Thus Spake The Creator

Future writing

Q: Are there any other books you are working on now or plan to do that is not involved with this world?
A: Yes, in a way. I started--about a year ago--_thinking_ about the book or books that I will write immediately after the Wheel is done. That has a little way to go, though. 

Q: have you ever thought about writing about a renegade hacker? 
A: No, and remember, I own guns.

Q: I have found and read your Conan books, however are there any other books that you have had published and are there any other books unrelated to the Wheel of Time that you are working on? 
A: I have been a writer for seventeen years now, and have had a number of other books published (Westerns, international intrigue, historical fiction), as well as essays, dance review and theatre criticism, but no other fantasy save the Conan novels. I've written only one piece of short fiction in my life, aside from school assignments, and it was never published. I will probably write in those other genres again from time to time; I enjoy them. I am working on something unconnected with THE WHEEL OF TIME, though I have not yet begun writing it. (Books percolate about in my head for a long time before anything goes onto paper.) It will be the next thing after THE WHEEL is complete. It will be fantasy, in a different universe than THE WHEEL. My editor says it will be people's chance to see a society like the Seanchan Empire, but that is simply because most of the action will take place in a culture much like Seanchan. The main male character, who is shipwrecked there, comes from a place that might he considered a cross between Elizabethan England and the Italian city-states of the Renaissance with touches of the seventeenth century. I intend him to be a man in his thirties, a man of some experience and worldliness in his own culture (though this does him only occasional good where he finds himself), in contrast to Rand's innocence and naiveti. The major female character is a noblewoman of the land where he is shipwrecked; by the law, whatever is cast up on the shores of her estates belongs to her: the ship, its cargo -- its crew. Of course, a good many details will surely change between now and the commencement of writing (they always do), but that is the general form. No working title yet beyond SHIPWRECK. I expect to do the story in two or possibly three books. 

Q: Are you going to continue writing fantasy after the WoT and Shipwreck series are over? 
A: Yes. 

Q: Mr. Jordan, I think your series is wonderful! Do you have any plans for a new series? 
A: Thank you. New series: yes, but not until the Wheel is done.

Q: I hear your next book is "The Wheel of Shogun". Is this true? 
A: Not exactly.

Q: Do you have any "defined" plans for your writing career after you finish Wheel of Time? 
A: Just as far as some ideas for the next book. 

Q: Considering all the work you've been through already, you'll probably hate this question, but when can we expect the next book, and how many more do you expect? Will you be writing any other books that are similar fantasy/fiction?
A: First, I expect to deliver the next book n the Fall of next year, which means that it will probably be published in the spring of 1998. I do not know how many more books there will be. There will be at least ten total, probably more but the safest way to say that is to say "there will be a few more, not too many, and please god not as many as have already been written!" Other books? Not until I finish the Wheel of Time. I am already working in my head on what I'll do after that. it is indeed a fantasy series. I have a long gestation period for my books. The Wheel of Time gestated for at least ten years before it appeared on paper, and Shipwreck seems to be doing at least that.

Q: I hear you wrote a western? Is that true? If so, I'd love to read it. Any plans for any more westerns or historical novels in the future? By the way, I just got THE WORLD OF ROBERT JORDAN'S THE WHEEL OF TIME...what a gorgeous book. Great work!
A: Well, thanks. As far as the westerns go -- yes, I wrote a western once. A little out of the ordinary, set in the 1830s and with only one major character who was not a Cheyenne Indian. I might do a western one day or more historical novels. History and the American West in general interest me greatly. But for the moment, the Wheel of Time takes up all of mine -- time, that is.

Q: Mr. Jordan, I believe you have stated in past interviews that you already have an idea for your next project. I wonder, have you begun to work on it yet? And will you work on both series simultaneously or will you complete the World of Time series first? Also, is there any source currently available for us to see your work written under the pseudonym of Chang Lung? Thank you.
A: Yes, I have an idea for what I intend to write after I finish the World of Time, but I have not put anything down on paper, and I will not until I have finished the Wheel of Time. Until then, the next work exists only in the back of my head. As for Chang Lung, I don't think there is any source anywhere except for my files, and I'd just as soon leave them there. There are few things more boring than 10-year-old dance reviews and theater criticism.

Q: Will you do any more Conan books? 
A: No. I *did* that a loooooong time ago.

''Right now I have fame, whatever you want to call it, but I'm not going to keep writing the same thing. I like fantasy, and I will write fantasy, but it's not all going to be 'The Wheel of Time'. I intend to change universe, rules, worlds, cultures, characters, everything, with the books I do when I finish 'The Wheel of Time'."

I do have another series perking around in the back of my head already. Books generally have a long gestation period with me, so this is not at all too early. There isn't a word on paper yet, of course. It will be different in that it will be set in a different world with different cultures, different rules, a different cosmology. Nobody likes to redo what he's already done. 

