Friday, January 30, 2009

Annotation + Hugo Awards

First off, new Mistborn: The Well of Ascension Annotation.  (I'm afraid it's a short one.)

It's Hugo Award nominating season!  I just got an email from the Hugo committee giving me my PIN number to use their electronic voting form. (And if you need your PIN but haven't gotten it yet, there's contact info there for how to get it sent to you.  You can also download the ballot and mail it in.)

If you were a member of last year's Worldcon, or already have a membership for this year's, you can nominate for the Hugo Awards.  I just thought I'd point out that Mistborn: The Hero of Ages is eligible in the Best Novel category.  If you thought it was one of the best books of the year, and you are a Worldcon goer, I certainly wouldn't mind a nomination!

My two short stories--"Firstborn" (Read it on Tor's website) and "Defending Elysium" (Read it in last year's October/November issue of Asimov's ) are actually both novelette length, so that would be the category in which you'd nominate them if you feel inclined.

(Note that there are some questions about Firstborn's eligibility, since it originally appeared in a small print run magazine a few years back, but I emailed around and the answer I got was "Tell people to nominate it if they want to.  If it gets enough attention, the committee will review its status and make a decision."  So if you liked the story enough, feel free to nominate it!)

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Sword

First off, I've been getting a lot of email regarding the sword that Wilson gave me out of Robert Jordan's collection.  For Christmas, I asked my wife to have it cleaned and mounted, and so I wanted to wait until then to post pictures.  That's not all finished yet, but I figured I've waited long enough, so I took a photo for you to show how it stands right now, stylishly presented in the mounting stand my wife purchased.  (With our Kick The Cheat in the background...)


Some close up shots for you:

IMG_1439 IMG_1440

Eventually, I want to get the mounting piece inscribed.  We're thinking of having the words hand painted on there. 

When I saw that one sword in the collection had a gold and red dragon hand-painted on the scabbard...yeah, I knew that was the piece I had to take.  More pictures eventually.

Some of you have noticed that Mistborn jewelry is for sale in my store.  I'd suggest waiting for a few days before picking up any pieces, however, as we're checking with Badali on some items.  I haven't finished writing copy for these either, so there aren't any descriptions, just pictures and prices.  (And some of those prices may go down, specifically some of the shipping prices.)  I'll start doing write-ups soon.

Friday, January 23, 2009

New Annotation + Reader Mail

New Annotation for you:  Mistborn: The Well of Ascension Chapter Fifty-Five.

And a little reader mail item.  WoT reader Colby wrote me and asked:

Just curious. When will you start releasing the names of some of the chapters of AMoL?

Well, Colby, I'm honestly not sure.  These could get tweaked and edited right up until the book release, and so letting them out too early would be a mistake.  I'm forbidden by contract on this project from posting anything specific like that on my blog.  Beyond that, Harriet will be doing most of the actual chapter naming.  She mentioned she'd done this on a lot of the previous novels, and so I'm happy to let her do it on this book.  It will help give the book the right feel.

If anyone were going to release chapter titles ahead of time, it would be through Tor's website, not my own.  The same goes for the prologue.  In the past, it has been released early, and that might happen with this one too.  But if it does, look toward for the appearance.  Sorry to be so clandestine on these issues, but it really is for the best.  Everyone's excited about this book, but there are a LOT of readers who don't want anything spoiled.  We have to respect their wishes, and the wishes of the Jordan Estate, which would prefer most of this be kept under wraps until later this year.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Signing + Mistborn Audible

I'll be doing a signing tonight at 7:30 at the Barnes and Noble at the Jordan Commons in West Jordan Utah.  If you live in the area, drop by!  I'll happily sign books and chat.

Also, it looks like Mistborn book one is finally up on audible.  You should be able to find the audio edition other locations as well.  Huzzah!  Now just one more to go and the entire trilogy will be on audio. 

Here are two pieces of fanart from readers.  The second one being the scene that I mentioned in annotations I'd like to see.  We really need to get my fanart section up and running.  I'll go poke Sprig (aka Jordo, aka my webmaster) on that one.

The work proceeds nicely.  The Wheel of Time book is interesting in that I've got a LOT of different types of feedback on it.  There's Harriet, of course, but also Mr. Jordan's two assistants, Maria and Alan.  They are continuity experts, and have been going through the pages I've done and have been fact checking and giving feedback on general issues as well.  I had worried that having three editors on this project would make it more difficult to work on, but so far it's simply been a big help.  There is SO much going on in this book and this world that having the extra sets of eyes is very helpful. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

MB3 Proofreads Due...

Hey, it's time for me to send in corrections for the mass market version of Mistborn Three.  I just wanted to throw out to the readers a question:  Did any of you spot any big problems that were continuity/proofreading errors?  Did I forget and use silver instead of tin anywhere?  Use the wrong name for a character?  That sort of thing.  If you spotted a big proofreading error like this, feel free to drop me an email or post on my Livejournal to give me a heads up.

As for AMoL, I've been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes revisions lately.  I didn't put up a progress bar for them, since they're scattered revisions here and there, and it's harder to judge when they'll be finished.  It seems odd to put up a progress bar for something I know will only take one day--which some of the revisions do--but I don't know exactly how long they will take all together, or even how many there will be.  I do occasionally find time to write some new material, and so I'll keep updating the main progress bar.

