Don't worry, I played it cool. I had a mental list of questions for him, but in the end, I forgot most of them because my children were running around like hooligans. My husband, a bigger Robert Jordan fan than I could ever aspire to be, had to miss it because of a wedding out of state and was terrified that I would go on an anti-Jordan rant like I am wont to do. I explained to Brandon that I tended to have a love/hate relationship with the books, but overall, I had great respect and admiration for Jordan's writings. I didn't embarrass you, honey!
If I were a real journalist, I would have taken short-hand (no idea how) or recorded our conversation (that would have been weird), but as it is, I'm just going to share with you the interesting facts I learned about Brandon Sanderson. Some of these you probably could learn from his website, but I'm lazy and haven't read it all through yet.
- He wore a fedora in college. And was in the marching band. That makes him an incurable nerd, but only increases his credentials. You wouldn't want a jock writing fantasy novels, right?
- I loved his advice to aspiring writers. Write constantly and continuously. Write tons of garbage. Don't start your first book with your best ideas. Start with simpler, stupider stuff to refine your writing.
- I had told him how much my hubby and I love the fact that his books were not the typical fantasy novel where something happens to some guy that forces him to go on a journey to recover a magical object and reaches his destination. He said he writes his novels exactly the opposite of that typical story line because he felt it was a tired concept.
- Elantris was the 8th book he wrote and Mistborn was the 14th. They were also his first and second books published, so he takes his own advice to heart on writing.
- Harriet Rigney, the widow of Robert Jordan, chose Sanderson to finish the final Wheel of Time book because of a beautiful eulogy Sanderson wrote upon Jordan's death. She read a book by Sanderson, then called him up on the phone and offered him the monumental task. Sanderson's wife said that was the most flustered she has ever seen him. Gee, I wonder why?
- Sanderson loves proactive characters. Sarene, the princess in Elantris, is a go-getter who makes things happen. You see that in Mistborn too with the character Kelsier. He likes his characters to go out there and be leaders and decision-makers.
- The government in Elantris is based on Sanderson's pondering of "what if a government was run like multi-level marketing?"
- Despite my intial feeling that the warrior religion in Elantris was based on Islam, he says it's more of "Vikings meet Catholicism" and the more peaceful religion as "Buddha meets Christianity."
- He likes Harry Potter and loves the 3rd and 4th books best. We talked about Harry quite a bit and for that, I'm now an ardent admirer.
- I just barely finished Mistborn and now I'm on to the next book, The Well of Ascension. The third book comes out in October, but in fact, all three books were written all in a row several years ago. Makes me wonder what else is sitting on his hard drive, waiting to be spaced out over the upcoming years.
- He sold the rights to Dreamworks Pictures for his children's book, Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians. Keep an eye out.
- My fellow biblioblogger, Caren, and I are going to do a co-review of Mistborn in September and Brandon is going to answer questions we'll pose to him. That makes him even cooler to let a couple of mommies who read an awful lot pester him with questions.