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West Jordan Transcription of Q&A

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JOrdan Landing signing report

So this weekend (on Thursday), I went to the Jordan Landing Q&A and saw Josh (Rubix) and Mi'chelle there, as well as Goradel's Nephew. I went there, and asked a few questions and generally had a good time. In addition to the Q&A, brandon wrote the following in a book.

Request: Give me a hint about Odium.

What Brandon wrote: Odium is not native to Roshar.

Then I transmitted the following. I knew that Terez (a WoT compiler of quotes) and Chaos had a question or two, so I went ahead and asked some for them.

I was pretty good about organization at the beginning, but it slowly deteriorated as I went through the 45 minute Q&A. If you want to listen to the actual thing, email or PM me and I'll send it to you.

Also, if you were here, and you asked a question that I just have as Q, tell me and I'll change it to your name.


In Nynaeve's Accepted test, Lan tells her that Malkier is a joint monarchy, which he says is a Borderland custom. Later we find out that Kandor is not a joint monarchy, but Saldaea is. Is Nynaeve queen of Malkier now that Lan has finally declared himself king?


Lan does not consider himself King, because he has no kingdom. The answer to that is, depends on your perspective. He has agreed to lead the Malkier—he has not agreed to be king. It's different. See how Aes Sedai I answered that? (laughter)


Try telling Nynaeve she's not a queen. (laughter)


I won't forget Nynaeve yet, but I don't think she's fully realized what she's getting into yet, with him.


I guess Lan says it best (last scene in Towers of Midnight): "I am al'Lan Mandragoran," Lan bellowed. "Lord of the Seven Towers, Defender of the Wall of First Fires, Bearer of the Sword of the Thousand Lakes! I was once named Aan'allein, but I reject that title, for I am alone no more. Fear me, Shadow! Fear me and know. I have returned for what is mine. I may be a king without a land. But I am still a king!"


nynaeve, lan, malkier


Robert Jordan often said that he intended to plant a 'hook' in the last scene, a teaser for an unresolved issue. Was this 'hook' something he planned to explore in the outriggers?


Yes, and he actually wrote that part. You'll see it when the book comes out, and it's one of the lines that will go in unchanged. Sorry!


When Lan tracked down Myrelle in Lord of Chaos, she used the bond to Compel him to come to her, in such a way that he wouldn't detect it. Did she have to use the bond to seduce Lan, or did he just go along because he didn't have anything better to do?


(laughter) I'd have to look that one up. I don't know. I'd have to look it up. I don't have the answer to that one. We'll call that one a MAFO though. I'm actually curious myself (laughter).


I was reading on Facebook that you had Bela, that you were writing her recently. Was that your idea or was it Robert Jordan's?


I usually save questions like this. Wait until the book is out, wait till it's been out for a little while, and then I can talk specifically about what was me and what was Jim. I don't want to predispose people so that they're thinking "Is this Jim's scene? Is this Brandon's scene? Well he said something about this, and whatnot." So the only thing I'm telling people, regarding his writing, is that I do have a thing from the prologue, each of the three have one of the scenes that he wrote for the prologue put in it, and of course the ending. And other than this, I'm not saying a ton about what is his and what is mine. Just wait until people have read the book, and then I'll start answering a few more of those questions.

Like I've down with Towers of Midnight and The Gathering Storm. I've been a little more free in recent times about what was me and what was him, and I'm still not very specific for you, I don't want that focus, but I will start answering more of those questions


Quick question I get asked all the time working here at Barnes and Noble. When are you expected general release dates for Stormlight Archive #2 andA Memory of Light?


Alright, so this is what I'm doing right now. I am turning in A Memory of Light December 31st. If I don't, Harriet will probably fly to my house and shake me. And so I will start writing Stormlight 2 right then. It's going to be a tough year because I want to get that done as soon as it is reasonable but I also have to edit the wheel of time book. and I will balance those two projects. Wheel of Time—I will tell you, most likely is October, November. We would like it to be sooner, but we have to wait on Harriet's edits, and beyond that, it's the last book, and she requested extra time to make sure we get everything in it.

