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The Q&A Compilation Part B--Author/Prequel/Outrigger/Movie (Spoilers) 4/4/10


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So there is apparently a word limit to Dragonmount posts--figures I'd be the one to discover this. As with the other thread all thanks and congrats go to those that actually transcribed the information--both Storm Leader and lovely fans. Special thanks to Terez for directing me to many of the non-DM Q&A reports.


Please keep all discussion in the existing Q&A discussion thread. This is only a compilation. Thats mostly because this probably won't stay around forever.


Questions and Answers on the following subjects are in this section of the Compilation.

• Typo’s, Corrections, and Intentions

• The Prequels and Outriggers, and the Encyclopedia.

• Robert Jordan and Harriet Rigney.

• Wheel of Time Movie/Game Info.

• Brandon Sanderson – Personal Comments and Questions


All updates are under dated headings. Note: 1/1/10 - Did some housekeeping. Fixed up the repeats in the Brandon section, and I've moved the Typo's and corrections to this thread to give some room in the Plot Related thread.


4/4/10 updates in;

• Typo’s, Corrections, and Intentions


The Gathering Storm Book Tour Questions & Answers On the Author, Other Publications, and Other Media


Typo’s, Corrections, and Intentions


New 16/11/09


[note from Mato: had some trouble hearing this next question, take it's answer as just a generic "RAFO, not a typo. There were other typos. <insert example>"]

Random Storm Leader: Was Sulin really with Rand or--?


Sanderson: RAFO. I will tell you when there are typos or not. This is a RAFO. <begin paraphrasing> Some typos that have been found are Bashere appearing as Faile's cousin rather than uncle...my hands kept wanting to type cousin instead. <end paraphrasing>


Random Storm Leader: Ah, what about the Amyrlin stole versus shawl?


Sanderson: Typo. My hands kept trying to switch stole and shawl throughout the book. Giving me trouble. You know how it is when you're going along and your hands want to type something different...


New 20/11/09


1. Question It has been noted that Sulin is incorrectly referred to in a scene with Rand's group in Arad Doman. Who should have been named in the text there?


1. Answer: Sulin.




Originally reported by Dida, and later substantiated by Kathana Travalaer, Sulin is to be edited out of future prints of tGS. This is not because she was a mistake, but because Brandon decided to change her role following discussion with Maria.


Alright, I asked Brandon about Sulin this evening. He said that he had originally place Sulin like that very intentionally, intending to do "something" with her. However, after a conversation with Maria, he became convinced that his original plans regarding this character were not workable, so Sulin will be edited out of future editions of TGS.


So not a misstep as so many have thought, but rather a rethinking of her role. These things happen. They've even happened in this series before, the most notable example being Robert Jordan's shifting of the Three Oaths to allow balefiring the ever loving frack out of Darkfriends, along with Shadowspawn.


New 1/1/10


--on the Wording of the Third Oath.


Q: Moiraine words the Third Oath "I vow that I will never use the One Power as a weapon except against Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme of defending my life or that of my Warder or another sister." (NS 11) This ...wording of the Oath is supported by the reswearing of the Oaths by Pevara and Seaine (tPoD 26), and the [World of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time] (24), among other sources [Luckers insert--the Glossary citations].


Egwene words the oath "I vow that I will never use the One Power as a weapon except against Darkfriends and Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme of defending my life or that of my Warder or of another sister." (TGS 43) The 'Darkfriend clause' is supported by Sheriam (tGH 23), Alanna (tSR 31), Niall (tDR Pr), Rand (tFoH 2, 41), and also implications by Moiraine (NS 2) and the [World of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time] (14).


RAFO, or error? And, if error, which is the correct wording?


A: Brandon said he had to make sure he got the wording right for the oaths, so he went back and copied it word for word from the previous books. Maria was the one that changed it saying RJ decided that Darkfriends should have always been included in the oaths.




--On Rand and permission to access the True Power


Quote from Terez of Theoryland.


The Gathering Storm Book Tour, Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego 15 November 2009 - Freelancer reporting


Q. Is Rand's access to the True Power via his link with Moridin, created at Shadar Logoth?

A. No one may channel the True Power without the Dark One's permission. Rand doesn't have that.


The Gathering Storm Book Tour, Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego 15 November 2009 - Writo reporting




I was at that signing, I was literally right next to Brandon as he answered this question, and that is far from his exact wording.


