art by Jake Johnson

Theoryland Resources

WoT Interview Search

Search the most comprehensive database of interviews and book signings from Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson and the rest of Team Jordan.

Wheel of Time News

An Hour With Harriet

2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.

The Bell Tolls

2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."

Theoryland Community

Members: 7611

Logged In (0):

Newest Members:johnroserking, petermorris, johnadanbvv, AndrewHB, jofwu, Salemcat1, Dhakatimesnews, amazingz, Sasooner, Hasib123,

Theoryland Tweets

WoT Interview Database

Home | Interview Database

Interviews: Kindle Daily Post Interview

Summary:

Entries

9

Date

Aug 9th, 2013

Type

Verbatim

Location

San Diego, CA

TourCon

San Diego ComicCon

  • 1

    While at San Diego Comic-Con, Kindle sat down with Brandon Sanderson to discuss his new YA book, what it's like to follow in Robert Jordan's footsteps, and the upcoming sequel to The Way of Kings. How does he manage to write so many books? Read on to find out.

  • 2

    Question

    You've been described as "insanely prolific," and with all of your recent releases that's an apt descriptor. How do you find the time to write so much, and more importantly, how do you keep the stories and characters fresh?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will write something big, like one of the Wheel of Time books or Words of Radiance, and once I'm done with it I'll need a break. But the thing I find most fun in the world is writing—I don't want to go do something else, I want to write something—but I want to write something I don't have to write. So a lot of these side projects you're seeing—this is where The Rithmatist and Steelheart came from—are from me taking a break from the big epics to do something a little different, to have a change of pace.

    Tags

    ,
    ,
    ,
  • 3

    Question

    Steelheart is intended for a younger audience. If and how does this affect your writing process?

    Brandon Sanderson

    For teens the main thing I change is, I tend to focus on one character or two characters instead of a very large cast. And I make the pacing a bit faster.

    Tags

    ,
  • 4

    Question

    The characters in Steelheart are reminiscent of superheroes. What made you go this route? It's a new diretion for you.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is all just part of the collective unconscious of pop and nerd culture that I'm a part of, that I grew up with. Certain things fascinate me that I just couldn't do in an epic fantasy in the same way. At the same time I don't want people to look at Steelheart and say, "Oh, this is a superhero book." I wrote it as an action adventure story and it certainly is taking from some of those themes, but the idea is, what if people really started gaining superpowers, what would happen? My immediate thought was, people would abuse them. It would be awful. What would we do if there was someone who was so powerful we couldn't throw them in prison, we couldn't punish them? So the story of there being no heroes, of there only being villains is what inspired me.

    Tags

    ,
  • 5

    Question

    Why steel? What about it was so attractive that you wanted to create a world around it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wanted to turn a city to steel. I liked the image. I'm always looking for interesting visuals for my books. I liked this idea of everything having been turned to steel to the point that nothing works anymore. Then I liked this idea of catacombs burrowed into the steel underneath the city for the lower folk to live in. It's a little bit cyberpunk—that whole concept of the steel underground. Then of course there's steel as a metaphor for superheroes.

    Tags

    ,
  • 6

    Question

    What else will readers find in Steelheart that they haven't seen from you before?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is my first really futuristic novel—it's a little more sci-fi. Of course there are fantasy elements—you would call the superheroes more fantasy. People ask me a lot, Are you going to write science fiction? This is the closest I've come.

    Tags

  • 7

    Question

    Going back to characters: Stormlight Archive is very character driven—each book essentially focuses on one character. Who will we learn more about in Words of Radiance?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In the second book Shallan becomes the focus, though I would honestly say there is as much Kaladin in in the second book as there is in the first book. In the first book the things Shallan was doing were important and fun, but at the same time her plot line was intentionally disjointed because I was setting up what's happening in this book.

    Tags

    ,
    ,
    ,
  • 8

    Question

    Of course it wouldn't be an interview without asking about Wheel of Time. How has that experience informed the storytelling you've done since?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Watching how the community interacted with Wheel of Time was eye-opening. There are a lot of book series out there that sell a lot of copies, and yet they have not inspired the fan base and the devotion Wheel of Time has. I would rather have that than the thrillers that sell three times as many copies, and yet people read them and throw them away. They don't throw conventions, they don't have these deep discussions. What was it that Robert Jordan did that did this to all of us? That I've thought about a lot.

    Writing specifically, juggling multiple viewpoints has become easier for me since I was forced to lift heavy weights. I had to jump into a series where I had to juggle two dozen viewpoints instead of the three or four I was used to.

    Tags

  • 9

    Question

    What was your biggest hesitation?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What if I screw this up? I would be known as the one who ruined the Wheel of Time, which would be awful for me as a fan of the series. That was a real thing, me thinking there was no way I could win at this, that I couldn't do it as well as Robert Jordan would—nobody can. They came to me because I was a fan who became a published writer. Going to someone who was not a fan but was a writer who specialized in writing other people's property, I worried it would just be another job to them. Knowing it was in the hands of someone who cares... That's what made me say yes.

    Tags