Firefight Miami signing

Event details
Name
Name Firefight Miami signing
Date
Date Jan. 8, 2015
Location
Location Coral Gables, FL
Tour
Tour Firefight
Bookstore
Bookstore Books & Books
Entries
Entries 25
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#1 Copy

Questioner

What was the first magic system that blew you away as a reader?

Brandon Sanderson

As a reader, the first magic system that blew me away would be Melanie Rawn's Sunrunner magic system, which I-- still to this day is one of my favorites. I think the pieces of it came together very well, and it has metaphors for art, and it was well worked in society. Anyway, it was really cool.

#2 Copy

Questioner

Did you, in Wheel of Time, at any point, want to just change something?

Brandon Sanderson

You know, when I got The Wheel of Time, when I was offered it... one of the things they were looking for-- that Harriet (Harriet was Robert Jordan's widow. She was his editor first, then she married him. And we always joked that's how she made sure her editorial advice got taken. So, she discovered him, basically fell in love with him, and they got married. It's actually a really cool story. She was Tor's editorial director. She was the person who edited-- found and edited Ender's Game. Glen Cook's Black Company. She is amazing as an editor. And she discovered Robert Jordan, as well.) So, she was the one looking. When she called me, she found me when read Mistborn. I didn't know I was being considered, it's not like I sent in an application or something. She came to me, and she said, basically, after she decided she wanted me for sure, she said, "I need somebody to be the writer on this. That means complete creative control." Now, she was going to edit it, and her word was gonna be final. Which is not normally the case with an editor. But in this case, what Harriet said, she told me, "Whatever you feel needs to be done, do it, and sell me on it. And if I'm sold on it in the writing, then we keep it. And if I'm not, then we'll talk about how to revise it and fix it."

Because the notes and the outline were very free-form. Robert Jordan was not an outliner. He just had chunks and little bits of scenes here and there, and interviews with his assistants where he said "I'm thinking of doing this, or this thing that's completely the opposite, and I might just do a third thing that I can't decide on yet." Like, there was a ton of that. Going in, one of my mandates to myself was, when we did have something from Robert Jordan, we wanted to be sure to keep it. When we had something firm from him. And in that case, we kept basically all of it, except where it contradicted itself. Because his notes sometimes, he would change, he would be working on Book, like, Nine. And he writes a note for what he wants the ending to be. And then by Book Eleven, he's like, "I want this to be the ending." And those two, we don't know which one he would have settled on, so sometimes I'm just like, "I'm gonna strike this out and do a different thing." Like, he wanted to use the Choedan Kal in the ending. Both of them. But one, he destroyed. So, that note was from a previous... he'd written that before he decided to destroy it. Stuff like that.

In the end, there was only one thing I wanted to change that I didn't, and that was the spanking scene. With Cadsuane and Semirhage. Which, you know, I'm not big on the whole spanking thing, but he said write it, and I'm like, "All right, Robert Jordan, I'll write it."

Questioner

What was your favorite bit that you added?

Brandon Sanderson

Probably Aviendha going through the glass pillars, or Perrin forging his hammer. Those were both things that I felt the story needed. Perrin, there was very little on. He didn't leave any notes for Perrin, basically, at all. And so, Perrin, throughout the whole thing, I basically had to do. But Perrin was my favorite character, so I was very excited about that. He left a ton on Egwene. She was the one he'd almost finished her whole plot through the whole thing, and he was about halfway on Rand and Mat.

#3 Copy

Questioner

How much do you see your family every day?

Brandon Sanderson

So, my family is at a hotel right now. All of them, including the two-year-old. So, I had a very fun airplane flight. Normally, when I'm tour, I'm in first class. I'm not ashamed to admit that because I can write in first class. In coach, I just can't get that done. So I'm up there in first class, typing away. This time, I was in coach with a two year old on my lap, watching Elmo.

