Author Topic: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com  (Read 8022 times)

firstRainbowRose

  • Level 18
  • *
  • Posts: 867
  • Fell Points: 1
  • So pretty!
    • View Profile
Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2009, 04:43:05 AM »
When is the next Alcatraz book coming out?

Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallia is in stores October 1st (though Scholastic often ships early, so you might find it as early as September 1st.)  Book four--Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens--is being written now and will come out the following October.



Now my question: is Warbreaker going to be the start of a series?

I've talked about the sequel.  I wouldn't call it a series, though, since I'm only intending it to be two books.  I actually plotted it at one, then during drafting decided that some of the things I wanted to do would be better in a sequel, and started calling it a two-book series.  Tor signed me for two, and have put the second one on infinite hiatus, allowing me to turn it in whenever I want.



About your characters, Brandon:

- Which ones are the most like yourself?

There's a piece of me in every one of them, but I'm not really like any of them.  People who know me well say that Alcatraz's humor reminds them of my humor (which is different from Lightsong's humor or Kelsier's humor, which are different from mine.)  Elend in the original Mistborn book represents so of how I've been known to act (bringing books to social events.)  Shuden in Elantris has a lot of me in him, actually.  Raoden has my optimism, Hrathen my logical and thoughtful (and dangerously devious) mind, Vin my pragmatic determination, and Sarene my utter lack of skill with painting or drawing.    In the end, I don't know if I can pick one who is most like me.  Perhaps you should ask my wife.  She'd probably be better at seeing this than I am. 
 
- Your favorite male and female characters you've written?
 
Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by favorite.  A lot of people ask me this question, and my response is often different.  Who am I writing at the time, what I am feeling at the time?  Lightsong makes me laugh, but Kelsier is conflicted in a more personal, dangerous way--and that appeals to me.  Vin is best rounded, but Sazed is (perhaps) closest to my heart.   
 
- Your favorite male/female characters of all time?
 
Man, I'm bad at answering questions like this.  Okay, male is probably Jean Valjean.  Female...urg...  Moiraine, maybe?  Sioned from Dragon Prince is pretty awesome too.  Double urg.  I don't know.   Jenny from Dragonsbane has long been one of my favorites, so maybe I'd pick her.

About research:  What, if any, reasearch for your novels have you done, and how did you do it?
 
The calling of a fiction writer, particularly a fantasy writer, is to know a little bit about a lot of things--just enough to be dangerous, so to speak.  I tend to read survey books that talk about history--things that give overviews, such as the history of warfare, or the history of the sword, or navigation.  That kind of thing.  I would say I do a fair amount of research, but mostly it's an attempt to dump as much into my brain as possible for spawning stories and writing about things intelligently.  For Mistborn, I researched canals, eunuchs, and London during the mid 1800's. 
 
The Eternal Question:  Mac or PC?
 
PC.  Not out of any avid devotion, but because it's what I've grown up on.  My wife is a Mac person, though.   
 
Your word processor of choice?
 
Word.  Same reason as above.
 
Do you have music on real loud when you write (I've heard Steve King writes like that) or is it soft in the background?
 
Soft in the background.   

Is the Way of Kings your biggest work planned or do you have something on the shelf that's bigger?
 
Well...depends.  Dragonsteel is plotted at seven books.  And I plan two more trilogies, eventually, in the Mistborn world.  But KINGS was always planned and plotted to be the big war epic, focusing on large numbers of characters across a large number of books.  Mistborn will span hundreds and hundreds of years, though, so it could be 'bigger' by some definitions.  Dragonsteel also is in the running, but for reasons I can't really explain without giving away things I don't want to.
 
Your favorite movies?
 
Gattica.  The Fifth Element, actually, is up there too.  The Prisoner of Azkaban movie.  Empire Strikes Back.  Sneakers.  Jacky Chan's Operation Condor. (I know, I know.) The Emperor's New Groove.  Star Trek: First Contact.   
 
To be honest, that's probably not a great list.  Those are the movies I watch over and over, but there are a lot of movies I love, but have only seen a few times.  I'm not generally a 'watch it over again' type of guy, so it's hard to pick favorites.  I come back to the genre films or things like Jacky Chan because they're quirky and rewatchable, but that doesn't actually mean they're my favorite--or that they've influenced me as much as other films.  For instance, Laurence of Arabia blew my mind, and The Sting influenced how I write quite a bit.  But I've only ever seen those films once.  But I do keep coming back to Gattica as one of the movies I think does what storytelling should do, when done perfectly right.   
 
