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Interviews: Alloy of Law Signing Report - Zas

Summary:

Entries

32

Date

Dec 15th, 2011

Type

Verbatim

Location

West Jordan, UT

TourCon

Alloy of Law Book Tour

Bookstore

Barnes & Noble

Reporter

Zas

Links

17th Shard

  • 1

    zas (Terez)

    In Nynaeve's Accepted test, Lan tells her that Malkier is a joint monarchy, which he says is a Borderland custom. Later we find out that Kandor is not a joint monarchy, but Saldaea is. Is Nynaeve queen of Malkier now that Lan has finally declared himself king?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Lan does not consider himself King, because he has no kingdom. The answer to that is, depends on your perspective. He has agreed to lead the Malkieróhe has not agreed to be king. It's different. See how Aes Sedai I answered that? (laughter)

    Audience Member

    Try telling Nynaeve she's not a queen. (laughter)

    Brandon Sanderson

    I won't forget Nynaeve yet, but I don't think she's fully realized what she's getting into yet, with him.

    FOOTNOTEóTEREZ

    I guess Lan says it best (last scene in Towers of Midnight): "I am al'Lan Mandragoran," Lan bellowed. "Lord of the Seven Towers, Defender of the Wall of First Fires, Bearer of the Sword of the Thousand Lakes! I was once named Aan'allein, but I reject that title, for I am alone no more. Fear me, Shadow! Fear me and know. I have returned for what is mine. I may be a king without a land. But I am still a king!"

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  • 2

    Zas (Terez)

    Robert Jordan often said that he intended to plant a 'hook' in the last scene, a teaser for an unresolved issue. Was this 'hook' something he planned to explore in the outriggers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, and he actually wrote that part. You'll see it when the book comes out, and it's one of the lines that will go in unchanged. Sorry!

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  • 3

    Zas (Terez)

    When Lan tracked down Myrelle in Lord of Chaos, she used the bond to Compel him to come to her, in such a way that he wouldn't detect it. Did she have to use the bond to seduce Lan, or did he just go along because he didn't have anything better to do?

    Brandon Sanderson

    (laughter) I'd have to look that one up. I don't know. I'd have to look it up. I don't have the answer to that one. We'll call that one a MAFO though. I'm actually curious myself (laughter).

    Maria Simons

    The question poses a false dichotomous argument: was Lan "seduced" by the bond or did he have nothing better to do? [Terez: it was a joke.] Suffice to say that Lan was psychologically devastated at this point—not in his right mind, his will to live shattered. Myrelle took control of him to save his life; he really had no choice in the matter. And hereís a quote from the notes for you: ďShe had to use the bond to compel [notice lower case here] him, sometimes, which she found both odd and somewhat insulting.Ē But one has to put this in the context of her other Warders, who eagerly complied with her desires, carnal or otherwise.

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  • 4

    Question

    I was reading on Facebook that you had Bela, that you were writing her recently. Was that your idea or was it Robert Jordan's?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I usually save questions like this. Wait until the book is out, wait till it's been out for a little while, and then I can talk specifically about what was me and what was Jim. I don't want to predispose people so that they're thinking "Is this Jim's scene? Is this Brandon's scene? Well he said something about this, and whatnot." So the only thing I'm telling people, regarding his writing, is that I do have a thing from the prologue, each of the three have one of the scenes that he wrote for the prologue put in it, and of course the ending. And other than this, I'm not saying a ton about what is his and what is mine. Just wait until people have read the book, and then I'll start answering a few more of those questions.

    Like I've down with Towers of Midnight and The Gathering Storm. I've been a little more free in recent times about what was me and what was him, and I'm still not very specific for you, I don't want that focus, but I will start answering more of those questions.

