The process of me coming to write more in the Cosmere is very organic. I've been in writing groups with Brandon since probably 2005, off and on. I was there reading Mistborn from very early on to be able to make the maps, but also giving feedback on the manuscripts and giving Brandon ideas on how to expand the world visually. So I've been kind of part of the creation process. I don't want to take more credit than credit is due, but designing Luthadel (the map), designing symbols for that world, and working really closely with Brandon on that.
When I started working at Dragonsteel, we hit a point with Shadows of Self and Bands of Mourning where there wasn't enough time to finish the broadsheets for that. And I saw, with all of the projects, that was a very busy year for us with Shadows of Self coming out three months before Bands of Mourning. I saw that I needed to step up and do the broadsheet, possibly. So I started putting it together, talked to Brandon, he's like, "Yeah, why don't you try. Give it a shot." I sat down and I wrote an Allomancer Jak short, Gentleman Jak in the City of Fountains. And I thought it turned out really fun; I think I was able to capture the voice of Allomancer Jak. It was a little bit wacky, which I always infuse my stories with a little bit of wackiness. And it was a lot of fun, and so Brandon was like, "Yeah, this turned out great. Let's do the next broadsheet." So I started really kind of writing in the Mistborn world with the broadsheets, so it's just kind of grown organically over time.
I've had a bunch of stories in my head that I'd wanted to tell for a really long time, and I realize that a lot of the underpinnings of magic and things that are in my stories are similar, or maybe have been influenced by Brandon. Because at this point in my life, my fantasy writing is just influenced by what Brandon has already done because I'm just exposed to it all the time. So we started talking about the idea of porting some of the ideas that I had into Cosmere worlds. And one of these was Boatload of Mummies, which was actually inspired by a Lego set. I had this big giant ship that my brother and sister-in-law had given me one year for Christmas, and that sort of spurred me on to starting to get more Lego sets again, because I loved them when I was a child. But somehow, we also had all of these Egyptian Lego sets, and I had tons of mummies. And I'm like, "What am I gonna do with these mummies?" So I put them all on the boat, fighting the British Empire on this boat. And I'm like, "Huh, this is really interesting. I kinda want to see what that story is. It's kind of like Snakes on a Plane, but it's Mummies on a Boat." So that inspired that, and I started writing that set in our world. And I didn't get very far before I had to do other things; I usually am always working on a fiction project, and that's probably about the time that I was working on Jacob's Journal of Doom, and some of these other things. So I put it on the back burner. But Brandon and I decided that that story was a lot of fun, and how could that work in the Cosmere? And so we started brainstorming some ideas. We already had this character, Nicelle Sauvage (which Allomancer Jack calls Nicki Savage.) I already had this character that I had sort of started developing in the Mistborn world, and we'd seen her through the broadsheets. And so we thought, "What if she was the main character of Boatload of Mummies?" And then, where would this book be set time-wise, and what are the events, the Cosmere underpinnings that are going on there?
Atfer I finished that [the White Sand omnibus], I'm like, "Okay, Boatload of Mummies. Let's do that, now." So that's where we're at right now. How do we make a mummy in the cosmere? That's a question, right? What are they doing, why are they there? All these questions come together, and we're forming a story around that. I'm about 90,000 words into it. I massively overwrite, so it'll probably be a fairly long book that we'll then trim down to around 100,000 words. And then we'll see; we'll run it through betas, we'll run it through groups here at work. We'll see if it's something that's good enough to publish. I'm interested in seeing if I can whip it into shape.