Editor's Note: After completing his USA tour to promote TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT, Brandon Sanderson and his wife, Emily, were guests at the annual Utopiales science fiction convention in Nantes, France. While the Sandersons were in France, Brandon also did a signing at the WH Smith bookstore in Paris. This is a report from that signing. Please be aware that there are SPOILERS for TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT in this report and in the videos. Brandon is planning other trips outside of the USA in the near future. Please check his website for details. OK, here goes... If anyone else has pictures from the signing, please post them also. Thanks to Cuthbert 19 for sending me his pictures. Here's a quick link to my dragonmount gallery for those who just want to see the pictures: Signing Report Paris - Major spoiler warnings The signing was a great event with over 100 people present. Brandon was very happy with it. The bookstore people were very nice and had bought some drinks for everyone. Brandon's wife Emily sent me an email when they got to Paris and they met me in a café beforehand as a thank you for helping set up the book signing. Brandon signed my books and drew a dead narg for me because I told him that I am on Theoryland and Dragonmount and he had done things like this for other theorylanders (See Terez's dead Asmodean drawing). Then we went over to the bookstore. Here's a picture of the store window with lots of WOT books. ... and the posters they put up Brandon began by reading Lan's part of the prologue with great enthusiasm: Then came the questions & answers session (see detailed description below, videos are also coming). I met up with Cuthbert and we also talked with some other enthusiastic fans met at the signing, one of which I convinced to buy Way of Kings. During the line, we read Julien's list of questions deciding which one or two he should ask if Brandon only had time to answer one and speculated about what the answers might be. Here's a picture of us with the list of questions: We intentionally placed ourselves at the very back of the line because both Cuthbert and Julien had a very big sack of books, and this gave us more time to talk about our questions and hang out near the diet coke :). It took about 2 hours to get through the line, which was fine with us! Here's a picture of people in line (near the end): ... and Brandon signing books: When we got to the front of the line, we asked our questions and Cuthbert identified himself as the guy who (almost) found the Venice clue during the great hunt (it was lost, but Brandon sent him a copy of it + another code) who flew to Paris just for the signing. There's a great picture of them at the signing table with the clues: Afterwards, the bookstore was planning to take Brandon and Emily to dinner but as only one person from the bookstore was coming, Brandon invited Federico, Julien, 2 other fans and I who had waited at the back of the line to come along too which was a very fun experience and we got to ask more questions (yay). Brandon and Emily opening magic cards from Federico: The rare card in Brandon's pack (I think this is the one he had Federico sign): ... the cards were in Italian Group picture at dinner: Please note that here were some topics that Brandon talked about at the signing and also later, so I may have put some things he said later into the description of his answer to the question at the signing to have everything on the same theme in one spot. This was a really great time and I want to thank Brandon, Emily, the bookstore and everyone who came! For those who were there, let us know who you were and if you remember anything I didn't mention here or got a question in line that I didn't hear. Signing Q&A video 1: <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pY8DNS9q_6U?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b"></param><param'>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pY8DNS9q_6U?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pY8DNS9q_6U?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object> Sorry for the shaky camera at the beginning, it gets better after about a minute. This starts a few questions into the Q&A session as the beginning got erased by accident. Signing Q&A video 2: <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f8HUMHHDhY?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b"></param><param'>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f8HUMHHDhY?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f8HUMHHDhY?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object> Signing Q&A video 3: <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSOzUje84ac?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b"></param><param'>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSOzUje84ac?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSOzUje84ac?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object> Signing Q&A summary: The questions are not necessarily in order as I wrote this from my memory. There were some funny moments like when someone asked what would be the role of the Prince of the Ravens and Brandon answered it with a rafo on the Prince of the Raisins. Much laughter ensued and he told us about the typo Maria found in the book about "butt trollocs"... Another question was how much of the books was him and how much was RJ. He said that for AMOL, TGS and TOM, he had about 200 000 words of written material including notes dedicated to that story . He also had dictations dedicated to the AMOL material + dictations and the other general notes for the series. He made the parable of someone who has pieces of a Ming vase for which he had some pieces but others are missing and he had to put it all back together to make a whole. He did say that for this book, more of Mat was RJ and more of Perrin was him. I think that he has done a really great job. Someone asked if he would do the prequels and outriggers. He said its Harriet's decision but he'd seen a lot of series being continued after they probably should have stopped and he doesn't want that to happen to The Wheel of Time. TOR wants very much for Brandon to do more WOT books after the end and also continue his own books. Brandon thinks that the easiest place for them to stop doing additional WOT material is after AMOL and the encyclopedia are done – if the prequels get written, he worries that there would be more demand for the outriggers and if the outriggers got written, demand for more books. He mentioned that he would say yes if Harriet asked him to do the prequels and outriggers but would say no to any further material after that. He has advised that they stop after AMOL and the encyclopedia. However, he did say that he thinks that the outriggers and prequels would be great books if they were written, which makes me really want to read them. He has said previously that if there were one or the other that he'd rather do the prequels but TOR wants the outriggers more. He mentioned that doing TOM and rewriting/editing Way of Kings the same year was quite intense in terms of time. He is still committed to getting books out quickly and regularly, but WOK and TOM in one year was more than he wants to do on a regular basis. He is going to take 3 months to reread the series and plans to have AMOL done by end 2011 for a release in early 2012. Someone else asked if Rand's internal state of affairs was affecting the world around him. Brandon said there are 2 things going on – ta'veren and the fisher king prophecy which says the Dragon is tied directly to the land. He says it seems to Rand that more bad stuff was happening in TGS but that this could be either just Rand's perception or what is really going on. We should remember that ta'veren is supposed to be 50/50 – an extra equal amount of good and bad going on. He would not tell us at this point whether there was really more bad stuff happening in TGS or whether its rand's perception as there was purposefully very few viewpoints from rand himself in TOM. Like the 3rd book Dragon Reborn, TOM is meant to step away from Rand and view him from the viewpoints of others. Someone also asked if Rand's ta'veren nature would affect people on the other side of an open gateway. Brandon said that the Pattern considers that Rand is where he is and not on the other side of the gateway, so he would not affect a place just by having a gateway open there and not actually being there. Someone asked how the trollocs are getting enough food in the Blight, they can't just eat each other right? Brandon said that the number of trollocs in the blight currently is unsustainable over a long period of time but we should remember that the shadow does has access to channelers that can create gateways (implied: as a means to bring food TO the trollocs). Someone asked if the Seanchan taking over the entire world would be a victory for the Light or the Dark. Brandon said it would be a victory for the light because the Dark One would not have won. He said that the Forsaken have different visions of what a victory for the Dark would mean. Ishamael thinks it will mean the destruction of everything and the end of time whereas Graendal thinks that he will remake the world. Otherwise, many of the Q&A questions were things Brandon had answered previously such as why were the books split into 3... Other Q&A summary This part is from the un-official q&a during dinner and the questions I asked Brandon from before the signing. I asked if he could confirm definitively that Cyndane is Lanfear and end of story since there were still some people saying maybe Cyndane isn't Lanfear. He said that anything regarding Lanfear is RAFO at this point because there is likely to be information about that in the next book and there are hints about what is going on with her in Towers of Midnight. We discussed the gholam, if someone had pushed it through a gateway, would it have just died? Brandon said that gholam CAN go THROUGH gateways (from one place to another). Gholam are shadowspawn of a more perfected kind. It would have been way too easy to kill if you just needed to shove it through a gateway (to another place). However, falling through the Skimming gateway for a few minutes did kill the gholam and it is really dead and its not going to show up again. This makes me wonder now if one of Rand/Logain's deathgates would have killed it but I didn't think to ask at the time. I also asked about how Asmodean was killed now that we know Graendal was "responsible" for his death. Brandon said that when he arrived at Harriet's and asked to see the ending and got the pile of Robert Jordan's notes including the ending, on top of that pile was a message from a fan in the form of a dialogue between a Sherlock Holmes character and a Watson character with a note from RJ saying "this is right". Emily asked if it was from Matt Hatch and Brandon didn't think it was. He said that he can probably give send me that message so we know exactly what RJ said "this is right" to. This is apparently all of the information that is available from RJ himself about the actual method of Asmodean's murder. In Brandon's vision of the story, he imagines Graendal killed Asmodean (did the deed herself) with balefire, but apparently this is not in the notes. So its possible that it could have been