Your favorite music?
 
Depends on the month.  Right now?  Daft Punk.  Before that?  Anything by Harry Gregson Williams. (Often, his music is better than the film it is in.)  Metallica has been a long-standing favorite of mine, though I've been listening to a lot of Desprez lately.
 
I'd also like to thank Brandon here for being so wonderfully accessible.  It's an excellent gesture Brandon, great of you.  Your fans will always love you for it.

 No problem!  Though that list above made me work.  (Wipes brow.)  I'm terrible at the "What's your favorite..." type questions.
"The custom of royalty in referring to oneself is to naturally employ the royal 'we'.  We are very happy, we are very sad, we are bored and suffer from ennui.  For a royal prince there's no such word as 'me', It's always 'we'.  So rightfully I should be two or three, don't you agree?"

little wilson

  • Level 29
  • *
  • Posts: 1634
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Hero of Ages: Preservation
    • View Profile
    • My Myspace
Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2009, 07:15:54 AM »
5 more to go, Rose (Or maybe it's 6. I can't remember. One of the two)....Yay! His answer had better be good, because this anticipation is a killer (although I'm sure it will be. I mean, it's a horror movie hypothesis. How can it not be?).
"You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."

little wilson

  • Level 29
  • *
  • Posts: 1634
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Hero of Ages: Preservation
    • View Profile
    • My Myspace
Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2009, 07:27:54 PM »
I have some more in-depth questions that might be RAFO'd.
Here they are:
Who is Hoid in WoA? We (TWG) have found some candidates:
     
Wolfhound merchant
Terris person that Elend meets after Vin went back to Luthadel
Teur or old Jed (the two Skaa in the first Sazed chapter)
Crazy canibal Skaa (I doubt it though)
     
We already know it isn't the man who discovered duralumin, or the skaa leader outside the dress shop, or the old skaa who waits with the Holy First Witness when the koloss attack.
     
I think those were all of the characters that we found as candidates.


People are really close to this one, and I noticed that later in this thread, you or someone else mentioned the footprints in the deleted scene.
 
Hoid's appearance in MB:WA is a little unlike the others.  When the scene at the Well was moved in revision, one of Hoid’s  major influences on the book had to go  (For various reasons.) Left in the book is only one little hint, really.  A character notices something odd about someone, but doesn't dwell on it.  You can probably find the line if you look very closely.
 
Let me say this.  Hoid got wrapped up in things he didn't expect to be involved in, and they dominated much of his time during the events of MB:WA.  He spent most of the book in a different place from most of the viewpoint characters.  He's only near them for a very short time, and he's deeply in disguise.  I couldn't include his name, as he'd never have used the name "Hoid" for himself there, because it wouldn't have been right for the disguise.  He'd have used another pseudonym.  (He didn't, by the way, mention one.)
 
I've probably said too much already.  Now, perhaps what people should asking me is this: “What Hoid has been up to in all of these books?”  Or, maybe they shouldn't ask me, as I wouldn't be likely to answer.  (There are clues in the novels, however.)  No, he’s not just hanging out.  Yes, I know what he’s been doing.  Will I write his scenes some day?  Maybe.  We’ll see.  There may be short stories posted on my website.
 

Now this one will probably be RAFO'd:

I know you already said that there are four shards outside of Ati and Leras in your other books. Could you tell us the numbers per book? Is just a standard two per book? Or do some have more than others?


Some world have more than others.  You have seen the effects, influences, and work of four other Shards.  One Shard, however, was no longer on the world by the time the story was told there. 
 

I know that we've "interacted with two directly" (the pool in Elantris, and The Voice that called Lightsong back to life) that we've "seen it's power" (Dahkhor??) and another that we've seen their infulence (I have no idea on this one, though I think it might be whatever pointed out Aon Rao in Elantris to Raoden)
 
Nice guesses on most of those.  You’ve got some things right.  You’ve got some things wrong. The only thing I'll confirm (and I don’t think I’ve said this before)  is that The Voice is, indeed, one of the Shards of Adonalsium.  (Endowment is that Shard’s true name, by the way.)
 

My last question shouldn't be as hard to answer and that is:

Who is in charge of the Mistborn movie you mentioned at the #tweettheauthor?
     
