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EbonyAdo

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  1. You may know him as the guy with that excellent Rand al’Thor cosplay, but his name is Paul Bielaczyc and he is a JordanCon staple. I got a chance to talk to Paul about JordanCon, being toastmaster, and his love of The Wheel of Time. Ebony: First things, first: When did you start reading Wheel of Time? Paul: I first picked it up my senior year of high school, and stopped reading at what I like to refer to as "The Hump." I feel like most people read a few chapters of a new book to see if they are hooked, and for Wheel of Time, that magical point is the end of Chapter 4. I know I got to that point, put the book down, and then life happened. And I know that speaking to many readers who tried reading the series, they got to the same point (I now tell people to go back and cross "The Hump"). I picked it up again the summer after my freshman year of college after seeing a display at the student bookstore for the release of The Path of Daggers. Another student pointed out how excited he was to read the next book in the series, and he encouraged me to pick it back up. So summer of 1999 is when I devoured the first 7 books of The Wheel of Time. By the way, quitting at Chapter 4 stinks. Chapter 5 is nuts!! And the story doesn't really let up at all after that. (Editor note: I actually did the same thing) Ebony: What made you decide to cosplay as our favorite moody Ta'veren? Paul: In Grad school I thought it would be cool to dress up as Rand al'Thor for Halloween. Not a single person knew who I was. Many years later, I was apprenticing with an artist out in Kirby, WY, population 57. A young lady who modeled for the artist asked to see my art, which lead to showing off pictures of my costumes. When I clicked on the folder for that Halloween, the young lady was shocked. She looked up at me and said, "I know you! You're Rand al'Thor." I didn't follow. She then pulled up Google Images, and when she searched for "Rand al'Thor," there I was, 6 out of the first 10 images on Google Search. She told me that The Wheel of Time was her favorite book series, and when she did a book report earlier that year, she used photos of me in her report. A few years after that, I was working at my Artist table at Dragon*Con, when a young man walked by dressed as an Aiel. When I complimented his awesome WoT cosplay, he turned to me, bowed deeply, and said, "Thank you, Car'a'carn." There I am, not in costume, but simply dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. I looked at him confused. To which he replied, "Your cosplay of Rand al'Thor is all over the internet. When I read the books, I picture you whenever Rand is brought up. You *are* The Dragon Reborn." And that was the moment. I had to be the Lord Dragon. And funny enough, many more years after that, when signing my copy of Memory of Light, a certain author by the name of Brandon Sanderson asked me, "I make this out to Rand, right?" E: Do you do any other character cosplay? P: Within The Wheel of Time, the only other cosplay that I have done is a Trolloc. Well, I also did a Grayman in year 3, and Moridin/"Just Rand" a few years ago, but nothing as impressive as the Trolloc. Outside of that, the list is pretty insane. Ash Williams from Army of Darkness, Leon Kennedy from Resident Evil 4, Waldo, Link from all the Zeldas, a realistic Ice King from Adventure Time, CLU from Tron Legacy, Ander Elessedil from MTV's The Chronicles of Shannara, and probably a bunch of throw-away costumes that I wore once. E: When did you first attend JordanCon? P: My first JordanCon was year 2. (2009) E: Aside from being the resident Lord Dragon, what other roles do you play at JordanCon? P: My first year I was a simple sheepherder... I mean vendor. I then played some music on Saturday night, and I become the resident DJ for the Saturday Dance Party. I am also a Co-Director for the Art Show with April Moore, and the Dealer's Hall Director as well. Phew. E: Did you get to have any say in the theme for JordanCon 2019 or did Jennifer Liang (JordanCon Director) and Aubree Pham (JordanCon 2018’s Toastmaster) just tell you what to do? P: I did not. I was just as excited as everyone else when they announced it during Closing Ceremonies. I'm sure that once the theme was settled on Shai'Con for 2019, those in charge figured that since I have been embracing The Dark Lord Dragon for the past 2 years, that it would be a good fit. And all I can say is, "Indeed." E: What was your reaction to being asked to be Toastmaster for JordanCon 2019? P: JordanCon has become family to me, and I wouldn't be a licensed Wheel of Time artist without JordanCon or Ta'veren Tees. So when they ask for my help, I'm usually ready to assist. And I'm pretty extroverted (if you didn't know). The best moment though was while I already agreed to be Toastmaster when the announcement was made at Closing Ceremonies in 2018, I didn't know the theme. When they announced that, well, my darker side was very, very pleased. Oh crap, I guess that's another character cosplay I forgot to mention. But everyone will see that costume in 2019. E: What can we expect from you as toastmaster? P: Having someone bleep me constantly with the word "hot dog?" Thankfully Patrick Minze is really good at that. I'm kidding. (Editor’s note: He is not kidding) I am hoping to have a few fun surprises for Opening Ceremonies, and otherwise be entertaining while informative. There is a happy balance of making sure that actual information is