Calamity Austin signing

Event details
Name
Name Calamity Austin signing
Date
Date Feb. 25, 2016
Location
Location Austin, TX
Tour
Tour Calamity
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Entries 50
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#2 Copy

Questioner

I've noticed that there are a lot of different categories of Epics. Did you think about any categories that you didn't put into the books?

Brandon Sanderson

Did I think about any categories of Epics that I didn't put into the books? Yes, I did. You know, as a comic book nerd I have lots of categories of superheroes that, as I saw them in my head, and this is kind of like my-- reaching back to my teenage years, looking at "Oh, these kind of share a similar power type" and things like that. That's what you are getting from these books, kind of my nerdy stuff. There are categories that I didn't deal with. I tried to theme a lot of powers either toward matter transformation, matter manipulation, or alternate universe stuff. Just that kind of has some things. And so, I am actually doing a series, takes place in the same universe, different characters, that takes place-- all of the powers and that will be alternate dimension things, it's gonna be really cool.

#3 Copy

Questioner

I'm really confused about how you, as a male with three sons, how you create <believable?> female characters.

Brandon Sanderson

Practice. Number one, practice. Number two, talk to women. So, write... you're a teenager, it can be hard, but write a scene, give it to women, say "What am I doing wrong?" And then see, it's even better, back up a little bit, start thinking of characters as their passions, and their life experience, not just by their role in the story. That's a big a problem that a lot of people run into, it's that they go "oh, this is the romantic interest", and so you make them the romantic interests, and so you don't give them a full spectrum of emotions and characterization like you do to the protagonist. And so, try those things. Have you listened to my podcast?

Questioner

No.

Brandon Sanderson

Okay. Podcast. Start in January '15, but also look for podcast about "Writing the other", we have people come on and talk about this sort of thing. Alright? You can just push Play on a browser, you don't have to do a podcast thingy.

Footnote: Brandon likely refers to S7E40: Writing the Other (http://www.writingexcuses.com/2011/09/11/writing-excuses-6-15-writing-other-cultures/), of his podcast Writing Excuses.
#5 Copy

Questioner

Can you share any abilities that Hoid has accrued so far in the books, does he-- with him taking the bead, I can't even pronounce the L-word...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, lerasium, he is indeed an Allomancer. So. That has happened. I haven't confirmed much else, but he does have that.

#6 Copy

Questioner

You've said that Shardblades can be made in other magic systems. So if it's not like a Shardblade from Roshar, what makes it a Shardblade?

Brandon Sanderson

The "Shard" refers to the heavy Investiture of a Shard of Adonalsium. Most of what you’ll see will see are the Roshar ones, but it is technically possible to make them out of the other magic systems. It's going to be a heavily invested magical weapon, is kind of how I would define it.

Questioner

So are the Bands [of Mourning] one?

Brandon Sanderson

I would not call them one, but they are close. They're not Invested enough.

#7 Copy

Questioner

In Words of Radiance, a character named Iyatil... Is she a member of the race that we see in The Bands of Mourning in the--

Brandon Sanderson

She is related to them in the same way that I am Danish.

Questioner

Okay, so not.

Brandon Sanderson

Well, I am, my heritage is Danish.

Questioner

Okay, so a branch of...

Brandon Sanderson

Mmhmm.

#9 Copy

Questioner

The flakes of metal are catalysts to access the powers of Preservation. What do the birds from Patji use as catalysts?

Brandon Sanderson

You don't always have to have the exact same thing for catalyst, for that it’s kind of more of an innate Connection, in the same way that the metals have an innate Connection. They are the catalyst, if that makes sense.

#10 Copy

Questioner

If Hoid was on Scadrial during the original Mistborn trilogy, and had a bead of lerasium, and took it and gained Allomantic powers, could he then go to Roshar during Stormlight and still have those Allomantic powers?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes… Most of the magics are not re-- area centric, though a few of them are.

#11 Copy

Questioner

As you were constructing the Allomantic powers revealed in the Wax and Wayne books, I was just curious why you chose cadmium and chromium to be metals.

Brandon Sanderson

Well I picked them way back when I first designed the magic system, and I wanted metals that were easily recognizable but which wouldn't be commonly available in a medieval society, so that as society progressed it would make sense that they would have access to these new metals, if that makes sense. Aluminum was a little in that as well, but I like aluminum because they had it anciently, but very rarely. So it could be a more mythical metal.

#12 Copy

Questioner

Do we get to find out, what happens, where Calamity comes from?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Eventually, like the next trilogy I do will dig into that... You've gotta remember, in the teen books I’m not going to dig into lore as much, they're written as action novels. So in the next series I'll get you some of your answers, but that's not what the point of these books-- like The Stormlight Archive, the point is the lore. In these books, the point is “have fun”. So. So you will, but it's going to take a little bit longer.

#15 Copy

Questioner

Do they have a concept of alcoholism in Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Does Dalinar’s family have it?

