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Orem signing ()
#2 Copy


How frustrating is it that you have to wait so long and do so many things first before you can tell the Hoid story.

Brandon Sanderson

How frustrating is it that I have to wait so long to do things before I do the Hoid story, which is one of the big ones that I want to tell. It's not as frustrating as you think. Because, if you sat me down and said "You can only write one of these, Hoid story or Stormlight." I would pick Stormlight every time. Stormlight is a-- in my opinion, Stormlight is a stronger story over all. And Hoid's really interesting, and it's going to be a really cool thing for me to write. But I'm more excited for Stormlight 8, 9 and 10 than I am-- Though I'll be very excited when I get to write the Hoid ones because they're going to be cool things.

Like Stormlight is the thing that I plotted out to be the big opus. It's more frustrated that there's only one of me, despite what the internet says.  I don't got any clones, or any Sanderbots to do all this.  So I have more ideas than I can write books about. That's kind of the-- The biggest frustrating in my life is that I can only do so much. But that's been a frustration since I was unpublished. I always had more stories I wanted to write than I could.  So it's all about story triage for me.

One thing I've learned to do is to write novellas or work on graphic novels. Because the actual word count that I need for a novella like Emperor's Soul or for a graphic novel like White Sand, is a fraction of what a big novel takes. And so I get this cool thing with a graphic novel where I can write something I just finished an outline and script for a new graphic novel, that we're not going to release until after White Sand's done. But now that White Sand 3 is moving along and the writing portion of that is done, and we're just working on the art, I came up with something else. And instead of taking 18 months like a Stormlight book takes, it took me, like, a month. And so that's a way I can get a story ready and can release it to people without having to spend 18 months on something.

Brandon's Blog 2013 ()
#3 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

On my tour, I frequently read from the first chapter of a new novel in the Mistborn world, a sequel to The Alloy of Law. (In fact, you can watch my entire presentation right here. This reading comes at the 45:45 mark.) Tor, understandably, wanted to know when they could publish this book.

Well, it's far from finished, but I do need to be thinking about what comes next. I know that many of you hope that it would be the third Stormlight book, as there has been such a long delay between the first and second. I do promise I'll be more speedy with Stormlight novels in the future—this long delay should, hopefully, be the exception and not the rule. However, my process being what it is, I probably can't move straight into Stormlight Three.

I've spoken about this concept a lot, so I might be repeating myself for some of you. One of the things that excites me about being a writer is the constant energy that comes from switching projects. I'm not one of those writers who can pick a series and write on it exclusively for years and years. Though I will frequently have one main project, I do other things between those larger books. Usually, these other books are small, quick, and the means by which I refresh myself and keep myself from getting burned out on the large project.

While writing the original Mistborn series, I wrote books in the Alcatraz series. While working on The Wheel of Time, I wrote a number of novellas—and The Alloy of Law itself. Now that I'm turning my attention to the Stormlight books as my main project, I'm going to need some things to squeeze between books in order to refresh myself.

For now, that's going to be Alloy-era Mistborn novels. The second and third books in that series will include the same protagonists from the first, and will—if I'm doing it correctly—be exciting, fun, and deep, but not require you to keep track of a lot of characters or plots between novels. This way, I can balance the large, in-depth sequence of the Stormlight Archive with something lighter and more standalone in nature.

As many of you know, the Mistborn series was pitched to my editor way back when as a trilogy of trilogies, with an epic fantasy trilogy, followed by an urban fantasy trilogy with the same magic in the same world, followed finally by a science fiction trilogy in which the magic had become the means by which space travel was possible. The Alloy books aren't part of this original plan, but in them you will find foreshadowing toward the second trilogy.

In the teen book realm, I'll be bouncing between doing the The Rithmatist sequel and the sequels to Steelheart. I realize I have a lot on my plate, and I appreciate you putting up with me as I explore the stories I want to tell. My goal for the next five-year span is to finish up a number of these series, rather than starting anything new.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#4 Copy


Rithmatist part 2?

Brandon Sanderson

Rithmatist part 2. *crowd woos* So, alright let me go down the big list of sequels.  I am working on the Stormlight 3 right now. *crowd woos* It is scheduled to come out like six months after I finish it. *laughter* We are shooting for Christmas next year, it's really going to depend on how much writing I can get done on this tour, but we will see, alright? After that I will be writing a new series, the first one, for Random House to follow-up Steelheart. It has been a very successful series, I want to maintain a good relationship with that publisher, I'll be giving them a new YA property which I'll start talking about next spring.

Once I'm done with that my goal is to write Rithmatist 2 and the last of the Wax & Wayne books, okay? Which will bring kind of a wrap-up to that series and get the next Rithmatist. Anything that I didn't just mention is coming after probably Stormlight 4 which will be the next thing after that. So if it wasn't on that list, you might get a novella related to it, but I can't promise anything more than that. I have to keep on Stormlight, I do not want to-- It's already going to be like two and a half years again before the next one between books and that's too long I want to keep it down to two years if I can.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#5 Copy


Will there be any more of Silence from the Forests of Hell?

Brandon Sanderson

The world is very relevant to the cosmere. I have several books planned there, I don’t know how many of them I’ll write. I will at least write one of them. Silence herself is not a character from the books. I designed that story and it matched the world so I put it there. But yes there will be other things from that world.

Sasquan 2015 ()
#6 Copy


My son said if I got to ask a question he wants me to ask when's the next Rithmatist and also when's the next Alcatraz?

Brandon Sanderson

So I'm currently writing Stormlight 3, that is projected for Christmas of next year. It's really going to depend on when I finish it. If it goes-- Peter's smirking because he's like "Yeaaaah."

