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    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12251 Copy

    Questioner

    When are you going to write the other Warbreaker book? Last time I came to hear you talk, you said you were going to, and now you have 3000 other projects!

    Brandon Sanderson

    I know, and the Warbreaker fans really get on my case about that. Well, I wrote Words of Radiance, and I got Vasher into it, so that would kindle interest, and make sure that you at least got to see your characters again.

    But did you hear the story about that? So, I wrote The Way of Kings in 2002, the first version, and in that version Kaladin trained with a swordmaster, and that swordmaster, a guy named Vasher, had a mysterious past. After I finished that book, later on I wrote Warbreaker as a prequel to Way of Kings, to show Vasher's backstory. But then Warbreaker came out before Way of Kings, which was a really kind of interesting thing. So in my head, Warbreaker is the prequel, but to everyone else... Yes, it is a totally different world, different planets, people get around...

    Wetlander

    So how much of Vasher's backstory do we actually have?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, a huge chunk of it…! If you were reading Way of Kings, you would know nothing, and then you’d read Warbreaker and you’d be like, “Oh, here’s a whole past that he had!” That doesn’t mean it’s all of his past.

    Wetlander

    (He’s not giving any hints as to whether Vasher had any connection with Roshar prior to Warbreaker – or at least not without someone asking a much more direct question.)

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12252 Copy

    Questioner

    In The Emperor's Soul - when did you decide to change the beginning?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was Mary, from the podcast with me, is very good at short fiction. She read it, and she said, "This intro is just holding the story back." And I read it again, and I'm like, I really feel that she's right. I felt at the end of it that the intro was interesting for people who liked Hoid already, but for people who didn't, it was just distracting and confusing. So at the end of the day, I cut it out, and I think it was a good move, even though it was sad. If you google the phrase "killing your darlings". it's a phrase we talk about in writing and storytelling. That scene was what made me want to write the book, it's what started me off in writing the book, and then I cut it out. But sometimes you have to end up doing that.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12253 Copy

    Questioner

    At the end of A Memory of Light, it mentions that Rand is no longer ta'veren - does that apply to Mat and Perrin as well? And if it does, how does it apply to Mat's luck?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Everything I'm saying right now is not 100% canon, because I'm only working off of my guesstimates based on his notes. I believe that Mat's luck is a soul attribute that is independent of him being a ta'veren, but enhanced by his ta'veren nature. Part of the proof of this is the Heroes of the Horn knowing him as Gambler, which means in other Ages when he's been born and not been ta'veren, he's still had luck and attraction to things like that. Plus things in the notes, I'm basing on that. So it does not necessarily mean they aren't ta'veren right now, but even if they weren't, I think Mat would still have his luck.

    Questioner

    So you don't know whether they're ta'veren or not?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do not know. My suspicion is that if he would have written the outriggers, Mat still would have been, and maybe Perrin, because Perrin was going to be in the outriggers, we know this. But I don't know for sure.

    But I think it would have been fun, if in some parallel dimension if I were to have written them, which I'm never going to, I would have not made Mat ta'veren, or Perrin, I would have made Tuon ta'veren, and forced Mat to deal with someone else who was ta'veren, which I think would have been interesting.

    Questioner

    Can women be ta'veren? Because in the entire series there is not a single female ta'veren.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is not, but I'm very sure that they can be, based on things that I read in the notes. So, that's what I would have done, but I don't know if that's what Robert Jordan would have done. Can you just imagine that, Mat having to think that he's in someone else's story now?

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12254 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you keep it all organized when you're doing so much at once?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A wiki. An internal wiki is where I keep all the cosmere and all the notes on that. The other things, I don't have to worry about as much. For instance, Reckoners, I've got one viewpoint character and one major plot; that I can keep in my head. I've got note files and things like that, but the Cosmere? Big old wiki full of stuff.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12257 Copy

    Questioner

    What was your inspiration for Sixth of the Dusk? It feels so, Polynesian or Hawaiian...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I love Hawaiian and Polynesian culture, and it was basically me reading some stories about Kamehameha, and his unification of the islands, and all this stuff, and I'm like, "Ah, I've got to use this someday." It was years later before I got to use it, but I did find a time to use it. And then we got Kekai [Kotaki] to do the illustration, and he's Polynesian, so...

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12258 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you ever have trouble keeping your characters straight? How long does it take to get back into them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If I stop writing and go back, it is hard. It takes about a month to get back into a story after I stop. I don't get the characters mixed up.

