In Stormlight Archive what inspired you to come up with the idea of bridges & how they carry them across chasms?
I wanted a form of siege warfare that was different from anything that readers had seen before, but had the same despair to it.
Who provoked the confrontation, Tanavast or Rayse?
Is it known to most people in Elandel that Ranette has a girlfriend? Or are they hiding?
They don't need to hide in particular in Elendel.
Do you watch Doctor Who? And if so, would you like to write an episode?
I have watched some Doctor Who and liked it a lot--but I don't do screenplays, so I might not be a good choice.
When you write.do you see the characters as real people or cartoons or comics?
Will there be a sequel to the secret project? (are we allowed to use it's name yet?)
Yes, you can use the name now. And yes, I plan a sequence of these.
You've mentioned several times that traveling to Shadesmar [the Cognitive Realm] on Sel is incredibly dangerous. Would reassembling Devotion and Dominion solve this problem?
Yes, I suppose that could work, yes.
If you watch in these scenes, I'm trying very hard to set up the butler's eventual betrayal. This one must be done very carefully, however, for a couple of reasons. First off, Tillaume is actually a pretty good person. Loyal to Wax's uncle, true, but a good man. He doesn't want to kill Wax, but he sees it as important and understands what must be done.
What he is doing here in discouraging Wax is an attempt to keep him from drawing the old Lord Ladrian's attention. Tillaume knows that if it goes too far, Wax will have to be removed. But Tillaume is fond of him, and doesn't want that to happen. Hence his disapproval. He doesn't actually know he''ll be ordered to kill Wax; in fact, if he had known that he'd be responsible, he probably would have tried harder to sabotage what Wax is doing in these chapters. It takes him a little by surprise that Wax does all this, however, as Tillaume thought he'd sufficiently discouraged such behavior.
Where did the Cosmere come from? What inspired you?
Lots of things. Isaac Asimov connecting his Robot books and Foundation books was a partial inspiration to be certain.
Have you ever completely lost motivation or inspiration to write? When?
Closest I've come was about two years before I got published. I'd been rejected so much, and had worked for 8 years.
Parshendi/Parshmen/Gemhearts vs ISIS/Non-radical Muslims/Oil - A comparison you've considered while writing?
The Parshendi aren't the radicals, though. In that conflict, I'd argue that the humans are.
Is there a plan for a book focusing on Hoid or will he always remain an enigma?
The final Mistborn sequence will have him as a main character, as will the Dragonsteel prequel novels.
With the White Sand graphic novels, do you intend to continue the sequence past the first MS of White Sand?
Yes, if they are popular enough, I do.
the other Nathan
If a large group of Windrunners lashed enough mass towards a single point, could they create a black hole?
Offhand, I think that would be theoretically possible, though in practicality impossible. We'd need [Peter Ahlstrom] to do some math.
If you've read the book, then you probably won't be surprised to find that a partial inspiration for it was the Sherlock Holmes stories. Of course, you'd have to search pretty far to find any kind of detective story that isn't somehow influenced by good Mister Holmes. This story, however, is more consciously inspired along those lines. I purposely developed a mysterious (almost even magical) series of robberies along the lines of what you see in the Holmes stories. The technological era is similar as well.
Of course, the characters are much different—even down to the character roles and dynamics. I wanted Wax to be a thinker, but more of a lawman than an eccentric. Wayne has enough eccentricity for three characters. I wanted the way that Wax approached solving a problem like this to be more methodical, more like a lawman who has grown accustomed to doing things on his own—but who has procedures he follows.
Beyond that, I wanted Wax to be solid. Many people are going to prefer Wayne for obvious reasons, but I prefer this story to be about Wax. (I'll talk more about Wayne's origins later.) Wax's solidity helps anchor the story, I feel. Perhaps I find him more interesting than others will, but the different parts of him that are warring inside create for a stronger dynamic than some of the other characters, who are more static.
Wayne shows up
Another aspect of the Mistborn books is the humor. I plan the humor in each of my novels specifically. In Warbreaker, the humor is all about wordplay and lofty back-and-forths. In the Alcatraz books, it's about being audacious, whimsical, and . . . well, a little insane. In The Way of Kings, it's more character-specific, certain characters engaging in different types of humor to fit the scene.
The Mistborn books have always employed a type of humor I'll call grim banter. Friends who know each other making jokes back and forth amid sometimes terrible situations. There's usually an edge to the banter, much how Kelsier would speak in the original trilogy. I wanted to maintain that feel, and so for this series to work, it needed to be founded on at least two characters who knew one another well and who were comfortable with insulting one another in the name of levity.
It was actually hard not to get to Wayne sooner in the book—even though this is only chapter two, he's a big part of the heart and soul of this story. I wanted to get him in quickly, as quickly as possible. This was the right place, I'm confident—he'd have distracted from Lessie in the prologue.
I'm pleased with how he turned out, by the way. He's vibrant enough as a person, with a good soul and a lot of quirks, that he quite often steals the show. That was a balance I had to work on in the book to make sure he didn't steal it too much. (Or, at least, too often.)
Wax Ties a Cravat
In the original draft, I conceived this scene specifically because of how strong a contrast it would provide to jumping around in the mists in the previous scene. This has always been a theme of the Mistborn books, and I hoped that some familiarity in that regard would provide a connecting tie between this book and the previous trilogy.
