Question: What is A Memory of Light
“A Memory of Light” is the tentative title for Book Twelve of The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. Mr. Jordan passed away in 2007, and was unable to finish this final volume of his fantasy epic.
Question: I heard that you would be writing The Wheel of Time Book 12. Is this true?
Yes, it is true. You can read the official announcement of my involvement in this project on this Press Release.
Note that while I’ll be writing the words of the book, the novel was outlined by Mr. Jordan before his death. His wife, who was also his editor, will be heavily involved as well. I am writing this book, but it is not my book. It is Mr. Jordan’s book, and our goal will be to make it fulfill his vision for the series as much as possible.
Question: Why did they pick you?
I wish with all I can give that I weren’t the one doing this book. I wish it were Robert Jordan himself, as I am a long time fan of the series and his works. I think his death is a tragedy for the fantasy community, one we will be feeling for many years to come.
However, he made it clear that he wanted this book written. After his death, his wife read through novels by several authors whom Tom Doherty (the C.E.O. of Tor) and others had suggested. She enjoyed my books, and choose me—partially because of my novels, and partially because she had read my eulogy of Mr. Jordan and knew that I was a big fan and follower of the series.
Question: Did you seek to be involved in this project.
No. I had no idea I was even being considered until I was called by Harriet.
Question: How did you become involved?
In October of 2007 received a call from Harriet, Robert Jordan’s wife, asking if I was interested in the project. I was stunned, to be honest. A few weeks earlier, I’d written an essay on my website discussing what Robert Jordan and his books had meant to me. Apparently, this drew some attention at Tor, and someone forwarded the link to Harriet.
When she called me, I said that I would certainly be interested in working on this book. A month or so passed as she considered. In late November, I received a call officially offering me the chance to complete the book.
Question: What was your reaction to being asked?
I felt honored and overwhelmed at the same. While I didn’t ask for this, the truth is that I’m extremely excited to be involved. I love this series, and I want to see Book Twelve written as much as any other fan. For a writer like me, the next best thing to having Mr. Jordan write the novel is being able to work on it myself.
I can’t do the job that Mr. Jordan could have. Nobody can. But I will do the best I possibly can, and am confident in the quality of my work. This will be a fantastic book. His vision and foresight will make certain of that.
Question: What of your other books? Will they be delayed?
My readers shouldn’t notice much of a delay. Mistborn 3 is done and turned in. Warbreaker—the stand alone book I’m doing after the Mistborn books—is on its last few drafts. As I work on Book Twelve in 20008, I should have time to do a few minor revisions and copyedits for Warbreaker, and it is planned for a mid-2009 release. For my kid’s series, I have the next two books done as well, and they are in similar states of editing.
After spending 2008 A MEMORY OF LIGHT, I’ll have to work hard in 2009 to get my next book done (the one that will come out in 2010) but I am certain I can do that. I should continue to release one Tor book and one Scholastic book a year, as I have been doing. I think that part of the reason I was considered for this project is because I work ahead on my contracts and am good at meeting, and exceeding, deadlines.
That said, I have no idea how much work Book Twelve will take, as I’ve never undertaken a project such as this one before. I could be wrong, and it could delay my books following Warbreaker. However, I think the chances of that are slim.
Question: So when will A MEMORY OF LIGHT be out?
I can’t say, honestly. As I mentioned above, I’ve never done something like this before, and I can’t really project how long it will take to go through the notes and outline material, let alone how long it will take to write and draft. I would say, tentatively, that we’ll see the book in stores 2009, but that’s really just a guess.
Question: Will you be writing other books in the WHEEL OF TIME world?
I honestly can’t say. Everyone is focused on Book Twelve right now. Harriet feels a great urgency to get this novel done, and I can understand why. We have all been waiting to read it for many, many years.
I can say that none of us working on this project feel the same urgency about the other books Mr. Jordan was planning. (Those include the two prequels, the outrigger novels, and a new series called THE INFINITY OF HEAVEN.) This isn’t because we think they would have been bad books, but because we’re not certain Mr. Jordan would have wanted them written in his absence.
Book Twelve needs to be done. The others don’t need to be done. I know that many fans have strong feelings about those unwritten books, and I know that a lot of you want to see them. However, I ask that you please respect Harriet’s ability to decide their fate. If she feels that Mr. Jordan wouldn’t have wanted them done or if she feels that there aren’t enough notes or materials to complete them in a way that would have made him proud, then the books should not be written.
None of us want to simply exploit Mr. Jordan’s name or series for quick cash. We’d rather leave his legacy as it stands than have bad books attached to his name. Beyond that, I personally am working on this project more in respect toward Mr. Jordan’s name than for any other reason. I got into writing because I wanted to write the stories in my heart, not because I was looking to make large amounts of money.
Working on Book Twelve is an honor that I don’t think could have been matched by anything else in my professional career, but I have no intention of turning the Wheel of Time into my career. That isn’t to say that I’d turn down other Wheel of Time books if Harriet decided she wanted to do them, but it is to say that you shouldn’t expect to see Wheel of Time novels being released frequently or regularly. If we decide to do any of the other projects, it will be years from now, and only after careful thought and deliberation.