Thank you so much, I love your books!


It is a small production studio, so nobody you'd recognize.  The producer is a fan of the Mistborn books who has some credentials in independent films, and who has impressed me with his treatment of the books and his determination to make the film.  This individual is starting a production company to focus on the film.  We're in the contract stages now, and once that is done, I can be more specific. 
 
It's not like the Alcatraz movie, which was optioned directly by a studio.  Because of that, the Mistborn movie is probably a lot less likely to happen--but, the hands it is in are quite good.  Anything having to do with Hollywood is a long-shot in the first place, so (after meeting with the producer) I decided that I'd rather take the slightly more unlikely chance in exchange for the opportunity to work with someone I felt understood the books.
 

BTW, Thank you for your Terry Pratchet recomendation. I have read almost all of them and love them.

The man's a genius.  Pure and simple.  It took him a little while to convert me, but now that he has, I’m a big fan.
"You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."

firstRainbowRose

  • Level 18
  • *
  • Posts: 867
  • Fell Points: 1
  • So pretty!
    • View Profile
Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2009, 09:59:56 PM »
FOUR MORE!!!  *is very excited*
"The custom of royalty in referring to oneself is to naturally employ the royal 'we'.  We are very happy, we are very sad, we are bored and suffer from ennui.  For a royal prince there's no such word as 'me', It's always 'we'.  So rightfully I should be two or three, don't you agree?"

little wilson

  • Level 29
  • *
  • Posts: 1634
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Hero of Ages: Preservation
    • View Profile
    • My Myspace
Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2009, 10:47:07 PM »
Four more and then us. So, kind of 5 more...in a way. Regardless, the answer is definitely coming tomorrow. He's starting to cruise through these answers.
"You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."

Chaos

  • Administrator
  • Level 36
  • *****
  • Posts: 2170
  • Fell Points: 3
  • The Original Hero of Ages
    • View Profile
    • Eric Lake
Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2009, 11:56:01 PM »
We have a new Shard name, Endowment. Awesome. We'll have to become more clever in discovering those four Shards (three, I guess, because we know of Endowment) that we haven't found yet--the "one we've seen effects of" is probably the one that did something, but is no longer present on the world.

I'm reading Well of Ascension right now and I will look for the Hoid line, too.
www.17thshard.com - The Official Brandon Sanderson Fansite.

Oh SNAP, I'm an Allomancer.

little wilson

  • Level 29
  • *
  • Posts: 1634
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Hero of Ages: Preservation
    • View Profile
    • My Myspace
Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2009, 03:46:35 AM »
I have a very specific question about The Wheel of Time series.  One of my favorite characters has been MIA for way too long.  I'm assuming Moiraine Damodred returns to the playing field I'm just wanting to know if it will be in the upcoming book or further on?

This is exactly the sort of thing I've been asked by the Jordan estate to stay quiet about, I'm afraid.  (Sorry.)  Some things the fans are expecting will happen in this book.  But some things had to be saved for the next two volumes.  And of Mr. Jordan's instructions were quite surprising, when seen in the light of what everyone expects will happen.

That's really not an answer, is it?  Well, let's just call it a RAFO.


What is the x in Aon Mea? Is it one of the Shard-pools?     

Afraid not.  Aon Mea references the expanded region within which the "Elantris Effect" will create Elantrians.  The X is fertile valley with a high density of life, a place with a lot of cognitive activity.  (Cognitive as defined by Realmatic Theory includes the 'thoughts' of all things that exist, not just human beings.  The more complex the life form, the stronger its presence on the Cognitive Realm.)


I'm feeling a little bewildered; I keep seeing references to "Hoid" throughout these boards and the twitter page, and I'm assuming this is a character who makes a short appearance in each book.  If so, is there an actual story going on with him, or was he just someone put in as a sort of "Easter egg?"

I think I've covered this in responses I gave before getting to your question.  My forums have a lot more information.  (And a lot of guesses.) 


1)  If you were going to write a novel in a genre other than scifi/fantasy which genre do you think that you would write in?     

Hmm...  Perhaps a historical.  Something I could really sink my teeth into.  I could also see myself writing a mystery or a thriller.

 The thing is, unless I'm under some kind of restriction, I know that any of those three would probably end up having fantasy or sf elements.  It's just how I think.

     
2)  Have you ever considered writing a non-fiction book based of Writing Excuses?     