If it goes any later-- the first draft goes any later than March of next year, that means we'll have to push back. So if you watch on my progress bar, if I finish it by-- my goal is to be done by the last day of February, and that's going to take some dedicated writing, *Peter's smirks some more*, but we'll see. If it strays much longer than that, than we'll push it back. They're just big involved books to write. I've already finished enough that would be a finished manuscript for another novel, the same length as Calamity or the new Mistborn books, but it'll go four times that length.

So Rithmatist is a side project that I will write when I have time. My main sort of focus right now-- I kind of have to focus on three things. Stormlight, Mistborn, and The Reckoners, which I'll have another trilogy with Random House which will be something new, but my mainline teen stuff is the more adventure type stuff. I'd love to do another Rithmatist. I think it was a very fun book, and for people who liked more involved worldbuilding, and more fantastical sort of things that want something for teens, Rithmatist is what that is. Steelheart is more action movie. And so I would like to do that.

Alcatraz, I did finish Alcatraz 5, which is the last of the ones that Alcatraz will write, and that is scheduled for next summer after we do a rerelease of the Alcatraz books with brand new art. We'll be showing that off on my website soon. The art's looking really great, we finally got a look I like for them, some interior art, a nice map, things like that.

So those will start being released in January, and the newest one coming out in June.

Warbreaker and Elantris sequels? No immediate plans, they're happening someday. Really, once I finish Stormlight, I'll go into the next series for Random House, the follow up to Steelheart, and then we'll see where I am, and see if I have time to write another side project which would be one of these books before I jump into Stormlight 4.

Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
#7 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

What is Brandon going to take his break from this to do?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Fortunately, I have planned it out and what I'm going to do is the Apocalypse Guard. I have to do something new. So I'll probably do Apocalypse Guard and then a sequel to something, either the Rithmatist or to Wax and Wayne will be would I do after. Those are both going to happen pretty soon. Apocalypse Guard is my follow-up to Steelheart, so thank you for the opportunity to pitch this.

So my one sentence pitch on this is, you're having a disaster, you call the justice leage and they're all gone taking care of something more important but you get the intern, who has no powers but she does her best anyway. In the Steelheart universe, people have discovered alternate versions of Earth and what they find is that most of these alternate versions of Earth are undergoing some sort of disaster. Something has happened in the timeline of the multiverse that is causing different varieties of disasters to occur that are planet-ending. So the Apocalypse Guard is formed of a bunch of engineers, scientists, and people with extraordinary powers whose job it is to save the planets. They take like eight months in planning, it's not like they just show up, it's like we put all of our effort into saving planets. Well, a disaster befalls the Apocalypse Guard, something or someone attacks them, and the coffee girl intern gets teleported to one of these worlds they were planning to save with no resources and three weeks until the world is destroyed. And everybody else is too busy dealing with the attack on them. It's her story on a planet that is doomed, trying to figure out either how to get off or maybe how to put the plan into motion that they had come up with. So there you are, coffee girl saves the world.

Calamity release party ()
#8 Copy

Questioner 1

What do you think will come in the future? Like what is-- *interrupted*

Brandon Sanderson

"What do I think will come in the future?" I have a bunch of ideas, and I actually said-- I wrote out three one-page synopses of what I wanted to do as a follow up sort of teen series, like the Reckoners, and I sent it to my publisher, and I let them pick which of the three they wanted. And I'm not gonna tell you what that is for a little while, because they're all like freaking out about how to announce it, and things like that. Because they're all like, "Oh we have to get Entertainment Weekly to announce it, or something." *crowd laughs* Okay, whatever. So we'll see.

Questioner 2

So will you tell us the two that they didn't pick?

Brandon Sanderson

When it comes out I'll tell you the two that they didn't pick, also.

Footnote: The series Brandon refers to was announced to be Apocalypse Guard.
Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#9 Copy


What's the earliest that we'll be seeing more of Scribbler (I'd heard a bunch about it at TWG, and so I found the sample chapters on your site and now I'm REALLY wanting more of it, so I'd like to know when I should start looking again...)?

Brandon Sanderson

Sigh. I really want to do something with Scribbler, but I can't justify it right now. I'm doing the fourth Alcatraz because I can't put it off any longer because of contracts, and Kings because Tor really wants a solo Brandon book next year. But I can't justify working too much on a project that hasn't been sold and which—if published—would end up pulling me into another side trilogy. I have to leave the WoT with the space it needs and deserves. Until it is completed, I have to shelve side projects. That, unfortunately, includes Scribbler. For now.

There are some things in the works with it, and I'm very excited about the possibilities. But there's nothing tangible I can give you now. It's coming. Maybe sooner than I've made it sound, but best to be careful as nothing is set yet.

Boskone 54 ()
#10 Copy


When is the next book coming out?

Brandon Sanderson

The Rithmatist is the number one most requested sequel I get. This is probably because people know that I’m working on Stormlight, otherwise that would be the number one most requested. To understand, I have to tell you a story about where The Rithmatist came from. So after I finished Warbreaker, I very deliberately said, I want to write something else in the Cosmere, and maybe this is the time to write the backstory of a character named Hoid. So I sat down and tried to [...] write this book, which I called The Liar of Partinel. The book was a disaster. Sometimes even as a pro, books just don’t go well. I had a contract for it and everything. I was supposed to be writing this book, and then its sequel, and... big disaster. I finished the first book, I forced myself to finish it, but I had no desire to revise. It was just not what it needed to be. When I eventually write that story, people are going to be expecting a lot from it and it can’t be a half-hearted book, and it felt half-hearted.

So instead of [...] I told my editor, “oh yeah, I’ll be getting to that” and I wrote a [...] book, which was called Scribbler back then. Originally named Scribbler, and the origins for it were, the magic system is the start of this one, as you might be able to guess. I started doing these little drawings, which Ben McSweeney eventually re-drew to be a little bit better, but they started as my own drawing that we put between the chapters. But we started with those because I wanted to do something new with magic that I hadn’t done before. What I realized is that I never made a book where the magic was used to play games. We as human beings, we play games with everything. We turn anything into a game. This is a hallmark of humankind, we play with stuff. When we’re no longer killing each other, we come up with jousting, so we can make that a game. The idea of basically playing magical Starcraft on the ground around you was really interesting to me.

