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Interviews: Dear [Me], Brandon Sanderson





May 31st, 2013






  • 1

    Brandon Sanderson

    A Letter from Brandon Sanderson to his Hero, Robert Jordan

    31st of May, 2013

    Dear Robert Jordan,

    I'm the guy who finished your life's work. I like to imagine myself as a Boy Scout, rushing to help my aging mentor cross the last street of his life. Other people aren't quite so . . . considerate. They consider me an opportunistic hack who managed to worm my way into something over my head. Either way, this was my task and my burden: to finish the greatest book series of my time, a series I grew up reading.

    I never met you. I know your family really well now—your fans, your assistants. I know your characters and world better than I ever knew them before as a fan. I've seen your half-finished drafts, something I know would have made you very uncomfortable.

    But I don't know you. In some ways, even the fan who shook your hand once at a signing knows you better than I do. It's surreal sometimes—to put on your shoes in the morning, and go out to the Wheel of Time fans, and talk to them about the series. But I still don't know you.

    I hope that you're proud. I hope that you're looking down and saying, "Nice work, kid. It's not as good as I would have done, but it'll do." And . . . well, I hope you don't take this the wrong way. I kind of also hope to escape you. Wheel of Time casts a long shadow, and if at the end of the day, I'm known only as the guy who helped finish The Wheel of Time, I'll actually be okay with that, so don't get me wrong.

    But now I've got to get out from underneath that shadow. I've got to do my own things, like you did yourself. I've got worlds to explore, books to write. I hope that I can make half the dent that you did in the industry. I hope that I can inspire new writers, like you did. I hope I can help kids—teenagers who don't know what they're doing—find themselves in fantasy books, like you did. Most of all, I just hope that I can stay true to myself and my vision for my worlds, like you did.

    I never knew you. I did never get to meet you. But, I hope that someday, I'll be able to shake your hand, and we'll be able to chat.

    Brandon Sanderson