That is my guess right now. Stormlight 2, if I'm on the ball, is March or April of the following year [2013]. That is what I'm really shooting for. The only other release that I have potentially is Tor has been hanging on to my children's books that they haven't yet been sure when they want to release. They actually have a book that is called Scribbler , which has been renamed the Rithmatist, and people see me talk about it. I actually wrote that one back in 2007 I think? Yeah, 2007. They've been hanging on to that one. I keep being noncomittal on that because it needs heavy rewrites.

So it needs a heavy rewrite. It would take like 2-3 months, and I've not had 2-3 months to dedicate to it. The other book they have of mine isSteelheart, which I've read from at things at signings and whatnot, it's a book I wrote a while ago during one of my breaks. They may release one of those next year, I'm not sure. Probably not The Rithmatist, because I don't have 2-3 months to spare. We may see Steelheart next Summer or next Fall. The thing is, they are in the process of acquiring the Alcatraz books from Scholastic, to repackage them, and they said they probably going to get that deal for sure, so they have them. So they probably want to do an original, like Steelheart, or Rithmatist, before they release the Alcatraz books, so they say "Hey, Tor has Brandon's children's books, now here is a new children's book, and by the way, here are repackaged books." Kind of in tandem in the publicity place. If they were going to do this, Steelheart in September, alongside Alcatraz 1 repackaged in September, and then 2, 3, 4 repackaged in the next months, and then Alcatraz 5.

So that is what's going on right there. A lot of it depends on how long it takes to write Stormlight 2.


It's okay, we're Wheel of Time fans. We're used to waiting. (laughter)

I want to be more punctual than some authors have been recently in fantasy. (laughter) The thing about it is, we sometimes give Robert Jordan some grief about this but he was really good. There was a book a year for many years and then he went to a book every two years, and it wasn’t until late in his career when he was sick that he got a lot slower. He is actually a good model to follow. I’d like to have a book every year, going forward for as long as I can. I’d really like to do 2 Stormlight Archives every three years, if possible. I’m not sure if that’s viable or not.


We would like that too. (laughter)

Q. Do you ever feel stifled? Now that you’ve got a couple of different lines going in different worlds that have your next 40 years planned out?

A. Yes and no. I do start to feel a little stifled, and so you’ll see me do random side projects. It’s my steam valve to blow that pressure off, and then I get back to what I’m working on. That basically why you have Alloy of Law, because as much as I would’ve liked to have jumped right into the next Wheel of Time Book, I couldn’t. After writing Towers of Midnight, I was feeling too creatively stifled, and so I had to go take a break, and let myself for three months do whatever I wanted. And Alloy of Law came out of that. SO that is how I do it. That’s where Rithmatist came from, that’s where Steelheart came from, that’s kind of where Alcatraz came from, these non-mainland books, that’s where they are going to come from. You can anticipate me doing that more often in the future. It is a different life for me now that when I was unpublished, and could just write whatever I wanted, and things like that, but at the same time, I have long loved the big epic series, and I’ve always wanted to do one. That’s why I built what I built. I didn’t do it because “Oh, this is what sells, I have to do this.” I did this because I wanted to have this big grand epic. That’s why I built the Cosmere books as I did.

So I don’t feel stifled in that at all, even though I’ll finish one book than be like “Man, I can’t go into the next one of these” and go and do something different, because it’s my grand plan. You know, it’s the thing I’ve wanted to do. So I hope that people will stick with me for all these books, because I’ll do a lot of them. But they will fit together in some really cool ways once they are all done. I think you’ll be very very impressed, but that’s a while off.

Q. By the way, allomancers fighting on a train? Very cool.

A. Oh thank you. I almost didn’t put that scene in, because it’s kind of a cliché, but then I’m like “I’ve gotta have a train fight.” And I’ll say this, Alloy of Law is intended to be slightly more of a pulp novel than Mistborn, and though even though it’s sort of a detective pulp novel, it’s got fun characters and a fun world, because that’s the way I do it. If I let myself do these sort of things, they are done for the pure fun of it, where they may not have fit in another book.