You know, it's not as bad as it looks, because every day that I'm not on tour, I'm home all day. And my schedule still being what it is, I still generally write at night. So I get up at noon. And I go the gym, I check my email, and I only really get, like, three hours or so of good writing in before 5:00 rolls around, and I go out and I play with my kids, and I spend time with my wife. And at about 8:00 or 10:00, depending on the night, I go back in to work, and I work from 10:00 to 4:00. And that's when the real work happens. My wife, being a more morning person (she was a schoolteacher; I did marry an eight-grade English teacher, as well), she, more of a morning person, goes to bed at, like, 10:00 or 11:00. So she can go to bed, and I can go to work. And it's pretty awesome, honestly. Once she got used to the idea that I'm gonna go to bed at 4:00 AM (I tried to go to bed at her time, and I just laid there at bed; I'm a night person.) But it can be pretty awesome. For instance, when the kids were babies, we didn't have the whole sleep-deprived thing. Because I would stay up with the kid, I would just stay up a few extra hours, and I'd do the 2:00 feeding and the 6:00 feeding with a pumped bottle or whatever, and then she would get up and take over. And we both got full nights of sleep. So, it was pretty awesome.

I do see my family quite a bit, although I do feel I've been touring a bit too much lately. It's the idea of having two publishers, because Random House does my teen books, The Reckoners, and Tor does the rest of my books. So when I go on tour for one, the other one, like, shows up on my doorstep, like a sad puppy, like, "We want a tour, too." And then the Brits show up, and they're all, like, charming and stuff. And they're like, "Chip chip, wanna go on a tour?" A free trip to London? Okay. It's kind of hard--  I shouldn't make fun of the Brits, but the fun thing is, when you're touring there, all of the Sarahs, every Sarah that I had to sign a book, I'd say "What's your name," they'd say "Sarah with an haitch." Every time. I got used to saying "with an haitch."

I tour too much, but I like going to these places. It's the awesome part of my job, that we get a phone call, like, "Do you want a free trip to Taiwan, because we'd love to have you sign here." I'm like, "Taiwan is cool. Dumplings..."

#4 Copy

Questioner

A little while ago, you had a little competition thing with James Dashner... I was wondering, is there some secret writer club where you guys all send each other emails saying, "Oh, in my book, my newest character does this cool thing."

Brandon Sanderson

The truth is, there are kind of some things like that. We have some listservs. But more, it's not on email, it's having dinners, things like that. Particularly people who broke in when I did, like [Patrick] Rothfuss, [Joe] Abercrombie, and some of these guys, we end up at cons kinda the same time, running the same rounds, and end up chatting with each other, and just-- We've become friends that way, and also slightly rivals. You see us doing things like this.

My Abercrombie story. Did you guys see on my Twitter feed? ...I was in Amsterdam, I was running to catch a plane in Amsterdam. I started in London, I had a signing in Calgary. I don't know how that happened, but I needed to do a signing in Calgary. So, I'm through passing Amsterdam. This sounds a lot more glorious than it is. I'm passing through, and I found my book at an English language bookstore in the airport in Amsterdam. So, I did my normal thing, I hurriedly signed it, I stuffed some goodies in it, I took a picture, and tweeted my fans, "Anyone passing through Amsterdam airport, look what you can find!" And then I get a text from Joe Abercrombie where he's like, "Dude, my book was next to yours." I'm like, "Oh, great, nice. Great." And he's like, "No, no. Go sign that." *laughter* Pardon my French but, he might have said, "Go sign that bitch." (That's not me. I don't use language like that.) I'm like, "I'm gonna be late to my flight." He's like, "I don't care, go sign that book!" So I had to run back-- He'd done this over Twitter, so everyone knew he was doing it. So, I had to run back to the bookstore, sign Joe Abercrombie's book. You know, people ask me a lot, when I do these stealth signings, do I ever get caught? No, they never-- If someone starts signing a book, if they see me, what they say is, "Oh, are you the author?" They're used to authors coming through. I've had to show ID once, and it was my picture in the back of the book. But I was sure that this time, they were gonna be like "Oh, Mr. Abercrombie!" And then see the picture in the back of the book and be like, "What are you doing?!?" But that didn't happen, and I made my flight, though I had to-- I was so late, I had to check my bags, there wasn't enough space. That's Joe Abercrombie for you.

So, yeah, we just kind of end up in the same circles, and things.

#5 Copy

Questioner

In Words of Radiance, there's a fragment that says that the Bondsmiths have a power that none of the other Orders have.

