Shadows of Self Portland signing

Event details
Name
Name Shadows of Self Portland signing
Date
Date Oct. 10, 2015
Location
Location Beaverton, OR
Tour
Tour Shadows of Self
Bookstore
Bookstore Powell's Books
Entries
Entries 54
Upload sources
#1 Copy

Questioner

I love the reader for the Mistborn series and the Way of Kings, an I was wondering if you pick the reader and how you collaborate for the reader tell him how to pronounce the names.

Brandon Sanderson

His name is Micheal Kramer, and in the Way of Kings his wife, Kate Reading, reads the female viewpoints. i did ask for them on purpose because they also did the Wheel of Time books and i was very fond of their treatment of the Wheel of Time novels, and so when they said "who do you want" I said "can I have Micheal and Kate" and things like that. The question of how I work with them? Most of the time I send them a pronunciation guide. It doesn't always get there in time for their schedule, which is why sometime the names are a little off, but i do send them a pronunciation guide and i do know Micheal now, we've done some signings together. He actually does a reading when we do a signing together, its really cool. Them i did [?]. Most of the audiobook readers I've never met, and I'll usually pick Micheal and Kate for my main-line. For Mistborn and Way of Kings i did that intentionally. i sometimes pick different people for different ones just to have some variety and things like that.

#2 Copy

Questioner

What got you reading and then later on writing? And also how do you get a child to love to read?

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, so what got me reading and what *inaudible* me fall in love with reading and-- initially-- and I'll do the second question in a minute.

So originally I became a reader because of an eighth grade English teacher who handed me the book Dragonsbane. <Any> eighth grade English teachers here? Middle grade English teachers? You guys are awesome. They-- she's actually an *inaudible* professor. I'm still in touch with her. She made a reader out of me by refusing to let me not, you know? I was of age to be reading these books, but I was reading stuff I'd loved in second grade. And she just lovingly got me reading other things.

How do you do that? Well for me it worked giving me the right book. I'm working on this with my seven year old right now. Who i want to be reading Harry Potter with, but he wants to be reading Fly Guy, which is about a boy with a pet fly. *crowd laughs* And so we read what he wants. And I figure if I can get excited about what he loves, and read it with them, that that will work rather than trying to get him to love what I love.

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it's hard. I dunno. Ask-- don't ask me. Ask literature people, because I had to have it done to me. So I'm not even sure what happened. But it was like, I read that Dragonsbane, and I came back to my teacher, I'm like, "I can't believe people write books like that." And she's like, "There's a whole genre." *crowd laughs*

#3 Copy

Questioner

In a lot of your books there are, like, things that make them seem like they might be connected...

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, "in a lot of my books there are things that make them seem like they might be connected." *crowd laughs* What's that?

Questioner

Is there going to be a crossover?

Brandon Sanderson

"Is there gonna be a crossover?" So for those who don't know, my books-- my epic fantasies are all connected. There's a hidden epic happening behind the scenes. There will be someday that I will do crossovers, but I am not doing it right now. The focus right now-- I don't want people to like read the books and be like, "I am so lost." I don't you to feel like you have to read my whole body of work to appreciate what's going on in one of them. So while there will be cameos, and sometimes they will be moderately relevant to the plot, it's only gonna remain mostly cameos for the moment, until I do a series which is upfront going to be, "Here's the big crossover. You have to know all eight magic systems or you're gonna go crazy."

#4 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I draw from a lot of distinct and different things, mythologies and things like that and the question is "how do I do that, where do I find material on those." I like primary sources, so I like to find people from the culture that they come from, who believe in that specific religion, or have studied it and I like to interview them or hang out on their forums and read how they are talking and things like that. That has been a lot more recent for me, although I will often, (this is where i'll use audiobooks) I will often go grab books on the subjects and listen to audiobooks of them while I'm signing big stacks of papers or something like that.

#6 Copy

Questioner

What is your favorite Dresden Files book?

