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2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.
2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."
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How did you channel that much snark and oddball humor for Wayne without going a little crazy?
Characters like him actually provide a snark outlet for me, so that it can be very cathartic to write them.
Wayne's ability to mimic and create accents is used to great effect in the book, and Michael Kramer really shines in bringing these accents to life in the audiobook. Did you have a sense when writing the book that these could be challenging—and rewarding—scenes when read?
I certainly did. The thing is, I'm not good with talking in accents myself—I can hear them in my head, but I'm atrocious at trying to do them. So while I was writing the book, I was thinking in the back of my mind, "I really hope that poor Michael can pull this off." It was a lot of fun to write Wayne's accents. I'm writing in a world that isn't our world, but the Mistborn world is a bit of an Earth analogue. I intentionally used themes that make it an Earth parallel, which is different from my other worlds. So you can have a character who kind of has a light Cockney accent or something like that, but it's not our world so it can't exactly mimic that accent. So it's already a challenge in that respect. I do think Michael did a fantastic job.
I also love how you evolved the world for The Alloy of Law. Despite it not being as "heavy" as some other stuff like Way of Kings and the trilogy, it was almost my favorite things you've written. I know it was supposed to be a "bridge" novel between trilogies, but is there any chance we'll see those characters again? Wax and Wayne are probably my favorite literary pairing since Tehol and Bugg or Arthur and Ford. :)
I am working on a sequel, as I was fond of the book too. It will be a side project, however, so I can't promise when it would be out.
...but I noticed towards the end you started creating overtones of a much larger story, and I was curious how you are going to follow up on that.
I will do more books without Alloy of Law, with Wax and Wayne. I originally—I may have said this in the forward to Alloy of Law—I pitched the Mistborn series a three-book, as three sets of trilogies, past-present-future, and I do still intend to do that, but I am going to pick up some of the things that I did in Alloy of Law and keep going with those same characters for a little longer, the main reason being I really like how Alloy of Law balances Stormlight Archive. I love big epics, but I also love fast-paced kind of actiony books as well, and being able to do a little bit of both of that fulfills both sort of itches, scratches them both, and so I like having Alloy-of-Law-style books come out alongside larger epics.
So I will be—to answer the questions that are coming—next is the last Wheel of Time book, and pretty much everything I have is devoted to that book. I'm hoping to have revisions of that done by the end of June, and then can start on Stormlight 2 which is what I will do next. The Wheel of Time book is coming out in January. I had really hoped to have it out in November, but it proved unrealistic, and I'm too optimistic on these things sometimes, and Harriet wisely counseled that we need to slow down a bit and spend some more time on the revisions, which we are doing. The Stormlight book, if I'm really on the ball, will be next November-ish—not this one but a year from that—and then I would follow it really closely with another Alloy of Law book.
The light-hearted banter in your recent standalone Mistborn book, The Alloy of Law, is an unexpected yet delightful change from the more serious tone of the original trilogy. Why did you decide to make such an abrupt shift? Will we get to read more about Waxillium and Wayne?
This was quite conscious on my part. One of the reasons I ended up writing The Alloy of Law as I did is because I personally wanted something to balance The Stormlight Archive, which is going to be more serious and have a tone more like the original Mistborn trilogy. I'm planning a five-book sequence to start off The Stormlight Archive, so I wanted something to go between those books that was faster paced, a little more lighthearted, and more focused.
I love The Stormlight Archive—it's what I think will be the defining work of my career, but that said, sometimes you want a bag of potato chips instead of a steak. Sometimes you want to write that, and sometimes you want to read that. I knew not all readers would want to go along with me at the start on such a big, long series; they may want to wait until it's finished. So I wanted to be releasing smaller, more focused and more simply fun books in between, both for my own interest and for my readers. And I will keep doing this; there will be more Wax and Wayne books in the future, spaced among my bigger epics.