conveyed to the attendees (how Art Show or Charity bidding works, Weapons policy, etc.) while still making it fun and memorable. I am asking people to come up with fun, twisted versions of their favorite characters, similar to my Dark Lord Dragon, to embrace the theme. Portal Stones exist in the series, and definitely are the windows to alternate universes. I really want to see how crazy and fun people can make their favorite characters this year. This year's theme, crossed with the idea of the Portal Stones, really allows for level of creativity and originality that I don't think we've seen in the first 10 years. So obviously, as The Lord of Chaos and The Shai'aman, one can expect a little breaking of the Wheel and Pattern. That goes without saying really. And next year is also the culmination of the Black Ajah mystery that has been going on now for 3 years. As a participant myself, I have no idea what is going on, other than to say that I'm sorry if actively encouraging people to be Darkest Timeline versions of themselves throws off the balance of the game. But there definitely will be specialized badge ribbons for anyone that joins Team Shadow for 2019 (we can celebrate the Light in 2020). E: What is your favorite JordanCon memory? P: Man, that is a hard question to answer. I think one of my favorite moments was the year when TWoTcast were the Toastmasters. Chip Moore and I came up with an idea for Opening Ceremonies a few weeks before the convention, and so spent multiple nights in my driveway working in the dark. But we thought recreating the climax to Lord of Chaos would be too much fun to pass up. We built a man-sized chest out of insulation foam, and then carefully cut it apart, and pieced it together using just toothpicks. Chip (and a team of Red Ajah) dragged the over-sized chest out from backstage. And then, on cue, I burst out of the chest in full Rand Al'Thor get-up. Of course, the speech I gave during the Costume Contest when I was dressed as "Just Rand" was really poignant and much more serious than most people expected from me. But then on the flip-side, the entire Rand on the Run Facebook Adventure. So many memories. E: What do you do for actual money? What is your "day job"? P: So my day job is pretty unusual, or at least, was more unusual back when we started in 2002. Nowadays kids make a living posting the pictures to the Instagrams, so I guess our business isn't all that strange with how popular Cosplay has become. So my brother, sister, and I co-own Aradani Studios, which is known all over the world primarily for making prosthetic elf ears which are hand-painted to match your skintone. We do a variety of other prosthetics, horns, noses, and masks, but elf ears are what we are known for. My brother and I are both fantasy artists as well, my brother working in oils, acrylics, and digital painting, and I work primarily in charcoal, graphite, and pastel. We have both won awards across the country over our 16+ years in this career, and in 2006 I won the prestigious Chesley Award for my piece, Nightmare. And of course I am one of the 6 current licensed Wheel of Time artists. Thankfully, everywhere we sell our ears, we sell our artwork. But when someone asks how I pay my mortgage every month, it is definitely because of those ears. Thanks to Paul for joining me. I am sure you can tell JordanCon will never be the same once Dark Lord Rand al’Thor is done with it. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. JordanCon tickets are currently $50 for the full three days. The price goes up to $55 January 1, 2019. Check out JordanCon’s website for more information. View full news item
  2. You may know him as the guy with that excellent Rand al’Thor cosplay, but his name is Paul Bielaczyc and he is a JordanCon staple. I got a chance to talk to Paul about JordanCon, being toastmaster, and his love of The Wheel of Time. Ebony: First things, first: When did you start reading Wheel of Time? Paul: I first picked it up my senior year of high school, and stopped reading at what I like to refer to as "The Hump." I feel like most people read a few chapters of a new book to see if they are hooked, and for Wheel of Time, that magical point is the end of Chapter 4. I know I got to that point, put the book down, and then life happened. And I know that speaking to many readers who tried reading the series, they got to the same point (I now tell people to go back and cross "The Hump"). I picked it up again the summer after my freshman year of college after seeing a display at the student bookstore for the release of The Path of Daggers. Another student pointed out how excited he was to read the next book in the series, and he encouraged me to pick it back up. So summer of 1999 is when I devoured the first 7 books of The Wheel of Time. By the way, quitting at Chapter 4 stinks. Chapter 5 is nuts!! And the story doesn't really let up at all after that. (Editor note: I actually did the same thing) Ebony: What made you decide to cosplay as our favorite moody Ta'veren? Paul: In Grad school I thought it would be cool to dress up as Rand al'Thor for Halloween. Not a single person knew who I was. Many years later, I was apprenticing with an artist out in Kirby, WY, population 57. A young lady who modeled for the artist asked to see my art, which lead to showing off pictures of my costumes. When I clicked on the folder for that Halloween, the young lady was shocked. She looked up at me and said, "I know you! You're Rand al'Thor." I didn't follow. She then pulled up Google Images, and when she searched for "Rand