    Questioner

    *audio obscured*

    Brandon Sanderson

    I try to, but I don't always manage it, because of deadlines and things. It's always going to cost me, and I know it will, sometimes you can't avoid that. In the old days, I never did it, when I didn't have a publisher, but now it's my job. When they say, "We need this revision done," I stop and do the revision, but it costs me.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12259 Copy

    Questioner

    I read online, something about one of your original drafts, [I think it was about] Gavilar, and it was where he was blind?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah that was actually Taravangian, in the oldest version. One of the very first things I wrote was that, though Taravangian had a different name then, and was very different. Szeth has stayed the same through all the revisions. Kaladin has changed wildly, and almost everybody has changed dramatically, except Szeth is the same person. Him and Dalinar are the same.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12260 Copy

    Questioner

    *Something incomprehensible about emotion* Do you like to connect with your reader on an emotional level?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do. So here's the thing: I am not an emotional person by my nature, and one of the only things that makes me feel very strong emotions is fiction. A really good piece of fiction makes me feel like the characters do, and the rest of the time, I'm just kind of - I won't say emotionless, but not emotional. It's not that. It's like some people have wild mood swings; one day they're a 20 and one day they're an 80, on a scale of 1 to 100, right? I'm always a 70, right? Like almost consistently always pleasantly happy. I don't know what depression feels like. I don't know what it really feels like to be sad. I've never really felt that - except when I'm reading a book. Does that make sense? So that's one of the reasons I write, because I want to be able to [go through] those emotions with people.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12261 Copy

    Questioner

    I've gotten both Legion books from Subterranean Press, and I was wondering if you've planned on doing any more through them.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would like to. The thing is, it is kind of a hassle, just because working out release dates and things like that, part of the reason to do - I think they do gorgeous editions - but part of the reason to do the e-book things is so that I can be a little bit more spontaneous in releasing them and things like that, and so I'm likely to continue, but it is a bit hard. This time, we were like, "Why don't you guys just release a limited edition, and we'll do a print edition," but then they were like, "No, please don't do one." So I think I'd go back to letting them do a cheap edition and a limited edition if I did another one with them, I don't know.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12262 Copy

    Questioner

    What was the book that was the hardest to write for you?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It would definitely be A Memory of Light, the last Wheel of Time book.

    Questioner

    Why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, number one, I had been following that series for 20 years, and I was finishing off the writing of an author I respected a lot, and trying to fill his shoes, and not being able to do it because no one could, and the end of a journey. Every other book I've finished, I know if I wanted to I could go back and write more about those characters. Wheel of Time, I can't. It's done. It's not mine; I can't go write another book about Mat or Perrin or anything like that. So there's a finality to finishing that book that I haven't had with any of my other books. And then in addition, logistically it was a very difficult book to write.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12263 Copy

    Questioner

    What was your inspiration for coming up with Szeth?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So... I designed his culture first, one of the odd cases where I was working on the culture, and out of that grew his character, at odds with his culture. So I wanted somebody who was both the paragon of his culture and the person who was at odds with it. That concept just worked for me.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12264 Copy

    Questioner

    Infinity Blade - are there other plans to continue with that, and are they going to release a print edition?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What the plan is right now, if I can convince them to do it, is to do a nice print edition that will include the script of the first one, annotated by the guys who wrote it, my story in between, then the script for the second, then my story, then the script of the third, so it's a complete story, with the cut scenes illustrated, and things like that. So even a graphic novel, then prose, then a graphic novel - something like that.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12265 Copy

    Questioner

    In the Mistborn trilogy, was it hard to write the final twist, or had it been planned that way?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is always the way it was planned. There are some smaller things that I'll allow spontaneity to change the book, but the general structure of the book is always planned out. And if something changes while I'm writing I go and throw away the plan and rebuild the plan, so I'm always writing with a plan.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12266 Copy

    Questioner

    One thing when I was reading The Alloy of Law, in Mistborn, all the [Feruchemists] were the Mistborn version of [Feruchemy], and then it changed to the Misting version of [Feruchemy]. Is there...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, there's a reason for that, and I'll delve into it a bunch more later, but basically, there's two things going on. Number one, the bloodlines have thinned, and that's the reason they're talking about [here]. Also, full-blooded Feruchemists mixing, like the populations mixed, is really dangerous, and Sazed knew this. So, I'll just leave it at that.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12267 Copy

    Questioners (Paraphrased)

    *Exact transcription impossible as everyone is talking over each other* Basically a couple of fans were talking with Brandon about making Legion into a TV series; one person thought that in the pilot, the aspects need to be actors, while the other thought that (for the pilot only) they should not be seen, so Stephen looks like a wacky eccentric talking to himself about solving mysteries, and then the episodes would reveal the individuality of the aspects.

