Friday, November 20, 2009

My magic duel against Jason

So, Jason is on again, talking trash and showing off the huge numbers of cards he's been lent to build the perfect deck to kill me.

If you're not aware of what's going on, tomorrow after my San Jose signing, I'll be having an epic set of Magic: The Gathering games against Jason Denzel (who runs Dragonmount, a Wheel of Time fan website). Read what he's said here and here.

I haven't posted a lot about this because . . . well, I just haven't had time. I've been running, city to city, signing books. In fact, I can only do this update because my plane is delayed in Portland for half an hour.

Now, reading those articles, Jason would have you believe that he's the underdog in this competition. He's been trying very hard to get your sympathy. And, well, some of the things he says may be true. Yes, I have more experience in the game than he does. But remember, I've put a severe limitation on myself in the form of requiring myself to use only cards I've been given by fans on the tour, so I can't reach into my extensive back stock of cards to build the perfect deck.

What are my thoughts? Well, I think it will be fun. But I am also so exhausted from the tour I can barely think most of the time. And the match will happen after the last day of the tour, following two signings on the same day, with me having gotten very little sleep on average across the last four weeks.

In other words, this is going to be by no means an easy win. Jason has been lent thousands of cards to augment his card stable. He's going to have very good decks, and I'm going to be so tired I won't be able to remember what day it is, let alone how many lands to put in my deck.

But I'm still confident. Confident, at least, that this will be a fun time. We'll set up a streaming video of the match, so watch the updates on my Facebook and Twitter accounts to get the url. Also, I feel it's my duty to let you know that Jason has been trying to CHEAT LIKE A DOG (asking Storm Leaders to steal or hide my cards, maybe give him clues as to what I'll be playing).

So I figure I'll just tell him. Here are the decks I'll be running:

  1. A WoT-themed deck given me by a fan. I'll play it as-is. It's white, with lots of cards that they've written on and named after characters. Quite amusing.
  2. A deck built from the Zendikar and other packs given me by the wonderful WoT fans. I've built this one out of the cards you've given me, and it's got 95% cards from Zendikar. Multicolor.
  3. A deck sponsored by Joseph-Beth Booksellers using only cards given me by Brian, the Joseph-Beth sci-fi guy. Multicolor.
  4. If there's time, a deck built from several other complete decks given me by fans on the tour.

I actually don't have these completely put together yet. I was hoping to do that today at the hotel . . . though this delay is going to make that harder. Either way, tune in tomorrow night to see what happens.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hitting the West Coast

Peter here again. Brandon has less than a week left on his tour, the remaining stops all being on the west coast. If that's where you live, check the schedule to see when he'll be in your area—today's stop is at Vroman's in Pasadena at 7 p.m.

This week's Writing Excuses podcast covers the business of writing comics, again with Jake Black filling in for Brandon (whose we-don't-ever-discuss-it stint writing the webcomic "American Bachelors with Mecha(s)" is not nearly as relevant as Jake Black's professional experience in the industry).

In the most recent MISTBORN 3 annotations, Brandon talks about Preservation's power and the working mechanism of Hemalurgy. He specifically does not say anything about Adonalsium. Writers can be so cruel.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mistborn Minifigs Sale, Updates

Brandon's assistant Peter here again. Brandon is still out on the road; at this moment he's at the Joseph-Beth bookstore in Lexington KY, hopefully with a fully recovered voice. Tomorrow he'll be in my old stomping grounds at Books&Co. near Dayton OH. (I used to ride my bike 12 miles to their original store location almost every Saturday, though I still haven't been to their new location. Some of my family members may show up to bother Brandon tomorrow. If you see them, say hi for me.)

A note about the Atlanta signings on Friday: There are actually two separate signings, one in Clarkston at 3:30 p.m. and one in Norcross at 7:00 p.m. Right now we only have details for the Norcross signing here on the site, but you can see the details for the Clarkston signing at Macmillan's tour page.

The folks at Garden Ninja Studios have announced a sale on their Mistborn miniatures/figurines (and also on their Goblin Quest miniatures). All are 30% off until the end of January. They also have a new Sergeant Schlock miniature (from Schlock Mercenary by Howard Tayler, who you should be familiar with if you listen to the Writing Excuses podcast regularly).

