and I got one RAFO (sigh). Here they are (my answers are paraphrased, but accurate):

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  • 28

    Interview: Nov 15th, 1998

    Michael Martin

    RJ was very personable and seemed to genuinely enjoy the interaction with the fans. I was disappointed, however, by how few questions there were—most people simply stood there silently while he signed. I was also surprised by how few people seemed to know about the newsgroup, the FAQ, and the Compleat Index.

    There were a number of people there who were only partway through the series (although I guess we all are only partway through the series!) and many had not yet read the book.

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  • 29

    Interview: Nov 18th, 1998

    John Hamby

    Well I went to the signing. A nice crowd and rather quiet. Highlight of waiting was the mall cop rousting all the people sitting on the floor reading as they waited. Seems it lowered the tone of the august King of Prussia Mall. The 'cop' explained that "mall shoppers might get the wrong impression". He was a bit baffled when the guy next to me told him that since Gene's had a policy that RJ would only be signing books bought from their store, everyone in line was a "shopper".

    Apparently the picture in the back flap went unnoticed. RJ sat down at the table and few people even noticed him. I made the comment that he was there and people kept looking around to spot him. RJ seemed rather amused by this.

    Once again most people seemed reluctant to ask him any questions. Almost everyone in front of me had their book handed to him and said thank you after he signed it. When the first question was asked RJ actually seemed to be relieved. Unfortunately it was impossible to hear what he did say to anyone else.

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  • 30

    Interview: Nov 21st, 1998

    Robert Jordan

    Another thing I found amusing was that a woman behind me talked about how she lives where RJ originates (Charleston?). He supposedly takes his bicycle around town, waving at people and ringing the bell on his bike.

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  • 31

    Interview: Aug 27th, 1999

    Robert Jordan

    We talked about touring, I asked him whether his signature ever got wobbly, and he said he had it down to a fine art, and could do 1200 sigs in 90 minutes. He went right off at John Grisham when he found out the first edition of his first book was worth $450,000, and I told him I felt the same way about Sara Douglass. After hearing my criticisms, he decided that he'd have to read them, so he bought the books there and then.

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  • 32

    Interview: Aug 30th, 1999

    Sastan

    Yesterday (Monday 30th August) Robert Jordan appeared at the Independent Theatre in Sydney. Here's how it went.

    FOOTNOTE

    A verbatim account of this Q&A session can be found here.

    SASTAN

    After about half and hour of wine and finger food we filed in to the theatre. When Robert Jordan appeared, I, and a number of people were shocked; we had passed by him a number of times in the hallway without recognising him; he's much larger than I expected him, and at first I mistook him for an Irishman.

    RJ, and two other people were on the stage, while the rest of us down below at our seats. RJ was the only person who did not use a microphone—he has a large booming voice that carried well across the theatre.

    Anyway, the Independent Bookstore rep introduced RJ and allowed him to speak a little about how glad he was to be there etc. Then he began reading from The Path of Daggers, part of the prologue. We were all bored, and at the end of that, he gave us the option of continuing to listen to him read, or he could leave (he really did). So he next chose The Dragon Reborn, and spent about 10 minutes on that. At the end of that we all dutifully clapped.

    The rep then told us about RJ, details about his tour of duties, what medals he was awarded, and other details that we only had a basic knowledge of before (I did not record it, so I can't recall what exactly they were).

    Then question time.

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  • 33

    Interview: Sep 20th, 1999

    Joel Gilmore

    I forgot to ask about Rahvin, Rand and the fish, but I'm seeing him again tomorrow :) so I'll ask him then.

    We stayed right till the end, and left with him, going down in the lift together and everything. I found him a really nice guy, and very friendly.

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  • 34

    Interview: Sep 20th, 1999

    Willum

    I had my 1990 Tor hardback version of The Eye of the World signed, but I was chagrined to realise that other people were getting two or three books signed. Oh well.

    Finally, I would like to say that RJ seemed like a very polite and patient man, who was generous with his time. We probably annoyed the hell out of him asking him questions after the talk, and even though half the answers were RAFO, he made an attempt to answer each sensible one.

    Harriet sat next to him during the signing, and seemed to me to be a very polite and forthcoming person. I can believe she is the model for the better qualities in RJ's female characters, but I had no inkling of the darker ones, but it was clear that in many matters RJ defers to her and respects her judgement.

    RJ and Harriet had just returned from New Zealand (RJ had been fishing) and their schedule seemed pretty hectic. Next stop for them was Lizard Island, and I assured Harriet that they would have the time of their lives there.

    Apart from the drunk idiot sitting a couple of seats down from Joel and I during RJ's talk, everything went very well and I think everyone had a very good evening.

    --

    Willum

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  • 35

    Interview: Mar, 2000

    Locus Online

    ROBERT JORDAN: The Name Behind the Wheel (excerpted from Locus Magazine, March 2000)

    James Oliver Rigney, Jr. was born October 17, 1948 in Charleston, South Carolina. He served in the military, seeing action in Vietnam, from 1968 to 1970, and attended the military school The Citadel in South Carolina, graduating with a degree in physics in the mid-'70s.

    His early novels, written as by Reagan O'Neal, were historical family sagas beginning with The Fallon Blood (1980). A western Cheyenne Raiders, under pseudonym Jackson O'Reilly, came out in 1982. Under the name Robert Jordan, he did the 1982 novelization of the Conan movie, followed by six more "Conan" books. His first independent fantasy novel, The Eye of the World (1990), also written as by Robert Jordan, is the beginning of the ongoing "Wheel of Time" series. It was followed by The Great Hunt (1990), The Dragon Reborn (1991), The Shadow Rising (1992), The Fires of Heaven (1993), Lord of Chaos (1994), A Crown of Swords (1996), and The Path of Daggers (1998). The ninth volume, Winter's Heart, is scheduled for later this year.