done by another kind of weave and we are free to speculate on that. I then asked about the RJ quote where he said that the place and the method of Asmodean's killer both mean that he couldn't come back. Brandon said this was also a RAFO as he couldn't tell us why the place was important at this point without giving something away. He seemed to know something about this reason (there is probably information about why someone killed in the place Asmodean was couldn't be brought back by the DO). I asked if whether "where" referred to the city of Caemlyn or something else and this was also a RAFO. He also said that RJ's answer to Winespring Brother "The Dark One couldn't bring back Asmodean because of the combination of 2 factors: HOW HE DIED and WHERE HE DIED. Not one or the other, both factors." might be interpreted as both factors (each alone) would have prevented the DO from bringing Asmo back (and not just one or just the other) OR both factors (each alone) were not sufficient to prevent the DO from bringing Asmo back and the combination of both was required. It seemed to me like his vision of it was more the first answer than the second (both factors each alone would have prevented it). I am guessing that we will learn about that in either AMOL or the encyclopedia, but probably AMOL. My personal theory is that there is perhaps some kind of magic tied to the city of Caemlyn that makes the dark one's power be lessened within that city itself and perhaps he cannot bring back anyone killed there. This is perhaps also a reason that he wants to make a strike at the city of Caemlyn with all of the trollocs very soon. I asked about why Grady didn't tie off the gateways to move Perrin's troops if he was too tired to keep them open. Brandon says that this was part of the instructions he had, so he didn't want to change it (my speculation is that I think that means it was probably in the notes themselves but I don't know that for sure). He said that it makes sense for tieing off gateways to have a cost for the channeler to maintain because if it were so easy to create gateways and tie them off, it could be very breaking for the logistics of the world. If this were possible in the Age of Legends for example, why would anyone need a horse or a wagon or to develop any other kind of technology to transport anything? There could just be tied off gateways from everywhere to everywhere else. I asked if there would be another Great Hunt for AMOL and Brandon said yes and he is thinking about putting in all the chapter names. He said we will notice in TOM that not all of the chapter names got put in because he took out some of the ones that he thought would be so easy to guess. Because of this filtering on the chapter names, he was impressed that we guessed so many. I told him that there were 6000 failed guesses we listed and about the list and search engine that was made by Theorylanders to avoid making the same wrong guesses and he was very impressed by that. He said Tor was surprised by the success of the Hunt and that they were very pleased. I also asked if there was anything in AMOL like the big un-noticed thing in TOM that we should look for. He said there are lots of little things that come to fruition in interesting ways. I said yeah, I can't wait to see how "his blood on the rooks of Shayol Ghul" turns out. Do you know there are some people that think Elayne will have her babies on SG and that will fulfill the prophecy? He said well, Elayne is like 4 months pregnant at this point... Lots of things are possible with the One Power though. In my mind, this debunks that theory somewhat . At dinner, Cuthbert told us in detail about his involvement with the last clue. He had to get up on the chair of the photobooth to look at what was on top and a lot of the security guards were looking at him funny. He also got a lot of twitter followers and people encouraging him to go get the clue. Julien asked if the incident where Perrin comes back from TAR with blood of someone else on his face was a mistake or something else (usually you get blood from your own wounds but not others when exiting TAR). Brandon said remembering thinking it was odd at the time when he read it but asked for an email and find out for that question. He also asked if Rand had quit smoking since we hadn't seen him smoking tabac recently. Brandon says that if he can't get Two Rivers tabac he would rather not smoke anything and Rand has been a busy guy lately. He compared it to being used to really good french wine and then having only bad American wine available, in which case Rand would rather not consume. Rather funny. Julien also asked what "Shanna'har" meant and he said that he had asked Alan for a word that meant "commemoration" in the old tongue. He also asked what was the riddle that the Snakes & Foxes told Rand that gave him the answer about how to cleanse saidin. We know their answer to how can I win the Last Battle, how can I survive the Last Battle and we know the result of rand's third answer about cleansing the Source but we don't know what the "riddle" was. Brandon was not sure if he could tell us this without giving something away so he got an email and find out on this question. Someone asked about why the clouds are clearing and whether they were clearing around the certain of the important women in the story. Brandon said that the clouds are clearing around Rand, but it has not been specified whether that's because of ta'veren, the Fisher King or another reason entirely. He said that the clouds had cleared over Avi in the Waste and we have not seen whether the clouds have cleared over Tuon, but Tuon is still somewhat behind the other characters at the end of TofM. He also said the clouds have not cleared over Seandar. Cuthbert gave Brandon packs of Magic cards in Italian and Brandon had him sign one of the cards, which was neat. Other things we discussed included the Mistborn movie (Brandon has seen a screenplay and it was pretty good, but the project is not for sure going to be made). Dreamworks Animation has the rights to Alcatraz and Red Eagle has the rights to Wheel of Time. There was an April Fools joke at one point that Lindsay Lohan was going to play Vin in the movie by Brandon's friend Dan wells who does the Writing Excuses podcast for aspiring writers with Brandon. If you haven't listened to their podcast yet you should, its quite entertaining even for people who have no desire to become writers. Brandon mentioned that maybe about 50% of the audience is listening just for fun and may not have an actual desire to become professional authors. Finally, Brandon told us that he is likely coming back to Europe next year. He wants to get to the UK very much and will likely go to the Imaginales d'epinal convention which is in March. He said that he generally has more time at conventions to do things like play Magic than at signings as there are events over multiple days, parties, etc... We discussed Demandred, I don't remember how or why it came up, but I said that the most popular theory currently is that he's Roederan of Murandy. I didn't ask who Demandred is because I knew that would get a big fat RAFO. He said "aren't there a lot of people who think its Paitar"? I said not that I knew as, RJ said we hadn't seen Demandred's alias on-screen prior to KOD and we had seen Paitar before. Roderan is basically the only important king of Randland or one of them that we haven't seen on screen. He didn't deny or confirm any of the above. All this talk about gateways now has me curious if gateways always have to be flat or if there could ever be a curved gateway. But I didn't think to ask that. For example, could you make a spherical gateway around somebody with the destination being a fiery pit and they couldn't move otherwise they'd be toast? If someone made a circular gateway, how would that look on the other side (a big round sphere of nothing... ?) We talked about the order of the chapters as some people were confused by tam being in 2 places at once. Brandon said there was no way around this as they had to catch Perrin up. Then we asked if there was a chance of getting the last 3 books re-released with the chapters in chronological order. He said this might be possible as an e-book or maybe a rearranged audiobook. Only the chapter orders would be changed. Author's note: You couldn't fit it all in one published book and it would just be weird to have 3 separate volumes published again with the chapters in different orders. I could totally see an ebook or one huge rearranged audiobook though as something attractive and maybe not too costly to produce that some HCFFs like us would enjoy having. Finally, here are some pictures of my books. TOM with dead Narg (awesome): Contents of my backpack before going to the signing (that thing was heavy)!!
Tor Books recently announced that the digital eBook edition of Towers of Midnight will be available on January 31. Here's what they http://torforge.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/towers-of-midnight-e-book-coming-in-january-2011/" target="news">wrote on their blog: The eBook will be available from all the normal vendors including Amazon, BN.com, Borders, etc.
Hey folks, Marc here, from <a href="/Podcast">The 4th Age Podcast</a>. Over the last little while, many people have noted that the iTunes stream has been down. This was, without too much techy talk, because Dragonmount.com was undergoing some major reworks, and the feed that made iTunes know what files to get, and when / what to update, was broken. Unfortunately, it wasn't a real easy fix, to keep the old feed the same, and iTunes wasn't really helpful in allowing us to keep things as they were. So there is now a brand new 4th Age podcast entry in iTunes - as the old one is no longer working - the old one exists there for archival purposes. This new feed is finally up and running properly, and it downloads all of the old episodes (minus most of the TGS recap series from 76-92 - they're being slowly implemented, but aren't all there just yet). So, if you wish to sign up and get the NEW 4th Age Podcast, click the following link: <a href="http://ax.itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-4th-age/id401516810#ls=1">iTunes 4th Age Podcast Store Link To Subscribe</a> This should open iTunes up to the new 4th Age podcast, and allow you to subscribe. If you want just the feed itself (for either an RSS reader, or another program to get podcasts (Winamp, Media Go, etc), then THAT URL is: http://feeds.feedburner.com/4thAge Unfortunately, you cannot copy the old files into the new directory and have it work - I tried that last night. So you can either keep all the old with the old (if you have them already), or else re-download them with the new feed, which has them all as well, and will have the future episodes we release. The 4th Age <a href="/Podcast/">home page can found here</a>. And all of <a href="/Podcast/episodes.php">our past episodes can be found here</a>. Thanks again, and thank you for being loyal WoT / Dragonmount.com / 4th Age fans. »Marc S 4th Age Podcaster PS, we are aware of some of the issues with a couple of the episodes, and Jason is working on getting them fixed. New episodes are also still being recorded, and released, as well as the TGS Recap episodes, so you'll be seeing those in the feed over the coming days / weeks.
