Jump to content


  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Storm Leader Report: San Diego

Guest Jason


This is the sixteenth of our Storm Leader reports we'll be posting throughout the U.S. book tour for [/url]


Brandon began by telling the story of how he ended up being chosen to write the ending of The Wheel of Time. He started back in 1990, when he was 15 years old and saw a paperback of The Eye of the World on the shelf. Thinking that it was huge and had a “good page to dollar ratio†he returned to the bookstore a few days later to purchase Book One of The Wheel of Time. It was because of The Wheel of Time that Brandon decided he wanted to become a writer.


Fast forward to 2007. Brandon Sanderson has become a published author, with Elantris and Mistborn on the market. In September he, like many of us, was online checking up with what was going on and he heard the news that Robert Jordan had passed away. He was shocked. Robert Jordan had always been so optimistic about his condition, and Brandon had been convinced that Jordan would complete the series out of sheer force of will. Brandon described hearing the news as though “all of his childhood friends had died at the same time.â€


After writing and rewriting his post about Robert Jordan’s passing, he finally put it online about a week afterwards. A month after that, he received a phone call from Harriet which simply said “I would like you to call me back. There is something I would like to talk to you about.†After frantic calls to Harriet, his editor and his agent, none of which we’re not answered, he finally thought to call Tor and was told “Oh, yea, that. It’s probably what you think. Hang on, we’ll get her to call you again.â€



Well, as Brandon continued to explain, Harriet did eventually call back to tell him that she was working on a “short list†of authors to complete The Wheel of Time and asked him if he would be interested. With trepidation he said he would be interested. He couldn’t sleep that night, instead he kept thinking about The Wheel of Time, about possibly being the one to finish the series. He felt that he might be “setting himself up to fail,†since no one could ever finish the series as well as Robert Jordan himself. However, after sometime he came to the conclusion that he “would screw it up the least.â€


Brandon was a published writer and a big fan of the Wheel of Time. Perhaps “not the best writer or the biggest fan†(his words!), but he didn’t know anyone else who was a bigger fan AND a published author. He wanted the series to end the right way and he felt that no one else would have the same respect for the work and the same desire and ability to see it through to the conclusion. Lastly, he knew that another writer would have to delay several more years in publishing the books in order to do all the of the research involved in understanding the plot lines and characters. Brandon, on the other hand, had spent much of his life studying this series as he learned how to write.


At this point, Brandon decided to treat the audience to a reading from the prologue of The Gathering Storm. He chose this passage because it was very special to him. It was one of the last things Robert Jordan had dictated, and it exemplifies the hybrid quality of writing this book. Brandon had notes and description, much of which read as a screenplay, and in the finish product there isn’t one paragraph of it that doesn’t have something of Robert Jordan in it. He read nearly three pages, starting at the very beginning of the book on page 17 and ending just before Thulin appears on page 19.


After about half an hour of questions (detailed at the end), Brandon began signing books. Everyone lined up out side and we started handing out the bumper stickers and flyers. Erin spoke with each person in line, asking whom his or her favorite character was. As it turns out, San Diego’s favorite Wheel of Time character is Mat Cauthon with 29 out of 90 votes!

[url=http://s775.photobucket.com/albums/yy38/SDStormLeader/?action=view&current=IMG_4428.jpg" target="_blank">Photobucket]</a></div></p><p> </p><p>Also, this was the time we started our sculpture contest.</p><p> </p><p>Inspired by sandcastles at the beaches in San Diego, we decided to see what kinds of things our fans could create with Play-Doh.  We ended up with seven Wheel of Time related entries and three other sculptures.</p><p><div align=[/url]


((From left to right starting at the top: Snake, Wheel and Spear. Avendesora Leaf. Samurai Slug. Heron. Cadsuane. Butterfly. Snake. Dragon. Narg the Trolloc. Seal of the Dark One’s Prison.))

[url=http://s775.photobucket.com/albums/yy38/SDStormLeader/?action=view&current=IMG_4452.jpg" target="_blank">Photobucket]</a></div> </p><p> </p><p>Our winner for “fan favorite†was Cadsuane.</p><p><div align=[/url]


Next, Brandon Sanderson judged the Wheel of Time sculptures…

[url=http://s775.photobucket.com/albums/yy38/SDStormLeader/?action=view&current=CIMG2489.jpg" target="_blank">Photobucket]</a></div></p><p> </p><p>… and his favorite was Narg the Trolloc.</p><p><div align=[/url]



Finally, the Snake and Wheel won an honorable mention from Brandon Sanderson.

[url=http://s775.photobucket.com/albums/yy38/SDStormLeader/?action=view&current=IMG_4456.jpg" target="_blank">Photobucket]</a></div></p><p><div align=[/url]


The book signing started to wrap up around 5, and Brandon put out a notice on Twitter and Facebook that fans who called within the next 30 minutes would get a chance to talk with him and order personalized copies from Mysterious Galaxy. The bookstore took about five calls, even some after the thirty-minute deadline as Brandon finished signing books for the bookstore.