Brandon Sanderson

That will be answered in a future book... *discussion on RAFOs* Basically, each of the Orders actually had their own quirks and individual things. Some of them were more dramatic than others. But if you watch through, you'll be seeing that they kind of have some different effects that aren't related necessarily to the Surges.

Questioner

So, then follow-up question, the reason that the Bondsmiths don't get Shards is because they have that extra power?

Brandon Sanderson

The reason is because the Stormfather is particularly-- how he is. And he's more cantankerous than he was, even in the past...

Each of the Orders, I wanted to have a lot of individuality. I didn't want them to all just be different copy-clones. You'll also find that they also have very different philosophies on even things like honor and what is good and things like that.

#6 Copy

Questioner

Assassin in White. He's still working for the bad guys, right? Because he doesn't have a spren attached to his sword? *pause* You don't know?

Brandon Sanderson

I know. "Bad guys" is an interesting definition in the cosmere. Right now... he is directly under the influence of the Skybreakers. Who were an Order of Knights Radiant.

#7 Copy

fletchershair (paraphrased)

So, they're all in... Urithiru, and that's safe from the Everstorm, right? Because they're trying to get everyone there, right?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It is definitely safer than the Shattered Plains.

fletchershair (paraphrased)

So what makes it safer? Is it just the location?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

They are on the east side of a mountain. It's coming from the other direction. They also think they might be high enough to be over the storm, judging based on the fact that Kaladin was able to hop over it, so he knows generally how high up they go.

#8 Copy

fletchershair

Now that Nightblood is on Roshar, can it use Stormlight the same way is would use Breaths?

Brandon Sanderson

I'll just tell you "yes." I was gonna RAFO that, but I think everyone's figured that out by now.

fletchershair

A friend wants to know exactly how you can go between types of Investiture. You've said that you can before.

Brandon Sanderson

It just depends on the Investiture. Some are much easier to use than others. Like, running Aons with other Investiture, very hard. Just the nature of the magic makes it very hard. But, Nightblood? He'll feed on whatever he can get. So, it's really easy to fuel Nightblood.

KChan

Does Feruchemy have anything to do with that? Converting into Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

Not gonna say.

#11 Copy

fletchershair

How long has Odium been on Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

I would have to grab the timeline and pull it out. That's one of the ones I'd just have to eyeball. It has been a while. A long time.

fletchershair

And has he been on Scadrial or Nalthis? Because we know he's been on Sel.

Brandon Sanderson

He is aware of both of them. But I'm not gonna say if he was on them or not.

#12 Copy

fletchershair

Is there any chance of queer characters some point in future books?

Brandon Sanderson

There already are a number of them. Drehy the bridgeman is based off of my friend Ryan Dreher who's gay. And Ranette, the woman that Wayne chases-- I thought I made it clearer than apparently I did, but she's queer. The woman that Wayne thinks he's in love with. Those are two of them, and there will be others.

#14 Copy

Questioner

How far does Sazed's power actually extend?

Brandon Sanderson

It is mostly limited to his immediate sphere of influence, so the planet.

Questioner

...But doesn't he move stars at the end?

Brandon Sanderson

No, he moved the planet. His solar system, he can definitely have influence on the whole solar system. But none of the other planets around Scadrial are inhabited.

#16 Copy

Questioner

Shards. Is it possible for them to think outside-- without having a person they're working through?

Brandon Sanderson

The power left alone around people will eventually gain a kind of sentience.

Questioner

Kind of like the Stormfather?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. So it is possible. It doesn't always happen, and sometimes it takes a while. For example, the Dor? Basic, rudimentary, feeling only. It's not-- you know.

#17 Copy

Questioner

I can't really remember very well, but I think only Kaladin really says Radiant Oaths in the books, at least. So, for Shallan to have as many powers as she does, has she already said one of the ideals, and we just don't know?

Brandon Sanderson

...You have her glyph whisper one. And you have seen Dalinar say one. So, most of them say them. Shallan's Order, they admit truths. Their Oaths are a very different sort of thing.

Questioner

'Cause I know, I did read that, but I was wondering-- it said somewhere else that all the Knights Radiant have to say the First Ideal.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, they do have to do that.