    He is married to Tor executive editor Harriet McDougal. They live in Charleston, South Carolina.

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  • 36

    Interview: Nov 10th, 2000

    Robert Jordan

    RJ rolled in at almost exactly 7, and by that time, the line really did stretch all throughout the store and outside! RJ nuts of all shapes, sizes, and varying degrees of hotness were there, and we were having a good time jeering at the girl in front of us who thought that whoever helped out Rand in Shadar Logoth was a GOOD guy.

    Then, they brought Jordan out, and we all started hopping up and down excitedly. (Well, not ALL of us...but the ones that are worth speaking of. Heh.) Jordan looks a bit like someone's grandfather, except witty, and if your grandfather happened to be a retired badass. He had his cane, ring, and glasses, and a charming, witty style of speaking. This may just be fandom talking, but he seemed like someone you'd genuinely want to spend an idle evening with, shooting the breeze.

    So, being near the beginning of the line, we only had to wait while some fetching young female types had their picture made with RJ (Mmm...lechery).

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  • 37

    Interview: Nov 27th, 2000

    Robert Jordan

    He was in a pretty good mood, and joked a bit about the rumors of health problems—he told a story about a couple of Hell's Angels at a signing who said they'd desecrate his grave if he died before finishing the series.

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  • 38

    Interview: Nov 28th, 2000

    Robert Jordan

    He went on about other things but all in all, he was a nice guy who was down to earth. Actually made a joke about Anne Rice too. The owner of the book store thanked him and then thanked those that had come to the signing. Jordan said: "Well I usually don't get the type that want the books signed in their own blood. Or even come to the signing in a coffin... wait, that was Anne Rice herself."

    His wife was seen wandering around the store but never came to the table.

    —done rambling—

    ~B

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  • 39

    Interview: Nov 29th, 2000

    Brian

    Some more random RJ stuff for those that are actually reading these posts...

    Robert Jordan

    —Pulled up in a black stretch limo with police escort (one car).

    —Opened up with the same exact intro as Raleigh.

    —As I had him sign the 'Faces of Fantasy' book he was talking about the picture. He said that the photographer came in and saw his chair and that he was actually on his way to a "black tie affair and she had to have me in my tux". Then he said "ya know, I wasn't trying to be all suave you know."

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  • 40

    Interview: Jan 11th, 2003

    Robert Jordan

    He then retired to his signing table and began autographing away. I took up a position about 15 feet away so I could listen to some of his discourse with the audience. When signing the first book his ink ran out. At this point he seemed to panic somewhat. His host scrambled to find a solution, but Jordan stated repeatedly that he needed "his case", a black attaché-style pouch that apparently had ink replacements. Several fans quickly offered their own pens, but Jordan replied that he greatly preferred the "Census" pen as it had a cushioned section that made it much easier to hold the pen for hours at a time. Apparently growing somewhat uncomfortable, Mr. Jordan summoned his wife loudly by bellowing "Harriet!" into the crowd—disquieting some of the fans. Soon she appeared to soothe him and search for the case. Apparently they had brought the wrong style of replacements. The issue was soon resolved and signing resumed.

    Signing was limited to two hard-covers per person, though they were permitted to return to the end of the line for more signatures as time permitted. Personalizations were discouraged. Mr. Jordan allowed photos, though he called out that he had one rule: "Men must keep their clothes on."

    One fan brought a British edition of Crossroads of Twilight to the signing table. Jordan happily signed, but became agitated as he described to the immediate audience that the British publishers had lied to him. "They told me that under no circumstance would they release the book before the American release date." Despite this pledge, however, his novel was released in late December rather than in January. He further commented "you only get one chance to lie to me." I suppose we will have to wait and see the ramifications of this British publishing error at the time of the next book's release. Jordan commented that "perhaps I will not even send them my manuscript until after the American audience already has their novels in print."

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  • 41

    Interview: Oct 2nd, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    For HotW-Moiraine, yes, the bearded man ter'angreal could be said to be my Alfred Hitchcock moment. In Knife of Dreams, you'll learn what it does.

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  • 42

    Interview: Jul 14th, 2005

    Diomedes

    Well, that's all I'm going to put in this post. It's not a complete account, and it's not in any particular order. If you actually managed to read this entire thing, I tip my cap to you. I have to say that I have a new respect for RJ after seeing him in person. He's obviously an incredibly smart guy, with a huge knowledge base. He's was also incredibly generous in his responses, and much funnier than I thought he would be. All in all, I had a great time, and if you ever have the opportunity to go see RJ speak in person, I highly recommend doing so.

    Diomedes

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  • 43

    Interview: Oct 22nd, 2005

    Allentrace

    After several minutes of questions RJ moved to signing books, with groups of 25 at a time being called into line. All during the time I was waiting for my turn I watched RJ's interaction with the people whose books he was signing, and I can say without hesitation he was one of the nicest authors I have ever met. He never seemed bored by questions the individuals asked (even repetitive ones) as they were getting their books signed and always seemed enthused to answer them. When it came my time I was only too happy to have him shake my hand and take a picture of him signing my books. As I mentioned I would be attending the Anchorage, AK signing, he said that he was happy to be able to go and meet his AK fans and to get some salmon fishing done. It was a great day and I was happy to find that one of my favorite authors is also such a nice man.

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  • 44

    Interview: Oct 31st, 2005

    Darren

    The nice Vroman's clerk gave a quick intro to Mr. Jordan, going over his decorations from the wars he’s been in, his career and other distinctions.

    Robert Jordan

    Mr. Jordan looked a little tired, but was in good spirits when he took to the podium. He acknowledged those of us who read about this sort of thing on the net by asking us to chant along with him when he gave us his caveats of what not to ask—when the next book is out, who killed Asmodean, how long will the next book be, etc. Even for those of us that knew the answers, we were laughing along with him and his dry delivery.

