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Interviews: Hero of Ages Signing Report - Ted Herman

Summary:

Entries

16

Date

Nov 14th, 2008

Type

Paraphrased

Location

New York, NY

TourCon

Mistborn: The Hero of Ages

Bookstore

Barnes and Noble

Reporter

Ted Herman

  • 1

    Ted Herman

    Note: the original post of this report was apparently devoured by hamsters, so I am recreating it from my notes for the Theoryland interview database.
  • 2

    Ted Herman

    This was Brandon Sanderson's first book signing in NYC.

    He did a reading from Hero of Ages, from Tensoon's POV, and commented that it was a short chapter with a quickly resolved conflict. He then annotated the copy that he read from.

    He did another reading from his PDA, which he called a "screen test" and it turned out to be a portion of Szeth's first scene in The Way of Kings.

  • 3

    Brandon Sanderson

    He spoke a bit about writing methods, and mentioned one: "In late, out early."

    He mentioned that he doesn't like editing.

    He wrote a few practice books, and a lot of back story for The Way of Kings, about 200k words.

    He wanted to do a short series first alone with some stand-alone novels before writing an epic series.

    He usually writes from 12AM to 4AM.

    He learned about being chosen to finish WOT from a voicemail from Harriet, who picked him after reading Mistborn. Finishing A Memory of Light is now his focus.

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  • 4

    Ted Herman

    He did a Q&A before the signing, though he also said he would sign books for anyone who didn't want to wait through the Q&A, and pretty much signed and personalized an unlimited number of books during the signing portion.

  • 5

    Question

    Someone asked about corrupt religions in Elantris & Mistborn.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He mentioned that he teaches one class/year at BYU on sci-fi writing. He fears the misuse of religion, but that he presents "fair and balanced" viewpoints in his books. He also stated that "fiction helps you see through other people's eyes" and quoted Robert Jordan: "I really like when my books raise questions, I just don't like giving the answers."

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  • 6

    Brandon Sanderson

    He spoke about magic system creation and that he had a science background that inspired him in creating Allomancy which has a scientific basis, and elements of chemistry, biology and physics. He also mentioned a podcast he is a part of, Writing Excuses, and that one episode was about creating magic systems.

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  • 7

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon stated he is not trying to imitate Robert Jordan's voice, but rather adapt his own voice to the Wheel of Time to write descriptions, "untrustworthy" character viewpoints, etc., to feel right for WOT. Tor did not want a ghost writer/imitator to write the last book (at the time it was still one volume). He wants to release a companion volume showing what RJ wrote and what Brandon wrote or changed.

    He mentioned that RJ wrote the ending first, then the prologue, then middle parts of A Memory of Light.

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  • 8

    Question

    Did the ending of WOT bum you out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it didn't, but it helped since that is how Brandon generally writes, which is to write the ending and use an outline. However, Brandon doesn't get to read A Memory of Light like a regular fan, which was a little disappointing since he is writing it (counter-balanced by the fact that he knows the ending before anyone else).

    He did say that when he first went to Charleston that before eating dinner, he insisted on finding out who killed Asmodean, and how WOT ended!

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  • 9

    Question

    How much pre-writing do you do for each book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He wrote 50k words backstory for Mistborn, and 200k words backstory for The Way of Kings. It takes about 8 months to write a novel. Though it only took a month to write Alcatraz, which was a parody of conspiracies, and included bad super-powers, an anti-epic fantasy (and that a possible movie from Dreamworks was in the works at the time).

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  • 10

    Brandon Sanderson

    He wrote three drafts of [The Final Empire], two rough and one polished. He may do another book in the Mistborn world, but it would be in the far future as opposed to being a sequel, and the world may actually progress scientifically.

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  • 11

    Ted Herman

    Are there release dates for the two Memory of Light volumes?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No dates available yet, but A Memory of Light won't fit in one volume due to the binding not being able to hold the anticipated 800k words.

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  • 12

    Ted Herman

    When he signed my Mistborn books, and Elantris, I told him where my Theoryland name originated, and asked him if he ever visited Theoryland.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He has lurked at Theoryland for the theories, but never posted there.

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  • 13

    Question

    How do you find an agent?

    Brandon Sanderson

    One way is to go to awards ceremonies or writing conventions, such as WorldCon. Brandon stated he met his agent while he was attending the Nebula Awards in NY. He was at a bar, drinking sprite, and talked to someone nearby who happened to be Jim Mintz, an editor at Tor, and also met his agent, Moshe Feder (who was at the signing as well).

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  • 14

    Question

    Will there be prequels or books about the Age of Legends?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon stated he didn't want WOT to be like Star Wars with books telling scattered stories, but would like to do the prequels that RJ planned about Tam and Moiraine, and possibly the outriggers about Mat and Tuon as well (but not the other planned series, Infinity of Heaven).

    He did mention the forthcoming WOT encyclopedia, and how extensive RJ's notes were—when he asked for a file on Perrin, he got notes that included 50 people from the Two Rivers who never even appeared in the books.

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  • 15

    Question

    Was Elantris intended to be a zombie story?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but he disguised it so that it would not be typecast as a horror story by potential readers. He wanted to do a story about heroic zombies, since he had never heard of such a tale.

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  • 16

    Brandon Sanderson

    On Allomancy, he said that tin and pewter are opposites in a sense, that they strengthen different aspects of the body, and that there will be a published poster to explain some apparent inconsistencies among the last four metals.

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