So I started doing all these drawings and writing this book without telling my editor or anybody I was writing this book. Wonderful experience. The book came out very very well, it just came together. It’s one of those books, you don’t expect it, I didn’t have long term plans, I hadn’t worked on an outline for years and years, I discovery wrote most of the book. About the time I had to go to my editor and tell him, “I’ve written a book on accident”, I think I sent you The Rithmatist, right Joshua?

I said I wrote this book on accident, right around that time, I got a phone call from Harriet McDougal, who’s Robert Jordan’s widow. She said, it’s a long story but it ended with me on the phone with her, because she’d left me a voicemail and I’d missed it, but I eventually got a hold of her, and she said, “Well I was just wondering if you would be willing to finish my husband’s series, the Wheel of Time”. To which I responded, “dakjs;dlfj;alkna;sdf” [verbal keyboard smash basically]. I really did. I wrote her an email the next saying, “Dear Harriet, I promise I’m not an idiot.” But the book that got left hanging was The Rithmatist. Liar of Partinel I was happy to shelve and do nothing with. It wasn’t a good book. Rithmatist was. But I knew that if I were stopping to do the Wheel of Time that I would not have the time to do a Rithmatist sequel for a while. Because my career so far had gone standalone, series, standalone, and then I was looking to do another series, which is why I tried Liar of Partinel.

Once I did Wheel of Time, I said now is the time to do Way of Kings, which I had been putting off for a while cause my skills weren’t capable. I tried it and it hadn’t worked and I was like, I need to get better as a writer. But I was pretty sure I could do it, so I sandwiched Way of Kings in between two Wheel of Time books. But then I had The Way of Kings going and people expecting those, which is a good thing I got started on it because it’s a long series. If I were still putting it off, we might have troubles when it actually came out. So eventually, Rithmatist, I need to release this book, it’s really good, people are going to like this. So I gave it to Tor and had them release it. But the problem is, when am I going to do a sequel? It had been a little side project in the first place that I’d done instead of writing something else.

I found time about 3 years ago. I took out my outline. My process often is, I will write a first book, then I will outline a series for it, then I will revise the first book to match the outline. I did this with Mistborn, I did it with the Reckoners, and I had gotten as far as outlining for the second book of The Rithmatist. I sat down to write it and I didn’t like the outline anymore. There were some things wrong with it. One, I had grown a lot as a writer. One, I don’t know if you guys discussed this, but the Rithmatist as a whole, it’s a great book but there’s a big danger zone in it. And that is, how do you treat indigenous people during the area of colonialism? There’s a big big minefield there, and the second book’s goal was to start dealing with that minefield, and I felt my outline for the second book did not do that respectfully. As I had grown as a writer, when I looked at the outline, and I was like, I cannot write this book because I’m not treating the original inhabitants of America’s cultures well enough. So I stopped and I read three books on Aztec culture. The second book is called The Aztlanian. Aztlan is the mythical origin of the Aztecs, it’s where their legends say they came from. If I’m dealing with real world mythology, that minefield grows so much bigger. You gotta do it right. This is something I wanted to do right. So I read a bunch of books. I rebuilt my outline, I felt really good about it, but there was no more time to write. I had a month or two left, so I wrote the fifth Alcatraz book instead. I can do those in a month or so, but this I knew was going to take three to four months, so I put it off again.

I’m still looking for a hole in my schedule. The new outline for The Aztlanian is very good, it’s solid, I feel like I’ve got a handle on how to write it in a sensitive way, because we don’t want to avoid difficult topics in science fiction and fantasy. If we do that, it’s just the same as it’s always been. But if you are going to touch on sensitive topics, you need to do it really well. I really like where it is now, but when am I going to write The Aztlanian? I don’t know yet. The answer to you is, when am I going to do this? I have to find a time between my mainline projects, which right now are Stormlight Archive for Tor, alternating with Mistborn novels, and for Random house it’s the Reckoners books and that sequence. In between one of those times, I will find some time to The Aztlanian, and I will do it, and I hope it will be awesome, but I don’t know when that is.

This is the book I’ve left hanging the most. Most everything else is a side project or it’s the Alcatraz books, which I’m making fun of people by taking a long long time, it’s intentional. If you haven’t read those books, they’re very different from everything else that I’ve done. The whole point is to make fun of the reader while the reader reads them. Every book plays some sort of dirty trick on the reader. The fifth book ends on a huge huge huge down note with the author, who’s Alcatraz, of the book saying “I’m not going to write any more, sorry guys”. But then there’s a little footnote at the end, one of the other characters like, “I’ll write the story so you get an actual ending.” Jokes like that on the reader, and the fact that it’s taking forever is part of the joke. Rithmatist is the one I actually feel bad about.

State of the Sanderson 2015 ()
#11 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Projected Novel Release Schedule

There's a good chance I won't hold to this, but just so you know, here's how I view my upcoming novel release schedule (not including any novellas or short stories that may or may not appear during moments when I need to do something new):

January 2016: Wax and Wayne 3

February 2016: Reckoners 3 (final book)

June 2016: Alcatraz 5

Sometime 2017: Stormlight 3

Sometime 2017: Rithmatist 2

Spring 2018: New YA project 1

Fall 2018: Wax and Wayne 4 (final book)

Sometime 2019: Stormlight 4

Sometime 2019: New YA project 2

Sometime 2020: Elantris 2

Sometime 2020 New YA project 3 (final book)

Sometime 2021: Stormlight 5 (ending of first arc)

Sometime 2022: Elantris 3 (final book)

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#12 Copy


When can we expect to see anything new cosmere-wise?