Q: Hello again Mr. Jordan. Not that I'm looking forward to the end, in the sense of it being over, but what are your plans, if any, after you have finished this series? Will you continue telling stories about this world, or will you move on to new things?
A: I intend to move on to new things. I have been thinking about another fantasy series, another world, another set of cultures, for about, oh, it must be 6 years now it's been percolating around in the back of my head.

Q: Now, do you ever plan to do a book in the future where you will have one group of characters that will move throughout the story instead of breaking it down into different segments for each group?
A: It depends on how that particular story works. I don't have a set of rules that I follow for any particular story. I look at the story that I want to tell and decide how best to tell it.
In this particular instance, especially since it's in part about the reader knowing more than the individual characters do in the story, I like to show things from different people's points of view so that we're not seeing someone with the same opinions always looking at what's happening. There are people with different opinions about everything under the sun who witness the events, take part in the event, and thus report them according to their own beliefs and prejudices.

Q: Do you have something in mind for when you finish the Wheel of Time series?
A: Oh, yes. I've been thinking about it for six or seven years now. My working title for it is "Shipwreck." It is an entirely different universe, as I've said. Someone I told about this said its fantasy "Shogun." I wouldn't say that exactly, but if somebody needed a high concept version of it, I guess you could call it that.  

Q: mumble-mumble on the tape, but the answer should give you a general idea of the question.
No, I will not continue writing it, I will be going on to something else, and nobody else will continue writing it, because I have an automatic contract set up that if anyone tries to share-copy my world, their knee-caps will be brought to me. [laughter]

Q: What will you write next?
A: Another fantasy novel, or a set of novels. More compact, I hope. That's.. I've been working on it, you might say, in the back of my head for five or six years. A different world, a different set of circumstances; different cultures, different rules, no connection really, at all, to the world ... I'm writing about now. [Heh, seems even Jordan might want to have given Randland a name in the beginning so that we could refer to it as something other than Randland.] I want to make things different. [strong] I don't like doing the same thing again. [Referring to answering certain questions?] It's a trap that writers find it very easy to fall in to. Fans say 'tell me the story again, tell me more of the story' and the writer wants to do a different story. But the fan who loves this story says 'tell me this story again.' [loud] 'I want the story again, daddy!' [laughter] So you tell the story again. And it is very much like telling the story to your child, because if you always tell the same story when the child screams 'tell me the story again, daddy' you find out you can never ever tell a different story, that that is the only story that will be accepted. And I won't do that. I hope you come along with me, when I go on to different stories. But if you don't, I'm still gonna write the different stories. [laughter]

I have a list of the books I might want to write. I continuously add things to it. I used to keep it on paper, in a notebook.. and the notebook became full. That was just basic, basic plotlines of .. thought of what I'd like to write here or there or the other thing. And I realized twenty years ago that the list of books I wanted to write, the stories I wanted to write was impossible. I would not live long enough. I would not live long enough if I lived three or four lifetimes. I would have to live at least five or six lifetimes to complete the list as it then stood. So, you make choices.

The next series, the one he's been working on in his head for a few years now, will have one culture that is
"much more readily apparent as being 17th, early 18th century at technological level, cultural levels. I dislike the view of the world of the Wheel of Time as medieval. I think of this as the 17th century, as it would have developed without gun powder. Look at the things, I mean, moveable type and printing presses and books are not uncommon and mechanical clocks and a lot of other things. If you look at what's going on you'd realize that we're not looking at a medieval world. We're looking at the 17th century, minus gun powder. "

What will be the very first thing you'll do when you finish writing the last Wheel of Time book?
If the past is any indication, I will immediately get into a plane to New York to hand it in to the publisher [laughs]. What I will probably do at that point is take a vacation, after I finish the tour of the book. I will probably try to take a vacation of a couple of months, and then get to work on the next project.
Have you ever thought of writing a novel called "Making the Wheel of Time"?
You’re not planning to do that either?

You've said in another interview that your current working-title for your next series is "Shipwreck". Will it be another Fantasy series like Wheel of Time, or something completely different?
Oh it’ll be another Fantasy series. Do not say it’s like the Wheel of Time because it’s a Fantasy series, I do not intend to have any real connection between them. It’s a different world, a different universe, different cultures different laws, not simply a shift into the past or the future in the same world of Wheel of Time.

Reports from signings

He talked a little about his next series, Shipwrecked. It will be in a different universe, and focuses ona group of shipwrecked people (surprise, surprise). They come from a land with many countries, but basically all ruled by one religion that dominates everywhere. The new place has three powerful countries, but temples to hundreds of different gods and goddesses. It's going to talk a lot about culture shock I think.

He is already thinking about his next work.  He has been thinking about it for five or six years now.  It will definitely be a fantasy, definitely not Wheel of Time, and will spend a lot of time in a culture that somewhat resembles the Seanchan.  Ie, the Shipwreck thing is still going strong.

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