I end up graphing a lot *inaudible*. I do a lot of that.
Will it ever be in print or will it always be a *inaudible*.
There will be seven series about the cosmere, but they're a little ways off.
I end up graphing a lot *inaudible*. I do a lot of that.
Will it ever be in print or will it always be a *inaudible*.
There will be seven series about the cosmere, but they're a little ways off.
So do you come up with those [glyph designs] or is there an Artist that does that?
You know what? All of those have been done by Isaac. I came up with a sequence of them for the original right in 2002. And they just weren't up to my current artistic standards, and so I let Isaac do it. I'm a big believer in letting people who are experts in things do what they're good at doing, to the point that when I needed a creepy lullaby in this I hired a musician to write it rather than writing it myself just so that we would have the extra *inaudible*.
Is that the?
The backstory one.
The hair color, is there a link between the hair color in Warbreaker and the hair color in, with, like the Alethi always have black, and I can't remember the other country that always have gold hair coloring?
Yes. You are noticing something very interesting which was done deliberately.
How far back was the <second> Warbreaker book? Chronologically does it come before or after Stormlight Archive?
Before. So in between Warbreaker and The Stormlight Archive?
Yes. More close to Warbreaker than to Stormlight.
So do you know quite a bit about what the end of the <Stormlight series> is going to be?
I do. I do indeed. I've actually written the epilogue of Book 5.
Just to get into my head. I wrote it out. Peter, my assistant, sent an explanation point after he saw that appear in the Wiki and stuff. So yes. And actually the ending of the entire series of the ten books is somewhere in those two books, just like with Mistborn it was in the first page. It's not on the first page but it is in those two books.
So in the first book, there's a chapter where you have some scientists talking about spren, and they seem to be describing <superposition> and science. I was wondering, does that actually play into the books?
It does, but it's just really behind the scenes. This is just helping you understand the nature of spren and kind of their relationship to sub-atomic particles and quantum theory and things like this. There are relationships there, but it's even one or two steps further than what you see in actual Quantum Physics, Right?
Will it play in more?
It will. In this book, you get even a discussion of the theory on spren that should relate right back to that.
Oh good! I can't wait.
Watch for stuff that Jasnah says about Spren and things like this. It does relate. But this is all kind of world-building stuff. It's not part of the main story. It's fun for scientists.
Is Wit a Herald?
Wit is NOT a herald.
Has Hoid ever visited the planet Braize?
*singing* RAFO! Such a big RAFO! The biggest RAFO!
Could a Seon or a Skaze turn into some sort of Shardblade on their home planet?
That is theoretically possible. They work under the same fundamentals but they would need to have something to pull them more into the physical realm.
Do we see the Highspren at all in Words of Radiance? And if so do they look like a comet?
That's a good question. That's a good, good question. I will say this. The comet spren is important to an order of Knights Radiant.
Oh, they can't help but be. I remember sitting out on my porch as a kid, the storms blowing the other direction so it didn't get me, and just swinging on the porch swing watching the storm. Those are the storms I know, so I would say when I'm describing them I'm thinking that. But the original inspiration was the storm of Jupiter, the constant storm, and granted as a gas giant it is very different.
So question about Shallan's mother. What secret group, if any, was she a part of?
*laughs* RAFO, but you are right she was indeed involved.
Is her [Shallan's] father affected by Odium?
You've pretty much implied yes [to bonding more than one spren].
I did not say yes.
You implied. <What about> more than one type of spren? Different types of spren?
Let's see what happens. This is not impossible.
Are you going to release more of your online lectures?
Yes. As I do them, or at least in this year, and kind of collecting them on my website this time to make it a little bit easier to find them and things like that. I actually have a substitute teaching right now who is being recorded, and those will go up this time, too. So you'll get a lecture from Howard and a lecture from Eric, who has been *inaudible* short story writer who has been published in Teen.
Are you going to release more Laws of Magic?