al'Thor," there I was, 6 out of the first 10 images on Google Search. She told me that The Wheel of Time was her favorite book series, and when she did a book report earlier that year, she used photos of me in her report. A few years after that, I was working at my Artist table at Dragon*Con, when a young man walked by dressed as an Aiel. When I complimented his awesome WoT cosplay, he turned to me, bowed deeply, and said, "Thank you, Car'a'carn." There I am, not in costume, but simply dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. I looked at him confused. To which he replied, "Your cosplay of Rand al'Thor is all over the internet. When I read the books, I picture you whenever Rand is brought up. You *are* The Dragon Reborn." And that was the moment. I had to be the Lord Dragon. And funny enough, many more years after that, when signing my copy of Memory of Light, a certain author by the name of Brandon Sanderson asked me, "I make this out to Rand, right?" E: Do you do any other character cosplay? P: Within The Wheel of Time, the only other cosplay that I have done is a Trolloc. Well, I also did a Grayman in year 3, and Moridin/"Just Rand" a few years ago, but nothing as impressive as the Trolloc. Outside of that, the list is pretty insane. Ash Williams from Army of Darkness, Leon Kennedy from Resident Evil 4, Waldo, Link from all the Zeldas, a realistic Ice King from Adventure Time, CLU from Tron Legacy, Ander Elessedil from MTV's The Chronicles of Shannara, and probably a bunch of throw-away costumes that I wore once. E: When did you first attend JordanCon? P: My first JordanCon was year 2. (2009) E: Aside from being the resident Lord Dragon, what other roles do you play at JordanCon? P: My first year I was a simple sheepherder... I mean vendor. I then played some music on Saturday night, and I become the resident DJ for the Saturday Dance Party. I am also a Co-Director for the Art Show with April Moore, and the Dealer's Hall Director as well. Phew. E: Did you get to have any say in the theme for JordanCon 2019 or did Jennifer Liang (JordanCon Director) and Aubree Pham (JordanCon 2018’s Toastmaster) just tell you what to do? P: I did not. I was just as excited as everyone else when they announced it during Closing Ceremonies. I'm sure that once the theme was settled on Shai'Con for 2019, those in charge figured that since I have been embracing The Dark Lord Dragon for the past 2 years, that it would be a good fit. And all I can say is, "Indeed." E: What was your reaction to being asked to be Toastmaster for JordanCon 2019? P: JordanCon has become family to me, and I wouldn't be a licensed Wheel of Time artist without JordanCon or Ta'veren Tees. So when they ask for my help, I'm usually ready to assist. And I'm pretty extroverted (if you didn't know). The best moment though was while I already agreed to be Toastmaster when the announcement was made at Closing Ceremonies in 2018, I didn't know the theme. When they announced that, well, my darker side was very, very pleased. Oh crap, I guess that's another character cosplay I forgot to mention. But everyone will see that costume in 2019. E: What can we expect from you as toastmaster? P: Having someone bleep me constantly with the word "hot dog?" Thankfully Patrick Minze is really good at that. I'm kidding. (Editor’s note: He is not kidding) I am hoping to have a few fun surprises for Opening Ceremonies, and otherwise be entertaining while informative. There is a happy balance of making sure that actual information is conveyed to the attendees (how Art Show or Charity bidding works, Weapons policy, etc.) while still making it fun and memorable. I am asking people to come up with fun, twisted versions of their favorite characters, similar to my Dark Lord Dragon, to embrace the theme. Portal Stones exist in the series, and definitely are the windows to alternate universes. I really want to see how crazy and fun people can make their favorite characters this year. This year's theme, crossed with the idea of the Portal Stones, really allows for level of creativity and originality that I don't think we've seen in the first 10 years. So obviously, as The Lord of Chaos and The Shai'aman, one can expect a little breaking of the Wheel and Pattern. That goes without saying really. And next year is also the culmination of the Black Ajah mystery that has been going on now for 3 years. As a participant myself, I have no idea what is going on, other than to say that I'm sorry if actively encouraging people to be Darkest Timeline versions of themselves throws off the balance of the game. But there definitely will be specialized badge ribbons for anyone that joins Team Shadow for 2019 (we can celebrate the Light in 2020). E: What is your favorite JordanCon memory? P: Man, that is a hard question to answer. I think one of my favorite moments was the year when TWoTcast were the Toastmasters. Chip Moore and I came up with an idea for Opening Ceremonies a few weeks before the convention, and so spent multiple nights in my driveway working in the dark. But we thought recreating the climax to Lord of Chaos would be too much fun to pass up. We built a man-sized chest out of insulation foam, and then carefully cut it apart, and pieced it together using just toothpicks. Chip (and a team of Red Ajah) dragged the over-sized chest out from backstage. And then, on cue, I burst out of the chest in full Rand Al'Thor get-up. Of course, the speech I gave during the Costume Contest when I was dressed as "Just Rand" was really poignant and much more serious than most