Mistborn was about balance—balancing the life of a thief (and then assassin) in Vin's case with the life of a noblewoman. I wanted Wax to be dealing with some of the same concepts, but from another direction. Instead of a young person discovering high society, Wax is returning to it after abandoning it. But, as Vin never truly abandoned her street-thief roots, Wax never abandoned his gentleman's ways.
Been approached by any movie studios or directors about any of your work yet?
We've sold Steelheart to Fox, Emperor's Soul to DMG, and Mistborn to the people who are working on the video game.
Could the spear used to kill Kelsier be used as an Identity spike?
I'm RAFOing most questions about Identity right now. (Sorry.)
Regarding the Ire: did they set out into the Cosmere pre- or post-Reod?
Can you tell us the name of factory from which Tia gets her Cola pouches? And perhaps the city?
Factory is one that doesn't exist in our world, but I believe I have it in Chattanooga.
How hard was it for you to get your first manuscript published? Did you send multiple copies?
It took me ten years of work to become an author who wrote books that were of professional quality.
Once I hit that point, my chances improved. Elantris was rejected half a dozen times over four years before selling.
Could you Awaken an Honorblade?
It would take a Looooooot of power. (A near impossible amount.)
Any updates on movie/tv/video game adaptions?
Nothing big. Steelheart has a script. It's the only one so far to hit that stage.
Any new information about the Steelheart movie? So excited about it! Will you be involved in making it?
Last I heard, they had a script they liked, and were sending it out for a polish. I will be as involved as they will allow!
I'm assuming they met in White Sand, if Hoid is who I think he is in that one ;) but more how well does she know his agenda?
I'm not sure if you're thinking this, but Nazh and Hoid are separate people.
Other than Hoid, which character have you had the most fun writing?
Why isn't Alcatraz part of the Cosmere?The lenses seem like they could be investiture-related.
I didn't want Alcatraz to have to follow Cosmere continuity and rules. Yes, the magic could work in the cosmere
Is Edgli going to make an appearance (or be mentioned in) another book? I want to know more about Edgli!
Yes, this will be answered eventually.
Hoid, Wayne, Kelsier and Wax are playing cards. How many aces are there?
Only Wayne and Hoid are likely to cheat, and they'd be in cahoots.
If Kelsier had visited Roshar, what spren would have been attracted to his character?
Gloryspren because he pretty much always feels like he's done something awesome. :)
Cloud of the Ghar
Was atium truly one of the 16 metals, or can it be used by anyone just like lerasium?
Atium has some screwy things going on. It's not one of the 16, but not just anybody could use it.
What's the book you've enjoyed the most writing?
Hmm.... Probably one of the Alcatraz books.
Do you think pantsers grow up to be planners? Or, are pantsers forever pantsers, & planners forever planners?
I think that both pantsers and planners generally learn to use the tools of the others side on occasion.
And some do swap, particularly for given books. But neither is the other in embryo.
Epigraphs in Mistborn & Stormlight: did you wrote them before, during or after writing the rest of the book?
Almost always after the book is done, with notes before certain chapters of what to include above that one.
Who/what was the inspiration for Wayne's character? He's the best!
Really, it started with the hats and went crazy from there.
Is "Galladon" Galladon's true name ?
It is his birth name, if that's what you're asking.
Yes, I had this crazy idea about "people need to have an Aon in the name to be chosen by the Shaod" and Galladon hasn't it.
Ah, that's an excellent guess. But no, that isn't the case. It's more about Connection.
Are there any characters that were particularly difficult for you to work with?
Cadsuane from the WoT was the one that comes to mind.
How big is the Roshar supercontinent?
[Peter Ahlstrom] or [Isaac Stewart], can give you a specific on that, if you need one. I don't have the scale map handy.
Roughly 4000 miles East to West.
I can't remember if that is right, per my globe.
True. Things might've changed since the globe experiment.
Can you give us an Oath that hasn't been revealed in the story yet?
No. You'll have to wait for the stories to get those.
The finale of Hero of Ages is incredibly ballsy. Were you at all concerned about backlash?
Yes, I was. As was my editor. We both agreed it was the right ending, though, and so I didn't have to do much convincing.
Could a sentient Invested object take up a Shard?
Highly unlikely, probably impossible--but impossibility is hard to judge.
What author would you want to finish The Stormlight Archive or Mistborn books if you were unable to?
I'd probably want Brian T. McClellan or Brent Weeks, though I don't know if either would have the time.
When did you first start playing around with the idea of Allomancy?
Sometime in 98-99.
Any advice for creating an editing plan, especially if a novel needs big changes?
Organize your list of changes by importance, and try fixing only the most important ones in your next draft.
Once you have the big things fixed, you can move on to smaller issues. Be goal based in your revisions.
Is the metal on Scadrial specially Invested? Can an Allomancer use metals from other planets?
Metal is a key, not the source of power itself. Most is not specially Invested.
It glows because of the power seeking to come through it, not because of the power within it.
Have you considered writing a book explaining the cosmere and worldbuilding?
Some day, we will probably do this. But I want more of the different worlds fleshed out first.
Will you ever do a crossover novel with different characters/worlds?
Yes, I will. The final Mistborn books will have this. There's already some in novellas like Secret History and Sixth of the Dusk.
Is there are metal that can grant Feruchemy, a la lerasium/Allomancy?
Another RAFO. (Sorry.)
Hoid has never drawn his sword on Roshar, which looks similar to Nightblood. Is Hoid's sword also Awakened?
That is a RAFO, I'm afraid!