The response was more accurately something like: So far as we know, no one may channel the True Power without the Dark One's permission.  Semirhage certainly seemed to think she was betrayed.


There was never a comment about Rand not having permission.


I'd take all of the Q&A by that guy with a bit of a grain of salt...  He seemed very much to be looking to hear things that agree with his own opinions, not so much just trying to take in some truth from Brandon.  


Driving Mr. Sanderson (from Half Moon Bay to San Jose), 21 November 2009 - Matt Hatch reporting


Matt: There was some confusion about Rand and the Dark One’s permission, so for clarification’s sake, did Rand have the Dark One’s permission to use the True Power?

Brandon: I have not answered that. If anyone says that I have, I have not. What I have said specifically is, this is recording [meaning that Matt has audio of this conversation - Terez]: generally one must have the Dark One’s permission to use the True Power. Semirhage believed that the Dark One had betrayed her by letting Rand use it.  It is good that you have asked this so I can make sure on the record that is the answer I have given.


TOR.com - The Wheel of Time: The Gathering Storm Open Spoiler Thread, Part the Second - Freelancer reporting


Brandon's later answer has to take precedence. He says that he didn't specify directly whether Rand did or did not have the Dark One's permission. That is what everyone must operate by, as his word is now canon. That does not change what I wrote down as my questions were being answered.


As to Writo's comments, I can only offer this. The comment by Brandon about Semirhage believing she had been betrayed was definitely in response to someone else's question. It did not come up with mine, but I do remember hearing it.


The Prequels and Outriggers, and the Encylopedia


1. Question -  What is the setup for the prequels?


1. Answer -  Brandon responded that he is not sure, He states that he doesn’t want it to be an eternal series, and suggests being very careful. He will go with whatever is the will of Harriet. Also possible to do outriggers, again depends on Harriet. There is a chance of both, Tom Doherty wants them both, so in the end it will be up to Harriet and BS will go along with whatever she wants and decides on.


2. Question -   After Knife of Dreams came out, Robert Jordan had said he was writing two more prequels…will you [brandon] do them and what’s the status on them now?


2. Answer -   There are notes for two prequels, one based around Tam’s story, and the other about Moiraine and Lan before they went to the Two Rivers. There are also notes for three additional books, Outriggers, which take place in the Wheel of Time world. Brandon equates being handed the Wheel of Time series with being handed the One Ring – the longer you hold onto it, the harder it gets to let go. He doesn’t want to ruin Robert Jordan’s world; Robert Jordan and the series deserve to be allowed to rest. However, Tom Doherty wants them to be written, though the decision is ultimately up to Harriet – if she decides they should be written, he’ll do it, but his gut says ‘no’, they won’t be. At this, he was met with an “aaawwww!” from the fans, and nodding, he said that it is with a heavy heart but he feels it would be best. The last he heard, Harriet was leaning towards ‘no’. If he does write them though, he feels there should be no more after this, “it would be nice to have a will” so no more can be made. He admitted that this is a half answer, but concluded with “Robert Jordan’s legacy is more important.”

• New 23/11/09

• When asked if the timeline will ever be published, Brandon referred to a couple admirable efforts by fans, and Maria added that she tracks it with an Excel spreadsheet, but it would take a lot of effort to get it into a publishable format. Also, RJ was uncomfortable showing anyone his unpublished work and would go through a number of drafts, even if it was just for Harriet.



New 20/11/09


• This also lead to lots of discussion on the Encyclopedia. It will include lots of spoilery stuff that doesn’t make it into the books. But, there are several examples in the notes where RJ specifically says that certain plots will not be revealed.




Robert Jordan and Harriet Rigney


*New 16/11/09


1. Question: Why a pseudonym? Why not his real name?” (Harriet- and why?)


1. Answer:-

1. a)  Harriet – He wanted to write everything there was when he was beginning. In the first place, he said he wanted to save his real name for his history of SC. Then his Vietnam novel.


1. b)  Harriet – In youth he loved Louis L’amour’s westerns. He bought a new Louis L’amour book one time and when he read it, it wasn’t a western, it was a mystery! So, he thought he’d have a name for every genre to keep this from happening to his fans. “Robert Jordan” had nothing to do with For Whom the Bell Tolls.


1. c) Reference to a post from DM’er: The post was from a woman who started reading the series 12 years ago. She had small children, not enough money for drugs or alcohol. A friend gave her The Eye of the World. And it worked! Now her son is reading them and when he picked up the Gathering Storm answered the question of why he didn’t use his own name: “Why of course he did! He’s a superhero! You don’t think Batman’s real name is Batman, do you?”


