||Thus Spake the Creator
does Jordan read?
The summarised version is: Tad
Williams, Robert Holdstock, Raymond Feist, Janny Wurts,
Barry Hughat, C.S. Friedman, Mark Twain, Jane Austen,
Charles Dickens, John M. Ford, Guy Gavriel Kay, Terry
Pratchett, George R.R. Martin, Jared Diamond, Robert
Heinlein, John D. MacDonald, Louis L'Amour, James
Patterson, Patrick O'Brian, Montaigne, Andrew Vachss,
John Sanford, Patricia Cornwell, Jack London, Stephen
King, Tim Powers, J.V. Jones, Greg Bear and everything
else under the sun, except for romances. - Raina
Q: Mr. Jordan, are there any fantasy writers, beside
yourself, that interest you?
A: It's a moderately long list, but ... Tad Williams,
Robert Holdstock, Ray Feist, Janny Wurts, Barry Hughart,
C. S. Friedman, and really that's just the beginning, the
ones that come off the top of my head.
Q: Who if any are mr. jordan's favorite authors?
A: Tad Williams, Robert Holdstock, Ray Feist, Janny
Wurts, C. S. Friedman, Barry Hughart, and we'll cut it
off there before it gets too long... I assume the last
question meant in the fantasy genre, because my favorite
authors overall are Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and Jane
Austin. Austen. Sorry, Jane.
Q: Much of your work reminds me of J.R.R. Tolkien and
David Eddings in scope and character development. My
question is, who are YOUR favorite authors and why?
A: Mark Twain, followed by Charles Dickens and Jane
Austin, because they're _good_.
Q: What other fields of literature are you interested
A: Other fields of literature: Just about everything
except gothic novels and nurse stories.
Q: If you could work with any of the writers you
named, who would you choose?
A: None of them. I work by myelf. I don't see how to work
with someone else, really.
Q: I'd like to thank you for your wonderful series. It
has provided me with many hundreds of hours of
entertainment at home and at work. Are there any other
fantasy authors or titles that you are particulary fond
of? Do you ever re-read your own WoT?
A: The only time I re-read is to check on something when
I have to make sure of exactly what I said. In a certain
circumstance about a certain character or incident. As
far as the people I read, there are far too many to list:
Tad Williams, barry Hughhart, Ray Feist, it could be a
very long list, but we'd be here quite a time listing
Rumor has it that you read 400-plus books a year. Is this
true? What kind of books do you read? Any recommendations
(besides rereading World of Time!) while we're waiting
for THE PATH OF DAGGERS?
don't manage to read over 400 books a year now. I'm not
certain that I even manage to average a book a day. About
half of what I read is nonfiction, half fiction. And the
fiction takes in everything. As for recommendations, I
assume you mean in the field, so try John M. Ford, C. S.
Friedman, Guy Gavriel Kay, Terry Pratchett, George R. R.
Martin, and a slew of others -- too many to name. You can
Q: What kind of books do you like to read while
A: If something doesn't appeal to me, it goes away. If it
doesn't turn out to be as good as I thought it was, it
goes away. I don't have time to read books through when
they no longer measure up. But everything... mysteries,
Westerns, science fiction, nonfiction of all sorts. I've
been recommending Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and
Steel to everyone, and I'm reading a James Patterson
mystery right now, and getting ready to read Patrick
O'Brian's The Hundred Days... Hornblower meets
Sometimes I'll just dig out one of the old Jane Austen or
Charles Dickens books and read that, because I love those
books. Or John D. MacDonald. My favorite authors are
Robert Heinlein, John D. MacDonald, Louis L'Amour, Jane
Austen, Charles Dickens, and Mark Twain. These are the
people I can pick up and read any time. And you have to
throw Montaigne in there as well, but essays are a
different sort of thing.
Q: On behalf of a promotion that Barnes & Noble.com
is conducting, I'd like to ask: what are your favorite
books, and why?
A: I can't give favorite books, but I can give my
favorite authors: John D. McDonal, Jane Austen, Robert
Heinlein, Louis L'Amour, Charles Dickens, and Mark Twain.
Q: If you had to put two books into a time capsule,
one by you and one by some one else what would they be?
A: Well, I think that I would put The Eye of the World at
this point, and someone else -- I think the essays of
Q: Do you read much fantasy?
A: I read everything. At the moment I'm reading an Andrew
Vachss novel. The book before that was called "The
Code Book," about the development of ciphers and
codes. The book before that was called "Strange
Victory," about the defeat of France in 1940 --
something that I think should be required reading for
every member of Congress and every single person in the
Q: So you're an eclectic reader.
A: Yes. Before that John Sanford and Patricia Cornwell
and George Martin. I don't act as a tourist when I'm on (book)
tour. I make my appearances, and in between time I put my
feet up to rest them and I read.
Q: You were very young when you came in contact with
the great authors of fantasy..."
A: Oh yes, I.. Ah, I taught myself to read.
Well, it was quite incidental. My older brother.. ah, he
would be stuck sometimes, when my parents couldn't get a
babysitter, he would be stuck with looking after me. He
found out that he could keep me quiet by reading to me.
