Recent entries

    Firefight Atlanta signing ()
    #10851 Copy

    Questioner

    One of my favorite aspects of your books is you always have this character that kind of has a submissive personality starting out and they evolve into a more dominant personality. Do you have an author for a series that kind of inspired this?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Inspires me? He says frequently I have a character who's in a submissive position that becomes dominant through the course of the series. Do I have an author that I'm relying on specifically. No more than the "Hero's Journey", the general idea of the person growing and becoming master of their domain where once they were not. I don't think I have a specific person I'm looking at for that. But it is a fun type of story to tell, just because of the way you can show progression with a character.

    Firefight Atlanta signing ()
    #10853 Copy

    Questioner

    Are spren molecules and atoms that rearrange in our minds to create them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A good question, are spren molecules and atoms that rearrange in our mind to create things. No, they're not. Spren are entities from the Cognitive Realm, who have gotten pulled through in Roshar. It is something that doesn't exist on Earth, the Cognitive Realm, pulled through by human intervention. The way we think about things and personify things.

    Firefight Atlanta signing ()
    #10854 Copy

    Questioner

    What happened to Alcatraz?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What happened to Alcatraz. Well he almost got sacrificed to the dark powers by a cult of Evil Librarians but he survived to write his autobiography-- No, you mean the books. I wrote the fifth book this summer after researching for The Aztlanian long enough that I realized I have to do more research before I can finish it. So I stopped, knew that I wanted to write another middle-grade, so I stopped and wrote Alcatraz 5 and gave it to Tor. They're planning to publish it next year. They're going to start with Alcatraz 1 in January with new art and things like that, publish those first five and do the sixth book sometime in June-- Or fifth book in June is what I think. So republish the first four and then publish the fifth.

    Firefight Atlanta signing ()
    #10855 Copy

    Questioner

    What can you tell us about the Mistborn video game?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What can I tell you about the Mistborn video game. We are still working on the Mistborn video game. The same producer has the rights but the developer that we were hoping to use has fallen through and they have moved on. This is the third time we've moved to a new developer. We do not plan for it to come out this year. We keep pushing it back. I'm sorry. But the good news is the movie seems to be kind of inching forward again finally, so if the movie gets made that will push the video game to come out. And if a video game comes out that might push the movie to come out. So they are kind of intertwined and working well together.

    FAQFriday 2017 ()
    #10856 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you ever have crazy ideas that are too crazy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This happens all the time.

    Greatness is often born of brashness. Of a reckless, bull-headed intent to do something everyone tells you is stupid. Sometimes, the best ideas are the ones you can't articulate in brief, because distillation ruins the very performance. Reduce a symphony to three notes, and it will seem pedestrian. Some ideas take to summary with ease. For others, explaining them is like trying to help someone climb Mount Everest after they say, "I'd like to take the quick route, please."

    As a writer, you grow accustomed to saying, "It will work when I write it." You get use to saying, "I can do this, even if everyone tells me I can't." Becoming a writer in the first place is often done in defiance of rational good sense.

    And sometimes, you're wrong. You try to prove that the idea works, you OWN it…and it's just not working. You're convinced it's your skill, and not the idea. If you could just figure it out…

    This happened several times on The Wheel of Time. River of Souls, the famous deleted sequence from Demandred's viewpoint, is one of these. Perrin's excursion into the Ways in book 14 (also cut) is another. Early on, I pitched Perrin deciding to follow the Way of the Leaf to the team–but I wasn't actually serious on that one. More, I was in a brainstorming session with Team Jordan, and throwing out things that could possibly fulfill Perrin's arc in an unexpected way.

    The 10th anniversary of Elantris has some deleted scenes, and the annotations talk about how in that book, I originally decided to have Hrathen turn out to be of a different nationality (secretly) as a twist at the end. The man who was doing all these terrible things was from Arelon all along!

    That was stupid. It undermined much of his arc. It was a twist to just have another twist–in a book that already had plenty. Early reactions from Alpha readers helped me see this.

    Lately, I've been trying to do some things with backstory and "cosmology" for the Stephen Leeds (aka Legion) stories, and Peter's not sold. We'll see if this turns into a "it will work when I write it" or a "That's a twist you don't need, Brandon."

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #10857 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Just a warning: as always, some of these were heard wrong by me, or by the person recording, or were mixed up during questioning.

    For example, the one referencing the first 11 chapters was me talking about the first book, not the third. The question about Ivory also wasn't quite recorded correctly.