Macmillan Audio, the company which produces the Wheel of Time audio books, is holding a contest which offers Wheel of Time fans the chance to win a free copy of the Towers of Midnight audiobook edition, signed by co-author Brandon Sanderson. The contest begins this morning and will run through the weekend, ending midnight on Sunday. Three winners will be picked at random and notified Monday morning. To Enter the Contest Visit Macmillan Audio’s fan page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MacmillanAudio" rel="external nofollow">http://www.facebook.com/MacmillanAudio">www.facebook.com/MacmillanAudio and post on their wall what you love most about the Wheel of Time. Simple enough, right? Good luck!
How can I describe a dream come true? With this report,I'll give it my best try. My day started with my son waking me up saying..It's today! Yes, I admit it,even my eight year old knew how special a day this particular Sunday was going to be for me. After going to church and offering prayers for the success of the whole Tour with special Trisagion Prayers of Mercy being said for the repose of the Soul of our beloved Departed Creator "Robert Jordan" and for the continued health of Harriet. I drove to Cambridge loaded with books, instructions and questions. I also had all the the Tower Guard T-shirts. Since the Tower Guards and I did not get to meet prior to the Book Signing, I wouldn't wear my t-shirt until each of the other Tower Guard's had theirs. I wanted so badly to show it off, but felt honor bound not to..so I waited. All the Tower Guards met at the Harvard Coop where there were lovely displays of the whole of the Wheel of Time Series as well as all of Brandon's books. I was pleased to see that Karen Porter from the bookstore was able to have all the books in time because last year I was unable to obtain even one full set of Brandon's books. This year, they were well stocked. If one were to guess the amount of people planning to attend the book signing from the facebook page, they would have been surprised. I think we had over fifty people waiting in line at the time the Tower Guards arrived, and we arrived at least three hours prior to the Signing. We got ourselves set up and Dennis got started right away asking people questions from his specially prepared list. I will include the questions at the end of this report. I must say that the people who "WON" the prizes deserved them. These were no easy questions. In the meantime, I had my cell phone on and was patiently waiting for a call from Brandon and Harriet's driver's to tell us they arrived, when all of a sudden, in walks Brandon. It was like, HE's here..OMG...he's here. One of the fan's went up and introduced himself to Brandon, reminding him that they met before and Brandon being the gentleman that he is, started to get involved in the conversation. We,. the Tower Guards being jealous of our personal time with Brandon and feeling it dwindle away, rushed him off to the fourth floor where the Coop kindly brought up a light lunch for us all. One of the Guards met with Harriet and we all sat down for our books to be signed, receive special instructions and ask questions. We're not allowed to "discuss" spoilers but suffice it to say that most of our questions were met with "RAFO". I needed to be told what RAFO stood for. (Read and Found Out). Brandon told us that this was one of +Robert Jordan's favorite answers. I can see why. After our time for which I and I'm certain the other Tower Guards are forever grateful for, we went to the book signing area where it seemed that the amount of people tripled. The first thing evident other than the size of the crowd was the diversity of the crowd. We had people from all over the world, Brazil, Portugal, India, China, Korea, Japan, Israel and Lebanon. Children, infant's and parents all were together to show support and love for the Wheel of Time Series and for their new favorite author. I met many people there who actually found out about the Wheel of Time because of Brandon's Sanderson's books and vice versa. While listening to many of the conversations the majority of people echoed the grateful feelings that Brandon is the one finishing the Series and that he is doing a "bang up job" of it. (bang up job-not being my words). I don't remember her name, sorry, but when I was asked by a young lady who the woman was sitting next to Brandon and I told her that it was Harriet, +Robert Jordan's widow, she was in awe almost to the point of tears. Brandon was introduced by Richard, a member of the Harvard Coop who was incredible. He compared the Wheel of Time with Mahabaharat both in size and complexity and really "blew it out the of the ballpark"! Brandon said a few words and made his plea for everyone to patronize the book store and thanked the Harvard Coop for hosting us. He then introduced Harriet who read from my book! Squee!! Brandon had chosen to read from my book last year and HE mentioned that Harriet should read from my book this year so I would have a set. Isn't he Super Fantastic??!! Silly question I know. Harriet read the Prologue and the few dry eyes that were in the crowd were probably hiding their tears well. I hope that my Tower Guard who had to step away for a moment doesn't get angry at me for writing this. What passion! What a Blessing to have had Harriet with us! After the Reading, which I do have on video and will post here, the actual signing took place. On a sidenote, my Red Sister, Kaths made me a shawl so that I could have it in time for the signing, and Harriet LOVED it. Kaths, you did good! I draped the shawl over the chair that Harriet or Brandon were going to sit in and there it stayed! I digress. Venkat and Andrea, who is the Mistress of Novices at theoryland.net, immediately started taking pictures, Bob and Dennis organized the people and started asking questions, I was standing there to make sure that everything was going well and if Brandon or Harriet needed anything, I was there to get it . The line went quickly with many surprise gifts for Brandon, Peter, his assistant, and Harriet. We actually finished half an hour prior to Brandon's deadline and got to spend an extra half an hour of quality time with the small group that remained. There were many people that made great impressions on us. The Wolf Brother was one, Kalyani, who made special t-shirts for Brandon and Harriet and a special one for Peter, because he answers all her questions. Kalyana was promised to be a Trooper/Guard next year and it struck a chord because the first thing out of her mouth was, "I hope I am in the US next year." I will go anywhere." It's fair to say that all who heard her heartfelt wish also want her to be in the US for the next Signing. Kalyani, I hope to see you next year! The little babies who were at the signing were a treasure but the young 13 year old who asked Brendan a question to which he was answered.."RAFO" was adorable. Okay,so I'm showing my age..but he was. Last but not least was the Pi Lanningham. who insisted that he be the "last" in line. Check out his t-shirt. I want one of those! After everyone had their books signed, extra books signed for the Coop, we presented Harriet and Brandon with our gifts to them. We got "Dark Magic Cards" for Brandon and a Harvard Sweatshirt for him and for Harriet. My trooper decided to get some small gifts for Brandon's children because as he said, parents love to buy gifts for their children and it didn't look like Brandon would have any time to do much shopping. I agree, great job! Some things you may or may have not known. Harriet graduated from Harvard University. She had a hand in editing "The Way of Kings. and drum roll please, Brandon let it slip that there will be one more opportunity to make a donation and have the chance to have your name be in the Final book of the series!!!!!! THANK YOU! After the signing a small group of us,not wanting to end this magical day went to Grendel's Den and had dinner. Thank you Alric, it was a perfect place to talk, eat, have a drink and re-hash the events of the day. I would like to end this report by mentioning the dedication of the Towers of Midnight. What a tribute! I offer my sincere Thanks to Brandon, Harriet and all of you who work behind the scenes. This was a great signing because of all your hard work and dedication and the Troopers and I thank you so much for this opportunity. May your Memory Be Eternal Creator! respectfully submitted on behalf of the Boston Tower Guards by Helane Hilwa Katir Sister of the Red Ajah
TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT, the thirteenth Wheel of Time novel, made a strong debut last week. According a press release posted by Tor/Forge (the US publishers of the series) it was the number one New York Times bestselling hardcover fiction book for it's first week of release. This marks the sixth Wheel of Time novel to debut in the number one spot on this prestigious list. Additionally, TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT is currently #7 on Amazon's list of best selling books and debuted at #2 in the UK, just behind a new release from John Grisham. Reviews Jason" rel="external nofollow">http://www.dragonmount.com/index.php/News/tom/i-have-read-towers-of-midnight-r36">Jason Denzel Matt" rel="external nofollow">http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=4217">Matt Hatch Leigh" rel="external nofollow">http://www.tor.com/blogs/2010/09/the-wheel-of-time-towers-of-midnight-advance-review">Leigh Butler (non-spoiler) Leigh" rel="external nofollow">http://www.tor.com/blogs/2010/11/the-wheel-of-time-towers-of-midnight-spoiler-review">Leigh Butler (Spoilers!!) Terez" rel="external nofollow">http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=4270">Terez Pat" s rel="external nofollow">http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com/2010/10/towers-of-midnight-update.html">Pat's Fantasy Hotlist (mild spoilers) 4th" rel="external nofollow">http://www.dragonmount.com/index.php/News/podcast/4th-age-podcast-towers-of-midnight-teaser-r47">4th Age Podcast with Leigh Butler, Jennifer Liang and Jason Denzel Linda" rel="external nofollow">http://13depository.blogspot.com/2010/11/my-review-of-towers-of-midnight.html">Linda (Thirteenth Depository) Nethspace" rel="external nofollow">http://nethspace.blogspot.com/2010/11/review-towers-of-midnight-by-robert.html">Nethspace Fantasy" rel="external nofollow">http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com/2010/11/towers-of-midnight-by-robert-jordan-and.html">Fantasy Book Critic Fantasy" rel="external nofollow">http://www.fantasyliterature.com/jordanrobert.html#towers">Fantasy Literature Need to Get Caught Up? WoT" rel="external nofollow">http://www.dragonmount.com/index.php/News/website/wheel-of-time-faq-updated-r44">WoT FAQ WoT" rel="external nofollow">http://www.dragonmount.com/index.php/News/tom/the-wheel-of-time-recap-r49">WoT Recap (Downloadable PDF) Leigh" s rel="external nofollow">http://www.tor.com/blogs/2009/10/wheel-of-time-on-torcom#re-read">Leigh's Re-Read Thirteenth" rel="external nofollow">http://13depository.blogspot.com/">Thirteenth Depository Fun Stuff Towers" rel="external nofollow">http://www.dragonmount.com/Books/Towers_of_Midnight/trailer.php">Towers of Midnight Trailer Towers" rel="external nofollow">http://www.dragonmount.com/index.php/News/tom/towers-of-midnight-book-trailer-behind-the-scenes-r41">Towers of Midnight Trailer Behind the Scenes Recording" rel="external nofollow">http://outta-this-world.com/2010/09/21/tom-prologue/">Recording of Brandon Sanderson Reading at Dragon*Con Sample" rel="external nofollow">http://www.tor.com/blogs/2009/10/wheel-of-time-on-torcom#ToM">Sample Chapters Posted of Tor.com Dragonmount" s rel="external nofollow">http://www.dragonmount.com/index.php/News/tom/brandonsanderson/my-interview-with-brandon-sanderson-r45">Dragonmount's Interview with Brandon Sanderson Tor" s rel="external nofollow">http://view.mail.macmillan.com/?j=fe6f16757464027f7514&m=feee1c737d6c02&ls=fde6127872660d7973117473&l=fe6515757462067c7112&s=fdf615747262017871107575&jb=ffcf14&ju=fe2016787d630c7d711d71&r=0">Tor's Wheel of Time Special Edition Newsletter Robert" rel="external nofollow">http://www.dragonmount.com/index.php/News/book-news/about-robert-jordans-signature-r46">Robert Jordan's Signature (An Update from Wilson Grooms) SciFi" rel="external nofollow">http://www.scifinow.co.uk/interviews/interview-brandon-sanderson/">SciFi Now Interview with Brandon Sanderson 10" rel="external nofollow">http://www.sfx.co.uk/2010/10/26/robert-jordan-wheel-of-time/">10 Reasons the Wheel of Time is a Masterpiece Tor" s rel="external nofollow">http://torforge.