Mainly to keep me from flying his balls, or his airplanes
or whatever and to keep my hands out of his tropical
fishtanks , that sort of thing. Ah, and he read to
me. but of course he wasn't about to read children's
books to me, so he read the books that _he_ wanted to
read. Uhm, I remember... I don't remember when I began
making making a connection between the marks on the paper
and the sounds coming out of his mouth, but I do remember
a day when I was four years old that... It must have been
a weekend, because my parents came home on a day like..
and he took off; He put the book back on the shelf, and I
didn't want him to stop with the story, so I took the
book back down, eh, it was Jack London's 'White Fang' and
I managed to break through it... Ah, I didn't manage to
understand every word, but I managed to make my way
through the rest of the book with enough understanding to
be able to pick up on the story. So I eh, I did start
reading quite early.
Q: Is that also where you get your inspiration?
A: I don't know, I dont know where the inspiration came
from. My favorite authors are ah... Bearly Whitespread
[shame on me, this probably isn't the name, but it's the
best I can make of it, not recognizing the name] ,
Mark Twain, Jane Austin, Charles Dickens, John D.
McDonnald, Lewis Lemore.
Ah, these are not people you pick up as eh.. inspiration
for writing science fiction or fantasy, although John D.
McDonnald wrote eh, ...was best known for his travel [???]
fiction, and did write a book called 'The girl, the
goalwatch and everything' which is a hilarious science
Q: What other authors do you read yourself?
A: Oh, I read everything, myself. At the moment I read
Stephen King's 'Dreamcatcher'. I've read about half of it
this afternoon and I'll catch the other half of it
tonight when we get back to Amsterdam. I ah.. I read
anything and everything. If you're talking about in the
field... I would suggest people try err. John M. Ford.
Who's just had another one come out the last time
recently... And it's very good. He's a winner of the
world fantasy award. Twice. Once for his fantasy novel
'Dragon Waiting', and once for short fiction, which he
won with a long poem, he made them change the rules, so
that he could enter poetry and be nominated for short
fiction catagory. He is a stone-cold good writer. Uhm,
beyond that... uhm, lots of people, uhm... let's see now..
uhm, I must start blowing names... uhm, Ah, the guy who
wrote Mythago Wood... Err, Holdstock. Robert
Holdstock, err Tim Powers,uhm, C.S. Friedman, J.V. Jones,
there are a lot of good writers.
But I read everything, I read mysteries and western and
history. Err, I don't read as much as I used to. I'm not
certain I'm still averaging over one a day. About
half fiction, and half non-fiction.
A question about influences in his writing...
A: When I started writing I did not think of anybody as
being an influence or an inspiration, in any way. There
were simply stories I wanted to tell. Long before the
Wheel of Time. I now believe I can see writers among my
favorite writers, having certain influences on me, Jane
Austin, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, John D. McDonnald,
Lewis Lemore. They certainly influenced me, but again not
Reports from signings
Authors he recommended was Guy Gavriel Kay, CS
Friedman and Ray Feist in the fantasy genre. Non-fantasy
he recommended his major inspirator: Mark Twain. He
wouldn't give any non-recommended authors. He said he
reads about 300-400 books per year, which is a dropoff
from what he normally read due to the high workload from
the WoT books.
Other Favored Authors: I missed quite a few of these
while I tried to scribble it all down.
* CS Friedman
* Guy Gavriel Kay
* Most Recommended: Guns, Germs, and Steel I agree with that recommendation - Raina.
Q21: What books do *you* read?
Q21: Another everything under the sun answer.
The only author names I managed to jot down from his list
were: Terry Pratchett, George Martin, Elmo Lemar (lol, I
know I misspelled that, but I didnt know the author).
In short, he reads everything, except for romance. Hes
tried a book or two, but never passes page 100.
He again mentioned the list of writers: Holdstock,
Powers, Ford, Friedman, Jones.
He likes George R.R. Martin's books, gave him a quote for
his first book.
On my second pass through, I asked him to
name some favorite science fiction writers, since he
always listed fantasy writers.
He answered John M. Ford (again), Greg Bear, and C.S.
Friedman (again), who also has written a lot of good
He actually reads a lot less science fiction, because he
doesn't like distopias all that much.He likes
technology. Why would people have to die at age 30 in the
mud in some miserable hovel when they could live so much
longer, do so much more.
Especially since it wasn't that long ago that people in
American did die at the average age of 30.. You just had
to go back a few hundred years.
A: Well, I read a lot of things. Just finished Stephen
King's 'dreamcatcher' [guess this past week really is
playing havoc on his 'one book a day' average.] ,
just started 'big chief Elizabeth,' about the development
of the english colonies. Prior to that Sammuel's Lutbang
[??? any suggestions for this?] about the development
of the dutch-east-indie trade. The lutbang trade. [Ah,
there's that word again. I know I should recognize this,
but my mind still doesn't want to cooperate...] I
read a lot of things. I was reading some... The stack of
books that I've finished reading since getting to
Amsterdam includes, let's see, four medieval mystery
novels, one contemporary mystery of 'aran shames' [???
suggestions? I really know nothing about mysteries] And
that's about it, because I haven't had that much time for
Has the Fantasy genre always been your
favorite genre to read? Is it now?
No. I have no favorite genre to read, nor have I ever. I
read any book that I think is good, in almost any
genre. I mean I dont read romance novels. Simply
the fact that a book is supposed to be a good book, is
enough for me to consider reading it. And maybe if I
decide it isnt a good book, it is not
worth reading it. Ill try anything; fiction, non-fiction...
Raina's Hold / Thus Spake The Creator - Index