Q. How many Stormlight Archive books are you planning? And how long is the next one going to be?

A. Two series of five. So one ten book series, but you can view it as two sequences of five. My goal actually right now is to do the first five, take a little break, and maybe do the second Mistborn trilogy, or maybe do the White Sand trilogy. These are chunks of the Cosmere that are a part of the greater arc, but the next [stormlight Archive] book will probably not be as long. This is because I actually felt Way of Kings was too long, but it was what it needed to be, for what I was establishing. There was no sooner place to cut this, so I had to do it in this place. When I first turned it in to my editor in 2002, it scared him to death because of how big it was. I do plan the others to be more around the size of Gathering Storm and things, which are still big books, but I’m hoping that they will be a little bit shorter, because those chunks are more manageable when the books are a little bit shorter. I can actually make the book tighter more easily. I think Way of Kings turned out very tight, but it was so hard, because the longer you go with a sequence like that, the harder it is to make sure that everything, everyone is keeping track of everything. And the longer you go, the more of an instinct the reader will have to start following certain characters instead of reading it first as mixed, which makes for a better book. They’ll be like “Ah, I don’t remember this as well; I’ll just keep reading Kaladin,” or something like that. That’s actually a reason for me to keep them shorter, so you don’t have as much of an impetus to do that.

Q. (Asked by a Preteen boy) Is AonDor Physical, Spiritual, or Cognitive?

A. Wow, I wasn’t expecting that. (laughter)Are you a Sharder?

Q. A little bit (laughter)

A. AonDor is mixed up in all three. So I would say more Cognitive and Spiritual than it is Physical, but it is mixed up in all three.

Q. Is Thinker from the Purelake scene [in the Way of Kings] Demoux [from the Mistborn Trilogy]?

A. Demoux is indeed in that scene.

A. And for those who didn’t hear, about the other one, there is a scene in the Way of Kings. People have been trying to figure out… there are some members of… there are some people there that I have hinted are from other books, and they have now figured out two of the three. I don’t think you’ve figured out the third one, and you won’t because…

Q. (Mi’chelle) Has their book been written yet? Has their book been published?

A. Their book has not been published yet. I won’t say if it’s been written yet. Is anyone confused at what’s going on there? (Josh raises his hand; laughter) There is a connection between the books.

Q. An easier question for you: People are going crazy wondering if there are telegraphs and telephones in Alloy of Law. Are there? And if not, why?

A. There are not yet. And the reason why is because they haven’t needed them yet. Necessity is the, what the fuel of invention?

Q. The mother of Invention

A. Yes, the mother of invention, and they have messengers who run, Coinshots who are very fast. They also do basically don’t need to go outside the City, and haven’t for a long time. They’re close, but they haven’t invented them yet for the same reason that they have very poor navigation techniques. Why do you need to ship anything or sail anywhere when you have some idyllic paradise to live in? And you have allomancers, who in some ways are preventing from achieving that next level, because a Coinshot can get it there really fast, and so you’re only waiting a few minutes for them to come back with your message, so it can actually stifle a little bit of technology by having a not-quite-as-good magical solution.

Q. So Ruin and Preservation combine. When Odium slays the Shardbearers, why doesn’t he absorb the enemy Shards?

A. Because that would actually change the way he views the world. The Shard would actually start to influence him, and could actually ruin who he views himself as being. So instead of combining them all, his goal is to destroy them all and be the only one left at his power level.

Q. So by his nature, he can’t combine.

A. I mean he could, but it would change his nature. So he won’t.

Q.Zas678- I’ve got a question kind of based off of the train fight. If you have a time bubble, and you were to make it while you are on the train, would the time bubble move with the train, or would it stay at the same spot relative to the planet?

A. Time bubbles don’t move, so it would pull you out of it, then it would vanish.

Q. (Mi’chelle)- If you were to pop up a time bubble and someone were to be stuck halfway in and halfway out, would they go splooch?

A. No, they would be in the time bubble. The time bubbles will move with the planet but not with the train.

Q. Yeah, I always thought it was relative to the person creating the time bubble.

A. No, you’ll see Wayne create one, then he’ll walk up to the perimeter, but if he leaves it, it ruins the time bubble.

Q. Zas678- So is that because it’s linked up to the spiritual gravitational bond between the planet?

A. Yes, and you’re digging very deeply into stuff that I now can’t answer. Time bubbles have some weirdness to them that I don’t want to dig in too deeply, but yes.

(17:00 minutes. Does someone else want to hear this one?)Q. In Way of Kings, Hoid gives Kaladin a flute. Is that flute going to play a important role in progression, or is it just a trinket?

