View Full Version : 2011 Comic Con - Brandon Sanderson at Suvudu

12-20-2011, 05:51 PM
Video available here (http://vimeo.com/26769610). Thanks to Terez for proofreading. :)

2011 Comic Con: Brandon Sanderson at Suvudu

Shawn Speakman: My name is Shawn Speakman, I'm with Suvudu, and I'm standing here with Brandon Sanderson. Brandon, how ya doing?

Brandon: I'm doing well. How are you?

Shawn Speakman: Great. Pretty good. Busy con already for you?

Brandon: Yes.

Shawn Speakman: You're actually leaving a little early. How was your day today?

Brandon: My day was good. Packed. I've been traveling so much lately, I need to get home and back to work, so I'm only doing one day of the con. Hopefully in the future I can do more, but this time I head home and get back to work on the Wheel of Time.

Shawn Speakman: Great. Awesome. The panel you were on today was an awesome confluence of fantasy geekdom. Why don't you talk a little bit about the panelists and what you thought about the panel?

Brandon: Boy. It was...it was awesome. On a panel like that, I really am not sure I... I get torn, because I really don't want to say anything. Because I just want to hear what George Martin and Pat Rothfuss have to say. Because George is fascinating and Pat is hilarious, and between the two of them, they can carry like a five hour panel on their own.

Shawn Speakman: Right.

Brandon: You throw in Kevin Anderson and Christopher Paolini, both throwing in the odd wise crack, and I just want to grab the popcorn and sit back. But I think it was a really great panel. The questions were good, the answers were... You know, sometimes on panels you get the same answer over and over again from every panelist, and this time there was some discussion, some distinctiveness about each comment, and so I think it was really informative.

Shawn Speakman: Great. Earlier you mentioned that you have to get back home to get back to the Wheel of Time. How long have you been working on it?

Brandon: Well, you know, I started working in 2007 on finishing the series. The last one I started working on January 1st. It's due in November. On my website we have a little... I have a little counter saying how much I've got done. I'm at one quarter right now. That's a little bit deceptive, because I've been jumping around and outlining and building sections later on; and so when I hit them, they'll go really fast. So it's probably more like half done—maybe a smidge more. But it doesn't look like that on the website. You know, I have to turn it in November, so I’m plugging along.

Shawn Speakman: How do you feel about it so far?

Brandon: I feel good. I feel really good. You know, Robert Jordan wrote the ending himself before he passed away. I just have to get there without screwing it up. And so, that's what I'm doing.

Shawn Speakman: Awesome. Great. I know people have loved the first two volumes that you've had to work on. And so...that's fantastic.

Brandon: The fan response has been fantastic. I felt really anxious; I feel really anxious every time. And so I guess it won't stop with this last one, but at least with the fan response being so good, it takes a bit of the anxiety off.

Shawn Speakman: Right. With Robert Jordan basically having turned in that ending, how do you as a fan, how do you feel about how everything wraps up?

Brandon: I was really satisfied with it. It was the first thing I read out of all his notes; when I got to Harriet's house for the first time, I read that ending, and I was very satisfied. I really... I think it ties up well.

Shawn Speakman: Great. One of the questions that came into the website deals with the work on Wheel of Time. Obviously that's a big undertaking of your time and definitely takes you away from your own creations. How do you feel about that, as an artist?

Brandon: You know, when I agreed to do this, I did it with eyes open, knowing that what it was going to do was going to mean I could get to fewer of my side projects. I'm a guy that likes to jump around—lots of wacky little side projects and things—and this time, I wasn't going to get to do that. But I was OK with that. Because I realized this was something important; this was something awesome I wanted to be part of. And there are some opportunities it cost—there are two big ones. One is that I can't do some of these side projects. But there is another one: that is, I don't get to read the Wheel of Time books when they come out, like everyone else does. And that's also a sad opportunity it cost. I'm the only one that didn't get a new Wheel of Time book last year, because I wrote the thing. So I didn't get to, you know... Always before, I would wait, I would get the Wheel of Time book and I would go read it. And I don't get to do that, not in the same way. But being a part of it the way I am more than pays for all these things. It's just, there are some little things I think about and say...little tiny...I wouldn't call them regrets, but certainly costs.

Shawn Speakman: Right. Those side projects that you mentioned... Obviously The Way of Kings came out last year, was a phenomenal success...

Brandon: That's not a side project.

Shawn Speakman: Yeah, that's not a side project.

Brandon: I did this knowing that I would still try to keep my main...you know, I would still try to keep Mistborn and Way of Kings, Stormlight Archive with support. You know, I have to work a lot of sixteen hour days to make sure it does, but I didn't want my readers to get short-changed for the Wheel of Time readers, even though Wheel of Time is my main focus right now. And so I've made sure I'm still doing that; I just can't do the other wacky things I've done. My kids' books—I couldn't finish that series until the Wheel of Time is done. You know, the contract ran out, but I still want to do another one, but I could not sign another contract, couldn't write that book because—

Shawn Speakman: You're under contract already.

Brandon: —I'm under contract. I have to do the Wheel of Time, I have to make sure it's got all of my attention and that it comes out and is really good. So those side projects just had to fall by the wayside.

Shawn Speakman: Your next Mistborn book comes out in November.

Brandon: In November, yes.

Shawn Speakman: Excellent. Why don't you tell us a little about it, and how you came to create it?

Brandon: When I pitched the Mistborn series to Tor, I pitched it as a continuum, as a group of different smaller series set in a fantasy world that I... I had never seen it done before. That doesn't mean it hasn’t been done. Lots of things have been done. But I had never seen a series do a big epic fantasy trilogy, and then jump forward hundreds of years and have the technology have grown and changed. It seems like when we jump around in fantasy worlds, we're always kind of in the same tech level, and I wanted to do something different; I wanted to write this... The Mistborn trilogy is done and tied up, and it is an epic fantasy trilogy—I love how it turned out. Now I'm jumping forward hundreds of years and doing stories in the same world, with the magic still being around during the age of industry. And so this is a... This is guns and skyscrapers and cars and allomancers. Right about...equivalency of early 1900s. And so it's the dawn of electric power, and the dawn of motor cars and things like this. Kind of a clash between magic and the technology, and a guy who's kind of caught between the two.

Shawn Speakman: This sounds standalone-ish. Like a new person to Mistborn could actually jump into it and...

Brandon: Yes, it's definitely a new jumping in point. It does not have major spoilers for the previous series. So it's one you can just read, and the first chapters are on Tor.com. We're pushing the... We're publishing the first five on the website, so people can just go read them there.

Shawn Speakman: Will you be touring?

Brandon: I will be. I'll be doing a tour in the US and in the UK.

Shawn Speakman: Because the Wheel of Time book will be turned in?

Brandon: Yes. The Wheel of Time book is turned in, and then I go on tour.

Shawn Speakman: Excellent. Well, thank you for your time, Brandon. Is there anything you want to say to your fans out there?

Brandon: Oh, no. Thank you for supporting me, and thanks for reading.

Shawn Speakman: Great. Thank you.