I have indeed considered it.  We'll see.  I guess it depends on how much interest there is.

     
3)  In MB3, What happened to Kelsier's bones, and will they play any significance in any of the sequels?     

The bones survived the events of the last book.  We might see them again.  Speaking of relic-like items, Sazed's rings survived as well.  We might see those again.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2009, 04:17:58 AM by little wilson »
"You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."

little wilson

  • Level 29
  • *
  • Posts: 1634
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Hero of Ages: Preservation
    • View Profile
    • My Myspace
Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2009, 04:21:22 AM »
Mi'chelle is wanting to know for a fanfic she's wanting to write if when you cut/break an object that has been awakened if the object then "dies", or if the pieces will try to carry out the command.  Also, either way, can the breaths be recovered from it?     

The object does not die, and will try to continue it's purpose.  The level of damage will determine just how well it can continue.  The Breaths are recoverable.  (Though there could be some loss of Breaths, depending on how the item is destroyed.)  There's a scene near the end where Vasher Awakens some clothing, then it gets cut down and he recovers the Breath.

     
She (and I) would also like to know more details of the mistborn movie. The last she heard, you'd rejected it being a tv series. So, yeah. Any more details?     

Did a big post on this just above.  I think that will answer the request for details.

Note that I rejected the tv series not because of the idea of doing a tv series itself, but because I wasn't confident in the production studio who was making the offer. More details will come once contracts are signed.

     
Peter said  if we did enough begging, we could see some Nightblood replicas. Can you give us more details? And exactly HOW much more begging would be necessary (Mi'chelle says keep it below $100...I say below $50, but I suppose if you must go higher, I might be able to compensate...)?

I've had an offer from a swordsmith who was at JordanCon.  These would be more expensive replicas, though, as they be hand-made by the swordsmith himself.  He does very good work, but the price he mentioned was $200, I believe. 

I've put Peter in charge of looking into this and seeing how viable it is.  The cost might be too high for the readers to want to buy them.  What we'd do is take pre-orders, and then do a limited edition run of maybe ten or twenty swords, hand-made by the swordsmith. If we had ten or so preorders, we'd be able to do it.


If the gang from WE were put in a horror film, obviously Dan would be the killer.  But what order do you think everyone would die in? And how would they die? (The victim list includes: you, Howard, Jordan, Pemberly, Stacy, and Peter)     

Ha!  Well, let's see.  If Dan were the killer, I think he'd try to take out Howard first, since Howard is obviously the most dangerous of us all.  Though he sees me more often, so he might try to get to me first.  I'd put it in this order:

Howard
Me
Jordo
Peter
Pemberly (he'd leave the women for last because he's a very gentlemanly killer.)

And then Stacy would take Dan down in a surprise ending.  She'd edit him out of the script or something.

 
And lastly, Mi'chelle and I had an idea while conversing....Have you done firesides, and would you consider doing them?     

It's an interesting idea.  I honestly don't know.  I think I could come up with something.  (For those confused, it's an LDS church-group thingy.)
"You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."

Pygmalion

  • Level 5
  • *
  • Posts: 137
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2009, 05:08:27 AM »
There's a Mistborn movie deal in the works??? How did I miss that? He was very low-key about it, but STILL! Gosh, the idea makes me nervous....
"Vision is the art of seeing the invisible" - Jonathan Swift

little wilson

  • Level 29
  • *
  • Posts: 1634
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Hero of Ages: Preservation
    • View Profile
    • My Myspace
Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2009, 05:46:30 AM »
Is Adonalsium going to be mentioned by name in Warbreaker and The Way of Kings or is he going to be an underlining "God"(I don't know what to call him yet) idea?  I am curious now, so I will have to keep my eyes open for him.

Adonalsium (Ahy-doe-Nahl-see-um) will be mentioned by name again.  Ruin and Preservation were what have been called Shards of Adonalsium.  (The Voice from Warbreaker is another Shard.) 


Is this "character" a common link between your books for religion or magical or maybe even both?

Adonalsium has to do with the Cosmere, which is the word Realmatic philosophers use to refer to the greater universe of the Shardworlds.  It's hard to separate religion, magic, science, and society in most of these worlds.  So "both" is a good guess.


I was curious because he just seemed to appear and nothing further on him/it.  Thank you for mentioning that he is in these 2 other books, I will have to look for hints of him.

