Thus Spake The Creator

Jordan's other books

Q: Do you ever write on other types of books to take a break from your series? 
A: I have written other kinds of books in the past and I will write other kinds of books in the future, but at the moment the Wheel takes all of my time.

Q: I was just wondering two things: one, what books do YOU read, and what are some of the titles and types of your other written books. I'm really interested in reading more of your writing!
A: I read about four hundred or so books a year, half nonfiction, the fiction spread over almost every genre. I have written Westerns, historical fiction, international intrigue; I've ghostwritten some books; but everything except the fantasy is out of print at the moment.

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

Q: What other books have you written under your other penn names? 
A: A number, in other genres, and they're all out of print at the moment. 

Q: About those historical novels, where do you get the information for those? Personal research? 
A: Yes, and a personal interest in history. 

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: Why did you choose to use a pseudonym for your Reagan O'Neal novels? I love them every bit as much as the Wheel of Time series.
A: I wanted to put different names on different kinds of books so there would be no confusion. I didn't want anyone to pick up a book because they had liked my last book only to find that they had bought something they didn't want to read.

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:  I love your Reagan O'Neal historical novels, the Fallon series. Did you have to do a lot of research for those?
A: A good bit. But on the other hand, history is a hobby of mine, in particular the American Revolution in the South and the southern move west, which went through Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California.

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

Q: I liked the Conan book you did. On your listed mention of authros who most influenced you, you did not list Robert E. Howard. Is there a reason? 
A: He didn't influence me, that's why. I enjoyed reading the stories when I was a boy and I enjoyed writing the Conan novels, but Howard was never an influence on my style.

Q: I know you have used the pseudonyms Reagan O'Neal and Jackson O'Reilly in the past. Why?
A: To keep different genres separate. The other books were written before I began The Wheel of Time, and my publisher has re-issued them and insisted on doing them as "Robert Jordan writing as." But, I made them put the other pen name as large as possible on the cover so that they didn't do "ROBERT JORDAN writing as." As it was, I didn't want anybody to think that they were getting a new Robert Jordan novel, when what they were getting was a historical novel or a western that I wrote 15 or 20 years ago.
Q: You're not doing those anymore, then?
A: No. I'm not saying I won't ever do them again.
Q: Is this what you wanted to do when you were a kid?
A: I wanted to be a writer.

Q: How did you end up doing writing the Conan books? You picked up what Robert Howard had done, right?
A: When Howard committed suicide he left everything to a woman who had been very good to his mother. Today there is a corporation called Conan Properties, which owns the rights to all the original Conan material, the copyrights and so forth. Now, when the first Conan movie was coming out my publisher bought the rights to do some Conan novels written by other people. At first I said no, and he asked me again and I said no because I was working on something else. Then he asked my wife to ask me.
Now, at that time she was senior vice-president and editorial director for Tor Books. And she was also my editor on everything Tor published by me. So, the upshot of that was I said I'd do one. And I had fun doing it. So I agreed to do five more, plus the novelization of the second movie. But when I had done that I said, "Well, this has been fun, but good-bye."

Q: You're using many different nicknames and pseudonyms. You write under Reagan O'Neill - fiction, Jackson o'Reilley - westerns, Chang Lung ... why all those different names?
A: So people will know what they're getting.
If you see something by Jackson O'Reilly you know not to expect a fantasy, you know that that's a western book.
Although now my publisher is mixing that up. He's resissued some of my old books: 'Robert Jordan writing as' And I made them agree that they could only do this if they put the original penname on the cover in letter as large as they use for Robert Jordan.

Reports from signings

The Fallon Blood: It was originally longer, but it was cut in editing. Apparently, they cut out all the plot, and left in the raunchy bits.

Many people have asked about a short piece of writing called "The Strike at Shayol Ghul". Most people want to know, Is it actually real, and if so, what does it say? First, it is real. Robert Jordan wrote it and it was included in the Balticon printed program. It's about four pages long in printed form, and is now available on the Web courtesy of Tor Books.

Somehow, the topic wandered over to his Conan novels, and one of the booksellers said he had heard that the art department had serious debates as to whether the scantily-clad warrior-woman should be flung over Conan's  shoulder on the cover, or held tightly to his chest.  Jordan (dirty old man that he is) quipped that "over the shoulder" was the obvious choice, for perfectly mercenary reasons.  He then went on to say that if the cover art 
included some only partially covered buttock, that the book sold markedly better.  He also claimed that it made little difference whether it was the amazon's skin or Conan's, which got a rise out of the observers.  So I asked the obvious question: "Are you going to have a talk with Darrell Sweet about this?"  He gave a wry grin and said, "This is a different kind of series..."  But he did say that he has gotten several letters asking for Rand's butt to appear on the cover...

As answer to a question about his other writings, he mentioned once ghostwriting a *ponders* To my shame I must say I don't recall what he said. Either a mystery, a ghost-story, or a horror-novel I think... something in that direction anyway. It wasn't something I'd heard before. Westerns, historical novels, even the dance critiques, they're all known, but this was new to me.
 

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