2. Question: I can’t tell you the question, but I think the answer was insightful, so I’m editing out the spoilers to give you this:

2. Answer:-

2. a) You’ll notice that the prologues fulfill a purpose. Most of the prologues are written like epilogue to the book before. [This Prologue]was more of an epilogue to the [end of] Knife of Dreams. Brandon believes that RJ liked giving his fans something to talk about and then answer it in the prologue of the next book. Brandon “I can’t speak for what Robert Jordan was thinking.”


2. b) To which Harriet responded, “Even Robert Jordan couldn’t speak for what Robert Jordan was thinking.”


• Brandon also told the story of how Robert Jordan originally pitched the Wheel of Time to Tom Doherty.  He and Harriet pitched it together and said that it would be a trilogy.  At the end of the first volume Rand was going to take Callandor.  Tom Doherty knew how Jordan worked, and decided to write him a contract for six books just to be safe.  He said to Brandon that when he did it, he thought he had done a really smart thing.  He commented recently that it’s appropriate that a series that was supposed to be a trilogy in the first place will end with a single volume that turned out to be a trilogy itself.

• New 23/11/09

• Harriet commented that she browses fan boards sometimes and that she had looked at people saying: this part is Brandon and this part is RJ. She laughed and said that most of the time they were totally wrong.



Wheel of Time Movie/Game Info


*New 16/11/09


1. Question: What’s the status of the WoT movie?


1. Answer: Universal has bought the rights for it, and they’re in the process of writing a script.  Maria is the official contact point for making sure they get the details right.  Brandon is plenty busy writing, so he hasn’t been involved.


2. Question: Is there a WoT MMORPG coming out?


2. Answer: Red Eagle has the right to create WoT video games, and they’re working on some.


Brandon Sanderson – Personal Comments and Questions


1. Question -   What was your reaction when you finished The Gathering Storm?


1. Answer -  It was an enormous sigh of relief, followed by a, how shoudl I say it, a curiousity what kinds of screams I would get when people read the last chapter of the book.


2. Question -   Why did you choose to be so open with your writing process?


2. Answer -   It’s because when I was trying to break into this business and learn to be a writer, the whole process seemed opaque to me. And I think that’s because I was doing it before the era of the Internet really hit and now that we have this opportunity I figure I’ll throw it out there and maybe what I’m talking about will really help other writers who are aspiring. And also on the other end of it, it gets a little frustrating waiting for books to come out and you never know what’s going to happen and you never know what’s going on. I figure with the Internet we have such a great opportunity to keep people in the loop to let people know what’s going on. We don’t have to be so shadowed anymore, so I want to make as best use of it as I can.


3. Question -   If you could choose an Ajah, which Ajah would you choose?


3. Answer -  If there were Ajahs for guys, I would definitely be a Brown.


4. Question -   Do you have any books coming out between the next two Wheel of Time books?


4. Answer -  I have been working very hard on a book called “The Way of Kings” for about ten years now. It is the beginning of a large epic and I’ve always wanted to write one. I think it’s almost ready. If the revisions work it will come out next fall. I don’t think I will have one the year after that because the Wheel of Time is first priority. So, either between this one and the next one or between “The Towers of Midnight” and “A Memory of Light”.


5. Question -  When asked about his favourite part of writing this series in specific


5. Answer -  “The Characters feel like old highschool buddies.”


6. Question -  Whats most difficult in the writing process?


6. Answer -  “Keeping track of everyone” “I was confused about who was with Perrin, so I ask Charleston for a file with every one of the two river, whose with them, then send over a file of a complete list of two rivers folk with Perrin, most of whom hadn’t even been mentioned, and it had things like they’re names, relations, and most of them what they did in the army.”


7. Question -  How do you keep sane?


7. Answer -  “Writing compulsively. Actually, I’m not sane, I’m a writer”


8. Question -  How do you keep from being burnt out?


8. Answer -  Brandon said that he switches projects continually. He wrote 13 standalone books before he ever got one published, that being Elantris, his 6th novel, “I write compulsively” that’s where Alcatraz came from, he needed a break from Mistborn, and so he stopped for a time and wrote a light YA novel. He would often take a Saturday off in the middle of a project, and write something completely different, something he wasn’t necessarily supposed to.


