Steelheart release party

Event details
Name
Name Steelheart release party
Date
Date Sept. 24, 2013
Location
Location Orem, UT
Tour
Tour Steelheart
Bookstore
Bookstore Barnes & Noble
Entries
Entries 33
Upload sources
#2 Copy

Questioner

You know Hoid's Letter, that's in The Way of Kings? It's given to a dragon, right?

Brandon Sanderson

He calls him an old reptile.

Questioner

Is he immortal?

Brandon Sanderson

Functionally, meaning he doesn't age, but he could be killed.

Questioner

And he's a he, not a she?

Brandon Sanderson

It is a he.

#3 Copy

Questioner

A Shardblade, what it does is it cuts off all the healing and control of an arm or whatever.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

So like if an arm got badly wounded and was bleeding out and had to be amputated. If you went through it with a Shardblade first, would that damage you in other ways?

Brandon Sanderson

No, it wouldn’t. What it does is it severs the soul of the arm.

Questioner

But I know like with Mistborn, if you take bits of soul out of people it messes them up.

Brandon Sanderson

It does.

Questioner

Does it with Shardblades?

Brandon Sanderson

It leaves a wound.

#5 Copy

Questioner

In [Rithmatics], how can you tell that a circle is two-starred, four-starred, or nine-starred?

Brandon Sanderson

It’s by where you start crossing the lines. Where you cross the circle will determine what points it is.  For example, if you draw a line here, there are only a certain number of places where you can draw another line that'll fit. It’s just by where you start your first line intersecting it, the first line intersecting it determines where you can draw other lines and keep its stability.

#7 Copy

Questioner

When we get to the [interlude] in The Way of Kings, where we see the Shinovar merchant, he talks about his guards being different from Truthless. What makes the distinction?

Brandon Sanderson

You will find that out in Book 3 which has Szeth’s flashback sequences and show him becoming Truthless.

Footnote: Brandon decided to have Dalinar's flashbacks in Book 3 instead, so this question will likely now be answered in Book 5.
#8 Copy

Questioner

At the end of The Way of Kings, was Wit the actual Herald or was it somebody else *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

The Herald's the guy who collapsed to the ground all shaggy-haired holding a Shardblade. He claimed to be Talenel, who is the one they talked about in the Prelude. Whether or not he actually is is yet to be seen.

Questioner

Did he just collapse or did he form out of the air?

Brandon Sanderson

No, he walked up and fell down.

#10 Copy

Questioner

The last book, which turned into three books for The Wheel of Time, how much of that was yours and how much was notes from Jordan?

Brandon Sanderson

He left about a hundred written pages and about a hundred pages more of notes specifically for the last book. It really depends on the given scene. In Gathering Storm, if it was Egwene, it was either written by him or from his notes, and if it was Rand, it was mostly me. In Towers of Midnight, if it was Mat it was probably from his notes or written by him. He wrote the whole Tower of Ghenjei sequence, for instance. But if it was Perrin, it was me. He had nothing for Perrin, other than leaving Malden and then the Last Battle, so I had to fill in everything in between. In the final book, the meeting at the Fields of Merrilor was him and the very last chapter, which became the epilogue, was him, and a lot of the rest was me.

#12 Copy

Questioner

Why is The Rithmatist in our world but not in our world?

Brandon Sanderson

I wanted to do something a little more whimsical when I wrote it. I just wanted something purely imaginative. And I said, if I weren’t bound by anything, where would I go? I designed this really strange alternate version of our world, without forcing myself to have explanations and rationale. That’s just a different process sometimes than other books I write.

#13 Copy

Questioner

At the end of the trilogy, Sazed communicates with Kelsier, so they exist in the afterlife, of some sort. You've got some concept of an afterlife. Is it uniform across the cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

What is happening there is not actually technically an afterlife, though it kind of is. It's what we call a cognitive shadow. It's when your spirit is not moving on yet. So there is a Beyond, but there is a -- basically that's what we would call in our world a ghost, and there are actually magic systems based around that. In fact, the story I have coming out in George R.R. Martin’s next anthology is a ghost story involving this same -- it is cosmere based. Yes, that would be consistent. They don’t all have the same mythology regarding it, but it would be consistent. What happened to Kelsier could have happened on any of the planets.

#14 Copy

Questioner

Were you already familiar with the Robert Jordan books before you were...

Brandon Sanderson

I was. I started reading them when I was fifteen, and I had read them all the way along. I was one of those long-time Jordan fans.

#15 Copy

Questioner

Will [Hoid] be making a reappearance in Words of Radiance?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

I also heard he was part of your unpublished Dragonsteel series.

Brandon Sanderson

He is.

