I was wondering, when you started out with book six you didn't really have much of a fan base. How has it been transitioning from lack of a fanbase to this.
This. Um... Wow, yeah. So it's been crazy, definitely been crazy. It's weird because as a writer-- You become a writer to tell your stories, not to become famous, right? But becoming famous-- Nobody becomes famous as a writer, right? That's what you figure and you just want to tell your stories. If you would've gone to me, when, let's say, '99, 2000, when I was in the thick of writing all these books, and come to me and said, "We're gonna give you", um, just pick a normal salary, something like forty grand, "forty grand for the rest of your life and you can write books", I'd have taken that in a heartbeat. That guarantee-- I'm there. I can publish a book a year, I will have readers to make a living on it, that is all I ever wanted. In fact, I'd told people, if I could just get there. Well-- *laughs* Now, with over ten million books out there, it's different. But at the same time, being a writer is awesome in that-- I sat next to somebody on the plane over here and they're like "Oh, what do you do", and I'm like "Well I'm a writer" and like "Oh, should I know who you are?" My response was "No actually, because I'm really, really famous with a really small and weird group of people." *laughter*
And that's probably the best kind of famous. I can-- Like if I go out, right, I'll sign maybe one or two autographs and it feels cool, right? One or two people will recognize me and they'll be like *gasps*, then I'll sign the autograph and it's great, but then I just go on with my life! And it means a ton to the people that it means something to, but to the average people it means Do you want fries with that?" Whatever, who cares. And so I basically live a normal life, right? As normal a life as one can be when, you know, you're traveling to Europe and things like that on tour. But when I'm at home it's very normal, it's just me and my kids and my wife. I write at home. It's a blast, it's a normal life. I play Minecraft with my kids. I hang out and things like that, and then I go on tour and I'm a superstar for a short time with some really cool people, and then I go home and it's just normal again. And so-- Yeah, if you're gonna be famous, be writer-famous. Don't be-- Like even movie stars very few people know, you recognize their face and they can't go anywhere, and I don't think I would want that. So this has been awesome.
And the other thing is, you always want to be able to just write whatever you love, and we talk about that, I mean I, at the end of The Wheel of Time, we paid off my house, we put enough in savings for the kids and for whatever we'd need to pay for for the rest of our lives, and then I retired. I retired like four years ago, retired for me means "I get to write extra books!", so thank you guys for that!