Monday, January 25, 2010

Writing Excuses on MP3 CD + Updates

This week's Writing Excuses podcast is about How to Manage Your Influences—in other words, how to avoid letting other people's work creep into your own. And if you enjoy listening to me, Howard, and Dan talk about writing, or want to catch up on our previous episodes, seasons 1 through 3 are now available on MP3 CD from PodDisc, either individually or in a set. The Season 1 CD also has bonus content, including a couple of my essays on writing, desktop wallpapers, outtakes, and Dan's gothic vampire humor novel BLACKER DARKNESS.

Speaking of Writing Excuses, I mentioned this earlier in my post about Hugo nominations that Writing Excuses was probably eligible in the Best Related Work category. Since then we've looked into it a bit more and now think that any particular episode we aired last year is eligible, as well as the entire Writing Excuses Season 2, but the awards are not given to series as a whole. So if you are someone who can nominate for the Hugos and want to give a nod to Writing Excuses, the best way to do that is probably to nominate Writing Excuses Season 2.

I answered a bunch of questions about WARBREAKER over on the GoodReads fantasy book club forum, and I'll be taking more questions until the end of January. I tend to answer in bursts, so don't worry if I don't get to your question right away. I will address every question asked before the deadline.

In the most recent MISTBORN 3 annotations I talk about Elend's encounter with the mist spirit and Spook and Sazed's discussion of faith.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

California real estate/bankruptcy lawyer needed

This is a shout-out for help for a friend of mine. A lot of people read my blog, so sometimes I turn to it as a last resort to solve a problem. Anyway, a friend of mine got caught in the housing bubble over a year ago and needs a California lawyer with experience in real estate, foreclosure, dealing with mortgage companies, and bankruptcy, and preferably with manufactured/mobile homes. He would prefer to have someone recommended to him rather than just finding someone random online. He's looking for a lawyer who will actively work to get him out of legal limbo.

If you can recommend someone, please let me know how my friend can get in contact with him or her. Thanks. You're all awesome.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Superstars Writing Seminar in March

I've been invited to teach at the upcoming Superstars Writing Seminar also featuring bestselling writers Kevin J. Anderson, David Farland, Rebecca Moesta, and Eric Flint, March 19th through 21st in Pasadena, CA.

So many people ask me for writing advice and help with their work that I decided to say yes to this invitation because it will give people the chance they've been asking for. I realize the seminar is expensive—which means it's not for everyone—but as busy as I'm getting nowadays, something like this seems the only way.

The other writers participating could all still teach even me a thing or two. In fact, Dave specifically did teach me a lot about the writing business—it was while taking a writing class from him close to ten years ago that I finally began to understand what it takes to make it in publishing. And Kevin gave me invaluable advice that has made my life as a writer much easier over the past year. If you read the testimonials in the sidebar on the site you'll see names of pro writers whose work I've mentioned before or who we've had as guests on Writing Excuses, including Eric James Stone, Brandon Mull, John Brown, and Bob Defendi—all of them have benefited extremely from classes taught by Dave and/or Kevin & Rebecca. The instructor talent lineup for this seminar is daunting even to me, and I'm one of them!

This is going to be an intensive seminar for people serious about breaking in to the fiction writing business. For a complete description, head on over to the site.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Writing Excuses, Annotation, GoodReads

Just a quick and dirty update for today. In this week's Writing Excuses podcast, the second episode of our new season, Dan, Howard, and I talk about heroism. And in the most recent MISTBORN 3 annotation I talk about eliminating metals.

I really am taking questions over at GoodReads. I have composed answers to a few questions and am about to start posting them . . . really! Questions are being limited to WARBREAKER, at least for now.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Signing in Eagle Mountain + Updates

This Saturday I will be signing at a recently opened independent bookstore in Eagle Mountain, Utah called Dragons & Fairy Tales Books and Games. It's not listed on my events page yet, but there is an event listing on Facebook. Since the store is located in such a new development Google maps doesn't yet have its address listed correctly in their database, but you can see the exact location here at the green arrow. The signing will be from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (closing time), and they should have plenty of my books on hand, including Alcatraz books. See you there!

In the most recent MISTBORN 3 annotations I talk about Elend singlehandedly fighting the koloss; this book's epigraphs, TenSoon impersonating Kelsier, and Dan Wells's cameo; and more on Spook's romance with Beldre.

The latest episode of Writing Excuses is our 100th episode! (Not counting bonus episodes.) It's also the first episode of the fourth season for Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, and me as we take fifteen minutes each week to wipe out the excuses you have for not writing. Now go listen to us talk about types of humor.

I'm still taking questions over at GoodReads. I haven't started answering them yet but will get to it soon, I promise.

