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Firefight Atlanta signing ()
#1 Copy

Questioner

What is the most interesting or awesome thing you found in your South American research for The Aztlanian?

Brandon Sanderson

What is the most awesome thing I've come up with in my research for The Aztlanian.  So the question, for those of you who read The Rithmatist, I'm working on a sequel doing a lot of research on South American and Central American cultures. The Aztecs all the way down to the Incas *audio obscured* city was just so cool reading about that. One of the big things that I discovered was that a lot of records indicate that Meso-American culture was way bigger than, way more populated than people are usually taught. It's just that they lost somewhere around 60%-- This enormous number to diseases that were brought over. Way more than I originally expected. And reading about some of this, like the early accounts of how many people there were, their civilizations. Later on when the explorers really started coming, talking about there being these ghost cities, of empty-- the people all left them because so many people died and things like this. That what happened was almost like a post-Apocalyptic-- Like when the invasion of the Aztecs, of Mexico, was happening they were basically invading a post-Apocalyptic society where everyone was already dead. They'd even lost their emperor, Montezuma the First had died from this stuff. It's very interesting, all these things reading about-- There is a ton to learn.

JordanCon 2014 ()
#2 Copy

Questioner

What's it looking like for the book series of The Rithmatist?

Brandon Sanderson

I am writing the second one right now, it is my current project. It is going to be a trilogy. The second one should be out next summer. And they are going to go to South America. It's going to be fun.

Salt Lake ComicCon FanX 2016 ()
#3 Copy

Questioner

When is Rithmatist 2 coming out?

Brandon Sanderson

Rithmatist 2 is the number one requested book that people ask of me. I know more people are waiting for Stormlight 3, but they can see the progress bars and things like that, so they know it's coming. Rithmatist 2, I might write between Stormlight 3 and 4. I tried to write it, and since they were going to South America, and I had not done my research, I was not able to accurately represent an alternate Earth version of the cultures, like the Nahuatl, the Mexica people, so I stopped to stop and read, like, ten books on that, which prevented me from writing the book at that point. Now that I've done the research, I can, I feel, write the book, and do justice to it, but I have to now find a timeslot in my schedule, because the slot that was in my schedule I spent doing research. You wouldn't have wanted the book that would have come out if I hadn't done that research. You know all this buzz about Harry Potter and Native Americans? Mine would have been ten times worse, just because you write from a position of ignorance, so I was starting, and I was like, "No, I can't do this." So now, I think I can do it, and I think it will be good, but now I have to find the time. I'm sorry.

Idaho Falls signing ()
#4 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

You said the The Rithmatist is a little ways out, the sequel.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I do mean to keep meaning to get to it sooner than I have. It's one of the-- It's the one that's been the most difficult to figure out how to do the sequel. I'm confident-- Let me get Alcatraz [6: The Worldspire], which-- it should be done pretty soon here, cleared off my plate. The last book of that one is-- had significant progress on it lately. Once that's done I'll look at Rithmatist, which is the other thing that's been dangling over my head.

State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
#6 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Updates on Secondary Projects

The Rithmatist

This continues to be the single most-requested sequel among people who email me or contact me on social media. It is something I want to do, and still intend to, but it has a couple of weird aspects to it—completely unrelated to its popularity—that continue to work as roadblocks.

The first problem is that it's an odd relic in my writing career. I wrote it as a diversion from a book that wasn't working (Liar of Partinel, my second attempt at doing a novel on Yolen, after the unpublished novel Dragonsteel). It went really well—but it also was something I had to set aside when the Wheel of Time came along.

I eventually published it years later, but my life and my writing has moved in a very different direction from the point when I wrote this. These days, I try very hard to make stories like this work as novellas or standalone stories, rather than promising sequels. I feel I did promise a sequel for this one, and I have grand plans for it, but the time just never seems to be right.

The other issue is that writing about that era in America—even in an alternate universe—involves touching on some very sensitive topics. Ones that, despite my best efforts, I feel that I didn't handle as sensitively as I could have. I do want to come back to the world and do a good job of it, but doing an Aztec viewpoint character—as I'd like to do as one of the viewpoints in book two—in an alternate Earth…well, it's a challenge that takes a lot of investment in research time.

And for one reason or another, I keep ending up in crisis mode—first with Stormlight 3 taking longer than I wanted, and now with The Apocalypse Guard not turning out like I wanted. So someday I will get to this, but it's going to require some alignment of several factors.

