What color is Moelach in the Physical Realm?
What color is Moelach in the Physical Realm?
In Calamity, Calamity's part of a mysterious group or civilization, really weird motives, we don't find out much about them. Was that <pointed, in any way,> part of the plot from the start?
Do you have a plan to explain that civilization?
I will someday explain that. At the very least, if I just have to sit down and write an essay on it, to give the closure. Yes, I will. And I do apologize for that. Apocalypse Guard was going to delve into this, but then the book got cancelled. By me.
You mentioned that you thought Rithmatist was gonna in the Cosmere. Did you have a Shard in mind?
Very early on, I did. But I won't tell you who it was. It it not a Shard we've seen. If I ever do write Rithmatist 2, you might be able to piece it together. Though I'm, in revisions of the outline, really trying to push it away from where it was originally, so it will have a distinctive feel of its own. So I'm trying to write out some of the cosmere elements. But this is one of those things that, if I write it out too much, it just won't match with the first book. So I have to be okay with some of the sort of cosmere relationships.
What technology that you have heard of recently in real life has inspired fantasy?
There's gotta be something in Skyward, right? Maybe?
Obviously, the Legion stories are, all three of them, inspired by real-world technology that I read something interesting about, and then go and write a story about. The first one, taking pictures of the past with a camera, not a real-world technology, but I was reading about photography and things like that. The second one, storing data inside of human cells, that's a real thing that lots of people are trying to do that, it's very interesting. And I didn't want to do a story about that, because I thought other people would do stories about that, so I did a story where someone storied data in a body and then lost it. And the third one is directly inspired by my kids love of their VR.
Have you ever written something else that you pulled into the cosmere?
You know, I don't do that very often. In fact, I'm trying to think of one that was outside the cosmere that pulled into it, and I can't think of one. I have pushed stories out of the cosmere very frequently. And the reason I do this is because I don't want to be setting things in the cosmere just because of the cosmere. I want to be setting things in the cosmere because they work and advance the story of the cosmere in a way I want it to be. And I want to be sure that I'm not just saying "Well, we'll shove this in the cosmere." So I very frequently try things out in the cosmere, and then pull them back. One of the main reasons I pull them back is I don't want any connection to Earth in the cosmere. So if a book needs a connection to Earth, or for some reason I like how the connection to Earth works, I will pull it out of the cosmere. The only thing I can think of that was out and went in was Dark One. But then it went out again.
In Alcatraz series, he talks about a lot of things. Religion, fame, particularly fame, stuff like that. I was wondering if that is his voice entirely, or if it's also partially you?
There is a lot of me in Alcatraz. My mother says Alcatraz is her favorite character because he sounds the most like me.
What book was the most fun to write?
The most fun to write was probably the third Wax and Wayne book, which is called Bands of Mourning. It was just a blast.
What's your favorite epic?
No one's ever asked me that before. I would say Limelight is my favorite epic.
What Order of Knights Radiant would you be?
I don't know. I've thought this before. Probably Bondsmith would be definitely my personality. But it depends. It depends on, if I were living in Roshar, what would my life be like, and things like that. A lot of people could be in multiple Orders, depending on the spren they meet, and where they go from there.
I listen to a lot of your books, and the fight sequences are <seriously good>. How... Do you have people, like, live-action it?
I do not, but I do a lot of having beta readers. And you can ask my beta readers, the action sequences are often the things that need the most work. Because I will not know what things are working or not working until I get those reads back where people say, "I'm not clear here, I'm not clear there." A lot of times, when I'm writing the first draft of the fight scene, I'm looking for the emotional connection to the character. What they're trying to accomplish. And then I see which of the things I wrote work with the readers and they can visualize, and then I back up and try again on the ones that don't.
What kind of Radiant do you think Shai would be?
That's a good question. I would go with Edgedancer. Listening is one of the things, but also the ability to get places where you're not supposed to be would be very up her alley. There is a argument for one with Lightweaving power. Shai a Lightweaver... does she lie to herself? No. She's very good at not lying to herself, which is part of it. I would go Edgedancer, followed by Lightweaver. We could make an argument that she, depending on situations, could end up in either order.
Which is not that uncommon, depending on the spren that you need.
What would Kaladin's second Order be if he weren't a Windrunner?
I would have to think about that. I haven't considered it.
*inaudible*, the name. Was it on purpose that it's a combination of "sheepish" and *inaudible*?
Probably. No, I'm not gonna say "probably." It is definitely a coincidence.