Finally, a couple weeks ago I hit Facebook's limit of 5,000 friends, so I can no longer add new friends who send requests my way. Instead, the fan page I've got over there is now more active. It mirrors my blog posts and my tweets, and I do read all the comments that people post there (and sometimes respond). Along with my discussion forum, Facebook is a great way to discuss my books with other fans.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mistborn Movie News

I'm holding off on my regular Monday update until tomorrow in order to talk about the Mistborn movie deal press release that went out today and has popped up on a few genre news sites.

When it comes to optioning my adult fantasy novels for the big screen, I've occasionally gotten nibbles from random people in Hollywood. When Chris Geary emailed me about making a Mistborn movie, I really thought nothing of it—I just assumed it was another nibble that would go nowhere. But then Chris showed how incredibly serious they were—when I was in New York he flew there to meet me and explained his really great and exciting plans for the movie adaptation. When I read Paloppa's script treatment for the beginning of the story I immediately felt that they truly understood the book and how to adapt it. Throughout the entire process they've been professional and sincere and have shown a real love of the material. So in the end I said yes.

Chris and his partners at Paloppa haven't been in the spotlight much at this point, but I think I would rather have someone who loves the series working on it as opposed to some faceless Hollywood company. I am very much behind them and very eager to see what Paloppa will bring to the Mistborn franchise in the future.

January 11, 2010

For Immediate Release
For Further Information Please Contact
Paloppa Pictures:
Brandon Sanderson: Joshua Bilmes at JABberwocky Literary Agency, 718-392-5985

Paloppa Pictures LLC and Brandon Sanderson are pleased to announce that Paloppa has taken an option on film rights to Sanderson's NY Times bestselling Mistborn fantasy trilogy.

Sanderson is the most successful new fantasy writer of the past decade, and the Mistborn series, published by Tor Books, is his most successful to date. The trilogy commenced with publication of Mistborn: The Final Empire in 2006, followed by The Well of Ascension in 2007, and The Hero of Ages in Fall 2008. With each book building in success on the one before, The Hero of Ages debuted at #21 on the NY Times Hardcover Fiction bestseller list. Subsequently, Sanderson co-wrote, with Robert Jordan, The Gathering Storm, which in November 2009 dethroned Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol to become #1 on the NY Times hardcover fiction list and every other major bestseller list. Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy was simultaneously released as a boxed set and became one of the top-selling boxed sets in the country according to Nielsen Bookscan.

The principals in Paloppa Pictures LLC are Christopher Geary, Rob Micai and Marc Bryant. Micai is a co-producer of the forthcoming Letters to God, a Possibility Pictures release through Vivendi-Universal. Bryant has a strong background in commercial projects via DNP Studios for companies such as Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Lockheed Martin and Nickelodeon. Geary has been partnered with Micai since their graduation from the University of Central Florida's Film Program in 1999, with the two working in the live stage, music videos, commercial productions and other areas, and it was Geary who was the driving force behind the Mistborn option.

Said Geary, “As I was reading the book I felt more and more that this was a story that just had to be seen on the big screen. I contacted Brandon Sanderson, and was able to persuade him that Paloppa Pictures was the right team for the job. Obviously we're very excited by the opportunity to bring his work to life.”

As part of his efforts to woo Brandon Sanderson, Christopher Geary flew up to New York City during Sanderson's national tour in support of The Hero of Ages in 2008. Sanderson said, “When I arrived, I wasn't sure what to expect, and when I left I knew I wanted to be in business with Chris Geary and his partners in Paloppa. Chris knew the books, had palpable enthusiasm for them, and most of all had a real and relatable vision for adapting the series that was at once exactly how I envisioned and distinctly filmic.”

In addition to the Mistborn trilogy, Sanderson has written two other fantasy novels for the adult trade, Elantris and Warbreaker (both also published by Tor, and Warbreaker another NY Times bestseller) and four fantasies for middle grade readers, Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians, Alcatraz vs. the Scrivener's Bones, Alcatraz vs. the Knights of Crystallia, and the forthcoming Alcatraz vs. the Shattered Lens (Scholastic). In summer 2010, Tor will commence publication of a new fantasy series from Sanderson with The Stormlight Archives Bk. 1: The Way of Kings. Sanderson is published in twenty languages, and the Alcatraz novels are currently under option to Dreamworks Animation.

