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Interviews: AMOL Signing Report - J. Dauro

Summary:

Entries

91

Date

Feb 22nd, 2013

Type

Verbatim

Location

Birmingham, AL

TourCon

AMOL Book Tour

Bookstore

Books-A-Million

Reporter

J. Dauro

Links

Dragonmount

Dragonmount

Dragonmount

  • 1

    J. Dauro

    Here are transcripts for all the Q&A from the Birmingham Signing. These are broken into three pieces, The General Q&A with the crowd, the specific questions asked of Brandon at the signing table, and the Memory Keeper private Q&A.

    Many of these questions are repeats from other signings. But I wanted to post them all.

    This post is part 1.

    Audience Q&A:

  • 2

    Question

    There are 32,000 plus pages of notes/documentation from Robert Jordan. Will that ever see the light of day?

    Harriet McDougal

    Some of it will appear in the Encyclopedia. Team Jordan figures another 10-12 months work to complete the initial work. Then probably a year for Tor to commission the illustrations and produce the book.

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  • 3

    Harriet McDougal

    We are often asked about the movie rights. Universal is working on a script. I have not seen it.

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  • 4

    Question

    If you could create your own weave that we haven't seen yet, what would it be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I sure would like some more time to write more books.

    Harriet McDougal

    I would like to destroy the federal deficit.

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  • 5

    Question

    Was New Spring originally a novella that was expanded, or was it planned as a novel that was released in several parts?

    Harriet McDougal

    It started as a novella for the collection called Legends. And then Tom Doherty said, "Well you can expand that into a novel, that won't take any time at all." I said, "Tom, that's not really a good idea." He didn't listen to me.

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  • 6

    Question

    If you could associate yourself with a particular character, who would it be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've always felt the most like Perrin.

    Question

    Are you good with women?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Only one.

    Harriet McDougal

    No.

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  • 7

    Question

    How much of the story in the last three books were things Brandon had to do, and how much was laid out by Robert Jordan?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's really hard at this point for me to even sometimes remember, because I've been working on it for five years now. But, a lot of the big touchstone moments, he had mentioned in his notes. Now, when I mention the notes, we have the 32,000 pages, that is obviously too much to work with. And most of that was notes for previous novels. The assistants came up with 200 pages for me, that were focused on this book. That became the core of what I worked with to make these three novels, or this book, because it's still kind of one book in my head.

    And of those 200 pages, there were about a hundred pages of actual written material that he'd done. And about a hundred pages of Q&As with his assistants regarding scenes that needed to be written, or where characters needed to end up and things like that.

    I would say in a given scene, there's me and there's Robert Jordan in basically everything. But, if you want something a little more specific, in Gathering Storm, Egwene's plot line, he had a lot done for. For Rand's plot line, it was more me. For Towers of Midnight, Mat's plot line he'd done a lot on, Perrin's plot line was more me. And for the last book, the beginning and the end, he'd done a lot of work on, and the middle was more me.

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  • 8

    Question

    If you each could live in any land of the Wheel of Time, what would that land be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say for me, oh it's probably just going to be Andor. Because that's simple and normal and fewer people are trying to kill me there.

    Harriet McDougal

    I think I second the vote.

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  • 9

    Question

    There was a PC Wheel of Time game in the late 90's (of which quality we will not speak). Is there a chance of future video games in the Wheel of Time world?

    Harriet McDougal

    Yes, those rights are with Manetheren, and I don't know how they are coming along with the development, but it is in development.

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  • 10

    Question

    What about the Mistborn video game?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We put it off until 2014, because of the new console generation. We had planned for it to come out right when the buzz was saying the new consoles were going to launch. And that felt like a bad idea to us. The Mistborn film is also in the works, but it is very early and it is not nearly as far along as the Wheel of Time film is. So if anyone's father is J. J. Abrams, have him call me.

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  • 11

    Question

    In the last book we see a lot less of [character X] than in previous books. Is there a particular reason for that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did everything that Robert Jordan instructed me to do with [character X], and that is what I felt was appropriate, rather than adding a lot.