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  • 45

    Interview: Oct 31st, 2005

    Darren

    RJ was so amiable, and pleasant. He had a quick word for everyone getting their books signed, and posed for pictures. I was so excited to get them signed I forgot to ask my well planned question, "Who didn't kill Asmodean?".

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  • 46

    Interview: Sep 28th, 2007

    Will McDougal

    Thank you for all your support. James Oliver Rigney was a remarkable man. I am proud to have known him, to have been raised by him and to know him as a father.

    I wrote the following 2 days after he passed away. It seemed to me that some readers might like to know some of the following. Thanks again for your support.

    The death of Jim is undeniable. His absence is undeniable.

    His presence is absent from my life like a mountain might be over time, but with Jim, it was in three hours.

    I arrived 10am, my cousin Mary somehow pulled strings at airport. She was able to park Jim's car at the curb of the terminal building and then get to the gate to meet me so that we could get to the hospital as quickly as possible.

    I took turns with others and sat with him on and off for 4 or 5 hours. He was incapable of speech. Somehow he had developed a fever but it was unclear what the reason was. They gave him every test to determine the reason. Tom Jones called. I put him on speakerfone and held the phone to Jim's ear. TJ told him that he loved him and wished he was there. Jim definitely responded as though he recognized Tom's voice. He smiled and closed his eyes, and I think he felt Tom's love.

    This fever, on top of myriad critical breakdowns, was killing him. Occasionally, he trembled as though extremely alarmed. I think he was having nightmares.

    I kept wiping his forehead with a damp cool towel. I held his hand. I encouraged him to rest easy. I told him I loved him.

    In a little while his breathing began to slow.

    There were many of us there, his family. Only two people were allowed at a time as visitors to see him. Will [Wilson] and my mother were with Jim—I had been asleep in the waiting room. They woke and got me. He had died.

    His breathing had kept slowing. He had begun to die and he did die very peacefully. His breathing simply stopped.

    It was obvious when I saw his body. He was gone. This tremendous man had moved on. I knew that this body on the bed had been Jim. I knew that the fire which moved him, which was Jim, was no longer in that body.

    I knew that the loss of the fire of his life was who I mourned. His presence. His force.

    What a wild ! and ferocious spirit. What a fire.

    James Oliver Rigney was a great man of mind and heart. He loved learning and he loved spinning yarns. He was extremely playful and would become a cast of different characters. He occasionally became the character of the drunken Irish butler who was contractually bound to live under the stairs. The one who had to confess he had been watering the whisky, but only moderately, and never on the Sabbath. He had an immaculate Irish accent. His singing voice was beautiful. He loved to sing sea-chantys and anything else. He sang loud and strong and clear. On holidays and dinner parties he would sing for hours.

    He was a very funny man. And what I think I loved most about his sense of humor was how funny He thought his jokes were. Not that he was a bad joke teller! He could spin some of the most absurd stories, which might begin quite casually and matter-of-factly. Upon delivery of the punch line or if he realized that my adolescent gullibility had waned, sometimes his face would turn bright red and he would laugh intensely, and silently, as though the mirth in it, if given voice, would knock out the walls of the house. His belly bouncing.

    He would tell me the sad stories of the Nauga. I was 11 or 12. He spoke about "the huge numbers of those doomed rodents—all slaughtered to make so many couches and chairs." That was a perennial favorite of his. Explaining where naugahyde came from. That, and his suggestions that the "barrel-method" was optimal for rearing children. "It's quite simple, you see. You deposit the child in the barrel when he remains, if a boy, until his 35th birthday." She-children, of course, released upon their 18th birthday. He used to smoke a custom blend of tobacco in a pipe, one of hundreds of pipes he had collected. He was clear with his strategy for health as a result of smoking. "You see," he began, "I intend to become as though a creosote log, coated in tar and hence impregnable to nature's wear and tear." In short he would finish that of this he "was certain." Under the brim of his dark fedora I could see the light in his eye and it was a playful light. I can see him now. I love you Jim.

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  • 47

    Interview: Mar 19th, 2010

    Luckers

    How did you get involved in working for the Wheel of Time? What did you do before that led to this job?

    Maria Simons

    Back in the late 80s, I worked as an editor for a small publisher in California. It went belly-up, and I became a stay-at-home mom for a number of years. In 1994, we moved home to Charleston, and I needed work. I had one part-time job, but needed more. My husband ran into Harriet on the street one day in January of 1996, and asked her if she knew anyone who needed an editor. She didn't, but did say that she and Jim needed help answering fan mail. We saw the two of them at a party soon thereafter, and Jim and I talked about my coming in for that, and sized each other up (we had met before, but just socially). Soon afterwards, I came home from my other job to find a note: Jim Rigney called; he has some work for you (I still have that note). I started out working twelve hours a week on fanmail and filing. Harriet told me later that the reason that she wanted to hire me was that she knew that with editorial experience, I would know my way around proofs and galleys. After a year, I went to work full time for Jim.

    Luckers

    So how long have you worked on the Wheel of Time?

    Maria Simons

    If we count the fanmail as working on the Wheel of Time, it's been just over fourteen years.

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  • 48

    Interview: Mar 19th, 2010

    Luckers

    Were you aware of the Wheel of Time prior to taking it on as a job? Had you read it?

    Maria Simons

    Back in 1991, I was visiting my husband's family. My young brother-in-law (14 at the time) showed me this huge book. "You have to read it. It's great! And it was written by our cousin!" (That's not quite accurate. Harriet's aunt married my husband's great-uncle, so there are shared cousins, but no actual blood relationship. But in Charleston, it's close enough to claim). He kept on and on, so finally I picked it up just to get him off my back. That book was The Eye of the World, and I loved it. I ran out and bought copies of Eye and The Great Hunt and sent them to my husband (he was in Panama on military duty). I also read The Great Hunt, of course. After that, we eagerly awaited each book, and grabbed them as soon as possible (by this time I had joined my husband in Panama). When we visited Charleston, my husband would head over to Harriet and Jim's and get them autographed. I don't know why I never went; it probably had something to do with having two small children. I finally met Jim at a family gathering in 1994; I managed to contain myself and not go all fangirl on him, but I did enjoy talking to him. By that time, I had read Eye at least six times, The Great Hunt five, The Dragon Reborn four, etc.

