Recent entries

    #tweettheauthor 2009 ()
    #4351 Copy

    kikastrophe

    So, is Kings in any way like your other books? Shall we expect an unexpected twist?

    Brandon Sanderson

    KINGS is like my books in some ways. But in order to be grand as a series, it had to start--oddly--more humbly. Yes, there are twists. I wrote it so that the epilogue redefines the entire book and series. Each of the 4 viewpoints has an epilogue. Much as RJ had huge prologues, this series will have huge epilogues. Those epilogues, like the Elantris first lines, are intended to be ‘BANG’ moments.

    Chris King interview ()
    #4352 Copy

    Chris King

    Is it possible to use a Soulstamp to give Shardplate life or at least achieve a robotic status?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wow, it is really, really hard to Invest things that have already been Invested. Regular-- Let's just say that, it is really hard to do that. Part of the reason why it is difficult for instance to Push or Pull on something that is inside of somebody because the Investiture is interfering and you would have that similar problem doing anything to Shardplate with any of the magics.

    Chris King interview ()
    #4357 Copy

    Chris King

    Why can Rock see Syl?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ooh, good question, why do you think Rock can see Syl?

    Chris King

    My personal theory here is because his people have such a strong belief and reverence in them it allows him to see them for that reason because his strong belief creates some sort of cognitive or spiritual pressure which allows them...

    Brandon Sanderson

    He would agree with that philosophy. I would say, usually when something like that happens there is also something physiological going on.

    Chris King interview ()
    #4358 Copy

    Chris King

    When do you plan on releasing the Way of Kings annotations?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've only written about a quarter of them. I have a sneaking suspicion that it will take me a few years just because it's taken me three and a half years to get the second book out. So I feel a burden to get the books going before I do side things like this. My life got a whole lot more busy with The Wheel of Time than it used to be. Which has cut out some of my side-projects like this but I would like to do them eventually.

    Chris King interview ()
    #4359 Copy

    Chris King

    What are some characteristics of and how many other wordhoppers are there that we have seen excluding Hoid, Demoux, and Galladon.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You gave me really good wiggle room on that one. Obviously the other person with Galladon and Demoux.

    Chris King

    Right, the one from a future book.

    Brandon Sanderson

    His characteristics are-- What is he like? Some people have read his book so they know what he's like--

    Chris King

    Which book is he from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He's from White Sand.

    Chris King

    Okay, that's one I have but have not gotten to.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's only mediocre so don't worry about it. Let's see what other worldhoppers I want to give you clues about-- *long pause* There's a Terriswoman running around, if you keep your eyes open.

    Chris King

    I have to re-read it, everything.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Who else do I want to talk about-- Words of Radiance has a couple good ones, that will be pretty obvious.

    Chris King interview ()
    #4360 Copy

    Chris King

    Can you store Breath in metal without the [Ninth] Heightening? Just put it there without Awakening, just to hide the Breath.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Can you hide Breath in-- Yes you can hide Breath in things.

    Chris King

    Metal in particular, without the [Ninth] Heightening could you put it into metal. Without the purpose of Awakening it, just storing it there.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh without the [Ninth] Heightening-- I would say yes you could.

    Chris King interview ()
    #4364 Copy

    Chris King

    Did seons exist when the Aonic peoples discovered Elantris?

    Brandon Sanderson

    When the Aonic peoples discovered Elantris, did seons exist-- Okay let me go back to my timeline... It kind of means you have to define what you mean by Aonic. The problem is if you dig back too far in history it's kind of like asking "What's a German?" You know what I mean?

    Chris King

    Because the Aons are based upon Elantris itself and so they don't become Aonic until they are writing the Aons.

    Brandon Sanderson

    And Aonic is also-- You are talking about the people and so it's like are the Normans Brits? Or are they Vikings? Or are they Frenchman?

    Chris King

    Why don't we phrase it as the people of Sel when they discovered Elantris.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, no, that's getting, okay-- Let's go ahead and RAFO that one, just because the history of Elantris is very interesting to the cosmere. When people are starting to get an inkling of that.

    Chris King

    Odium was there once upon a time.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yah... And the question of who built Elantris and how they built Elantris. What's going on with the Elantrians back then and things like this. So let's just RAFO that.

    Miscellaneous 2018 ()
    #4366 Copy

    Argent

    Hey Karen, I have a question I hope you can confirm for the Stormlight fans. 

    What are the exact gemstone types Rosharans use in their currency? In The Way of Kings Shallan suggests that only nine out of the ten Polestones are actually used in spheres (or is this wrong?), and while eight of those are accounted for in the books, we don't know whether the last one is a smokestone or a heliodor. Is this something you can and are willing to confirm for us?