Maybe. The three that I have are really solid. I'll have to see if there's anything else I would want to write. It partially is while I learn. There's kind of two unofficial laws right: Law 0 which is err on the side of a process, and then there's a law about trying to make everything interconnected. But that kind of blends into the three, right? So I'm not sure if I need a new law for that one or not.
I have read White Sand and Aether of Night, and I don't know why they're not published because I loved both of them.
White Sand is not published because I don't feel that for one, Kenton has the depth of character that I like to have nowadays. He's more an old school character of mine where he just isn't, personality wise, doesn't have quite enough. Beyond that I feel that White Sand as a narrative meanders a little too much. I feel if I cut back about a thousand words and fix him, we would have a good book. Aether is not published because I feel that I wrote two different books and didn't blend them together very well. There is the kind of farcical, Shakespearean, switched places, silliness, and it's fun, but it's like a mistaken identity almost sort of stuff and romance and things like that mixed with these dark things are coming out of the shard pool and destroying the world. And those two stories never meshed together well enough for me to want to publish them.
So would you say it would take one more revision?
White Sand one more revision. I'm not sure what I could do with Aether of Night because those two just don't work together. White Sand we are trying to do as a graphic novel.
Will Joel become a Rithmatist?
Oh that's totally a RAFO. Here's your RAFO.
How old were you when you started writing?
I was fifteen when I started writing my first book. It wasn't very good. I had to practice a long time before they started getting good.
Will there be more romantic sub-plots? I really enjoyed the section with Shallan and Kabsal.
There will be more romantic subplots. There will definitely be. If you watch there will be a lot more. I am a fan of romance.
How do you start a new book?
I start with an outline. I like very detailed outlines, and I like to know where I'm going before I start. If I don't have an ending in mind I'm in trouble. So, I will often spend a lot of time imagining that I'm *inaudible*, you know, walking on the treadmill or going for a walk or something, and getting through my head just what I would imagine being the cool scenes from this book. What are the scenes that people are going to want to read, that are going to make it all come together. And then I build those into my outline. And I usually outline backward, start with those cool scenes, and then I write my book forward.
Are are they any other continents on Roshar?
Roshar is, I haven't said that there's anything else out there, but I have said it's Pangea, meaning if there's anything else out there, they are small. They are not of a similar scope and size. Now on Scadrial, there is other stuff going on. And I've told people that for years, and years, and years. So, you may find some other stuff going on there. For years, you know, the southern continent was populated on Scadrial during the Final Empire era, even. It was just impossible to reach because the heat, the poles were the only habitable places on that planet, and so anything in between, you just couldn't deal with it. The Final Empire was on the North Pole.
What was that plot point you were talking about where you had to change it?
Kaladin kept the blade and plate in the original version of The Way of Kings.
So the Cognitive realm. Is Shadesmar a Roshar specific term?
Shadesmar is Roshar specific term, but when I translate from what other people are saying in these books I just translate it to Shadesmar. So for instance when Wit is talking about it he's going to call it Shadesmar. He's just going to use the Roshar term. But no, Shadesmar is what it's called there.
So, if someone went to Shadesmar on Scadrial would the whole ground-water inversion, is that a Cosmere wide thing?
That you will have to read and find out about. I will say that there are places in Shadesmar that are different and there are places that are the same as what you see on Roshar.
Do you read non-fiction at all? I'm history grad student. I'm reading some of your stuff. I was kind of wonder if you ever did get inspiration from history or things like that?
Yes I do like them. I really like pop history books. *inaudible* suggestion. Just like you know, history of war, history of. . . Honestly, I end up at the Barnes and Noble browsing their discount things for pop history and pop science books, and you find really interesting ones there a lot of the time.
How many drafts do you usually go through for a book?
It really depends on the book. The highest number I believe was one of the Wheel of Time Books, which would have been 14, and I would say more commonly 5 or 6 is what's normal.
As an English teacher, what inspired you to be a fantasy writer?