The word Adonalsium (or, well, the miss-spelling of it) appears in only one of the books.  Other clues and links between the books can be found as well.  (Some people on my forums have spotted some of them.  Others have gone unspotted so far.)


[This answer isn't in response to any particular question, so I'm just going to put the response down.]

I posted on my website that I'd be doing this, and I don't often have time to interact on forums.  (They are a delightful way to interact with readers, but have proven a HUGE time-sink for me in the past.  As you might have noticed, I tend to write--and respond--in depth when people ask questions of me.)  So I only appear on forums occasionally.  Hence the involvement of those from my forums looking for some answers to questions.

Some backstory might help you all.  I began writing in earnest in 1997. During those years, I shared the books I wrote with a group of friends.  This group worked with me on The Leading Edge, a science fiction fanzine/semiprozine at BYU.  Eventually, once we graduated, we founded the Timewaster's Guide, partially as a forum where we could hang out.  (Tage and Ookla from the TWG forums--aka Ben and Peter--are among them, and are still very good friends of mine.  Another easter egg is to watch how Ben Olsen and Peter Ahlstrom are treated in the acknowledgements of many of my books.)

The overarching story and theme of my books, what I wanted to accomplish as a writer, and how I approached the fantasy genre, all took shape during this time.  These readers read many of my most important, and influential (on me as a writer) novels while in draft form.  The biggest three of these during this era were White Sand, Dragonsteel, and Elantris.  (On the tail end, I wrote--but never finished--the foundations of what years later became Warbreaker.)

The next era of my unpublished writing was when I worked on the worlds, stories, and themes that eventually became Mistborn, The Way of Kings, and a book called the Aether of Night. Many of my writing group friends have read these books, including the first draft of Kings(which is very, very different from the current draft.)

Anyway, these unpublished books are NOT cannon yet.  I don't canonize a novel until I publish it.  But some of the hidden themes (including Hoid and Adonalsium) of my books are present in these novels.  (Dragonsteel and Aether of Night are particularly connected--though of the unpublished Shardworld books, White Sand is probably the best written.)  Again, none of this is cannon yet.  (For instance, I've taken chunks out of Dragonsteel to use in the revision of The Way of Kings.)  However, these old books do contain clues that aren't available to the average reader.

Dragonsteel can be ordered through inter-library loan through the university library system.  There are only four or five copies in existence.  The BYU library has one (the book was my honor's thesis.)  I believe the honors department has one.  My thesis chair has one.  (And maybe the committee has one, I can't remember.)  I've got one in my basement.  And I believe Ben's sister may have sneaked a copy out of the trash when I was cleaning out old manuscripts.  (That might be White Sand.)

I do have intentions of rewriting these books and publishing them eventually. They each have pieces of the story.  (Though I may decide to shift certain themes from one series to another as I eventually write and publish them.)  I've been known to email White Sand or Aether of Night to readers who email and ask.  (Though it does make me cringe a little to do so.  In many of these books, I was experimenting with magic, theme, and narrative style--some experiments were a success, some were failures.)

Dragonsteel is frozen; I don't send it out any longer, as to not spoil the parts of The Way of Kings that I decided fit better in that world.  So the only way to get it now is to borrow it from BYU.  I've been told that Dragonsteel is the only undergraduate BYU honor's thesis ever to have been be read so often that it needed to be rebound.  (A dubious honor, I'm not sure how I feel about so many people reading a book of mine that is that mediocre.) :'(
« Last Edit: July 13, 2009, 06:23:14 AM by little wilson »
"You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."

little wilson

  • Level 29
  • *
  • Posts: 1634
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Hero of Ages: Preservation
    • View Profile
    • My Myspace
Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #25 on: July 13, 2009, 06:26:02 AM »
Fantasy has always been a "series-powered" genre but it seems that lately several authors (or publishers) just don't know when to suitably end a long-running saga... Drawing out a series for the sake of more installments, it seems.

And there seems to be fewer and fewer standalone novels like Warbreaker and Elantris. (I love standalone novels, by the way, and am hoping that that "format" makes a return!)

Any comments on this from your perspective? Thanks!


It's a good question, Paul.  One I've been considering, actually, for a long time.  Certainly, there's an economic piece to it.
 