    I usually don't have the time to go through all of these, but remember--word of Brandon can be very fallible for many reasons. I continue to be willing to answer these for fans at conventions and signings, but the community does need to know not to hold to them too strongly.

    Firefight Atlanta signing ()
    #10858 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you have a special way of coming up with your bad analogies?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Do I special way of coming up with bad analogies. Which are actually similes. So here's the thing-- So Steelheart, I wrote Steelheart in like 2008 or 2009, it was pretty early on, I had the idea-- I was touring for some book, I think-- I feel like it was Warbreaker or Mistborn 3, any way I was touring for one of these books and I get cut off in traffic, I get really mad at the person, and I imagine blowing up their car. I get horrified, like "If I had superpowers is this what I would do? Would I blow up cars of people who cut me off in traffic?" and I was like "OOh that's a story". So I went and wrote the prologue, like almost immediately, I think on that tour I wrote the prologue. I remember reading it at DragonCon that year, whenever year that was.

    Then I put the whole book aside and had to wait for like 5 years because I'm like "I'm working on The Wheel of Time I have no time to write this other side project." I was much better at that and not going crazy on side projects when I was doing that. When I finally got back to it I had this prologue-- The prologue was ten years before in-world time, like the character grew ten years between the prologue and chapter 1, so I was "Alright I need a voice for this character" and I started writing, doing my standard thing. I was having so much trouble coming up with a distinctive voice for David, the main character, and I accidentally wrote a bad metaphor. That happens a lot when you're writing-- you just come across something and it's a terrible analogy and you delete it, but here I said "Well what if I ran with that?" The fun thing is by coincidence that became a metaphor for his entire personality. He tries so hard, is very earnest, but sometimes he tries a little too hard, and looks beyond the mark, and stumbles a bit. And that is who he became as a character, and the bad metaphors are a great metaphor for that.

    Coming up with them now is really hard. Doing it on purpose is way harder than coming up with good metaphors. They are rough. Sometimes I'll sit-- Like the most time I spend staring at the screen when working on these books is coming up with one of David's metaphors.

    Firefight Atlanta signing ()
    #10859 Copy

    Questioner

    Which book was the hardest to write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Which book was the hardest to write. A Memory of Light, the last of The Wheel of Time books by a LARGE margin is the hardest book I've ever written because the last Wheel of Time book mixed with a lot of war scenes that--I don't have the history in warfare that Robert Jordan did so all this stuff I had to do, there was a lot of research and a lot of going back and forth with Alan Romanczuk with Team Jordan. It was by far the hardest.

    Firefight Atlanta signing ()
    #10860 Copy

    Questioner

    If characters are reflections of their authors, which character do you feel reflects you the most?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Which character reflects me the most. I don't think there is one… I think each of my characters represent me in some way and each character is different from me in other ways. So I can't say which one represents me more or less. They're all a bit of me.

    Firefight Atlanta signing ()
    #10862 Copy

    Questioner

    Are you still planning on doing Mistborn in Space, because that would be awesome.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Am I still planning on doing Mistborn in Space. Yes I am… Mistborn was originally pitched to my editor-- I pitched it as a trilogy of trilogies--I've obviously gone off track on that on that--but I was going to do an epic fantasy, a 1980's level kind of contemporary, and science fiction all in the same world. Alloy of Law, I really fell in love with that time period for some things I was doing and I was like "I'm going to write FOUR BOOKS HERE" So there's now 13 planned. Who knows if I'll add more and things like that.

    Firefight Atlanta signing ()
    #10863 Copy

    Questioner

    If you were going to make Horneater stew here on Earth, how would you go about it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If I were going to make Horneater stew, on Earth, how would I go about it. It's going to be a spicy seafood stew. When I think of Horneater stew I'm actually thinking of Yukgaejang which is a Korean dish. Or Haemultang is what I mean. Haemultang is a spicy-- spicy seafood-- it's basically whatever thing from the ocean-- I don't eat things from the ocean personally-- but everything from the ocean they want to throw in there with some spices. They stir it up and give it to you and if you like fish in there and there are like crab claws and full clams in the shells. You're like "Really guys?" But Rock would just be munching those down and being happy.