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  • 5

    Question

    Quick question I get asked all the time working here at Barnes and Noble. When are you expected general release dates for Stormlight Archive #2 and A Memory of Light?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Alright, so this is what I'm doing right now. I am turning in A Memory of Light December 31st. If I don't, Harriet will probably fly to my house and shake me. And so I will start writing Stormlight 2 right then. It's going to be a tough year because I want to get that done as soon as it is reasonable but I also have to edit the wheel of time book. and I will balance those two projects. Wheel of TimeóI will tell you, most likely is October, November. We would like it to be sooner, but we have to wait on Harriet's edits, and beyond that, it's the last book, and she requested extra time to make sure we get everything in it.

    That is my guess right now. Stormlight 2, if I'm on the ball, is March or April of the following year [2013]. That is what I'm really shooting for. The only other release that I have potentially is Tor has been hanging on to my children's books that they haven't yet been sure when they want to release. They actually have a book that is called Scribbler , which has been renamed the Rithmatist, and people see me talk about it. I actually wrote that one back in 2007 I think? Yeah, 2007. They've been hanging on to that one. I keep being noncomittal on that because it needs heavy rewrites.

    So it needs a heavy rewrite. It would take like 2-3 months, and I've not had 2-3 months to dedicate to it. The other book they have of mine is Steelheart, which I've read from at things at signings and whatnot, it's a book I wrote a while ago during one of my breaks. They may release one of those next year, I'm not sure. Probably not The Rithmatist, because I don't have 2-3 months to spare. We may see Steelheart next Summer or next Fall. The thing is, they are in the process of acquiring the Alcatraz books from Scholastic, to repackage them, and they said they probably going to get that deal for sure, so they have them. So they probably want to do an original, like Steelheart, or Rithmatist, before they release the Alcatraz books, so they say "Hey, Tor has Brandon's children's books, now here is a new children's book, and by the way, here are repackaged books." Kind of in tandem in the publicity place. If they were going to do this, Steelheart in September, alongside Alcatraz 1 repackaged in September, and then 2, 3, 4 repackaged in the next months, and then Alcatraz 5.

    So that is what's going on right there. A lot of it depends on how long it takes to write Stormlight 2.

    MEMBER OF THE AUDIENCE

    It's okay, we're Wheel of Time fans. We're used to waiting. (laughter)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I want to be more punctual than some authors have been recently in fantasy. (laughter) The thing about it is, we sometimes give Robert Jordan some grief about this but he was really good. There was a book a year for many years and then he went to a book every two years, and it wasnít until late in his career when he was sick that he got a lot slower. He is actually a good model to follow. Iíd like to have a book every year, going forward for as long as I can. Iíd really like to do 2 Stormlight Archives every three years, if possible. Iím not sure if thatís viable or not.

    JOSH

    We would like that too. (laughter)

    Footnote

    Brandon is now shooting for late 2013, early 2014 for the Words of Radiance release date

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  • 6

    Question

    Do you ever feel stifled? Now that youíve got a couple of different lines going in different worlds that have your next 40 years planned out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes and no. I do start to feel a little stifled, and so youíll see me do random side projects. Itís my steam valve to blow that pressure off, and then I get back to what Iím working on. That basically why you have Alloy of Law, because as much as I wouldíve liked to have jumped right into the next Wheel of Time Book, I couldnít. After writing Towers of Midnight, I was feeling too creatively stifled, and so I had to go take a break, and let myself for three months do whatever I wanted. And Alloy of Law came out of that.

    So that is how I do it. Thatís where Rithmatist came from, thatís where Steelheart came from, thatís kind of where Alcatraz came from, these non-mainland books, thatís where they are going to come from. You can anticipate me doing that more often in the future. It is a different life for me now that when I was unpublished, and could just write whatever I wanted, and things like that, but at the same time, I have long loved the big epic series, and Iíve always wanted to do one. Thatís why I built what I built. I didnít do it because ďOh, this is what sells, I have to do this.Ē I did this because I wanted to have this big grand epic. Thatís why I built the Cosmere books as I did.

