Favorite shade of blue?
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Favorite shade of blue?
Does Marsh like cats?
He's more of a dog person (but fairly neutral towards cats). Kelsier is a cat person. Brandon himself is a cat person (he has a cat).
Of all the magic systems you've written, which is your favorite.
Mistborn. Yeah, I'd say Mistborn. It's had to pick. The world of Stormlight is my favorite but the magic system of Mistborn is my favorite.
Ever since reading Legion, I feel like Stephen Leeds might be based off of you. Is that accurate at all?
There's a little bit of me in every character, and the me that's in him is kind of the organizing crazy voices in my head.
Are there times when you regret saying too much?
Yeah, there are times when I regret saying too much. What I regret more is when I say something that I know came off wrong and is going to send the fan base down the wrong paths. I don't like to do things like that. Robert Jordan liked that, I don't like that. I want to give truthful answers, I want to leave mystery where there is mystery. Like the Lord Ruler's kids where everyone is searching like "where are they". Anyways, there was one at the latest release we did where I knew I was wiggling around it and was gonna send them in the wrong direction. Afterwards I felt bad.
And lastly, Mi'chelle and I had an idea while conversing....Have you done firesides, and would you consider doing them?
It's an interesting idea. I honestly don't know. I think I could come up with something. (For those confused, it's an LDS church-group thingy.)
Do you relate more to Kaladin or to Dalinar?
If you had to pick one character to have dinner with, who would it be?
I’d pick Sazed. It would not be Kelsier, cause he’s kind of scary, and it would not be Hoid cause he would make fun of me.
Who's your favorite ninja turtle?
Depending on whether I am playing the video game or not. But it was Leonardo, always, because I'm the older brother and stuff, and so the guy who ordered everyone around kind of became my thing.
In your underground lair, will you have a secret room that has another secret?
*Laughs* We should. We will have a secret door so we should have a secret door that has a secret in it. Good suggestion. If we do that, then you can say you inspired it.
My question for you is: if you had to live the life of one of your characters from life to death, knowing what they will go through, their powers, their struggles, how they die, and what their legacy is. If you had to chose one character, male or female, who would you live the life of.
That is a hard question. I don't know that I want to be any of them! I would pick that one random farmer guy they pass on the road who lives a normal, peaceful life and doesn't have to end up going through all of this stuff.
If you had a pet animal that you could communicate with (just like dæmons in the trilogy His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman) which animal would you choose?
Can I cheat and make an animal that doesn't exist? Because if so, I'd pick a dragon. Because then I'd have a cool animal to talk to AND I'd be the only person around with a DRAGON.
If it has to be an animal that's real--a kind of spirit dragon--I would pick some kind of intelligent bird. A parrot or a raven. Something that can fly, do things I cannot, and look totally awesome sitting on my shoulder and glaring at people.
Is [Brandon] fascinated by gravity ?
Yes he finds incredible the capacity of mass to bend space and he loves gravity that's why it is everywhere (and it is awesome).
Have you taken out any insurance policies to make sure we get to the 10th book of Stormlight, Brandon?
I don't if any insurance policy could do that other than making good outlines and making sure that somebody is tasked to do it, in case. I always used to say it's not far enough along but at this point, we're getting far enough along that we would want to have someone finish them.
Was there an author that inspired you to write?
Barbara Hambly wrote the book Dragonsbane. It would be her or Anne McCaffrey, who is the first person I read.
If you were a Smedry, what would your talent be?
I base most of the talents of the people in the Alcatraz Books off dumb things that I do. So I am famously bad at dancing. Famously. So I would definitely have that one. I am always late; that came from me. (Though really, secretly, it came from my mom; 'cause she is even more late that I am.) Most everything thing in there is me. But I would say probably "bad at dancing", that would probably be my best, because I am just really bad at dancing. It's not even in a funny way, it's just in a boring way.
I asked this of Pat. Money system wise, a standard, like, equivalent to U.S. dollars kind of thing. Is a clear mark? I usually think of a clear mark as a dollar.