    Luckers

    Ok, so once you started reading the series what was it that really got you hooked?

    Maria Simons

    I'm a character-driven reader, so any book that hooks me does so primarily because of the characters. So, on the first go, it was the characters that grabbed me. The world-building and lovely convoluted plot with so many mysteries didn't hurt, either. I just loved the books.

    Luckers

    Do you still do frequent re-reads? How many times would you say you've read the series to date?

    Maria Simons

    I don't actually read the books straight through anymore. I did read The Eye of the World after Jim died, but usually I read them in bits and pieces. A lot of times when I'm trying to answer a question from Brandon or fans, I'll get distracted from my search and find a scene that I love, and read it. At one point, I worked out that I had read The Eye of the World at least 20 times. It's kind of scary, sometimes; when I'm looking for a particular scene, I pick up the book, open it, and I'm at the scene that I'm looking for. Sometimes Alan and I race; he searches the digital copy for something, and I pick up the book. I frequently win.

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  • 49

    Interview: Mar 19th, 2010

    Luckers

    What did you do for Robert Jordan as a part of that job, and how much as that changed since his passing?

    Maria Simons

    My job has constantly evolved. First there was fanmail and filing. Then the audiobook project got underway, and someone had to go through and mark all of the changes in point of view so that Michael Kramer could read the male POVs and Kate Reading could read the female ones. Jim decided that I could do that, so, much to my delight, I was getting paid to read The Wheel of Time. I was in hog heaven, of course. At that time, Jim was finishing up A Crown of Swords, and when the proofs came in, Harriet suggested that I assist in going through them, but Jim said no, he didn't want to spoil me. I was crushed. Over the next year or so, though, my job broadened. He gave me the in-house glossary to tidy up, and some of his notes to consolidate. He also would give me lists of questions like "Has character A ever met Character B?" and "Give me three examples of character C's speech" and "Find me all of the information you can on what a baby feels as he's being born." By the time he had The Path of Daggers ready to give to Harriet for editing, I had convinced him that I could help with maintaining our house glossary going forward, and he decided that I would get the pages at the same time Harriet did. Harriet encouraged me to edit as well, and I would do that and pass the pages on to her. I don't know if any of my edits made it into the final book, but Harriet did begin recommending me for freelance editing.

    I did other things as well. Jim had a massive personal library, and mentioned that he would love for it to be cataloged; I cobbled together a classification system, using WordPerfect mail merge. I also cataloged his music collection, and kept the existing catalog of movies updated. I did shopping for him, arranged appointments, worked on the Wizards of the Coast RPG and the New Spring comics. When the new cat went missing, I made and put up posters in the neighborhood (we found her hiding under the house, eventually); when cranes and herons started stealing goldfish, I was given fox urine to spread around the pond to discourage them (Jim did encourage me to delegate; I managed to pass that one on to someone else. It smelled so bad that that idea was soon abandoned and we covered the fish pond with a net. I still sometimes find huge birds staring hungrily at the fish when I walk out there). Eventually I took over the bookkeeping as well. He took to calling me his right arm. Over time, I picked up assistants, two of whom are still with me: Marcia Warnock, who took over the book catalog, spread the fox urine, keeps me in office supplies, handles all the annoying phone calls, and keeps me on schedule; and Alan Romanczuk, who took over the questions and research, became our IT specialist, and assists with the bookkeeping, among many other things.

    Then, after the Knife of Dreams tour, Jim was diagnosed with amyloidosis. Our focus changed somewhat; we all worked to help him and Harriet as much as we could. After the night that Jim told the ending to Wilson and Harriet, I would sit and talk with him about the end of the series, with a tape recorder running. The last thing that we did together was select the winners of the calendar art contest. Note: I didn't select, I just gave him the art and took notes, and then emailed the winning names to Tor. That was two days before his death.

    The significant thing that has changed about my job since then is that Jim isn't here. It's quieter—there is no big, booming voice calling "Maria!" or singing as he comes in the office. There's no one explaining military stuff to me and making it really clear and interesting. There's no one sitting at his desk wearing a silly hat. What I do at my job hasn't changed that much. Now I work directly for Harriet, who is as wonderful a boss as Jim was. When Brandon has questions about the books, I work on finding answers, as does Alan. When Brandon sends us a book, I go through it looking for continuity errors, just as I did with Jim, and suggesting other changes, just as before. I still do the bookkeeping with Alan's help, and other banal stuff. I know a lot more fans now, of course; I went to JordanCon, DragonCon, and the Charleston and New York booksignings for The Gathering Storm. I can hardly wait until JordanCon 2, which as I type is 11 weeks and 1 day away.

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  • 50

    Interview: Mar 19th, 2010

    Luckers

    I always knew Team Jordan was a close-knit group, but I get the sense from this that Jordan Estate was more like its own little community, with Jim as a sort of patriarch and all of you working to support each other. Was this how it was for you? And did this help you all in the wake of Jim's passing?

    Maria Simons

    Heh. That's more or less it, but . . . let me tell you a story. One day, many years ago, I went into Jim's office. While there, I mentioned some problem that I was having (I have no idea what it was; it was that long ago). Jim immediately proceeded to give me chapter and verse on what to do. I answered that I was going to think about it more, and then went upstairs to my office. A few minutes passed, and then there was the booming "Maria!" from the bottom of the stairs. I went out, and he said that he was sorry for going all patriarchal on me, that I was a grown, capable woman and that I should do what I thought best. I hadn't even thought twice about it, but he was worried that he had overstepped his bounds. Therefore, I hesitate to call him a patriarch. He was our leader.