Do you have a character that's your... a way to be interacting through a character through a first person viewpoint.
Probably the closest thing I have is Alcatraz, from the Alcatraz books. Who is my method of blowing off steam about the writing process.
So, in Steelheart. The symbol of hope, they're thinking it's the Superman symbol.
It is. But I couldn't say that, because it's trademarked. But that is what it is.
You can imagine it as not. Because, I can't ever talk about Superman in that world. You can imagine it's an alternate version of our world where it's not. If it were ever made into a movie, it would not be.
What is it about Kaladin's personality or *inaudible* that would make it so hard for him to *inaudible*.
That is a RAFO, that you will have some explanation next book.
Is there a specific ear that Vin's earring goes in?
Yes, and we've canonized that, but I can't remember which one it is. If you look online, we have posted it to the fans, and they've put it in the wiki.
What inspired Steris?
Partially, me feeling that I didn't do a fair shake by an autistic character in Elantris, and wanted to do a better job of it later on after I had read more and more about it, and I'd known some people with autism, and things like that, and I wanted to try approaching someone on the spectrum from a more realistic viewpoint. Not that Elantris is completely wrong, but it's more Hollywood interpretation, rather than the real-life way that a lot of people who have autism live with it. That was part of it.
Part of it was also, I wanted to write a character based on a friend of mine, who when I first met them, was very kind of abrasive. And as I got to know them, became one of my best friends ever. And I'm like, "I want a character like that for fans." So if you read the book, you're like, "I hate this character." But at the end, you're like, "Oh, when I can see from their eyes, suddenly they're one of my favorites."
Kaladin is one of my favorite characters, and I noticed he's a really good leader, but he also does have his very hard moments. And I was wondering, what inspired you to make such a strong character that is allowed to cry and be weak?
That is partially my philosophy on writing coming out. And is partially me noticing some things about characters in books that I felt hadn't been covered very well. Certain styles of characters had not been done as much, and I wanted to explore that direction. I take a lot of inspiration from my wife for Kaladin, actually, who has depression.
Do you see yourself as a certain character in the book?
They are all one part me, one part not me.
I was wondering if you see yourself as Hoid.
Definitely not Hoid. Hoid is very different from me. If I'm like anyone, I'm either like Sazed, maybe older Dalinar.
With Allomancy is of Preservation, and you have Hemalurgy, which is of Ruin. Is Feruchemy a joint effort between the two? Or is it a third party?
What's the plan for a book on Threnody?
Book on Threnody? I have a plan, but no promises when. I don't even have a title for it.
Similar question for a book on First of the Sun?
First of the Sun is probably not going to have its own book. I might do a sequel short story, but it's not planned to have a full novel at this point in the Cosmere.
*inaudible* Does that have anything to do with the second *inaudible*?
No, it doesn't. Good question.
I am not an economist like Lee, and I'm not an accountant like Larry, but I've done enough research in this to be dangerous. Just a little bit of research. And I found two kind of fundamental theories that have always been very useful to me in building a magic system if you want to relate it to your economics. And there are two different theories that people talk about. The basis for an economy. And one argument is, the economy is run by those who control the food sources. And if you can relate your magic system to the food (that can be transportation, getting food from one place to another; 'cause if you can get food unspoiled to a large city, you can urbanize, and things like this), they look at the idea of food running countries. And the other direction that people go is, violence running countries. The people who have a monopoly on violence in a society are the people who are in charge of that society. And they're both very interesting ways of looking at the economics of society and then relating your magic to that.
There's a reason why the Stormlight Archive, I said, "All right, I'm gonna make the magic have a one-to-one, you can correlate it to how much food the magic can create." This lets me understand using some real-world examples how to move armies around, how much magic you would need to keep the army fed, which also kind of ties into the monopoly on violence in society and things like this. But I wanted to relate it in that way because it gave me a way to correlate. "This much magic is worth this much read. This much bread is worth this much in our world." And obviously, you can't exactly tie it one-to-one. But it gives me a ballpark, so I can kind of keep a scale going, and I can know how much value these things have. Obviously, scarcity and ease of creating that food and things all play into how this works. It's not exactly, directly across. But it's been really handy for me in figuring out "How much is my magic worth?"
In your opinion. Arcanum and the 17th Shard. *inaudible*
I have never felt creeped out by anything that they do there. But once in a while, I'm really overwhelmed by it.
In Bands of Mourning, there's the people that show emotion with their hands. Who was first, you or Patrick Rothfuss, with people that emote with their hands?