Brandon Sanderson

I am going to say that I prefer Codex Alera. I read those and [?]. The second one? yeah, I don't know. They are all very good. I'm reading The Aeronaut's Windlass right now and I'm liking that a lot, but i really like Codex Alera.

Footnote: part of the audio is obscured
#8 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Good question. So Mistborn, [he?] is complimenting the way it all kinda comes together at the end. So the question is, did I have it all planned out, and for Mistborn I did. I had a big advantage, and this is what i'll usually do for a series: I'll come up with a plan that really details the first book and has just a little bit about the next book. So I'll write the first book, then create a really intricate outline for the next two, then use that to revise the first book to match the next two, so the first one I get to explore a little bit further and go a little farther afield from where the outline was without impacting things too much. Then i can lock it in and write the other two. There are plenty of things I didn't have locked down when I wrote the first one, but then i did the two outline, revised the first one, and then wrote the second two books.

#9 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

I thought that three years ago you wanted to write a book with Tad Williams and have George R.R. Martin finish it. Is that still just a pipe dream?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

That's still a pipe dream

So the question is; I had this goofy idea one time, and I thought "what if I get this other famous fantasy writer and together the two of us wrote"... and we would write a book together, but it wouldn't be a Brandon Sanderson and, it would be a Brandon Sanderson versus where we each create a set of characters who have contrasting role, were against each other, and who would try to achieve this, um, they would both be on opposite sides and they would seduce each other's characters or murder each other's characters and thing like this and we would write it almost to the climax, and then we would go to George Martin and we would say "you have to adjudicate how we would write the ending" and so the cover would be like 'Brandon Sanderson vs. Pat Rothfuss with guest judge George R.R. Martin".

It is really just a pipe dream, especially when its a matter of 'when are we gonna do that', and it's really just a pipe dream. Maybe i'll make it happen, the trick is I'd have to find... like I cant do Pat because his fans would kill me for slowing him down. So it would have to be someone like Brent or Anya. Somebody who is a little faster, but I could totally see a 'Brandon Sanderson vs. Brent Weeks' right, you guys don't have to root for him cause he lives here. Yeah, something like that. We'll see if I can make it happen.

#10 Copy

Questioner

Have you been approached by anybody about making a movie?

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, "making a movie," okay, okay. *sighs* *crowd laughs* So, Holywood. Holywood! Holywood is this-- they do this thing where they option books, right? And this-- most of the deals you see, they get signed, are what we call an option. They come in, they say, "We think we might be able to get a movie made, but we don't know for sure. So we're going to rent the rights from you." Against-- Like leasing. Renting to own. Where we pay you a certain amount every year that's against a big payout, and if we ever decide to make a big payout we buy the rights outright. But until then we can rent them for like five years and pay you every year or eighteen months. These are very common in Holywood. They happen a lot. And it's-- now that I've become involved in this it's kind of interesting to me that, like, when something gets optioned it's like, "Huge news! Oh, it's gonna get made!" But one in thirty of these get made <by general>. And most of the deals you're hearing about are those. As well you'll probably hear about this deal, you'll be like, "Oh, somebody's going to make this film." And then five years later you're like, "Whatever happened to that?" Well, it was just an option deal. And I've had like ten things get optioned. Like I've sold things over and over again and stuff like that. And so yes, people have my works optioned. Nothing I've done has ever gone past screenplay except for Alcatraz, at DreamWorks Animation which went to storyboard before then they decided to kill it. So, yeah obviously you didn't get that movie. That was years ago. They made the Croods instead. *crowd laughs* No, really, I-- those were the two competing projects. So I got-- So nothing has gone past screenplay-- I have gotten a screenplay a couple times before, but the step after that is like to get a director attached, and then like, you know, then get a greenlight, or get actors attached. The greenlight is the hard thing. The only thing I know of that got greenlit recently is The Sword of Shannara, which is coming out in January I think. Everything else I know is just an option. And so, yeah. But Steelheart's at Shawn Levy's company, who did the Night at the Museum films. Emperor's Soul is at DMG who were producers on two of the Iron Man films. The rest of the Cosmere is optioned by somebody else, but they haven't announced it yet, so I can't talk about it. They're very specific about stuff like that. Legion's been optioned twice, and both people have not been able to get that made as a television show. I mean, everything's been optioned.