    So we all worked together. It's a strange little group, sort of random, but not really. Harriet was at my wedding; she appears in some of the pictures taken. Jim may have been there (really, most of that day is a blur in my memory), but he was probably off writing. Marcia was once my husband's boss. She and I share the same birthday, and almost no one can tell us apart when we answer the phone. Alan's son went to the same school as my sons; I became friends with his wife before I ever met him, and he later coached my son's tennis team (It was at a tennis match that his wife suggested he might be interested in working with us). We're coworkers, yes, but we are friends too. We watch out for each other, and we've always joked that we're more like a family than a business. Dealing with Jim's illness brought us all even closer. We pulled together, and supported each other. And yes, it very much did help us when he died, and since.

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  • 51

    Interview: Mar 19th, 2010

    Luckers

    You said Jim didn't like to spoil you. Did this include you having access to the notes on pre-existing issues—as in resolutions to current mysteries and plotlines? I guess the question is, how much insider information did you have along the way? And, as a fan, did it ever make you gasp (squeal, laugh, pull your braid...)?

    Maria Simons

    In the early days, Jim didn't want to spoil me. After not getting to work on A Crown of Swords, I went on a campaign to convince Jim that I didn't mind spoilers, doing things like pointing out that I frequently reread murder mysteries. I finally had some success. At some point, early on (I think 1997ish) he realized that he had multiple files with the same name in his gazillions of notes. He asked me if I would be willing to consolidate notes, given that it was quite possible that I would find spoilers. I gave him an emphatic yes, and he passed the notes to me. The first thing I did was look up Verin; it was amazingly cool to get the scoop on her. I may have squealed. And I knew who killed Asmodean pretty early on, too. Some things he did keep hidden, though. He really enjoyed pulling off surprises..

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  • 52

    Interview: Jun 30th, 2010

    Luckers

    On to the books themselves, I was wondering...knowing Jim as well as you did, were there any plot points or developments in the series in which he truly surprised you? If so could you elaborate on one?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Well, in editing The Eye of the World, I asked him something about what would happen once they got to Tar Valon, and he said, "They don't get there in this book, Harriet." He surprised (and delighted) me all the time.

    Luckers

    And were there such surprises (to you) in the layout of the next two books?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Yes there were. RAFO.

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  • 53

    Interview: Jun 30th, 2010

    Luckers

    What is your favorite aspect of the series?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    The people. And the writing.

    Luckers

    What is your favorite character, and why?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Perrin reminds me of Jim, for as you probably know he was a big man, with 54 inch shoulders. Mat reminds me of Jim, because he is such a delightful rascal. Rand reminds me of Jim because he is a world changer.

    I love them all. I also love Hurin, because he reminds me of Jim's father; Basel Gill, because he keeps a good inn, Thom Merrilin because he is a wonderful storyteller—well, you get the idea. There are about 2,000 named characters, and I love them all. Even Mordeth.

    Luckers

    What is your favorite plot-line, and why?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    That's like asking which child is my favorite!

    Luckers

    Are there any characters you really dislike?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Well, the villains of darkest dye, of course, but actually (see above) I love them too.

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  • 54

    Interview: 2001

    Thus Spake the Creator (Paraphrased)

    Reporter (Robert Jordan Himself)

    RJ fits the classic description of an author: Plenty of facial hair, a cane and a little on the podgy side. He didn't have an African hunting hat though…The cane looked pretty cool, and he assured us he'd use it if we tried to swarm him.

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  • 55

    Interview: 2001

    Thus Spake the Creator (Paraphrased)

    Reporter (Robert Jordan Himself)

    Robert Jordan

    You’ve seen him in the back of the books. He’s got a scragglier gray beard and longer hair now. He walks with a cane. Hmm… Ah yes, and he still has the infamous hat, of course.

    RJ’s Intro: Basic rules, such as no personalizing until after everyone’s through, pictures are fine, NO full frontal male nudity (when asked about back nudity, he gave an equally hearty no). Female nudity was not commented on.

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  • 56

    Interview: 2001

    Thus Spake the Creator (Paraphrased)

    Reporter (Robert Jordan Himself)

    Then Jordan finally entered. I don't know how late this was, but I'd say around 19:40 or so... My first impression was that he was pretty much like the photos I'd always seen of him, except that his hair was even wilder, and I never really appreciated the size of that cane.

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  • 57

    Interview: 2001

    Rochelle O'Gorman

    Fantasy writer Robert Jordan recently published Winter's Heart, his ninth book in the Wheel of Time series. The Publishing Mills (in a joint effort with Books On Tape) released an unabridged audiobook version read by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading. Though Books on Tape has released his books in their entirety for the rental and library markets, his novels have only been available in an abridged format for the retail market.

    A highly decorated war hero, Jordan served two tours of duty in Vietnam. He is married to Tor Books executive editor Harriet McDougal. The couple lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

    Jordan said he works hard to complete his massive books, writing eight hours a day, six or seven days a week. An eclectic reader, he said he likes to relax by fly-fishing. The author spoke to Rochelle O'Gorman at the beginning of December, while he was on book tour.

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  • 58

    Interview: Oct 22nd, 1994

    Robert Jordan

    Interesting enough, Jordan had three bottles of Perrier and some cheese to munch on for the time he was there. And Jordan was pretty nice, though he had an intense stare. I was surprised that he wasn't cranky after all these trips. I've only gone to one other book signing, and the author there was cranky. He didn't have any cheese, though.

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  • 59

    Interview: Jun 16th, 1995

    Brandoch Daha

    Another question I asked was why men and women keep talking past each other in the books.

    Robert Jordan

    His answer to that question was that that's how it really is. Men and women think too differently to really understand each other; that's a biological impossibility. His books simply reflect this fact.

