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Old 04-24-2012, 12:25 AM
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Default JordanCon AMOL Status Report - April 21, 2012

The AMOL status report panel at JordanCon this year featured Team Jordan sans Brandon (Harriet, Maria, Alan, and Peter) and began with a reading by Harriet from the prologue of AMOL. Per the request of Team Jordan, no audience recordings or transcripts of the reading were allowed, so what follows is only a brief summary written afterwards. [The official recording of the reading will eventually be released, probably in the not-too-distant future; the reading itself was meant to be a special treat for those attending JordanCon.]

After the reading, there was a relatively short question and answer session. Most of the questions were routine, things that we have heard before. There were a few new minor details to go along with some of the answers, though.

Harriet's Reading

Harriet read the first scene of the prologue of AMOL, which was from the point of view of Bayrd, a member of Jarid Sarand's army, whose family had remained loyal to House Sarand for years. The scene told of the army's suffering as a result of starvation (they had resorted to boiling bits of grass and leather to try to eat) and also due to a bubble of evil which had turned all the metal in the camp soft and pliable. Jarid Sarand, however, was convinced that the hardships the army had been struggling with were the work of Elayne and her Aes Sedai 'witches' (Jarid seemed just a little bit looney). Because all the metal weapons were no longer useful, Bayrd resorted to fashioning a spear point from shale to replace a metal one. The scene ended with Bayrd restraining Jarid by tying him to a tree and the remainder of Sarand's army leaving to head north to fight for Andor in the Last Battle.

Questions and Answers

Harriet was asked about the change in the publication date for AMOL from November 2012 to January 2013.
She noted that the publication date previously set by Tor was November 27, 2012, which falls after Thanksgiving. Upon seeing that release date, Harriet felt that it would be too late for substantial marketing and sales for the holiday season, and probably more importantly, she felt strongly that she didn't want to rush this final book in any way. Therefore, it was decided to move the release date to January 8, 2013, which will provide extra time for editing but still falls within the Year of the Dragon.

Will the prequels or outriggers be written?
Harriet answered no.

If no official prequels or outriggers will be written, will permission be given for others to write in the world of the Wheel?
Harriet answered absolutely not. She said that RJ threatened to rise up from his grave in wrath if that ever happened.

What about movies or mini-series related to the Wheel of Time?
Harriet said that a contract had been signed giving Universal movie/mini-series rights for a seven-year period; that contract is due to expire soon. She said that a screen play of The Eye of the World had been written; Harriet had not read it, but she said she had heard from reliable sources (probably Jason Denzel) that it was horrible. She feels that it may be that the contract will expire before anything is ever produced; at that point, the rights would revert to Harriet.

There was a question about the process of writing A Memory of Light.
Peter first spoke in general terms about Brandon's writing routine. He said that Brandon typically gets up around noon, writes from about 1-4pm, spends time with family and stuff, then goes back to writing from about 8pm-4am, and finally sleeps from about 4am to noon. Rinse, cycle, repeat. Peter also said that Brandon has a treadmill desk, and he frequently works at that when he's home or by one of the fireplaces he has in his house. Harriet then noted that she loves fireplaces and wanted to know whether Brandon's were wood-burning or gas. Peter said they're gas fireplaces.

Then Harriet described the editing process for AMOL. She said that Brandon has completed the first draft (as was previously reported). Team Jordan is currently working on reviewing the first draft and making suggestions for corrections and edits. They have divided the manuscript into 9 sections plus the epilogue for editing purposes; Team Jordan has sent the edits for parts 1-6 to Brandon and are currently working on edits for the later sections. [Brandon recently tweeted that he is about halfway done with the second draft, and it is going well so far.]

With regard to the editing duties, Harriet primarily oversees the characterizations and prose, Maria deals with continuity issues, and Alan deals with military stuff, geography, and the timeline. Harriet also said that she and Brandon have had some "animated" conversations about whether or not to cut some specific scenes.

After all the suggested edits for the first draft are sent to Brandon and he has made the revisions, then presumably Team Jordan will review the second draft and provide another round of suggestions for revisions. The beta reader phase has to be fit in there somewhere, too. Ultimately, Harriet said that the goal for getting a final draft to Tor is June 15, 2012. That should give Tor plenty of time to get the book out by January 2013.

Melissa Craib, this year's JordanConmaster of ceremonies, asked the Team Jordan members which parts of the story they had been surprised about.
Harriet told about an incident she has described before from when she was writing the blurb for the dust jacket of The Dragon Reborn and finally realized that RJ intended Callandor to be an analog of the sword in the stone. She yelled down to RJ, "You son of a ****, you've done it to me again!"

Maria said that she was surprised... well, actually I've forgotten what Maria was surprised about. Maybe somebody else remembers...was it from Knife of Dreams when Semirhage blows Randís hand off? That's what comes to mind, but I don't remember any details about why that surprised her, really, so maybe that's not it. :s

Alan at first said that he wasn't surprised by anything; he had figured it all out, of course. Then he owned up to being a little surprised about the scene in Crossroads of Twilight in which Perrin chops off the hand of one of the captured Shaido, because it showed the depths to which a person could go when pushed to the brink.

Peter said he was surprised when it was revealed that Demandred was... (yeah, he was messing with us).

There was a question about when Michael Whelan's cover art for AMOL would be completed and released.
Harriet indicated that the Whelan cover art is actually done and originally was going to be revealed at JordanCon. (Whelan was tapped to do the cover of the ebook of AMOL before DKS passed away.) However, because Darrell K. Sweet, Jr., was kind enough to bring to JordanCon several of his father's original paintings for the cover art of the previous books, as well as the preliminary version of DKS's AMOL cover, it was decided to celebrate the work of DKS at JordanCon and to wait for a while before the Whelan cover art is revealed.

It was also mentioned that Whelan initially sent a number of versions of the cover art to Team Jordan and Tor for review before he produced the final version for AMOL. The scene depicted is a different one than that shown in DKS's preliminary artwork. Also, at one point it was mentioned that Whelan sent out a query to someone asking, "What's a ter'angreal?"

The final question of the session went to Tamyrlin.
For some reason he always seems to have Asmodean on the brain, lol, so he asked whether or not the glossary of AMOL would contain any important information. Harriet teased that now she would make it a point to include something important in the glossary of AMOL!
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