There's been considerable hype this past week after Brandon Sanderson made numerous comments on reddit about his opinions of the early Wheel of Time TV show scripts. Brandon indicated that what he's seen so far has bee "really good" overall, but he also explained that changes might be coming. In the first of multiple reddit threads, Brandon explained: We don't know what these "unexpected decisions" are; Brandon could not say because he's under NDA. Naturally, that hasn't stopped WoT fans from generating theories. There's been speculation for a while that the show will focus more heavily on Moiraine, perhaps elevating her role to equal, or even exceed, that of the main characters in the books. This hasn't been confirmed, and the rumor is largely based on Amazon's original press release annoucing the show which includes: Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene and Nynaeve are not mentioned by name in the show's official description, but that doesn't necessarily mean their roles or importance will be diminished. It's almost certain that they will be played by lesser-known actors, while it's more likely that the role of Moiraine will be given to a headline-grabbing actress. Her role may be elevated, but the extra attention given by the studio could always be part of the way they plan to market the show to audiences, not to mention to potential big-name actresses they want to cast. Later in the comments of the original reddit thread, Brandon expanded his thoughts: Brandon has made similar comments at book signing events in recent months. Expect more comments, and more speculation from fans as the show quickly ramps up. And we agree with his comments about Rafe: his interactions with the fans have been friendly, knowledgable, confident, and engaging. According to this Instagram account, Rafe recently moved to Prague, presumably to focus on producing the show there. Casting for the main characters is currently underway, with announcements expected in the near future. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@dragonmount) for more newsstand commentary related to the forthcoming TV show.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the ConQuesT science-fiction and fantasy convention. As stated earlier, our own Jennifer Liang and Jimmy Liang will be the con's Fan Guests of Honor! The con is this weekend (May 24th-26th, 2019) in Kansas City, Missouri. The schedule for ConQuesT is now live! If you're going to be attending, check out Jenn's and Jimmy's schedules! For those who don't know about ConQuesT, here's what they say about themselves: If you're in the area, it's a fantastic con to attend!
Badali Jewelry, a long-time provider of officially-licensed Wheel of Time merchandise, is shutting down their WoT product line at the end of this month. The final day to place new custom orders is April 28, 2019. From the Badali Jewelry Facebook page: Some of their bestselling items were the Aes Sedai Great Serpent ring, their Asha'man pins, and their foxhead medallion. Dragonmount has been a long-time reseller of their products and we're sad to see them shuttering their line of quality goods. The reason for the shutdown is related to their license expiring and now being held exclusively by Sony (and potentially Radar Pictures and Amazon Studios, although those details aren't clear at the moment). There's a possibility that a new license to produce these products will be granted in the future, but only time will tell if that happens, or if the same products will be re-released if it does. Make your orders now at Badali Jewelry website, and look for their remaining inventory through October 2019.
Casting for the forthcoming Wheel of Time TV show has begun according to the London-based KVH Casting agency. KVH is run by Kelly Valentine Henry, who has been tapped as the show's casting director. The TV show is scheduled to film sometime this fall 2019 (likely September) in Prague in the Czech Republic. No actors have been officially announced yet, but that's expected to change in the coming weeks or months. The KVH website originally encouraged actors to send "submissions only" to email@example.com, but that notice was quickly taken offline, possibly in response to what is likely to be an overwhelming flood of fan interest.
JordanCon 11 kicks off this Friday afternoon! I can’t wait to mingle with other Wheel of Time fans. It’s like a family reunion getting to see familiar faces and meeting new additions. If you’re able to be in attendance, don’t forget to check out the Anthology signing session on Sunday morning at 10:00! Our last interview is with Sarah Sover, talking about her submission “A Faerie Tale.” First, can you tell us about your writing? Is this your first published work? I write fantasy hybrids, but this is my only short story so far. My debut novel, a comedic fantasy about grog-chugging trolls pulling a perilous heist, releases in September. So this is my first published work of fiction by 5 months! Where does your story fall on the speculative fiction scale? Fantasy meets Horror. What excited you the most with writing this story? The most exciting part has been discovering that there are people who appreciate my deranged brain-children. My weird stories finding a place to exist in the world is something I never actually thought would happen, let alone twice in one year. As exciting as the actual writing is, that beats it all, hands-down. And working with Robyn Huss. She’s amazing. Are there any themes you want readers to get a sense of? I’m going to have to go with the dangers of messing with forces beyond comprehension and flat out nihilism. For my work as a whole, there’s a definite baby-eating theme. Is there a specific inspirational source you used for this story? An image popped into my head and remained there for an entire day, so I had to jot it down. The story grew from that black-and-white picture and sat on my desktop, untouched, until I saw the call for submissions two days before the deadline. What else would you like to say to your readers? I’m thrilled to have my story featured in this Anthology alongside the works of some fantastic authors. I hope you’ll check out Double-Crossing the Bridge in the fall, and, as always, #BewareTheGoats. You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @SarahJSover.