A. I can’t answer that right now. That’s too much of a RAFO.

Q. At the end of Alloy of Law, when

A. Spoiler! Talk circumloqutically, talk around it.

Q. When that person did that thing that you said, will that lead to future ideas of books?

A. Things in the Alloy of Law are foreshadowing things that will happen in the modern day Mistborn trilogy.

Q. What happens if you create a time bubble in a time bubble?

A. Lots of people are theorizing about that. The time bubble would not collapse, I’ll answer that much.

Q. Zas678- I think that you said at the Alloy release that it was mul- de(I couldn’t remember the word. I knew it was based off of “multiply”, but that was it)

A. Multiplicative?

Q. Zas678- Yeah.

A. I may have given an answer to that- or not. I’m not going to say anything about that. Time travel and find out.

Q. In the Way of Kings, you have all of these different characters, how do you keep your characters’ personalities straight?

A. Good question. Keeping characters straight- the thing I do that deviates from most of the way I normally write. I normally plan quite a bit. I normally- my worlds are very intricately planned out, with their histories, and usually the plot of what’s going to happen are pretty intricately planned out before I start the book. The characters are not. And this is why a book fails, like the original Way of Kings did in 2002, it’s because one of the characters is not who they need to be, and they are failing. This is something I do by instinct more than by planning. I grow my characters, so I often describe it as I “cast” my characters, I’ll put different people in the role, I’ll sit down and say “okay, here is a character to play this role.” I’ll start writing them, and seeing their personality, and seeing the world through their eyes, and I’ll see if that works. If it doesn’t I’ll actually drop that and rewrite that scene with a different personality, a different character, have someone else walk in and try the role. I’ll do that a couple of times till they click. When they click, I basically know who they are. From that point on, I don’t have any problems keeping then right. When I write a book when a character doesn’t click, then that book often fails. Sometimes they click halfway through, and I have to go back and fix them. Sometimes they’re just 90% there, and I just need to keep writing and figure it out as I go. But sometimes, that never quite works, and this is the reason sometimes- There is this book named Liar of Partinel, which I never released, because the character never clicked. And people will say “Let me read it, let me read it!” but it will predispose you to that character, and that character, that personality is the wrong person. So I don’t know how I keep them all straight. It just works with characters.

But that’s just with characters. With plot and things, I’ve got to write it down, for setting I’ve got to write it down, I actually have a big wiki that I build that I reference to keep everything straight. Characters I never have to be that way. They just work.

So I can’t give you good advice on that, because it’s simply how I do it. And they just grow into their own person.

Q. A related question. When you add to the wiki, do you soften the writing to add more information to the wiki?

A. Occasionally I do. Usually it’s at the end of a scene; I’ll go and add things. Or now that I have a Peter, I will say “Peter, go put this chapter ino the wiki, and fix whatever problems that don’t fit. That’s what he’s doing right now with her time is he’s going through the whole Way of Kings and making sure that the wiki matches, because the wiki actually contains like 5 or 6 iterations as I was building the world of “No, let’s rewrite the creation myth”, “No, let’s rewrite where this came from”, “No let’s rewrite this.” And it has all the old versions there as well as the newest version, and as I’m writing, I’ll change things because I’ll say “You know, this doesn’t work. I’m going to alter this.” Then I’ve got to stop and make sure that the continuity gets kept.

Q. Also speaking of continuity.

A. Uh-oh.

Q. This is a very very minor spoiler. It’s just a statement that was made in Alloy of Law, that Smokers could…

A. Oh yeah. That was just a typo.

Q. Is that going to change things?

A. Wait, go ahead and say it.

Q. Can Copperclouds shield others emotions?

A. Oh okay. Did we put that in Alloy of Law in the Ars Arcanum? Is that where you read it?

Q. I forget. I don’t remember where it is.

A. I believe it’s in the Ars Arcanum, which in Alloy of Law was put together by Peter. And that’s mostly a mistake, though the thing is the Role Playing Game came to me and said “Is it feasible that this could happen?” And I said “It’s perhaps feasible, but only a very rare individual could make this work if they knew exactly what they were doing.” And so I said “Yeah, go ahead, but make it a power that someone really has to know what they’re doing to make it work.” And so they put it in, and so Peter assumed that it was canon, that anyone can do it, but that’s not what I intended.

