This is an interview I did with Brandon on the 24th of September. Thank you to Weiry for transcribing the audio into a text format.
So the first one we have here is: We’ve seen some hints of the over-arching cosmere story arc, what was the inspiration behind that originally?
I had an idea for a book when I was fifteen, just getting into fantasy novels--just getting into meaning, reading everything I could get my hands on and diving in face first--and I developed that idea over the next few years. I started writing and realized I was just no good as a writer yet. Which was okay, it wasn’t a big deal to me. I realized it was beyond my ability to approach, it was a vast, enormous story. Years later when I was writing Elantris I thought “Well let’s just pretend I wrote that book and it was awesome and it’s the prelude to what’s going on here.” That expanded into something much larger and much greater. I’ve mentioned before, part of my inspiration for this was the fact that one of my favorite writers, Asimov, later decided to connect two of his main story universes, the Robot books and the Foundation books. It was really cool when he did it and I felt what would happen if I started doing something like this from the get go. I’ve known several authors who do it at the end of their careers--well I guess Stephen King’s not even at the end of his career, in the middle of his career--saying let me tie a bunch of these things together. What if I seeded all of this from the get go and use this story, this awesome story, that I wasn’t able to write when I was younger as a foundation for it
Next one we have is on a similar note: When you reach the end of the cosmere will there be something else? Or do you feel this will take most of your writing career to achieve?
Yah, I think this kind of the Story of my writing career. Now, who knows. As I plotted it--right around mid-mistborn series time--I came out with thirty-six books, of which I’ve done what five or six? more than that...
Three, four, five, six, seven...
Seven. I think there is plenty of time so ask me in thirty years.
This one’s kind of similar: When or if you reach the end of that, were you planning on expanding more or were you going to get done with what you had planned and be done with it.
That’s really a ask me in thirty years sort of thing. I want to see if I can’t get this whole thing done. I want to do it in-- There’s this sort of tension to it, in that I view this as-- the arc is my life’s work. But at the same time I don’t want to be belaboring it. There are cool things going on that I want to get to and I want to tell people about. And so there’s this push and pull inside of me, wanting to do this. We will see.
Are there any eventual plans for release of things like Way of Kings Prime or the old version of Dragonsteel after the new version is released?
Once there are no more spoilers in those books I’ll do what I have done with things like White Sand and whatnot, that if people write me-- Mistborn Prime is a good example. There’s no real spoilers in Mistborn Prime if you’ve read the trilogy. It’s not a very good book but you can read it and kind of understand the history of where the story came from. So I’ll do the same thing with those books.
How and when are you planning on releasing Sixth of the Dusk, the cosmere short story you wrote for Writing Excuses?
Once the entire Writing Excuses team have finished their stories-- If you’re not familiar we did this thing were each brainstormed a story on air and then we went and wrote them and now we are doing revisions on them. Well, Mary went and I wrote ours, Dan and Howard didn’t write theirs, but they’re catching up. Once they are all done, we will release them together in an anthology. We will do, the workshopping episodes that we did, we workshopped each others stories, and you’ll be able to on Writing Excuses read the rough draft, because that will be included in the anthology, listen to the episode where we workshop it and then read the final draft, which will be in the anthology and get the whole-- see what we changed and things like that.
Here we move to more clarification type questions or different questions along those lines. Rather than more over-arching questions. We’ve got here: When are we going to see a mechanical way to use the Metallic Arts?
Once the technology is appropriately caught up and once I feel like it’s right. It’s going to be a little while.
We’ve actually had a conversation on the forums about using lurchers and coinshots in a way to power a train of sorts. (Brandon starts making interested? sounds) It has inspired some interesting conversations.
Will ‘Southern Scadrians have their own series? Or will they just be something mentioned in the next mistborn trilogies? Does anything major take place…
We will have to see. Originally they did not have a series but it will depend on how much time I spend deviating with interesting side-stories before I jump up into the second trilogy. Because by the second trilogy, this has all been discovered and its a different world. I have loosely plotted a smaller series visiting the southern continent.