Status: Not yet. We'll see.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#7 Copy

KalynaAnne

We've kind of circled around the issue, but Professor Layton has talked about conics in general. Are we going to see hyperbolic lines and parabolas *audio obscured*

Brandon Sanderson

So, there is discussion of that in my notes, we'll see if I can get to it. It's more-- The cultural stuff for book two is more important to me right now, I'm not sure how far I will advance Rithmatics in the next book or not, but we will do some kind of origin stuff and fundamentals in the next one.

Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
#8 Copy

Questioner

When is the second book of The Rithmatist coming out?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't written it yet. I started doing the research, and it was so much work I realized I needed more time to do it, because I'm going to South America in it, and I just needed to know South American cultures better, so I decided I need to take another year to do research. So I'm doing research for it right now, I'm going to write it hopefully after I finish the next Stormlight book, and then we'll release it soon after. So it's a little ways away.

Orem signing ()
#9 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

When is the second Rithmatist book coming out?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I put an update on my blog two days ago, so you can look in there. I'm having a lot of trouble writing it.

Footnote: The post in question, the 2017 State of the Sanderson, can be found here.
Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
#10 Copy

Questioner

I love that book [The Rithmatist], the world, I'm looking forward to those...

Brandon Sanderson

The sequel is going to be very fun, it's called "The Aztlanian", it's taking place in South America.

Questioner

Where in South America?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, I've rebuilt South America so it's kind of weird. The Aztek empire, which is the main name the Northerners have for it, they call it something else. The problem is I shrunk the planet, so I had to smash South America and Central America a little bit into each other so the islands that they are is it South America? Central America? What is it?

Questioner

So is it Spanish-speaking? Or...

Brandon Sanderson

No, the Spaniards got fought off, they actually speak Nahautl.

Questioner

No Portuguese or Spanish? It's all...

Brandon Sanderson

There are a couple Portuguese/Spanish islands but-- They grabbed a few of them but the main empire speaks Nahuatl.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
#11 Copy

Questioner

What's the update on the next Rithmatist?

Brandon Sanderson

Next Rithmatist. So, there's no big update on that. If you didn't hear, when I wrote Alcatraz 5, the reason I wrote it was I wanted to do another teen book. I had planned Rithmatist 2, my outline was not good enough. I started writing it, and didn't feel confident in the book. I scrapped the outline, and I read five books on Aztec culture. And then, by the time I had done my research and rebuilt the outline, I did not have time to write the Rithmatist 2 before my other deadlines were due, so I wrote Alcatraz 5, 'cause it's shorter and faster and doesn't require five books worth of Aztec culture research. That's why Alcatraz 5 is coming out this year instead of Rithmatist. It would have been Rithmatist 2 if the outline had been better.

What that means now is my schedule is: Stormlight 3, Apocalypse Guard 1, Wax & Wayne final, Apocalypse Guard 2, Stormlight 4. If I'm ahead on any of those things at any point, I can slide in Rithmatist. But the reason it's so slow, by the way, what happened with Rithmatist, for those who don't know the story, I wrote Rithmatist in 2007. It was the last book I wrote before the Wheel of Time came along and just completely destroyed and changed my career, like, you know, a freight train. A freight train full of gold, so don't get me wrong; it was a very nice freight train. But it still slammed into me. And it upended everything. I had planned to do Rithmatist 1, 2, 3 as my next books. But then Wheel of Time came in, and Tor was like, "No, you need to work on this." I'm like, all right. We'll shelve Rithmatist," but that meant it got shelved for, like, four years, right?. And then when I came back to it, it was after the Wheel of Time, so it was the orphan child of the previous career path I was on. And my pet career path turned towards, "I need to do Way of Kings now," which I had been planning to wait to do after RIthmaist, because I wanted to have Way of Kings out for Wheel of Time fans, because I knew Wheel of Time fans would like Way of Kings a lot. So, that's why Rithmatist seems to be getting such little love. I do want to do it, but I was on a long career path, and then I got shifted quite dramatically. Alcatraz was a different thing, that was the publisher dropping the series, which was why it took so long to get 5 out.

So, I apologize for that. I will try to slip it in at some point,. but I can't promise when, because of... I can't delay Stormlight, and some of these other things.

 

State of the Sanderson 2015 ()
#12 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Secondary Book Projects

The Rithmatist

Book two of The Rithmatist (called The Aztlanian) is another thing on my schedule that I need to get to soon. If you didn't read last year's update on the book, I tried writing this—and found I didn't have a strong enough grasp on the historical period and culture to do it justice. So I stopped and did a bunch of research, but by the time I finished, I needed to be back to work on my main projects.