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  • 12

    Question

    Who was Hinderstap?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hinderstap was me, that was one of my additions. Entered in because Harriet actually said, we need things to be scarier, it's the end of the world. Come up with some really cool bubbles of evil, Brandon. And here are some examples of things that Robert Jordan came up with. Be freaky. And I did my best.

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  • 13

    Question

    Do you have any advice for up and coming authors?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have a lot of it. The number one piece though is just to keep at it and practice. However, if you want a lot of advice, I've got two resources for you. I do a podcast called Writing Excuses. And I have all of my University lectures posted online at a website called Write about Dragons. One of my grad students recorded them and put them all up. If you've already seen those, then you already have all of my advice. Why are you asking? Keep at it, just keep at it. BICHOK: Butt in chair, hands on keyboard.

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  • 14

    Question

    Do you ever see yourself creating a series of books of this level?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't know that I see anyone ever creating another series of books on this level, what he did. But I do have lots of stories that I want to tell, and I can hope.

    Harriet McDougal

    And I would recommend that you pay attention to a book of Brandon's called The Way of Kings.

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  • 15

    Question

    Are there any characters in Wheel of Time that you could see having their own series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, because Robert Jordan was going to write a series about them. We call them the Outriggers. You can Google what the Outriggers were going to be about. However Harriet can tell you the future of this series.

    Harriet McDougal

    They won't happen. Well, the reason is, he left only two sentences. And you can't build a trilogy from two sentences. It would be purely the work of someone else. And Robert Jordan had a horror of that happening. He didn't want it, so it won't happen. I mean, he would have loved to write them, but he didn't want another person, even Brandon, turned loose in his universe. So it's not going to happen.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, we have to be really respectful of what Robert Jordan wanted, plus there's just the "stop while you're ahead" sort of mentality, that comes to a really great ending that he himself wrote. So adding anything else would just be a bad idea. So yes, I could imagine stories about lots of people, and if he were here instead of me, I would be in line begging him to write them. But we can't have them, so you'll have to imagine them yourself.

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  • 16

    Question

    (Could you see a) crossover novel with the Wheel of Time and any other fantasy series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Wheel of Time already crosses over with every fantasy series because the Wheel of Time contains the multiverse philosophy, that all other worlds are shadows of the Wheel of Time world. So they're already there. Otherwise I just wouldn't want to see anything like that happen, it just wouldn't feel right to me. But that's an amusing question, thank you for it.

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  • 17

    Question

    What created the Black Wind in the Ways?

    Harriet McDougal

    I have no idea.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I believe Robert Jordan may have answered some questions about this at certain times, so if you look at the fan archives of questions, people have asked a lot of questions about this one, you may be able to get some clues there.

    Footnote

    RJ said that the Black Wind (Machin Shin) grew in the Ways like a parasite as a result of the taint on saidin.

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  • 18

    Question

    If you have a favorite book from the series, what would it be and why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do have a favorite book, one of the nice things is, I can answer as a fan, because I was a fan for many years before I took this over. As the writer you don't answer these sorts of things very easily. But I was part of a lot of the discussions where we argued about the best books, and which characters annoyed us, which characters we loved. My favorite book is book four, because of two specific events, yeah. I really love Rand's trip through the glass columns, I think it's my favorite sequence in the series. But also, the siege of the Two Rivers is one of my favorites. How about you, Harriet?

    Harriet McDougal

    I love the trip through the columns too. I was just blown away by it once again. I said, "Honey, you’ve done it again." But I'm very fond of A Memory of Light, too.

    All

    Awww.

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  • 19

    Question

    This is the last stop of the tour for Memory of Light. How do you feel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    How do we feel? The last hurrah, the last stop on the Memory of Light tour. It's really kind of, honestly, a weird experience for me, because after today, I basically set down, you know, the mantle, right, that was handed to me five years ago. This is my last official event involved in the Wheel of Time.

    Now I will be involved for the rest of my life. I will go to JordanCon every year, which is only over in Atlanta, so you should all go. I just drove there today, from Atlanta, I know how easy a drive it is. I will be going to JordanCon, I will always be willing to sign these books, and talk about the Wheel of Time, but after today I take a big step toward fan, and away from author.

