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Calamity Seattle signing ()
#2 Copy

Questioner

So I just finished The Bands of Mourning, which was my favorite out of that series.  Did you know when you were writing Alloy of Law how you were going to link this to the original, with the kandra, the bands of the Lord Ruler...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah the kandra were seeded, MeLaan you can go and look back in the original three.  Like I’m going to use her in the next series, for sure.  Now what I usually do is when I’m starting a series, and I did this for this one, is I will write the first book in the series.  So I did this with Steelheart, I did this with the original Mistborn, I did this with Alloy of Law.  I write the first book, I sit down, and say “Okay, what worked about that, what can I expand upon” and then I outline the series with those characters and then go back and revise the first one to match and then I release the first one.  Does that make sense? So not everything do I know writing the first one but by the time I’m through the revisions I usually do.

Calamity Seattle signing ()
#4 Copy

Questioner

Are you planning to write any trans characters?

Brandon Sanderson

Am I planning to write any trans characters? I am, but it's a very... like, I need to have some people who can read who are themselves trans, and can talk me through it. I kind of dabbled in it with, like, MeLaan, but that's not a true trans character. So, I'm kinda trying to dabble my toes in it. But I really will need some good readers who can tell me, because it's one of those things that'd be so easy to get wrong.

The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
#5 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

MeLaan

It's never fully explained who MeLaan is, so I'll give you the background here. One thing that kandra do is take Contracts serving mankind in exchange for atium. However, there are other jobs that kandra can do back in the Homeland. One of the more prestigious ones includes the training and instruction of a child kandra.

This can take years and years, as kandra grow very slowly. TenSoon was appointed as a "parent" of a single kandra during his lifetime. (Many of the Fifth Generation have been parents dozens of times, but the Thirds are a rebellious group, and it was only after much consideration—and political pressure in the Homeland—that Thirds were given chances.)

MeLaan, then, is kind of TenSoon's adopted daughter. She has something of a hero-worship crush on him, inspired by his gruff style and adventuresome personality. Her idolizing of him borders on a romantic crush, and this makes TenSoon somewhat uncomfortable.

There you go. Now you can astound your friends with Mistborn background trivia.

White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
#6 Copy

Questioner

Where'd you come up with Wayne's kleptomania where he steals things and replaces things he finds of value. I think that's the funniest part of his character, that he determines that "oh, this is worth more than this" and "that is a good trade".

Brandon Sanderson

I have no idea where that came from, I can take no responsibility for that man. He just kinda popped out fully formed. I started writing a short story about him, which was where I started, I was gonna do a little Mistborn novella in the wild west era with Wayne as the main character. He was a riot but he couldn't be a main character, he couldn't be the main character. He needed somebody to play off of, and so the Wayne and MeLaan story got shelved--eventually I'll show people, I only got about a thousand words into it--and instead we got Alloy of Law.