When a stand-alone comes out, it tends to gather praise from both readers and reviewers.  Then proceeds to sell far fewer copies than a series book does.  The Wheel of Time didn't hit #1 on the NYT list until book eight or nine, I believe, and I don't think Sword of Truth hit #1 until book ten.  Series tend to sell better.  Even as readers complain about them.  And so I think publishers do push for them.
 
But why do they sell better?  Well, I think this is partially the learning curve factor.  We like fantasy for the same reason that fantasy is hard to read: the learning curve.  Starting a fantasy book can be tough because of how many new names, concepts, societies, religions, and laws of physics you have to learn and get used to.  Epics, with their dozens upon dozens of characters, are even tougher in this regard.  And so, after investing so much energy into becoming an expert in the world, we want to get a good payoff and be able to USE that expertise.
 
Beyond that, I think that fantasy is character driven--and when we fall in love with characters, we want to read more about them.  Fantasy, particularly the epic series, allows us to follow characters across sweeping, life changing events.  Fantasy (like historicals) give us lots of pages and time to know these characters.  So we want more from them. 
 
But the very thing that we love about fantasy in this regard also tends to present problems.  We want lots of characters, but eventually this large cast gets overwhelms us and makes the books seem to drag.  Personally, I think these complaints will be much lessened when some of these great series are done, and you don't have to wait years and years between volumes. 
 
Anyway, Terry Brooks talks a lot about this in his biographical work Sometimes the Magic Works.  (Bet you can find it here on BN.com, and I highly suggest the book as a quick, interesting, engaging read.)  He mentions how, when he left Shannara to write other things, the fans begged and begged him for more.  Until finally he broke down and gave them more books in the world. 
 
A lot of authors I know tend to live in this state of perpetual wonder and amazement that, finally, people are actually enjoying and reading their works.  (After all the years of failure trying to break in, I know that I feel this way a lot.)  When someone comes to you and talks about how much they love one of your works, asking you to write more...well, we're storytellers.  If people want a story, we want to give it to them.  It's hard to say no.  (Though so far I have.)
 
I intend to keep writing stand-alone novels.  But I do so knowing that 1) they will not sell as well as series books and 2) readers will ask me for more, and so each stand alone will only increase the number of requests for future books that I can't write.  I'm in the fortunate place that I can write, and publish, what I want--whether it be series or stand alone--and no longer have to worry about the money. 
 
But, in my heart, I've got a strong desire to write a big epic.  I grew up reading them.  I want to see if I can do one, my way, and add something new to the genre.  So maybe that's the reason.  Looking through Robert Jordan's notes, reading interviews, I don't think he ever artificially inflated the length of his series because of publisher desire or money reasons.  I think he loved the long-form epic, and wanted to tell the story his way, no matter how long it took.  And as he added more characters, it took longer and longer.

In a way, being free from the worry of finances gives creators a chance to really explore their vision the way they want to.  And...well, we’re fantasy writers, so we can get a little long winded.

Kind of like this response, eh?   ;)  Thanks for the question.


My question 1: Will the material written for AMoL by  Jordan remain intact in the published novel or will you rewrite it to match your on style of writing?
 
I am leaving it as intact as possible.  In some places, a paragraph at the beginning or end of a section has to be changed to streamline it into the rest of the narrative.  In others, line edits have to be done (mostly by Harriet) to fix the language.  (Nothing we have from him is in more than a rough draft form.)
 
But where I can, I'm not changing anything.  Because of this, readers who look very closely might be able to tell where I wrote and where he wrote.  But I don't think it is noticeable without detailed scrutiny. 
 
I suggest to readers that they read the book straight through the first time without trying to pick out which piece was written by which author.  I'm hoping to get permission to speak more specifically about how it was all divided once the three books are all out.  Then, you can know for certain.  But for now, I would prefer (and I'm certain Mr. Jordan would prefer) that you see through the prose and enjoy the story. 
 

My question 2: Hope you can answer this one. In the world of the wheel, would the soul of an animal be reborn as the same animal when that particular age comes again, like humans are?
 
I don't know of anything specific that Jim said about this, and I've read a lot of the FAQs and interviews.  Still, it might be out there hiding somewhere.  I'll put this on my things to ask his assistants about so I can know if he did.  As far as I understand, the only thing we know about animals and the Wheel is that wolves go to the world of dreams when they die.
 