    And so it's a really . . . It's the culmination of a bittersweet experience, it has been five years of bitter-sweetness. It started with reading his last scene, that he'd written, and it comes up to here. Where after five years of a lot of hard work, I put down that burden and, I move on to other things, which is really, really sad. You know, it's kind of weird, because every other series that I put down, there's been that voice in the back of my head that said, well you could return to this, if you want to. In this one I can't.

    That's been made off limits to me by myself from the beginning. You know, Harriet and I, on one of the very first times in Charleston, we had this conversation about the other books and we both were very adamant about the idea of them not happening. And so, it's not, you know, it's not Harriet saying, no, it's me saying no too. I would not do these if the opportunity were even offered. And so, it's strange, because these characters I can never do more with. Everyone else I can. So it's a final farewell to Robert Jordan, and it's sad, but it's also awesome because the last book has been well received. I think it turned out very well. And the experience has been amazing.

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  • 20

    Question

    When is the next Way of Kings book coming out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Tor has it scheduled for November, we'll see if I manage that or not. But November until told otherwise.

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  • 21

    Question

    How hard was it for you to separate the fan from the writer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This was something I'd never had to do before, and it was somewhat hard at the beginning. Basically, I wanted to stay away from letting the fan control too much, because you couldn't have that. Otherwise Narg would do a cameo every other chapter and things like that. And yet, you know, I am a fan and I can't separate completely the fact there are things I wanted to see. I wanted to see a reunion between Rand and Tam. There are things that I wanted these last books to provide, and I had to listen to the fan when working on the outline and saying, "Is there an opportunity for this?, what did he instruct me to do?, what places are there things that I know as a fan I wanted for years?, and which ones are appropriate to put in?" And so I didn't completely separate, but it was something that I had to be aware of.

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  • 22

    Question

    Could you comment on the Aiel Wise woman that Aviendha met in Towers of Midnight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I can give a comment, which is No Comment. That's one question that I am not answering because there are certain things in there that I don't think it's . . . I just don't want to answer that one, so I can't comment on that one. Sorry.

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  • 23

    Question

    Having been so involved in these books over the last five years, and as an author with your own projects in the works, how hard is it to separate the heart and soul of Robert Jordan and the Wheel of Time from your own stuff?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know, this is something you just learn as a writer. To juggle projects. And writing is my passion, and I don't usually have trouble mixing up projects. Now that said, I do sometimes get influenced by certain projects, or end up repeating myself, and that's something you have to really watch out for as a writer. Where you've got to be careful not to let the same themes and ideas make you do the same thing over and over again. But that's a different question. Separating myself from the Wheel of Time was not as hard as you might think, because it's something I had to learn to do when I first started writing. Because the Wheel of Time was a dominant force in my writing from the beginning, I had to say let's write something that doesn't just copy the Wheel of Time. And I think every writer learns to separate themselves from their influences. Our first stories are usually derivative. And we learn over time, hey here's how to express my own voice. My first novel, the first one I finished, I went back to it years later, just a couple of years ago. I went back and I dug it out and looked at it. And it started with the wind scene, it started with an omniscient view of the wind blowing across something. I'm like, oh I've totally lifted that from RJ. But, you know, that's okay on your first novel. It's something you learn.

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  • 24

    Question

    Having worked on this project after somebody else, how will this affect your future writing style?

    Well, I think I gained a lot of insight, working on this project, and that has changed my writing style. I don't think that necessarily, the work on it normally has, because I, like I said, studied the Wheel of Time, and learned about managing influences early in my career. And yet, working on this, being able to see the things RJ did, and gaining a better admiration of some of the things that he managed to pull off. His level of subtlety and foreshadowing for example, really made me say wow, I can see what he's doing and I can see it even better, and it's challenged me to be a better writer. So, I think, as to be better at working with multiple viewpoints, lots of different characters.

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  • 25

    Question

    How did Harriet decide on Brandon, what specific works?

