||Thus Spake The Creator
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
A: No, and remember, I own guns.
Q: What other books have you written under your other
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
I love your Reagan O'Neal historical novels, the Fallon
series. Did you have to do a lot of research for those?
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
A: No. I *did* that a loooooong
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.
Raina's Hold / Thus Spake The Creator - Index