Brandon Sanderson

I'll start working on Stormlight 4 in January, and hopefully can get a novella (a la Edgedancer) written during the process, so you don't have to wait all the way to 2020 for more Cosmere.


So Stormlight 4 will come before Mistborn 2-4?

Brandon Sanderson

Potentially--it depends. A Stormlight book takes a LONG time to write, and often I sneak other books in the middle, because I need a break.

/r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
#14 Copy


I was surprised when I learned just how much more Mistborn you're planning on writing, and was even more surprised when I heard that the Wax and Wayne quadrilogy was only a spin-off and not part of your major plans for the series. But now I've found out you've decided to include those books as a major part of the larger series and instead do 4 different stories within it. Will this mean the next part (which I understood was going to take place in the more or less present) will be further into the future so as to space out each story? And what was the reasoning behind including Wax and Wayne in the main series?

Brandon Sanderson

I changed my opinions on Wax and Wayne after writing the first book, then outlining books 2-4 (which are a kind of "Trilogy" with these characters, when the first book was an experiment.)

I realized that the next era (which is still 1980's level technology) would work way better with some foundations in the W&W era. I'm very pleased what this did to Era Three, as it now is (1980s), because of the foundations in Era Two.

And yes, the next series will each go further into the future.

Shadows of Self San Diego signing ()
#16 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Will there be a follow-up to The Rithmatist? Let's go down the list.

So, I am writing Stormlight 3 right now. So, Stormlight 3, our goal is for next fall. You can follow along on my website, the projection right now is for, like, April, which is gonna be really tight for next fall. If I can get it done before April, then we can get it out in November. Otherwise, they would probably wait until January. Usually they skip December, 'cause it's just so crazy for bookstores, you don't want to be sending new books to them in December. So, if that happens, then it will be another January release, or something like that.

I have Bands of Mourning, the next Mistborn book, in the queue.

I have Calamity, the next Reckoners book, in the queue.

And I have the fifth book of the Alcatraz series in the queue. We got the rights back, and we can start publishing the Alcatraz books again in January, so we will be rereleasing the first four with new cover art. It's really cool, we're trying something out with these books, as an aside. We did this really cool full-color map, and we're putting it on the inside of the jacket flap thing. So you can take off the jacket while you're reading the book and see the map, and if this works, we're gonna try it with Stormlight, where you can take off the jacket and see the map, it's just printed in full color on the back, but we wanna make sure it looks nice, that everything's gonna work with it... And then the fifth book will be in June.

By the way, as an aside, those books I just listed, are all collectively shorter than a Stormlight book. You can add the word counts, two Mistborn books, one Reckoners book, and Alcatraz, plus a novella, all were written last year. And this year I've only been writing Stormlight, and I'm still-- yeah, anyway.

Once I finish Stormlight, the next project will be the new new YA series from Random House, following Reckoners. It will be a new thing. I will write one of those, I will probably write Rithmatist 2, I will probably write the last Wax & Wayne book, and then I will go to Stormlight 4. Those will be the three projects I do in between.

So, if the book you're waiting on a sequel to wasn't on that list, I will get to it eventually, but that's, like, the list for the next couple of years.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#18 Copy


Though question on Skyward, you recently said it was going to be 4 books instead of 3, and also said you have sent the second novel to your editor. Also you said next you will be doing Stormlight Archive 4. Do you think you will hop back in to Skyward after, or will it be much later? I just normally hate starting series that are underway, and Skyward sounds like a refreshing change of pace, so curious roughly how long the wait to see the end would be.

Brandon Sanderson

My hope is to keep the Skyward books at one a year. Their shorter nature, and the extensive outlines I've done, should let me hop over to keep myself fresh while working on Stormlight.

If there's a break, it will be 2020 when Stormlight four (hopefully) will come out. But as I already have 2018 and 2019's books done, I'm confident that at the very least, we'll have Skyward 3 and 4 in 2020 and 2021.

Idaho Falls signing ()
#19 Copy


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

Brandon Sanderson

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.

Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
#20 Copy


When can we expect all your non-Cosmere novellas be collected into one anthology book?

Brandon Sanderson

We are quietly getting everything ready for the non-cosmere collection, just in case. The thing that would make us pull the trigger early would be if Snapshot actually gets greenlit for a film at MGM--though I don't know how close we are to that. We want want to be ready just in case.

I feel like it needs one more story or two before publishing it otherwise, though, so I'd expect a little wait.


I remember hearing a while ago that there was a non-Cosmere collection in the works. I too would like to know if this is still a thing, before I go and buy each novella or short story individually.

Brandon Sanderson

It WILL happen, so you might want to wait--but the release of the movie (if it happens) for Snapshot will influence timing. I wouldn't expect it in 2019, if it does happen. 2020 would be much more likely.

Skyward Houston signing ()
#21 Copy


So, you've mentioned-- you have an idea of how the Cosmere's going to go. The ending of the Cosmere, considering you have seven more Stormlight books to write and years to go, does the ending of the Cosmere hang over your head?

Brandon Sanderson

Does the ending of the Cosmere hang over my head 'cause I've got a ways to go-- Yeah, it's starting to loom a bit! You know, when I was in my twenties and thirties doing this, "Ah! I can write every story, I've got plenty of time!", but now that I'm in my forties I'm-- let's make sure we focus and keep going on this. So one of my goals has been to try to learn to write novellas so that the random ideas that pop in my head became novellas and not novels, because the way I work, I can't stay on one thing between books I find that it burns me out really fast if I don't have something new to work on, but if that new thing to work on can be a novella like one of the Legion books, or like Perfect State, or Snapshot or something like that and then I can jump back on the kind of mainline book I can reset myself quickly. And that why you see me practice that and things like that.