    Harriet McDougal

    The first work was the eulogy for RJ that Brandon posted on his website. A friend was staying with after Jordan's death, and she put a printout of this in front of me and said, "I think you need to read this." And I certainly did and I thought, golly, this is exactly the attitude and the heart of a writer that I would like to see finish the series. This would just be wonderful. And then I called the publisher of Tor, I've worked with him, I was the original Editorial Director at Tor, and I've worked with the publisher for some, umm, more years than you all have been alive. Although perhaps if we added you all together . . .

    Anyway, I know him well and I said, "Tom, tell me about this guy, Brandon Sanderson." And he's a publisher, so he said, "Well, his sales numbers . . .", I mean, he had two books out at this point, Elantris and the first Mistborn, he's a publisher, so he's rattling off numbers, which were not at all what I was interested in. I said, "Well, can you send me one of the books?" He said, "Okay."

    It's conventional wisdom in the industry that a first novel has training wheels, if you really want to see what a writer can do, read the second novel. So he sent me Mistborn. And I read 47 pages. Remember I've been doing this for many years. And I fell asleep. (Laughter) Not Brandon's fault. But when I woke up, everything in the world was clear. His world . . . and that's a challenge, to get that stuff done in so few pages. The world was clear, the characters, the conflict, what they ate . . . He can do this thing.

    So I called Tom, and told him what I thought and he said, "You haven't read the whole book yet, have you?" Cause he's also worked with me for more years than you've been alive. And I said, "Well, no." And he said, "Shouldn’t you finish it? It's a very important decision." And I said, "If I were hiring him to write a Sanderson novel, of course. But I'm not. I'm hiring him to write a Jordan." So that's, that's . . . And then I did, what is it, right brain things or left brain, I always get them mixed-up. But the sensible things. Asked advice of some, an editor in New York who I trust, and his, the British publisher of the series, and like that. And sort of stewed around about it for, gosh, six weeks, a month, yep.

    And then I called, and got, and thought, Provo, Utah, that must be about as big as a minute. I was wrong. I thought, I'll just call information, so I did, and got the number for Brandon Sanderson. And a woman answered the phone. And I said, "Hello, is this Mrs. Sanderson?" And she said, "Yes." And I said, I rattled off, "Hello, I'm Robert Jordan's widow. I'd like to talk to him about finishing Jordan's series, the Wheel of Time." And she said, "I have no idea what you are talking about." And it turns out that Provo, Utah, far from being a tiny place, has two Brandon Sandersons. {Laughter) So with the next try, I got him. I got his voicemail, actually. Anyway, that's pretty much the story.

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  • 26

    Question

    Mr. Sanderson, I noticed that Utah seems to be producing a lot of writers lately, You, Dan Wells, and Larry Correia come to mind offhand. Do you have any insight as to why Utah has been producing a lot of Science Fiction and Fantasy writers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know, a lot of people ask this. I think it has to do with the fact that once a community gets started, they lift each other up. For instance, I gave Dan the contact info for my editor. Larry Correia, when he was publishing, got some help from some people locally. And what happens is you see people kind of helping each other out. It started with Orson Scott Card, way back when. And that started a class at Brigham Young University, it was 'How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy', which I took. And it's not that there's any sort of inside club or thing, it's just that, you see people being successful. It becomes more possible for you. And, like for instance, I took this class, it was taught by Dave Farland, who writes the Runelords, which is a fantasy series. It's quite good. And I was able to say, How do you do this thing, how do you get published? He's like, oh, here’s some advice. Go forth and meet editors and things. So, I think it has to do with this idea. if you go back, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were in the same writing group. It just starts a sort of community thing, where it becomes a viable, possible thing. Like, I grew up in Nebraska. I didn't know any writers in Nebraska. I didn't know anyone who was a published science fiction/fantasy writer. There weren't conventions in Lincoln, and things like that. But when I moved to Utah suddenly there's a bunch of writing conventions. You've got a ton of them around here too. And things like that. That sort of community is just really helpful for helping writers along. I think that's got a lot to do with it.