people expected from me. But then on the flip-side, the entire Rand on the Run Facebook Adventure. So many memories. E: What do you do for actual money? What is your "day job"? P: So my day job is pretty unusual, or at least, was more unusual back when we started in 2002. Nowadays kids make a living posting the pictures to the Instagrams, so I guess our business isn't all that strange with how popular Cosplay has become. So my brother, sister, and I co-own Aradani Studios, which is known all over the world primarily for making prosthetic elf ears which are hand-painted to match your skintone. We do a variety of other prosthetics, horns, noses, and masks, but elf ears are what we are known for. My brother and I are both fantasy artists as well, my brother working in oils, acrylics, and digital painting, and I work primarily in charcoal, graphite, and pastel. We have both won awards across the country over our 16+ years in this career, and in 2006 I won the prestigious Chesley Award for my piece, Nightmare. And of course I am one of the 6 current licensed Wheel of Time artists. Thankfully, everywhere we sell our ears, we sell our artwork. But when someone asks how I pay my mortgage every month, it is definitely because of those ears. Thanks to Paul for joining me. I am sure you can tell JordanCon will never be the same once Dark Lord Rand al’Thor is done with it. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. JordanCon tickets are currently $50 for the full three days. The price goes up to $55 January 1, 2019. Check out JordanCon’s website for more information.
  3. If you are part of the Facebook Wheel of Time Community, you may have run into Drew McCaffrey. He has been an active part of the online community and is an excellent resource for anyone that needs information about the Wheel of Time series. But Drew is more than just a Wheel of Time fan, he is also an up and coming author. He recently began writing for TOR.com, and I had a chance to sit down with him to discuss this new opportunity. Ebony: How did you get involved in writing for Tor.com? Drew: One of my friends, Alice Arneson, has been writing the Brandon Sanderson Cosmere re-reads on Tor.com. She encouraged me to submit a proposal this fall, when Tor announced they were looking for new voices covering different books. I was thrilled when they said they were interested! E: What is your official title with Tor.com? D:I don't think I have one...maybe "contributing writer"? E: What topics will you be writing about? D: I'm starting with a big article about 10 of the best completed series in science fiction and fantasy. Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson fans will undoubtedly enjoy it (and maybe find a couple new series to check out)! E: How often do you expect to post articles? D: For now, it will depend on how often I propose ideas and Tor approves them. I don't have a regularly scheduled column or re-read or anything. E: What will your first article be on Tor.com be about and when will it be posted? D: My first will be that completed series article. It should be going up in the next week or so! E: How did feel after submitting your first article to Tor.com? D: I was incredibly excited and nervous. Tor.com is one of the biggest emerging platforms in SFF, with an outstanding track record in publishing revolutionary short fiction, novellas, and literary essays. I'm blown away by how many of their stories have been nominated for, and even won, major SFF awards. E: Aside from writing for Tor.com do you any other sort of writing? D: I do sports writing, covering the New York Rangers for bluelinestation.com. I also write lots of original fiction, ranging from short stories to novels, and I wrote a fair amount of book reviews for dcafwriting.com, although I haven't had the time to keep my site current. E: How does writing from Tor.com differ from other writing you have done? D: Writing for Tor.com has me much more cognizant of audience. Writing a book review or an opinion piece for dcafwriting is low-stress, because there isn't much of an active comment section and the general audience is relatively small. Tor.com is a big-time site, and articles there regularly see 100+ comments. E: Are there any topics you hope to be able to write about for Tor.com? D: I have at least one article about Matthew Stover's Acts of Caine series on my plate, and I hope to explore that series more. I'd love to talk about Glen Cook's Black Company, The Gap Cycle by Stephen R. Donaldson, and David Farland's Runelords series, too. E: What do you think/hope you will gain from your experience with Tor.com? D: I think this will give me a great chance to bring some lesser-known series to a wider audience, but more importantly, it will give me a chance to see what that wider audience loves. How many amazing series are out there that I haven't heard of or read yet? Interacting with the Tor.com audience will assuredly open my eyes to things that haven't crossed my path yet. E:Are there any other writing endeavors in your future? D: My Blue Line Station writing is an ongoing job, but my big focus for the future is getting a novel published. I'm writing my fourth novel right now, and I've gotten to the point where I'm confident enough in my stories and my writing that I'm querying literary agents. Well, we will certainly keep an eye out for Drew’s upcoming novel. Until then check out his TOR.com articles: The 10 Best Completed SF and Fantasy Series (According to Me) Matthew Stover’s Heroes Die is a Grimdark Cult Classic View full news item
  4. EbonyAdo