Hey, you can go read Defending Elysium. Which came out before Name of the Wind. Where I have an alien species that use hand gestures as a lot of its emotional accents. I would say it's probably parallel sort of things. Pat and I read a lot of the same books growing up. You'll find this; all of my group of writers around my age all grew up reading the same people, so we're kind of remixing things in similar ways. Brent Weeks and I both released color-based magic systems within a year of each other. I beat him to it by a couple months, which made him really mad. Of course, they were both in development at the same time. Why are these ideas sometimes similar?
Why are me and Pat doing these very scientific magic systems? It's because we read the same books growing up, and we're kind of in the same school of thought as we're pushing in different directions in fantasy.
How long did the writing process take for Elantris?
Elantris was about an eight-month write. And then after I sold it, I needed to do maybe another four months of revisions. So maybe about a total of twelve months.
Elantris. Any further books for the series?
Yes. I have some planned. But I've decided I can't do them until at least Stormlight Five is done.
Are there any possible plans for The Rithmatist becoming a virtual reality game?
We have tried. We get a lot of interest from people who don't actually make video games, who are like "I think this would be a great game. Here's my concept." I'm like, "That's great. But we would need somebody who's actually made video games." So, I think it would make a great one. BYU students did a little fun prototype one that turned out very well. But nothing real so far. So far, I have no interest from game developers who have actually developed games.
What does the Sylspear look like?
Write to Ben McSweeney, he's got concept art for it. He can send it to you.
I had to keep pushing him. He kept drawing things that looked like the ashanderi from Wheel of Time. I'm like, "No, it has to actually look like a spear."
What is the weirdest thing that you have signed?
A baby. Baby is up there. I've signed some pretty weird things lately. License plates, I sign a lot of license plates.
You ever signed someone's skin? And they turn it into a tattoo?
Yeah, at this signing, someone earlier had me sign their Life Before Death tattoo, that they were gonna get the signature tattooed. It's on Twitter.
Someone brought a really strange thing through Idaho Falls. It was something like a muffler, something like that. No, it was the bumper that ripped off their car.
I have had requests to sign inappropriate parts of bodies, and I have refused that one.
I love Emperor's Soul. Are you going to expand that into more in the cosmere?
I have an idea for a sequel. But I'm timid about writing it because the first one turned out so well, and I don't want to Lucas it. So we'll see.
Any more plans for Secret Mistborn?
I can't promise it. Decent chance, but I can't promise it.
Do you have a Calling?
I am a Gospel Doctrine Teacher. Going on my eighth year. I'm on my third bishop. I just don't say anything, because I really like the Calling.
Which Shardblade is this one? *points at illustration* I actually asked Isaac which one it was, and he told me to ask you.
Oh. I bet we haven't canonized it yet. Which is why he doesn't want to say. Normally, I let... 'Cause it's not any of the named ones, it's not Adolin's unnamed sword (well, it actually has a name now), it's not Sunraiser, it's not Oathbringer, so it's probably...
The one who has to do that is Ben McSweeney.
Mark was thinking it was Gavilar's sword.
It could be Gavilar's sword. Who else has one... Khal only has armor, not a blade. Really, what happens is, we have Ben McSweeney just draw a bunch of these, and then we canonize them as we need them to belong to certain people. But you can write to Ben and ask him to canonize it. And we'll just take what he says. Because it's not one of the ones that we... It's from one of Shallan's illustrations? Yeah. So, she saw it in the training field. So it's gotta be one of the Alethi blades. Could be the King's Blade.
Is Michael Kramer's pronunciation usually the correct pronunciation?
He is on more than he is off, but we did not get him the pronunciations in time. So a few of them, he had to do on his own. He is more often right.
And I heard you're also considering jumping into the second book of Warbreaker, eventually.
Yeah, eventually. I don't feel as much urgency on that one as I do something like Stormlight. Because I wanna have regular intervals. And that sequel is one I've said I will probably do, but it's not, like, a promise thing.
I really love the female protagonist in the Way of Kings series. I was wondering where you pull your inspiration for a woman like Jasnah?
So, my mother graduated first in her class in accounting in a year where she was the only woman in most of her accounting classes. So, I draw of inspiration from my mother. But, also good authors I've read. Anne McCaffrey, I would recommend. Melanie Rawn. Some of these people who were my introduction to fantasy were also very good at writing characters and taught me a lot.
In Oathbringer, you kinda have themes of mental illness, right? Is that intentional?
