Storm Leader Report: San Diego
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 â€œgood page to dollar ratioâ€ 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 â€œall of his childhood friends had died at the same time.â€
After writing and rewriting his post about Robert Jordanâ€™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 â€œI would like you to call me back. There is something I would like to talk to you about.â€ After frantic calls to Harriet, his editor and his agent, none of which weâ€™re not answered, he finally thought to call Tor and was told â€œOh, yea, that. Itâ€™s probably what you think. Hang on, weâ€™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 â€œshort listâ€ 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 couldnâ€™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 â€œsetting himself up to fail,â€ since no one could ever finish the series as well as Robert Jordan himself. However, after sometime he came to the conclusion that he â€œwould screw it up the least.â€
Brandon was a published writer and a big fan of the Wheel of Time. Perhaps â€œnot the best writer or the biggest fanâ€ (his words!), but he didnâ€™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 isnâ€™t one paragraph of it that doesnâ€™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 Diegoâ€™s favorite Wheel of Time character is Mat Cauthon with 29 out of 90 votes!
((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 Oneâ€™s Prison.))
Next, Brandon Sanderson judged the Wheel of Time sculpturesâ€¦
Finally, the Snake and Wheel won an honorable mention from Brandon Sanderson.
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.
The Storm Leaders! From left to right: Heidi B., Laura N., Katie F., Brandon Sanderson, Erin D., Antony W., and Greg L.
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