<Do you read other writer's books?>
I do, I try very hard to keep up on what other people writing. I feel that it will make me a better writer as I can learn from them.
<Do you read other writer's books?>
I do, I try very hard to keep up on what other people writing. I feel that it will make me a better writer as I can learn from them.
If someone—Vasher says that Nightblood would kill him, is that just because he has this one deific Breath? Would it kill an ordinary person, like a drab?
It would suck the Breath from anybody, and if they were unable to feed it he would feed on their soul.
So they would die?
Yes. Anyone wielding Nightblood, he will suck their soul. If for too long, he will eventually—if you draw him—will suck your soul.
<Why AonDor is not used around Shardpool? Was it a cultural thing or...?>
There are more than cultural reasons.
How many bridge runs did Kaladin make in the Way of Kings?
How many what? Bridge runs, oh boy. Fewer than he thought, but still a lot. Several dozen. He would have said hundreds but it wasn’t hundreds.
The letter in the epigraphs in Way of Kings, the recipient—is he or she—are they in Words of Radiance?
They are not in Words of Radiance in person.
Will they be in the next book?
That's a RAFO. But they have not appeared in person in the series yet.
<Does Jasnah know about Adonalsium?>
No, she is not specifically cosmere-aware.
Are we going to see more of Marsh? *Inaudible*
Yes. You will see more of him.
Which of your characters do you think would win in a fight?
At what stage in their career?
Not the Slivers.
Okay, so they don't count, the Shards of Adonalsium don't count… Does Kelsier have atium?
Yes, atium exists.
A Mistborn burning atium is really hard to beat in any other way.
So you think that Kelsier would beat Vin?
Oh, Kelsier would beat Vin if he had atium and she didn't. If they both did? Vin has more raw talent, Kelsier has a lot more experience. So if you can pick Vin after she's had more experience she will give him a fair fight, but before that she will not.
What came first, Pattern or Chalklings?
Pattern was before Chalklings, good question. For some part of its existence, The Rithmatist was in the cosmere, until I finally decided I just don't want Earth in the cosmere at all, even a bizarre sort of version of Earth.
Szeth a lot of the time throughout Words of Radiance is referring to the fact that he's hearing his victims screaming in his head. Is that actually just his conscience screaming at him or has he possibly already bonded to a spren in some way, that is displeased with his actions?
That is not his spren, good question... It is not the spren—it is not a spren that is for one of the orders.
Okay, but it is related to—
I didn't say that. I just said it is not a spren—it is not a Blade. It is not one of those.
Blast. I've got that in my records somewhere. It's been a while, now. Off the top of my head, I believe Luthadel was the biggest city with around two million. (Peter might have a better read on this.) I was shooting for 1920 London, but with a slightly better flow of food in because of the imperial structure an absolute monarch offers. It was the biggest city by a long shot, though. Others would have trouble topping 100k. Probably a 25%/75% split urban rural, weighted on rural, through the entire empire. Scope is relatively small. Smaller than the US. Bigger than Korea. If you email [email protected], he might have the actual scale.
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.
*Inaudible* How long will we have to wait for Arcanum 2?
A long time, I'm afraid. I don't want to write it until I have Stormlight 10 done, so it's a long ways off.
You will. And you'll definitely get some bits and pieces.
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 a specific number of the ideals that they have to do before they can get the Shardblade?
It depends on the Order.
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.
Can you hold more than one Honorblade at a time?
That is theoretically possible.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I've been wondering if the heralds are Surgebinders without Honorblades?
That's a RAFO. That's a big fat RAFO.
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.
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.
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.
How does Kelsier meet Gemmel?
How does Kelsier meet Gemmel. Gemmel was directed to find Kelsier.
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.
*inaudible* mention another Shardblade <is gone>. *inaudible* Does Nin still have that?
I would suspect that. . . yes. That's a very good question.
I believe you create merchandise for The Way of Kings and Mistborn. How's that going? Do you ever see people wearing your stuff out in the wild?
InkWing Arts (link here) is the business my wife Kara and I have put together to showcase the artwork I've created for Brandon's worlds. Right now we primarily sell bookmarks and t-shirts, but watch in the future as we add patches, art prints, and games. The goal there is to make cool things based on cool worlds. It's been a lot of fun to interact with fans in this way.
I mostly see the shirts at Brandon's signing events. But my eleven year old son came to me the other day and said he saw someone wearing one of our shirts at the grocery store. He thought that was pretty cool. So did I!