Therefore, I've slotted this in after Stormlight 3 as well. Hopefully it won't get pushed back again. Usually I try to do about equal in pages to a Stormlight book between Stormlight books. That gives me room for three smaller books. Right now plans are for these three books to be The Lost Metal (Wax and Wayne 4), The Atzlanian, and a new project. (See below.)

Status: Delayed, but maybe coming soon

Oathbringer release party ()
#14 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Why do you decide to do more series like Apocalypse Guard or the Secret Project [Skyward] when you still have so many more unfinished sequels?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

That's a good question. No, it is totally legit. *laughter* So, I did finish Legion. I did that. So, those who are looking for that, that will come out next year. Why do I do it this way? Well, most of the time, it's because I try a book, and it doesn't work. Rithmatist fans probably know, I tried to write Rithmatist 2, I built an outline, I started writing it, and the book didn't work. I wasn't-- the outline was wrong on that one. I got, like, three chapters in, and I'm like, "Nope. This book is broken." And it was mostly due to my lack of research into the proper things to do the book the right way. And because Rithmatist and Alcatraz, which you'll get Alcatraz 6 eventually, those are the two that are looming most; those are side projects. Those are things that I do for fun. They have to slot in between my main projects, if that makes any sense. Like, I have to do them when there's time from other projects. So, for instance, I couldn't go to Random House and say, "I'm gonna do Rithmatist 2 sequel," because Rithmatist is not their series. It belongs to Tor. So, if I wanna do more with Random House, I have to do something that works for them. And that's kind of the long and short of it.

I mean, I will get around to things like Warbreaker and Elantris sequels. *cheers* But the thing about those is, those are sequels to the worlds, not necessarily sequels to the characters. I won't promise you that the same characters will appear in them. Some of them will. But it's the idea that those are standalone books that I plan to do more in the world, and the time isn't right in the cosmere to do those. For something like Rithmatist, that's more pressing, because I'm like "that promises a sequel with the same characters". But I have to find out how to write it first. And, for various reasons, a Rithmatist sequel is really tricky to pull off. So, that's kinda the answer to it. Sometimes, I also just need a break to do whatever my mind wants to do. It's not a very satisfying answer, but it is the way my brain works. But you can know that if it's, like, one of the main line things that I've got contracts for, that I won't be doing that to you on. So, Stormlight will be pretty regular, Mistborn will be pretty regular. But some of the side projects, it's just when it's right it's right.

Oathbringer San Francisco signing ()
#15 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

How many books are gonna be in The Rithmatist?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

...I originally plotted it at three. I tried to write the second book a little while ago, and it didn't work. It's called-- The second book is called The Aztlanian, and it takes place in the city of Tenochtitlan. And I just did not have my Aztec culture down well enough, and that was part of why the book was failing. And so, I'm going to give it another try. But that's why you don't have it yet; it's one of those books that's been hard for me to get.

State of the Sanderson 2014 ()
#16 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

What I spent 2014 doing

January–March 2014: Firefight

Though I had hoped to have Firefight (The Reckoners 2) done long before January, the touring last year made that impossible. It snuck over into 2014, which is why you’re getting the book in January 2015 instead of the originally scheduled fall of this year. In March, I also did the Words of Radiance tour, which really cut into my writing time.

April 2014: Legion: Skin Deep

In April, once all the chaos was done, I took the time to finish up Legion: Skin Deep (sequel to Legion from a few years back), which I’d been working on during plane flights the year before. If you haven’t checked these two novellas out, you might want to consider it! They’re very fun, though the second book is not yet out in the UK and associated territories such as Australia and New Zealand. (Note that in those territories, Legion 1 and The Emperor’s Soul were released together in a very handsome paperback.)

We will eventually have regular hardcover copies of Legion 2 available. That will probably come sometime in the first half of next year. Our contract with Subterranean Press, who produced the very attractive limited edition hardcovers of Legion 2, says that we’ll wait until their edition sells out before we release a competing one.

May 2014: The Aztlanian (Rithmatist 2)

Next, I dove into research for a sequel to The Rithmatist. This is going to be a tough book to write, as it takes place in a fantastical version of Central and South America, and deals with things from Aztec (Mexica) mythology. (In The Rithmatist, a lot of the geography is shifted around in bizarre ways.)

Dealing with another group’s culture in this way is rife with opportunities for stuffing my foot in my mouth, and so I wanted to be very careful and respectful. This meant spending time devoted exclusively to doing extensive research. I didn’t actually get any writing on the book done, though I read some very excellent history books.

