Friday, July 29, 2011

Last chance to vote for the Hugos

The deadline to turn in your filled-out ballots for the Hugo Awards is this Sunday night, July 31st, at midnight Pacific time. I've talked about this before, but if you weren't aware and would like to vote for the Hugos, you can still become a registered member of Worldcon in order to vote.

Writing Excuses made the final ballot in the Best Related Work category, and Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, Mary Robinette Kowal, and my editor Moshe Feder are also independently nominated for awards. See my earlier post on the subject for more information on how voting works.

Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction Convention, will be held in Reno from August 17th through 21st, and the Hugo Awards will be presented that Saturday night. I and many other writers will be there, and I will be participating in about three events each day. I'll post my schedule later, as the convention approaches.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


THE ALLOY OF LAW, my new Mistborn novel set 341 years after the events of THE HERO OF AGES, is coming out on November 8th. If you haven't been aware, there are preview chapters up at; chapter four just went up today.

Below is my U.S. and Canada tour schedule. I'm going to Vancouver BC for the first time, though the details aren't quite worked out on that stop yet. I'll also be heading somewhere else immediately following the Brooklyn date; keep your eyes on my events calendar. It's a good idea to tell me what city you live in if you want me to send an email reminder when I'm going to be near you.

Note: There WILL be an organized way to get signed and numbered copies by mail as there was in previous years, but we won't be ready to announce the details on that until the middle of August. It also looks like Murder by the Book (see below) will let you ship three other books to them for me to sign for every copy of ALLOY you buy from them. That may interest some of you. (As always, my own signed books store is also available for older books—I don't put any books there until a hardcover has been out for a year, so I don't compete with the bookstores. Your local bookseller is still the best place to buy my books; the more copies they sell, the more likely they are to keep ordering copies to put on the shelf so people see them.)

THE ALLOY OF LAW Midnight Release, Provo, UT

Date: 11.07.11 Time: 9:00 p.m.–2:00 a.m.
Place: BYU Bookstore
Address: Wilkinson Student Center (WSC)
Brigham Young University
University Hill
Provo, Utah 84602
Phone: (800) 253-2578
Type: Release
Schedule: Doors open at 9:00 p.m. on November 7th. The book will be released three hours after that. Books at this signing will be numbered; line numbers will be assigned starting around 8:00 a.m. on November 7th. Check back later for more details.

Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego

Date: 11.09.11 Time: 7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
Place: Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore
Address: 7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Suite #302
San Diego, CA 92111
Phone: (858) 268-4747
Type: Signing

Barnes & Noble, Huntington Beach, CA

Date: 11.10.11 Time: 7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
Place: Barnes & Noble Booksellers – Bella Terra
Address: 7881 Edinger Ave. #110
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Phone: 714-897-8781
Type: Signing

University Books, Seattle

Date: 11.11.11 Time: 7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
Place: University Book Store, Seattle
Address: 4326 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
Phone: 800.335.7323
Type: Signing

Vancouver BC, Canada

Date: 11.12.11 Time: 7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
Place: Location and time TBA

Joseph-Beth, Lexington, KY

Date: 11.14.11 Time: 7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
Place: Joseph-Beth Booksellers
Address: 161 Lexington Green Cir # B
Lexington, KY 40503
Phone: (859) 273-2911

Murder by the Book, Houston

Date: 11.15.11 Time: 6:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m.
Place: Murder by the Book
Address: 2342 Bissonnet St
Houston TX 77005
Phone: 713-524-8597
Notes: Store policy requires that you buy one copy of THE ALLOY OF LAW at the store to get anything signed. I believe you can buy it there ahead of time and bring your receipt; call to make sure. They can also get books signed for you if you can't attend; see their site and/or call for details.