    Author Interview: Drew McCaffrey

    If you are part of the Facebook Wheel of Time Community, you may have run into Drew McCaffrey. He has been an active part of the online community and is an excellent resource for anyone that needs information about the Wheel of Time series. But Drew is more than just a Wheel of Time fan, he is also an up and coming author. He recently began writing for TOR.com, and I had a chance to sit down with him to discuss this new opportunity. Ebony: How did you get involved in writing for Tor.com? Drew: One of my friends, Alice Arneson, has been writing the Brandon Sanderson Cosmere re-reads on Tor.com. She encouraged me to submit a proposal this fall, when Tor announced they were looking for new voices covering different books. I was thrilled when they said they were interested! E: What is your official title with Tor.com? D:I don't think I have one...maybe "contributing writer"? E: What topics will you be writing about? D: I'm starting with a big article about 10 of the best completed series in science fiction and fantasy. Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson fans will undoubtedly enjoy it (and maybe find a couple new series to check out)! E: How often do you expect to post articles? D: For now, it will depend on how often I propose ideas and Tor approves them. I don't have a regularly scheduled column or re-read or anything. E: What will your first article be on Tor.com be about and when will it be posted? D: My first will be that completed series article. It should be going up in the next week or so! E: How did feel after submitting your first article to Tor.com? D: I was incredibly excited and nervous. Tor.com is one of the biggest emerging platforms in SFF, with an outstanding track record in publishing revolutionary short fiction, novellas, and literary essays. I'm blown away by how many of their stories have been nominated for, and even won, major SFF awards. E: Aside from writing for Tor.com do you any other sort of writing? D: I do sports writing, covering the New York Rangers for bluelinestation.com. I also write lots of original fiction, ranging from short stories to novels, and I wrote a fair amount of book reviews for dcafwriting.com, although I haven't had the time to keep my site current. E: How does writing from Tor.com differ from other writing you have done? D: Writing for Tor.com has me much more cognizant of audience. Writing a book review or an opinion piece for dcafwriting is low-stress, because there isn't much of an active comment section and the general audience is relatively small. Tor.com is a big-time site, and articles there regularly see 100+ comments. E: Are there any topics you hope to be able to write about for Tor.com? D: I have at least one article about Matthew Stover's Acts of Caine series on my plate, and I hope to explore that series more. I'd love to talk about Glen Cook's Black Company, The Gap Cycle by Stephen R. Donaldson, and David Farland's Runelords series, too. E: What do you think/hope you will gain from your experience with Tor.com? D: I think this will give me a great chance to bring some lesser-known series to a wider audience, but more importantly, it will give me a chance to see what that wider audience loves. How many amazing series are out there that I haven't heard of or read yet? Interacting with the Tor.com audience will assuredly open my eyes to things that haven't crossed my path yet. E:Are there any other writing endeavors in your future? D: My Blue Line Station writing is an ongoing job, but my big focus for the future is getting a novel published. I'm writing my fourth novel right now, and I've gotten to the point where I'm confident enough in my stories and my writing that I'm querying literary agents. Well, we will certainly keep an eye out for Drew’s upcoming novel. Until then check out his TOR.com articles: The 10 Best Completed SF and Fantasy Series (According to Me) Matthew Stover’s Heroes Die is a Grimdark Cult Classic
  5. Dragonmount’s Ebony Adomanis, who is also the director's assistant/manager of the World of Wheel of Time track at JordanCon, recently had the opportunity to sit down with Seth and Patrick, the voices of the podcast Wheel of Time Spoilers. This interview shows a lot of the behind the scenes intricacies that make Wheel of Time Spoilers such an enjoyable, and engaging, podcast! Ebony: Thank you for visiting Dragonmount. Please introduce yourselves for our readers who might not be familiar with your podcast. Patrick: The Wheel of Time Spoilers Podcast is a show that's released 3 times a week. It's a book club in audio format, made by fans of the series for fans like us. It's a show for people who have already read The Wheel of Time, and may want to read it again, or at least listen to a more in depth understanding and discussion of the series. We talk about important plot points, character motivations and allegiances, explain the magic use/magical item use and function as they appear during our read-through, and talk about lots and lots of different fan theories. We felt that there's another layer revealed with each re-read or audio book listen we did, and we wanted to share that with the fan community. Another thing that makes us a bit unique, I think, is that we always record episodes live in a Discord Server, so our fans can take part in the discussion of each chapter while it's being recorded. So, Seth and I are blessed with real-time fact checking, and theory discussions in text form in front of us while we have our conversation, while people read through the series with us. Seth: Patrick and I are friends from Portland, OR. We met in 2013 when we rented rooms in the same house. I immediately noticed Patrick’s “Spear and Buckler” Aiel chapter heading tattoo on his arm and that started a conversation that is still going on today. We talk about minor plot points, character motivations, magic systems, and just how awesome the Wheel of Time is. Our podcast is that conversation, organized chapter by chapter, recorded and edited. We have been making WOT spoilers for nearly a year now. E: Whose idea was it to begin Wheel of Time Spoilers? P: It was definitely Seth's idea to try to start recording the conversations