[url=http://s775.photobucket.com/albums/yy38/SDStormLeader/?action=view&current=SandersonBookSigning3.jpg" target="_blank">Photobucket]</a></div></p><p>Brandon takes a phone call near the end of the signing.</p><p> </p><p>The Storm Leaders finished helping where we could as Mysterious Galaxy closed up shop nearly an hour later than usual, and headed home.</p><p> </p><p><div align=[/url]

The Storm Leaders! From left to right: Heidi B., Laura N., Katie F., Brandon Sanderson, Erin D., Antony W., and Greg L.


[url=http://s775.photobucket.com/albums/yy38/SDStormLeader/?action=view&current=SandersonBookSigning36.jpg" target="_blank">Photobucket]</a></div> </p><p>The Mysterious Galaxy Crew, holding up Elantris, Mistborn, and Alcatraz, all of which were written by Brandon Sanderson.</p><p> </p><p>Questions and Answers:</p><p>Q: (Our first question was the obligatory) “Who killed Asmodean?â€</p><p>A: The answer will be in one of these three books.</p><p> </p><p>Q: What character is easiest for you to write?  Which is most difficult?</p><p>The Two Rivers folk were the easiest (Rand, Perrin, Mat, Egwene, and Nynaeve).  Aviendha was the most difficult.  She thinks more like an Aiel than most Aiel.  But he was glad to bring her back to the forefront because he had always liked the way she thought.  Tuon was not easy either.</p><p> </p><p>Q: Is there a connection between the spoilage of food and Rand’s temperament?</p><p>A: Look at the Fisher King prophecies, and the prophecies in WoT that mention that the “land and the Dragon are one.â€</p><p> </p><p>Q: What is your favorite scene that you got to add?</p><p>A: I’m not saying which scenes I added and which parts are Jordan’s until all three books are out.  He has lots and lots of notes left by Robert Jordan, which aren’t organized.  No one really knew how Robert Jordan was organizing his work.  Some files had only sentences, some whole paragraphs and whole scenes.  His assistants, Maria and others, what Brandon calls “his own personal Brown Ajah†started asking Robert Jordan questions about all of the chacters, where they would end up and how they got there.  So Brandon has so much information all jumbled together without any order.  And its his job to take all that and make a book.</p><p> </p><p>Q: What myth’s influences Robert Jordan the most?</p><p>A: Native American and Norse mythology are featured prominently, but there are obvious influences from the Fisher King and Grail legends.  Brandon also mentioned that Odin and Loki were thought to have originally been one person in the early myths, but was split into two.  He noted that Odin had a spear and that Loki was pictured with Ravens.  Also, Brandon would sometimes ask Harriet about a particular passage and ask where Jordan got his inspiration.  Harriet would pull out a book of myth, turn to a page and point it out.</p><p> </p><p>Q: What is Robert Jordan’s office like?</p><p>A: He worked on the first floor of a carriage house, the first room was a big library and the second was like a “wizards workshop.†The Brown Aes Sedai whose quarters he describes in The Gathering Storm, with skeletons everywhere, was basically a description of Robert Jordan’s office.  He had skeletons everywhere, and weapons (though the weapons were left out of the Aes Sedai’s room).</p><p> </p><p>Q: Was the passage about Cadsuane spanking Semirhage already written, or was there just information in the notes.  How did you feel about writing that section?</p><p>A: He was given creative freedom to do what was needed.  No author can ever stick 100% to an outline, things change as they are being written, and he was given that kind of control in order to make the books work.  Regarding that passage in particular, it made Brandon Sanderson cringe, but Robert Jordan wanted it in the books so it stayed.</p><p> </p><p>Q: When are books 13 and 14 due out?</p><p>A: He is three-fourths of the way through Towers of Midnight, and he expects to turn that in in January.   He hasn’t been able to write as much as he had hoped during this 26 city tour, so that is putting him back a bit, but he is still confident he can get it in close to on time.  It took him 16 months to write The Gathering Storm, and some of that writing ended up being allocated to Towers of Midnight.  He expects it to be published in the fall of 2010, or at the latest March of 2011.</p><p> </p><p>Q: Did the ending of the Wheel of Time shock you?</p><p>A: No, it “satisfied me.† There were “shocking thing in the notes, such as ‘Egwene’s unexpected visitor’†but on the whole the ending was satisfying.â€</p><p> </p><p>Q: Were you surprised to learn who Asmodean’s killer was?</p><p>A: No, not really.  He had read every theory out there, and there is basically a theory for every character.  One of those theories is right (he wont say which of course!), so since he had already read the theory it wasn’t a surprise just a “ah, so it was that person.â€</p><p> </p><p>Q: When will we see Way of Kings?</p><p>A: I’ll be posting more about it in 2010, this year is for WoT.  He expects it to be available around September 2010.</p></div></body></html>


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...