Brandon Sanderson

That will be answered in the next book, but you should definitely be asking that question.

#19 Copy

Questioner

What does a mistcloak [mistcoat] look like? What does Wax's miscloak look like?

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, so Wax's is a mistcoat. It's a duster that has been shredded into strips. But remember, there’s not like an industry that makes these. Each person commissions their own, and so they all vary quite widely.

Questioner

Are they at the waist, or…?

Brandon Sanderson

It’s a little above the waist.

#20 Copy

Questioner

I would like to know how do you make cultures so vibrant?

Brandon Sanderson

So, dig deep rather than go wide. One or two cultures that play off of each other in an interesting way, where you've considered a lot of the ramifications, are gonna to be better than trying to create thirty different cultures. Try to keep focused on what's going to be important to the characters and the books, and try to spend your worldbuilding there. So like if the characters are going to have conflict over religion, spend time on religion. But if instead they're going to have different linguistics and that's a source of conflict to them, spend time on the linguistics.

#21 Copy

Questioner

So in The Stormlight Archive, they have the two Surges, and they have a third power effect, right?

Brandon Sanderson

They have kind of effects on each other, like a reverberation. Yes. I wouldn’t call it expressly a third power, I’d call it interactions.

Questioner

So, it seems like...you don’t have to confirm anything, but it seems like Kaladin is able to transfer his powers to his men following him…

Brandon Sanderson

The Windrunners are known for having lots of squires.

Questioner

That's the one I thought was really compelling. And the Skybreakers seem like they’re really good at hunting people down.

Brandon Sanderson

I’m not going to answer any of those! But good questions!

#22 Copy

Questioner

When Wax changes his weight, is that weight or mass?

Brandon Sanderson

He is actually changing his mass, in a weird...It's kind of halfway in between, is really what it is. But it follows the laws of conservation of momentum, so it's not just weight. It's timidly a half step inbetween.

#23 Copy

Questioner

I can write dialogue, I can write a couple of other things, but I suck at worldbuilding. And that's something I've watched you do online, I love it, it's great, but I cannot describe it. And any time I start I get two to three pages into it and then I just can't do it.

Brandon Sanderson

Practice. Number one, keep practicing. Less is more. If you can build great dialogue and great characters, you can pick a couple of cool things, just a few, and make everything else like-- try to [write dialogue] anyway. Pick an Earth culture. Changed it a little bit. You would much rather be good at character dialogue than worldbuilding, I can tell you that right now. A great character in a generic world is still a great story. But a weak character in a great world is a weak story. So, don't stress this one too much, it'll get better as you go along. But just try picking one thing that is cool for you, that's different, and make that swap, and try writing a story. Don't stress this one too much.

#24 Copy

Questioner

What is the thing with Adolin's serial dating? Is it just...?

Brandon Sanderson

He is bad with relationships, and that's just it. He's a little bit scared of being good at relationships, and so there's some kind of unconscious sabotaging going on. But yeah, he's young and he's bad at relationships.

#26 Copy

Questioner

Why is Dalinar very strict of Adolin but not with Renarin and Elhokar?

Brandon Sanderson

It is a little bit - I would say a slight flaw on Dalinar's part, he's too hard on Adolin. But that's because Adolin is in line for the throne, and he's the eldest son, and the heir, and all of that stuff. I would say that Dalinar's a little too lax in some ways, a little too strict in others.

#27 Copy

taveren

If someone goes to every planet and get Invested from every Shard, if he was Invested enough would he become a new Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

That’s an excellent question that I’m not going to answer.

taveren

And I am assuming you will not answer if anyone is trying to do that.

Brandon Sanderson

Yup, I am not going to answer. Sorry. That's too deeply related to things that are happening in the Cosmere and I don’t want to dig into for a little while yet.

#30 Copy

heridfel

There are different kinds of spren that bond with people and it appears they’re based on a concept. Is it possible to have a concept which would make a Nahel bond that gives two Surges that don’t align to one of the Radiant orders?

Brandon Sanderson

Um, uh...this is a theoretical possibility that has not happened yet.

#31 Copy

Questioner

Did something happen to Demoux between Mistborn and Stormlight to turn him into a jerk, or am I misinterpreting his actions?

Brandon Sanderson

He is not a jerk, but he is not...

Questioner

As pure as he is in Mistborn?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. He's a little more idealistic than pure, how about that?

Questioner

Are we going to hear that story?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. [...] I'm toying with some stuff in Secret History 2, it'll get into some of this.

Questioner

Is there going to be more Secret History?

Brandon Sanderson

They have to go into the cracks between other books, but not...I am planning to do more right now, I'm not opposed to having more like that happen.

#32 Copy

Questioner

The Cognitive and the Physical Realms...do they stay connected to the Shardworld for the character they're related to, or can you go back and forth - like in Secret History, when he passes off of Scadrial and to the outskirts, within I guess the Cognitive Realm, is that something they could do with other Shardworlds?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

#34 Copy

Questioner

The world of Sixth of the Dusk [First of the Sun], is it going to make another appearance?

