Tuesday, September 25, 2012

THE RITHMATIST Cover Art + Updates

I sent out a newsletter over the last couple of weeks, which you can see here. If you want to be on the mailing list (I send maybe three or four of these per year), sign up here. And if you want me to email you when I'm signing near where you live, be sure to tell me your city.

One of the things I mentioned in the newsletter is that my young adult book THE RITHMATIST is coming out next year. You may remember that I finished the first draft of this book (formerly known as SCRIBBLER) way back in April 2007. Due to being a bit busy over the past five years I was never able to revise it to my satisfaction, but I've now had the chance, and Tor Teen will be releasing it next summer.

It's a fantasy/steampunk/mystery about a boy who gets free tuition to a magic school because his mom is the cleaning lady—yet he has no magical talents himself. I'll post more on it as next summer approaches.

Tor.com has posted the cover art, and my editor Susan Chang gives her thoughts about the book here. Look forward to it!

I'm now seven percent through writing the sequel to THE WAY OF KINGS, and I've finished the first sequence. You can track my progress in the sidebar on my website, and I often talk about it on Facebook and Twitter. My goal is to finish the first draft by April 2013, and if I can pull that off, I'll try to get the book released by Christmas 2013. I should know better in April whether that is possible.

Something else you've already seen if you follow me on the social media sites is this "dance review" of THE WAY OF KINGS:

Two new Writing Excuses podcast episodes have been released. First up is a live episode recorded at Gen Con Indy that features Shanna Germain talking with Mary, Howard, and me about writing love scenes. Next comes an episode on killing characters.

The episodes that we recorded in February at Life, the Universe & Everything have already aired on the podcast, but they were also filmed by a good friend of mine, Earl Cahill. If you've wondered what our live episodes look like, you can see them here:

Finally, a summary of some recent Wheel of Time news. The book comes out January 8th, but Dragonmount's Jason Denzel has read it and has written a response to the book in the form of a letter to Robert Jordan. (There are no spoilers.) Also, as has been done in years past, the prologue has been released as an ebook. It's available from Tor in this list of countries, and the UK publisher Orbit will release it in the other countries next week.

I'm still not a fan of charging people multiple times for the same content, but a prologue ebook has been established practice for the Wheel of Time for over a decade, and many readers feel the length of the prologue makes it worth the money. Still, this is something that's really only for the hardcore fans who just can't wait any longer. Most people will wait and that's perfectly okay. There will be free previews too; the first scene of the prologue is available here, and there are excerpts from chapter one and chapter eleven. Tor.com will release the whole first chapter sometime in the next few months, followed probably by an audiobook preview of chapter two. The wait is almost over, folks!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

LEGION ebook available now!

As I write this, my novella LEGION is being uploaded to the various ebook stores. It should now be for sale everywhere at $2.99. Check out the beautiful cover of the ebook version by the talented Isaac Stewart (also known for his work on the maps and symbols for many of my books).

Read the beginning.
Buy it here (DRM-free):
Kindle (US)(UK)
iBooks (US)(CA)(UK)(AU)(IE)
Subterranean hardcover (+free ebook, see below)

LEGION is a slightly different type of story for me. It's about a guy whose hallucinations give him useful information about the world—each one an expert in some area, they let him be a one-man army of experts. In the novella, this man—Stephen Leeds—is hired to track down a missing piece of technology: a camera that can take pictures of the past.

When I originally had the idea, I pitched it to Dan Wells, my friend who writes psychological thrillers. It seemed more his type of story than mine. He knows abnormal psychology far better than I do. He liked the idea, and we were going to coauthor it for a while, but then life got in the way. (As it always seems to do in cases where Dan and I have a project together.)

Eventually, I found myself on an overseas flight with an itch to write a novella. And so, LEGION started to come out. Being me, I took the psychology away from real-world diseases and created my own, a psychological "magic system" (if you will) that I could then play with as I desired.