Speaking of Writing Excuses, in this week's episode comics writer Jake Black fills in for Brandon to talk with Dan and Howard about writing comics. Check it out.

Finally, in the most recent MISTBORN 3 annotations, Brandon mentions talking scenes and the number sixteen, the loss of half the sieging Koloss, and everyone's favorite Koloss, Human.

Saturday, November 07, 2009


If you didn't hear the news, we got a call on Wednesday informing us that THE GATHERING STORM had hit the number one spot on the New York Times hardcover Best Seller list. This was accompanied by hitting number one on the independent bookseller's list and being the bestselling hardcover fiction book at Barnes & Noble and at Borders. (And at the last one, I believe, we were the overall #1 book regardless of genre, which is impressive.) We did, in fact, knock Dan Brown out of the #1 spot—by a wide margin.

How do I feel? Relieved. When I first began this project, my largest fear by far was that I would disappoint the fans. As I have stated before, I consider this your book and not mine. That doesn't mean I'm writing it to please the fans specifically—I'm writing these novels to be the best blasted books that they can be, narratively, structurally, and characterizationally. (Is that a word?) My goal is not to produce fan moments, per se, but to produce the best story possible, if that distinction makes any sense.

Either way, the last four Wheel of Time books had all hit #1, and I worried a lot that it would be on my watch where we failed to do so. It is a testament to the beloved nature of the series, mixed with the ardor of the readers, that we have weathered a change in authors without a dip. We actually outsold KNIFE OF DREAMS' first week, which is amazing.

The thing is, I don't feel I can take much—if any—credit for this. The reason this book turned out as well as it did (and thank you all for your kind emails, posts, and reviews) was because of the work Robert Jordan did before he passed away. He literally lay on his deathbead dictating scenes for you, too weak to write. He loved his readers dearly, and those of you lucky enough to meet him know that he was a truly kind and generous man.

Beyond that, the strength of this book is directly tied to the excellent storytelling that came before it. It doesn't take much experience with construction to realize that the foundation of a building is far more important—structurally—than the roof. Robert Jordan's skill with worldbuilding, characterization, and plotting was amazing. Working on these books has only increased my respect for his abilities.

None of you ran out to get the book because of me. My job was, and continues to be, to stay out of the way and let you enjoy the story that Robert Jordan wanted you to have. I am honored and humbled that so many of you have enjoyed the book. Thank you for what you have done in giving me a chance to prove myself to you.

Somewhere, Robert Jordan is smiling.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Updates, Signed Hardbacks

Today I did twelve phone interviews with radio shows, which was quite an experience. I thought I'd only be doing four or so, but radioland had other ideas. The interview I enjoyed most was the one for the Louie b. Free show—I'd post a link, but their archives seem to be down. If they ever come back up I'll let you know.

Tomorrow I head to Washington D.C. for the next stop in my book tour for THE GATHERING STORM. If you're in the area, please drop by! For an idea of what my signings are like, check out the Storm Leader reports posted over at Dragonmount. There are also recordings of some of the live streams that have been set up at a few of the signings; you can check those out here. (Quality varies but at least you'll get the general idea.)

If I'm not coming anywhere near you or you've missed me at my previous stops, but you still want a signed copy of THE GATHERING STORM, WARBREAKER, or ALCATRAZ 3, I've put up a page explaining what booksellers you can get them from. Once the books have been out a year and it gets hard to find the hardbacks in stores, I'll be offering them here on the site alongside my older titles. Until then, please support your local bookseller.

You also may have noticed that I've put up a new item in the store—a holiday bundle of all three Mistborn hardbacks (signed) at a special price with the popular Steel Alphabet Medallion thrown in. And a note on shipping for the holiday season: to make sure a package arrives by December 24th, December 7th is the last day my assistant Becky can take orders with standard shipping. Orders upgraded to Priority shipping can be made as late as December 12th (the Mistborn bundle gets a free upgrade).

In the most recent Writing Excuses podcast, Dan, Howard, and I talk about how to write without plot twists. Give it a listen to see what I mean by that.