    So I donít feel stifled in that at all, even though Iíll finish one book than be like ďMan, I canít go into the next one of theseĒ and go and do something different, because itís my grand plan. You know, itís the thing Iíve wanted to do. So I hope that people will stick with me for all these books, because Iíll do a lot of them. But they will fit together in some really cool ways once they are all done. I think youíll be very very impressed, but thatís a while off.

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  • 7

    Question

    By the way, allomancers fighting on a train? Very cool.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh thank you. I almost didnít put that scene in, because itís kind of a clichť, but then Iím like ďIíve gotta have a train fight.Ē And Iíll say this, Alloy of Law is intended to be slightly more of a pulp novel than Mistborn, and though even though itís sort of a detective pulp novel, itís got fun characters and a fun world, because thatís the way I do it. If I let myself do these sort of things, they are done for the pure fun of it, where they may not have fit in another book.

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  • 8

    Question

    How many Stormlight Archive books are you planning? And how long is the next one going to be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Two series of five. So one ten book series, but you can view it as two sequences of five. My goal actually right now is to do the first five, take a little break, and maybe do the second Mistborn trilogy, or maybe do the White Sand trilogy. These are chunks of the Cosmere that are a part of the greater arc, but the next [Stormlight Archive] book will probably not be as long. This is because I actually felt Way of Kings was too long, but it was what it needed to be, for what I was establishing. There was no sooner place to cut this, so I had to do it in this place. When I first turned it in to my editor in 2002, it scared him to death because of how big it was. I do plan the others to be more around the size of Gathering Storm and things, which are still big books, but Iím hoping that they will be a little bit shorter, because those chunks are more manageable when the books are a little bit shorter. I can actually make the book tighter more easily.

    I think Way of Kings turned out very tight, but it was so hard, because the longer you go with a sequence like that, the harder it is to make sure that everything, everyone is keeping track of everything. And the longer you go, the more of an instinct the reader will have to start following certain characters instead of reading it first as mixed, which makes for a better book. Theyíll be like ďAh, I donít remember this as well; Iíll just keep reading Kaladin,Ē or something like that. Thatís actually a reason for me to keep them shorter, so you donít have as much of an impetus to do that.

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  • 9

    Question

    Is AonDor Physical, Spiritual, or Cognitive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wow, I wasnít expecting that. (laughter) Are you a Sharder?

    SAME MEMBER OF AUDIENCE

    A little bit. (laughter)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    AonDor is mixed up in all three. So I would say more Cognitive and Spiritual than it is Physical, but it is mixed up in all three.

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  • 10

    Question

    Is Thinker from the Purelake scene Demoux [from the Mistborn Trilogy]?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Demoux is indeed in that scene.

    And for those who didnít hear, about the other one, there is a scene in the Way of Kings. People have been trying to figure outÖ there are some members ofÖ there are some people there that I have hinted are from other books, and they have now figured out two of the three. I donít think youíve figured out the third one, and you wonít becauseÖ

    MI'CHELLE

    Has their book been written yet? Has their book been published?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    . Their book has not been published yet. I wonít say if itís been written yet. Is anyone confused at whatís going on there? There is a connection between the books.

    Footnote

    What Brandon nearly says about "members" seems to imply that those in the Purelake scene are indeed members of the Seventeenth Shard.

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  • 11

    Question

    People are going crazy wondering if there are telegraphs and telephones in Alloy of Law. Are there? And if not, why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are not yet. And the reason why is because they havenít needed them yet. Necessity is the, what the fuel of invention?

    MEMBER OF AUDIENCE

    The mother of invention.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, the mother of invention, and they have messengers who run, Coinshots who are very fast. They also do basically donít need to go outside the City, and havenít for a long time. Theyíre close, but they havenít invented them yet for the same reason that they have very poor navigation techniques. Why do you need to ship anything or sail anywhere when you have some idyllic paradise to live in? And you have allomancers, who in some ways are preventing from achieving that next level, because a Coinshot can get it there really fast, and so youíre only waiting a few minutes for them to come back with your message, so it can actually stifle a little bit of technology by having a not-quite-as-good magical solution.