(As an aside, if anyone out there is an expert in the Aztec/Mexica culture—particularly if you yourself are a Native American—I’d love to have your help on this book.)

At the end of the month, I decided I needed to do way more research than a month afforded, so I put the book off for now. I still intend to write it, but I need more time to do it right.

June 2014: Alcatraz

Having spent a month with no writing, I wanted to jump into something fun and quick to refresh me before moving on to my next book. So, I dug out my outline for the Alcatraz series and at long last did a rough draft of the fifth book. These are fast, fast books to write—as I improvise them—but they are very slow to edit.

I finished the book, and am pleased with it, but I have no firm date yet for when I’ll be publishing it. Tor is rereleasing the series starting next year with new covers and extensive interior art. I believe these launch starting about a year from now. (If you want them before then, your best bet for getting them is the UK omnibus of the first four.)

I’ll want to release the fifth one once the series has been rereleased, so maybe summer 2016. If you’ve never read these, they are very different from my other work. They’re bizarre and sarcastic comedies that are self-referential and offer commentary on fantasy as a genre along the way. Those who love them absolutely love them. Those who don’t tend to find them insulting. That dichotomy alone is part of what endears them to me.

July–December 2014: Mistborn

The last half of the year was dedicated to Shadows of Self, the new Mistborn novel. And I have a confession to make.

I also wrote the sequel.

Now, before you start wagging your finger at me for being a robot, there was a really good reason I did what I did. You see, I was having real trouble getting back into Shadows of Self. I had written the first third of it in 2012 between revisions of A Memory of Light. (I was feeling Wheel of Time overload.) However, it can be very hard for me to get back into a book or series after a long time away from it. (This is another issue with the Rithmatist sequel.)

So, jumping into Shadows of Self was slow going, and I found it much easier to go write the sequel to refresh myself on the world and characters. That done, I was able to move back to Shadows of Self and finish it up.

So a week or two back, I turned in two new Wax and Wayne Mistborn novels. They’re titled Shadows of Self and Bands of Mourning, and Tor decided to publish them in quick succession: the first in October 2015, the second in January 2016. So, if you have read the original trilogy but haven’t tried The Alloy of Law yet, you might want to give it a look! From the beginning, I’ve planned Mistborn to be a continuum series, showing off Allomancy in different time periods. I think you’ll find the Wax and Wayne books to be fun, quick reads—and they introduce some very, very big things coming in the Mistborn world.

There will be one more Wax and Wayne (early 1900s-era) Mistborn book. Back after I finished The Alloy of Law, I sat down and plotted out a trilogy with the same characters. The Alloy of Law was more of a happy, improvised accident. The follow-up trilogy is meant to be more intentional. So in the end, we’ll have four total. (The final one is tentatively called The Lost Metal.) From there, I might jump to the second “big” trilogy, which is 1980s tech. Or I might dally a little more in something 1940s-era instead. We’ll see.

Amusingly, doing these two Mistborn books together totaled only about half as much writing as a Stormlight book. Perhaps you can see why it takes even me quite a long time to finish Stormlight novels. (And it’s why you might want to lay off Pat Rothfuss a little. I believe The Wise Man’s Fear was even longer than Words of Radiance.)

Tor did their announcement about these books earlier today. You may now commence wisecracks about me secretly writing extra novels when nobody is looking.

Shadows of Self Edinburgh UK signing ()
#17 Copy

Questioner

When might we expect a sequel to Warbreaker?

Brandon Sanderson

When might you expect a sequel to Warbreaker. Okay, let me go down the list. I have finished three books, alright? The finished books are: Bands of Mourning, which is the sequel to the one you-- many of you bought today; I have finished Calamity, the last book of The Reckoners; and I've finished, a while ago, the fifth book of the Alcatraz series, for the middle-grade series.  Which I finished a while ago, but we had to wait for the contracts to run out before I could release it, it's a big complicated thing.  So those are in the queue, and they are coming.

Now I am writing, right now, Stormlight 3. Yes working on that.  It's actually-- Anytime I mention Stormlight people are contractually obligated to shout in my crowds. So I'm finishing that and my goal is to have it done by May or June. If it is done by May or June the publisher has said they will publish it Christmastime, so November/December next year. If I miss May or June then it gets pushed back to the Spring sometime. So just watch the progress bars on my website and you'll see-- you'll be able to gauge.  It's slowed down a lot because of revisions and touring but they should pick back up as soon as I get home.