Questioner

Is that a series that you're going to be publishing?

Brandon Sanderson

I will eventually rewrite it; it's not up to my current standards. I consider the events that happened in it basically to be canon, with some exceptions. For instance, when I originally wrote Dragonsteel, the Shattered Plains were there and Dalinar was there, and when I split off Way of Kings into its own book, I took half of what had been Dragonsteel and made it The Stormlight Archive and I split half of it off into a separate planet. If you were to read it, half of it will be a less good version of the Shattered Plains sequence, the bridge crews and things, from Way of Kings and the other half is Hoid’s story. And Hoid’s story stuff is still kind of canon, but the rest of it got moved.

#16 Copy

Questioner

How much influence do you have on the story of the Infinity Blade games?

Second Questioner

They tell you what to write and you flesh it out?

Brandon Sanderson

No, when I came on they said, "We don't have a story. Can you come up with one?". That was part of the reason I was interested in doing it. Basically, the whole story of games two and three, and the in between, have been my stories. I didn't write the games. I went over the dialogue and told them where it was really bad. I was focused on the novellas. The dialogue in the games, not quite as awesome as I would want it to be. But the basic story, it was me and the creators of the game brainstorming, talking about it. All the characters are ones I came up with.

Questioner

Because, really, in the first one there weren't exactly characters.

Brandon Sanderson

Though it had it's own little fun narrative, which I liked the idea of. But when I sat down with them I'm like, "If you're going to have a series, you can't have a series with no characters ever. You have fifty protagonists that die each time. You've gotta build the mechanism for this. So let's go this direction." They loved it.

Questioner

And that was why Siris wound up being a Deathless?

Brandon Sanderson

Mhmm.

#17 Copy

Questioner

Do you spend a lot of time on Google when you don’t know, like, distances?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I do. Or at least, I used to. Nowadays, I'll write into my manuscript, "Peter, find the answer to this", and then I’ll just let it go. He’s my assistant, and when he does his read-through afterward he’ll be like, "Oh great", and he’ll go do all the research for me. It's wonderful. For little things like that, I can get him to do it.

#20 Copy

Questioner

You mentioned you were going to break up the Stormlight Archive into two sets of five books. So, how is that going to work? Are you going to change stories, with different characters?

Brandon Sanderson

Characters from the first will appear in the second five, the ones who survive. The first five is Kaladin/Dalinar/Shallan's story. The back five is Jasnah, Taln, and the story of the Heralds, and things like that. And that's how I've broken it up in my head.

The break point will make for an obvious break point, where you could almost say I'm starting a new series when I start the next one.

#21 Copy

Questioner

A lot of people I know think that you are an atheist because you wrote such a believable atheist. And an atheist that we all liked in Jasnah. So, I'm wondering if you interviewed people or you got that from philosophy classes.

Brandon Sanderson

I did. Philosophy class mixed with interviews. And I spent a suspicious amount of time hanging out on atheist forums. Really what I would do is, I tried to find the threads where they complained about misconceptions about them, and things like that, and used that to inform creating Jasnah's philosophy on life.

#22 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I feel that it is upon my shoulders as as writer to make sure that when I write a character's viewpoint different from my own, I present it as strongly as I would want some to present my philosophy in a book they were doing. And I feel that multiple sides to an argument strengthen all sides. You will find, as Jasnah interacts with other people who have examined their beliefs in a little bit more depth, you will hopefully find some very good conversations in this regard.

#23 Copy

Questioner

So, how do you pronounce [Jasnah's] name?

Brandon Sanderson

They use the J as a Y. But you don't have to say it that way, you can say it how you want. Because they actually use a guttural, sort of Middle-Eastern <koh>, which is in Kholin. You can say the names however you want, but that is the pronunciation style that I'm using. It's very Semitic, the language family.

Questioner

And you also said that they don't look human. They're humanoid...

Brandon Sanderson

No, they look human, but they have the epicanthic fold. So,  they have what we would consider Asian eyes. So when they see Szeth, who has very Caucasian eyes, in fact a little rounder than ours, he looks childish to them. If you saw Kaladin, for instance, you would say, "Wow, that guy looks like he's half Japanese half Middle Eastern. Vaguely darker skin, curly black hair. The actual model I used for Kaladin is a Hawaiian who's half Japanese.

Questioner

So, that's Kaladin, I assume, on the front of Words of Radiance. Does that look like him, or not?

Brandon Sanderson

No, but he redid the picture. Yes, there will be a different Kaladin on the front. He actually redid the cover, Whelan did. So, it looks better, but it still doesn't look 100% like... Getting across the ethnic sense is a little harder.  He hasn't quite gotten Kaladin down, in my head. No one has, even the sketches that I got to do early on, the concept sketches didn't capture him. They got Dalinar, and the Shallan are perfect, they're dead-on. But the concept art for Kaladin just didn't work.