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  • 27

    J. Dauro ()

    Here is part 2 of the Q&A, the questions asked of Brandon at the signing table. This does contain spoilers.

    Individual questions asked while Brandon was signing books:

  • 28

    Question

    Why did you have to kill Vin and Elend?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They demanded that they be allowed to take the chance they did. And I just let them take the chance. I didn't kill them, I just let them take the chance that they demanded that I let them take. That's kind of a cop-out answer, I'm sorry, but that's what it feels like to me. And if I always make it so that there are no consequences, then the books have no heart.

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  • 29

    Question

    When is the next Mistborn book coming out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    2014.

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  • 30

    Question

    Who started the book signing war between you and Patrick Rothfuss?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The fans. They're the one who asked him to write something. Then they asked me to write something, so last night someone asked me to write something else back to him, so I wrote, "Pat Rothfuss is a very classy dude".

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  • 31

    Question

    Mat asked Hawkwing to go talk to Tuon, but it's never actually said whether he did or not.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He did.

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  • 32

    Question

    When rand lights the pipe at the end, is he directly influencing the Pattern?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RJ didn't tell us. He wrote that scene himself, and he didn't say what it meant. I think that's what it is, but I can't say for sure, because RJ didn't tell me.

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  • 33

    Question

    How come Lan couldn’t tell that Moiraine was alive, and with the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn? Because he felt the severing of the bond?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He did not have the bond any more. Since the bond was severed, he couldn't feel her any more.

    Question

    But why would the bond be severed, she was still alive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RJ says it is because she went to another dimension, and when that slice happened, it cut the bond. The bond couldn't function across the dimension there without some sort of connection there, without some sort of opening portal or something like that.

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  • 34

    Question

    The chick (unintelligible) . . .

    Brandon Sanderson

    She is Nakomi, and it is left to your imagination and wondering who she might be.

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  • 35

    Question

    How do you meet these people who read books and provide critical comments?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most of my Alphas and Betas are my friends from college or my family.

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  • 36

    Question

    So what do you read? You are a writer, what do you read?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I read Terry Pratchett. Whenever I can find a chance to do so, I love his works. And I like to read books by new writers, to see what's going on in the field, and see what people are doing.

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  • 37

    Question

    Did you ever conceive of breaking the "Last Battle" chapter into sections?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I felt like I wanted you to feel like the characters felt. And that you couldn't just put your sword down and go. That was my goal.

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  • 38

    Question

    Can the anti-balefire weave restore threads to the Pattern?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, it repairs threads to the Pattern. The threads may not be exactly the same, but it does repair them.

    Question

    So does that mean Hopper could the next time in this cycle?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I can't speak for Hopper, other than, I have hope.

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  • 39

    Question

    If you were to choose (to be) a Feruchemist or an Allomancer, which would you choose?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would choose Allomancy, because I would want to have Steel Pushing; that's my favorite of the powers.

    Question

    Is that why you gave Waxillium Steel Pushing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

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  • 40

    Question

    Are there going to be any more Mistborn books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there will. In 2014 there will be a sequel to Alloy of Law.

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  • 41

    Question

    Is that really the end of it? Absolutely?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that is the end. He didn't leave anything more.

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  • 42

    Question

    Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be an author?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did not, I was a teenager when I discovered fantasy novels, and I decided I wanted to do it then.

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  • 43

    Question

    Did you ever fail an English class?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did not fail an English class, but I did fail Handwriting. All through elementary school I got unsatisfactory marks.

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  • 44

    Question

    Will you be finishing the Alcatraz series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will soon be finishing the series. I had to buy the rights back. I didn't like how the publisher was treating the series. I got the rights back on January 1st. It's been a bit of a break, but I will finish it.

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  • 45

    Question

    Are you thinking about anything else in the Elantris world? Or Warbreaker?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, Elantris will be sooner than Warbreaker. Warbreaker will be a ways off. You may want to find Emperor's Soul; it's in the Elantris world.

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  • 46

    Question

    What was the hardest thing for you to overcome as a starting writer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    As a starting writer I would say the hardest thing for me was learning to revise. I just hated revision. I had to learn to do it, and do it well.