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/wottheoryriot/">Tor's Wheel of Time Theory Riot (with prizes!) Warning: Others have advised (and we agree) that you should not read the glossary at the back of the book until you have read the entire book. Don't say we didn't warn you, and don't go rushing back there because we said this! Discuss the book Dragonmount" rel="external nofollow">http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/forum/278-towers-of-midnight-non-spoiler-discussion/">Dragonmount Speculation Forum Dragonmount" rel="external nofollow">http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/forum/350-towers-of-midnight-spoiler-discussion/">Dragonmount Spoiler Forum Theoryland.com" rel="external nofollow">http://www.theoryland.com/">Theoryland.com TarValon.net " rel="external nofollow">http://www.tarvalon.net/">TarValon.net Order Towers of Midnight and support Dragonmount? Amazon.com" rel="external nofollow">http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0765325942?ie=UTF8&tag=dragonmount&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0765325942">Amazon.com - This link helps support Dragonmount Amazon.co.uk" rel="external nofollow">http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/184149867X?tag=dragonmount-21&camp=1406&creative=6394&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=184149867X&adid=0NW45FP5BV0BQ4VMJHF3&">Amazon.co.uk - This link helps support Dragonmount Amazon.ca" rel="external nofollow">http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/0765325942?ie=UTF8&tag=dragonmount-20&linkCode=as2&camp=15121&creative=330641&creativeASIN=0765325942">Amazon.ca - This link helps support Dragonmount Indiebound.org" rel="external nofollow">http://www.indiebound.org/book/0765325942">Indiebound.org - Find local independent sellers Barnes" rel="external nofollow">http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?EAN=0765325942&afsrc=1&lkid=J25297035&pubid=K170413&byo=1">Barnes & Noble.com Borders.com http://www.borders.com/online/store/TitleDetail?sku=0765325942">Borders.com href="http://store.tor.com/book/9780765325945">Directly from Tor.com http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=dragonmount&o=1&p=8&l=as1&m=amazon&f=ifr&md=10FE9736YVPPT7A0FBG2&asins=0765325942" style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"> http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=dragonmount-21&o=2&p=8&l=as1&asins=184149867X&fc1=000000&IS2=1 style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"> http://rcm-ca.amazon.ca/e/cm?t=dragonmount-20&o=15&p=8&l=as1&asins=0765325942&fc1=000000&IS2=1 style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apJJ0NzOXEg?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apJJ0NzOXEg?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00">
The last stop on the tour, the New York signing went a little differently from the others. For the Tower Guards, it began a few hours earlier, in the Tor offices! We met with Brandon, Harriet, Maria, Alan, Leigh Butler, Tom Doherty, and a few other people from Tor. Afterward, we were given a tour of the office. From there, we made our way to the bookstore! Upon our arrival, there was already a pretty long line waiting for us, headed off by last year’s Storm Leaders. Luckily, we came prepared with trivia questions! We walked along the line in different places, randomly asking our questions and handing out prizes. Many fans were eager to answer- some even asked trivia questions of their own! So many Wheel of Time fans gathered in one spot is a great opportunity to theorize and have epic discussions with other fans, so we of course did that as well. Since it was a Monday evening, not as many people dressed up as we would like. In fact, there were only two people in costume. We saw an Asha’man, and Mat among the fans throughout the night. Thanks, you two! <a href='http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/index.php?app=gallery&module=images&img=435'><img src='http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/uploads/1289304312/gallery_15164_51_573231.jpg' alt='Asha'Man, He's Channeling!!!!!' /></a> As the line was ushered into the small event room of this Barnes & Noble, we were surprised to see how much of the line made it into the room. While the event space was definitely small, the fans did a great job of heeding the Tower Guards directions, and the line moved fluidly. For those who arrived too late, they were able to watch the reading and the Q & A on televisions that were set up outside the room. <a href='http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/index.php?app=gallery&module=images&img=430'><img src='http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/uploads/1289304312/gallery_15164_51_516362.jpg' alt='Can you say Towers of Midnight?' /></a> The event officially began with Harriet’s reading from the prologue of Towers of Midnight (which can be viewed 9mins 37secs). The part she read was Lan’s point of view, as he began his solo march into the Blight. Serious and heavy, Harriet painted a clear picture for us listeners. The tone was lightened by Lan’s thoughts of Nynaeve- those got a chuckle out of everyone, of course. Following the reading was a Q & A session. We of course wrote that up, and you can find it here on Dragonmount. We filmed it as well, and you can view it on Youtube. , , and . The 4th Age Podcast also covered the event, so I am sure you will be able to listen to that as well. There were some great questions asked, and many resulted in a R.A.F.O., of course. Unfortunately, Team Jordan did not have any of their famous R.A.F.O. cards left at this point in the tour, but Maria did wear her R.A.F.O. hat! Among the fans in attendance were Brandon’s wife, Emily, several Tor employees, including Justin, Tom Doherty, Brandon’s editor, Leigh Butler, and author Charlaine Harris. Towers of Midnight is dedicated to the major sources of Wheel of Time fandom. As a representative of this massive fandom, and as someone the book was dedicated to, Leigh Butler was asked to sit at the table and sign books as well. In addition to the official Q & A session, many fans asked questions as they approached the table to get their books . We have documented those questions and answers also, and they can be found with the others. (Warning: These may contain slight spoilers for TGS and ToM). Some of the questions were fun, while others serious. All of them were given worthy answers! While not everyone had a question for Brandon (at least one that wouldn’t get R.A.F.O.’d), I think almost every person thanked him for continuing the series and let him know what a wonderful job he has done. One group of fans even brought Team Jordan a cake! <a href='http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/index.php?app=gallery&module=images&img=477'><img src='http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/uploads/1289351488/gallery_15164_51_670543.jpg' alt='nice map' /></a> Lurking near the table to write down the questions people asked, we also heard many stories and comments, of course. One fan showed up with a European version of the book. He had traded with a European friend so they could get a taste of the different versions. Another fan noted that he had come all the way from Brazil! The signing wasn’t his only purpose in the States, of course, but that is still quite a trip. A young woman came bearing Warbreaker and explained that it was purchased on her honeymoon, and when she got home she realized it was the only souvenir she had gotten. We heard a lot of compliments on all of Brandon’s work- especially Way of Kings. Everyone who has read it seems to love it! Several people let Brandon know how much they love and appreciate his Twitter updates, and of course there were a few fans that showed their appreciation by presenting him with Magic: The Gathering cards! In an interesting twist, he had his fans sign the cards they gave him so he will be able to remember where he got them! Among the books to be signed was someone’s Kindle! That’s right, Brandon & Harriet signed someone’s Kindle. Starr Goozee, another fan, gave Brandon some gorgeous environmental photos she had taken. They really were magnificent, and you can see photos of them <a href=’http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/uploads/1289351488/gallery_15164_51_509155.jpg’> here</a>. Emily Sanderson, Brandon’s wife, sat beside him during part of the signing, and a bunch of fans thanked her and shook her hand. Throughout the night, Tower Guards did their best to entertain the masses with more trivia and prizes. A poster sized version of the Towers of Midnight cover art was raffled off, and won by Ali Weisz, who enthusiastically got it signed by everyone. <a href='http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/index.php?app=gallery&module=images&img=478'><img src='http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/uploads/1289351488/gallery_15164_51_2001527.jpg' alt='Raffle Winner!!' /></a> While this particular Barnes & Noble was not the most accommodating of places, the night was definitely a success. As tired as we felt afterward, I don’t think any of us could begin to imagine how tired Brandon and Harriet must be after that tour. We appreciate all the work that goes into The Wheel of Time, from Brandon & Harriet, Maria & Alan, to Tor’s employees and the huge fandom. The overall feel was of the night was excitement and appreciation, and we Tower Guards have already made plans with the Storm Leaders to come back next year so we can experience it all over again (and let someone else keep everyone in line)! <a href='http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/index.php?app=gallery&module=images&img=495'><img src='http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/uploads/1289351488/gallery_15164_51_1805190.jpg' alt='Team Jordan, Tower Guards and more' /></a> Thank you to everyone who helped make this event as amazing and fun as it was. Special thanks to Tower Guard Zeshan Hamdani, who spent a great deal of time on all of the filming and photography. You can find the rest of his photos in <a href=’http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/gallery/album/15164/51-nyc-tom-book-signing-110810/’>Dragonmount’s gallery.</a> If you had your picture taken, this is where you will find it! Editor's Note: The Tower Guard also conducted a short interview with Brandon at the signing. It contains spoilers for TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT, so it's posted on our spoiler discussion forum.