However, looking at the sources Mr. Jordan is drawing from and the overall mythology of the series and world, I'd guess that they are reborn, and as the same animal.  There is no talk of a person being reborn as a slug in their next life, and the fact that wolves are proven to have spirits gives subtle indication that other animals do as well.  If so, I'd guess they are bound to the wheel like everything else, and rewoven into the pattern.  What I say, however, is not cannon in the same way that what Jim said was.  Let me do some more digging to find an answer, if there is one, and ask me again some other time. (And if anyone knows of an interview where he talked about this, feel free to post and point me in the right direction.)
 

My question 3: Which is your favorite Pratchett novel and why?
 
The Truth is my favorite.  As a writer, and one who likes to explore the nature of the truth in his works, a novel that deals with someone trying to publish a newspaper in a fantasy world mixed philosophy and laughs in the way only Pratchett can.  However, Guards Guards the book where I suggest people new to Pratchett start.  (I suggest avoiding the Colour of Magic as your first experience, even though it's technically the first book in the series.  They are all stand alone novels, really, and Guards Guards can be seen as the beginning of the best sub-series within the series.)
"You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."

Peter Ahlstrom

  • Administrator
  • Level 59
  • *
  • Posts: 4902
  • Fell Points: 2
  • Assistant to Mr. Sanderson
    • View Profile
Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2009, 04:40:22 PM »
Quote
I've been told that Dragonsteel is the only undergraduate BYU honor's thesis ever to have been be read so often that it needed to be rebound.
This is hilarious, and most likely true. Who wants to read undergraduate BYU honors theses? (Besides Brandon's.)
All Saiyuki fans should check out Dazzle! Emotionally wrenching action-adventure and quirky humor! (At least read chapter 6 and tell me if you're not hooked.) Volume 10 out now!

happyman

  • Level 17
  • *
  • Posts: 828
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #27 on: July 13, 2009, 05:00:38 PM »
Quote
I've been told that Dragonsteel is the only undergraduate BYU honor's thesis ever to have been be read so often that it needed to be rebound.
This is hilarious, and most likely true. Who wants to read undergraduate BYU honors theses? (Besides Brandon's.)

Quoted for truth.  I'm quite certain my thesis (not honors, but physics) has never been read even once.  Not that I really mind, looking back.
Nature hates being reified.

Chaos

  • Administrator
  • Level 36
  • *****
  • Posts: 2170
  • Fell Points: 3
  • The Original Hero of Ages
    • View Profile
    • Eric Lake
Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #28 on: July 15, 2009, 03:35:42 AM »
Yay, he answered my questions. :D

In Mistborn, you say its planet is called Scadriel. In-universe, where (or when) did the name Scadriel come to be used to be describe the Mistborn planet? Did the Lord Ruler and his obligators use that as the name of the planet, or did it come later, post-MB3? Or is "Scadriel" just what you as an author use to refer to it?

It is "In Universe" so to speak, though the name itself isn't known to the people on-planet.  The Lord Ruler was the only one who understood the exact nature of a planet, really, though some of the obligators and noble scholars had a general idea.  Astronomy was one of the scientific areas where the Lord Ruler didn't mind people doing research, so long as it kept their interest away from chemistry or a science that could lead to advances in weaponry.
 
Scadrial would then have been the name that Ruin and Preservation understood for the planet, as well as certain other groups and individuals of a less directly divine nature.

Is there a rationale to how Hemalurgic powers are distributed? I tried to look for a system, but they seem rather randomly distributed. For example, the spike which steals Allomantic powers for a particular quadrant is not always in one particular spot.

That is correct, it's not always in one particular spot.  None of them are.  I used as my model on this magic system the concept of acupuncture and pressure points.  Placing a Hemalurgic spike is a very delicate and specific art.  Imagine there being a different overlay on a human body, like a new network of nerves, representing lines, points, and 'veins' of the soul's spiritual makeup. 
 
What is happening with Hemalurgy, essentially, is that you're driving a spike through a specific point on a person's body and ripping off a piece of their soul.  It sticks to the spike on the Spiritual Realm.  Then, you place that spike on someone else in a specific place (not exactly the same place, but on the right spiritual pressure point) and 'hot wire' the spirit to give it Hemalurgy or Feruchemy.  It's like you're fooling the spiritual DNA, creating a work-around.  Or, in some cases, changing the spirit to look like something else, which has the immediate effect of distorting the body and transforming it into a new creature.
 