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  • 12

    Question

    So Ruin and Preservation combine. When Odium slays the Shardbearers, why doesnít he absorb the enemy Shards?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Because that would actually change the way he views the world. The Shard would actually start to influence him, and could actually ruin who he views himself as being. So instead of combining them all, his goal is to destroy them all and be the only one left at his power level.

    QUESTION

    So by his nature, he can't combine?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I mean he could, but it would change his nature. So he won't.

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  • 13

    Zas

    Iíve got a question kind of based off of the train fight. If you have a time bubble, and you were to make it while you are on the train, would the time bubble move with the train, or would it stay at the same spot relative to the planet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Time bubbles donít move, so it would pull you out of it, then it would vanish.

    MI'CHELLE

    If you were to pop up a time bubble and someone were to be stuck halfway in and halfway out, would they go splooch?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    No, they would be in the time bubble. The time bubbles will move with the planet but not with the train.

    AUDIENCE

    Yeah, I always thought it was relative to the person creating the time bubble.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    No, youíll see Wayne create one, then heíll walk up to the perimeter, but if he leaves it, it ruins the time bubble.

    ZAS

    So is that because itís linked up to the spiritual gravitational bond between the planet?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, and youíre digging very deeply into stuff that I now canít answer. Time bubbles have some weirdness to them that I donít want to dig in too deeply, but yes.

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  • 14

    Question

    In Way of Kings, Hoid gives Kaladin a flute. Is that flute going to play a important role in progression, or is it just a trinket?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I canít answer that right now. Thatís too much of a RAFO.

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  • 15

    Question

    At the end of Alloy of Law, when...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Spoiler! Talk circumloqutically, talk around it.

    QUESTION

    When that person said that thing at the end of the book, will that lead to future ideas of books?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Things in the Alloy of Law are foreshadowing things that will happen in the modern day Mistborn trilogy.

    Footnote

    I'm fairly certain the question is about Miles' quote at the end of Alloy of Law.

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  • 16

    Question

    What happens if you create a time bubble in a time bubble?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Lots of people are theorizing about that. The time bubble would not collapse, Iíll answer that much.

    ZAS

    I think that you said at the Alloy release that it was mulóde...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Multiplicitive?

    ZAS

    Yeah.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I may have given an answer to that or not. Iím not going to say anything about that. Time travel and find out.

    Footnote

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  • 17

    Question

    In the Way of Kings, you have all of these different characters, how do you keep your charactersí personalities straight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good question. Keeping characters straightóthe thing I do that deviates from most of the way I normally write. I normally plan quite a bit. I normallyómy worlds are very intricately planned out, with their histories, and usually the plot of whatís going to happen are pretty intricately planned out before I start the book. The characters are not. And this is why a book fails, like the original Way of Kings did in 2002, itís because one of the characters is not who they need to be, and they are failing.

    This is something I do by instinct more than by planning. I grow my characters, so I often describe it as I ďcastĒ my characters, Iíll put different people in the role, Iíll sit down and say ďokay, here is a character to play this role.Ē Iíll start writing them, and seeing their personality, and seeing the world through their eyes, and Iíll see if that works. If it doesn't, Iíll actually drop that and rewrite that scene with a different personality, a different character, have someone else walk in and try the role. Iíll do that a couple of times till they click. When they click, I basically know who they are. From that point on, I donít have any problems keeping then right. When I write a book when a character doesnít click, then that book often fails. Sometimes they click halfway through, and I have to go back and fix them. Sometimes theyíre just 90% there, and I just need to keep writing and figure it out as I go. But sometimes, that never quite works, and this is the reason sometimesóthere is this book named Liar of Partinel, which I never released, because the character never clicked. And people will say ďLet me read it, let me read it!Ē but it will predispose you to that character, and that character, that personality is the wrong person. So I donít know how I keep them all straight. It just works with characters.