Barnes & Noble, Brooklyn, NY

Date: 11.16.11 Time: 7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
Place: Barnes & Noble Booksellers – Park Slope
Address: 267 7th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Phone: 718-832-9066
PLEASE BE AWARE: This will be a SIGNING ONLY event. There is not enough space for a standard reading and Q&A. If you have questions for me, you may ask them while I'm signing your specific books, but please be courteous to everyone else waiting to get their books signed.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Australia 2012 visit, West Jordan signing + Updates

I've added some events to my events calendar. First up is a joint signing with Peter Orullian (The Unremembered) in West Jordan on August 4th. I also added three conventions I'll be going to in Australia in April 2012; there will probably be bookstore signings between these events, but that hasn't been worked out yet. The Superstars Writing Seminar I'll be teaching at in Las Vegas after I return from Australia is also there. These items join my Worldcon trip to Reno, which is coming up in just three weeks. has posted my November tour for THE ALLOY OF LAW, but a couple of the events are still in flux, so I think I'll hold off on putting them up until everything is confirmed. I will also be having another tour somewhere else immediately following this one . . . details coming soon.

This week's episode of Writing Excuses discusses what an agent does. Dan's agent Sara Crowe is the podcast guest, so there's a lot of good information shared. Check it out.

The annotation for the final WARBREAKER chapter is up. As you should expect, it has too many spoilers to summarize here. That leaves two more annotations, one for the epilogue and one wrap-up annotation.

There's also a new collection of Twitter posts up.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Q&A Recording, T-Shirts & Updates

I had a great time at Polaris in Toronto this past weekend. If you couldn't be there, you can check out an mp3 of the Q&A session that I did, which @Thesleepingwolf has posted online here. (If you want to download it and can't figure out which link to use, it's the one that says "Download File 9.43 MB." Or you can just listen to it on that page.) If you haven't heard me tell the story of how Harriet first got in touch with me, this is a good medium. It also covers several other topics including Mistborn, the Way of Kings, etc..

I'll be flying out to San Diego in a couple of hours for Comic-Con. I posted my schedule in the last blog entry (I'll basically just be there on Thursday).

If you didn't know, InkWing is run by Mistborn/Way of Kings interior artist Isaac Stewart, and they do the official T-shirts for my books. They have a contest every month or so that usually involves giving away free shirts, and this month they also have a coupon code. Check out their post here.

There are also official Wheel of Time T-shirts at Ta'veren Tees, and they have a teaser trailer for a new shirt that will be available this month. Check it out too.

Last week's Writing Excuses podcast episode covered Cyberpunk. So this week Dan, Mary, Howard, and I do one of our brainstorming episodes, in that genre.

This week's WARBREAKER annotation covers the biggest climax chapter. It's chock-full of spoilers, of course.

Friday, July 15, 2011

My San Diego Comic-Con schedule

I'm on my way to the Polaris convention in Toronto right now (the schedule for that is here, with one correction: the Details, Filler, and Plot panel is now Saturday at 11 and the Ethics and the Wheel of Time panel is Sunday at noon). But since Comic-Con starts earlier next week, I think it's a good idea to post my Comic-Con schedule now.

WEDNESDAY, July 20th, Preview Night:

I may stop by the Tor booth, #2707, sometime between 5:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. This is nothing formal, though.

THURSDAY, July 21st:

12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., Room 6A
“Putting the ‘Epic’ in Epic Fantasy: Writing to Excite!” Panel
Panelists: George R. R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Christopher Paolini, Peter Orullian, K.J. Taylor, & Kevin J. Anderson. Moderated by Michael Spradlin.

1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., official autographing area
Post-panel signing hosted by Mysterious Galaxy.

2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Tor booth #2707
Brandon Sanderson signing. Tor will be giving away 48 copies of the MISTBORN paperback and five ARCs of the new Mistborn book, THE ALLOY OF LAW. The booth will also be giving out the THE ALLOY OF LAW broadsheet (I'm bringing a few copies of this to Polaris as well). Click for a bigger photo.
Alloy of Law broadsheet… on Twitpic

I hope to see you there! I'm heading back home Thursday night.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Toronto Convention Schedule

It's been listed on my events calendar for months, but in case you live near Toronto and weren't aware, I will be there this weekend as a Guest of Honor at Polaris 25. My schedule is below.

Address: Sheraton Parkway Toronto North
600 Highway 7 East
Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
L4B 1B2


06:00 p.m., York
Opening Ceremonies

07:00 p.m., Room 1080
Meet The Pros

08:30 p.m., Markham-A
Blastoff Party


11:00 a.m., Newmarket
Ethics and the Wheel of Time
Brandon Sanderson (M), Rebecca Lovatt, Bill Cameron, Kirsten Bland
Robert Jordan is on record as having said that he began writing a work of high fantasy in order to seriously explore issues of good and evil. What is the moral status of someone whom we might find attractive and sound as a character, except that she approves of a reprehensible practice which is supported by her wider culture? What is duty, and is it always best to follow one's agreed-upon duty? Is it justifiable to do one's duty even when it does more harm than good?