    Brandon Sanderson

    *paraphrase* Brandon agreed that the second approach would be very clever, but that it would be very hard to convince (someone - not sure if it was himself, or the aspects, or who!) to do that, because he has them all cast in his head.

    *verbatim* Normally I don't cast actors in the roles in my books, they're just who they are, but each of the aspects is an actor to me. If you look really closely, you might be able to guess who they are, because they're all famous actors.

    We sold it to Lionsgate, and they never made it, and the option lapsed. We've sold it to somebody else now, but we’ll see if it ever gets made.

     

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12269 Copy

    Questioner

    So do you ever put a page length limit on yourself?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't, but I know by gut generally after I start writing how long a book feels.

    Questioner

    Does the publisher ever put any limits on you?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, they actually haven't. They do ask me if I'll write them shorter, but it's always an ask, and I usually ignore them. In fact, Words of Radiance is the largest book they can physically print with their printer, but the font is not the smallest font they could do yet. So I could actually get about another 100,000 words longer before it gets unreadable.

    Questioner

    So by the time we get to Stormlight 6 or 7, they'll have to go buy a new printer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I've warned them. I will write it at the length that feels right.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12270 Copy

    Questioner (Paraphrased)

    Why do you have so many series going on at once instead of finishing one of them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A couple of reasons. The main one is that it's the way I stay fresh as a writer, I find that I get burned out on things. Another main one is that I feel if I'm not practicing different styles, I'll get into a rut, and my writing will repeat itself. It's kind of like a philosophical reason and an instinctual one. I tell people who are annoyed that I'm not writing Stormlight that you wouldn't get Stormlight any faster if I weren't writing these other books in between - you might get it more slowly, because it's working on other things that really rejuvenates me as a writer. So I would be writing at a [Patrick] Rothfuss speed if I weren't jumping between things.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12271 Copy

    Questioner

    Why couldn't Joel be a Rithmatist? He wanted it so bad.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will explain as the series progresses. That is a plot point. Every book like that, they get the power in the end, and I thought it was a much more interesting story if he has half - the knowledge - and Melody has half - the talent - and together they create a whole. It just worked, and it was much better for me as a story. I knew going into it that he wasn't going to be able to by the end of the book, but the reasons for it you'll find out as the series progresses.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12272 Copy

    Questioner

    I was wondering if you were thinking along the lines of a movie of Alcatraz?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We tried really hard. We actually even got storyboards and things with Dreamworks Animation, which was going to be awesome, but then they eventually let it die. So if you buy the big art Dreamworks Animation book, there's actually Alcatraz concept art on one of the pages, which is kind of excruciating that it never happened.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12273 Copy

    Questioner

    Second question, if completely hypothetically, and forbid! - somebody had to do for you what you did for Robert Jordan, who would your choice be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would probably either pick Brent Weeks, who has a very similar style to me, or Brian McClellan, who is one of my students who is now publishing books, and writing very good books. Those guys, either one, I think would do a fine job.

    Questioner

    I read McClellan's book on your recommendation. Can you let him know that he needs to put women in his books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, that's what I actually told him. My number one criticism when he called me and said, "What do you think of my book?" I said, "You only put one woman in your book, and she's a cliche." She's the friendly cliche, *audio obscured*. The first thing that happens is you get the cliched damsel in distress, then when people realize "Oh, that's being sexist," they then make the girl awesome, but have no personality. That's like step two. Then step three is real characters, and so I did let him know, and he promised he would do better with future books. I think it is the most legitimate criticism of that book, is that he's just bad with women. But you know, my first book I was terrible; I just didn't publish that one. He's unfortunate that he published it. But even in Mistborn, I only had Vin, so we all fall into this trap, and I've read many women who only put one guy in the book, and he's perfect. It's just something that new authors have a problem with very naturally, so hopefully he'll catch on the same way I caught on.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12274 Copy

    Questioner

    First of all, how confident are you in your race with [Patrick] Rothfuss for use of the word "Stone" in your title?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know, it's looking more and more like this might not even be Szeth's book. And if it's not Szeth's book, I may not even name it Stones Unhallowed; I might name it something else relating to another character, but then again, Kaladin's book was named after the book Dalinar was reading, so anyway. We'll see. I'm pretty sure I will... He has said his "isn't coming out next year," as in coming out this year, and so... I'll have mine done by the end of this year, and it will be coming out next year, so it'll just depend

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12276 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you have any, or will you ever write a gay character into any of your books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are several. Drehy, in The Stormlight Archive, the bridgeman is gay, because he's based off a good friend of mine who's gay. Ranette in the Wax & Wayne books, the woman that Wayne's in love with, she's gay, and it's hinted at in the first book. By the second book, they're like "Dude, she's gay, just leave her alone." So yes, I have written gay characters. I've never written a gay main viewpoint character, maybe someday I will, it's not something I've done yet.