If you email through my website, Peter keeps all of this. I actually, these days, just write "worth about this much" in dollars and he figures out a monetary for it, because this just takes, y'know, I have to reach into the wiki and be like "Alright, how much is this worth again? How much is this?" The commodities are of different values an so he just factors it all out. I remember giving him instructions once, that sounds about right.
I figured as much, for slaves to...
We're like, what does a slave make... it's, yeah.
So, my question for you is writing related. I just finished a new first draft in my novel.
I know you! Yeah, ok sorry. It took me a minute.
So yeah, I finished my draft; what was it that helped you when you... cause I recalled hearing on Writing Excuses, you talked about this, how editing was the bane of your existence earlier, you just didn't wanna do that, and I'm finding that too. I dont wanna jump in and fix all the terrible things. What was it that helped you kinda like...
It honestly is the thing that held me back the most. I think it was kinda partially just, getting rejected enough that I realized I just had to learn to do it. That was part of it. Giving myself space after finishing a book, writing something else and then coming back to it when I was feeling kind of fresh about it and exited about tackling it again, that helped a lot. It was also kinda like growing up as a writer, if that makes sense, and realizing I'm not ever gonna sell a book until I could learn to take a good one and make it great and then I just started buckling down and learning to revise.
What's your favorite order of the Knights Radiant and why, and which are you most exited to expand upon.
I would say that my favorite is probably the Windrunners, just because, y'know, they do the stuff that I would want to do but I really want to talk about the Stonewards because the stuff they do is going to be very visually interesting.
What would your name be in Sixth of Dusk?
What time of the day were you born?
It is not always that way. I would be, probably, First of the Early Morning.
Did you have inspiration for Wit. I just think he's totally funny.
Yeah, it's just hard because Wit started, I started thinking about Wit when i was like fifteen or sixteen. He evolved over all that time. Every time I've laughed a piece of that became Wit, if that makes any sense.
My favorite time period is when superstition was transitioning into science. I am very fascinated by that idea, superstition and science. Isaac Newton believed in Alchemy and tried to make it work, and many scientists did. This is really cool to me because this is both the dawn of enlightenment and understanding, but also it has mythology and lore to it. In my books I am usually trying to recreate this idea, we're sifting through the lore and pulling out the science. Magic is transitioning into science, but it is a world with a new branch of physics. This allows me to mix what we call a sense of wonder with a sense of reason. It makes me very exited when I have a good idea to connect mythology and science together.
Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs test?
I have. That's the one that's like the letters. I am whatever the Mastermind is.
What is your favorite Dresden Files book?
I am going to say that I prefer Codex Alera. I read those and [?]. The second one? yeah, I don't know. They are all very good. I'm reading The Aeronaut's Windlass right now and I'm liking that a lot, but i really like Codex Alera.
Do you ever find yourself, when you're in the middle of writing a book, swearing like the characters do?
I do occasionally, yes. That does happen. Which cracks my family up. [...] I'm writing the sequel to Legion right now, and J.C. has decided that he's not a hallucination, he's an interdimensional space ranger who only exists partially in this world, so he starts using made-up future curses and so he's saying all these weird curses ... anyway. It's a lot of fun.
Your stories are so in-depth and unique in the magical systems and religions. I was wondering if you have always, even through childhood, been creative with stories? Have some of the ideas in these books been something you created when young and then evolved into a story now? Have you always been interested in writing stories as you grew up? Did you have that notebook in class scribbling full of stories and ideas while sitting in class supposedly taking notes?
I've spoken before on the fact I didn't discover fantasy, and reading, until I was fourteen. (The book, if I haven't mentioned it on this forum yet, was Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly.)
Before then, I was a daydreamer. I was always daydreaming—I was never in the room where I was supposed to be listening or studying. I was off somewhere else. Oddly, though, I didn't make the connection between this and writing until I was given that first fantasy novel.
When I read that book (and moved on to McCaffrey, as it was next in the card catalogue) I discovered something that blew my mind. Here were people who were taking what I did, sitting around and imagining stories, and they were making a living out of it.