I was inspired by the book Dragonsbane which was given to me by an eighth-grade English teacher at Lincoln East High School, who was convinced I was reading below my level and felt I needed to be stepping up my game a little bit. And she took me to the back of the room and had me browse on her little shelf of books that she'd read, that she'd recommend to me. And that book worked for me. It probably shouldn't have - it's about a middle-aged woman having a midlife crisis - but I loved it.
Do you ever find you own stories, your own characters, coming back and influencing you?
Yeah. More, it's like I have these things I'm really interested in. And so I find myself rounding those things again and again. And I've actually started a list of 'You've covered this thing, Brandon. You can't do this one anymore'. Just because I work in the cosmere where everything is connected, so the underlying physics of the books are sometimes very similar. And so I just have to be very careful not to repeat myself too much.
The Mistborn video game. Still working on that?
Yes. We are still working on that. They are moving very slow. And I am disappointed by how slow they are moving, and I had dinner with the producer a week ago. He says it's still coming, but I don't know when. He says Christmas time 2015. I'm skeptical.
We know that 10 is an odd number in the cosmere. And I noticed that the Lord Ruler specifically released 10 Allomantic metals. Was there a reason behind that or is that just a coincidence?
No, that was a coincidence right there. Ten is an odd cosmere number for Roshar, and there are reasons why this is. . .
Well it wasn't just Roshar, it was also Nalthis in Warbreaker.
Nope, that one is a coincidence. Sometimes they just pop up that way. Part of the original reason that Roshar was 10 was I was going for a 10 day like Robert Jordan did, which I thought was cool. But then I ended up writing the Wheel of Time so I'm like 'I have to do something different now'. So it turned into the two five-day weeks. Two five-days becoming a 50 day month.
Do you get any of yours [inspiration from mythology]? Like I know you mentioned sciences and physics.
Yeah a lot of science and physics is where it's coming from. A lot of, I mean, having lived in Korea for two years, and speaking Korean, a lot of my linguistics come from Korean, and the idea of Spren comes from Asian mythology: the idea that everything has a soul. So that's an inspiration.
I want to look into ancient Asian culture, and it sound like something to do.
There's that. I would bet that the three kingdoms stuff has some influence on me, and Sun Tzu's Art of War has been an influence on me, and things like that.
Do you get to work with illustrators?
I do. In fact, the interior artists I hire myself, just to make sure that they look the way I want them to. The cover illustrator, normally author's don't have much control over that. I'm kind of a special case, and so I've been able to pick my cover illustrator for the last few books, and so I have a lot of influence over these sorts of things. It's not standard. I think the artistic design of these books is very important.
If I were to start reading your books, which you would recommend I start with?
Normally, I recommend that people either start with a book called Mistborn or a book called Warbreaker. Warbreaker is a standalone. It has a little more romance to it and it's a little lighter. Mistborn is a little more action oriented and a little more plot focused. So it just depends what you're interested in.
So Wit, is he in any other books besides The Way of Kings?
Yes. He has a nice big feature in Warbreaker. He appears in all the others just in little pieces here and there. In Warbreaker there is a storyteller that she meets with the dust and things like that and his name his Hoid.
What was the other one you said?
He's in all of them, but in Elantris he's a guy with a hidden face that Sarene hires to carry supplies into Elantris. In Mistborn he's a guy that Kelsier meets with that pretends to be blind, but then Kelsier notices he is not really blind. He's an informant that Kelsier gets information from.
We all appreciate that you write real heroes who always try to do what's right, instead of the anti-hero.
There is a lot of anti-hero out there right now. And I will let that to other writers. I am more interested in people who are basically good people who are sometimes put in very difficult situations. That is more fascinating to me than someone who has no morals or has very little of them.
In Words of Radiance and The Way of Kings, was there something important about the stone and the herald <in> the *inaudible* <scene> that has to do kind of with the stone, and maybe Tien giving him rocks? Am I reading too much into that?
Some of that is reading too much into it and some of it is real. I'm not going to tell you what is what. But the st-. . . there is definitely something about that.