*New 16/11/09


9. Question -  On going into Robert Jordan study:


9. Answer -  “It felt like wondering into davinci’s workshop seeing his unfinished work” picking up RJ’s notes.“


10. Question -   How much writing do you think you’ll get done during the Tour?


10. Answer -  I bought a brand new Netbook just yesterday…the goal being to do writing on the plane rides and in the car while the driver is driving me around. How much do I think I’ll get done? My goal is to get up to about 90%…I’m not sure if I’ll make that…we’ll see…get to the 90%. What am I at right now? 70? (pause while he signs a book) Okay, let’s not say 90%, I just added that up. Let’s say 80%. Thirty thousand words is going to be tough to get. As I was thinking about that, wait a minute, fifty thousand words is a good month on its own, so if on tour I get half that I’m going to be happy.


11. Question -  Which character do you most identify with?


11. Answer -  Brandon said that it depends on when he read the series through. When he first started reading he really was identifying with Rand, simply because they were both teenagers, so he naturally connected with how he felt. Then he started feeling for Perrin, slightly more mature, also because of the similarities in personality. This last time he read through the series for TGS, he most identified with Moraine, and Nyneave, because he, as a father in his 30’s, can see the wisdom and guidance that they have to impart, and how better things would be if the boys just did what they were supposed to, unlike when he was younger when he would simply wish that they would stop butting in all the time.


12. Question -  Are you ticked you know the ending? (The fans, Brandon, and all of us Storm Leaders laughed!)


12. Answer -  “I’m excited.” Brandon, in having Robert Jordan’s notes on the whole series, has even seen the “handwritten note of who killed Asmodean!” [i didn’t know Robert Jordan knew my name!] A moment with a somewhat quizzical look on his face, Brandon went on to say that he does feel a “sense of loss that I didn’t get to read a new Wheel of Time book last week.”


13. Question -  Which character’s point of view is your favorite to write?


13. Answer -  “Whoever I’m writing at that moment”, they’re the most important. With some characters it was easier than others, as “Cadsuane already believes she’s the most important.” [i think I laughed the loudest at that remark.] He also said that the notes on Egwene were the most extensive and she was a pleasure to write. He also enjoys having more Aviendha viewpoints, as he missed her, and commented that writing Rand is both dramatic and draining.


14. Question: Were you a part of any of the WT online communities?


14. Answer: Usenet for RJ my first day on the internet. I was a member of DM and Wotmania, but never posted. He’d go to DM to check blogs. He’d drop by WoTmania, but they were kinda mean (aggressive about their viewpoints.)


15. Question: How’s The Towers of Midnight coming?


15. Answer:-

15. a) ToM is 70% done.


15. b) Harriet’s answer: “ If I can quote Robert Jordan, I can assure you without fear of contradiction, that ToM will be on the shelves very shortly after Brandon finishes writing it.”


15. c) “This is a very, very… there’s a lot of work involved. People assume that when I was given the outline, I was given a point by point outline. RJ wasn’t like that. He wouldn’t show it to Harriet until he’d done 12 drafts. We got this in a state of incompleteness. The creative process isn’t as neat and orderly. Things were in dozens of files. “


15. d) Harriet: Brandon would say “what order do you want it in?” and I would say “Brandon, you’re the writer. It’s foolish for the editor to take over the part of the writer. And vice-versa.”


15. e) He dictated some and the assistants transferred it into notes, scoured their memory for anything he’d said and put that in the notes. And then all the files… “this was all handed to me and told ‘ok, let’s write a book.’”


16. Question: Was it difficult for you to find any of the character’s voice?


16. Answer: Brandon: Aviendha- the Aiel way of thinking is so different and I think like a Two River’s folker. It was easy to write the Two Rivers. And when I started writing Aviendha, I was writing like a Two Rivers-er.


16. Question: I am struck by how alike this is to Tolkien. Have you ever talked to Chris Tolkien (since he took over for his father using his notes)?


16. Answer: Brandon’s responses:

a) No, but I’d like to.

b) We’re in a little better shape. Jim actually finished scenes. We have a lot more to work with. He wrote the end himself! He left landmarks to follow from here to the end. Not specific details, just “strong stuff” to get us to the end.

c) “There are no characters that we don’t know how they end up.”