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  • 47

    Question

    Brandon Sanderson

    You were the person with the Moiraine question. RJ wrote in his notes that main purpose of Moiraine is to prevent a war between Rand and Egwene. And then she was to go with him into the Pit of Doom, but in the Pit of Doom there was nothing for her to do. And I felt bad about that, but that's what he instructed. It was hard to come up with stuff for everyone to have a part and a role. But I did what he instructed. It was a good question, people wondered. She did have an important role to play.

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  • 48

    Question

    Who was the hardest character for you to personify?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was Mat. He's the most complex of the WOT characters, so getting him right was a real challenge.

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  • 49

    Question

    The character Daruo, Deathwatch Guard in the scene where Mat and Tuon re-unite. Please tell me that could he be an Ogier?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, if you want him to be.

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  • 50

    Question

    Egwene, was that your idea or Robert Jordan's?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I haven't been telling people about that one specifically. Almost all the deaths in the book were RJ's instructions, but I did choose a few of them. So, it could been either one of us.

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  • 51

    Question

    Dalinar and Lan, who wins in a swordfight? Both full Shardbearers.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Both full Shardbearers. Lan probably wins, I would guess. Lan is more pure swordsman than Dalinar. Dalinar spent a lot of time on things like battlefield tactics.

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  • 52

    Question

    In at least two of the books that I know of, a god is either dead or attacked in some form or fashion. Is there any reason for that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there is an ongoing theme there, and it's primarily because there is an overarching story behind the story. The books are all in the same universe. And there is a character that's the same in all of the books. In Way of Kings it's Wit. He's actually in all of them.

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  • 53

    Question

    Was it your idea for the dead mule in the last book, or was it Robert Jordan’s?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That was his idea.

    Question

    Well he had one set of dead mules, I didn't know if you wanted to add yours and become a Southern writer too?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well I can be a partial one.

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  • 54

    Question

    In book 6 or 7 when Moiraine gets thrown through the portal, was it RJ's plan to bring her back in Towers of Midnight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, he actually wrote most of the scenes that take place in the Tower of Ghenjei and afterwards.

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  • 55

    Question

    Who is writing the movie script for Eye of the World?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's being written in house at Universal.

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  • 56

    Question

    The last book had a lot of military action in it. Did you have to do a lot of research for that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes we did. And I relied a lot on some experts that we know to give me a lot of help on that.

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  • 57

    Question

    Demandred, when he does the coming out scene with the big reveal. Was that you or Robert Jordan?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That was me.

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  • 58

    Question

    What up and coming fantasy writer would you read?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I really like Brent Weeks, but you probably already know about Brent. If you haven't read the Lightbringer books, they're wonderful. I like Brian McClellan, who has a new book coming out this year, it's his first. I would suggest that you keep an eye on him.

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  • 59

    Question

    Are you and Harriet going to do any more editorial collaborations?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, she is retiring. She really needs to be allowed to rest and relax.

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  • 60

    Question

    What's on your reading list?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right now I am in the middle of Mary Robinette Kowal's new book. She sent me her latest unpublished one. Before that I read a Pratchett.

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  • 61

    Question

    What happens next? Somebody please tell me.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well I can tell you a few things actually. The sequel trilogy that he was writing, he left us two sentences. One is, Mat is dicing in a gutter somewhere. And the other is Perrin is on a boat traveling to Seanchan thinking about how he's got to go kill a friend.

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  • 62

    Question

    Is there going to be a sequel to Elantris?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, a true sequel is coming. It's actually going to be about Sarene's uncle, and his family.

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  • 63

    Question

    My favorite character, Elmindreda. How much of that were you fleshing out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not a ton. Just a little bit. I got to do most of her and Tuon.

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  • 64

    Question

    Androl—is he yours?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is mine. From the beginning, I asked Team Jordan if there was an Asha'man that had a blank slate that I could take over, because I wanted to have a viewpoint in the Black Tower, and I wanted to do some of these things with gateways.