    But thatís just with characters. With plot and things, Iíve got to write it down, for setting I've got to write it down, I actually have a big wiki that I build that I reference to keep everything straight. Characters I never have to be that way. They just work.

    So I canít give you good advice on that, because itís simply how I do it. And they just grow into their own person.

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  • 18

    Question

    A related question. When you add to the wiki, do you soften the writing to add more information to the wiki?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Occasionally I do. Usually itís at the end of a scene; Iíll go and add things. Or now that I have a Peter, I will say ďPeter, go put this chapter ino the wiki, and fix whatever problems that donít fit. Thatís what heís doing right now with his time is heís going through the whole Way of Kings and making sure that the wiki matches, because the wiki actually contains like 5 or 6 iterations as I was building the world of ďNo, letís rewrite the creation mythĒ, ďNo, letís rewrite where this came fromĒ, ďNo letís rewrite this.Ē And it has all the old versions there as well as the newest version, and as Iím writing, Iíll change things because Iíll say ďYou know, this doesnít work. Iím going to alter this.Ē Then Iíve got to stop and make sure that the continuity gets kept.

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  • 19

    Member of Audience

    Also speaking of continutiy...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uhóoh.

    MEMBER OF AUDIENCE

    THis is a very very minor spoiler. It's just a statement that was made in Alloy of Law, that Smokers could...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Oh yeah, that was just a typo.

    MEMBER OF AUDIENCE

    Is that going to change things?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Wait, go ahead and say it.

    MEMBER OF AUDIENCE

    Can Copperclouds shield others' emotions?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Oh okay. Did we put that in Alloy of Law in the Ars Arcanum? Is that wwhere you read it?

    MEMBER OF AUDIENCE

    I forget. I don't remember where it is.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I believe itís in the Ars Arcanum, which in Alloy of Law was put together by Peter. And thatís mostly a mistake, though the thing is the Role Playing Game came to me and said ďIs it feasible that this could happen?Ē And I said ďItís perhaps feasible, but only a very rare individual could make this work if they knew exactly what they were doing.Ē And so I said ďYeah, go ahead, but make it a power that someone really has to know what theyíre doing to make it work.Ē And so they put it in, and so Peter assumed that it was canon, that anyone can do it, but thatís not what I intended.

    MEMBER OF AUDIENCE

    So would it be easier to say that somebody discovered they could do it and now they are training copperclouds to do it?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I would say that it is viable that someone could figure it out, but it would be a very difficult thing to train, and it is not a common CoppercloudóA common Coppercloud isnít going to be able to be doing it, and almost no Mistborn will ever be capable of doing it, they just donít focus on that metal enough to learn it. Of course, there arenít Mistborn around anymore. So it is a possible power, it is plausible, but it is not the standard. Perhaps I will allow it to become the standard eventually, but itís not right now. It would be much easier to wear a tinfoil hat. (laughter) Aluminum, aluminum. Which does work.

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  • 20

    Question

    Which I did catch was very entertaining to see like that [regarding the Aluminum Hats].

    Brandon Sanderson

    I built aluminum to do all sorts of funky things to all the powers, and I actually hadnít made the connection of tinfoil hats until after Iíd built it in, and I was writing it in Alloy of Law, years after I built it in, saying ďWait a minute! I just put tinfoil hats in the book!Ē (laughter) So I actually built that without thinking that there would be a joke to that.

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  • 21

    Question

    How does Snapping work now? You said that Sazed changed it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh, RAFO. That is a good question though.

    QUESTION

    Not even a little hint?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Nah, I don't think so.