#12 Copy

Questioner

Do you have any plans <for, like, having any of your novels made into graphic novels>?

Brandon Sanderson

"Would I like to have any of my novels made into graphic novels?" We're actually doing one right now. I've hit-- I've kept away from doing this for a while because I didn't want to just give people the same story. So <I kept thinking>, "Oh, I'll write a side story for something." But then that requires so much time for me, that if I were going to do that I'd just release it as a novel. So we <caught> this kind of weird place where I wasn't sure what to do. But then my agent pitched taking one of my books that was unpublished during my days that I was trying to break in, that was pretty good, and had a good magic system, but needed a lot of editing. And said, "Why don't we do that? Because we can edit it during the same time that we're preparing the graphic novel, and then do a graphic novel version." And that turned out really well. We got another writer to help me and do the writing-- someone who knew comic books. And the script turned out fantastic, so we sent it in as being turned in. They've done 5 out of 6 issues. And it will be 18 issues, but they'll issue them in 6-issue clumps. They actually will only be graphic novels, there won't be-- And there will be three of those. So the first of those should come out next year. The first six. It's called White Sand. If you want to read the book, I do send that book out to people who just write to me. Because I don't think the book as it stands is good enough to charge you for. So be aware that if-- But it was written about the same time as Elantris, and it's just a little worse than Elantris.

#14 Copy

Questioner

What did you do to get into the head of the opposite gender?

Brandon Sanderson

This is an excellent question. She is saying that Vin turned out really well and it's hard for her to write male characters. This was actually really hard for me at first too. Several of my first unpublished novels had really lame, weak female chaarcters and it was one of the big transitions I had to make in transitioning from aspiring to professional.

 The biggest change was just a mindset change for me, and this might not be your problem, but I found that I was sticking people into roles rather than creating character who had a life outside of the story and then saying what happened when the story happened to them. It was this transformation in my head where I'm like "Wait, everyone is the hero in their own story, what would they be doing otherwise, what are they passionate about, how are they weird, how are they quirky."

 This is the problem with a lot of people who are kinda aware of this issue who write the other gender: they don't make the other gender weird and quirky. You'll see this: female writers, the men will just kinda be this paragon. Male writers: the woman will be up on this pedestal. They don't feel real because of that. Try to say, "if they were staring in the story, how would I design them. What makes them weird, what makes them passionate, why don't they fit their role?" That's the best thing you can ask, "why dont they fit their role."

#18 Copy

Questioner

My question for you is: if you had to live the life of one of your characters from life to death, knowing what they will go through, their powers, their struggles, how they die, and what their legacy is. If you had to chose one character, male or female, who would you live the life of.

Brandon Sanderson

That is a hard question. I don't know that I want to be any of them! I would pick that one random farmer guy they pass on the road who lives a normal, peaceful life and doesn't have to end up going through all of this stuff.

#21 Copy

Questioner

I asked this of Pat. Money system wise, a standard, like, equivalent to U.S. dollars kind of thing. Is a clear mark? I usually think of a clear mark as a dollar.

Brandon Sanderson

If you email through my website, Peter keeps all of this. I actually, these days, just write "worth about this much" in dollars and he figures out a monetary for it, because this just takes, y'know, I have to reach into the wiki and be like "Alright, how much is this worth again? How much is this?" The commodities are of different values an so he just factors it all out. I remember giving him instructions once, that sounds about right.

Questioner

I figured as much, for slaves to...

Brandon Sanderson

We're like, what does a slave make... it's, yeah.

#23 Copy

Questioner

I was thinking about it, do you have any characters that you've set aside to do maybe some spin-offs down the road, just that you don't want to let die off into obscurity. Like Shallan, she is my favorite character that you write so far. I don't know, is there kind of a side group that you maybe want to revisit later?