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  • 65

    Question

    In The Way of Kings, is Assassination a common thing in the Parshendi culture, because it seems odd that they would have a specific custom for what assassins wear?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is something that happened quite a bit more in the past than it does now. But yes, you will find out much more about them. They are now more unified, but they used to be a bunch of different tribes, and they would send assassins into each other's camps.

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  • 66

    Question

    What happened to the Tinkers? Why didn't you give them the Song?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I didn't because in his notes Robert Jordan said, and I quote, "The Tinkers never do find their damn song." He wrote it exactly like that. And it's because the song has become something more than just a song. It is a way of life. It means peace, kind of Nirvana. And it's actually basically impossible to find the song, because it means the whole world is at peace. That’s what it means to them now. And because it's become an ideal rather than a single event, it's not something you could actually even go to them with the thing that was originally the Song and sing, and have them acknowledge that it is the Song.

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  • 67

    Question

    And the decision to exchange the bodies at the end?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That was his (Robert Jordan). And it began with the crossing of the balefire streams, way back when, and continued on through the series up to here. He actually wrote those scenes at the end himself.

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  • 68

    Question

    Did you have any Air Force consultation with the to'raken scenes at all?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That was in mind. We had a lot of military experts help us out with these books. I relied on them a lot.

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  • 69

    Question

    How did you become a writer? What advice (can you give)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Practice, just practice. And don't stress it too much.

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  • 70

    Question

    I was told that Talmanes was initially introduced as Mat's foil character, just for that purpose. Is that true?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't know for sure, but I would bet it is. Just seeing the way that Robert Jordan used things like that. I would bet so.

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  • 71

    Question

    Have you heard the rumors about Bela being the Creator?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have indeed, and I find them very amusing.

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  • 72

    Question

    Was Robert Jordan's original draft of that as bloody as the way it came out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A lot of the deaths, he didn't write any of the actual death scenes, he just indicated who lived and died. I just upped the ante somewhat. I wasn't going to have the Last Battle come without substantial losses, and so, where he didn't instruct me, this person lives, I had some measure of, yeah. And so, I did up the body count. I know he was planning to kill off a number of characters, but he also, killing people, and letting them stay dead was not one of Jim's strong suits. He was very fond of his characters, and I know there were lots that he was planning to kill. I don't think that he would have killed as many as I, maybe. I don't know. It's what we felt the story needed, in talking to Harriet and Team Jordan. Maybe he would have. I did what I thought made the best story.

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  • 73

    Question

    What about Cadsuane being summoned to become Amyrlin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Cadsuane was going to give up the three Oaths, and go live forever. Cadsuane's fate was not my idea.

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  • 74

    J. Dauro ()

    And finally here are the questions asked by the Memory Keepers. Contains spoilers.

    Memory Keeper Q&A:

  • 75

    Question

    How is Mat's new name pronounced?

    Brandon Sanderson

    According to Alan Romanczuk, you do pronounce the "k".

    J. Dauro

    (As Harriet says, any way you say it is OK. Check the glossaries for some help.)

    Footnote

    Mat's new name is "Knotai".

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  • 76

    Question

    Two words that I find very evocative are Dreadbane and Balescream. What's yours?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can usually guess that if it's not Old Tongue, it's probably me.

    Question

    I mean what's your favorite word? What's the word you find most evocative from the series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In the series. Let me see. Hmm. I've always liked the term Heartstone. I would think. That one is very evocative to me.

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  • 77

    Question

    From Freelancer, Can you speak to how and when a True Power sa'angreal was created?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I believe that such a thing, you'll have to check with Maria to make sure that I'm not saying anything wrong, but I believe that this thing was created as a trap for one of the Forsaken.

    Question

    I think what he is more after, is once we have had the talk about the seed for a sa'angreal...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh, huh. How did that happen? That I am not talking too much about.

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  • 78

    Question

    Can you speak to why Leilwen did not try to contact Elayne while she was in Caemlyn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    (pause) I'm trying to remember.

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    When Mat came to Caemlyn, she was with him. Mat saw Elayne, but she didn't.

    Brandon Sandeson

    I don't know why she didn't.