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  • 22

    Zas (Chaos)

    Got another one. Why do Kandra need two spikes to have a blessing and to become sentient?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is just the nature of how Hemalurgy works. More spikes are capable of changing form and body more, and I didnít feel that one spike was viable for the alterations that are made to their nature.

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  • 23

    Zas

    Could you make a Kandra an Allomancer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    With the right sequence of sorts of things, you could impart those powers to them theoretically. Itís not likely to happen, but you could do it. You could build a spike that would let them Push or Pull. But youíd give the powers separately, probably.

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  • 24

    Question

    I've heard rumors of a Mistborn movie. Is that true?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Mistborn movie, is not even up to handshakes now. We do have a Vin chosen, but itís not official yet, so I canít say who it is.

    QUESTION

    I've heard rumors. Will you confirm or deny this?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    What rumor?

    QUESTION

    Linsey Lohan?

    (Wild laughter)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yeah, I can deny that one. (Continued Laughter) It's not Paris Hilton's dog either.

    Yeah, basically itís where itís been at for a while, which is weíre at a good version of the screenplay, weíre trying now to get people to look at it in Hollywood.

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  • 25

    Brandon Sanderson

    The video game is coming along very nicely. In fact, earlier just this week I built the whole plot sequence for that. Itís going to have some really good twists and turns and theoretically, if it works well, I will be writing all the dialogue and all the story.

    Member of Audience

    Which is more on your plate.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Which is more on my plate. But that can be fun, because the main character is a really sarcastic kind of a little bit of a jerk. And so I can actually write his dialogue on napkins while Iím sitting, waiting and be like ďAlright, hereís a good line,Ē and things like that. Thatís because most of it is gameplay. I have to just come up with lots of good wisecracks and then of course, I have to write the cutscenes. But those really arenít that much in a game like this. Itís maybe a weekís worth of work to get all of that written.

    Zas

    How long before is the game going to be? I remember you saying it was going to be before Final Empire, but I was wondering how long before?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We are shooting for second century after The Lord Ruler's Ascension.

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  • 26

    Question

    How long before is the game going to be? I remember you saying it was going to be before Final Empire, but I was wondering how long before?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I sold Legion, which is a novella I wrote, to Lionsgate, for a television pilot. We will see if they will actually do it or not. Thatís a modern day thriller I wrote. Itís a novella. Iíll release it next summer or something. Itís short, but it was meant for a pitch for a television show. So thatís coming out, and weíll hope that they actually film that. We did sign deals on that, and since thereís Lionsgate, which is a big studio, behind that, thereís a production house attached to it, and it will go much faster.

    Other than that, thereís the Wheel of Time, which keeps slowly moving forward. It is moving forward, but really slowly. And Alcatraz is basically dead in the water right now. The option lapsed in June, and no one else has snatched it up, so itís now been six months, and that oneís pretty much dead in the water. Which is sad. We got really close on that one.

    QUESTION

    Will you still write the fifth book?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, I will write the fifth book. Just the movie is dead in the water.

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  • 27

    Question

    In regards to the Infinity Blade book, how did you pick that up out of all the licensed products?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, why Infinity Blade. You know, Itís because they worked so darn hard to get me. They just kept going through every channel they could to get a hold of me. They called up my publicist, they called up Tor, they were trying everybody who possibly had a contact with me, and finally got through Isaac. It was they worked so hard, and also, they offered me a really good deal, meaning the idea that I could do this. And it was less about me looking for a licensed product or something like that, and more of me wanting to test how the digital market worked for something like this, and also, I want to have more to do with video games. And Epic, you know that gives you Unreal Edge, and Gears of War, they are a pretty big deal of a company. And if I ever wanted to do my own video game, straight out of an IP, which I have one I want to do, having contacts there would be really helpful. And so they came to me, they pitched this, they gave me a lot of creative freedom, they gave me a really good deal, monetarily, to make it worth my time, and I got to test the waters digitally and see how it is selling a story in game, and I also got to make some contacts in video games and gain a little more street cred.

