Robert Jordan was born James Oliver Rigney Jr. on October 17, 1948 in Charleston, South Carolina. He received a B.S. in physics from The Citadel in 1974. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam with the U.S. Army and won The Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star and two Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry. From 1974 to 1978, he worked for the U.S. Civil Service as a nuclear engineer. During the 1980's, he began writing several novels for the Conan the Barbarian series that was created in the 1930's by Robert E. Howard. He also wrote under many pseudonyms, which include the historical novels The Fallon Blood (1980), The Fallon Pride (1981) and The Fallon Legacy (1982) as Reagan O'Neal; and the western Cheyenne Riders (1982) as Jackson O'Reilly. He wrote articles for periodicals for the Library Journal, Fantasy Review and Science Fiction Review as Chang Lung. He was the author of the Wheel of Time series and The Towers of Midnight. He died on September 16, 2007 following a battle with cardiac amyloidosis. Jordan was cremated and his ashes buried in the churchyard of St. James Church in Goose Creek, outside Charleston.
Brandon Sanderson was born in December 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. He received a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in creative writing from Brigham Young University. His first book, Elantris, was published in 2005. His other works include the Mistborn trilogy, the Stormlight Archive series, and Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians. In 2007, he was chosen by Harriet Rigney to complete A Memory of Light, book twelve in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. He teaches one section of creative writing focused on science fiction and fantasy at Brigham Young University. His title's The Alloy of Law, Steelheart and Words of Radiance made The New York Times Bestseller List.