A part of the evolution--I mean this evolution that has entailed few years, but many, many books--are, in my opinion, two elements, right? One is the female characters, and the other one is the relationship between parents and kids. Is your wife involved in both aspects?
I would say most definitely, most definitely. I would credit my female characters more with the authors I read growing up than anything else. If I can point to one person, it would be Anne McCaffrey, who was one of the early writers that I read a great deal. I have said, I talked about earlier, that the first book that I read in fantasy was by Barbara Hambley. I went from her to Anne McCaffrey, and from Anne to Melanie Rawn. These were chronological, by title, in the card catalog. For the young people in the audience, a card catalog was this thing chiseled out of stone in libraries that pterodactyls sat on. But I had read exclusively women writers of fantasy for many months when someone came to me with a David Eddings book, one of my friends, and said, "You should read this." And my response was, I kid you not, "I don't know if men can write fantasy." As I talked about in the last session, when I started writing, I was not good at writing anyone but the main protagonist. Women characters, side characters, the only characters that worked were the ones that were very like me. The reason I worked so hard to change this was because I knew it could be done better, because I had seen great writers before me do it so much better.
As for family relationships, as I was working on my books early in my career, I realized I was falling in a cliché. Not all clichés are bad--we can call them tropes instead, because the word "cliché" sounds so bad--but I was falling into the trope of making my protagonists all be orphans. This is very easy as a writer, because it cuts down on the number of characters, which makes it easier, but also, it has an inherent tragic backstory. I mean, it's also part of the Hero's Journey, the orphan with a hidden heritage of nobility. You see it in Luke Skywalker, you see it in Harry Potter. So, useful trope or not, I noticed I was using it, and I said, "I need to be aware of what I'm doing, not just accidentally doing things." So, when I worked on, specifically The Stormlight Archive, I said, "I want family relationships to be important to it," because most of us are not orphans. Most of us have family that have been very important to us, and it feels far more real to approach it that way.