Brandon Sanderson

It will likely make another appearance, I am unlikely to do another story there just because I have too many things to do sequels too, but if you keep your eyes open, you can see...

Questioner

Is Hoid related?

Brandon Sanderson

You will see some more.

#35 Copy

Questioner

When Wax's uncle gets blown up and [the Faceless Immortal] says "you will serve us in another realm", is that a [truth] ?

Brandon Sanderson

Wait wait, who says that?

Questioner

With Suit, the end of Bands of Mourning? He gets blown up...?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh right, right...So, yeah, that is not specifically answered on purpose. That is meant to be more ambiguous, it may not even be a true statement.

Questioner

So their deity doesn't pick which souls...

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not saying yes or no, I'm just saying, don't take what they say as law, as the actual state of things. It may just be a belief on their part.

#36 Copy

Questioner

The ten Surges on Roshar, I think you've said are basically a different set of laws of physics.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Questioner

Are those laws of physics consistent throughout the Cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, to an extent. You would consider, like - it's kind of weird because I based them on the idea of the fundamental forces, but this is kind of like a human construction. You could say that physics is pure and natural, but we're still putting things in boxes. And the scientists on Roshar would, for instance, consider being able to travel between the Cognitive and Physical Realms as a force, the thing that pulls people back and forth between that, as a fundamental force. I don't know if it would fit our definition of a fundamental force.

#37 Copy

Questioner

So, in Elantris, the earthquake that [???], was that [caused? counterplayed?] by Shards, by some powers...?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't really dug into that, but the number one thing people assume is that it was the shattering of Dominion and Devotion, which is not the case. They were broken much earlier. The Splintering [of them] happened much earlier.

#38 Copy

Questioner

The guards that are used on the Shardblades, that people are able to work with them safely, are those made of aluminum?

Brandon Sanderson

[...] This is an excellent question that is well asked, and people are thinking along the right lines. I haven't answered 100%, but people are thinking the right way.

#39 Copy

Questioner

If you were a Leecher, could you destroy a Shardblade?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm going to RAFO that for now, let's just say that it would be incredibly difficult if it were possible, and I'm not going to even say if it is. But that kind of power... 

Questioner

Let's just say they were burning duralumin as well.

Brandon Sanderson

Let's just say that the Investiture in a Shardblade is much greater than your average Allomancer, but... This type of thing is not unheard of in the Cosmere. The larkin, the Leechers, and Nightblood all have a similar sort of thing going on. Destroying a Shardblade would be really hard. And Investiture resists other forms of Investiture, so.

#41 Copy

Questioner

If Feruchemists can store warmth, and you can Compound if you have the dual... Could they harm themselves by drawing too much warmth?

Questioner

Could they draw it out of their body and therefore kill themselves by freezing themselves?

Questioner

Either way. Either that, or burn and Compound too much...

Brandon Sanderson

This is harder to do that you think it [is], because built into Feruchemy is the natural body's resistance to the things you're doing, but it is possible.

#43 Copy

Questioner

How did Regalia established contact with Calamity?

Brandon Sanderson

I think I'll save that for the next series I'm doing. If I don't answer that *inaudible* things like that in the next series, you can ask me again and I'll answer.

#44 Copy

Questioner

I noticed, in The Alloy of Law, Marsh refers to-- when he is talking to Marasi he says that Wax is doing his brother’s work. I was wondering, is that referring to Harmony or Kelsier?

Brandon Sanderson

That’s referring to Kelsier in that quote, in his opinion at the moment. I don’t know if I agree with it. He feels that Wax is protecting the people, the little people, which was Kelsier’s work in his... opinion of Kelsier, which is a little lofty.

#49 Copy

Questioner

At the beginning of Steelheart you say that it was a year after Calamity when people started getting powers.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

At the beginning of Firefight, at the end of the prologue, people started screaming. Why?

Brandon Sanderson

So, Peter [Ahlstrom, Brandon's assistant] asked me the same question. And so, the rise of Calamity, number one, was really weird. And number two, there was weirdness with that night [?], associated with the rise of Calamity, that was not the start of the Epics.

#50 Copy

Questioner

What were your inspiration when you wrote the [Mistborn] series, or for particular characters--

Brandon Sanderson

Well, Mistborn-- I passed, honestly, through a fog bank at 70 mph driving from my mom's house, and I'm like, "This looks cool, I've got to use this." That's the first thought I can think of. Feruchemy goes back to being in high school and being an insomniac, being really tired and wishing I could store up my sleep, so I'd be sleepy when I wanted to be sleepy. Kelsier's inspiration was a guy who had been only out for himself, who realized the greater import of doing something.

Event details
Name
Name Calamity Austin signing
Date
Date Feb. 25, 2016
Location
Location Austin, TX
Tour
Tour Calamity
Bookstore
Bookstore BookPeople
Entries
Entries 50
Upload sources