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/r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
#1 Copy

Glorious_Infidel

Are any of the characters in your books strongly influenced by people you know in real life? Would you be able to share a few if so?

Brandon Sanderson

Sure! Most are cameos. Many people in Bridge Four are based on friends/family members. Skar, Peet, Drehy, Bisig, Yake, and a few others are friends or family.

Sarene was loosely based on a friend of mine from college.

Shadows of Self London UK signing ()
#2 Copy

Questioner

How come you don't have any gay, lesbian, or transgender characters in your books?

Brandon Sanderson

I do! This one [Shadows of Self] actually has one. Ranette is lesbian. Let's see, transgender is awkward because I have the kandra who are kind of no-gender and both, that doesn't really count, but it's kind of me testing the waters and seeing whether I can write someone who has fluid gender and not be offensive with it, does that make sense? So keep an eye on what I do with the kandra through the books. The other gay person is Drehy from Bridge 4, he's based on my good friend Ryan Dreher who is gay, and so you will see his husband appear in the series eventually as well, but we really haven't talked about that one yet, there really hasn't been an opportunity, but Ranette we've talked about and it becomes more and more obvious as we talk about it in the books.