When Hoid is talking to Dalinar he seems to expect that Dalinar may have heard of Adonalsium.
Why is that? Why would he think that Dalinar would have knowledge about that?
He thought that Dalinar was part of some of the secret societies on Roshar, and he had thought his way into thinking Dalinar was part of them and that was how Dalinar was knowing certain things he was knowing. Which he really wasn't, he was getting from the storms and things like this, but he thought that Gavilar had confided things in Dalinar and that Dalinar would know more about this. And so he was kind of testing to see, and he was wrong.
I was thinking about the Shardplate in Dalinar's first vision and how it looks different than any other plate now. Would that be like how Syl could only transform after he said that second round... or was it third round of oaths, so is the Shardplate just like the next set, or would that be a totally different set of...?
I'm totally going to RAFO you. Look you've got a RAFO. You are asking good questions.
*inaudible* mention another Shardblade <is gone>. *inaudible* Does Nin still have that?
I would suspect that. . . yes. That's a very good question.
If someone was using an Honorblade, would they be able to bond a spren?
It is indeed possible.
Possible. It doesn't block it in any way.
It does not block it. Good question. You do not have to bond Honorblades. Honorblades work with whoever holds them.
Is the term 'babsk' reserved exclusively for merchants?
No, not exclusively. I think I even used it one place in Words of Radiance for a non-merchant master.
Syl's inspiration came from a lot of different places. I'm not sure if I can point to one thing. The spren are inspired by Japanese mythology, that everything has a soul. That is the original inspiration for it. But Syl as a character, I'd been toying with forever, and I think she came about as a counterpoint to Kaladin's darkness; a figure of light that I knew that the story would need.
Why does Hoid show up in all your books?
Because all the books are connected, and he's searching for something.
Okay, so he can go on another world?
That is possible.
How many books are there going to be and how long is it going to take? I only have so long to wait.
It's two five book series: a five book arc which will come to an end, and then there will be a break, and then another five book arc.
In what time span?
I'm going to try to do them fast. It won't be as long between the first and second. Probably every eighteen months.
Soulcasters that use the fabrial. Do they visit Shadesmar? Or do we see more about them? Because they are hidden and there is something about them that they get the stone face.
Yes. The actual Soulcasters. The use of of the Soulcasters is affecting them on one of the realms other than physical.
Can you tell me anything about Tension or Cohesion?
I haven't truly written these magics in yet, so they might change as I actually write the scenes. But they are... Tension is the ability to take something flexible and make it rigid. Which you think sounds simple, but there are so many cool things you could do with that.
Is Shallan's mother, the one that she kills, is that her birth mother?
It is. Good question. Good question. You had a theory there that I may have just killed.
How does Kelsier meet Gemmel?
How does Kelsier meet Gemmel. Gemmel was directed to find Kelsier.
What heightening is Hoid?
I don't know what you are talking about. Heightening? He's just the king's Wit.
With perfect pitch.
With perfect pitch. Yeah he does have perfect pitch.
Now that he has it. I noticed it now.
You're just obviously misconstruing that.
What do you make of, like you were talking about earlier, you're hoping to be nicer, whereas someone like George R. R. Martin or, what's his name?
Yeah. They tend to be very graphic.
I'm glad there is diversity in the genre. And I am glad that there is a lot for different people to find and enjoy. I personally feel that I want my books. . . I find that writing as I said to someone else *inaudible* and for John? I find writing about good people put in bad situations is important for me. And I want to read books about people that have admirable qualities that I want to--People that I want to hang out with.
I've been wondering if the heralds are Surgebinders without Honorblades?
That's a RAFO. That's a big fat RAFO.
So, Sigzil is Hoid's apprentice.
Sigzil claims that Hoid is his master.
Cool, very cool.
Well, you didn't ask me any questions. You just made a statement.
Is there anything you can tell us about that?
Is Sigzil a worldhopper?