Brandon Sanderson

I could see myself doing that. The thing is, the ones I've set off I've done intentionally like in Elantris, Serene's uncle, right. Her uncle, I always intended his family to be the next one I wrote a book about, and so its like its already planned in and like Lift from Stormlight. Shes getting her own book later on so I've seeded her in it, you already knowing about it. I don't know that there is any I'm waiting for now, specifically. I'm sure it will happen to me.

#25 Copy

Questioner

When Wax is talking to Harmony he mentions 'the radio' and other things. Are there already societies that have things like that and how is he getting that information. Is it like a Spiritual Realm..

Brandon Sanderson

He knows things from his Ascension. He gain an innate knowledge of the universe in interesting ways. In addition, Preservation had some minor innate progno... he could see the future a little bit, and so could Ruin in a little different way. Let's just say that there are a bunch of things mixing together that give Harmony some knowledge that most people wouldn't have.

Questioner

But will we see some of societies soon or is that further in the future?

Brandon Sanderson

*RAFOes* You'll find out.

#28 Copy

Questioner

For Epics: if you had an Epic that was around their weakness all the time would that make them more like an other person so that they could be gifted other Epic powers?

Brandon Sanderson

You can already be gifted other powers if you're an Epic... no, it interferes, you can't. You can already... Maybe, maybe.

#29 Copy

Questioner

The more benevolent Shards, like Cultivation or Endowment; how do they feel about Sazed holding two Shards?

Brandon Sanderson

You'll have to ask them. That's a RAFO. I want to stay away from too many questions, about the interaction between Shards beacuse that years off, and I want to be careful not to be saying too much before...

#31 Copy

Questioner

What made you decide to split Stormlight into two arcs?

Brandon Sanderson

A bunch of things. I'd say the primary one is that when I tried to write the Way of Kings in 2002, the first version of it, the book failed. I finished the whole book, but it failed and the primary reason for that was because I had too many viewpoints doing too man things in too many places and the reader wasn't able to follow it and it didn't give a satisfying arc to anybody because there was like a little piece of a story instead of a complete story, so I spent many years trying to figure out why it wasn't working and one of the things i came up with that i should take some of the characters and tell their stories and then take some of the others and tell their stories later.

That natural division became very obvious to me when I was re-outlining the series using this idea. That I could do a Dalinar, Kaladin, Shallan type thing and then save the Herald's viewpoints for the second half, does that makes sense. So that will... it should feel very natural. It should be some changes that indicate separate series but same... anyways, I'm please with how the outline looks.

#33 Copy

Questioner

How do you keep motivation for writing in general, because i always have a lot of trouble with that.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, well that depends on what part of my career you are talking about. Early on I envisioned this cubicle chasing me and if it caught me i'd have to get a normal, boring desk job. That was actually a big motivation to me, because it was like I only had a certain amount of time to do this thing that I loved and if I didnt actually sit down and do it I was gonna have to be a real boy. After i got published and it got a bit hard I started using the carrot philosophy; i would let myself open up a new pack of magic cards if I hit a certain word limit every day.

Questioner

Oh, thats really cool!

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, and that worked really well during the hard years when I was trying to get through the Wheel of Time. They were great books but they were so hard to write cause they were way harder than writing my own fiction. Now I don't really need that anymore, now its kinda become this thing where I have all these fans who are waiting for things and I have to make good on the promises I've made to them. Now its more like a "i need to do this", so yeah.

#37 Copy

Questioner

How do you schedule your time?

Brandon Sanderson

These days its based on deadlines, so for instance Rithmatist is a side project, I don't have a contract for that. I just write them, give them to the publisher, and say "its time to publish this". Steelheart i sign a three book deal that has dates in it: when i have to turn them in, if that makes sense. So when I have extra time I do something like this, when i don't, you know, when the contract comes through I've given my obligation to the publisher that i'll do certain things, so i write those. That's how it is these days. It used to be more along the lines of whatever i felt like at the time. You know, its now my job when then it wasn't my job, and as my job there are certain things I need to do.