I hit the ground running, so to speak. Started my first novel the next fall, began gobbling up fantasy books wherever I could find them, began writing notes and ideas in my notebooks instead of (as you guessed) the notes I was supposed to be taking.
Even after all this, though, I was persuaded that people couldn't make a living as an author. So I went to school my freshman year as a bio-chemist, on track for becoming a doctor. That lasted about one year of frustrating homework and classes spent daydreaming before I made the decision to try becoming a writer.
I was curious about what your favorite board game was, outside of Magic?
Ooh... I'm not a board game guy. I'm a Magic guy. A lot of people who play Magic and that's all they play. My brother's the board game guy. And I don't really have a favorite. I'll play with him, I'll play Catan, I'll play House at Haunted Hill, I'll play his stupid Battlestar Galactica one that takes like a billion years, but I'll do it for fun to hang out with my family, I don't have a favorite of them. If I do have one, it's Sorry, because that's what my family played when I was a kid, and that's not even a real one. Now they these board games, you have those intricate miniatures from Germany, and you set up all these things, and you draw a card, and that's your objective, and you're a zombie... All this weird stuff, and they look a lot more fun. Dominion, does Dominion count? It's not a board game, it's basically Magic again. Yeah, Dominion would be my favorite. I really like Dominion. Stratego's not bad.
What's your opinion on selfie sticks?
Opinion on selfie sticks? I think they look kind of dumb.
If you weren't a writer, what would you be?
Yeah, my second love is teach. I like teaching, I like speaking, I like being in front of a crowd. its enjoyable to me and so I'm pretty sure that's where I would have ended up. If I hadn't found myself in another art, which is entirely possible.
Would you rather be a Shardbearer or a Mistborn?
Ooooh, I’ve never been asked that. I’m going to go Shardbearer because the spren would be so much fun to have. You know what I mean?
Would you rather be an Allomancer or a Shardbearer.
I would rather be a Shardbearer.
Brandon recommended the writings of Brent Weeks and Brian McClellan multiple times to various questioners asking for authors with a similar writing style to Brandon. Especially the book The Black Prism.
I have a question, because I really like Magic: the Gathering. What set are you collecting right now?
I'm always kind of collecting some of everything. Right now I'm building a Theros cube, so kinda working on that. It's just, I have all my old ones so I'm just like, "Eh, I'll build a cube out of these", so I've just been putting that together, and then I've been building this really weird one that's a commander cube. So I'm grabbing specific cards from here and there and putting them together.
I just found out today that you have a charity called the Lightweaver Foundation.
What are you trying to accomplish with it?
I'm trying to find ways to give away my money.
It's less that I'm trying to funnel money into it from other sources. Sometimes, we sell things or do things that I want to do for charity, but mostly it's, so far we've put a library in the homeless shelter in Salt Lake and we've donated a bunch of books to schools and prisons and libraries. When someone comes and says, "Hey, can you donate to this thing," I just funnel it through the charity. It basically exists to give away my money.
How do you keep motivation for writing in general, because i always have a lot of trouble with that.
Yeah, well that depends on what part of my career you are talking about. Early on I envisioned this cubicle chasing me and if it caught me i'd have to get a normal, boring desk job. That was actually a big motivation to me, because it was like I only had a certain amount of time to do this thing that I loved and if I didnt actually sit down and do it I was gonna have to be a real boy. After i got published and it got a bit hard I started using the carrot philosophy; i would let myself open up a new pack of magic cards if I hit a certain word limit every day.
Oh, thats really cool!
Yeah, and that worked really well during the hard years when I was trying to get through the Wheel of Time. They were great books but they were so hard to write cause they were way harder than writing my own fiction. Now I don't really need that anymore, now its kinda become this thing where I have all these fans who are waiting for things and I have to make good on the promises I've made to them. Now its more like a "i need to do this", so yeah.
My evil nemesis is John Scalzi, science fiction writer. We are very good friends, but he is also my evil nemesis. One time I was at a book store in an airport. i like to sign my books in airports and leave them for fans to find and i was doing this and someone came to the section in the airport. I was signing and they said "Oh, you're a writer?" and I said "yes!" here's my book, its great, you should read it." They said "I don't like fantasy, I like science fiction instead." I went 'alright' and so i sold them one of john Scalzi's books just because I wanted to match the right book to the right person.