The Bailey’s Crossroads (Washington, DC) Towers of Midnight signing has come and gone, and I think all will agree it was a huge success. An estimated 400 people showed up to get books signed and hear Brandon and Harriet speak. Yet the whole affair was done after less than four hours. Most of this can be attributed to the New Signing System by Brandon Sanderson ™, wherein you can bring as many books as you like up the first time, but only one can be personalized. I know Brandon was concerned that this might anger some, but most seemed ok with it, and a few stuck around until the end for extra personalization. And it sure did speed up the process. Or it’s possible we were just an extra-effective Tower Guard contingent. We were definitely an EAGER Tower Guard contingent. I’ll admit that, rather than having one of our members wait for Brandon and Harriet’s arrival as suggested by Jennifer Liang, we may have all waited down there, at one point clogging up the lanes into the store a bit, until an amused Borders employee spread us out. Bad traffic on the roads resulted in a late arrival for Brandon and Harriet, but only by about 15 minutes. In the interests of time, we were quickly ushered into the Borders break room after Harriet warmly greeted a friend of hers who lived in the area and had stopped by to see her. In the break room, we were fed sandwiches while Harriet and Brandon pre-signed store copies (for those who wanted signatures but could not stay for the event) as well as copies for the store employees. They graciously answered Tower Guard questions as they signed, about the nature of writing and publication as well as about the series itself. It was a lot of fun, but too brief, as we were already running late to start the signing. To end the pre-festivities, Harriet and Brandon both graciously signed all our Tower Guard shirts, ensuring that mine will probably never get washed. The official signing started off with a reading from the prologue by Harriet. Since they had just been in Baltimore the evening before and expected some crossover attendees, they picked a different section to read. Without naming any names and invoking the wrath of the Spoiler God, let’s just say that Baltimore’s reading involved a long-absent evil-doer and ours involved an old-favorite do-gooder. Having Harriet do the reading was a very special event, and I think she charmed the crowd quite well. Her southern accent also lends a certain gravitas to the words as she reads them. After the reading, Harriet and Brandon held the Q&A portion of the signing. Several questions about the nature of publication were raised, including why the price of audiobooks is so much higher (because of the hundreds of hours of takes the voice actors have to record as well as a relatively low production rate) and why the ebook is delayed (because ebook sales are not counted by the NYT for the bestseller list). Harriet pointed out that the longer the book is on the bestseller list, the larger the discount for that book later on. She also expressed a general wariness of ebooks. In her definition, a book is “an artifact that can transfer ideas from one person to another without an external power source,” which was not something I’d heard said before. Still, she listened when Brandon recently voiced the concerns of the ebook contingent of fans (“Brandon went to bat for ALL of you”), and agreed to move the publication of the ebook up to February 2011, 90 days from the hardback publication date. Questions for Brandon included which character he enjoys writing most vs. which he enjoys reading most. For writing, he quoted Robert Jordan, saying that it tended to be whichever he was writing, though he admitted that it depended a lot upon the type of scene he was writing vs. the type of mood he was in. For reading, he said his favorite was Perrin earlier in the series, with Mat claiming the title later in the series. Brandon also spent several moments praising Harriet as an editor and a titan in the field, only breaking off when Harriet got so embarrassed that she made him stop. The highlight of the Q&A session had to be when Harriet was asked to pronounce the names of all the Forsaken. Harriet asked for a list, proclaiming “show me the wretched creatures!” A fan who had bought his Big White Book to be signed obliged eagerly. Harriet prefaced the reading by saying that this was HER interpretation of the names, but that any pronunciation the fans preferred was correct in her eyes. Discussion of the Forsaken continued on a bit, and Harriet pointed out that Robert Jordan used to say that all of his female characters had a bit of Harriet in them. To much laughter, she joked that Moghedien was the part of Harriet that would complain when Jordan forgot to take out the trash. After the Q&A, the signing started, and the Tower Guard had to stop watching raptly and start actually earning our shirts. We split off into our various tasks, taking photos, handing out paraphernalia, and checking to make sure personalization post-its and jacket flaps were properly positioned for maximum signing velocity. For those of you who have never attended a signing by Brandon, he is very engaging and loves to chat with the readers. I can now report that Harriet has a similarly gracious view of Wheel of Time fans, and having everything positioned for ease of signing allowed them both to concentrate more on the person in front of them than the book they were signing. One interesting tidbit overheard by Tower Guard members came when Brandon was asked about the Eye of the World movie. Apparently the script is being finalized now, so this is a lot closer to reality than a lot of us were aware. My job was to keep the masses amused. With 400 people, there was going to be some waiting in line. People were called up 10 to 20 at a time to wait, the rest reading, milling around the store, or venturing out to find food. When they arrived in line, they would find me waiting with a huge bag of candy and a list of trivia questions I’d composed (thanks http://www.encyclopaedia-wot.org/ for letting me fact-check my memory so easily!). If they answered a question right, they got to pick a piece of candy. If they answered it wrong, they could still take candy, because I felt like a jerk withholding it. Many who missed their question demanded to be asked another, stating they needed to “earn” their candy. There was also a large number of people who were there getting books signed for others who couldn’t be present. These people had never read the series. They got candy for being awesome. A number of hardcore fans demanded that I try to stump them. I’m happy to report that I was able to in most cases. But in these cases other fans quickly jumped in to help, ganging up on the poor helpless Tower Guard with his bag of candy. Everyone was in high spirits, despite the long waits, and the trivia seemed to amuse many. I did manage to learn one spoiler (due to a poorly-chosen question I asked) but it was something I had mostly guessed anyway. Oh well, the price I had to pay. There were three items in our WoT swag box that went beyond mere bumper stickers. These included an extra Tower Guard shirt (signed by Brandon and Harriet), a Borders display poster for the book (also signed) as well as an excellent bronze bookmark with the Serpent and Wheel logo. These were chosen by line number raffle, with the numbers picked by Harriet. The winner of the shirt went to a very excited woman who “never wins anything” in her words. A bookstore display Towers of Midnight Poster went to Craig, a recent fan who quickly became a “raving ultra-hardcore fan.” Truly, there is no zeal like the zeal of the recent convert. In a neat turn of events, the bookmark went to a gentleman who was there for his brother, currently serving in the military overseas in Korea. It will be shipped to him along with a copy of the book! We all agreed that this was a great way to part with the bookmark (which the Tower Guard all secretly coveted). The event wound down, and at last it was just a few stragglers and the Tower Guard that needed their books signed. In a move that would surprise no one who knows me, I managed drop one of my three ToM copies, bending a few of the pages. I decided that, rather than saddling my brother or cousin with the slightly-damaged copy, I would pay the klutz’s price and claim that one for myself. But Brandon surprised and amused me when he found the bent pages and wrote BUBBLE OF EVIL along the crease. So yeah, sometimes being a klutz pays off. Also, Brandon Sanderson is awesome. I also got Harriet to sign my copy of Winter’s Heart, previously autographed by Robert Jordan himself. She found the dedication page (“Always for Harriet. Always,”) and signed beneath it, a gesture which I found very touching. Harriet McDougal is a very special lady, and it was a pleasure and an honor to have met her. I’ll close with a quote from a Tower Guard’s email. “One more time. In barely over a year, it will be over. Feels like ice water being poured down my spine. After doubts arose about the series even being completed, fans couldn't have a better person than Brandon complete it, or one who could connect as well with the fans. 20+ years will have passed since the furious ride to The Eye of the World, ‘yet shall the Dragon Reborn confront the Shadow at the Last Battle, and his blood shall give us the Light. Oh ye people of the world, weep for your salvation.’” Photos available here: http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/gallery/album/11024/49-baileys-crossroads-towers-of-midnight-signing/