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  • 79

    Question

    From Freelancer again. Moiraine promised Thom to tell the names of the Red Aes Sedai (who gentled) Owyn. Does she ever do that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. It's not onscreen but it does happen.

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    And is there anybody in that list that we would be interested in?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I actually asked that question to Maria, and Maria said no.

    Question

    OK.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Really what I said is, "Do we want to do this, is this relevant?" She said, "No I don't think this is relevant, and it's not worth jumping through hoops."

    Question

    OK.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Because there is nothing there that's going to, yeah.

    That was what came of it. Now whether that actually means, is there any name you'd recognize, you might recognize a name, but it wasn't relevant enough to jump through storytelling hoops to get that on screen, to bother with it.

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  • 80

    Question

    Chris Cottingham asked, Is Nakomi's dealing with the soup for Aviendha the same as Rand and the pipe?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What do you mean?

    Question

    Is it the same power?

    Brandon Sanderson

    (Laughs) No, it is not. I'll go ahead and, wow, you actually managed to get a question out of me about Nakomi. No that is not the same.

    Footnote—Terez

    (Brandon later said that he didn't know anything more than the fans do about the pipe.)

    Question

    Is "Nakomi" from the Old Tongue, and is there a translation?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll go ahead and RAFO anything else dealing with Nakomi. You did get an answer out of me on one thing, so that's good.

    Harriet McDougal

    Nakomi wandered in from the Song of Hiawatha.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There you go.

    Question

    That's what we thought, yes.

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  • 81

    Question

    Is the Town, the only human settlement in the Blight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I believe so.

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    And was the Town the same cluster of building that was seen by Graendal in Towers of Midnight from Moridin's...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

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  • 82

    Question

    Do we know what Moridin was doing in the Town?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Umm, Define we.

    Question

    Will we know what Moridin was doing in the town?

    QBrandon Sanderson

    That depends on how good you are at guessing.

    Harriet McDougal

    I think he was building a new Westin Hotel.

    QBrandon Sanderson

    That's right.

    (laughter)

    Question

    Sounds reasonable to me.

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  • 83

    Question

    Do we have any estimate on how many Asha'man and Aes Sedai survived? That's a Wetlander question.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Many. We'll put a lot of that in the Encyclopedia.

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  • 84

    Question

    Does the Ring of Tamyrlin still exist?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't believe that it does.

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  • 85

    Question

    Sam Mickel seems to think that Demandred becomes so obsessed with Rand during the book, and that this appears to have increased from previous books. Would you say that, and if so, why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say no, though the immediacy of what is happening makes it manifest, makes it look that way. He has always been ... I mean, the single defining attribute of Demandred is his obsession with Rand, and it is his tragic flaw also.

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  • 86

    Question

    How can Mat use gateways when he is wearing the medallion?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He doesn't touch any weaves when he goes through.

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  • 87

    Question

    From Bonnie, did Tam have anything to do with the name of the inn, "Easing the Badger"?

    Brandon Sanderson

    (laughs) No.

    Harriet McDougal

    But you could ask if I did.

    (laughter)

    Question

    OK

    Harriet McDougal

    Yes, I did.

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  • 88

    Question

    In the scene where Mat is going to see Queen Elayne for the first time, there are the details of him handing off the ashandarei, and all this, which I find very amazing. So when you are writing something like that, do you see the scene?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do. I'm there, the question is just what I describe, and what I don't.

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  • 89

    J. Dauro

    Gary Singer asks, Do the Myrddraal channel the True Power to move between shadows?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't believe so.

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  • 90

    J. Dauro

    Do we know anything on how they managed to create the wards on Callandor, and attune them to Rand?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't.

    J. Dauro

    Then I guess I'll have to ask Maria at JordanCon.

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  • 91

    Question

    We have Androl has a very interesting past, he has gone a lot of places and done a lot of things. There is one line in there where it says, where he prepares tea for Pevara, he is talking about things that remind him of things, and he says, "Spring water reminds me of Jain." Is that Farstrider?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes it is.

    Question

    So now we know a little more about...

    Memory Keeper

    He's met everybody. He's gone everywhere.

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