    I want to build a Skyrim killer one day, is what I really want to do. I have a story, a world that I have built with magic and things that I want to do, that may be a Skyrim killer someday, an Elder Scroll type game. I really like those games. I have problems with some of the things they do, but I really like those games. So I really want to do that someday. That means I have to find some game studio whoís willing to give me 30 million dollars to play with, so Iíve got to have a lot of good street cred in video games before they let me do that. Yeah ď30 million, thatís nothing!Ē Thatís one of the big reasons that Iím doing it also. I mean Iím going to pitch this to the guys after a follow up Infinity Blade eventually, and weíll see what they say.

    QUESTION

    Why did Infinity Blade try so hard to get you specifically?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Because they are from Salt Lake, and they really liked my books, and they kind of based Inifinity Blade sort of off of my books. Not based, but they were inspired a little bit by my books, and so they really wanted to work with me. So thatís why. They liked the books. And you know, they make really good games. I was really impressed. I am a gamer, I hadnít played their games. And thatís another reasonóI played the games and they were fun. So thatís why they tried so hard. They just liked the books. It is interesting that there is a lot of talk in video games of ďAre video games going to grow up storywise?Ē Like theyíve really come to their own as an entertainment medium in the last ten years, and yet story tends to be a weak point still in a lot of these. Even the games that have great story lines are great story lines for a video game. Thereís been a lot of editorials written and a lot of articles written saying ďGuys, we need to start hiring top talent to write our stories rather than farming it out to Dave who does our Particle Effects, and moonlights as a writer.Ē Thereís lots of discussion about this. So I think these guys are interested in doing something like this. Do you have something Isaac?

    ISAAC STEWART

    I just wanted to add why they tried so hard to get you. If you want a little anecdote, I was at a Barnes and Nobles on my lunch break, and I look up and thereís this guy that I went to college with. So I said ďWhat are you doing lately?Ē ďWell I own my own video game studio.Ē He said ďWhat have you been doing?Ē ďOh, I made some maps for some guys books. Itís right here. Ē He decided to buy it and read it, and he became a huge fan. He really loved it.

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    Question

    We all love you as an author; are there any authors that youíve been able to read that you would recommend?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I read a lot of Terry Pratchett. First of all because I think heís a genius, but secondly because heís a very different type of writer than I am. If he were writing books that were very similar to mine, I couldnít read him as frequently, because I would worry about influence. Itís okay to read, and I love to read, and itís okay to be influenced, but if I were to read as much of someone else as I did of Pratchett,my style would shift to theirs. Itís not going to happen with Pratchett, because heís so distinctly different. So thatís a good reason for me to read Pratchett. Other than that, I do really like a lot of what people are doing. This year I spent half of my year reading Wheel of Time, and the other half reading the Hugo award nominees, because I wanted to vote in the Hugo awards, so I read a lot of those books. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was very good, and it was one of those.

    I do like Pat Rothfuss quite a bit, I mean he is really really good, in ways I wished I could be. I mean he is just great. There are things that I think I do better, but there are areas that he does way better than I do.

    I mean we do have different talent areas. I mean Rothfuss is able to write in a way that is just beautiful, it feels like prose, it feels like poetry. It feels like every line is poetry, but it doesnít distract you. A lot of people will try to do that, and Iíll be like ďYouíre trying too hard,Ē or ďYou donít have a good story.Ē But for him, I read it, and itís beautiful, and it doesnít burden the story. And I know of very few people who are able to do what he does in that way. He also, and this is one thing that makes him a genius, heís able to write a main character that I really donít like, and yet I love reading about him. The character is very deeply flawed, and yet itís fascinating, and that is something that I havenít seen someone do in that same wayóI mean George Martin can kind of do it, but for him itís more like I loathe them as individuals and I just watch the train wreck, but with Rothfuss, itís ďYou are not a really great guy, and you donít think youíre a great guy, and youíre kind of a jerk, but youíre also really interesting to read, and I like you while I dislike you at the same time.Ē And thatís a really interesting talent he has.