#24 Copy

Questioner

Are Inquisitors bald?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, Inquisitors are bald.

Questioner

Are they bald from being bald, or do they shave their heads?

Brandon Sanderson

They shave their heads. Hemalurgy does not automatically make you bald.

#25 Copy

Questioner

In the sample chapter for the sequel to Alloy of Law, that you read, you said that since Sazed is in charge of Hemalurgy, Hemalurgy's not wrong anymore.

Brandon Sanderson

That is what the book that Wax reads says.

Questioner

Except for the murder!

Brandon Sanderson

Except for the murder part.

#26 Copy

Questioner

What is your prefered writing tool? Mac, PC, Windows, Word, Word Perfect?

Brandon Sanderson

I use regular Word. The reason for that is I like some of the tools like the Document Map. Very useful for me. And the autocorrect function. Over the years I've built a whole autocorrect library where it takes all my weird spellings and spells them right. I feel like I spell things correctly on Word, when I really don't. The other thing that I do like is wikidpad, the wiki software. I like that a lot. It's a free wiki software, and it's what I keep all my worlds in.

#27 Copy

Questioner

In Warbreaker, how does Denth remember who his sister is if he was Returned?

Brandon Sanderson

That is an excellent question and it will be answered. It is a conscious decision of mine, doing that. It is something you are supposed to be wondering. In the future books I want to delve into that sort of thing a lot more. So, Read And Find Out, but it was a "That wasn't a mistake" Read And Find Out.

#28 Copy

Questioner

Ten Orders of Radiants. Ten books. One new Order for each book?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

So we won't actually see the last one in action until the last book?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, you may see them in action, but the thing about it is, it's actually focused on the people who have the flashback sequences. So, the first one was Kaladin, and he's a Windrunner. And the next one's Shallan, and she's a Lightweaver. In fact, if you pop open the first book and look on the cover, the stamp on the cover is the Windrunner stamp.

#29 Copy

Questioner

Most of your magic systems seem superhero-ish to begin with, people have an ability or two that they can do. With the exception of Elantris. Do you intend to return to that one, or do another system that's similar to that?

Brandon Sanderson

I will. I like to do all kinds of different things. The thing about it is that I like having discrete powers that I can really explore. I find that a lot of magic system that have just so many things you can do — it's not necessarily that it's a bad magic system, I just find that I like to take one thing and dig into it deeply. Like, I love reading the Wheel of Time, that had a very expansive magic system. But when you see my books come along, you see the characters focusing on a few weaves and using them really well. That's just kind of more of a me thing.

#30 Copy

Questioner

Are TenSoon and MeLaan gonna be in the Wax and Wayne series at all?

Brandon Sanderson

You have seen TenSoon in Alloy of Law, and MeLaan was mentioned by reference, though they didn't know her name.

Questioner

Was it in the broadsheet?

Brandon Sanderson

Nope. You just watch. They both are in there. TenSoon is wearing someone's body. So watch for somebody who changes personalities drastically between the beginning and the end of the book.

Questioner

Is the the police guy?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

#31 Copy

Questioner

If you were to be a misting, which...

Brandon Sanderson

Coinshot. Easy answer. Bouncing around off of cars and things would be so cool!

Questioner

But without pewter, you would land too hard and break something?

Brandon Sanderson

eh, Wax manages. You just have to be really careful. Pewter would be number two.

#32 Copy

Questioner

What would you like to be working on? Do you have any ideas bouncing around in your head?

Brandon Sanderson

I would like to write the book I've wanted to write for a long time (I'll probably do it as a novella), about the planet where catching a disease gives you a magical talent. And I'm probably gonna do that one as my next novella, next year. So in between projects I'll write that one.

#33 Copy

Questioner

Are chasmfiends related to thunderclasts?

Brandon Sanderson

No. Good question though. Thunderclasts are actually... It shows up pretty early in the series, the second book, more what thunderclasts are. Dalinar sees one in a flashback in the second book. So you'll get a good explanation of where they come from, but they are more related to the voidbringers, whereas chasmfiends are actually a living part of the ecosystem.

Questioner

So what is the purpose of the pupating?

Brandon Sanderson

You will find out. Shallan is asking that very question.

Event details
Name
Name Steelheart release party
Date
Date Sept. 24, 2013
Location
Location Orem, UT
Tour
Tour Steelheart
Bookstore
Bookstore Barnes & Noble
Entries
Entries 33
Upload sources