And, in the random news department, it looks like readers have voted Elantris as one of Audible's best fantasy novels of the year last year.  Thanks!

Also, I'll be doing an appearance later in the week in West Jordan, Utah.  Keep an eye on the website for news.  It's going to be later in the evening on Thursday night. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Do You Want to Appear in A Memory of Light?

It has become a tradition for me to auction off naming rights to one of the characters in each of my novels.  In the past, I've done this locally, with a Church group.  People would 'bid' cans of food that they would donate to the local food bank, and the winner got to name a character in one of my books.  The first appearance was Lord Penrod, named for a woman who's last name was--not surprisingly--Penrod.  Lord Yomen in THE HERO OF AGES changed the tradition slightly in that I started describing the character to look like the person who won the auction.  Warbreaker's Llarimar is another of these winners.

When I started working on the Wheel of Time novel, it was my assumption that I would forego the tradition for this particular book.  I wasn't planning on doing anything.  But then the awesome Pat Rothfuss (by the way, Pat, I'm going to answer your email soon.  Sorry--I got distracted.  Bad Brandon!)  started up a charity drive this Christmas.  This was a particularly bad year for charities, as a lot of people were tightening their belts and cutting their spending.  I read several articles talking about how difficult a year it was going to be for a lot of people in underdeveloped areas of the world, where the economy doesn't just mean fewer trips to the movies--it means children starve because there isn't enough food to be had.

At that moment, I realized that we had something very special in the Wheel of Time book--an opportunity that shouldn't be passed up.  I wrote an email to Harriet, telling her about the charity that Pat had been using for his drive.  It's called Heifer International.  Instead of just giving food to the poor, they go into developing countries, give them animals to care for, and teach them how to use the livestock to create a sustainable source of income and food.  It's a fantastic idea, and a worthy charity.  I asked Harriet if she'd mind me auctioning off a character in A Memory of Light.  She was behind that 100%.  As some of you may know, Robert Jordan did something like this once, giving a walk-on part to a fan in one of the books.  There are a LOT of people who need to be named in this story, and so why not let a few of those names and descriptions go to real people?

Setting up the infrastructure for this took long enough that we couldn't just make it part of Pat's charity drive, but he was the inspiration, so he gets a bow and a tip of the hat.  I talked with Melissa over at deals with the charitable work among Wheel of Time fandom--and we kicked around some ideas.  Here's what we came up with.

You can appear in the Wheel of Time.  There are two ways.

First, you can bid in the silent auction.  This is just what it sounds like--you bid an amount, if you bid the most, you get a walk-on part in the Wheel of Time.  I promise you a few lines of dialogue at least, and I'll let you pick your nationality and affiliation.  We get veto rights over the spelling of your name--it has to fit the world and culture--but other than that, you've got a lot of control over what your character will look like and act like.  The bidding ends early April; details are on TarValon's website.

However, Melissa and I realized that this auction would probably go high, probably into the thousands of dollars.  We'd get one huge donation, but a lot of people would feel left out.  And so we decided to create a SECOND way that you could appear in the Wheel of Time.  During the Last Battle, there will be a lot of groups fighting the Shadow.  Well, we're going to develop and include a special group to represent the Wheel of Time fans who donate in our charity drive.  If you can't participate in the auction, you can still donate a few bucks to Heifer through Tar Valon's link, and you can consider yourself part of this group.  We're letting the fans vote on what the group's nationality is, and from there we'll probably let the fans pick the banner for the group as well.  This group will be written into the novel (there are several places where I'll need to be doing this and inserting various groups of people) as participating.  Several of the officers of the group will be mentioned by name.  Those officers names will be drawn randomly from everyone who donated at least $20 to the fund raiser through 

I hope that's not too confusing--there's another explanation on the official rules page, which I suggest you look over.  In short, you can do one of two things (or both:)

1)  Bid on the naming rights through the auction.
2)  Make a donation and join those fighting in the Last Battle.  (With a $20 minimum donation getting you a shot at appearing in the book.)

This is the sort of opportunity that doesn't come around very often.  Happy bidding, and thank you.

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Annotation + Appearance

New Annotation: The Well of Ascension Chapter Fifty-four.  With some special Hero of Ages spoiler info in the hidden section.

Also, I'll be doing an appearance at UVU's "Empowering Your Tomorrow" conference this Saturday.  I'm the keynote speaker, and the conference is targeted at 6th-12th grade boys.  There is a registration fee; see the web page for more information.  Many of you who read know that during that era of my life--sixth, seventh, and eighth grades specifically--I had a lot of trouble finding my way, and I only ended up where I am today because the right teacher took concern for me at the right time.  (And she happened to hand me the right book, Barbara Hambly's Dragonsbane.)  So I'm always happy to address young people of that age. 