we were already having, and put them into some kind of podcast format. It really started as two friends having a couple beers and talking about our favorite books. Then we put a laptop and a microphone in between us. All the social media interaction, the Discord server, live listening and discussion, merch, that all came later, and mostly by listener request. Those requests have been the major driving force in the development of the podcast over time. We never even expected it to pay for itself until listeners sent us messages offering to help pay for hosting fees, software, equipment, and time. We expected a hobby, but the awesome, kind-hearted, and dedicated fans of the series have turned us into something more sophisticated than that. I think it's what they wanted, and we just went with it, because we were just happy that there was so much interest in our geeky projects. S: I’m a huge fan of podcasts. I found a bunch of tech and political podcasts to listen to, but I wanted more Wheel of Time Content. I’m not sure who first said “We should make this a Podcast”, but the topic started to come up whenever we were hanging out over a few beers. About two years ago Patrick took some time off to Hike the Pacific Crest Trail. A few months after he got back into town I asked him to help me move. I brought up the Podcast again, and convinced Patrick to sit down and record. So with one microphone and my apple earbuds, we recorded Episode 0. I think Patrick was genuinely surprised at how good we sounded, so we invested in a second microphone, and got to work. E: When recording new episodes, do you have an idea of what you are going to say or does the conversation flow more organically? S: We prepare independently for each episode, but the conversion is as organic as possible. We each choose quotes we want to talk about, and spend some time thinking about what to say. We actually try and avoid talking about the chapter before we record, to prevent us referencing conversation we had earlier, or forget to bring up a point with recording on. During editing I cut out silences and any speech disfluencies I can find. I also remove any half-finished sentences and logistical chatter. The finished product is often 15 to 30 min shorter than the recording time. P: Not really, no. Although, at the beginning of each recording we have our friend Jessica introduce the show. Then I read the chapter number, name, and the particular symbol in the chapter heading which always somehow hints at what's about to happen. Then I read the introductory paragraph, sometimes the first two. During the meat of the episode we both have the text in the Discord server and the text of the actual chapter in front of us. Like Seth said, we make highlights and notations in our separate books and don't discuss them before we press the record button. The podcast is the conversation we have as we compare notes. There's usually an after-show as well, where we'll include one of our routine irrelevant tangents. They often don't have anything to do with the series, or sometimes they're roughly inspired by what we just read. In a recent episode I spent some time talking about my experiences walking across the Anza-Borrego, and Mojave desert during my thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. It was roughly a comparison to what living in the Three Fold Land might be like. That's the sort of thing the after-show is made up of. E: What sources, if any, do you use? S: The Wheel of Time Novels, obviously! I’m a big fan of the WOT FAQ, and consider it a huge inspiration for what I’m doing in the podcast. Because it has versions for each book it is a great tool for people who don’t want to be spoiled on later books, and it gives me a great snapshot into what was going on in the community at the time the book came out. Encyclopeadia WOT is a fantastic reference tool. Using it as a reference, and having the ebooks on hand, I can find almost any scene I’m looking for in seconds. The WOT Wiki is a great tool, but as with any Wiki I’m very careful when I use it as a source And of course as the podcast has grown, the fans are the biggest source of feedback we get. Especially the fans that listen live who are able to correct us in real time. They are also constantly providing a stream of theories, ideas, and headcanon to tap into. Collectively they are some of the smartest, nicest fans out there. P: The novels, wot.wikia.com, encyclopeadia-wot.org, the famous WOT FAQ, library.tarvalon.net, and our Patrons hanging out on the Discord server, who are often able to look up answers to whatever question we ask aloud to each other before we can ourselves. “The Chosen” by the way, are what we've taken to calling the group of awesome listeners who show up for our live recording every week, and volunteer their time to help us research and flesh out each chapter. Timber, Seth's Pit-Bull mix, who is present at every recording as well has been named Nae'Blis by the Chosen themselves as the General of our legion of the Shadow. E: What influenced your decision to included spoilers in your podcast, instead of making it “new reader friendly?” S: I’ve read these books so often, I’m not sure I could make the discussions friendly to readers that want to avoid spoilers. I wanted to have an open, honest speculation session about every point of the books, with all the information available. I wanted a place for the fans that simply can’t get enough Wheel of Time, fans like myself. P: Not having spoilers in the podcast was never really on the table. The pod was always meant to be the conversation that so many fans of the Wheel of Time were looking for but couldn't have, unless of course they had a friend who was also willing to read 15 700 +/- page novels – the conversations Seth and I were already having. WOTSpoilers is for other die-hard fans like ourselves, not first time readers. We love that new people are finding the series every day, and people who have recently finished their first read-through find us all the time. There are always new people joining the conversation. It continues to surprise me, just how many fans there are out there. E: Do you re-read each chapter prior to the podcast? S: Yes. Usually in the hour