My goal is kind of closing things off faster than I open them. This is why Legion got finished this year, why Alcatraz will probably get finished next year. Those of you waiting for a Rithmatist sequel *sighs* eventually. I need to get those other two closed off first. For those of you waiting for Reckoners, I consider Reckoners to be done. If I eventually fix and release Apocalypse Guard, that might answer some of the questions you have about the end of that series. Elantris and Warbreaker are both part of the Cosmere arc, what I'll probably do is I'll write Stormlight 4 and 5 and the last Wax & Wayne book over the next few years-- five years, next five years probably. *laughter* And then I'll probably stop and do Mistborn Era 3, which is the 1980s Mistborn, and maybe some Elantris sequels. And then I'll come back and do Stormlight 6-10 which take place about 10 years in-world after Stormlight 5. Same characters, at least the ones that survive. *eruption of laughter* That might be all of them! No spoilers there. But Stormlight is ten books. The way Stormlight will go is Book 4 is Eshonai, Book 5 is Szeth, 6 is Lift, 7 is Renarin, 8 is Ash, 9 is Taln and 10 is Jasnah. That doesn't mean that the person survives, it means that it's a flashback sequence. *nervous laughter* Just keep that in mind. So if your sequel wasn't on that list then don't hold your breath.

Skyward Chicago signing ()
#23 Copy


Aside from The Apocalyse Guard, are you planning on making a sequel to Calamity?

Brandon Sanderson

This is actually a really good question, because Apocalypse Guard was going to dig in to a few of the questions that Calamity asked at its ending. And so cancelling Apocalypse Guard leaves me saying, "Well, I maybe need to answer those questions." So there's a chance I will do a Mizzy book in the future. I'm not 100% sure, because I want to be closing off more things than I'm opening these days, so promising more sequels is a bad place for me to be.

But to run down the big sequel list, Legion is done. Reckoners is done. It doesn't mean that I might not do more, but just consider it done for now.

Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians, halfway through the last book. Don't believe Alcatraz when he says Book Five is the end. He lies. You should know that from Chapter One of the first book. The last book is called Bastille versus the Evil Librarians. That one should be out pretty soon. That is the last book. You can trust me on that, because I'm saying it, not Alcatraz...

Rithmatist, I can't promise. It's the number one requested sequel I get. I was working on it when the Wheel of Time came along, and The Wheel of Time changed my career dramatically. It's been very hard to figure out how to do that sequel the right way. So no promises when on that, though it is still on my radar.

Warbreaker, Elantris, probably yes, but not until Stormlight Five is done. Stormlight Four, I start on in January. You can follow the progress bars. *applause* The last Wax and Wayne book will probably be also next year, as I need to take a break at some point from Stormlight.

If it wasn't on that list, then don't hold your breath. Most of the novellas I write, I write specifically so that I won't be starting a new series. Turns out if I write a novel, I'm very bad at writing that novel standalone by itself. Instead, I've written novellas in order to get the idea out of my head and be expanding the cosmere in interesting ways but not be promising sequels, okay? That said, there's a Threnody novel somewhere in me that will probably come out.

Prague Signing ()
#24 Copy


The second one is Starsight and the third one will be?

Brandon Sanderson

Probably Nowhere is what it's called. My US publisher doesn't like that title but I do because they go to Nowhere so we'll see if they persuade me not to use the title. That's the working title right now.


When will it be in the English?

Brandon Sanderson

Published? It's probably not for a little while because next year is Stormlight 4 and everything I have is dedicated to writing that and so I won't start Skyward 3 until January at the earliest and probably turn it in. So I would guess two years from now would be when we would see Skyward 3. It depends on whether I write that or the last Wax and Wayne book next.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#25 Copy


Melissa, I think we have members from another forum joining us and they have information that we don't have. Maybe even advanced book information, like we know nothing about The Way of Kings and only heard about the book recently and know nothing of its content.

Could some of you newcomers introduce yourselves (maybe on our "Introduce Yourself" thread and not clutter up this one) and tell us where you are from? We love the information you are bringing and introducing on this thread but we are confused.

Brandon Sanderson

I posted on my website that I'd be doing this, and I don't often have time to interact on forums. (They are a delightful way to interact with readers, but have proven a HUGE time-sink for me in the past. As you might have noticed, I tend to write—and respond—in depth when people ask questions of me.) So I only appear on forums occasionally. Hence the involvement of those from my forums looking for some answers to questions.

Some backstory might help you all. I began writing in earnest in 1997. During those years, I shared the books I wrote with a group of friends. This group worked with me on The Leading Edge, a science fiction fanzine/semiprozine at BYU. Eventually, once we graduated, we founded the Timewaster's Guide, partially as a forum where we could hang out. (Tage and Ookla from the TWG forums—aka Ben and Peter—are among them, and are still very good friends of mine. Another easter egg is to watch how Ben Olsen and Peter Ahlstrom are treated in the acknowledgements of many of my books.)

The overarching story and theme of my books, what I wanted to accomplish as a writer, and how I approached the fantasy genre, all took shape during this time. These readers read many of my most important, and influential (on me as a writer) novels while in draft form. The biggest three of these during this era were White SandDragonsteel, and Elantris. (On the tail end, I wrote—but never finished—the foundations of what years later became Warbreaker.)

The next era of my unpublished writing was when I worked on the worlds, stories, and themes that eventually became Mistborn, The Way of Kings, and a book called the Aether of Night. Many of my writing group friends have read these books, including the first draft of Kings (which is very, very different from the current draft.)

Anyway, these unpublished books are NOT canon yet. I don't canonize a novel until I publish it. But some of the hidden themes (including Hoid and Adonalsium) of my books are present in these novels. (Dragonsteel and Aether of Night are particularly connected—though of the unpublished Shardworld books, White Sand is probably the best written.) Again, none of this is canon yet. (For instance, I've taken chunks out of Dragonsteel to use in the revision of The Way of Kings.) However, these old books do contain clues that aren't available to the average reader.