    BRANDOCH DAHA

    However, I never asked why the main characters all have a mental age of thirteen. But as I said, a sympathetic Southern gentleman he is. (Though his wife was even nicer.)

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  • 60

    Interview: May 6th, 2004

    mko

    Guys, Jordan is a great man! He was most accessible and likable...he answered questions for over an hour and signed lots of books..think Dany R Snow presented four books to autograph and he good-naturedly signed all four.

    Also notable was the presence of Luke Trugenberger who presented Mr Jordan. Luke is a really delightful and accessible person and if he keeps his promise will come to visit us on the Barrier...(At this point the purchase of his book is a must for me ... but I spent all my money on the 22 euro The Shadow Rising).

    FOOTNOTE—LINDA TAGLIERI

    Both men are writers, but the poster probably means Luca, since the Italian translation of The Shadow Rising was published in 2004, the year of this post.

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  • 61

    Interview: Feb 18th, 1994

    Michael Macchione

    (p 169)

    Piers Anthony

    September 22,1989

    {talking about Hurricane Hugo}...crashing into land...at Charlotte, South Carolina. That was a secondary target; I know an editor at TOR BOOKS who lives there, Harriet McDougal, former senior editor. Her husband is Robert Jordan, author of several Tarzan novels, but don't judge him by that; he's about to get into major fantasy, and will be one of the leading figures in the genre. I know. {...} I read his first huge fantasy epic in manuscript; it hasn't been published yet. {continues on how Harriet helped him publish a book}

    MICHAEL MACCHIONE

    Tarzan—Conan: What's the difference? They are both big muscular men who run around in loincloths.

    JUDY GHIRARDELLI

    ARRGG. I hope this is a mistype by you MPS, and that this was not really printed in a book. Hurricane Hugo hit Charleston, SC, then tracked inland and hit Charlotte, NC. I know—I was living in Charlotte, NC, and the chimney on the apartment above us blew over, collapsing the apartment above us at 5:30 in the morning. That was Friday; they told us to get out on Monday after inspecting. We moved Tuesday. The true eye of the world went over us too...

    Anyhow, when living in Charlotte, much was made about the "ch" effect—people not being able to distinguish Charlotte from Charleston, and Charleston, SC from the same name in West Virginia, so I am a little sensitive. That is why I hope that the Charlotte, SC reference was your mistake Mike, and not Piers Anthony's. I can excuse you, since you live in Delaware, but I would hope that something like a book would get it right.

    Sorry to be venting...

    MICHAEL MACCHIONE

    I just ran to get the book and I'm sorry, but it was Piers Anthony's error. (This is in the same chapter as the Tarzan reference.) Remember, these letters were written freehand and were not proofread, as most books would be. They copied these letters into the book, and edited for style not content.

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  • 62

    Interview: Oct 22nd, 1994

    Roxanne

    He is a big person, probably about 6'4" and broad. He smokes a huge pipe and carries a cane (I did not see him walk enough to be able to tell if he uses it or not, as the limo was able to pull up just outside the store). He looks pretty much like his pictures, but he's bigger. I suspect he would empathize a lot with the Ogier, with finding everything everywhere not quite big enough. We gave him a store sweatshirt, size XXL, which he greatly appreciated.

    — Roxanne e

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  • 63

    Interview: Oct 25th, 1994

    Tony Zbaraschuk

    Comments invited!

    Tony Z

    P.S. That isn't a Trolloc horn on his cane, it's an English ram's horn.

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  • 64

    Interview: Dec 7th, 2000

    CNN Interview (Verbatim)

    Robert Jordan

    He's also come to enjoy a bit of his success, including the long, sleek limousine that delivered him to a book-signing engagement. Jordan also owns a Porsche Carrera sports car, but he's going to have to wait for those afternoons of lounging on a beach in the South of France that he has fantasized about. There are other fantasies to fulfill.

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  • 65

    Interview: Dec 5th, 2000

    Br00se

    Several people had photos made with Jordan, he kept looking back to make sure no one was putting up bunny ears.

    Robert Jordan

    He said that he uses his cane to make sure the culprits don't get away because the cane adds 3 feet to his reach.

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  • 66

    Interview: Dec 5th, 2000

    Robert Jordan

    He explained that the host bookstore sets the rules for the signing and he follows the rules. He told a story of when he was doing a signing where they allowed only two items per trip through the line, after that you had to get back to the end. When the last fellow came to the table and had four books. Jordan signed two and said that he couldn't sign the other two until he went to the back of the line. The guy said, "But, I'm the last one." Jordan said, "I don't make the rules I just follow them." The guy stood then for a second then walked in a circle and came back to the table where Jordan promptly signed his other two books.

    He then told a story about some neighbors of his which I didn't transcribe. It had something to do with his soul and the number of times he's leased it out.

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  • 67

    Interview: Oct 29th, 2005

    Congo Red Jr.

    I found Mr. Jordan to be a good guy overall, patient and quite funny. I went through the line a few times and got my wife to participate as well, so I got all eleven of first print hardcovers signed. Yay! His wife Harriet was downright cool; she and my wife talked extensively on whatever women talk about and seemed to get on fine. Well anyway thought I'd fill y'all in. Take care.

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  • 68

    Interview: Sep, 2000

    Tahir Velimeev

    In late September of last year in St. Petersburg, the Fifth Science Fiction Convention in Russia took place, members of which were many Russian science fiction writers, critics and simple fans of science fiction. Some well-known American science fiction writers were invited as guests of the Congress: Lois McMaster Bujold, Alan Dean Foster and Robert Jordan. Conversations with the first two writers have been published in Ozone, but Robert Jordan for some reason, dropped out of sight of our interviewers. This interview to some extent fills this gap. It includes some of the questions asked by Russian readers and journalists at meetings with the writer as well as a news conference. In addition, much has been gleaned from personal communication with Robert Jordan, including questions by e-mail. (Yours truly participated in the "Wanderer" as one of the members of the organizing committee, and had the opportunity to talk a lot with the writer in an informal setting.) Frankly, even the first meeting with him made a strong impression: a tall, big man with a luxuriant beard, dark glasses and wide-brimmed hat; his confident gait did not prevent a heavy cane, on his hand dimly glittering rings, signets ... A sort of colorful plantation Southerner ...