    Karen Ahlstrom

    Here's what I have on my wiki page. I'm pretty sure it was written by Brandon before I started to work on things.

    Gemstones

    Sapphire: blue (deep)

    Zircon: blue (light)

    Ruby: red (deep)

    Amethyst & Garnet: red (light)

    Topaz: yellow (deep)

    Heliodor: yellow (light)

    Emerald: green (deep)

    Smokestone: grayscale (deep)

    Diamond: grayscale (light)

    Karen Ahlstrom

    Elsewhere I found this list that shows the spheres from highest to lowest value. It says that smokestone coins are very rare.

    Values: Highest - 50 (250, 1000)

    Stone: Emerald

    Color: Deep green

    Essence: Pulp

     

    Values: Prime Pair - 25 (125, 500)

    Stone: Amethyst

    Color: Pale violet

    Essence: Mineral (Metals/claws)

     

    Stone: Sapphire (skymark)

    Color: Deep Blue

    Essence: Vapor

     

    Values: Middle Weight - 10 (50, 200)

    Stone: Zircon

    Color: Pale blue

    Essence: Blood (Water-based liquids)

     

    Stone: Ruby (firemark)

    Color: Deep red

    Essence: Spark (Fire/Soul)

     

    Stone: Smokestone (Uncommon as a coin)

    Color: Translucent

    Essence: Smoke

     

    Values: Less Weight - 5 (25, 100)

    Stone: Topaz

    Color: Pale orange

    Essence: Talus (Stone/Bone)

     

    Stone: Garnet

    Color: Deep violet (Bloodmarks)

    Essence: Flesh

     

    Stone: Heliodor

    Color: Light yellow

    Essence: (Sinew)

     

    Cheapest 1 (5, 20)

    Stone: Diamond (Clear chip/mark/broam)

    Color: Transparent

    Essence: Glass (Crystal/Eyes)

    Argent

    One thing I am noticing is that the essences don't entirely match what's in the Ars Arcanum of the books.

    Karen Ahlstrom

    Yeah, AA is correct and what we base things on. Like I said, these are probably written by Brandon a long time ago when he was just world building.

    Footnote: These are from an email exchange between Argent and Karen Ahlstrom. Parts of the emails were slightly reformatted or erased in the interest of clarity, brevity, and privacy.
    Miscellaneous 2016 ()
    #4367 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you make up names and words for your fantasy settings?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mostly, I choose an earth culture (or two) to base my linguistic influences on. For instance, in the Mistborn books, I used French. It's obvious in words like Fellise, Renoux, Blanches, Delouse and Demoux. Less obvious is Kelsier, whose name would be pronounced in-world without the last R sound.

    Questioner

    Do you think you'll ever develop a language like Tolkien did?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Maybe. I did a lot of that in White Sand, which didn’t get published. I’ll do more for other books.

    Questioner

    Do you use Hebrew words?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The name Adonalsium is derived from a Hebrew name for God, Adonai and Aharietiam was derived from the Hebrew/Jewish term for the end of days acharit hayamim or אחרית הימים

    General Reddit 2018 ()
    #4368 Copy

    MS-07B-3

    So what you're telling me is that not only my first edition Words of Radiance, but also my first edition Way of Kings are Dragonsteel guaranteed to be worth at least a sapphire broam in ten years time.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    I wouldn't go so far as that! Looks like 2-carat cut sapphires are going for about $2000. They printed tens of thousands of copies of Way of Kings. They're not that rare.

    MS-07B-3

    Ah, so is that the canon size of the gem in a broam?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Yes. 2 carats.

    R'Shara

    Oh, I've been curious about this for a long time. One of my hobbies is working with gemstones, so knowing the sizes (and cuts, because of how light is affected by the cut) of the gemstones in spheres and Soulcasters would be wonderful!

    PeterAhlstrom

    I'm not sure about the cuts, but broams are 2 carats and the other sizes are proportional to their value.

    R'Shara

    Thank you, that helps a lot!

    would be happy to offer input on cuts, should that ever be wanted

    Peter Ahlstrom

    The canonization of the cuts is being worked on, just not by me.

    Argent

    This is great to know, thanks! One last clarification though: is this proportionality linear? In other words:

    * Since there are 4 marks per broam, does that make marks 0.5 carats each?

    * Since there are 5 chips per mark, does that make chips 0.1 carats each?

    Or is there some wonky formula with diminishing returns?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Yeah, that's it.

    Phantine

    Just to clarify, as a jeweler I think those numbers might be a bit on the small side.