Q. So would it be easier to say that somebody discovered they could do it and now they are training copperclouds to do it?

A. I would say that it is viable that someone could figure it out, but it would be a very difficult thing to train, and it is not a common Coppercloud- A common Coppercloud isn’t going to be able to be doing it, and almost no Mistborn will ever be capable of doing it, they just don’t focus on that metal enough to learn it. Of course, there aren’t Mistborn around anymore .So it is a possible power, it is plausible, but it is not the standard. Perhaps I will allow it to become the standard eventually, but it’s not right now. It would be much easier to wear a tinfoil hat. (laughter)

Aluminum, aluminum. Which does work.

Q. Which I did catch was very entertaining to see like that.

A. I built aluminum to do all sorts of funky things to all the powers, and I actually hadn’t made the connection of tinfoil hats until after I’d built it in, and I was writing it in Alloy of Law, years after I built it in, saying “Wait a minute! I just put tinfoil hats in the book!” (laughter) So I actually built that without thinking that there would be a joke to that.

Q. How does Snapping work now? You said that Sazed changed it.

A. Uh, RAFO. That is a good question though.

Q. Not even a little hint?

A. Nah, I don’t think so.

Q. Zas678 (on behalf of Chaos) Got another one. Why do Kandra need two spikes to have a blessing and to become sentient?

A. It is just the nature of how Hemalurgy works. More spikes are capable of changing form and body more, and I didn’t feel that one spike was viable for the alterations that are made to their nature.

Q. Zas678-Follow-up question. Could you make a Kandra an Allomancer?

A. With the right sequence of sorts of things, you could impart those powers to them theoretically. It’s not likely to happen, but you could do it. You could build a spike that would let them Push or Pull. But you’d give the powers separately, probably.

Q. I’ve heard rumors of a Mistborn movie. Is that true?

A. The Mistborn movie, is not even up to handshakes now. We do have a Vin chosen, but it’s not official yet, so I can’t say who it is.

Q. I’ve heard rumors. Will you confirm or deny this?

A. What rumor?

Q. Lindsey Lohan? (laughter from everyone)

A. Yeah, I can deny that one. (Continued laughter). It’s not Paris Hilton’s dog either.

A. Yeah,basically it’s where it’s been at for a while, which is we’re at a good version of the screenplay, we’re trying now to get people to look at it in Hollywood. The video game is coming along very nicely. In fact, earlier just this week I built the whole plot sequence for that. It’s going to have some really good twists and turns and theoretically, if it works well, I will be writing all the dialogue and all the story.

Q. Which is more on your plate.

A. Which is more on my plate. But that can be fun, because the main character is a really sarcastic kind of a little bit of a jerk. And so I can actually write his dialogue on napkins while I’m sitting, waiting and be like “Alright, here’s a good line,” and things like that. That’s because most of it is gameplay. I have to just come up with lots of good wisecracks and then of course, I have to write the cutscenes. But those really aren’t that much of a game like this. It’s maybe a week’s worth of work to get all of that written.

Q. Zas678-How long before is the game going to be? I remember you saying it was going to be before Final Empire, but I was wondering how long before?

A. We are shooting for second century after The Lord Ruler’s Ascension.

Q. Similar to the previous question potential movie deals, are there any others than the Mistborn that might be competitors?

A. I sold Legion, which is a novella I wrote, to Lionsgate, for a television pilot. We will see if they will actually do it or not. That’s a modern day thriller I wrote. It’s a novella. I’ll release it next summer or something. It’s short, but it was meant for a pitch for a television show. So that’s coming out, and we’ll hope that they actually film that. We did sign deals on that, and since there’s Lionsgate, which is a big studio, behind that, there’s a production house attached to it, and it will go much faster.

Other than that, there’s the Wheel of Time, which keeps slowly moving forward. It is moving forward, but really slowly. And Alcatraz is basically dead in the water right now. The option lapsed in June, and no one else has snatched it up, so it’s now been six months, and that one’s pretty much dead in the water. Which is sad. We got really close on that one.