before we record. P: Yes. Almost always immediately before we start talking about it. So, we typically prep for an hour or so before we actually start recording. That's just time spent re-reading the chapters, and usually reading a few character outlines on an obscure Aes Sedai, Darkfriend character or Item of Power for instance. E: Why did you choose the podcast format for Wheel of Time Spoilers instead of another media outlet? S: Podcasts are intimate. We are inviting you into our living room, to join our conversation. Audio can be more casual than the written word, and is more easily produced than video. Plus it was a natural fit for the conversations we were already having. P: Couldn't have said it better myself. We're just recording something that was more or less already happening. E: Along with doing a podcast, you use Discord to allow your fans to listen and comment in real time. How does this hinder or help your live recordings? S: The feedback is massively helpful for getting details right. Our Chosen in Discord create a community atmosphere, and help me feel like I’m talking directly to them, rather than a nebulous fan base. They can occasionally be distracting, and it can sound odd when we reply directly to the Discord channel without reading the question, but I wouldn’t want to record without them. I especially want to thank Aradia Farmer and Kelsey Maxwell who recently hosted two episodes, and have been at the forefront of the fan community. P: This exactly. I wouldn't want to make the podcast without the Chosen at this point. The conversation in Discord gives us real time corrections and fact checking, live debates about theories, questions that we hadn't thought of answering or asking, and that's not to mention that some of these folks have been hanging out with us every Thursday and Sunday night for 6 months or more. It feels much more like a group of friends meeting up for drinks than a gathering of strangers on the internet. We've even hung out with a few of the Chosen in real life at this point. E: Is there anyone in the fandom you’d like to interview? S: Well I know Brandon Sanderson is a huge WOT fan! I snagged Leigh Butler’s email from Jason Denzel, but haven’t had a chance to contact her yet. She did The Great Wheel of Time re-read from Tor.com, and I’m hoping she would be willing to join us for an episode. P: I'd of course have to second Brandon Sanderson. Everyone we've had on so far has been really delightful, I'd love to have Jason Denzel on again. It would also be cool to talk to Rafe Judkins about the development of the show. We're hoping to run into some of these folks at JordanCon, and who knows, maybe we'll even get some short interviews. E: How long have you been fans of The Wheel of Time? S: I first picked up The Eye of the World in 1995 when I was thirteen, and read through to Crown of Swords. After that I had to wait for each book. Robert Jordan’s death was a major shock and I briefly lost interest, but I’m glad that the series was picked up by an avid fan and talented author in Brandon Sanderson. P: I was around the same age when I found the series. So, I've been a fan for about 17 years give or take a few. E: How many times have you read the series? S: I would re-read the entire series as each novel was released, and often in between releases. It’s hard to get an exact count because I use the books as a reference, and often read a few chapters here and there. Of course I’ve read The Eye of the World many more time than A Memory of Light In 2012, I started listening to the audiobooks. They are always on my phone, and I listen to them whenever I get the chance. The audiobooks have gotten me through many long shifts, nights, and commutes. P: As far as pure re-reads cover to cover, I'd say around 4 times. But I often go back to particular sections. For instance, recently I re-read the Rand locked in a box sequence up until Dumai's Wells. I've read the first three books much more than the rest with the exception of the final book and specifically the Last Battle, which is another sequence I’ve re-read MANY times. I honestly couldn't say how many. I'll put it this way. If you're also a fan of Star Trek or The X–Files say, you've probably watched the thing end to end a few times. But you likely have a few favorite episodes or season finales you've watched more than other parts. It's just like that. E: If you could have one character on your show to interview who would it be and what one question would you ask them? S: Loial. It wouldn’t matter what I asked, he could just ramble on about his books and I would love it. P: Can I pick two? Ishamael, and Nakomi. I want to know more about how the mechanics of this universe work. I know Ishamael is at least partly insane and all, but I would bet he and Nakomi could lend us some very interesting insight into some questions that are really hard to answer. Who is Nakomi, a Hero? A Dragon? Rand's Mother? One or several of those? Who is the voice that speaks to Rand in all capital letters at the beginning and end of the series? How much of certain plots and strategies were designed and orchestrated by Ishmael, and how much by the Dark One? Ishamael, why don't you ever use the One Power, but always the True Power? How does the Horn work, and why were Ish and Rand fighting in the sky? Which scenes are dream-shards, who pulled who into who's dream? I Could go on forever. But, if you've read this far, you're probably as big of fans of the series as we are, and in that case, the Wheel of Time Spoilers podcast is made for and by fans like yourself. Join the conversation on Discord and help our little book club pull apart the mysteries of, what we think is the best high-fantasy series ever written. Thanks to Seth and Patrick for taking the time to answer all our questions! And for those who will be visiting JordanCon 10 in a few days, Seth and Patrick will be in attendance. Join them Sunday at 11:30AM in the DeKalb room. Use this opportunity to ask them a few of your own questions. If you want to check out more from Wheel of Time Spoilers, you can visit their website, Facebook page, Twitter, Discord channel, and support them on Patreon.
  6. I would rather be learning Old Tongue....