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    Question

    One thing I really liked on your books is that youíve reinvented a lot of fantasy tropes in a lot of good ways. But you also are inspired by some literary works, youíve mentioned Les Miserables, which is a fantastic novel. So I was just wondering if what advice would you have for people in terms of speculative fiction and literary works?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, advice for drawing. We did a writing excuses podcast on this, so you can go look up those, ďHow to be influenced consciously.Ē But boy. Read good stuff, and start to think about why itís good. Itís going to help you. I donít know if I can specifically tell you anything other than that, but read it, decide what Ďs working for you, and try to use that, try to feel. But remember to feel what they did, not what they did. Meaning, hereís a good example. You read Tolkein. You say ďWowĒ. What Tolkein did wasnít creating Elves and Dwarves. What Tolkein did was create an interesting mythology that was well interconnected. And a lot of people will say well, I want to learn from Tolkein, so I will use what he did, and they donít dig that level deeper. They say ďWell, Iím going to use the elves and dwarves.Ē They donít say ďWhat is it that he did the level down that really made this work?Ē And thatís what you should be emulating. So when you read the classics, say ďWhatís making it work?Ē Try to dig the level deeper if that makes sense.

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    Question

    What is a Mistcloak made of in real life? Like what is the closest material youíve seen one be made of? Because Iím having the hardest time figuring out what material to use.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Mistcloak is mainly made of cool stuff in my head that moves in ways thatís very hard to make. (laughter) But I would say the key component to the mistcloak is how it falls. And a lot of people have tried to use the stuff that has the wires at the sides of it, and I donít actually think that works right. I would say that the key to the Mistcloak is getting it to fall kind of straight , but the tassles not being too stiff. So I would look for a medium weight material. So, I donít even know what, but felt isnít right. Iíve seen some people do felt, and it doesnít look right. Feltís too heavy.

    Iíve seen good Mistcloaks, but I donít know fabrics enough to say for sure. Iíd have to have it before me and say ďYesĒ to this, or ďNoĒ to this.

    MEMBER OF AUDIENCE

    Congratulations. Now heís going to make up a new magic system. (laughter)

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    Question

    How do you pronounce the Mistborn Planet? [Scadrial]

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sca (as in Scab) dri (as in drink) al (sounds like ul).

    MEMBER OF AUDIENCE

    Okay. I always said Sca (as in Skate) dri (as in drink) al (as in Albert)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Thatís perfectly fine. This can launch me into my little thing on pronunciation. As readers, you get the say, youíre the director. I wrote the script. The director can always change things. If you want a character to look differently in your head, thatís okay. If you want to pronounce things however you want, thatís okay too. Because a book does not exist until it has a reader. It really doesnít live. It exists, but it doesnít live until you read it and give it life. So however you feel like doing it, go ahead. And remember, Iíve said this numerous times before, I donít pronounce all the names right. Iím American, so I pronounce things with an American accent. The best example I give is Kelsier, because I do say Kel (as in bell) si (as in see) er (as in air), but they say Kel (as in bell) si (as in see) er (as in hey) in-world (it sounds very French). I say E (as in the letter e) lan (as in lawn) tris (as in hiss), they say E (as in the letter e) Lan (as in lane) tris (as in hiss) in-world. So there are linguistic fundamentals of these because I do have some linguistic background, but I donít always say them right. I like saying Sa (like suh) rene (like Reen), instead of Sa (like suh) rene (like meany), which is how they say it. Which Suh-reany sounds kind of dumb in English. And in their language, itís a beautiful womanís name, but here you wouldnít call someone Suh-reany, youíd call them Suh-rean.

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    Question

    Can you give me a hint about Odium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Odium is not native to Roshar.

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