Q. Will you still write the fifth book?

A. Yes, I will write the fifth book. Just the movie is dead in the water.

Q. In regards to the Infinity Blade book, how did you pick that up out of all the licensed products?

A. Oh, why Infinity Blade. You know, It’s because they worked so darn hard to get me. They just kept going through every channel they could to get ahold of me. They called up my publicist, they called up Tor, they were trying everybody who possibly had a contact with me, and finally got through Isaac. It was they worked so hard, and also, they offered me a really good deal, meaning the idea that I could do this. And it was less about me looking for a licensed product or something like that, and more of me wanting to test how the digital market worked for something like this, and also, I want to have more to do with video games. And Epic, you know that gives you Unreal Edge, and Gears of War, they are a pretty big deal of a company. And if I ever wanted to do my own video game, straight out of an IP, which I have one I want to do, having contacts there would be really helpful. And so they came to me, they pitched this, they gave me a lot of creative freedom, they gave me a really good deal, monetarily, to make it worth my time, and I got to test the waters digitally and see how it is selling a story in game, and I also got to make some contacts in video games and gain a little more street cred. I want to build a Skyrim killer one day, is what I really want to do. I have a story, a world that I have built with magic and things that I want to do, that may be a Skyrim killer someday, an Elder Scroll type game. I really like those games. I have problems with some of the things they do, but I really like those games.

So I really want to do that someday. That means I have to find some game studio who’s willing to give me 30 million dollars to play with, so I’ve got to have a lot of good street cred in video games before they let me do that. Yeah “30 million, that’s nothing!” That’s one of the big reasons that I’m doing it also. I mean I’m going to pitch this to the guys after a follow up Infinity Blade eventually, and we’ll see what they say.

Q. We all love you as an author; is there any authors that you’ve been able to read that you would recommend?

A. I read a lot of Terry Pratchett. First of all because I think he’s a genius, but secondly because he’s a very different type of writer than I am. If he were writing books that were very similar to mine, I couldn’t read him as frequently, because I would worry about influence. It’s okay to read, and I love to read, and it’s okay to be influenced, but if I were to read as much of someone else as I did of Pratchett,my style would shift to theirs. It’s not going to happen with Pratchett, because he’s so distinctly different. So that’s a good reason for me to read Pratchett. Other than that, I do really like a lot of what people are doing. This year I spent half of my year reading Wheel of Time, and the other half reading the Hugo award nominees, because I wanted to vote in the Hugo awards, so I read a lot of those books. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was very good, and it was one of those. I do like Pat Rothfuss quite a bit, I mean he is really really good, in ways I wished I could be. I mean he is just great. There are things that I think I do better, but there are areas that he does way better than I do.

I mean we do have different talent areas. I mean Rothfuss is able to write in a way that is just beautiful, it feels like prose, it feels like poetry. It feels like every line is poetry, but it doesn’t distract you. A lot of people will try to do that, and I’ll be like “You’re trying too hard,” or “You don’t have a good story.” But for him, I read it, and it’s beautiful, and it doesn’t burden the story. And I know of very few people who are able to do what he does in that way. He also, and this is one thing that makes him a genius, he’s able to write a main character that I really don’t like, and yet I love reading about him. The character is very deeply flawed, and yet it’s fascinating, and that is something that I haven’t seen someone do in that same way- I mean George Martin can kind of do it, but for him it’s more like I loathe them as individuals and I just watch the train wreck, but with Rothfuss, it’s “You are not a really great guy, and you don’t think you’re a great guy, and you’re kind of a jerk, but you’re also really interesting to read, and I like you while I dislike you at the same time.” And that’s a really interesting talent he has.

Q. Why did Infinity Blade try so hard to get you specifically?

A. Because they are from Salt Lake, and they really liked my books, and they kind of based Inifinity Blade sort of off of my books. Not based, but they were inspired a little bit by my books, and so they really wanted to work with me. So that’s why. They liked the books. And you know, they make really good games. I was really impressed. I am a gamer, I hadn’t played their games. And that’s another reason- I played the games and they were fun. So that’s why they tried so hard. They just liked the books. It is interesting that there is a lot of talk in video games of “Are video games going to grow up storywise?” Like they’ve really come to their own as an entertainment medium in the last ten years, and yet story tends to be a weak point still in a lot of these. Even the games that have great story lines are great story lines for a video game. There’s been a lot of editorials written and a lot of articles written saying “Guys, we need to start hiring top talent to write our stories rather than farming it out to Dave who does our Particle Effects, and moonlights as a writer.” There’s lots of discussion about this. So I think these guys are interested in doing something like this. Do you have something Isaac?