Paloppa Pictures LLC is an up-and-coming Orlando, Florida based production company whose mission is to create high-quality entertainment for mass audiences. Paloppa Pictures is currently in development on three feature film projects with the first scheduled to start production in late 2010/early 2011.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Hugo nomination season, GoodReads Q&A, Pat Rothfuss's Worldbuilders charity drive, Updates

This year's World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) will be held in Melbourne, Australia from September 2nd through September 6th. Unfortunately, I won't be in attendance since I'll be going to Dragon*Con in Atlanta that same weekend. However, every year the members of Worldcon vote on and present the Hugo Awards, and I have three books that came out in 2009 that are eligible to be nominated in the Best Novel category: WARBREAKER (which you can download for free here—feel free to pass the link on to any Worldcon members you know!), ALCATRAZ VERSUS THE KNIGHTS OF CRYSTALLIA, and THE GATHERING STORM. My editors Moshe Feder and Harriet McDougal are eligible for nomination in the Best Editor, Long Form category, and artists Dan Dos Santos (for the WARBREAKER cover—which a fairly random blogger has just named the best cover for a 2009 SF book by an LDS writer) and Darrell K. Sweet (for the THE GATHERING STORM cover) are eligible in the Best Professional Artist category. (Technically I believe my MISTBORN 2 annotations are also eligible for a nomination in the Best Related Work category, since I finished with them back in April, but I haven't even considered that those might be worthy of recognition.) Any member of this year's or last year's Worldcon may nominate until March 13th, after which only members of the 2010 Worldcon will be able to vote on the final ballot.

Robert Jordan never won a Hugo Award. Not one of his books even garnered enough nominations to earn a spot on a final ballot. On one hand I think it's a shame that someone who was such a monolith in the field and who did so much for the mainstream success of fantasy publishing should never have been so recognized (as I said back in 2006 when I advocated his nomination for the World Fantasy Life Achievement award). On the other hand, his absence from the lists may simply illustrate that his fan base doesn't overlap much with the voting base for the awards. If few of Robert Jordan's fans attend Worldcon, it can hardly be a surprise that he was never nominated for a Hugo. Still, I think nominating one of Robert Jordan's final three books would be something Worldcon members could feel proud to do, though I don't know that this year will be the best opportunity for that. We'll have to see what happens.

If THE GATHERING STORM did get nominated, I'm torn about how that would make me feel. We don't often realize how much we miss something—or someone—until they're gone. So, in that regard, I think a nomination might be very respectful. However, to have a Wheel of Time book finally get nominated only after Robert Jordan has passed away would also feel somewhat odd, as I do feel this book would have been better if he'd been around to complete it. Still, the reader response to the book has been excellent. I guess I'll just leave it in your court, readers. If you decide to nominate the book, I suspect Robert Jordan would be honored. But I'm not going to push or lobby for nominations. (That's frowned upon anyway.)

This week's episode of Writing Excuses . . . wait, now that I think about it, Writing Excuses should also be eligible for a Best Related Work Hugo nomination. Huh . . . that would be an even more unlikely coup than our Parsec Award win last year. Well anyway, this week's podcast episode discusses collaboration.

In the most recent MISTBORN 3 annotations, I talk about Lord Fedre and some spoilers as well as Vin's attempt to defeat the sedative.

This month I'll be answering questions over at GoodReads' fantasy book club, following up on their discussion of WARBREAKER. Have something you've been dying to ask me, particularly about WARBREAKER? Head on over there.

Rob Bedford sent me a note to let me know he'd named WARBREAKER a standout book in SFFWorld's fantasy review of 2009. Over on his own blog he also named me his MVP Author of 2009. Thanks, Rob! Unfortunately, this does not come with a trophy.

Finally, a note about THE NAME OF THE WIND author Patrick Rothfuss's Worldbuilders charity drive that's ending on January 15th. Last year he raised $114,000 for Heifer International, and this year he's matching donations at 50%. So far people have donated $87,000, making the total more than $130,000. As a carrot for donating, Pat is collecing a large number of prizes that will be given out in a lottery—each $10 donated gets you one ticket for the drawing. Over a thousand books have been donated so far to give out as prizes. I helped contribute one of the biggest items: a copy of THE GATHERING STORM that is signed not only by myself and Harriet McDougal, Robert Jordan's wife and editor, but by many people who helped make the book as great as it was: Tom Doherty, Tor founder and publisher; Robert Jordan's assistants Maria Simons and Alan Romanczuk; Moshe Feder, my editor at Tor for my own books; my agent, Joshua Bilmes; Paul Stevens, my in-house editor at Tor; Dana Giusio, a VP at Macmillan, Tor's parent company; Phyllis Azar, head of marketing at Tor-Forge; Irene Gallo, Tor's fantastic art director; and last but not at all least, Dot Lin, the Tor publicist extraordinaire who lined up so many great signings in my recent tour. Anyone who donates at least $10 will have a chance to win this book (or a huge number of other great items, like some kind of book by Neil Gaiman that Pat is packaging with a rock), and the more you donate the better chance you'll have of winning. I think Heifer International is a worthy cause, so why not lend a hand before the January 15th deadline?