    Firefight Atlanta signing ()
    #10865 Copy

    Questioner

    Would you rather be a misting or a Twinborn, and then which power would you choose?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What powers would I have? ...I would probably pick Twinborn because "Hey extra power" right? I would probably have Wax's powers from Alloy of Law, those are the ones I find the most interesting. Which is why I started with them there. I think I will be able to do cool things with them. Others are cool as well but-- With all this metal around, jumping on it would be so much fun.

    Firefight Atlanta signing ()
    #10866 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you find it hard working with multiple publishers and multiple houses?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Do I find it hard working with multiple publishers… and multiple houses as a writer? Uh, yes there are some hard parts to it. I do two tours a year instead of one, because I have two publishers now-- And that's rough. Every time one publisher asks for something the other one is like "Well we want that to" so I'm going to BEA, that's the Book Expo, and the other is like "Well you have to come to this thing for us". So it fills my time a lot more, which is hard. But at the same time it is also very nice because it gives me a little more credibility with both. That they both know that they kind of have to make me happy. That is pretty nice. And there is also the piece of mind that if for some reason one of things I was doing tanked I've always got another one. That was much more important to me early in my career, when I was doing the Alcatraz books with Scholastic and the epic fantasies with Tor.

    Firefight Atlanta signing ()
    #10867 Copy

    Questioner

    If you had the choice of being an Epic and being evil or not, would you take that choice--

    Brandon Sanderson (Paraphrased)

    Would I make the choice to become an Epic? Well they ALL GO EVIL so NO. No no no no. I'd be a Mistborn, yes yes yes yes. *laughter* Epic? No no no no.  

    Firefight Atlanta signing ()
    #10868 Copy

    Questioner

    You talked earlier about your writing process when you were in college. What's it like now?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What's my writing process like now? So I'm a writer. That means I don't have to get up in the morning unless I have to come to some signing like this. I hope you guys appreciate the fact that I got up at 6:45 this morning. Normally I get up at noon. So I get up at noon, I write from noon to 5, I then go hangout with my family from 5 until 9 or so, and at about 9 o'clock I go back to work and I write from like 9 to 3. Or something like that. And then I goof-off and go to bed at about 4. It is a great life. Except when I'm on tour and they are like "Yeah you need to be up for a flight at 8 o'clock" and I'm like "AHHHHH! Curse you Brandon and you staying up late all the other nights!"

    Firefight Atlanta signing ()
    #10870 Copy

    Questioner

    What is the most interesting or awesome thing you found in your South American research for The Aztlanian?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What is the most awesome thing I've come up with in my research for The Aztlanian.  So the question, for those of you who read The Rithmatist, I'm working on a sequel doing a lot of research on South American and Central American cultures. The Aztecs all the way down to the Incas *audio obscured* city was just so cool reading about that. One of the big things that I discovered was that a lot of records indicate that Meso-American culture was way bigger than, way more populated than people are usually taught. It's just that they lost somewhere around 60%-- This enormous number to diseases that were brought over. Way more than I originally expected. And reading about some of this, like the early accounts of how many people there were, their civilizations. Later on when the explorers really started coming, talking about there being these ghost cities, of empty-- the people all left them because so many people died and things like this. That what happened was almost like a post-Apocalyptic-- Like when the invasion of the Aztecs, of Mexico, was happening they were basically invading a post-Apocalyptic society where everyone was already dead. They'd even lost their emperor, Montezuma the First had died from this stuff. It's very interesting, all these things reading about-- There is a ton to learn.

    Firefight Atlanta signing ()
    #10871 Copy

    Questioner

    In /Steelheart/ <audio obscured>

    Brandon Sanderson

    What does Steelheart's past life have to do with his weakness? I can't tell you that, because it's a spoiler. When you come through the line I can tell it to you. When you come through the line talk to me, because I can't answer spoiler questions.

    Questioner

    I have read it already.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but who here hasn't read Steelheart? *people raise their hands* See? That's why we can't answer that. But I will answer it when you come through the line.

    Firefight Atlanta signing ()
    #10872 Copy

    Questioner

    <audio obscured> in the Firefight-- The Reckoners series, was there a particular character you gave the <audio obscured>

    Brandon Sanderson

    So the question is: In The Reckoners, was there a particular power that I gave to someone because I just thought that power was cool. And yeah, the tensors. They can turn things to dust. For years I'd been walking around looking at our society where we have all this metal and this wood around, and things like that. I just loved the idea of just being able to turn it to dust. Maybe it's like a "reducing things to their more primal state" or whatever-- but anyway it was one of those magics that was in my head for a while. And really superheros are magic. I don't pretend that they're science fiction, they're magic. So I just designed these magics that feel cool to me.