#39 Copy

Questioner

I was reading Shadows of Self and i think his name is Douglas Venture, how does that work out. I'm not quite sure. I know, so, Elend is not around anymore and I know his dad wasn't the nicest of people, so is he like a direct descendant?

Brandon Sanderson

He is not a direct descendant of Elend. The Ventures were an entire house, so there would have been dozens and dozens of them.

#40 Copy

Questioner

If you weren't a writer, what would you be?

Brandon Sanderson

A professor.

Questioner

Really?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, my second love is teach. i like teaching, I like speaking, I like being in front of a crowd. its enjoyable to me and so i'm pretty sure that's where i would have ended up. If i hadn't found myself in another art, which is entirely possible.

#42 Copy

Questioner

We know the Shattering was done on purpose. Is it having broken up into intents the only way that it could have shattered, or could it have actually shattered into like sixteen pieces pieces that all have the sixteen intents.

Brandon Sanderson

I'm going to RAFO this, because this is not a book i will write for many years and I do not want to start giving spoilers about it.

#44 Copy

Questioner

Yesterday you said that crem was actually like Shard poop.

Brandon Sanderson

No, I was saying that it was more like that than what they were saying.

Questioner

It's not really poop?

Brandon Sanderson

No, its not.

Questioner

Dang it, I like poop jokes! Can you make it poop so i can have a poop joke.

Brandon Sanderson

Ok, for the next thirty seconds it is.

#46 Copy

Questioner

How do you envision Patter and Syl when they are in their Shardblade form.

Brandon Sanderson

We're going to do sketches eventually, mhmm.

Questioner

Ok, cause I'm getting a tattoo at some point and i want to make it relatively accurate.

Brandon Sanderson

Send to Peter and to... well Peter can be in touch with him. Ben, who does a lot of the... Ben is the one that we have canonize the Shardblades, and so after i write a book he does a bunch of sketches for us of what I've describes and we kinda pick one, and i know we've picked one already, but I don't know. I cant draw it for you or anything but if you go to them they can give it to you.

#48 Copy

Questioner

Do you have a preference for Windstance when writing the Stomrlight Arhcive, it feels like that one comes up the most.

Brandon Sanderson

The people that I'm writing tend to like it. It is very Alethi. The Windrunners and things like that are connected with the Alethi people. Its disproportionately represented by all of the Alethi.

#49 Copy

Questioner

Supposing that a skilled Hemalurgist got hold of some a Shardblade or some Shardplate, how would he best use it assuming that the best way isn't to put it on and kill people with it.

Brandon Sanderson

That's probably the best way, to put it on and kill people with it. I'm not sure why a Hemalurgist would want one more than anyone else would because the metal is already Invested which means its not useful to him.

Questioner

So there is no way that he could use a Hemalurgic spike to take some power from the Spren that's crafting it.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, that's what you're saying. You want to grab something off the Spren? That's gonna be way harder than grabbing one that's not already made into something. So I don't see why he would want the Blade, just go grab it from them. Even then its going to be worse then, probably in most cases, a person. Maybe its possible that spiking yourself with a Spren would be valid, but you don't want to take it out of the Shardblade. That's gonna be harder, but you would probably have to go to the Cognitive either way to make it work, so yeah.

#51 Copy

Questioner

I've noticed that Seons and Spren are very, very similar but i haven't seen anything like that in the Mistborn world.

Brandon Sanderson

In Mistborn the Investiture took other forms. It never obtained sapience in the same way. Its theoretically possible that it could have but it.. yeah.

Questioner

So it wouldn't be like the Mist?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, you could say that the Mist has a bit of sentience to it, so yes, but there are a bunch of different things going on. On one hand, you've got, right up to the end, Preservation's Cognitive Shadow still around doing stuff, basically still there, so that's preventing it. It's just a very different situation.

Event details
Name
Name Shadows of Self Portland signing
Date
Date Oct. 10, 2015
Location
Location Beaverton, OR
Tour
Tour Shadows of Self
Bookstore
Bookstore Powell's Books
Entries
Entries 54
Upload sources