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Award + Annotation

First off, here is a new Annotation from Mistborn The Well of Ascension.  Chapter Fifty-Three.  There are only six or seven more of these, then I'll start posting them from Book Three.  People have asked if I'll do them for AMoL.  The answer is that I probably will not, for the simple reason that I wouldn't feel comfortable posting them without Harriet's approval on each one, and that would be too much work to ask of her for this.  However, this is why I'm hoping to be able to get her permission to write a companion book to the final WoT volume(s), talking about the process of writing the last book.  The choice will be hers, but if we do that book, it will read much like the annotations but with the addition of Mr. Jordan's own notes. 

Also, the season for awards and awards nominations is upon us.  I'll mention the Hugos in another post, but first I'd like to point out that I have been nominated for a new award known as the "David Gemmell Legend Award" which will be given in honor of Mr. Gemmell, who passed away in 2006.  I'm honored, as I am a fan of Mr. Gemmell's work.  (You may even have noticed that Kelsier's teacher, who is mentioned but never appears, was named after Mr. Gemmell.)  This is a reader-voted award, so if you feel like voting for Mistborn: The Hero of Ages, you may do so at This Website.  You don't have to register in order to vote.  Here is a direct link to an explanation of the voting process.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New Year!

Before I get into rambling, I just wanted to mention that it looks like Barnes and sold through their copies of Mistborn Three at the 50% off sale.  I don't know if they'll get any more in stock.  However, my agent has said that he's seen them in bookstores at that price.  The sale is supposed to run until January 20th.  So if you were waiting for the paperback, you may want to consider grabbing a hardcover from your local B&N for a few bucks more.  (And if they don't have any left, you can probably have them order one for you.  They make great gifts!  For...uh...(grabs a calendar and searches for next holiday coming up) Martine Luther King day!)

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the new year, and what it will contain.  These times also make a person retrospective about the past.  It wasn't so long ago--six years now, I guess--that I had no real assurance of what the future would hold for me.  I can still remember the holiday season of 2002.  I had just finished doing draft work on a book called THE WAY OF KINGS during NaNoWriMo in November.  It was the longest, most ambitious book I'd ever written.  (More info here about that book, which I'm not calling THE WAY OF KINGS PRIME, as I'm going to rewrite it soon.)

I was pleased with it.  Very pleased.  But I'd spent years trying to get published with no success, and I'd just written a 300k word book in a time when everyone was telling me that 150k was too long to publish from a new author.  I'd had nothing but nibbles on every novel I'd sent out, and I had no current dating prospects.  

I'm not the type to get down.  I have one of those even-keel personalities, and I have a generally optimistic outlook on life and on humankind in general.  But I can remember the transition that year being a tough one for me.  I was in the first year of my master's program, and soon I would have to decide whether or not to apply to Ph.D. programs.  That would take my life in directions I wasn't certain I wanted.  A master's in creative writing can be a good shelter for someone hiding from the world and working on their writing, but a Ph.D. in literature wouldn't leave as much time by writing.  I knew I couldn't keep working at a low-wage graveyard shift job for much longer, even if it gave me a lot of writing time.  I would have to move on.

I wouldn't have stopped writing.  Nothing would have stopped me from that.  But life was looming, and I knew it was going to steal time from my writing. 

Three months later, I got a call from Tor, and everything changed.  Two years later, I met a very special woman who--finally--'got' me.  That had never happened in my dating life before.  I snatched her up as quickly as she would let me. 

Six years have passed.  I'm helping complete the Wheel of Time.  I've hit the New York Times Bestseller list.  I have a movie deal.  And I've got a wife and family.  Life is like a flame.  Sometimes it flickers along, but sometimes the right fuel comes along, and you get an inferno. 

What am I looking toward this year?  Well, the release of A Memory of Light (or a part of it, if that is what Tor decides to do.)  That will be a strange experience.  I'll have to think a lot about how to do my signings.  Right now, I draw good crowds--but nothing like what I'm sure the Wheel of Time will draw. 

Tor really wants me to complete one of my own novels this year too, otherwise there won't be a Brandon Sanderson solo release next year.  That's going to be tough.  Wheel of Time comes first, and I won't let myself stop and write something else even if Tor and Harriet decide to break AMoL into multiple books.  I will work on nothing else until at least the rough draft of this book is done.  That's been my promise to myself and to the other fans.  We've waited long enough for this book.  I'm pretty certain I can have it done by summer, even if it goes longer than the 750k I'm anticipating.  (And that really doesn't seem likely.)

But that leaves me working very hard the second half of the year to get my next project ready.  I can't rush it, either.  I plan to launch a large, multi-volume epic of my own.  That sort of thing requires groundwork.  Fortunately, I have a 300k 'dry run through' of the book that I wrote those six years ago.  It has to be scrapped entirely, of course.  But six years of thinking on the book I wrote--along with many years of planning before that--have left me with the most dynamic, powerful story in my head that I've ever developed.  We shall see.

New years resolutions?  I don't really tend to make them, not in so many words.  But if I were to make one, I think it would to be to keep giving that flame fuel.  I'm enjoying the inferno.

But being who I am, when that flame returns to a peaceful candle, I'll probably enjoy that as well. 

May all of you have a period in your lives like these last six years have been for me.  A

(And sorry for the typos.  Didn't have time to proofread this one before posting it.)