    Firefight Atlanta signing ()
    #10873 Copy

    Questioner

    So Kaladin, he has a lot of Christ-like qualities being the who protects those who can't protect themselves. When you were writing the character of Kaladin did you ever make a conscious decision to make him a Christ figure or--

    Brandon Sanderson

    The question is... Kaladin has some Christ-figure feel to him, was that intentional when I was writing the character. Actually it wasn't, there's nothing really intentional about that allusion.  But I can definitely see it. Being Christian myself a lot of what I find heroic is related to my faith. But I very rarely do conscious things like that, mostly-- This is for English majors, "I bet he got it from here" and things like that. So it was not intentional but I can totally see where you are making that connection.

    FAQFriday 2017 ()
    #10874 Copy

    Questioner

    If you could bring one character from another universe into the cosmere, Who would it be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What an interesting question. I'll play along in a moment, but I'll point out that it's generally not tempting for me to write other creator's characters. The ones I were most interested in writing were those in The Wheel of Time--and somehow, that ended up happening already.

    Generally, when I consider a character that I love, my mind starts breaking down the "Why." I look at what effect they had on me, and what about them I really love--what is it this character does to the story that is so intriguing. Often, if I boil that down, I can start creating new characters who draw upon this, and other traditions--and that is what excites me.

    That said, who would I bring to the cosmere, if I had the chance? I'll take a different tactic on this than, perhaps, you'd assume. I'd grab some of my favorite villains from other media, because it would be interesting to see how the characters would react. If Magneto were to deal with a world of people with magic, how would he react--and how would the characters react to him? What about Moriarty? Javert? (Okay, Nale's already got some Javert in him.)

    Cthulhu? Nah. That's going to far

    Firefight Seattle Public Library signing ()
    #10879 Copy

    Questioner

    Hemalurgy is mentioned as something that has "broad implications" but that's of Ruin, right? Or now it is of Harmony.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but don't take the "of Ruin" and "of Preservation" too strongly, but yes.

    Questioner

    But, I mean, somebody couldn't just walk along with a metal spike on, say, Nalthis. Stab someone and have the power, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If they knew where to stab them, yes they could.

    Questioner

    Anywhere in the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    You can stab someone and get their power?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hemalurgy has been built in such a way that it rips off pieces of the soul. If you can rip off the right piece of the soul and attach it to somebody else, it will change your Identity and rewrite-- It can rewrite anything attached to your soul. Identity, Connection, it can rewrite Investiture, all of this stuff it can potentially do.

    Questioner

    and do the things you stab people were they always metal or does that depend on the planet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, that's metal, that's-- Well yes, you could do something like that. That is totally possible. But the metal-- Yeah. Anyway.

    Questioner

    With the other Shards you kind of have to be near that Shard to get that &mdash; there's no Allomancy

    Brandon Sanderson

    there's no Allomancy did it, yes. To have that part of your soul. But, for instance, Allomancy would work on other planets. The only one that's going to have trouble on other planets, right now, are the ones on Sel because of the way the magics are built.

    Footnote: the last part by Brandon is unintelligible
    Firefight Seattle Public Library signing ()
    #10880 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...the Diem had been investigating, does that make sense? One of his former faces. So you're not supposed to be able to spot him. Like early on I was really planning Hoid to be-- When I write the parallel novel you'll be able to see "Oh" these things that he had his fingers on. But that's why in Elantris he's barely even in the book. Same thing with Mistborn. But then people really liked it and I was having a lot of fun with it and so in Warbreaker I expanded his part. And I'd always planned for him to be a big part of Way of Kings when that came along. *audio obscured* But in the graphic novel I think we're going to give him an expanded role, just because people are expecting it so much.

    Firefight Seattle Public Library signing ()
    #10881 Copy

    Questioner

    So I was reading that one of the worlds, I think it was Yolen, is going to be a disease oriented magic?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's not Yolen, it's Ashyn...

    Questioner

    How does that work?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Viruses and bacteria, various strains of them, have evolved in-line with the investiture on the planet to grant you a magical ability when you catch the disease, because they want you to stay alive long enough to--

    Questioner

    To transmit it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    --o transmit it. So it becomes part of the transmission vector. So you have superpowers or whatever-- You can fly as long as you have the common cold, but when you get over it, you can't anymore.