    A 2 carat sapphire (assuming a standard well proportioned round cut) is going to be about 8 millimeters in diameter.

    A 1 ct sapphire is going to be around 5 mm ish.

    A 0.1 carat sapphire would be really tiny. Like, about 1 mm in diameter ish? Depends heavily on how shallow the cut is.

    It just seems way too tiny (and imagine the poor high-precision lapidarists working on making pennies - diamonds require specialized cutting equipment because they're WAY harder than anything else)

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Those sizes are pretty much right.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
    #4372 Copy

    wiresegal

    In OB, you explained that the Singers have four sexes. I was wondering... Can the Singers have genders other than those four, like humans? Even as simple as just not going with male, female, or malen/femalen. Could a transgender Singer use their ability to shift forms to change their biological reality? And, finally, could a Spren be non-binary, if it wasn't personified in a typical male/female way?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In the cosmere as a whole, a person's perception of themselves has a lot of power over both their Spiritual and Physical forms. It is possible, with Investiture, to change their biology to match Cognitive perceptions--and while this could be easier for some races (like the Singers) it's not outside plausibility for any race.

    There are non-binary spren, actually--and you should be meeting one important one quite soon in the books.

    Steelheart Seattle signing ()
    #4377 Copy

    Questioner

    As far as I can tell, in The Stormlight Archive, we have seen three different lights: the stormlight, the amberlight in the flashbacks, and the dark light in the stone. Do those correspond to the three Shards?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, the amberlight is more a function of...it's no different than the stormlight.

    Questioner

    So, you see that in a storm? Like when gems gather that in the storm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That amberlight is more related to... so, no... you are not seeing something other than stormlight. That is like saying that stormlight in a topaz is a different color than stormlight in a sapphire. It's not different colors; you're just seeing it filtered through something. The dark light of the, um, the gemstone that Szeth was given is indeed something different and distinct.

    Questioner

    Voooiidlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, it is related to a different shard. How about that?

    General Signed Books 2014 ()
    #4378 Copy

    Argent

    We know that the Cognitive Realm is called Shadesmar, because in the language of the people who "coined" the term, "shadesmar" translates loosely to "cognitive realm." Is there a similar name/phrase for the Spiritual Realm we could use?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are cultures with a name for the Spiritual realm, but most of them translate to "Heaven" which isn't entirely accurate by our understanding. Some day perhaps I will say more.

    BookCon 2018 ()
    #4379 Copy

    Questioner

    Who is your favorite character in Mistborn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hmmm, probably Sazed. The truth is, my favorite character changes depending on who I'm writing, and things like that.

    Questioner

    Okay, I feel better about it now.

    Questioner 2

    Breeze is my favorite character

    Brandon Sanderson

    Breeze is a lot of fun.

    SpoCon 2013 ()
    #4383 Copy

    Shardlet (paraphrased)

    I then pointed out the basis for my theory, beginning with the flashback chapter where Kaladin whales on Jost with the quarterstaff.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    What you didn't ask was whether Kaladin had ever felt the Thrill.

    He then went on to say that that was not a confirmation or a denial.

    SpoCon 2013 ()
    #4386 Copy

    Shardlet (paraphrased)

    Is the Thrill, with a capital 'T', more than an adrenaline rush or battle rush? (I indicated that it seemed very clear to me that there was a lot more to it.)

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Brandon wrote the answer to this in my book that he was signing by writing "You are a very smart man!"

    SpoCon 2013 ()
    #4388 Copy

    Shardlet (paraphrased)

    I first asked about Lines of Forbiddance and the timing of the generation of the field particularly in reference to things like a Marks Cross or just general crossing Lines of Forbiddance.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Rithmatics was originally designed as a cosmere magic system and is very cognitively (not the terminology he used, but the essence is the same) based. The line (speaking of all Rithmatic lines) takes effect when the Rithmatist thinks it should. A line could begin to take effect before the drawing of the line is completed.

    General Twitter 2018 ()
    #4390 Copy

    Overlord Jebus

    is there a word for baby chulls and if not, can it be chulldren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The baby form is a chull cremling. Sorry...

    Craig

    Hold on. Are you saying that when we see cremlings, they are at least some of the time immature forms of other creatures? Or is it just a broadly used term?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Some of the time they are!

    General Twitter 2018 ()
    #4394 Copy

    Stormborn125

    Are the Knights Radiant's powers/spren derived from both Honor and Cultivation? As it seems each order has a has a power of nature e.g. light gravity etc

    If yes, what powers would Odium give the Knights Radiants, if he where forced to empower them? And would there be any additional oaths they would need to swear to use these powers?