Dragonsteel can be ordered through inter-library loan through the university library system. There are only four or five copies in existence. The BYU library has one (the book was my honor's thesis.) I believe the honors department has one. My thesis chair has one. (And maybe the committee has one, I can't remember.) I've got one in my basement. And I believe Ben's sister may have sneaked a copy out of the trash when I was cleaning out old manuscripts. (That might be White Sand.)

I do have intentions of rewriting these books and publishing them eventually. They each have pieces of the story. (Though I may decide to shift certain themes from one series to another as I eventually write and publish them.) I've been known to email White Sand or Aether of Night to readers who email and ask. (Though it does make me cringe a little to do so. In many of these books, I was experimenting with magic, theme, and narrative style—some experiments were a success, some were failures.)

Dragonsteel is frozen; I don't send it out any longer, as to not spoil the parts of The Way of Kings that I decided fit better in that world. So the only way to get it now is to borrow it from BYU. I've been told that Dragonsteel is the only undergraduate BYU honor's thesis ever to have been be read so often that it needed to be rebound. (A dubious honor, I'm not sure how I feel about so many people reading a book of mine that is that mediocre.)

General Reddit 2018 ()
#26 Copy


[Brandon] how are you going to finish all this?

Brandon Sanderson

The only reasonable answer is the one that others have pointed out, unfortunately: I won't.

Most of the ideas I work on don't come to fruition. Others simmer for many years (like Skyward did.) My only real promise is that I'll make reasonable progress on the mainline cosmere books. Stormlight, Mistborn, Elantris, Dragonsteel. Even there, I can't say for certain if projects like the Threnody novel or the Mistborn cyberpunk will end up being written or not.


It must feel strange knowing that, right? Having your whole life’s work mapped out and feeling that you won’t finish all of it?

Brandon Sanderson

A little? But I realized long, long ago that I'd have more ideas than time to write them--and made peace with that.

There's also a kind of "natural selection" philosophy going on here. If an idea (like Skyward) manages to persist long enough, fight out the other ideas for a slot at the writing table, and actually turn into a book--well, those are the ideas that deserve to get written.


For what it's worth, I think you'll finish it all (and more) without a problem. And I fixed version 2 of the chart so the projected timeline isn't so exaggerated and it's much less depressing. And as long as you enjoy writing and keep cranking books out, I promise to buy every one - I'm planning to have an entire wall of just Sanderson books.

Brandon Sanderson

Well, thank you very much! I've been thinking a lot about this lately, though. I've been aware lately that I'm going to have to let more and more side projects slide away, an I'm finding ways to do it, so that I can keep my attention on making certain I finish my goals.


Well I think you've made a great compromise with the graphic novels for example - it's great to be able have that as canon without having to wait 30 years for everything else to be cleared out - but we still have hope that if you finish everything early there's a possibility of a prose version someday. And with your non-cosmere ideas like Adamant and Alcatraz it's great that you are collaborating with others to get things done. I don't know how much creative control you'd want to cede of the Cosmere, but you could always consider letting other authors play around in 1940-ish or cyberpunk Scadrial for example. Also, you could consider fan-sourcing some projects. Maybe it's a stretch, but if you held some contests for the more artistically talented fans, you might be able to collect enough submissions that match your vision to be able to build the worldbook. Or you could publicly release the script for Birthright or some other idea, and fans could try to build an open source video game.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I've been pushing myself to let some non-cosmere ideas (like the Apocalypse Guard rewrite) to do as collaborations, to get them out of my system.

You make some interesting suggestions with fans. We're reaching an era where that sort of thing is increasingly plausible.

JordanCon 2018 ()
#27 Copy


Is Hoid gonna get his own book?

Brandon Sanderson

So, here's the grand Cosmere timeline as I have it right now... I'm going to write Wax & Wayne 4 this fall. This will be the end of the Wax & Wayne sequence. They have been really fun to write, those books. And I've got some really good Wayne stuff in this one, so be excited. So, I'll finish that, and that is the next Cosmere book I will do. January 1st, my requirement is I-- What I'm trying to do now, is I'm trying to do half my time Stormlight, half my time other stuff. That's the kind of balance I'm looking to do for my sanity. So, January 1st is when it's been 18 months since I turned in Oathbringer, and at that point, I have 18 months to get Book 4 done. So, I will start January 1st writing Stormlight 4, rain or shine. Everything else kinda has to be put aside. And then, we'll go until that book is done.

After Stormlight 4; at this point, the Wax & Wayne books are done, so we finally have opened up room to do either an Elantris sequel or a Warbreaker sequel. I'll do one of the two of those in between. And then we will do Stormlight 5. And then, we have the first sequence of Stormlight books finished. And at that point, my goal is to do Mistborn Era 3. Three of those. 1980s level, spy thriller-ish Mistborn stuff. And then we will come back and start on Stormlight 6. 6-10, different cycle. This is how I make sure this all kind of fits together. So, we will do that.

And at that point, we will do-- plan is, right now, the Dragonsteel sequence. Which is however many books I decide to do about Hoid's backstory. He has shifted to be the main viewpoint character of those. He was a side viewpoint character when I originally wrote them, but now I've kinda stolen all the pieces of that story that were not about him and put them in other books. So what remains is his backstory. I plan those to be first-person stories that he's telling, if I can get them to work.

So, then, we wrap out the Cosmere with the Mistborn science fiction series, the kind of Dune-esque far-future science fiction Cosmere thing. That is my grand timeline. Somewhere in there, I want to get one sequel to Warbreaker, two sequels to Elantris, and one Threnody novel. So, that's my goal. And that, I think, is doable before I die. We're just gonna keep that as our goal moving forward, and try not to add too much more to it, though there will be novellas and things like that as they pop up.

White Sand vol.1 release party ()
#28 Copy


So you've branched out into graphic novels. What about other types of media--?