12:00 p.m., Richmond
Signing: Brandon

01:00 p.m., Unionville
Finding Alpha Readers: Writing Groups
Brandon Sanderson (M), Erik Buchanan
Writing groups are a terrific way to hone your craft—you can receive unbiased feedback and find out what works and what doesn't. But what should you look for in a writing group? What do you need in order to join one?

03:00 p.m., York
Mainstage: Brandon
(Main address and Q&A)

05:00 p.m., Room 1080
Cartography in Scence Fiction and Fantasy: Worldbuilding - Literally
Brandon Sanderson (M), Jane C. Petrovich, Bill Cameron
Lord of the Rings was one of the first big fantasy epics where the land was as much a character as the characters. Whether it's following the map of a single planet, like Pern, or a whole region of space, following along on a map is sometimes as much fun as following the plot.

06:00 p.m., Room 1080
Magic: The Gathering


11:00 a.m., Newmarket
So She Likes Coffee... Big Deal!
Derwin Mak, Kelley Armstrong, Brandon Sanderson, Rob St. Martin (M)
Writing interesting characters involves more than just giving them a laundry list of likes and dislikes, a hair colour, or a catchphrase. It involves backstory and philosophy, and can be altered by the events of the plot. Not everything about a character is necessarily visible on the page. What goes into creating memorable characters who seem as real as any flesh-and-blood person?

12:00 p.m., Aurora
Details, Filler, and Plot
Brandon Sanderson, Erik Buchanan
It's all very well and good to build an interesting alien world, or to craft characters who are unique, realistic and relatable, but they also have to have a story worth telling. And then there are the subplots: the story within the story. How can you craft a plot that will keep your readers eagerly turning pages to find out what happens next? And perhaps more important—how do you keep track of the plot of your own story when it gets complex?

02:00 p.m., Richmond
Signing: Brandon Sanderson

03:00 p.m., Aurora
Reading: Brandon Sanderson

05:00 p.m., Oakridges
Brainstorming the Ending
Brandon Sanderson (M), Sarah McCully, Erik Buchanan
Sometimes, in writing, the beginning is the worst place to start. A story is sometimes constructed by coming up with the climax first, and working backwards. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this approach? How do you know whether or not it will work for the story you want to tell?

06:00 p.m., York
Closing Ceremonies

Monday, July 11, 2011

Updates + Sanderson's Second Law in The Leading Edge

Fantasy Faction did a video interview of me while I was in Europe. The result is over 30 minutes long, and covers topics such as the Way of the Kings, the Alloy of Law, Mistborn as a series, my writing process, The Wheel of Time, and the fantasy genre. Check it out.

There have been a few recent Writing Excuses podcast episodes that I haven't linked yet. First Dan, Howard, Mary, and I did a microcast covering seven different writing questions from listeners. Then we talked about query letters. And this week we talked about Cyberpunk.

The most recent WARBREAKER annotation covers a part of the climax that was one of the cinematic focus scenes I envisioned before I started to write the book.

There's a new collection of Twitter posts up. And besides also having a Facebook page I now have a Google+ account, though there probably won't be much content there until I can start importing my Twitter feed.

And congratulations to The Leading Edge (BYU's science fiction/fantasy magazine) on publishing its 30th anniversary issue. Dan Wells and David Farland contributed stories to this issue, and they've also printed an essay of mine entitled "Sanderson's Second Law." It starts out like this:

A few years back, I wrote an essay on creating magic systems that I titled Sanderson’s First Law. It had to do with the nature of foreshadowing as it relates to solving problems with magic. In that essay, I implied that I had other “laws” for magic systems that I’d someday talk about. Well, that time has come, as I’ve finally distilled my thoughts for the second law into an explanation that will work.

If you want to read the rest, you'll have to get a copy of the magazine. (At least until I post it on the website a few months from now. I also gave an address on the topic at JordanCon this year.)