After that I'm going to write a book called The Apocalypse Guard, which is my follow-up to Steelheart. Not the same world but the same style, fast-paced, frantic action sort of things. In the US those are published as teen books, here they're published as adult books, I don't even know what they are but I want to have a follow-up for my teen publisher. Something that's similar. So we're going to do that, then I'm going to do Rithmatist 2, and then I will do finally the fourth Wax and Wayne book which will wrap up Era 2 of Mistborn. Then I will do Stormlight 4.

If the book, such as Warbreaker sequel, is not in that list it means it is coming post-Stormlight 4. So we've got a little ways to wait, but I will get around to doing them, I promise.

Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
#18 Copy

Questioner

How long until the next Rithmatist?

Brandon Sanderson

Um, that's the slow one. Stormlight 3 taking as long as it has, that's what it has slowed down. I keep saying it's only gonna be a couple years, but-- I don't know, honestly...

My goal is to start closing up some of theses series in the next couple of years, so I'm hoping to finish off the Legion trilogy and Wax & Wayne next year, and just start closing some things off.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#19 Copy

Questioner

The Rithmatist 2 kind of took a... <stage to the background with everything>. Do you have any idea when that's gonna be...?

Brandon Sanderson

We're getting close. We're getting close. I will do it most likely between Stormlight 3 and 4, somewhere. I can't promise where, but it's getting really close. I'm going to start reading the first book to my son very soon; he's nine now. And once I read it out loud with him I will be ready to write the second. I'll be back in the world.

Steelheart Portland signing ()
#20 Copy

Kogiopsis

Are we going to see Native Americans in the Rithmatist series?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes you will. The Native Americans have mostly moved to South America, but there's a Native American main character in the second book.

Kogiopsis

Yes!

Brandon Sanderson

What happened is the– a lot of them got pushed into South America, where the Aztec Empire is alive and well and strong. And so their perspective on what's going on is very different from the perspective happening in Joel's school, so you will see a different perspective on things.

Kogiopsis

Excellent.

Brandon Sanderson

It was already dangerous though, what I'm doing, and I realize this, for those very reasons. Very sensitive issues. Like when I used the Mary Rowlandson account, which is kind of a controversial account as it is, I understood that I was potentially opening a can of worms.

swamp-spirit

But I mean, I really– I just want to say this, that I really appreciate as a reader that you go into diversity because I know it is a risk, and it means so much to readers to have you writing a different set of characters and people people can relate to.

State of the Sanderson 2016 ()
#21 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Secondary Projects

The Rithmatist

A sequel to The Rithmatist is looking likely this year, depending on some factors (such as how long Stormlight revisions take.) This is the single most requested book I hear about, though that's probably because people know that Stormlight is coming along very well already.

Some people do wonder why I'd do like The Apocalypse Guard before The Atzlanian (Rithmatist 2). It comes down to having two publishers. Stormlight, Rithmatist, and Wax and Wayne are all books for Tor. I need to give Delacorte some love too, and they've waited patiently all year for me to finish Stormlight. So they get the next major writing time slot.

I hear you, Rithmatist fans. We'll get something to you before too much longer. My son Joel (who has a character in the book named for him) is getting old enough to read The Rithmatist, and so I intend to read it with him together, and then jump into the second book sometime soon.

Status: Soooooon.

Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
#22 Copy

Questioner

Do you know when the next Alcatraz book will come out?

Brandon Sanderson

Working on it slowly, but it's happening. This one, Oathbringer, took longer than I expected, so it slowed me down a little bit. But it shouldn't be too much longer.

Questioner

Rithmatist?

Brandon Sanderson

Rithmatist, that's the other one. No promises of when; working on it slowly.

Boskone 54 ()
#23 Copy

Questioner

Have you ever read 1491 by Charles C. Mann?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I have.

Questioner

Did that inform [plans for The Aztlanian]…

Brandon Sanderson

That did inform, that was one of the main books I went to in my research where they’re like, you need to read this book. I read that book and I loved it. Even the book points out some people don’t agree with this hypothesis, but it feels right to me, so I’m running with that idea.

Questioner

Even if the details weren’t totally clear in the archeological record, the story in it is just...