The 4th Age podcast presents Episode 75, Knife of Dream recap for Chapters 22-27, one of our “catch-up” episodes that never got posted. We realize it is out of date now but want the series to be complete. Coming immediately – all The Gathering Storm read-trough episodes, plus new episodes on Towers of Midnight. Check out our host Dragonmount.com" rel="external nofollow">http://www.dragonmount.com">Dragonmount.com for forums and comments. We went out of number sequence here to get some time-sensitive episodes out to you all before the release date for ToM. Never fear – all of the podcasts in between WILL be posted now that the podcast page and the new Dragonmount server are playing nicely together. ATTENTION! THERE ARE SPOILERS! No Towers of Midnight spoilers, but information from ALL the other books are VERY likely! There will be spoilers, just none for ToM! If you haven’t read all the way through the Wheel of Time, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS of all previous books! Maybe of other series, too…. we will try to give warning. Hosts: Virginia and Andrew G Editor: Jim H Music by: Josh Needleman His website is at www.joshneedleman.net" rel="external nofollow">http://www.joshneedleman.net/">www.joshneedleman.net and he has the music available to hear on his MySpace page at www.myspace.com/joshneedleman." rel="external nofollow">http://www.myspace.com/joshneedleman">www.myspace.com/joshneedleman. It’s title is Floodgate. Thanks, Josh! Download" rel="external nofollow">http://www.dragonmount.com/Podcast/Media/dm-4thAge-076.mp3">Download this Episode now http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/4thAge/~4/zfWEht_ksDM" height="1" width="1"/>
The 4th Age podcast presents Episode 75, Knife of Dream recap for Chapters 18-21, one of our “catch-up” episodes that never got posted. We realize it is out of date now but want the series to be complete. Coming immediately – all The Gathering Storm read-trough episodes, plus new episodes on Towers of Midnight. Check out our host Dragonmount.com" rel="external nofollow">http://www.dragonmount.com/index.php/News/tom/book-tour-info-for-towers-of-midnight-r33">Dragonmount.com for forums and comments. We went out of number sequence here to get some time-sensitive episodes out to you all before the release date for ToM. Never fear – all of the podcasts in between WILL be posted now that the podcast page and the new Dragonmount server are playing nicely together. ATTENTION! THERE ARE SPOILERS! No Towers of Midnight spoilers, but information from ALL the other books are VERY likely! There will be spoilers, just none for ToM! If you haven’t read all the way through the Wheel of Time, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS of all previous books! Maybe of other series, too…. we will try to give warning. Hosts: Virginia and Andrew G Editor: Spencer Music by: Josh Needleman His website is at www.joshneedleman.net" rel="external nofollow">http://www.joshneedleman.net/">www.joshneedleman.net and he has the music available to hear on his MySpace page at www.myspace.com/joshneedleman." rel="external nofollow">http://www.myspace.com/joshneedleman">www.myspace.com/joshneedleman. It’s title is Floodgate. Thanks, Josh! Download" rel="external nofollow">http://www.dragonmount.com/Podcast/Media/dm-4thAge-075.mp3">Download this Episode now http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/4thAge/~4/NVJEuFGnPrs" height="1" width="1"/>
Let me tell you about my day on Thursday November 4. It was, in a word, awful. To begin, my alarm didn't go off, causing me to be late for work. Work, as a result, was slightly on the miserable side. In addition, it was cold and drizzling, and the traffic was a mess. Suffice it to say, I spent the better part of the bloody day in a fairly foul flaming mood. Why am I telling you all this? Because when I say that the Towers of Midnight book signing was awesome enough for me to consider the day an amazing success, I want you to fully grasp my meaning. After a rough day at work, I headed straight into Dallas to help set up for the signing. There, I found my fellow Tower Guards already hard at work getting things ready and entertaining the small crowd that had already assembled with trivia questions. By the time the tables had turned and members of the crowd were offering up their own obscure trivia, I couldn't help but be in good spirits, and I think it was the same for everyone present. Being surrounded by people who are as geeky as you are (and I mean that in the best was possible!) and love this series as much as you do, and seeing the laughter in their eyes and the anticipation on their smiling faces... well, I defy anyone to be in any kind of a bad mood at that point. Now let's move on to the good stuff. Most of you reading this were not privy to the conversation we in the Guard shared with Brandon Sanderson and Harriet McDougal over dinner. Lucky you, I'm in a sharing mood, so I'll give you a brief rundown of what we said. Why brief? I understand that this is supposed to be spoiler free, so I don't want to give too much away. I feel though that I can at least share the main points, as long as I'm vague enough on plot points. We all sat down for dinner, asking Harriet and Brandon about their travels this week. They informed us that it had been rough despite what sleep they had gotten, yet I was struck by how cheerful they both seemed. Both wore warm smiles and seemed fairly relaxed for all that they had been traveling across the country so much recently. Harriett informed us with a laugh that “life on tour is like being a Fed-Ex package”: Just tell her where to go and send her off. Fed-Exed or not, her eyes grew wide at the sight of a pizza laden with olives, while Brandon stated stoutly that he didn't like “green things” on his pizza as he reached for another slice of pepperoni. Once we were settled to eat, we got to ask them any questions that were burning in our hearts. Again, I will avoid spoilers, and many of our questions were R.A.F.Oed (Read And Find Out!) but what we gleaned was quite interesting. We asked Brandon about his time working on the story, such as his greatest surprise from the last book, Gathering Storm. No one was surprised to hear that it was a certain scene involving Verin of the Brown Ajah, and while I won't go any further than that, I will add that he stated the scene in question was written entirely by Jordan before his passing. We learned that Brandon's favorite scenes of the series turned out to be Rand at Rhuidean in Shadow Rising, followed closely by the climactic events in the Two Rivers in that same book. You know the ones I mean, and if you don't, go read! We learned that what Brandon liked about the magic system, and magic systems in general, is what the magic can't do. Think of the limitations on Traveling, and you'll understand. Most interesting, in my opinion, we learned more about Brandon's thoughts on writing the series in general. He told us that most important was staying true to Jordan's notes and his vision. He wanted the characters to stay the same, so that if you liked Perrin (the girls all sighed at this point) or hated Cadsuane, you would continue to do so for the same reasons, until such time as the story might bring about any changes. Some things would change as he wrote, but Brandon's conscience would not let him deviate from Jordan's true vision of the story. We wrapped up our private Q&A, got Brandon, Harriet and Bob Kluttz to sign all our books, then it was on to face the crowds of adoring fans. Brandon and Harriet were met with a round of applause, which they accepted with gracious smiles and a friendly wave. It seemed obvious that they were as excited and pleased to be there as the rest of us. The crowd had swelled considerably; a buzz of excited conversation and a spark of anticipation filled the air. Wasting no time, the guests of honor took their seats at the head table and dove right in. Brandon started the ball rolling, announcing that Harriet would do a brief reading, one that had been requested at the previous signing. He passed the microphone to Harriet, who, with a mischievous smile, claimed she was going to “chew the scenery.” She did not disappoint. She began to read from the prologue, specifically the excerpt from Padan Fain's point of view. Bad Guys can be fun to read, and Harriet seemed to thoroughly enjoy herself, narrating the twisted villain's vile exploits. Even in the middle of the reading, when our recording device (a phone) began to make several loud ringing sounds, she merely picked it up, passed it to Brandon with a wry smile (he passed it to us, looking bemused), and told the crowd, to peals of laughter, “This is not the Droid you're looking for!” before diving right back into her fun. Harriet finished to tumultuous applause, and Brandon reclaimed the microphone for the Q&A. What follows is a transcript of the audience's questions and Brandon's and Harriet's responses. For space, I cannot put every single word, but I will write out the responses as fully as possible. (Anything in parentheses is my own.) For more details, look for the film footage, which should hopefully be posted here as well. Q: I heard that Great Hunt was written first, before Eye of the World. Is this rumor or truth? Harriet: It's rumor, not truth. He (Jordan, obviously) worked on The Eye of the World first; they came in order. He did work on The Eye of the World for four years before he ever gave me any of it. And, while he was writing The Great Hunt, he and I went out to lunch in the neighborhood deli, and he asked me what I thought the child-rearing practices of this desert people he had in mind, what they would be like. And if you remember, we just saw the first Aiel in a cage. But he was already working on how would Rand be brought up, you see, so he worked very far ahead in his thinking. But the way he wrote them was the way they were published. Q: Verin— Brandon: Let's avoid spoilers. (A lot of people hadn't read Gathering Storm yet, it seemed.) Can you talk around it? Q: There's a certain character of the Brown Ajah— Brandon: Now that's too much! Ask us in the line. Q: Is there a scene planned with one of the Aiel Wise Ones as a damane? Brandon: That will be a R.A.F.O., I'm afraid! But excellent question, nonetheless. Q: Do you write the scenes in order? Brandon: For very large epic fantasies, such as Towers of Midnight and Way of Kings, I actually approach it by viewpoint grouping, meaning I take all the characters who are together in the same location, or who are kind of