Sigzil is not a worldhopper. Sigzil spent some time with Hoid during one of Hoid's visits.
The Annotations is actually what got me started. And I was wondering do we have any Stormlight ones in the pipeline?
Yes I have finished Part I of The Way of Kings. That's not a ton, but I eventually intend to do the entire book. The problem I've run into is that I reference Way of Kings Prime a whole ton while writing them, because it's what is in my head.
And it's a lot a mixed content.
Yeah, and so it might be better when I can release Way of Kings Prime to accompany them, but I will be doing that.
So a couple days ago you mentioned this person called Khriss. Has he actually appeared or been referenced in any. . .
She has appeared, and . . .
She. I guessed as much because one of the pictures said 'Dear Woman' toward the end of the book. So she has appeared or been referenced.
Well, she has appeared in. . . if you ask around about Khriss, she has appeared in unpublished books.
Is Khriss the author of some of those Ars [Arcana] perhaps?
Oh I don't know. That's very interesting.
Does Khriss owe Nazh a new coat?
Is Khriss owe Nazh a new coat? That little picture in there where it says 'you owe me a new coat'. I'm wondering if that's Khriss who owes the coat. Not going to tell me on that one either?
I'm gonna stay closed mouthed on Khriss.
When you spike somebody, say a full Mistborn, with a steel spike, it could end up with four different charges. Does it get all four of them it just depends on where you place it?
Where you place it it can get all four. Spiking a full Mistborn wastes a lot of power and the way that it's known, I mean, it doesn't have to, but the way that it's known to do it right now.
Would the spike that has all four charges, could you actually reuse it and give a different person a different power, or even the same person a different power?
No. When you first spike. . .
It loses all the other ones?
No. Where you place the spike.
So, since I was doing other things. Hemalurgy-when you spike, you place the spike in a place that determines which charge the spike gets.
Through the heart seems to pick up universally.
It depends on where in the heart. It's like acupuncture. This was designed from acupuncture and you get very specific on which nerve you're hitting and things like that
So the spike will never pick up more than one power.
Well, the way they know how to do it.
Can you hold more than one Honorblade at a time?
That is theoretically possible.
The name 'Zahel' and 'nahel bonds' are both very similar so is it just coincidental or is it part of . . . ?
It is part of the linguistics. They are based off of similar suffixes. They're actually the same suffix I believe.
Is there a specific number of the ideals that they have to do before they can get the shardblade?
It depends on the order.
How did Pattern actually become a shardblade even though he hadn't been fully pulled into the physical realm?
He had been pulled into the physical realm before when Shallan was younger, and she almost broke her bond. And in so doing . . .
But he didn't go mad.
She didn't completely break the bond. She didn't reject him completely. But it was dangerous there for a while.
Is there anything Hoid was scared of? And if so, is it still around, and regardless, was it a person...
There are many things that Hoid is scared of. He is really scared of Odium, but there are others.
You wrote a short story called [Defending] Elysium? The Phone Company? Are you ever gonna revisit that?
It's possible, but I have no specific plans in the near future.
In Alloy of Law, were you influenced by steampunk stuff?
Yes, I did. I love steampunk. I would say Rithmatist is a little bit more directly influenced. Alloy of Law is more influenced by... When I pitched Mistborn to my editor, I pitched it as a continuum. The idea being that I would take a fantasy world and grow it all the way up straight from epic fantasy, classic times, up straight through science fiction, where the magic is running through all of it. And I'd never seen that done before. So, I pitched it as nine books, it's probably gonna be more than that. But that was definitely an influence on me. A bigger influence are the Edgar Allen Poe detective stories, which are some of my favorites. I would say those were a big influence on me in developing this. So, yes.
And [The Silence Divine] is a short story that I started working on right after I finished Words of Radiance. And I was going to finish this, but then Firefight really needed to be done, so I've only written about ten pages of this story. But it's partially inspired by my trip to Costa Rica. I usually write short stories based on places I've traveled.