  7. EbonyAdo

    say what?

    From the album: Aviendha

    © ebonyado

  8. EbonyAdo

    Aviendha

    In January my family welcomed its latest (and last) addition. This is Aviendha Rose.
  9. EbonyAdo

    How's my hair?

    From the album: Aviendha

    © ebonyado

  10. EbonyAdo

    keys

    From the album: Aviendha

  11. EbonyAdo

    New hair

    From the album: Aviendha

    © ebonyado

  12. EbonyAdo

    See my tongue

    From the album: Aviendha

    © ebonyado

  13. EbonyAdo

    playing

    From the album: Aviendha

    © ebonyado

  14. EbonyAdo

    ponytails

    From the album: Aviendha

    © ebonyado

  15. EbonyAdo

    Hi

    From the album: Aviendha

    © ebonyado

  16. EbonyAdo

    Rockstar Avi

    From the album: Aviendha

    © ebonyado

  17. EbonyAdo

    3 months

    From the album: Aviendha

    © ebonyado

  18. EbonyAdo

    2 months Old

    From the album: Aviendha

    © ebonyado

  19. EbonyAdo

    New Avi

    From the album: Aviendha

    © ebonyado

  20. EbonyAdo

    Hi I am new here

    Hi everyone, My name is Ebony and I am new here. I have been reading Wheel of Time for many years but have a hard time that find others that do. I did get my husband into reading it though. I have 3 kids Asia (14), Roman (10) and a little girl on the way named Aviendha :-). I look forward to have some people to discuss the Wheel of Time with.
  21. EbonyAdo

    Hi I am new here

    oh you guys are all so friendly. Aviendha is my favorite character but my husband is actually the one who insisted we the baby Aviendha...he loves the name. I am looking forward to learning my way around here :-) I am from Maryland but my husband is in the military so we are in Ohio right now...
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