Yes. It is intentional.
How come you decided for...
Because several of the characters that I was dealing with had mental illnesses, and I let theme develop out of what the characters are interested in, what their conflicts are, and who they are. These themes kind of grow out of character.
Is there any basis in reality from where you get your magic systems at all?
A lot of different.... I mean, they're usually several steps removed. But Stormlight started with the idea of the fundamental forces in physics, and it kind of just extrapolated in weird directions after that.
Can you tell me anything about Steris and what she's up to in Book 4?
In Book 4? Steris is working hard on getting Wax to care about politics, since it's his job. And she's doing a pretty good job.
How much does your wife influence your work?
Quite a bit. She's usually the first person who ever reads my books. And we tend to talk a lot together about books and movies and things like that, so I'd say she's a pretty big influence. She won't let me base a character on her, though. I asked her if I could, she said no. She can't be in the books.
If you got an actual Feruchemist who was as battle-minded as the Mistborn were in their heyday, and they met a Mistborn, which one would have the advantage in battle?
In a short battle, a Feruchemist. In a long battle, a Mistborn. That'd be my guess.
If you could get someone that works on VR to make something, what would you have them make?
I would love to do a Mistborn game where you can jump around and do perspective and things like that.
We've noticed some very unique parallels in some of your stories with historical events. Are you pulling some inspiration?
Always. Some of those are coincidental, but a lot of them are... I mean, Oathbringer has the famous story from Genghis Khan getting hit by an arrow and recruiting the archer.
We saw some interesting parallels during Mistborn between some of the Dark Ages stuff.
French Revolution was definitely part of that. There's a whole bunch. So you'll see me pulling from all over the place. I mean, I've used Agincourt as a battle. I flipped it upside down so people wouldn't tell. Stuff like that.
The Rithmatist. Is there another one close to coming out?
Rithmatist, I've had real troubles with for a couple of reasons. Once I get Alcatraz, like, finished finished, my next thing to do will be to get Rithmatist taken care of. 'Cause I finished Legion, last one's coming out in a couple weeks. But I'll finish Alcatraz, and that means fewer series hanging and looming over me. And then Rithmatist will be the only one that hasn't gotten...
Have you ever thought about making any of your books or ideas into movies or TVs?
I have tried. It's bigger than one person can do. So really, with movies and TV, you have to find someone you trust and hope they can get it done. But funding and things is so hard. We've had some decent scripts. We have a really good script for Snapshot, which is one of my shorts, right now. So far, I have no news on anything other than "We're working on it," but I would like to.
Are we ever going to get Hoid's story?
Does... <Roial?> make it to one of the other books?
I-- That-- I have to RAFO that... Hoid's backstory is coming. It's going to be a while, but you're going to get it.
Was Taldain one of the planets of the Iriali Long Trail? Was Scadrial?
I asked what would happen if you burned lerasium or atium near ettmetal.
I'm Brandon Sanderson, I write epic fantasy and young adult books of various stripes. Justin told me to tell you why I go to cons. My story goes back to actually I was in high school. I was in my English class, my high school English course, and the teacher walked by and put a flyer on my desk, and he said, "I think this is for you." It had just come through his things, it was "Local Science Fiction Convention, with a student writing competition." And I had never shared my writing with anyone at that point. Never shown it to anyone. In fact, I would type stories and hide them behind the painting in my room so my mom wouldn't find them. Other high school boys are hiding other things, and I'm hiding my writing. Because I'm too embarrassed that my mom would find it.
But my teacher's like, "You should try this." "This is for you," is exactly what he said. So I submitted, and I went to my first science fiction convention. Downtown Lincoln, Nebraska. And I entered their writing convention, which I won, the student writing competition. Even though I stapled my story backward when I handed it in. Yeah, they said, "First, we thought you were trying to do some sort of avant-garde literary thing, then we realized you just stapled it backwards." Because it came out of the printer that way. But I won the student competition.
And beyond that, there-- I'd always been a nerdy kid, kind of felt alone. And I went to the con, and I found a whole bunch of my people. I came home to that con. And I've been going to cons ever since. And I think they're an important part of the science fiction community. I like how much we participate in these. My editor said, "Now that you're a big author, don't get a big head. You need to go to these things, because we can't let the comic cons be the only cons. Comic cons are fine, but at comic cons you're an observer, and at a sci-fi con you're a participant." And that is what it's about, it's about building a community. So I am here because I believe that cons build a very important community, not just for young writers, but for young nerds everywhere.