First, let me start by saying that my report might not be the same as someone else who was just a participant at the signing, so if someone who was there wants to add their comments on what they thought, it might be nice for everyone to have a second opinion on the events.
My time for the release started a few days earlier than most. Originally, us here at 17th shard had planned on having a couple of the staff members show up extra early to start camping out. Well, that plan still went through, but instead of another staff member it was my little brother and I. (Sadly, Chris wasn't able to join us, and was missed.) So I spent a couple of days in a big green tent getting asked "Why are you here?" or "What's going on?" about ten times an hour (no exaggeration.)
By saturday we were joined by phoenix373. I ended up having to run away for a bit because I had work, so I missed out on the initial wave of craziness, that was the Freshman Party. BYU had a party planned that night, and wanted all of Brigham square -- so they told us we have to leave, but we were welcome back at midnight. So, while I'm at work I got a text that informed me of this. I rushed back as quickly as I could to see if there was anything I could do to change it -- unsuccessfully. So, we packed up and went back to the house to relax. While we were at the house my finance, Rubix, was able to finish up his day at work, pack and come down to join me. So by midnight sunday morning, it was the two of us hauling all of the junk back to the door.
Sunday brought a lot of funny looks from people in their Sunday best, but not as many questions since we had gotten smart and put up a FAQ's list on the side of the tent. We were also joined by Nehex and Swiffy at around six or so.
Sunday was a big night since the next morning, numbers were being handed out. So, the four of us traded off and stayed up the entire night, writing numbers on the palms of people's hands as they arrived so we could mingle without losing our places.
6:30, monday morning. I wake up from my sleep shift, and step outside to see that our numbers have swelled quite a bit during my little nap. The world has the slightly dusty gray look it gets just before the sun rises. Mainly I spent the next two hours sitting in a chair blinking and talking with people. Then at around 7:30 Tami, the amazing woman at the bookstore who was charged with putting the entire event together, steps out and has everyone get into a single file line and the official sharpie number on the back of your hand. Then at around 8 tickets were handed out. An interesting thing to note was that the last number in line that morning: 42.
The next few hours were uneventful for you. For us it consisted of getting candy, paper plates, a wig, and taking down the tent. Things started to pick back up again at around five that evening. By this point we were in costume and ready.
However, what we were ready for wasn't all that much since until 8:30, we stood around chatting some more. Brandon showed up at around 8 to start signing and numbering copies of the book. Then, at 8:30, they had everyone line up in order to prepare for 10, which was when everyone was going to be ushered into the bookstore.
At 9, our work began. The shardbearers and staff were sent up and down the line, handing out papers for the many contest offered, and warning about the assassin in white. A couple of our number were pulled away and taken inside to help, while the rest of us made sure things were running smoothly outside, and helping out the bookstore staff as needed.
At ten, everyone was let inside and then informed that as long as they were back in place by 11:30, they were free to go where they chose. We had a game set up in one of the areas of the store where by answering questions about all of Brandons books, you earned candy.
I think, at this point I'll explain all of the contests, and the prizes since I was mostly running around making sure that everything was running smoothly during this time.
*The bookstore offered just a general drawing. The prizes for this were two ARCs for THE WAY OF KINGS, Iron symbol necklace from Badali, and the Mistborn table of Allomantic Metals. Brandon also donated an ABM of TWoK.
*Death by Szeth -- This was a fun little contest. We had white ribbons with an information sheet attached to it, and Nehex -- who was dressed as Szeth for his costume -- went around giving it to people to kill them. Once you were killed you tied the ribbon to your wrist and filled out the paper, which entered you into a drawing to win ALCATRAZ VERSUS THE EVIL LIBRARIANS on audiobook.
*Trivia -- Rubix, Chaos and I came up with ten of the hardest questions we could come up with for the bookstore. These were handed out to each person, and everyone who handed it back was given a chance to win ALCATRAZ VERSUS THE EVIL LIBRARIANS on audiobook. Sadly, no one was able to get every single question right! Here they are, in case you want to try and see if you can get the answers:
List all the people who held Preservation's power.
What monastery is Dilaf in charge of?
Before the final draft of Elantris, what is Hrathen's initial ethnicity?
Name six of ten Great Houses of Luthadel.
What is Spook's given name?
Who was the Announcer, the person who named Alendi the Hero of Ages?
Name Raoden and Sarene's personal Aons?
What is the proper command to give your breath to another person?
What is the name of Susebron's book?
What was Parlin's name in the first draft?
*Wittiest Insults -- In honor of the king's Wit in TWoK, we had a contest where the challenge was to write a clever insult about Brandon, BYU or TWoK. Then two of the shardbearers and Rubix, who was the king's Wit for the night, shorted through and found the cream of the crop. We had some really great entries, so it was hard to decide who could win! However, I think you'll agree that the ones we did chose were great. Each of the winners received a copy of ALCATRAZ VERSUS THE EVIL LIBRARIANS on audiobook. They are (in no particular order)
Sazed's mom to Sazed: "If you're not good, I'll sit on you and I have three and a half years of weight stored in my metalminds. -- Spencer Pearce
You know Brandon; he can't pull a rabbit out of a hat unless he a) writes a set of rules fulling rabbits out of hats, invents a sinister reason for the reabbit being in the hat to begin with and c) kills off all your favorite characters in the end. -- T. Alan Horne
(P.S. for those of you who play, this one always makes me lose the game.)If Brandon played Magic the Gathering a fraction of how well he writes he might win a game -- Mike Stewart
Brandon purports to be the next Elvis, but he's really just King of the Elves -- Robert Gibbons
Your mother was a koloss! -- Spencer Pearce
Only at BYU would Sanderson's mellow fans waiting for yet another epic fantasy series constitute the best party of the week. -- Thomas Henage
Brandon would trade his Breath to win a game of Magic -- Mike Stewart
Sir, your art is as useless as an aluminum misting! -- Spencer Pearce
*Isaac Stewart, the man behind the maps and archways in TWoKs launched inkwing.com, a store where you can buy officially licensed T-Shirts, and other great merchandise. To help promote the site, he brought two of the mistborn shirts to give away.
I think that was all of the contests that were offered. Congrats to all of those who won!
At 11:30 everyone got back into place, and starting at twenty seconds to midnight we counted down. FINALLY! We had the wonderful novel in hand.
By this point I was running on about five hours worth of sleep, and not very good sleep at that. So, I took about a half hour or so to sit, and relax. However, for those of us of the staff, our job wasn't done. So we set our books to the side and went back to work walking through the line and chatting with people, trying to make sure the wait wasn't as hard on them.
Peter arrived at around 2, and got to show off his wonderful claymore which Brandon had given to him for as a thank you for a years worth of service. Engraved into the sword was "The Way of Kings" and the release date.
Finally, at around 3 am the last person left with a smile on their face.
Over all I think that the night was a ton of fun! Of course, running around without the use of my left hand was a bit awkward at times, but I got used to it. Mainly, I hope other people hand fun.