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cuthbert19 12-15-2011 06:06 PM

Mondadori bookshop in Rome - 19 may 2004
This is the translation of the report made by one italian fan after meeting Robert Jordan for a Q&A session in a Mondadori bookshop in Rome, Italy.

The original can be found here.


Today ad 18.15 I arrived at the Mondadori bookshop near Fontana di Trevi, Rome (Italy). I asked for directions and I went to the café area while waiting for Jordan's arrival. At exacly 18.30 Mr. Jordan came in, together with his wife, with Sergio Fanucci and Valeria Ciocci [the translator of the italian version of WoT books, at least until the 5th book]; the evening started after a few minutes.

First of all, Sergio Fanucci gave an introduction both "pro domo sua" and for Jordan's sake; afterwards, Jordan himself answered the questions of the (few...) fans which were there, while the priceless Valeria translated.
Many questions were asked; out of the ones I remember, I will especially quote my ones.
I asked him where the phonetic choice in the naming of characters, names, places came from, given that they are so "unheard of"; he replied that for some of them he got his inspiration from american "mithology" (...), as with Nynaeve which is the name of a really existed historical figure, while for other ones he created them out of nowhere, trying to keep consistent.
I them asked, as (plot-wise) the 4th book is clearly different for the three previous ones, if it was planned or if it just happened; he answered that it was planned.
Someone else asked if while writing the Aiel he got his inspiration from Herbert (re: the native inhabitants of Dune [the Fremen people]); he answered that it was not that, that the real source of inspirations is the Cheyenne people, originally shepherds and forced to became warriors and to flee into the desert when the white man came.
He was asked which one of the characters he prefers; he answered "noboby in particular", and that he'd like to be like Lan, but that he's more similar to Perrin, while his wife said that for what concerns her, he is Loial ...
Someone else asked if he reads in his free time, and what kind of books, and if he reads fantasy books; he replied that he reads anything, and fantasy too (but not while he's writing! else he gets angry if he reads things he could have written better) and he gave some names (Pratchett, Key [sic] ...).
Last question I remember, as his characters are so well defined and rounded, if he got his inspiration from real persons or if he studied psychology; Jordan replied that he never studied psychology (if his father teaching him to play poker can be excluded...) and that he doesn't write his character after real persons, but that he tries to make them as real as he can, even the ones that only appear for a few sentences, trying to keep them consistent.

cuthbert19 12-15-2011 06:09 PM

Terez told me to post the translation here (feel free to correct spelling and grammar errors!!), actually it is more an adaptation than a literal translation, because the original report was written more like a stream of consciousness ...

btw, I'm still not actually sure this is the right forum/section for it, the other threads are real transcripts, this is very far from verbatim ...

Marie Curie 7 12-15-2011 10:38 PM

Awesome, thanks! And yeah, posting the translation in this section is just fine.

Terez 12-16-2011 12:39 AM

Thanks Cuthbert! A life-saver again...did you see the very short report that was a couple of posts later?

Linda 12-16-2011 05:50 AM

Short report below
That was to answer someone's question about what Harriet was like:

I too had the [good] fortune to be able to participate in the meeting with the great Robert (thanks again Sergio Fanucci) and I can say that his wife is a gracious distinguished lady of a certain age, that we knew to be an important editor of a major American publishing house and the person who "discovered" RJ's talent: thanks also to you my dear...(mmm I cannot remember his name, maybe Raven)

cuthbert19 12-16-2011 06:45 AM

Thanks Linda (you have Italian ancestors, I surmise? :)), I didn't quite catch that it was that post that Terez was referring to :)

Marie Curie 7 12-16-2011 10:46 PM

There are a few other reports/comments in the thread in question, if someone fluent would like to take a crack at translating them. I ran them all through Google translate to get a rough idea of what they were about.

Here are the potentially pertinent ones other than the two comments already translated:

Post #32 – report from Turin Book Fair – this one just seems to say more or less that RJ signed a lot of books and answered a lot of questions.

Posts #34 and 36 – among other minor stuff, a question about whether or not Rand will ever resolve his internal conflicts. RJ gave a RAFO.

Post #52 – the usual stuff about prequels, how each of the female characters has a bit of Harriet, and talk about some of his favorite writers, etc.

Post #53 – more about a prequel and something about a car accident?

Post #55 – confirmation of topics for the prequels (including New Spring)

Linda 12-16-2011 11:59 PM

More translation

Guys, Jordan is a great man! He was most accessible and likeable...he answered questions for over an hour and signed lots of books..think Dany R Snow presented 4 books to autograph and he good naturedly signed all 4.