This, I’m unsure of what exactly is being talked about because I have not been reading the forum: What happens when a Pulser is burning Cadmium and in a speed bubble? She'd be burning her Cadmium 20x faster than usual--so far as her bubble and those in it were concerned--and her slow bubble would extend far outside the area made "normal" by the effects of the speed bubble, so where does all that extra energy go?
Um… Send me that one in writing and let me run it through Peter who is my physicist.
We’ll do that.
And maybe run the math through Eric. He’s probably asking that one.
[[Official answer is that they would cancel each other out. The fact that one bubble is larger than the other may cause a ring around them which would be affected by the larger of the two.]]
That was actually-- I think it was Windrunner on the forum. I might be wrong [Transcriber note: Yes, you are. How could you forget Kurkistan?] I think that’s who it was though.
He’s supposed to ask me the hard Way of Kings questions, not the hard Mistborn questions.
Yah, we’ve got a couple of those a little farther down here but most of these are mostly clarification.
Does mechanical Feruchemy draw from the user or the machine?
Let’s see if I can phrase this correctly. Feruchemy-- I don’t want you to guess everything I’m going to do, then the books won’t be interesting for you in the future-- When I’m approaching using them mechanically I’m trying to keep to the core principles of the magic as much as possible.
Is burning atium related to Scadrian worldhopping?
(laughter) That’s a good question, the answer is no.
A lot of people wanted clarification on weight in regards to Pushing and Pulling, whether it has a direct correlation to the power or if its just something people say because generally someone heavier is going to push--
Right, right. It’s more-- the whole-- If you really dig down into it, and I’ve talked about this before, the whole mass, weight, push, and pull thing gets a little tricky when-- particularly when you through Feruchemy into the mix-- Are we changing mass? Or are we changing what the earth pulling upon you is… Generally understand that most people who are talking about this are not talking in scientific terms, they are speaking in colloquialisms.
This is the last one here we have from Mistborn: Did the Lord Ruler use lerasium to gain his super allomantic abilities or did he grant that to himself with the Well’s power? If he used the bead, does he count as one of the nine original allomancers that Sazed mentions?
Excellent question. He did not use the bead… In all of this he granted himself basically, he rebuilt himself to be extremely powerful and he did not use one of the beads.
Now we are going to move more to some questions on Sel: Would it be easy for a Forger who'd once almost lost her arm (freak guillotine accident) to make a stamp to lose it temporarily, or would it require some more involved Forging than "my arm actually got cut off that one time"?
No, and-- The more plausible something is the easier the Forging is definitely.
Is there a way to reverse the Shaod?
Um... (long silence) There is a way to do basically anything.
So it’s kind of a RAFO? Will we ever find--
No that’s not what they asked, they asked if there is a way. Yes there is but how reasonable a way that is is very--
Especially with the Lake where they can release themselves in.
Is Resealing a subset of Forging, or a separate system like Bloodsealing is?
Um… (another long silence) I’m trying to remember what I decided-- I was building all of this on a fourteen hour plane flight keep in mind-- I believe it is… Let’s go ahead and PAFO that one. I need to go to my notes. I can give you a tentative “I believe it is the same system and not a cousin system” but at the end of the day I kind of had to go to my notes and work things out. There was lots of wiggle room built into the Elantris magic system but I have to know what I decided.
There are only a few more: Did seons exist when the Aonic peoples discovered Elantris?
When the Aonic peoples discovered Elantris… did seons exist… Okay let me go back to my timeline (long silence) It kind of means you have to define what you mean by Aonic. The problem is if you dig back too far in history its kind of like asking “what’s a german?” You know what I mean? [Transcriber’s note: Curses! I should have clarified that…]
Because the Aons are based upon Elantris itself and so they don’t become Aonic until they are writing the Aons.