    Firefight Seattle Public Library signing ()
    #10884 Copy

    Questioner

    Is Hoid a dragon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh I will give you a RAFO card. You're very good, Have you read Dragonsteel?

    Questioner

    I have not but--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Don't read it, it's bad.

    Questioner

    Okay then. I am just-- What? Okay then. That's awesome. We have some ideas but-- Hoid is amazing. I figured he was really old but it's cool knowing for sure that he's exceptionally old.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is one of the oldest people in the cosmere, but he is not the oldest.

    Questioner

    Ahhh...

    Brandon Sanderson

    The person he is writing a letter to is indeed older than he is.

    Firefight Seattle Public Library signing ()
    #10886 Copy

    Questioner

    I was actually wondering if you'd do space opera? *audio obscured*

    Brandon Sanderson

    There will be space opera in the cosmere. There'll be quite a bit of it actually. The only space opera I've written currently has not been true space opera. I don't know if you've read my two science fiction stories. They're both free on my website. And they're a little more social science fiction, though they take place far future, kind of space opera-y. They're not cosmere right now-- Err they are not cosmere. But I will eventually write full-blown space operas. They're going to be awesome.

    Firefight Seattle Public Library signing ()
    #10887 Copy

    Questioner

    What is a sparkflicker and what are they used for?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh good question... You'll be interested in this. Sparkflickers are-- Herdazians, their fingernails are stone. A sparkflicker is so they can start fires. They're actually flint-and-steel-ing. So a sparkflicker is a fire-creator using their actual fingernails.

    Questioner

    So they don't have a martial application?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...Not really. I mean the sparkflicker, no. The nails? Yes, if your fingernails are rough. But there is a deep implication to that that I don't think people have quite picked out yet.

    Firefight Seattle Public Library signing ()
    #10889 Copy

    Questioner

    Do Allomantic Pushes and Pulls generate friction?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Do they generate friction. So... *sighs* I've had to ask myself this because if they didn't generate friction certain things that I do in the books wouldn't happen. I assume if you've seen the physics of it you've noticed. I have to go with yes. But the physics of it I'm a little wishy-washy on. I mean it's pretty obvious from the way I do things that they do.

    Questioner

    Yes! I have won the argument on the 17th Shard.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I mean, you've seen the science of it, right? You Push things up and they stay there. And so if they didn't generate friction, two people couldn't both Push on a coin to hold it in place, but it does get held in place.

    Questioner

    I just won a 17 page argument.

    Brandon Sanderson

    But I have to tell you... Peter is going to have to break his brain making the physics of that work. But I mean, it's canon. I put it in the books so it’s not like we can just ignore the fact.

    Firefight Seattle Public Library signing ()
    #10891 Copy

    Questioner

    So with the cosmere, do you come up with stories and see if they fit? Or does the cosmere  kind of lend itself to stories already?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's mostly the first. *audio obscured* When I come up with a story I'll ask, "Does this fit the cosmere?" and if not-- Like, for instance,  this one, that I read tonight [Perfect State], just doesn't fit the cosmere. I don’t want to be doing far-future science fiction stuff yet in the cosmere, and when I do, virtual reality is not a cosmere thing. So I can't write that as cosmere. Or the Rithmatist which I bounced back and forth. Would have been, could have not been. I just eventually decided it didn't fit the story. When things do fit, I put them in.

    Questioner

    Is that a really exciting moment? Or just sort of "Ohhh that's nice"

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it's just like that. I like all my stories.  The Cosmere-- One of my rules for myself is "The Cosmere is not my entire body of work" because then I would just be shoehorning  things in and I've found sometimes when authors create a multiverse they shoehorn everything in. Stephen King did this, Asimov did this. It doesn't work. I think if it is an intentional thing I'm deliberately doing, then it gains more power, it's cooler than if I were trying to make everything connected.

    Firefight Seattle Public Library signing ()
    #10892 Copy

    Questioner

    Is Investiture universal? By that I mean, if an Allomancer got Stormlight somehow could they use that to fuel Allomancy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is always possible, so yes.  But in some case it requires some quote-unquote hacking, like an AC vs a DC current or we've got a 120 Volt and they've got 240. Does that make sense? It might require-- I guess hacking is the wrong term, adapters.

    Firefight Seattle Public Library signing ()
    #10893 Copy

    Questioner

    Anything you can tell us about Frost?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What do you want to know about Frost?

