How did you meet Brandon?
Kind of in a roundabout way. We were both at a magazine at BYU called The Leading Edge. I didn't go as often. He was the editor; I met him once or twice. He didn't remember me, but I met a lot of other people that worked at the magazine who, now, some of them are my coworkers here at Dragonsteel. But I stopped going to the magazine at some point, finished my schooling, went on to start working, and decided that I needed to go back to school for optometry. I just didn't know if there was going to be a future in art for me, so I went back to school for optometry. I already had a lot of the prerequisites because I had tried a stint at dentistry for a few years before going into animation.
So I went back to school, decided to take the science fiction writing class again at BYU. By this time, Brandon was teaching it. He and I were closer in age than the other students there. This was, like, his second year teaching it. And we just clicked. We became friends. One night at dinner (because we would go out after the class and eat on those nights), I was drawing on the tablecloth at a Macaroni Grill (where they give you the crayons and things), and he said, "Oh, I didn't know you were an artist." 'Cause I was going to school for optometry at the time, I wasn't really advertising that I was an artist. So, doodling on the tablecloth, he said, "Hey, wanna do maps for my next book?" By this time, Elantris wasn't out yet, but it was about to come out. So I said, "Sure, I'll do your maps." He didn't know that I'd been doing fantasy maps on the side just for fun for quite a while, so it was kind of serendipitous.