Hemalurgy is a very brutal way of making changes like this, though, so it often has monstrous effects.  (Like with the koloss.)  And in most cases, it leaves a kind of 'hole' in the spirit's natural defenses, which is how Ruin was able to touch the souls of Hemalurgists directly.

Can you tell us what the rest of the Feruchemical and Hemalurgic powers are? Since, you know, you won't be writing in the Mistborn world for many years, and those Feruchemical and Hemalurgic Tables might not even come into existence if the Allomantic Metals one doesn't sell. Pretty please?

I will release this eventually.  I'm still tweaking the powers--their names, and how they function--and so I'd rather hold off on revealing anything specific right now.  We might include them in the RPG, though.

When is the Table of Allomantic Metals coming out?

Printer emailed me today for final confirmation.  Should be very soon now.

Hemalurgically, atium steals Allomantic Temporal Powers. But, that seems unlikely, since atium is a god metal. It wouldn't fit in with the rest of the magic system. Did Preservation, in addition to switching Cadmium and Bendalloy for Atium and Malatium, also switch atium's Feruchemical and Hemalurgic powers with Cadmium? Because it seems to me there's not a lot of atium Marsh can use to live for hundreds of years into the next Mistborn trilogy. :P

Preservation wanted Atium and Malatium to be of use to the people, as he recognized that it would be a very powerful tool--and that using it up could help defeat Ruin.  But he also recognized that sixteen was a mythological important number, and felt it would make the best sign for his followers.  So he took out the most unlikely (difficult to make and use) metals for his sign to his followers.  But that doesn't have much to do with Hemalurgy's use here.
 
Remember that the tables--and the ars Arcanum--are 'in world' creations.  (Or, at least, in-universe.)  The knowledge represented in them is as people understand it, and can always have flaws.  That was the case with having atium on the table in the first place, and that was the case with people (specifically the Inquisitors) trying to figure out what atium did Hemalurgically.
 
Their experiments (very expensive ones) are what determined that atium (which they thought was just one of the sixteen metals) granted the Allomantic Temporal powers.  What they didn't realize is that atium (used correctly) could steal ANY of the powers.  Think of it as a wild card.  With the right knowledge, you could use it to mimic any other spike.  It works far better than other spikes as well.

As for Marsh, he's got a whole bag of atium (taken off of the Kandra who was going to try to sell it.)  So he's all right for quite a while.  A small bead used right can reverse age someone back to their childhood.
 
But this was a little beyond their magical understanding at the time.

Will Sazed appear at all in the Stormlight Archive?

There are no current plans for him to do so.

In the days of the Final Empire, how does one acquire a Kandra Contract? It's not like they can just walk up to their hidden Homeland and ask for their services.

Same way you would go about hiring an assassin.  Secretly, using contacts who have used them before.  You have to be in the know and well-connected, either with the upper-class or the underground.

Are you going to write another WoT encyclopedia?

Harriet, Maria, and Alan are working on one.  Harriet promised it to Tor a few years back, and I think it's been officially announced that she's working on it.  There is no firm release date.  After AMOL is complete, I'd imagine.
www.17thshard.com - The Official Brandon Sanderson Fansite.

Oh SNAP, I'm an Allomancer.

little wilson

  • Level 29
  • *
  • Posts: 1634
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Hero of Ages: Preservation
    • View Profile
    • My Myspace
Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2009, 06:30:18 AM »
(Ah! Finally, he's back, answering!)

I've just read Warbreaker twice now and really enjoyed it both times.
I read that although you've planned another book in the Warbreaker world you're not certain of when you can begin writing it. As it is the only book of yours that I've read to date, I've had to skip some of your answers to other questions that contain spoilers for your other book One thing I noticed in my skimming was that the character Hoid has turned up in other books of yours.

He's very intriguing and at one point I thought he might be Vasher in disguise. Is he a Returned or is he not constrained by the magical construct?


Well, he's certainly not Vasher in disguise.  Keep an eye out for him in other books of mine you read.  He's constrained by magic like everyone else, but he has some extra experience, so to speak.

Also I wondered whether you will ever publish an encyclopoedia of your interlocking worlds and their relationship to each other within their cosmos?

I plan to do something like this, as things progress.  It won't happen until the future, however, and will likely happen only on-line.  There will eventually be short stories showing some of what is going on behind the main stories of the novels.  I do have some novels planned which would deal with all of this in a more direct way, but they are decades away from being written. 
"You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."