    Everything in the books is alluding to Damnation and the Tranquiline Halls being one and the same. Is this true or is it more separate countries in the same landmass? And what is the general landscape of this alternate dimension?

    Brandon Sanderson

    These questions stray into RAFO type territory, which I try not to delve too deeply into on twitter. (Because of the short space I have to reply.) But there are some hints in the links [SandersonArmy] included...

    General Twitter 2018 ()
    #4398 Copy

    Pelham TP

    Sadly I am currently suffering with toothache. However as the waves of pain fluctuate through my jaw I am reminded of the two blind men discussion with Hoid and Shallan. I understand the beauty of pain receding. I wondered if you endured a similar experience when you were writing that passage.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Similar, yes, but scenes like that are always part my experience, part my extrapolation of what the character might have experienced.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
    #4400 Copy

    Ray745

    A couple years ago Peter answered in this post that as of May 2015 (3 years ago now), Brandon had sold ~7 million copies (not including Wheel of Time). I am curious now if Peter would be so good as to give us an update, especially after I saw this from his source in that comment that in the first week alone of Oathbringer's release it sold over 300k copies. That number, especially when taken in context with this other comment of Peter's from that thread, means that OB did way better than the average #1 NYT bestseller.

    When a movie hits #1, millions of people saw it that week. On a slow sales week for books, it's possible to hit #1 on the New York Times list and only sell 12,000 copies. (Though that is rare; it's also possible to sell that much and miss the top 15.) The #1 usually sells much less than 100k copies in release week. Publishers don't want people to know, without digging for the info, how small the industry really is.

    I'm sure Oathbringer's sales were pretty frontloaded given it's place in a series and how anticipated it was, but I'd love to know how well the books are doing, and I'm just curious if he could give us an idea of how well Stormlight does compared to Mistborn or anything like that. I assume the SA books are Brandon's top sellers, but I obviously don't know that for sure, and I just wonder if each SA book sells like twice as much as an average Mistborn book, or is it closer to 1.5x, or 3x. I imagine they must sell very well to be worth the huge amount of time and the incredible toll it takes on him to write given they are 2-3x longer than his other books.

    Anyway, I'm just a curious and nosy guy who loves learning about sales figures, I follow boxofficemojo.com every Sunday to see how much each movie makes for no reason whatsoever aside from I'm interested in it. I also, like many of us I assume, wish for the best for Brandon and the rest of Team Dragonsteel and hope his books are kicking ass and flying off shelves.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Total sales are now over 11 million worldwide (still not counting WoT). Mistborn, with more books, is a higher proportion of that than Stormlight is. Stormlight is catching up, but it still has quite a way to go. Oathbringer has sold more in hardcover than anything except WoT books.

    Mistborn's mass market paperback box set is usually in the top ten box set sales for the year. Way of Kings mmpb has sold more each year than the year previous since 2014. So did Mistborn until 2017, which is also the first time that Way of Kings mmpb passed up the Mistborn mmpb and box set combined. But Well of Ascension is still outselling Words of Radiance by the same metric.

    Those are just print numbers. I don't have the ebook breakdowns handy. Generally ebook has been selling twice as much as print, with audio a bit lower—but with Oathbringer, the print, audio, and ebook numbers are nearly identical. Readers seem to really like the hardcovers, probably due to all the art, and Oathbringer was the most preordered Audible audiobook of all time—which I believe means it had the highest-selling audiobook release week of all time. (It won't pass up books like Harry Potter in the long run.)

    Ray745

    When you say "Those are just print numbers" do you mean the paragraph preceding that statement, or is the "over 11 million" just print? I am assuming over 11 million includes all print/ebook/audible etc, but just want to clarify. Again, thank you.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    The 11 million does include ebook and audio. Though also, that number was from June so it doesn’t include Oathbringer. But that fact doesn’t change anything I said here, yet.

    Aurora_Fatalis

    I wonder - considering the three main Stormlight books are about as many words as all the Mistborn books combined, which series has "sold the most words"?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Still Mistborn.

    Aurora_Fatalis

    Interesting! I suppose it's somewhat expected considering Mistborn was released first. If you'll indulge me, is it still the same if we rescale for time? Sort of a "word sales rate" - is the average Sanderson reader more likely to currently be reading Stormlight or Mistborn?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Hard to say right now because the good numbers reporting only happens every January and July. The sales period from July to December 2018 will be best to look at for comparison purposes, since neither series will have a super-recent book out in that period. We'll get those numbers in July 2019.

    learhpa

    That's an insanely long delay for getting good data.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    It's because the publishing industry borrows from the future by paying authors royalties 6 to 11.97 months after book sales take place. And it's the royalty reports that include the actual sales numbers.