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  • 69

    Interview: Apr 21st, 2012

    Matt Hatch

    Jim said he started missing you after the two of you were done touring for The Fallon Blood, and that's when you started dating. Was he more like Rand, or more like Mat? In other words, did he make a concentrated effort to charm you, or did you just fall into his lap?

    Harriet McDougal

    He wasn't like either of them; he was like Perrin. Well, he had huge shoulders and curly hair, and he had gone through—he was very gentle because he was so big. If there was ever trouble in a class he was in, in grammar school, the teacher always thought he must have done it because he was so big. So he took a lot of thought before he did things, and that's how he was like Perrin, in both of those ways. And very strong.

    Matt Hatch

    And do you think he wrote that into Perrin as we know him?

    Harriet McDougal

    I think he's all of them.

    Matt Hatch

    But that's the part of him that is Perrin.

    Harriet McDougal

    Yeah, very gentle. And he did set out to charm me. He was...I remember a moment—well, he was nice to Will, who was a kid at the time, and I remember Will came running upstairs to me one day and—they'd been talking downstairs—and he said, "Ma, he wants to take me to the Star Trek movie. Can I go? Huh? Can I? Huh? Huh?" And I said, "Let me come downstairs with you," and I said, "Can I come too?"

    Matt Hatch

    Was he surprised when you asked? Or was he...

    Harriet McDougal

    Oh, I think he said... *mimics pumping her arm in the air* (laughter) If you've ever dated a woman with a child, the first thing you do is get the kid on your side. At the time, I was furnishing a doll's house I had had as a child; it had never gotten properly furnished—and this was really important psychic work I was doing, I guess—and I remember he brought a present to me, and I've forgotten whether it was on Christmas or my birthday—and I was sitting at the dinner table, and he was standing over this small box, and I start to open it, and I realized he was going *heavy breathing noises* because he was so anxious, breathing, would I like it? And it was a really beautiful doll's house dinner table. He spent fifty dollars or something that he really didn't have. But it was that breathing..."Will she like it? Ohhhh..."

    Matt Hatch

    Was this when you were still dating?

    Harriet McDougal

    Yeah.

    Matt Hatch

    And obviously you liked it.

    Harriet McDougal

    Yes, yes! I liked his caring so much. That's what really got me. I didn't care about the doggone table, that wasn't the point.

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  • 70

    Interview: Jan, 1990

    Terez

    Would you be willing to write a report on that signing, with everything you can remember? It doesn't matter if you can't remember everything; whatever you can remember would be awesome.

    The Fisher King

    Terez—I'd be happy to. I was a kid then, and with my mom. I'll write up more later but I do remember the name of the place which Im 99% sure isn't there anymore, sadly. It was called "Future Visions" and it was in Houston, Texas. I said '91 earlier but I distinctly remember it being RIGHT when The Eye of the World came out and buying it in hardcover there and getting it signed by RJ. The REASON we were there that day was because that was a favorite bookstore of ours and the owner had told us before on a prior visit about Jordan's "Tour Stop" there and that early word was that The Eye of the World was AWESOME. So, Mom and I made a date of it.

    I THINK it was a Saturday and there were not many people there at all. Sign of the times. Now days, it'd be packed, lol. Plus, "Jordan" as Mr. Rigney was calling himself the pen name by for his fiction books then, wasn't super well-known yet—though his version of Conan had been liked by critics for years.

    Anyway, there were mainly four of us there chatting in this little shop. Myself, The Mom, the owner and RJ. He was hilarious because the way he spoke was waaay more cultured and distinct that we silly, twangy Texans. He was a chatterbox, too. He gave signs that he would NEVER be comfortable with any kind of "celebrity" but if you could set him off on a topic he'd chat your ear off. I remember him talking about his love of writing and remember him insisting repeatedly that HIS series (TWOT) was DIFFERENT than the norm. A "thinking person's" series and not typical fantasy of the day. I remember him stressing that he had laid down hints and seeds in The Eye of the World that would not come to fruition for many books to come and he wanted people to be shocked and excited when they did. THIS is what always made me scratch my head in later years when he reportedly said he originally envisioned TWOT as a "trilogy."

    NO FREAKIN WAY, lol.

    He was a BIG man, Jolly, chivalrous-seeming. A real gentleman. Treated everyone the same—me as a child, my mom as a mom/woman, the guy as the shopkeeper...he came off a bit socially awkward, BUT, that was probably due to US—the crazy Texans more than him ;)

    You could tell that he had put SO MUCH of himself into The Eye of the World and what would follow.

    Awesome man. I wish I could have told him that HIS books were the last books my mom read before she passed very unexpectedly.

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  • 71

    Interview: Jan 8th, 2013

    Question ()

    Hardest part of Brandon finishing the series?

    Harriet McDougal

    That he wasn't my husband.

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  • 72

    Interview: Jan 8th, 2013

    Question ()

    Staircase documentary?

    Harriet McDougal

    Hunter shot RJ hamming it up for 2 hours. Coming into shape. Might come out.

    Footnote

    This question is in reference to "The Wit of the Staircase", a planned film on RJ and southern writers by Hunter Wentworth.

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  • 73

    Interview: Jan 8th, 2013

    Question ()

    Who was RJ most like?

    Harriet McDougal

    Perrin and also Mat. He quit a good job to be an author so you know he's a gambler.