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 [both men are writers, but the poster probably means Luca, since the Italian translation of TSR was published in 2004, the year of this post] book is a must for me ... but I spent all my money on the 22 euro The Shadow Rising)

Linda 12-17-2011 12:32 AM

[The poster at #32 said how Dany Snow took 4 books to be signed, this is that poster's reply]

Yesss!! I took books to be signed, prepared questions and took a photo of us together...that man is great!

Jordan gave an amazing answer to mko's [poster of #32] first question: Will Rand al'Thor's internal conflict be resolved?

Answer: RAFO

I also asked Jordan if he reads [GRR] Martin and he said he does and enjoys him a lot... and the same for Luca Trugenberger...

[Then the poster starts talking of Luca Trugenberger's book he's writing which has to be split into 3 and so he has to write beginnings and endings for the new volumes]

Linda 12-17-2011 12:42 AM

I asked Jordan: "Will Rand al'Thor sooner or later win the internal conflict that gripped him by the second book?"

And he said: "On the American websites there is a term used in these cases: RAFO - read and find out"

I personally also asked if anyone has been interested in making a film inspired by his books, he replied that someone was interested in doing a film of The Eye of the World .... but for now there is still nothing concrete.

Linda 12-17-2011 05:42 AM

According to Valeria Ciocci, who is the translator, the next book should be out around November, but much depends on how fast the translation goes. However Fanucci's intentions are to publish two books every year, while Jordan has said that the series will include a total of 12 volumes. In addition there will be three prequels.

One is "New Spring", which was published in reduced form in the book "Legends 2". Actually, Silverberg had asked Jordan to write a story for "Legends", but Jordan wrote a novel. Since it was too long to be included in the anthology he shortened it considerably, and the result was what we were able to read even in Italy. When Jordan's American publisher learned of this story, he asked Jordan if he couldn’t expand it into a novel.

One of the other two prequels (Jordan said he will write them only after he has finished narrating the events in the saga) covers Tam al'Thor and his decision to leave the army to retire to the Two Rivers. The other, I don’t remember.

At the Milan meeting, Jordan has been extremely accessible, if it were not for us he would be gone ... since in the evening he had another commitment, and we showed up late.

Among other things Jordan said that in each of the female characters in the saga there appears some aspect of his wife's character, but what that is he is not going to reveal! He then recalled that in the past he has had health problems and that at a convention his fans in the United States threatened him that if he died before finishing the saga they were going to desecrate his grave! Among the authors he reads and appreciates are George Martin, Terry Pratchett, Katherine Kerr and Guy Gavriel Kay. (Of these, the only one I have not read anything of is Pratchett, but I have to say that he has good taste!)

Linda 12-17-2011 05:54 AM

The third prequel would tell the story of how Lan and Moraine reach the Two Rivers and find the three ta’veren.

Also at Turin Jordan said that he has serious health problems .... if I remember correctly he was involved in a traffic accident and had a narrow escape (and this is why he now walks with a cane).

In addition, our Jordan also fought in Vietnam.


Regarding the prequels, there are 3:

1) The meeting between Lan and Moiraine, if I remember correctly
2) Tam al'Thor, his military career and his return to Emond's Field
3) The travels of Lan and Moraine to Emond's Field before the start of The Eye of the World

Cuthbert, my husband's parents were Italian. I learned Italian at high school.

Terez 12-17-2011 08:15 AM

Are these all from the same bookstore?

cuthbert19 12-17-2011 11:44 AM

Well done Linda!

Terez: yes, it's still that same thread :)

EDIT: ooops, sorry, same thread, different stores! The first report refers to the Rome q&a, other posta refer to meeting with fans in other italian cities in previous days.

GonzoTheGreat 12-17-2011 12:04 PM


Originally Posted by Terez (Post 172129)
Are these all from the same bookstore?

There's probably not more than one bookstore in Rome. :p

Terez 12-17-2011 12:05 PM

Hmm, if there is any info at all on the city and/or bookstore where each report is from, I would find that very useful.

Marie Curie 7 12-17-2011 04:15 PM

Thanks for all you help, Linda! :)


Originally Posted by Terez (Post 172146)
Hmm, if there is any info at all on the city and/or bookstore where each report is from, I would find that very useful.

Yeah, I should have noted the details before.

The first three that Linda translated (#32, 34, and 36) were from the Turin Book Fair, 6 May 2004 (also noted in the first post in the thread).

The last three that Linda translated (#52, 53, and 55) were from a book signing at Mondadori bookstore in Milan on 7 May 2004 (one of the reporters mentions Milan in one of the posts). Also note that this is a different signing that the original report that Cuthbert translated - that one was from the Mondadori bookstore in Rome on 19 May 2004.

Terez 12-17-2011 04:17 PM

Okay. I will probably group them together by location, since they're all such short reports. Also, thanks again Linda!

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