And Aonic is also-- you are talking about the people and so its like are the Normans Brits? Or are they Vikings? Or are they Frenchman?
Why don’t we phrase it as the people of Sel when they discovered Elantris.
No, no, that’s getting, okay-- (long silence) Let’s go ahead and RAFO that one, just because the history of Elantris is very interesting to the cosmere. When people are starting to get an inkling of that.
Odium was there once upon a time.
Yah… And the question of who built Elantris and how they built Elantris. What’s going on with the Elantrians back then and things like this. So let’s just RAFO that.
What year did the Reod occur in the Elantrian calender?
Let’s go ahead and-- oh boy, Elantrian calendar… Is this Windy? [Transcriber’s note: Nope, Mwahaha]
I don’t remember who asked this one, I don’t have their names written down here.
I don’t have my wiki on me, I’m not going--[[He was RAFO'ing this so we moved on]]
Okay, and is the word Hoed based off an Aon and if so which one?
Yes, it is. It would be Hoe… no Oed, O-E-D
And here is the last one for Sel: Does Shu-Keseg predate the splintering of Devotion and Dominion?
No, I don’t believe it does.
We only have one here from Nalthis, this one’s a little bit tricky. Can you store Breath in metal without the Eighth Heightening? Just put it there without awakening, just to hide the Breath.
Can you hide Breath… Yes you can hide Breath in things.
Metal in particular, without the Eighth Heightening. (talking over each other to explain question)
I would say yes you could.
What are some characteristics of and how many other wordhoppers are there that we have seen excluding Hoid, Demoux, and Galladon.
You gave me really good wiggle room on that one. Obviously the other person with Galladon and Demoux.
Right, the one from a future book.
His characteristics are… What is he like? Some people have read his book so they know what he’s like…
Which book is he from?
He’s from White Sand.
Okay, that’s one I have but have not gotten to.
It’s only mediocre so don’t worry about it. Let’s see what other worldhoppers I want to give you clues about… (long silence) There’s a Terriswoman running around, if you keep your eyes open.
I have to reread it, everything.
Who else do I want to talk about… Words of Radiance has a couple good ones, that will be pretty obvious.
When do you plan on releasing the Way of Kings annotations?
I’ve only written about a quarter of them. I have a sneaking suspicion that it will take me a few years just because its taken me three and a half years to get the second book out. So I feel a burden to get the books going before I do side things like this. My life got a whole lot more busy with the Wheel of Time than it used to be. Which has cut out some of my side-projects like this but I would like to do them eventually.
Why can Rock see Syl?
Ooh, good question, why do you think Rock can see Syl?
My personal theory here is because his people have such a strong belief and reverence in them it allows him to see them for that reason because his belief creates some sort of cognitive or spiritual pressure which allows them--
He would agree with that philosophy. I would say, usually when something like that happens there is also something physiological going on.
And this is one of my side theories that I espouse here. Is that kind of similar to the reason why there are no spren in Shinovar is because the people there so disbelieve them that it creates a negative pressure that keeps them from physical manifestation?
Would Rock be able to see the Cryptics?
Would Rock be able to see a Cryptic? That is a good question, you will have to see.
Is Shallash the daughter of Jezrien?
Umm… Oh, yes, she is his daughter.
Two more questions here: Do bigger gems store more stormlight for longer than smaller gems? So a broam would hold it for twenty hours where a chip might hold it for six hours or something.
The cut of the gem and how flawless the gem is has more to do with how long the stormlight stays than size.
And the last one we have here is: Is it possible to use a soulstamp to give shardplate life or at least achieve a robotic status?
Wow, it is really, really hard to invest things that have already been invested. Let’s just say that, it is really hard to do that. Part of the reason why it is difficult for instance to push or pull on something that is inside of somebody because the investiture is interfering and you would have that similar problem doing anything to shardplate with any of the magics.