Brandon Sanderson

So the question is, "I've branched out into graphic novels. What about other types of media? TV and things like that." Well a graphic novel is something we can kind of have enough control over to make it happen ourselves. Right? Like I know the people at Dynamite. We can work directly with the writer. We can work directly with the artist. And so a small team can put together a graphic novel. It's more than required to put together a book, like I do, but it's still a small team. It's basically me, the writer, the illustrator, and then Isaac and Peter working on this. So, you know, five people can put this together.

A movie--have you seen the credits scroll? *crowd laughs* I can't really do that on my own. So the best we can hope for is for me to sell the rights, which I've done for most of my properties, and hope that someone in Holywood can actually make a film out of them that's good. And that's just a roll of the dice. So, yes we're trying. It is slow. Watch my website--we'll say if there's any news. There really isn't right now. Fox has *Steelheart*. They've been doing work on the screenplay, which looks good. But, you know, the screenplay is the easy step--the next two steps are the hard ones.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#30 Copy


"Your" wiki.

Oh dear, I can only imagine the contents, not to mention the chaos it would inspire over on the 17th Shard if it ever leaked. Once the Cosmere is complete in 30 years or so, do you have any plans for letting the fans peek at it?

Brandon Sanderson

When the Cosmere is complete, I will share it--or have instructions to share it when, hopefully in many years, I pass away.

Shadows of Self Newcastle UK signing ()
#31 Copy


What is the status of the White Sand graphic novel?

Brandon Sanderson

White Sand graphic novel. Let me run down the big list of things people are waiting for. So, White Sand graphic novel is on the good list, that's going really well. The author we had adapt it was fantastic and the artist is doing a great job. We're doing it in eighteen issues. However, because the people with The Wheel of Time (I don't know if any of you guys bought those graphic novels) but they released those individually, people bought subscriptions up front and then it took them forever to deliver on those. Because I have been burnt by that I said "You can't release any of the issues until you have a certain amount done". So because of that, they just decided they would release them only as graphic novels. So they're doing six-issue chunks. So it's kind of weird, there's eighteen issues, but really it's three books of six issues, and they are working on issue number six right now to release the first chunk next year. And we're very pleased with it.

So, the big list. I am working on Stormlight 3 right now, so you can follow on the progress bars. Once I'm done touring, which I've been doing for way too long, you'll start to see those inch up again, and if I finish it by May or June then it can come out next year. If I don't finish it by then it would be the following Spring. So that's what I'm working on right now.

In the queue we have the sequel to Shadows of Self coming out in January and we have the last of The Reckoners, and that is coming out in February. That's a little too close, I wish they hadn't scheduled them like that, but I'm not in charge when they put the books. 

After I write Stormlight 3 my goal is to write a new book that's kind of in the teen-ish-- it's kind of hard because Steelheart here is not published by a teen publisher, the only one published by a teen publisher here is Rithmatist. But something for the Steelheart-- like older teen/young adult-ish, crazy, wacky things like that; I've signed a contract on that. So that'll be my next project. 

Then I'm going to do Rithmatist 2, then I'm going to do Wax and Wayne 4, which is the last of that sequence. Then I'm going to do Stormlight 4.

If the book you're waiting for is not in that list then it's going to come after Stormlight 4 so don't hold your breath.

Mistborn videogame is basically vaporware at this point I'm afraid. I love the guys that are making it. They're still working on it, they still plan to release it. I haven't seen even a demo or early footage or anything like that, so I'm not certain they'll be able to do anything and you guys should not hold your breath on that.

So, movies, I've sold Mistborn, The Emperor's Soul and Steelheart, all are in production, but that doesn't mean anything in Hollywood, in production can mean anything. None of them have started filming yet. Until something starts filming you should assume that it's a hopeful dream. Those are the hopeful dreams that people are paying me a lot of money for. So, there you are.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#32 Copy


First of all, I want to say how awesome your books are. The Mistborn series, in particular, is on my list of "best fantasy books ever read".

Now my question: is Warbreaker going to be the start of a series?

Brandon Sanderson

I've talked about the sequel. I wouldn't call it a series, though, since I'm only intending it to be two books. I actually plotted it at one, then during drafting decided that some of the things I wanted to do would be better in a sequel, and started calling it a two-book series. Tor signed me for two, and have put the second one on infinite hiatus, allowing me to turn it in whenever I want.

Boskone 54 ()
#33 Copy


If you had to guess right now, what year would you think Dragonsteel will come out?

Brandon Sanderson

It will be the book after Stormlight 10 is the way it is planned right now. So, add those up, we’ve got seven more Stormlights, four more Mistborn, two Elantris, and one Warbreaker. After all those, and I generally do one a year, so add all that up. So 7... 11... 12 years and then I will write it, probably, is what it looks like? 11... no 13... 14 years.

/r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
#35 Copy


There isn't anything story specific I'd want to ask, I wish to discover by reading. I was wondering if Stormlight Archive books are going to get a special edition limited prints from Subterranean Press, like some of your other work?

Brandon Sanderson

Our plan is to do tenth anniversary books of all of the cosmere novels, though right now I plan to put the four Wax and Wayne books into two volumes. (So, sell them as two-in-one.) Likewise, it's possible that the Stormlight books will be better as two volumes each, sold in a slip case together, so that you don't risk ruining bindings by reading them.

General Twitter 2011 ()
#36 Copy


Do you have any plans to do cross over stories? I would love to see Stormlight v Mistborn fight

Brandon Sanderson

The Cosmere cycle is 32-36 books total. There might be something like that in there.


Other than Hoid?

Brandon Sanderson

It has been discovered that Way of Kings has several characters from other worlds in it. One has a Dula accent.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#37 Copy


I was in the hospital and someone read White Sand [Volume 1] while I was there, and I didn't know-- Is the comic series going to continue on after the end of the book, that kind of seems like a very unfinished story, or if that's just a story that will probably remain unfinished?