I heard "Sanderson!" and I turned around and it was John Scalzi. He said, "I heard you siold one of my books, here's your royalties", and he threw two coins at me, all across the hall.
What Order of Knights Radiant would you want to be in?
I would probably place myself in the Bondsmiths, would be my guess. But Bondsmiths are very hard to get into. There's a limited number of people who can be Bondsmiths, so yeah.
Would you ever want to write an episode for Doctor Who?
I would consider it. But I don’t have enough screenplay writing background right now, I'd have to work with someone else. Does that make sense? If they had a good screenwriter who could work with me, then yeah.
How old were you when you started writing?
I was fifteen when I started writing my first book. It wasn't very good. I had to practice a long time before they started getting good.
What is your favorite word in the English language?
Is there a reason?
Because it made me laugh when I used it in the Alcatraz books, and it became a theme of those books, which do silly things for no good reason.
The beginnings of the Cosmere I can trace back to being a teenager and I would read Anne McCaffrey books and I would always imagine a character that was my own that I had secretly inserted into her books and this character - I would insert into everyone else's books when I read them too. This was the start of Hoid, was this character who was appearing in everyone else's novels and I knew his secret agenda. It was very fun for me to imagine as a youth.
Were books a natural part of your childhood?
Unlike a lot of writers, I wasn't a big reader when I was younger. I came to it late, when I was in eighth grade. Until then, none of the books (mostly ones about boys with pet dogs) that people had given me worked. And then I discovered fantasy. From then on, you never found me without a book. Often two or three.
If you could ditch the entire Cosmere, *laughter* what would you write about?
Yeah, there you go, Twilight fanfic. That's...
Brandon Fifty Shades of Grey would be much tamer. *laughter*
The problem is, I don't think my Fifty Shades of Grey would hit quite the same demographic.
You'd have a great magic system, though. *laughter*
Yeah, it would. It would just be a magic system based on different colors of grey and what they do. *laughter*
Sorta like Warbreaker.
I have no idea what I would do, I'm sure I could find something, but it would probably turn into another cosmere.
How do you schedule your time?
These days its based on deadlines, so for instance Rithmatist is a side project, I don't have a contract for that. I just write them, give them to the publisher, and say "its time to publish this". Steelheart i sign a three book deal that has dates in it: when i have to turn them in, if that makes sense. So when I have extra time I do something like this, when i don't, you know, when the contract comes through I've given my obligation to the publisher that i'll do certain things, so i write those. That's how it is these days. It used to be more along the lines of whatever i felt like at the time. You know, its now my job when then it wasn't my job, and as my job there are certain things I need to do.
I heard that in one of your books two people from the actual 17th Shard got married as members of the 17th Shard in your book.
Yes, shes right there. That's Mi'chelle, she's a beta reader. She and her husband met at a signing at a Barnes & Noble of mine. So they met at one of my signings, and they eventually got engaged at my class in BYU so I put their wedding in a book.
Welcome Brandon Sanderson here, and Angela, thank you all for coming. I will just turn the time over to him, he talks about himself way better than I am. It sounded like he's full of himself, but hes not.
A little! At Pheonix Comic Con last week me and Dan were on a panel together with a bunch of other panelists and at one point Dan said, pointing at me, "He was like this even before he got famous." So at least I'm the same person, I'm the same gregarious, somewhat... at times larger than life person.
I know you served a mission in Korea. So, how much of a Korean influence...
There's a bunch.
I noticed in Mistborn, I think of some Korean influence.
Yeah. In Elantris, the idea of the language is based on the relationship between Korean and Chinese. So, it's not the sounds or anything, it's the idea of there being the Chinese characters that have Korean back... you know you can write them in Korean or in Chinese. All of that stuff. The Chinese characters, the Korean grammar around them, and stuff like that, it was a big influence on me designing that writing system.