A. (FROM ISAAC) I just wanted to add why they tried so hard to get you. If you want a little anecdote, I was at a Barnes and Nobles on my lunch break, and I look up and there’s this guy that I went to college with. So I said “What are you doing lately?” “Well I own my own video game studio.” He said “What have you been doing?” “Oh, I made some maps for some guys books. It’s right here. ” He decided to buy it and read it, and he became a huge fan. He really loved it.

Q. One thing I really liked on your books is that you’ve reinvented a lot of fantasy tropes in a lot of good ways. But you also are inspired by some literary works, you’ve mentioned les miserable, which is a fantastic novel. So I was just wondering if what advice would you have for people in terms of speculative fiction and literary works?

A. Well, advice for drawing. We did a writing excuses podcast on this, so you can go look up those, “How to be influenced consciously.” But boy. Read good stuff, and start to think about why it’s good. It’s going to help you. I don’t know if I can specifically tell you anything other than that, but read it, decide what ‘s working for you, and try to use that, try to feel. But remember to feel what they did, not what they did. Meaning, here’s a good example. You read Tolkein. You say “Wow”. What Tolkein did wasn’t creating Elves and Dwarves. What Tolkein did was create an interesting mythology that was well interconnected. And a lot of people will say well, I want to learn from Tolkein, so I will use what he did, and they don’t dig that level deeper. They say “Well, I’m going to use the elves and dwarves.” They don’t say “What is it that he did the level down that really made this work?” And that’s what you should be emulating. So when you read the classics, say “What’s making it work?” Try to dig the level deeper if that makes sense.

Q. What is a mistcloak made of in real life? Like what is the closest material you’ve seen one be made of? Because I’m having the hardest time figuring out what material to use.

A. The Mistcloak is mainly made of cool stuff in my head that moves in ways that’s very hard to make. (laughter)But I would say the key component to the mistcloak is how it falls. And a lot of people have tried to use the stuff that has the wires at the sides of it, and I don’t actually think that works right. I would say that the key to the Mistcloak is getting it to fall kind of straight , but the tassles not being too stiff. So I would look for a medium weight material. So, I don’t even know what, but felt isn’t right. I’ve seen some people do felt, and it doesn’t look right. Felt’s too heavy.

I’ve seen good Mistcloaks, but I don’t know fabrics enough to say for sure. I’d have to have it before me and say “Yes” to this, or “No” to this.

Q. Congratulations. Now he’s going to make up a new magic system. (laughter)

Q. How do you pronounce the Mistborn Planet?

A. Sca (as in Scab) dri (as in drink) al (sounds like ul).

Q. Okay. I always said Sca (as in Skate) dri (as in drink) al (as in Al Yankovitch)

A. That’s perfectly fine. This can launch me into my little thing on Pronunciation. As readers, you get the say, you’re the director. I wrote the script. The director can always change things. If you want a character to look differently in your head, that’s okay. If you want to pronounce things however you want, that’s okay too. Because a book does not exist until it has a reader. It really doesn’t live. It exists, but it doesn’t live until you read it and give it life. So however you feel like doing it, go ahead. And remember, I’ve said this numerous times before, I don’t pronounce all the names right. I’m American, so I pronounce things with an American accent. The best example I give is Kelsier, because I do say Kel (as in bell) si (as in see) er (as in air), but they say Kel (as in bell) si (as in see) er (as in hey) in-world (it sounds very French). I say E (as in the letter e) lan (as in lawn) tris (as in hiss), they say E (as in the letter e) Lan (as in lane) tris (as in hiss) in-world. So there are linguistic fundamentals of these because I do have some linguistic background, but I don’t always say them right. I like saying Sa (like suh) rene (like Reen), instead of Sa (like suh) rene (like meany), which is how they say it. Which Suh-reany sounds kind of dumb in English. And in their language, it’s a beautiful woman’s name, but here you wouldn’t call someone Suh-reany, you’d call them Suh-rean.


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This is awesome. Thanks, man.


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