    Questioner

    Everything.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Then no. I'm not going to tell you everything about Frost. He's still alive.

    Questioner

    He's immortal?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. He can be killed, he's just functionally immortal, he doesn't age.

    Questioner

    Has he always been able to take the form of that-- *audio obscured*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. He was born as one.

    Questioner

    Born as one.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is a race.

    Firefight Seattle Public Library signing ()
    #10894 Copy

    squirenonny

    Was there any particular reason that you are looking at doing Mistborn in the 40's?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Just because I want to see-- It's where I feel excited by a story and if I go all the way to the 80's, which I’m going to do eventually, we lose the Age of Exploration, my last shots at it. I think in the 40's we could still have a shot at Age of Exploration even though it's well past that, you know what I mean? The last remnants of my chance of doing that, I think. The exploration hits late here, but by the 80's they're launching satellites, right? The world is known. So if I want to do one more thing before then I could do-- The thing about the Mistborn world is that it is mostly uninhabited.  It's like an Earth-sized planet where most of the continents have no people. That’s really exciting from a storytelling aspect.

    Firefight Seattle Public Library signing ()
    #10895 Copy

    squirenonny

    So my friend wanted me to ask, after we both read Firefight, is there anything you can tell us about Instabam?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Instabam, oh. What do you want to know about Instabam?

    squirenonny

    Powers or anything.

    Brandon Sanderson

    See facetiously in my head I had Instabam have power over instant potatoes, but I'm probably not going to do that. But that is what I had in my head when I wrote that name. Yeah, instant potatoes, "Poom". Can cook food at the snap of fingers. I don't know what their powers are. I didn't work that out.

    Squirenonny

    Okay.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can say instant potatoes if you want.

    Firefight Seattle Public Library signing ()
    #10897 Copy

    Questioner

    And my last one, Obliteration, the Epic, is based on an author.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is based on an author.

    Questioner

    It's Jim Butcher, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I couldn't say if it were, with these handsome locks and wearing a trenchcoat, and the goatee.

    Questioner

    It's totally Jim Butcher.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well Jim Butcher doesn't have hair like this anymore. He cut his hair.

    Firefight Seattle Public Library signing ()
    #10898 Copy

    Questioner

    My other question is about the phrase "Shadows of Self".  It's mentioned in the last Mistborn book *audio obscured* so are we ever going to see the shadows in Shadows of Self?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We are not going-- Well yes and no. What it is referencing in this book is the different roles that each person plays in their life. That is the core meaning of Shadows of Self. But then, there is also, there is a kandra involved, which they change shape and become different people, so "who are you?" and identity is a big thing.

    Firefight Seattle Public Library signing ()
    #10899 Copy

    Questioner

    My first question is about Shallan and whether what she does with her drawings and the deserters in Words of Radiance, kind of changing them, is at all similar to what Shai does in The Emperor's Soul?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Umm, that's a good question. There are similarities, but only so much that The Emperor's Soul is cosmere and is relying on the same foundation of magic. But good question. Are you getting at me saying you've seen somebody do it before?

    Questioner

    I talked to Alice.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So you have seen what she does before, but that is not what I was pointing at. It's someth-- No one is going to expect it.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #10900 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Koloss are something I've been trying to work in for a time. Originally, in the very first draft of Mistborn one, I had them make an appearance in the prologue:

    The skaa worked the fields with the lethargy of the hopeless, their motions methodical and listless. Though the sun's light was darkened and ruddied by the ever-present smoke, the day was still oppressively hot. Yet, no skaa man paused to wipe his soot-stained brow–being seen resting by a koloss fieldmaster would invite a whipping.

    So, the skaa worked. Eyes down, watching the dirt by their feet, they dug at the weeds–daring not to speak, barely even daring to think. Koloss stalked amidst them, blood-drop eyes alert for signs of skaa laziness.

    Obviously, I changed their place in the world drastically. During the drafting of book one, I was still working out what I wanted the koloss to be. I knew they were going to be something monstrous, and as the first draft of Mistborn One progressed, I slowly cut them from the book and decided to save them for book two. As the characters talked about them, the koloss reputation became more and more nasty–and I went so far as to explain that the Lord Ruler himself feared to keep them near human settlements.

    So, when it came to plan book two, I put a lot of effort into developing the koloss. I wanted them to be cool visually, live up to their reputations, and work within the worldbuilding and magic of the setting. You'll find out a lot more about them as the series progresses.