I'm very proud of the story, and from the beginning, it was my intention to get it out there as an affordable ebook. Clocking in at around ninety pages, it's in that difficult length that print has trouble dealing with. Once upon a time, there would be few options for LEGION. We could release it as a standalone in stores (and we did this for collectors with the hardcover from Subterranean Press), but it looks very slender in that format. This makes pricing tough, as the costs to produce and distribute such a thing in hardcover don't go down that much when the page count shrinks.

Another option would have been the sf/f magazines. This story, however, is more techno-thriller than science fiction. Oh, it does have some science fiction to it—but that's not the theme of the novel. I suspect the magazines still would have considered it, but there are very few slots for novellas in them, and they generally can only take the shorter ones.

For me, ebooks and novellas are a very exciting combination. You can price the novella cheaply—in this case, $2.99—to reflect the length, but can also get large distribution and reach a lot of people. I hope to be doing more of these in the future. I actually like the novella format. (You can see from the two I've posted here on my website and on Tor.com.) It's the short form of fiction I have made work for me the best. It lets me tell some stories I want to tell without always having to dig into a year-long novel process.

I hope that you are willing to check out LEGION and give it a read. This novella (and THE EMPEROR'S SOUL, which comes out in November) are experiments for me. If you enjoy them, and want to see more like them, let me know.

Thanks for reading.


Note: If you buy or already bought the Subterranean Press hardcover and want a free copy of the ebook, email your hardcover receipt or a picture of yourself holding the hardcover to ebooks@brandonsanderson.com. We'll get the ebook to you within a couple of days.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

League of Utah Writers Roundup This Weekend

The most recent Writing Excuses episode is entitled "Pantsing." In it, Howard, Mary, Dan and I talk about discovery writing (a.k.a. "seat-of-your-pants" writing). Check it out.

I'm doing two events on Saturday at this weekend's Roundup in Park City. First at 12:00 noon, Pemberly and I will join Howard and Sandra Tayler to present a panel discussion entitled "Writing, the Family Business." We'll talk about what to do when a writer in the family becomes the family business.

Next at 2:30 p.m. I will do a writing lecture and Q&A. I'll poll the audience at the beginning of the hour and then talk about what you most want to hear (related to the craft of writing). Howard will then be doing a class called "Writing Humor without Comedy" at 3:30 p.m.

There are also many other presenters and panelists this weekend, plus opportunities to meet with agents and editors. If you're interested in writing, consider coming up.

What: League of Utah Writers Roundup 2012
When: September 14–15, 2012 (I'll only be there on Saturday)
Where: Yarrow Hotel and Conference Center
1800 Park Ave.
Park City, UT
Complete Schedule
Register Here (required)

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Writing Excuses Parsec + A MEMORY OF LIGHT Excerpt

In the most recent Writing Excuses podcast episode, Mary, Howard, and I help Dan brainstorm ideas for a military thriller short story. The working title is "I.E.Demon" and you can hear us hash it out.

This past weekend, at the Parsec Awards ceremony at Dragon*Con, Writing Excuses was awarded the Parsec for Best Podcast about Speculative Fiction Content Creation. We're honored! And at Worldcon we came up short in the Hugo voting for Best Related Work for the second year in a row, losing to The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, a very worthy winner.

Also at Dragon*Con I read a new excerpt from A MEMORY OF LIGHT. There will probably be three excerpts released after this, before the book comes out. I'm guessing they'll arrive in October/November, but I don't know for sure. As with previous volumes, the prologue will be released as an ebook. Tor.com will likely put up the full text of chapter one, and chapter two will probably go up in the audio form. The three segments that have been released so far, you can read on Tor.com now: the first scene of the prologue, a short clip from chapter one, and a scene from chapter eleven. You don't have to worry about the chapter eleven scene spoiling anything that goes before it. The hardcover book will be released on January 8th.

Finally, my assistant also uploaded another Twitter posts archive covering the past month or so.