together emotionally or things like that, and I will write them straight through until they run into people from other sequences. At that point, I'll usually stop and do the next one straight through, or I'll just skip those chapters and go on, depending on what's going on. I do it by group, and the reason for that is: juggling all of these characters in your head, and making sure I'm keeping every character true to themselves, it's kind of like I have to upload a bunch of stuff into my brain, and then wipe it clean and upload a bunch of other stuff for another sequence. So for instance, for this book, Perrin and Faile and everyone around them would have been written straight through, and then I jumped back and would've done Mat, and so forth. Q: How are decisions made about breaking up the chapters? Brandon: Usually, that's Harriet. I break the scenes, she decides what gets grouped together into a chapter, and she will often move the chapters around. She does quite a bit of that, tweaking it to try and figure out where the best balance is. I don't generally give her an initial (order) with a bunch of them. Well, she'll get them in viewpoint chunks first, and she'll be doing edits on those while I'm writing other viewpoint chunks, and then I'll stick them together in an initial, and she'll through and say, “No, this one needs to be here, and this one needs to be here, these three need to be one chapter.” That sort of thing. Harriet: And if Brandon says, “No, I just can't get behind this one,” he wins! (Laughter from the crowd) Brandon: There were a couple that I really like. There's a really, really great cliffhanger at the end of the first Mat chapter and I'm like, “Oh, that's such a great place to break a chapter; it'll make everyone turn to the next page!” Q: Who is Bela really working for? Brandon: Harriet? Harriet: (with a wicked grin on her face) Would you believe Bela is the Dark One? (much laughter followed that statement!) Q: Have you finished the Mistborn novella? Brandon: The Mistborn short story, that became a novella that became a short novel is 60,000 words long and is really looking like 70,000 words, which is about a third the length of one of my other novels. It's slow going while I'm on tour, but it will be done fairly soon. (He had a few other details about this, but I'll let you watch the recording for the specifics. Also, read Mistborn if you haven't yet!) If you weren't aware, between books, I generally take a few months off and just write something random, whatever strikes me. I can't have a contract for it. It has to be something completely unexpected to keep instincts sharp and my writing ability sharp. I'm starting on Memory of Light on January 1, but I've got these three months to do whatever occurs to me. Two months ago, I wrote a story about a pizza delivery man who turns into a necromancer. It was called Death by Pizza. (lots of laughter; although I hope he publishes this!) He was a good pizza delivery man, with good pizza, he was just a necromancer. Q: Are there any characters in particular you find hard to write? Brandon: There are several that I've had more trouble with than others, and in that case, I generally work on them quite a long time. Aviendha, when I first started writing her, was probably the most difficult to get the voice right. There are characters that I write that are more difficult to write than others for different reasons. For instance, Gawyn is kind of... frustrated with himself, and when you step into a character's viewpoint, you start to feel and think like them; that's the goal. And so, him being frustrated with himself and his purpose in life makes it hard to write his scenes, because you feel frustrated and things like that, and Harriet has a great story about that. Harriet: One of the things that happens with a writer, which certainly happened with Jim (Jordan's real name, FYI), was he was often asked “what was his favorite character?” and he said, “whoever I'm writing today.” Because he understood that villains don't think they're villains. They are doing what the world or the devil or something outside has forced them to do. So they think of themselves as gallant victims, generally, while they're slitting somebody's throat. But I could tell when he'd been writing somebody awful. He'd come in the kitchen door at supper time and he'd slink around the walls! I said, “You've been writing Padan Fain today, haven't you?” “How did you know?!” Q: Who's your favorite villain to write? Brandon: It depends on the book. The scene that Harriet just read was a huge amount of fun to write, because Fain is just completely bonkers at this point. And so in this book I'd say that was, of the villain viewpoints, my favorite one to write. Q: Can you do a Forsaken “Mwa-ha-ha”? Brandon: MWA ha ha ha HA HA HAH HA HA HA!!! Brandon's evil laugh brought a huge round of applause, and then it was time for the book signing to truly begin. Everyone lined up eagerly, awaiting his or her chance to talk with the people responsible for our favorite series. Talking with the crowds, listening to them as they came up to speak with Brandon and Harriett, I began to get a feel for the assembled fans. They were diverse. They liked The Wheel of Time for different reasons. Some were old hands, some recent converts. Some were just getting the book for friends and family. One person from Dallas who had been reading for ten years expounded on her love of the fashion and the spark of imagination they gave. Another pair of girls from Edgewood and Coppell, Texas told me about how the different story-lines sucked them in and they were never bored with any of them. One person from Houston, a history student in college, described his love of the depth of the story and the world. Another college student explained that he was working on his doctorate and that Wheel of Time was the only pleasure reading he allowed himself. Yet another person in line told me he'd written his thesis on the series and had exchanged a wealth of correspondence with Jordan, seeking details to help write his paper. One couple from Ft. Smith, Arkansas, fans from the beginning, had brought their three-week-old child last year, and another couple, fans for but a short time, informed us they had named their first son Lan. One person said these books had gotten him to turn off the TV and to start reading. Another person told Sanderson that he made her want to write, and they discussed NaNoWriMo. Some people asked about his magic systems; some asked about playing Magic: the Gathering. Some people asked for pictures, to which Harriet and Brandon happily obliged. Some were young, and had only read Sanderson's Alcatraz series; some were older and claimed a need to read the last three books six times through as they had done the previous stories. A pair of ladies, dressed as Aiel Maidens, were just happy to be there. Young and old, male and female, old fans and new, they came, and each person in line was as unique as the one before and after. And yet several things bound these people together. Each and every person offered Brandon and Harriet their thanks. They thanked them for continuing the series after Robert Jordan's death, and for keeping the books as good as they had ever been. They told Brandon and Harriet it was an honor to meet them. They treated the writer and editor with class, offering smiling faces and small stories of their love of the series, and received the same in turn from the pair. It was an experience such as you can only get when you are surrounded by those who share the same loves that you yourself hold so dear. Several hours later, the signing was done, and a few hundred fans rushed home to begin reading their new books, despite the late hour and having work and school the next day. Don't deny it; you know you did. With a last group photo with their Texas Tower Guards, Brandon and Harriet departed, off to the next signing in Baltimore. As I'm writing this, several thoughts come to mind. I know it gets said time and time again, but it really was an honor to get to meet with Brandon and Harriet, and I want to add my thanks. I think I speak for everyone reading this when I say that we all appreciate everything they have done for us, the fans. I think they were happy to meet with us and sign well over a thousand books, despite how stressful such tours can undoubtedly be. It shows a level of dedication to their readers, and I think we all owe them a huge amount of gratitude for the efforts and the sacrifices that they make, in addition to those of all their assistants, whom I have never had the pleasure of meeting. It is clear to me that this is a series written by fantasy fans and for fantasy fans, and the level of dedication that has been shown for The Wheel of Time is nothing shy of remarkable. I began reading the series in high school, when my best friend handed me Eye of the World and said, “Dude, read this.” I have been hooked ever since. Now, ten years later, I have gotten to be a very small part of making the series happen. That is, to coin the phrase, frickin' awesome. But it's not about one person; it's about all of us, and the book signing was a place for us all to be connected to these books. For those of us who were present, all united by our common love of what I consider to be the greatest fantasy series of our time, it was an amazing experience. Thirteen books down, and one to go. Many people said they were eagerly anticipating A Memory of Light, book fourteen, next year, but would be sad to see the series end. Brandon said it was a bittersweet feeling gaining the chance to write the series but losing the chance to read it, for which we all must be grateful to him. In the same way, it will be very bittersweet for all of us to see the series come to an end. But, as we all know, there are neither beginnings nor endings to The Wheel of Time, so I think it'll be just fine. -from Dallas, Texas Chris Treco Steve Godecke, owner of PortalStones.com and Stormblessed.com was also at the signing and provided us with video links. Thanks Steve! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEDFZnCoaXI?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEDFZnCoaXI?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00"> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQWIMxOpWV8?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQWIMxOpWV8?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00">
