What was your inspiration for the Knights Radiant
I prefer stories about magic awakening and magic being discovered and investigated. So the idea of these Orders of Knights whose powers were lost, and people are now recovering them, was really cool to me. You certainly would have to point at the Jedi as a theme for that. Like, I grew up in the '80s and '90s; there's no way that Star Wars wasn't a huge influence on everything that I did. I wouldn't say that I thought it was the single influence, but you cannot separate someone of my generation, so steeped in pop culture as I was, from Star Wars as a deep cultural influence.
What do Rosharan sporting events look like outside of Alethkar?
Most places in Roshar, I would say they have not hit the point in society, quite yet, where mass sporting events are really a thing. Basically, sporting events are martial training during non-periods of war, even in the less martially-focused places. I would have to think about it. I haven't built any. I mean, there are sports that were played non-martially on our Earth, but even the ball game in mesoamerica had some pretty brutal aspects to it, that is almost kind of a way to have a battle when you're not having a battle.
I think that the modern concept of sporting events, the only place you're gonna find that right now in the cosmere is on Scadrial. And Wayne accidentally started a sporting league. I'm not sure if I'll get to that in the next book, or not. If you remember, in the last book, where he was like, "What we need is a way to get everybody drunk at the same time without them being drunk." And there are some implications and ramifications of that for the advent of professional sports, let's say.
Would children on Roshar be taught the names of the different spren in school, like kids with animals in our world?
Oh, yeah, definitely. Good idea. I bet that they would. Definitely, spren would probably be like learning to say "kitty" around here.
Did the uses of epigraphs in the Robotech novels influence your own usage of epigraphs?
I can't say; I wouldn't even have been able to remember that they did have them. I know I liked them. If I were gonna point toward one, I'd point toward Dune. Because, though I read all the Robotech books as a kid and really liked them, Dune I read during a more formative time in my writing, after I decided I wanted to be a writer and was really looking at the structure of stories, and things like that. So that's probably the one I would point to. And the epigraphs in Dune are ephemera, they're very similar. (Though they all tend to be from the same piece, I believe; I think they're all from the journal.) But it could have had an unconscious influence. There are a lot of great books that use epigraphs. But I would not have been able to tell you if they had.
What is your favorite character archetype or personality type that you haven't used in one of your books?
I haven't done a real cool traditional revenge narrative, in the kind of Count of Monte Cristo way. Basically, this is the mistaken identity story (if you guys have read the Miles Vorkosigan books), except done more intentionally. Like, in the Vorkosigan early books and what not, it's a person who gets in over their head and has to lie about who they are and what their experience is in order to stay ahead of the lies that they've already told, so that people won't discover that they aren't indeed the person that they say. A Bug's Life is a great example of this. And that one is usually played for comedy, though in Vorkosian books, it's not; done very well. There's a different archetype of this, which is kind of the... Knight's Tale is this thing, and so is Count of Monte Cristo, where an intentional deception of those around you in order to achieve a near-impossible goal. I would say that my favorite story of that archetype is Gattaca, which I just love. I think it's a fantastic movie. And I've never done that, that specific style of story. And I fully intend to someday. I mean, Gattaca being one of my favorite movies would be a clue; I tend to take the things that I love. But I haven't found the exact right place for it yet, let's say.