The Gathering Storm Book Tour, Toadstool Book Store, Milford, NH 7 November 2009Edit
Report by Meg Lurvey
Q: Regarding the Mistborn books, do you think you will ever write a prequel trilogy?
A: Brandon is hesitant to do so. He has considered it though. He [Brandon] “loves epic fantasy” and the “hero’s journey, like Rand’s journey at the beginning of the Wheel of Time”. When writing the Mistborn books, he knew Robert Jordan had done epic fantasy the best it could be done, so thought to himself, ‘what hasn’t been done?’ The answer he came to was ‘what if the hero [e.g.] Rand/Harry Potter/Frodo lost?’ The idea was a good one, but that would make a “downer of a book”. (The fans, myself included, chuckled slightly horrified at the idea of the Dark One winning, and one fan made a reference to the Star Wars prequels, which also amused the crowd, and Brandon alike.) Brandon went on to say that he wrote Mistborn as 1000 years after the heroes lost, and he is more strongly considering a sequel trilogy that would take place about 600 years after Mistborn.
Q. After Knife of Dreams came out, Robert Jordan had said he was writing two more prequels…will you [Brandon] do them and what’s the status on them now?
A. There are notes for two prequels, one based around Tam’s story, and the other about Moiraine and Lan before they went to the Two Rivers. There are also notes for three additional books, Outriggers, which take place in the Wheel of Time world. Brandon equates being handed the Wheel of Time series with being handed the One Ring – the longer you hold onto it, the harder it gets to let go. He doesn’t want to ruin Robert Jordan’s world; Robert Jordan and the series deserve to be allowed to rest. However, Tom Doherty wants them to be written, though the decision is ultimately up to Harriet – if she decides they should be written, he’ll do it, but his gut says ‘no’, they won’t be. At this, he was met with an “aaawwww!” from the fans, and nodding, he said that it is with a heavy heart but he feels it would be best. The last he heard, Harriet was leaning towards ‘no’. If he does write them though, he feels there should be no more after this, “it would be nice to have a will” so no more can be made. He admitted that this is a half answer, but concluded with “Robert Jordan’s legacy is more important.”
Q. Are you ticked you know the ending? (The fans, Brandon, and all of us Storm Leaders laughed!)
A. “I’m excited.” Brandon, in having Robert Jordan’s notes on the whole series, has even seen the “handwritten note of who killed Asmodean!” [I didn’t know Robert Jordan knew my name!] A moment with a somewhat quizzical look on his face, Brandon went on to say that he does feel a “sense of loss that I didn’t get to read a new Wheel of Time book last week.”
Q. Which character’s point of view is your favorite to write?
A. “Whoever I’m writing at that moment”, they’re the most important. With some characters it was easier than others, as “Cadsuane already believes she’s the most important.” [I think I laughed the loudest at that remark.] He also said that the notes on Egwene were the most extensive and she was a pleasure to write. He also enjoys having more Aviendha viewpoints, as he missed her, and commented that writing Rand is both dramatic and draining.
Q. Has Mesaana’s alter ego been seen yet “on stage”? [I suspect the fan that asked this is one of the Blues I mentioned earlier, though she may be a Brown, too.]
A. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to RAFO [read and find out] that.” Any yes/no would set all the fans, especially on the message boards and fans into figuring it out by process of elimination. The crowd pressed him for hints, and he did confirm that she is still in the White Tower. This statement was met with speculative “oohhh”’s and pensive looks as new theories were born then and there.
Q. Will there be any sequels to Elantris?
A. In 2015, the 10th anniversary of the series he intends to release Dragonriders, three books based on side characters. They will take place 10 years after events, in the city of Dacor.
Q. Will we see anywhere in the world a visual representation of The Wheel of Time?
A. A video game is pretty likely. The executive option was bought for full rights as well, and screen plays are being written. Jason Denzel and Maria are consulting. If the films get made, they will be full feature films. There are also comic books put out by the Debel brothers that are accurate, but they may not continue – the Debel brothers have “visual genius and financial troubles.” [We raffled off three of the comic books to excited fans!]
Several fans asked whether there would be a sequel to Warbreaker. Brandon said it was planned as two books, and Nightblood will be released after the Wheel of Time
“So…Memory of Light was supposed to be book 12 and the last book…will you split them up again?” Brandon, to the wide smiles of all who heard, said definitively “Fourteen is it!”
Q. Do you have new stuff, or new ideas? A. Yes – one is “The Silence Divine” a world like ours where you gain magic by diseases; another is a world where the only superheroes are all evil super villains and a group of regular people called The Executioners gather to hunt them down and take them out.
Q. Which character did you perceive yourself as? A. Perrin. Quiet, a little bigger than my friends… “I always felt a lot like Perrin.” Eventually, his favorite shifted to Mat.
Q. Do you have plans to write a longer series? A. Yes, The Way of Kings will come out next year.
Q. There’s a lot of female influence in The Wheel of Time, was it hard to write from their perspective? A. In my early years writing, it was hard. I finally got it right in Elantris. It was harder to write from other cultures, especially Aviendha and Tuon. It took three tries to get Aviendha right…”Aiel are weird.”
Brandon describes Mat dealing with Tuon leaving as Mat having his feet knocked out from under him” and says that in Robert Jordan’s notes it says specifically that “Mat refuses to be coming husbandly”.
Generally interesting notes and antidotes:
- Two fans in a row met Brandon this past year at JordanCon
- When Brandon signed any of the Alcatraz books for new young fans, he’d write something in them then tell the child conspiratorially “that will make sense once you read the book”.
- Robert Jordan’s signature on the title page is there at Brandon’s request.
- I enjoyed one fan’s request to have his book addressed to himself as “The Old Wolf”.
- One fan, a woman, has been reading the Wheel of Time from when her son was in diapers. He’s of drinking age now!
- Even Brandon had moments of “Aaaah! I knew it!” He also has had the “wait, really?” moments and often, while going through notes, has said, “Ah, that group is right!” [Referring to groups on the message boards.] He also confided that there is one thing that isn’t being discussed on any of the forums yet that will blow our minds when we read it. Yay!
- Brandon recommends his favorite books as a kid, Three Investigators to a young reader
- Brandon relates Tam to Bilbo and Rand to Frodo
- Robert Jordan never really intended to clarify on whether Rand is hearing Lews Therin because he’s insane or if he’s really there.
- Brandon finished The Dresden Files on the plane this morning.
- Brandon recommends the Peter Rothfus’ trilogy; the first book is Name of the Wind.
- If you’re trying to get Brandon to make an appearance at your event, contact to PeterATBrandonSandersonDOTcom.
- While Brandon likes all the characters, he said that even he got annoyed at Faile while she was traveling with Perrin through the Ways. He did assure us that he does like her though!
- Quite a few fans commented how much they appreciate how Brandon has replied to their emails.
- Secretively, Brandon wrote who killed Asmodean on someone’s Kindle. Later he revealed the answer to the Storm Leaders, and at the risk of giving away too much, I’m willing to tell you. Ready? It was………………………ROBERT JORDAN
- Brandon likes having single volume epics out because he remembers being annoyed at having to wait on even though he didn’t like the author, but just to get to the ending.
- Geoff, his wife, and his young son Luke drove seven hours from Ottawa, Canada to get their books signed
Brandon’s advice to writers:
- Network. Go to where the editors are, learn names. He describes himself as gregarious.
- Write compulsively. Be able to send things out constantly, not every editor will like everything you write.
- His advice isn’t a “silver bullet” of getting published, but he says to “keep at it.”