17. Question: How much of the book was [brandon’s]


17. Answer:  Brandon indicated that it is very difficult to pick apart. He insisted it is a true collaboration that is 100% Jordan with “some of me, too.” Jordan’s notes are not a neat little outline, he explained. The computer files of notes consist of some four million words. Brandon took another moment to be humble and self-deprecating before continuing; although he did indicate it was possible once the series was complete there might be some annotation indicating which moments were the brainchild of whom.


• “There are a surprising amount of deaths in the notes, so I get to play headsman”

• Even Brandon had moments of “Aaaah! I knew it!” He also has had the “wait, really?” moments and often, while going through notes, has said, “Ah, that group is right!” [Referring to groups on the message boards.] He also confided that there is one thing that isn’t being discussed on any of the forums yet that will blow our minds when we read it. Yay!

• Other information that we gleaned from dinner included learning that Aviendha is the favorite out of the three in Rand’s “harem.”

• And one last interesting fact, in order to get the Illianer and Taraboner accents right, he wrote the book then went back and did a search for all the characters of those nations and then worked on their crazy accents.

• the most rewarding part of writing GS for Brandon was working with Harriet.

• It took 18 months of 14 hour days (although that includes a chunk of Towers of Midnight) to finish the book.

• The Two Rivers and Andoran charcters were the easiest for him to write, while the Aiel and Seanchan were the hardest.

• *New 16/11/09

• ---When discussing the book store where he found The Eye of the World. “The new books are right in the front and right there was a copy of a “VERY BIG BOOK.” I like very good books.”

”The good thing about big books is that when you realize you liked it, you still had so much to read! It’s also a good page per dollar value.”

• When discussing learning about Jim’s passing: “I was stunned when I heard the news. It was like all of my high school friends died at the same moment. I had acquaintances in high school, but my real friends were the characters from the books I read.”

• Discussing seeing Jim, “I saw him once at a convention and I was too chicken to go talk to him.”

• Discussing the day he got the phone message from Harriet, “My wife says I was more nervous on that day than on our wedding day.”

• *Discussing things he was thinking about while he couldn’t sleep that night he found out what Harriet was after:

“The first one was- I couldn’t write as good a book as RJ would’ve. I realized that no one could replace him and that I was going to fail, in part, because no one could write the book that RJ would’ve written.

And then I realized something else… the next best thing to having RJ, was to do it myself. You know that old adage” when you want something done right, do it yourself.”

• “There are better writers, there are bigger fans. But there’s no one who has both.”

And I realized that I had to do this book because I was the one who would screw it up the least. As a long time fan of the series, I could write this book in such a way that it wouldn’t change what it had been. “

*“The only thing I promise you guys is that it’s in the hands of a fan. And the one thing I can promise you is that I promise not to screw it up, or at least, I promise not to screw it up the least.”

• Aviendha is Brandon’s favorite female of the series.

• He’s planning another stand alone story about a world where virus and germs have evolved and possess magic powers. So if you catch a cold you can fly, when you get over it, you can’t anymore.

• For NaNo, he participated for 4 years, but couldn’t “win” since he never wrote anything FOR NaNo. He just continued with what he was already writing. It usually came out to another 70 or 80 thousand words, though!

• He mentioned online comments that people had complained that Brandon’s chapter titles weren’t at all like Jordan’s chapter titles. Little did they know, he explained, that almost every chapter title in the series has been named by Harriet.

• Back to the topic of WoT, Brandon and Harriet were both asked their favorite quotes or passages. Brandon’s favorite quote was “Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.” His favorite passages were the prologue to Eye of the World and Rand’s experiences in Rhuidean. Harriet’s favorite quote was “Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain.”

• Brandon, who is of the Latter Day Saints faith, was asked how he keeps his theology out of his books. He answers that a writer should not ram his ideology down the reader’s throats. A good writer, he says, should present multiple perspectives and beliefs through his characters writing all arguments with equal strength, lest they carry less weight. He then says that Robert Jordan was once quoted saying “I love when my books ask questions, I do not want to give answers.” Another visitor also comments on Brandon’s faith, praising that he’s one of the only LDS authors he’s read where you can’t tell his faith through his writing.

• A fan that asked Harriet if she considered any other author to finish the “Wheel of Time” received the answer he expected in that she had, but would not name the other candidates. She went on to say that Brandon was an easy choice.

• New 20/11/09

• Maria and Peter lurk on lots of message boards to keep in touch with the what the fans are talking and theorizing about (Hi guys). They occasionally talk to Brandon about stuff, especially when they feel it’s something Brandon should know about. But Brandon generally keeps his distance so as not to influence his writing.


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