The day begins much like the previous twenty-four hours have passed by, with an oppressive blanket of steel grey clouds and constant rain making the already brisk November air seem that much colder. But today is different; today is the book signing in Hanover for the release of Towers of Midnight, and as if by the blessing of the Light, when I set out at midday the sun has finally broken through the overcast skies to shine brightly on my journey south and west towards my fellow Tower Guard. I carefully dodge Darkfriends in black cars, Aes Sedai of every Ajah driving green SUVs, blue four-doors, or yellow minivans, and Asha’man in their sleek sports cars. As a Tower Guard it is my duty to brave such lonesome odds, so I continue on unabated, happy to drive the two hours it will take to reach my destination. When I arrive there is already a crowd of people waiting to make petitions to the Amyrlin and her Keeper of the Chronicles, but there is a while yet before they will arrive and so I do my best to see that everyone is kept happy along with the other Tower Guard. During my talks with some, I find that they have come from cities as far away as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and in the case of one gentleman, London, England. They are all excited to be here, however, and are as pleased as I was to make the journey if it meant getting the opportunity to have an audience with Harriet and Brandon. After a short delay -- planes will simply never be as reliable as Traveling -- the two arrived to much applause and got right down to business. The evening started with a reading by Harriet from the prologue of Towers of Midnight. We were given the choice of hearing a section from Lan’s point of view or Padan Fain’s, though it wasn’t much of a competition when it came time to raise our hands and vote. For the next quarter hour we listened as Harriet read about Fain’s trek north into the Blight, sometimes laughing and sometimes nodding our heads thoughtfully as she read the passage with a slight southern drawl. Once Harriet was finished, Brandon stepped up to the podium and proceeded to answer questions posed by those in the audience for another twenty minutes, covering topics ranging from the Mistborn series to future works within the Wheel of Time universe after A Memory of Light is complete. The hour is already growing late, however, and we must move quickly if we are to get all the books signed before Tarmon Gai’don arrives. My duty is to prepare the thick tomes by making sure dust jackets and post-it notes are in their proper place, while others of the Tower Guard perform their assigned tasks. Melody is taking professional photos to document the event; Cassy, ever ebullient, stays nearby to assist Harriet and take pictures for people on their personal cameras; David, Maureen, and Gavin stroll through the crowd waiting in line and play trivia games to win a bookmark or conduct interviews about who their favorite characters and moments are from the Wheel of Time. Eric, our leader, is stalwart by Harriet and Brandon’s table, ready to marshal the other Tower Guard into action when needed. All things considered, in short order the last person made their way through the line, and by eleven o’clock there were only a handful of people left roaming about the Tower. I was able to absorb a lot in that brief window of time, due in most part to Brandon and Harriet’s unflagging dedication to their fans. Over and over Brandon made sure to ask each person if they had any questions, not just about the Wheel of Time but about any of the projects he is involved in, and more than a few people were brave enough to ask the occasional question of Harriet or tell her how Robert Jordan’s work has changed their life. I felt almost like a Brown, quietly sitting back to listen and make mental notes to jot down once I returned home. If I can take away anything from that experience to pass on and share with the rest of you, it would only be to say that we truly are blessed to have Robert’s life’s work left in such capable, enthusiastic hands. All too soon I’m on my way home, after a few precious moments getting to talk one on one with Harriet and Brandon about the books they’ve been a part of writing. I asked a single question each of the duo, receiving a RAFO response from Brandon when I asked if we ever get to see Shara, and finally solving the mystery of how, exactly, to pronounce Cairhien from Harriet. A group wolf howl and several goodbyes later, I find myself driving back down Route 50, and this late at night I am the only car on the road. I have left the other Tower Guard to go our separate directions, forging a lone path of light through the darkness as I travel east and north to await the Last Battle. Until then, my friends, may you always find water and shade. - Renee, Tower Guard 11/05/2010 Damn. That was awesome. It seemed that our event was going to be plagued with transportation issues. From traffic for the Tower Guard to the tarmac for Harriet and Brandon, the world was just running late. (Oh, who are we kidding? It's the DC-Baltimore metro area on a Friday. That is the Lord of Chaos' time to shine!) But Brandon and Harriet stuck it out, and Books-a-Million allowed people to stay waaaay past their closing time. And just like many years ago with Robert Jordan, Brandon and Harriet inquired and responded to every fan so everyone felt like they had a personal moment. Everyone that wanted to wait had the opportunity to get signatures and to have a small amount of time with Brandon and Harriet. It seems like the word for the signing was "gracious." Thanks, Books-a-Million! Thanks, Harriet and Brandon! But gracious did not just apply to the people responsible for the event, it also describes the people that got to enjoy the event: the fans. At 11:00, while putting personalizations on post-its, people were still smiling and laughing, sharing their WoT experiences and theories, having a good time despite some having waited for as long as four hours. I got to meet many cool fans, from Bobby and Tammy to Karina, Christoph and Aviendha to Aryn, the birthday girl -- everyone had a WoT story. I will remember Dawn, although I never met her, and her stoic (but unnamed) friend. Dawn, I hope that somewhere you know that there is a Towers of Midnight book dedicated to your memory by Brandon. And some of the theories were fantastic; Paul and Sandy were discussing Rhuidean and the possibility that your sanity passing through the ter'angreal depended on your lineage. Waaaaaay cool, Sandy! It was great that people were excited about the crossword puzzle (even if I did make a few mistakes -- thanks for not lynching me, guys!), and it was more wonderful seeing people reading in line, because before I had WoT friends to go to signings with, that's what I was doing. It's been many years, but this was the first time I got to be on the other side. Damn. That was awesome. - Maureen, Tower Guard 11/05/2010 The book signing was so much fun! My role was basically helping out with the fans, talking to everyone, and handing out numbers and stickers (red for -No Spoilers!- and green for -Spoiler Alert!-) so people would know who had finished Towers of Midnight and who you had to watch what you say around. It was amazing seeing everyone there, hanging out and talking about Wheel of Time. Thanks to Brandon Sanderson's Alcatraz series, there were some kids who came out to see him. Brandon and Harriet were running late due to plane issues, but they were all smiles when they arrived. Both of them made sure to give each and every fan their attention, thanking them for waiting, asking if anyone had questions and signing many, many books. And in the end, even after spending the day on a plane and signing books until 11:00pm, they made sure to spend a little bit of time with the Tower Guard. Harriet told me a story about Robert Jordan and even howled with "Perrin" -- a fan who stayed around until the very end. All in all, this experience was so much fun, and being a bigger part of this event meant so much to me. I've made some great friends, saw some people from last year, and was able to talk to people who are as big a fan of Robert Jordan's work as I am. - Cassy, Tower Guard 11/05/2010 Fun Facts: -- Most difficult trivia question: What gifts does Mat give Tuon while courting her during Crossroads of Twilight and Knife of Dreams? Answer: Jewelry, Silk Rosebuds, and a Razor (rare breed of horse). -- Most popular character: Matrim Cauthon by a landslide; 17 votes. Egwene took second place; 4 votes. Verin took third place; 3 votes. There were 19 characters total mentioned by members of the audience. -- Favorite Moment from WoT: A tie between when Rand cleanses the Taint and when he travels to Rhuidean; 4 votes each. Second place was a three way tie between Rand’s battle with himself/Lews Therin on top Dragonmount, when Aviendha and Elayne become first sisters, and the battle at Dumai’s Wells; 3 votes each. Third place was another three way tie between when Rand and Aviendha took shelter in the igloo in Seanchan, when Egwene solidifies her authority with the rebel Aes Sedai, and the romance between Mat and Tuon; 2 votes each. -- Best answer why ________ is your favorite character: “Thom, [because any] old man who can do back flips has my heart.” - Karina -- Best answer how you found the Wheel of Time: “A friend named Michelle [introduced me to the series] but died before she graduated. [i am on a] mission to get people to read [the books] in her honor.” - Christoph -- There were two children present who were named after the books: Perrin and Aviendha. Perrin Aviendha This post has been promoted to an article This post has been promoted to an article