JordanCon is quickly approaching, and our eagerness is beginning to show! This week's interview is with Tim Lewis. He tells us about "Switch," his addition to the JordanCon Anthology. First, can you tell us about your writing? Is this your first published work? This will be my first published work! I’ve been writing for decades, but only for myself as one of many hobbies. Richard Fife’s idea to create short stories for the anthology inspired me to finally stop procrastinating. The publishing process is very daunting and this was a tremendous opportunity to break into the writing world. As to my writing, is “chaotic sugar induced child at a puppy farm” a style? I have piles of notes about writing best practices from the Writer’s Track at JordanCon, and I tried to incorporate each to some level as I work to find my niche. In the beginning it was random pieces as ideas came to mind, then slowly stitching them together, reluctantly killing a few “little darlings,” and then finally obsessing about each word and phrase until I had to walk away. Where does your story fall on the speculative fiction scale? After Googling “speculative fiction scale,” this is a soft science fiction story based on a near future to add some plot devices to move the story along, but it could be placed in any era. I started down a fantasy route but as the pieces begin to evolve then sci-fi seemed to be the best world for the story. What excited you the most with writing this story? My wife reads in bed and I can gauge how good a book is when she has an emotional outburst (and wakes me up). Whether it is a laugh, a cry, a gasp, or swearing like an East Indian sailor, I can see how much joy she gets from reading. When writing “Switch,” I tried to create each of those elements, and if I’m lucky, I may have succeeded with one. Are there any themes you want readers to get a sense of? I tried to paint a normal person that people could relate to that, of course, is put into extraordinary circumstances. I have always been a fan of the reluctant hero that rises to challenge rather than racing to it head on. I also added a few references to our current political and social climate that some may find entertaining, or even frustrating. Mostly I just wanted to be able to tell a story of a person that people could identify with as themselves, or someone they know, to create that emotional connection. Is there a specific inspirational source you used for this story? I drew inspiration initially from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep to create a future with minor changes in technology, but grounded in something relatable to the reader. That is why the story takes place in my home city of Huntsville, AL, so I had some specific ground to build on. I walked down the streets and by the buildings of the exact places that are talked about in the story to inspire the writing; at one point running like an idiot around the courthouse to see if my character could actually do what I described. For the science, a YouTube video about acoustic physics and the floating drop of water became the impetus for the technology. The story also evolved into a pseudo detective noir theme, not by intention, but just organically possibly from my obsession with watching movies. The biggest inspiration and the drive of the secondary narrative was a personal view of society and unconscious bias that I wanted to portray, but I will leave it there so as not to reveal spoilers. And a huge nod to the professional editors Robyn Huss and Chris Kennedy, who were critical in pulling me off the puppy farm to get everything together into a cogent story! What else would you like to say to your readers? Simply, thank you. I hope this gives you a moment to disconnect from the world and find some enjoyment; and if I was able to get you to wake your partner up while reading my story in bed, then my work was done! If you would like to see more, check out my site at www.LewisVenture.com.
According to a Twitter poll from Amazon Prime Video, The Wheel of Time television adaptation is the most anticipated series. (IMAGE TEXT: We have a lot of shows that started as books, but which UPCOMING book adaptation series are you most excited for? #WorldBookDay; 20% Good Omens, 26% The Expanse, 18% The Lord of the Rings, 36% The Wheel of Time) While fans of the show rejoice, and agree, it's pretty amazing that Wheel of Time could top some of the other anticipated series. Bleeding Cool states how they "were NOT expecting Wheel of Time to top that list." Understandable, considering The Lord of the Rings has been hyped up. As has Good Omens, which already has trailers, cast, and an official release date (May 31, 2019--for those who were wondering). With Wheel of Time barely in production, this is a great indicator of how much we've wanted a show to represent our beloved series! You can catch the latest updates from Rafe Judkins' Twitter feed, which he updates pretty regularly with interesting hints and tidbits. Also, stay tuned to Dragonmount for more news.
For our next entry in the first ever JordanCon Anthology—So You Want Stories?—I got to talk to Alexandra Hill about her submission "The Bakery: Prelude to a Fairy Tale." First, can you tell us about your writing? Is this your first published work? I read really broadly, and I think that translates into what I write; I’ve either finished or am in the process of stories in a number of genres, including sci-fi, mystery, fantasy, memoir, and so-called “literary fiction.” Fantasy feels like home, though, especially in atemporal or modern settings. I love how the genre lets me ask “what if…?” not just of my characters, but of the world in which they live. I’ve published academic writing under my real name – I’m a computational biologist by training, and have a few papers out under my real name – but “The Bakery” is my first work of published fiction. Where does your story fall on the speculative fiction scale? I think the title gives it away! “The Bakery: Prelude to a Fairy Tale” is fantasy, and sets up the world before “Once upon a time.” What excited you the most with writing this story? A million years ago, my Grade 12 English class was able to pick whatever topic they wanted for their final project. My subject: “Freudian Psychoanalysis and the Evolution of the Modern Day Villain.” I had a blast. I interpreted how Freud would have interpreted the backstories of villains in three 90s Batman Movies and three novels (Perfume, Harry Potter, and Hannibal Rising). Writing this story felt as fun as that project. I loved creating my own spin on the backstory of a female villain. I think the world sees a lot of stories of men behaving badly, and having some kind of origin story for their evil and/or redemption arcs, but historically, women’s stories haven’t been explored that way. I don’t think that Elle’s life justifies any of her more “established” story, but I hope I’ve managed to create more depth to the character! Are there any themes you want readers to get a sense of? I’ve always been fascinated in peoples’ opinions of themselves. I think most people think that they’re fairly good people, but situations like Elle’s, where you’re stuck between impossible options through no fault of your own, mean that most people’s moral sense gets thrown out the window. I hope that readers ask themselves what they’d do in her place – and then really ask themselves what they’d do if they were her. Is there a specific inspirational source you used for this story? Yes. …What, you think I’m going to give away the ending? What else would you like to say to your readers? I hope you enjoy this story! If you see me at JordanCon, be sure to stop and tell me who your favorite fictional villains are. Thanks, Alexandra, for joining us at Dragonmount! And don't forget today is the last day to preorder So You Want Stories? from JordanCon's website. The convention will have a few copies on hand, but don't risk it!