Brandon Sanderson

Is great. This is the idea that South America in particular but, Central America and parts of North America, were much more densely populated than we assumed and the introduction of diseases that the Europeans brought was more devastating than previous people had theorized. Which is really, really interesting, because it deals with this other idea of America Pox, right? Why did the Europeans not get a disease? Why is there no mythical America Pox that was given back to them? That’s a big question that people have. If you haven’t thought about it, you’re like “Hey, yeah!”. They were both isolated populations from one another, why was there no disease transfers? One of the big theories is that this goes back to animals. Most deadly diseases that we have transferred from animals to humans and they kill us because diseases don’t actually want to kill you. They want you to get sick enough to keep spreading the disease, as long as you have the disease, and if it kills you, it fails in that. Most of them, there are some that, you know. A lot of diseases that are deadly to us were not deadly to cattle, where they originated, and they jumped species. The argument is, and some disagree with this, but the argument is Europeans had these animals that they used. They moved them into the seas with them, they caught a whole bunch of these terrible diseases that wiped out big populations, but they got over it. And in North and Central and South America, they did not have as many animals living in close proximity to humans in large population centers, and so the diseases did not pass to humans, and there were no big deadly diseases for the Europeans to catch when they came over.

[says he got the term America Pox from CGP Grey, a Youtuber, who he likes watching and was clearly reading some of the same books]

Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
#24 Copy

Questioner

When is the second [Rithmatist] coming out.

Brandon Sanderson

It is the most requested book I get, of a sequel. Oathbringer took a little bit longer than I expected, so I can't promise anything right now, but Rithmatist keeps staying right on the top of that list of to-do. I hope to do it soon.

Boskone 54 ()
#25 Copy

Questioner

You said writing the sequel to The Rithmatist is really challenging. Why is that?

Brandon Sanderson

Because when I started work on it, it was pre-Wheel of Time. The series got preempted by Wheel of Time, so it’s been ten years now since I wrote the first book. And I held it off and didn’t publish it for like five years, because I knew, I wanted to be closer to publication when I did a sequel. But when I dove back into the sequel a few years ago, I just wasn’t pleased with my outline anymore. One of the real challenging aspects of The Rithmatist is dealing with real history, real cultures, the fact that we have a bunch of colonialists living in America and all of this stuff and what happened to the indigenous peoples, and handling that without sticking my foot in my mouth is also really tricky. So you mix those two things, and I want to be very careful. So instead of writing the book, I read three books on Aztec culture. But then I didn’t have time to write the book. Eventually I will get to it, but it’s got some trickiness because of that.

Orem signing ()
#26 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Is the sequel to The Rithmatist still in the works?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

It's still in the work. The Rithmatist is this strange doc in my writing in that it's the last book I wrote before the Wheel of Time hit me like a freight train. All future plans got trampled and balefired, right? And things I'd been planning to do, I no longer knew what was going to happen. So  Rithmatist I didn't release right then. I let it sit for a while. Eventually the publisher is like, "we should release this, it's a good book." And I think it is a really strong book.

So a couple of years back, I sat down and tried to write the sequel. And it's another one of these books that didn't work. There are a variety of reasons it didn't work. But it didn't work. I got like four or five chapters in. I shelved it and wrote an Alcatraz book instead--it's another series I've had looming over me. Now that I've learned to do novellas and things like this, you find me making open-ended series less often. Like with Skyward, it's going to be a trilogy and I'm going to write two of them this year--maybe all three if I can--and then it's done and turned in. And with the novellas, there's not necessarily sequels that I'm planning. So I'm getting better at managing that, but I've gotten these kind of "open" series. I really want to write Rithmatist 2. I think it's very deserving of a sequel. I think it's a good book. I don't know how to do it yet, which is rare for me, but I don't.

So, maybe this thing will work with Dan, and I'll go, well maybe there's someone who can help me fix this, one of my friends. Maybe I will just carve out the time to do this, let's do it. But right now, it is one of those things I don't just have a date for, and I feel bad about that. The good news is I'm doing this less and less. I'm figuring out how to make this happen. Legion is now done and turned in. Alcatraz is very close. I finished half of Alcatraz 6. Well, Bastille 1, but there's only one Bastille. If you guys don't know, the first five Alcatraz books are written by a guy named Alcatraz and then he leaves the ending in a terrible cliffhanger at the fifth book, and says, "I'm done!" But the joke has always been his friend Bastille thinks that's stupid, so she's going to write the ending he refuses to write. So I wrote half of her book and it looked good. I'm pleased with where Bastille Vs. The Evil Librarians is going. So that'll be wrapped up before too long, and then that series is done. So Legion and Alcatraz are very close to being done. That leaves The Rithmatist. And so it would be next on my, "let's figure out how to get this done."

That's a long answer that just basically says, "it's coming but I don't know when."