    Footnote: (from Wetlander) At this point I asked about Jasnah, and I'll summarize our conversation; Brandon specifically asked me not to transcribe it directly. He'd momentarily forgotten that he had actually written Jasnah viewpoints, so his "I've never written a gay main viewpoint character" comment wasn't intended to quell the speculation about her either way. He clearly didn't intend to say that she's not gay, but he didn't want to rephrase in such a way as to say that she is, either; at this point, he really doesn't want to give a WoB about her either way. He'll deal with that if/as it becomes relevant to the story - and he refused to give any indication whether that was if or as. We are to continue our speculation if we're interested in the question.
    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12277 Copy

    Questioner

    I loved the ending of Words of Radiance. When you come up with an idea for a new cosmere book, do you have to go "Oh, now I have to figure out how this fits in with everything else", or do you have it pre-made?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have a few little holes that I can slot things into, and I try to get them to fit the roles, like I know there are certain things that need to happen, and if it doesn't fit the role, I just go ahead and make it a minor planet, like Shadows for Silence, where I can write a story, but I can't put as much magic into those books. So I've got a few restrictions on me, but I think that's important for maintaining the continuity.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12278 Copy

    Wetlander

    Human, spren, Splinter Sliver, Shard Adonalsium - which of these is most similar ontologically to Nakomi?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *laughter* I can't say anything about Nakomi! Robert Jordan did not want anything said about Nakomi! I can't say anything at all about Nakomi! Dig into the notes when they are released, and then you can find out things said about Nakomi. The little tiny hints we have, I told you he wrote that thing at the end, and I'm like well, okay. So.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12279 Copy

    Wetlander

    How much time elapses between the beginning of the main part of the story [where they start out at the Shattered Plains] and the end of the series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    And the end of the series? Because the end of the series, um, we have a 15-year gap between [books number] 5 and 6. So, the first five will probably be Wheel of Time-ish, sort of, each one picks up where the last one left off; we have a little more time, maybe, than Wheel of Time, but not terribly much, so it will probably be just a couple of years for the first ones, but then we will jump.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12280 Copy

    Wetlander

    Have you actually written out the Diagram, and Words of Radiance, and so on?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, heavens, no. That's the sort of thing that falls into the worldbuilder's disease thing; there's no way that writing those out is worth the effort, so no, I have not. Definitely not the Diagram. If I were going to write any of them, I would write The Way of Kings, but even that, it's probably 30 or 40 thousand words in-world.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12281 Copy

    Wetlander

    The bit with the bandits out there, and the deserters, and she [Shallan] convinces them to all go... Was she doing Lightweaving? Was she doing Transformation? Was she doing some combination?

    Brandon Sanderson

    She was... You have seen what she was doing before, done by another character.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12282 Copy

    Wetlander

    When Shallan does Lightweaving, is that a combination of Illumination and Transformation, or is Lightweaving just of Illumination?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Lightweaving is just of Illumination. Lightweaving is a long-established power in the cosmere. Very early books, in fact one of the very first stories I ever wrote, Lightweaving was the magic. (That story is unpublished, written long ago - long before Liar of Partinel) And so, this stems from my own personal affection for illusion and my feeling that it had not been used as well as I wanted it to be used in fantasy fiction. So I consider it only Illumination truly in The Stormlight Archive.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12283 Copy

    Wetlander

    In addition to the two abilities given by each Surge, does a Knight Radiant Order have a third blended ability, the interaction of its two given Surges?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not specifically as phrased there, but each Order has quirks that are unique to it. They are magical quirks, but it's not necessarily a blend of the powers.

    Wetlander

    So Shallan's Memories is kind of a...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Is associated with her Order, yes.

    Wetlander

    It's not just because she had that wonderful ability, and Pattern came along and went, "Oh, I like this one!"

