The Wheel of Time is a best-selling fantasy series by Robert Jordan. While Mr. Jordan passed away in 2007, his work remains popular. A TV show based on his series is slated to hit Amazon Prime as a TV series in 2020 or 2021. And I had the privilege of interviewing author Teresa Patterson about her collaborations with Robert Jordan and her other projects.


Tamara Wilhite: How did you end up working on The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time?

Teresa Patterson: I was actually approached by the packager on the project, Bill Fawcett, while at World Fantasy Convention, and told I was on the short list for the project. Apparently I made the top of that list and got the project.


Tamara Wilhite: How well did you know Robert Jordan?

Teresa Patterson:  Not well before doing the book. But I spent time with him and his wife Harriet, who was also his editor, while working on the project. Jim was not just a fantasy writer. He also loved history and science. He wrote under a pseudonym because he always planned to write serious history books under his real name. He never expected his fantasy work to become so popular it would take over his writing life and outlast him.


Tamara Wilhite: And were you a fan of his works before writing one of the best-selling guides on his novels? It seems to be doing well given it came out as an audio book last year.

Teresa Patterson: I actually knew very little about his work before getting the project. But I became a fan very quickly.


Tamara Wilhite: You also wrote The World of Shannara. Have you written any other guides to fictional universes?

Teresa Patterson: There were actually two versions of The World of Shannara, and there may eventually be a third since Terry Brooks is still writing. I have not done any others but would consider doing more if asked. I think Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden world would be awesome to write about.


Tamara Wilhite: What is your novel No Quarter about?

Teresa Patterson: It was co-written with best-selling fantasy writer Robert Asprin and Eric Del Carlo. The main story was Robert Asprin’s idea. He wanted to do a main stream mystery, but set it in his Dragon’s Wild universe.  It is about what happens when girl is murdered in the French Quarter of New Orleans, but the only people who seem to care are her friends living there. It focuses on what happens when they decide they are the only ones who can solve the mystery and do something about her death.


Tamara Wilhite: Did you write Combat Corpsman? If so, is that historical or fiction?

Teresa Patterson: Combat Corpsman is the true story of Greg McPartlin’s transformation into a Navy SEAL Medic and his first tour in Vietnam. It was my job to take his story and bring it to life, Even though the subject is very serious, the book is also very funny. It was optioned several times for a movie, but the funding never happened so it was never made. I am most proud of that book because it was the most divergent from my life. I had to get into the head of a SEAL and develop an understanding of who Greg was and how the war and the TEAMs changed him.


Tamara Wilhite: What are you working on now?

Teresa Patterson: I am working (in my spare time) on a book called Trailer Trash about life in a trailer park and how crazy that life in a marginalized community can be. I also have some fantasy ideas on the back burner.


Tamara Wilhite: Is there anything you’d like to add?

Teresa Patterson: For those interested in history, I also worked with Bill Fawcett as writer and assistant editor on a series of humorous history books designed to be fun but true bathroom reading. My favorites were It Looked Good on Paper: Bizarre Inventions, Design Disasters, and Engineering Follies and You Said What? Lies and Propaganda Throughout History

Tamara Wilhite: Thank you for your time.

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