Questioner

So, she has said that.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, yeah, she has said that. That is somewhere in her past.

Questioner

Which, presumably, we'll find out about some other point in time?

Brandon Sanderson

Possibly. I think that can be inferred.

#18 Copy

Questioner

The Mistborn RPG. How involved are you still in that? Are they still making-- I got the two supplements they made.

Brandon Sanderson

The first one, I was very involved in. The second two, I let my assistants take over. Because I just have too much to do. So, I'm only involved as much as I like-- the original core, and then I've given the okay to go forward. But I made them put, particularly for the second two, the disclaimer at the front that says "This isn't canon, guys. It's canon for your version of the universe, that you're roleplaying." And I think that's just fine, because your roleplaying stories are only canon for your group anyways. I mean, I will have to have the freedom to come up with things I need to come up with, and I told them that. I said, like, Alloy, I was not planning to do this era, so I don't have the detailed notes I can give you on the other ones about all the houses and things.

Questioner

Are they looking to do Elantris and Stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson

No, right now they just want to do Mistborn. I think Stormlight would be the next they would do, but I think they want to cover Mistborn.

Questioner

There's stuff in their forums where people I've seen are throwing stuff out, like "Here's what I would do for Shardplate." I didn't know if there was anything official that they were--

Brandon Sanderson

Nothing official. No, we are doing a Shattered Plains board game. War game board game things. Someone came to us with a really cool proposal. It's a little ways off, 'cause we just signed on it in September. They had a great proposal, it's gonna be so much fun. One of these German style, with all the pieces and things.

#19 Copy

Questioner

When is the official timeline gonna get released for the whole cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

So, I only gave it to Peter, who is my continuity editor, like, in September. And that's the first time he'd seen it. I think it's gonna take a little while, he says he wants to go through in minutia and make it work. Plus there's major spoilers for things that Odium has done, and stuff like that.

#20 Copy

Questioner

So, did Sazed change that no more Mistborn are born? Because I noticed that--I know he made Spook one-- in Alloy they talk about Mistborn...

Brandon Sanderson

The idea is-- I won't say absolutely no to Sazed's manipulation. But, there weren't any Mistborn other than him that survived. The Allomantic lines were very diluted. So, his direct descendants-- you might be able to even find one potentially now. Someone might be born, or one might have been born that didn't tell people about it. But in the general public and population, it's just, there's not as much Allomancy around... He did also change Snapping, which had an effect on it.

#22 Copy

Questioner

How would you have changed Steelheart from Young Adult to Adult.

Brandon Sanderson

More viewpoints. I probably would have shown other peoples-- like, a Prof thread would have been a big part of it. The big difference for me, for the Adult and the Young Adult is the characters you're focusing on, and the number of viewpoints. That's the basic thing I change.

Questioner

Not so much about violence, or anything along those lines?

Brandon Sanderson

No, not really. For a middle grade, I will probably hold back a bit. That's why Rithmatist, which I consider middle grade, is a little less. But Steelheart-- Generally, in the business, we consider YA to be the genre that is not edited for content, and middle grade to be the one that is. And that's just-- Based on what's going on with teens, and things like that.

#24 Copy

KChan

Just a random piece of worldbuilding, could be big or small, from the Final Empire, that we did not get to see in the books.

Brandon Sanderson

There's a whole bunch of stuff. Let's see what's good. Have I told people this one yet? There used to be very little water on [Scadrial]. In fact, it was mostly a dry planet; if you saw it from space, it looked like Mars, with little patches...

KChan

Did Preservation change that?

Brandon Sanderson

No, that was just the heat, and the things that were going on with moving the planet boiled off a lot of water.

KChan

I mean, putting the water back?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, with Sazed? Yes, Sazed did. So, like, with the bodies of water you see in the map, are actually not really oceans... I mean-- like, that is the extent of it. Like, it's not actually-- I know people think that's a sea, but it's not. Well, it's an inland sea.

Questioner

It's just not that it's very habitable beyond that point?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Event details
Name
Name Firefight Miami signing
Date
Date Jan. 8, 2015
Location
Location Coral Gables, FL
Tour
Tour Firefight
Bookstore
Bookstore Books & Books
Entries
Entries 25
Upload sources