Brandon Sanderson

If people really like the comic we will continue.


Oh cool!

Brandon Sanderson

If they don't, I am probably going to do a book in the world eventually. It will be after the last-- like-- a different group of characters, but it will reference what happened, so you can kind of figure it out.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#38 Copy


Do you know when we'll start seeing The Way of Kings? Sample chapters in particular. This series sounds freaking amazing and I can't wait to see more of it. So, that the first draft is finished (congratulations, by the way), I'm quite curious...

Brandon Sanderson

My plan is to start releasing sample chapters of Kings next year sometime in the spring. Not too close to draw any attention away from the release of The Gathering Storm, but far enough ahead of the Kings launch to give a good preview. February, perhaps? If you don't see them by then, I officially give you permission to send my assistant a reminder email to 'poke' me into doing it.

Skyward Denver signing ()
#39 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I am currently submitting a story to major science fiction magazines under a pseudonym to see if I am good enough-- It's a flash fiction piece, which is the thing I'm worst at... I knew that, if I sent it as me, they would take it, because putting one pages in in order to be able to say "Brandon Sanderson" on the cover is just an enormously advantageous cost/benefit analysis for a magazine. I probably wouldn't submit a full-size story, because I I know I am good enough to get in magazines on those; but I don't know about flash fiction. So I've been submitting that under a pseudonym.


Will you let us know eventually?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, if it gets rejected from all the major places, then I'll tell you and be like, "Well. This wasn't good enough to actually sell." We still have it out at a few various magazines.

Shadows of Self Edinburgh UK signing ()
#41 Copy


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.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#42 Copy


Is The Way of Kings your biggest work planned or do you have something on the shelf that's bigger?

Brandon Sanderson

Well...depends. Dragonsteel is plotted at seven books. And I plan two more trilogies, eventually, in the Mistborn world. But Kings was always planned and plotted to be the big war epic, focusing on large numbers of characters across a large number of books. Mistborn will span hundreds and hundreds of years, though, so it could be 'bigger' by some definitions. Dragonsteel also is in the running, but for reasons I can't really explain without giving away things I don't want to.

JordanCon 2014 ()
#43 Copy


When will second book of Legion be out on Audible?

Brandon Sanderson

Probably, I think November 1st is the scheduled release date and I think Audible--I can't promise this--but I think we are going to do the same thing we did with the first one, which is it will be free on Audible for like the first two months because they are short enough that charging a full credit for them is kind of, you know, they are one-third of a book, right? But you can't really split a credit into one-third credits. So if you do want to go buy Legion off of Audible, the Audible version is very nice and I think they sell it for five bucks or something, don't use a credit just go spend five bucks on it. And the second one--we did that one free for the first few months, and I think we may do the second one free for the first few months also.


Are they planning to go that for Infinity Blade, like for an Audible release?

Brandon Sanderson

I don't think there are plans right now, but the fact that you are interested makes me think maybe we should ask if they are interested.

Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
#45 Copy


I was thinking about it, do you have any characters that you've set aside to do maybe some spin-offs down the road, just that you don't want to let die off into obscurity. Like Shallan, she is my favorite character that you write so far. I don't know, is there kind of a side group that you maybe want to revisit later?

Brandon Sanderson

I could see myself doing that. The thing is, the ones I've set off I've done intentionally like in Elantris, Serene's uncle, right. Her uncle, I always intended his family to be the next one I wrote a book about, and so its like its already planned in and like Lift from Stormlight. Shes getting her own book later on so I've seeded her in it, you already knowing about it. I don't know that there is any I'm waiting for now, specifically. I'm sure it will happen to me.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#46 Copy


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.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#47 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Stormlight 3 will be next November. I had a meeting with the Tor people, and that's what we're planning. Tentatively [Stormlight] 3 next year, Rithmatist sequel, the following year, Wax & Wayne the following year, and then the next Stormlight. That is our plan. Hopefully new Stormlight can come a little faster than that, but what I've found is the outlines for Stormlight books take like a year to build, even though like-- When I do this outline process I do like the first book and then I outline each one with a couple pages? And then it takes forever to build this outline because I write Stormlight books as a trilogy, each novel is a trilogy, that I then interweave and release as one volume. And then there's a short story collection in there too, with the interludes and things. So it's a complex process. So I'm hoping, but I'm not going to promise them faster than one every three years, I just can't. They're too big and the way my process works, once I finish something I need to leave that alone for a while and try something else. And originally I'm like "Every 18 months, I can do that!" I can't do that. It's the travel and everything and whatnot. So we're going to do that. So we're going to do Stormlight, Rithmatist, Wax & Wayne-- last Wax & Wayne book, and then Stormlight-- the next Stormlight. That is our plan right now. I will also be doing another YA series to follow-up The Reckoners, for those who like those.

Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
#48 Copy


Are we going to see anything in the Elantris universe anytime soon?

Brandon Sanderson

You should see-- I mean "anytime soon" is a very sub-- difficult to answer. Like the next thing I'm doing are the Mistborn books, I actually wrote two of those instead of one because two for the price of one, right? Did you guys know this? I sent them to my publisher because the book was due and I sent the book off and I attached a sequel to it *laughter* in the email and said nothing about it except "Here's your book" and then went to bed 'cause I was sending this at like 4AM because I stay up really late. And so I got up the next morning to mass panic from my publisher and agent and they're like "You put two books in here!?!" and I'm like "Yeah I wrote two on accident" *laughter* And so I did that, and yeah. And then they threw a party because an extra Sanderson book, unsurprisingly, is a pretty big deal at the publisher and then they decided to publish them very quickly. So what I'm doing is I'm writing Calamity, third of The Reckoners, and final of The Reckoners, right now. So our next sequence of books will be two Mistborn, then Calamity, and then the third Stormlight book.