    Brandon Sanderson

    No that is not necessarily what attracted Pattern.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12284 Copy

    Questioner

    Are we going to see Book 5 of Alcatraz?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Are you going to see Book 5 of Alcatraz, that counts as awesome. So I have written Book 5 of Alcatraz... I have written it, Tor is re-releasing them, because we bought them back from Scholastic and are then, I bought the rights back, I didn't think they were treating the books very well, and we sold them again to Tor, and Tor just got the cover art for the first four and it looks really cool. It's the best cover art I've had on an Alcatraz book, which is good because Alcatraz, in the books, makes fun of the cover art on the books because it is so bad. I don't think our publisher liked that. *laughter* So I'm going to have to change the line or something. Anyway the plan is to re-release those starting in January next year and release them every one to two months until we get to the fifth book in the summer and release it then. So it's still a little ways off, I've been saying that for a long time but there is at least cover art now and the book is actually written.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12285 Copy

    Wetlander

    Prior to becoming pregnant, did [Queen Aesudan] spend most of her time at the Shattered Plains, or in the capital?

    Brandon Sanderson

    She has spent most of her time in the capital. She obviously has been back and forth. I would say she has spent more time off the Shattered Plains than at it.

    Wetlander

    But she was at the Shattered Plains, rather than Elhokar going back to the capital?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He has been back at least once, but it is a long trip.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12289 Copy

    Questioner

    I was curious what the-- or if you had an inspiration for the scene with Vin and Elend going to his father's camp and the talk about acceptance?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah a lot of these con-- these stories-- If you didn't hear it, there's a scene where Vin and Elend in Words of Radiance go to visit-- *crowd murmurs* not Words of Radiance *laughter* Well of Ascension! They both start with a "W" I'm running out of letters to start books with. Yeah it's a good problem. So they go to talk to Straff and there's a lot of discussion about acceptance and just kind of things I was thinking about at the time and think about a lot. One of the things is "I hope people enjoy this, if not you're just going to have to deal with it." I work out what I'm thinking about life through the voices of my characters. And it's something I really look for in books as well, I do want a little philosophy with my fantasy. And, y'know, it's not that I'm trying to answer those questions, but I'm working on them. And the characters, because they have a different perspective from myself--because the characters don't voice what I think, they voice what they think about something I'm thinking about--and that really kind of helps me think about it and talk through it. And it's one of the reasons I write books, besides doing awesome stuff.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12291 Copy

    Questioner

    What are some of your favorite books to read to your kids?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Favorite books to read to the kids, hands down my favorite book to read to the kids is Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus *laughter* Just, that story is just so much fun-- When they get it, right? I read it to the two- or three-year-old and they don't quite get it, but by four they're like "I get to say no to the pigeon?" and they love it. They absolutely love it. Lately we've been reading one they love called Supertato? We bought it when we were in the UK so they use all of these trolleys instead of-- And it's just about a potato that saves people-- that saves vegetables in the supermarket. And it came with stickers to stick on your own potatoes to turn them into supertatoes. And so-- I have three little boys and so they love, absolutely love Supertato. If you want to see a picture of my little boys, I did a blog thing--which was really just a big advertisement for my books, but don't tell anyone--talking about the superhero genre and my children who dress up as superheroes, and it's so funny. They are endless sources of inspiration. They go into the room and come out with things and they're like "I'm Batman" I'm like "You've got a bucket, and you've got an iPad that you've affixed to your arm somehow, and you've got an oven mitt and you're Batman?" "I'm Batman" "You look just like him."

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12292 Copy

    Questioner

    Are we going to see anything in the Elantris universe anytime soon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You should see-- I mean "anytime soon" is a very sub-- difficult to answer. Like the next thing I'm doing are the Mistborn books, I actually wrote two of those instead of one because two for the price of one, right? Did you guys know this? I sent them to my publisher because the book was due and I sent the book off and I attached a sequel to it *laughter* in the email and said nothing about it except "Here's your book" and then went to bed 'cause I was sending this at like 4AM because I stay up really late. And so I got up the next morning to mass panic from my publisher and agent and they're like "You put two books in here!?!" and I'm like "Yeah I wrote two on accident" *laughter* And so I did that, and yeah. And then they threw a party because an extra Sanderson book, unsurprisingly, is a pretty big deal at the publisher and then they decided to publish them very quickly. So what I'm doing is I'm writing Calamity, third of The Reckoners, and final of The Reckoners, right now. So our next sequence of books will be two Mistborn, then Calamity, and then the third Stormlight book.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12294 Copy