What are some of the books you've been a part of, and what exactly were you in charge of?
I’m responsible for all the maps and symbols in the four (so far) Mistborn novels as well as all the symbols, chapter headings, maps, color end pages, and Navani's notebook pages in Brandon's Way of Kings. (The other artwork in the book was done by Michael Whelan, Ben McSweeney, and Ben Call. I'm thrilled to be showcased in the same book with these amazing artists.)
On the design side of things, I've been designing self-published books—covers and interiors—for a while, but recently had the luck to get into the business professionally with the book design for Bryce Moore's YA novel, Vodnik. I've also done covers for some ebook re-releases of some science fiction and fantasy classics from the 80s.
In addition to Brandon's maps, I've also worked on maps in the re-release of Robert Silverberg's Nebula-winning novel A Time of Changes and the upcoming reprint of his very-enjoyable Downward to the Earth.
On a similar note, The Way of Kings has a lot of symbols associated with different aspects of the book. Were you involved with creating those, and if so, how did you design them?
I created forty-plus symbols for The Way of Kings. Many of these are found in the color charts in the hardcover version of the book (link here). My absolute favorites are used at the beginning of each Part (one of them is debossed on the book's hardcase beneath the dust jacket). I used Arabic word art and the shard blades as inspiration for these. Many of the originals were drawn on an iPod Touch and later brought into Photoshop for clean up.
I know some of us have heard the story of how you came up with the symbols for Mistborn, but tell those of us who haven't how they came about.
I'd drawn about a half dozen pages of symbols inspired by my first reading of the book. Pages with dozens and dozens of tiny, intricate symbols—maybe someday I'll write a post about the process: Failed Allomantic Symbol Designs. But nothing was really working for me or Brandon.
I'd collected a lot of reference material for the steel inquisitors—nails, railroad spikes, those sorts of things—and one day when I was looking at a picture of a rusty pile of bent up nails, I saw the symbol for iron. It was a Beautiful Mind experience. The symbol just jumped out at me. Glowing and everything.
After that initial experience with the symbol for iron, it was easy to come up with the others. The bent nail part eventually became the crescent shapes used in the final book.
You've been involved with some pretty big projects over the last few years. Tell us what it's been like working on the art for novels such as the Mistborn trilogy and The Way of Kings.
Writing, art, and book publishing have always been my biggest interests, so working on these great books has been very fulfilling.
I get the manuscript early on in the process, print it out, and go through the whole thing with a pencil, marking it up with notes about artistic details and tiny maps marking places in relationship to each other. Then comes my favorite part of the process: working with Brandon and his assistant Peter to make sure that my vision melds with Brandon's vision for the book. We usually do a lot of revisions and emails to get to the point where we're all happy with the results. I cannot say enough good about Brandon and Peter; they are both gentlemen to the core.
Is Shallan's father her actual father?
Ah! People asked if her mother were her mother. No one's asked yet if her father were her father... Yes, it was her father. Yes, I will give you that, yes. Her mother and father as presented in the stories were actually her mother and father.
Hoid says [in Warbreaker] that he learned stories from a place where gods have died. Is that Roshar?
RAFO. I will say this. A god has died on Roshar. Only one, that we know. So, "gods" would not be plural.
How does Susebron love sweets if he doesn't have a tongue?
The fact that your tastebuds are all in one place is actually untrue, scientifically. You have tastebuds all through your mouth.
What Jasnah did, in the first book, with Shallan in the alleyway and what happened at the end of this book... between Adolin and the other character [Sadeas]. Would you put them on the same level? Or would you say that what Adolin did was maybe a little bit darker?
I would say that what Adolin did was less dark, personally... It just depends on your perspective, but personally I say what Adolin did was something that needed to be done and no one else was capable of doing.
Would you say that it's going to have any ramifications for him down the line? With how it was handled?
Oh it's definitely—how it's handled, definitely there are ramifications, lots of ramifications. And there are certain characters who would think that what he did is totally, totally, totally wrong.
Can the Unmade be bonded?
Wow, plausible... Yes, or possible, I should say.
Before the Recreance, there were three Bondsmiths. Did they all bond "superspren", or is Dalinar an exception?
They did something similar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the things I love so much about your books are the illustrations and the maps, even though I'm really bad with maps. So I guess I was wondering, do you have a really clear vision in your head for what you want them to be or...?
It depends on the book. In some cases I do. In some cases I'm more vague and I work with my illustrator through several iterations then decide what we want.
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.
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.