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  • 74

    Interview: Jan 7th, 2013

    Brian Hill

    Hello. I'm Brian Hill, from near Seattle, Washington, and I first want to thank Harriet for your courage and generosity in bringing this to us after the loss that you had. Thank you. [applause]

    Harriet McDougal

    Thank you. [applause] Thank you for wanting it. [laughter]

    Brian Hill

    Two things. If circumstances had been different, would Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson get along, and would they be friends? [laughter] And second, with this...now that it's all written, as he looks down, is he proud? What would his thoughts be tonight?

    Harriet McDougal

    Oh, I think he'd be proud. I think he'd be proud, and I do think he and Brandon would have gotten along. [laughter]

    Maria Simons

    One thing that was really strange...the first time Brandon came to Harriet and Jim's house, we were...when Jim was still alive, on Fridays we would order out from a restaurant and sit down and talk and everything, and so Brandon came. We ordered from one of the same restaurants. He ordered what Jim ordered, without any hints or anything. He sat in Jim's seat. It was kinda like, "Wow, this is kinda cool!" [laughter] It felt like it was meant to be.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Harriet tells a story—at least on the Gathering Storm tour, someone asked a question like that—and she said...(to Harriet) back then you said...she thought he was probably up there and looking down and saying, "Who is that kid?" And then kind of nodding and saying, "Yeah, it turned out alright." [laughter]

    Harriet McDougal

    I think he's definitely saying that now.

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  • 75

    Interview: Jan 7th, 2013

    Kevin

    My name is Kevin [?] from Orem, Utah. My question is mostly directed at Harriet, but also anybody else on the panel who wants to jump in here.

    One of the things I love about the books is that there's so many characters, and there are moments where like, each of the characters has their ups and downs, and there's chapters where like, "Man, Perrin is on fire," or "Mat is the greatest!" But if you could hang out with any character from this universe, you know—even disregarding what we know about Mat's similarities with Robert Jordan now—but if you could hang out with any character, who would it be?

    And then also, for Harriet and Maria, if you could be any Ajah in the White Tower, which would you pick?

    Harriet McDougal

    Well, Maria and I have different fancies about the male characters. [laughter] She fancies herself...she fancies some Mat. Big time. [laughter] And I, on the other hand, have always been stuck by the numerous ways in which Robert Jordan resembles Perrin. Very large, as a former lineman for Clemson University would-be, and hairy, and very gentle, and I just...anyway, I think it'd be Perrin. And I'm torn between the Blue and the Brown. I think mostly Blue.

    Maria Simons

    And I am so Brown. [laughter]

    Harriet McDougal

    Actually, on one of these last book tours, Brandon looked at this thing I'm wearing around my neck, because this is a nice, non-losable thing to put on some color. [It resembles an Amyrlin's stole, narrow and tied in a knot.] And he said, "Oh..." looking at the stripes, "Orange. My favorite Ajah." [laughter]

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  • 76

    Interview: Jan 4th, 2013

    Petra Mayer

    Although I think you're right—we are getting into kind of details, but I do want to come back to the worldbuilding a little bit later in the conversation. But without giving too much away about the final book–there's a lot of fighting because, you know, it is the Last Battle, right?

    Harriet McDougal

    Yes.

    Petra Mayer

    And I know that your husband had a military background. Can you talk about that, and how it may have influenced his writing?

    Harriet McDougal

    Yes, he served two tours in Vietnam, in the Army. He was a helicopter door gunner.

    Petra Mayer

    And a Citadel graduate, right?

    Harriet McDougal

    Yes, he was. He went to The Citadel as a Veteran student, and loved that institution and the Army with–with all his heart, you might say. A friend of his said to me once, "Some people take off the uniform, and that's that. Other people, the uniform sinks right into their skin." And my dear husband was one of the latter.

    Petra Mayer

    And it really shows in the books. There's a lot of tactics, a lot of military strategy.

    Harriet McDougal

    Yes, it does. The New York Times said at one point that the books reflect the last 30 years of American experience, including war, in the way that Tolkien's book reflected the last 30 years of the English experience when he was writing during World War II, that Robert Jordan's battle scenes are pretty wonderful.

    Petra Mayer

    That's an interesting parallel to Tolkien actually.

    Footnote

    The New York Times' article on Tolkien and Jordan, published in 1996, can be read here.

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  • 77

    Interview: Apr, 2003

    Galgóczi Móni

    And—as if she arrived on cue, when we were talking about the ending series, Harriet appeared on the scene, and took her husband to a quieter part of the hotel from the rings of the prying people. Jordan seemed a little tired from the journalists' all-day-long questions. We said goodbye to each other and then I watched quite a while as his large figure (with his grey-haired head) towered above anybody else and he looked like as if his walking stick was only a decoration rather than a "life-saving" instrument.

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  • 78

    Interview: Feb 11th, 2013

    Brandon Sanderson

    All right, let's go over here—the hat.

    Question

    Hi, I'm the hat. This is a question for Harriet. And I'm wondering if you had an opportunity to witness the role-playing sessions that occurred with Jim and his friends, well to sort of play out the books, and ways things could go, and if so, what they were like? And if not, did you just hate the fact that he was doing it?

    Harriet McDougal

    If they were, did I just hate . . . ?

    Question

    Well, if the reason that you didn't like them was that he was spending time away from you and you would just rather be . . . (laughter)

    Brandon Sanderson

    All right. I'll just let you go into this one.

    Harriet McDougal

    He only played . . . well, he played Dungeons and Dragons, not on his own, with my son—his step-son. Jim and I married when my son was twelve. And his best friend whose name was Thomas—Thomas was just writing to me from Switzerland where he lives now—Jim just whipped them, left, right, and center, every time they played, mercilessly. And of course I didn't care. Because he was doing what gave him pleasure, and it certainly gave the boys pleasure. But that was pretty much the extent of his role-playing games. I played a lot of "Snakebite". Does anybody remember that? On the ancient computer? No, I see you don't. (laughter)

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