    Questioner

    I don't know what you can or cannot tell me but I read a comment that Hoid is your favorite character, I don't know what you can say about that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid is definitely a favorite of mine. Picking a favorite character is like trying to pick a favorite child, It's just not productive. Robert Jordan always answered this question by saying "My favorite is the one that I am writing right now" and so-- But yes, Hoid is the character-- one of the very first characters I came up with, and he travels through almost all of my books. So you can watch for him.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12295 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you come up with the languages? Just because it sounds cool, or...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Languages. So languages in my books, I have a couple of tools that I use and it depends on the book. For some books I just use kind of shortcuts. Mistborn is an example of this, there's only one language that everyone is speaking and there is a little bit of Terris, so for that I just made every region-- I based off of an Earth language and used that. Like for instance the Central Dominance is French, so Vin and Demoux--and they would say Kelsi-ay--and things like this is where the names came from. For something more intricate like Stormlight Archive, I did take linguistics classes, I only snuck into a few of those. And so I'm able to drill down and do some real linguistics. And so I know what I want things to sound like, I know how I want them to feel. And I have all sorts of goofy things that you would even need to know, like for instance they would say "Kholin" instead of Kholin and stuff like this because there's a little bit of Semitic, the language family I'm using as a basis. And then there's stuff like the symmetrical names and stuff like that. Anyway, I can talk about that forever but the answer is yes I find what's cool but sometimes it's really academically cool and sometimes it really puts people of. Like one of the first reviews I got from Elantris was like "These names are really hard to pronounce and kind of dumb" and this was like one of the major review magazines "I can't get into these names" because I had used lots of linguistic things from my time living in Korea to create the languages, and they were kind of hard to say. It's part of why in Mistborn everyone has a nickname that's easy to remember.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    As an aside, it's really funny, like I've had on and off sort of things go well with Hollywood and things not go well with Hollywood and things get optioned. Someone in Hollywood read one of my books and then went online and googled about it and found about this whole thing and then called me and wanted to buy the rights to the entire thing 'cause they're like "It's like the Avengers, everything's crossing over!" Apparently that's hot in Hollywood right now, which is very cool that someone in Hollywood was excited by it but it was kind of funny to me that now that's the big deal and this goofy thing I've been doing for twenty years is suddenly hot. So who knows it might turn into something, it might not. For those who are curious about movie things I have optioned most of the rights to a lot of my different books. I think the closest-- *sighs* What's the closest? I'm not sure what the closest is. The closest is probably The Emperor's Soul, though Mistborn is close behind it. I don't think either one is particularly close right now. That's just how Hollywood works. So don't hold your breath but I hope to have exciting things I can say eventually, because I really do like the people, both Emperor's Soul and Mistborn. They're some of the best people in Hollywood I've ever worked with, those two groups. They feel very genuine and I have a great feeling about it.

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    Questioner

    I heard a rumor that the universes of all your books are interconnected?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Most of my books, not all of them. If a book mentions Earth, it is not connected to what I call the cosmere, I kind of made this decision early on. So for those of you who don't know, my epic fantasies are indeed all connected. There are characters who cross over between them. I've been planning this for twenty years so I've got this intricate thing going on. There will eventually be big crossover books but for right now I don't want people to feel like they have to read everything in order to understand what's going on, and so for right now each of the books are only cameos. But you will be able to notice characters crossing between and there will be big crossover books eventually.

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    Questioner

    Which of the worlds is your favorite? Like if you could find yourself living in that world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Woah, that's two different things. *laughter* Which is my favorite. Roshar is my favorite. I've been working on that one the longest. I think it is the most unique. I've put a lot into it, but I don't know if I would want to live there because on Scadrial, where the Mistborn books take place they have flush toilets, right? *laughter* They have some of them on Roshar too but on Scadrial they have cars. I like modern conveniences. I like mac & cheese. I like the internet. And so the answer to you if someone were to say "You have to live in one of the worlds you're going to make" I would go hurriedly and write one that is far-future and awesome where nothing exciting ever happens. *laughter* Because that would be the best place for a writer to live.

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    Questioner

    How do you like to do internal monologues or thinking between different characters who are very similar to each other.

    Brandon Sanderson

    How do I like to do internal monologues and thinking between different characters who are distinct from each other. I just try to make it be in their voice. I am a person who likes to put thoughts directly in someone's head, so you'll see them in italics. And I try to keep to their voice as much as possible, so if they have linguistic quirks I put them into the thoughts.