As anyone who’s visited my main website knows, i’m a big fan of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. Last year when he passed away, i posted an article that talked about how i had first came across the series, and how i hoped that the final book “will be finished by a worthy author who truly cares about the work and will do it justice.”About three months later, Brandon Sanderson was announced as the author personally picked by Robert Jordan’s wife to pen the final chapter in the WOT saga. I had never heard of Sanderson before, but I looked him up and found that he’s written a few books which have all received high praise. He also seemed to be a fan of the series himself, at which i sighed in relief knowing that the novel was in good hands. Well, it turns out that Sanderson lives about 10 minutes from my house! How cool is that? I found this out when i saw a big sign at our local library announcing a book signing with Brandon Sanderson. I did a double take, made sure it was the Brandon Sanderson of WOT fame, and made plans to attend. All of this was a long introduction to a short report of the event: There were about 50 or 60 people in attendance (hard to say really; there were lots of people with young kids that kept coming and going). He began by doing a book signing. He had copies of all his books available for purchase, and was more than happy to sign pre-existing copies. He also had a preview “proof readers” copy of the 3rd book in his Mistborn series. It looked very cool (although i didn’t read any of it, since i didn’t want to accidentally come across any spoilers). After a half hour or so of signing books, he opened it up to Q&A. Following are some of the questions that I was able to scribble down:
- Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians is available as an audio book through Amazon. You can also email him for a copy if you like.
- When Harriet (Robert Jordan’s wife) was selecting authors for the final WOT novel, she read 100 pages of Sanderson’s Mistborn book, loved it, and called him asking if he’d be interested. (Obviously the answer was an enthusiastic yes!)
- Dreamworks has purchased the rights to do a movie of Alcatraz. He said it’s amazing how much $$$ movie studios throw around like it’s popcorn. There’s also a tentative offer to do a TV Series of Mistborn, but that’s probably not going to happen
- When asked how he gets his ideas, he said that they can come from anywhere. He mentioned that he had an Alcatraz souvenir’s key chain that came with his first car. He was once driving through dense fog and liked how the mist swirled. Sometimes he’ll see someone with interesting characteristics that will end up in a novel. He just always looks for things and they all stick together, and eventually he’s got enough material for a book
- He likes to turn traditional fantasy on its head. “An unlikely hero goes on a quest to destroy the dark lord.” That pretty much sums up 90% of sci-fi and fantasy stories. “Why can’t the dark lord ever win? What if he did?” He loves to take unusual and unconventional twists and turns with his writing.
- When asked about the artwork, he said that he doesn’t get to decide that. He only gets to decide on the words of the novel. He gets to look and can object, but ultimately it’s up to the publisher on the artwork. Mostly he’s been happy, but didn’t like the original cover art of Mistborn. (There was more on this but i’d better not print it here…)
- His deadline for the draft of A Memory of Light is December. The earliest publish date will be in the Summer of 2009, and the latest publish date will be around Christmas 2009. Whatever the date, he will personally be at Waldenbooks at my local mall on opening day giving (well, selling i’m sure) out signed, numbered copies of the book. SWEET; i know where i’ll be that day!
- He mentioned that when he was 15, one of his teachers gave him a copy of a fantasy novel and that sparked his interested in, and love for, the fantasy genre. After the meeting, i asked him what the novel was. He replied that it was Dragon’s Bane, and highly recommended it if i hadn’t read it yet. I’ll put it in my queue.
- Finally, in between some of the Q&A he did a reading of the first chapter of Alcatraz (i’m not sure if it was the first or second book; i haven’t read either). He also did a reading of the 1st chapter of book 3 of Mistborn, but i left before he began since he said there would be major spoilers for anyone who hadn’t read the first two books yet (and i hadn’t, so i left).
All in all, a very enjoyable event. He seems like a nice down to earth guy, and i have every confidence that he’ll do a wonderful job of A Memory of Light.