Brandon Sanderson's Blog, page 2

September 6, 2016

Hey Hushlanders, Alcatraz Smedry here. The fifth and final volume of my autobiography is now available in print and ebook form! The Librarians will try to stop this information getting out if they can, so as in the past we’ve made this book look like a boring fantasy novel. You can find it at retailers everywhere as Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians, Book Five: The Dark Talent. (Except in the UK, Australia, and countries like that. The Librarians have so far stymied plans for its release there, but we will sneak it through eventually! They’ve also managed to delay its audio release for a few more weeks.)

In an effort to further confuse the Librarians, I’ve arranged for Brandon Sanderson, or at least someone who looks like him, to appear at two locations during release week to sign and number the books. “Brandon” will have two others with him: Hayley Lazo, my illustrator, and Isaac Stewart, my mapmaker. Don’t be alarmed. No matter how it may seem, these two are allies of the Free Kingdoms, and not Librarian agents. You can find their appearances listed here or below.

For an introduction to my autobiography series, see this post.

The Dark Talent Release and Signings
Tuesday, September 6th

Time: 6:00–8:00 p.m.

Address: The King’s English Bookshop

Salt Lake City, UT 84105

Phone: 801-484-9100

The King's English says:

Join New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson for a reading and signing of his new book, The Dark Talent.

Places in the signing line are reserved for those who purchase a copy of The Dark Talent from The King’s English.

Hayley Lazo, Alcatraz’s illustrator, will also be happy to sign all of your books!

Saturday, September 10th

Time: 3:00–5:00 p.m.

Address: Spingville Library

45 South Main

Springville, UT 84663

Phone: 801-489-2720

The Springville Library has a flyer about the event here.

Hayley Lazo, Alcatraz’s illustrator, will also be happy to sign all of your books!

And here is some more information from the library:

The tickets for the Q&A portion of this event are all reserved.
Please add your name to our wait list at so we can fill any possible cancellations.
Ticket and wait list lines begin at 1:30pm. Book signing only line begins at 4pm.
If you have a ticket for this event, you must be in your seat by 2:45pm. At 2:50, any unoccupied seats will be released to the wait list.
You do not have to attend the Q&A to have a book signed.
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Published on September 06, 2016 16:10 • 651 views

September 1, 2016

I’m on my way to Dragon Con in Atlanta, and I’ll be doing events Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. My full schedule is below.

By the way, The Missing Volume booth will have early copies of the fifth book in the Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series, The Dark Talent, available for purchase. It doesn’t officially come out until next week, but I’ll sign it or any others of my books if you bring them to me, especially at the listed signings.

Friday, September 2nd

Military Fantasy

1:00–2:00 p.m, Embassy EF – Hyatt

It's not all unicorns and fairy dust, people. But when kings are clashing, how does a story change when an army's arsenal includes magic missiles?


2:30–5:00 p.m., Booth-Floor 2 Exhibit-Mart 2422, 2424

Brandon has a spot at Badali Jewelry’s booth where he can sign your books.

Film Screening: I Am Not a Serial Killer

5:30–8:00 p.m., International North – Hyatt

(Brandon might be showing up at this to chat with Dan Wells before or after the screening.) A new horror feature! In a small Midwestern town, a troubled teen with homicidal tendencies must hunt down and destroy a supernatural killer while keeping his own inner demons at bay. Starring Christopher Lloyd and based on the Dan Wells novel.

Saturday, September 3nd

Mighty Men of Fantasy and S/F

1:00–2:00 p.m., Regency VI-VII – Hyatt

These writers are tops in their fields. Come and hear their stories, advice and suggestions to help you along the way.

An Hour with Brandon Sanderson

2:30–3:30 p.m., Regency VI-VII – Hyatt

The renowned author of the Mistborn series and Stormlight Archive–and the heir to Robert Jordan's legacy–talks shop and answers your questions.

Writing YA: The Craft

4:00–5:00 p.m., A707 – Marriott

Published YA authors talk about how they do what they do–writing as a craft.

Superpowered YA!

5:30–6:30 p.m., A707 – Marriott

There's a superhero explosion at the box office–but what about books? How do YA books handle great powers, great responsibility, and superpowered worlds?

Saturday, September 3nd

Autograph Session

1:00–2:00 p.m., International Hall South – Marriott

Taking the Torch

2:30–3:30 p.m., Embassy EF – Hyatt

Sometimes writers create their own worlds; other times, worlds get plopped in their laps. How do you carry on another author's legacy?


4:00–5:00 p.m., Booth-Floor 2 Exhibit-Mart

Brandon will be at the WordFire Press booth to sign your books.

Reading: Brandon Sanderson

5:30–6:30 p.m., Vinings – Hyatt

Fantasy Assassins

7:00–8:00 p.m., Embassy EF – Hyatt

Stealthily murderating important people: it's not just for ninjas.

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Published on September 01, 2016 16:30 • 536 views

August 30, 2016

Hey, all. I’ve long wanted to start using my Goodreads account, and it seemed like reviews would be a good place to begin. Eventually, I hope to be able to get some more questions answered there—for now, I’m just going to try to post periodic book reviews.

Be warned, I’m not intending to be a real reviewer. As I explain in my review guide here, I consider this more a place to send people when they ask, “What have you read recently that you’ve liked?” If the reviews all look positive, that’s because they will be—I’ll only post about the books I like. But I will try to slant the second half of the review toward writing advice, using the book in question as a guide, for those looking to improve your craft.

More explanation in that link above.

I figured a nice place to start would be with Ghost Talkers, Mary’s new book. If for some reason you’ve never tried her work, this would be an excellent place to start! Find my review here.

Thanks, all! I should have another update on Stormlight Book Three very soon. It’s going well, and we’re almost to the 3/4 mark.


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Published on August 30, 2016 15:30 • 1,619 views

August 17, 2016

Firefight, from the Reckoners series, was selected to be featured in Audible’s Much Loved Listens 2-for-1 sale, which began this Sunday and runs until Monday, August 22nd. You can check the entire selection of titles available for Audible members to get 2 books for only 1 credit here.

Audible’s Much Loved Listens 2-for-1 sale

In this week’s new Writing Excuses episode, Crossover Fiction, with Victoria Schwab (who also writes as V.E. Schwab), she joined us in Phoenix to talk about books that target a given demographic but which have a much broader appeal, or books which straddle the line between age demographics. We discuss some good crossover examples, and how some of the boundaries work, and then we cover some of the techniques we use when writing crossover works.

With the completion of the Words of Radiance reread, Tor Books is offering readers and Brandon Sanderson fans a free download of The Stormlight Archive Pocket Companion through the Tor/Forge Blog.

My assistant Adam has updated the Twitter post archive for August.

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Published on August 17, 2016 09:46 • 1,802 views

August 10, 2016

There will be two Mistborn: House War board game playtests at Worldcon in Kansas City, August 18th (Thursday) and 21st (Sunday), run by Brandon’s literary agent, Joshua Bilmes. He has three copies of the game, so there will be 15 slots available in each session. Please sign up ahead of time for the Thursday or Sunday sessions. It looks like there’s no cost to join the playtests, but you must be a registered attending member of Worldcon (preregistration is over, but you can register at the door) in order to take part.

The eighth installment of the 2016 Sanderson Lectures, “Magic Systems,” is now live! If you missed last week’s episode, “Character,” you can catch up on all the videos here. Enjoy!

In this week’s new Writing Excuses episode, The Element of Humor, we ask, what is the driving force that gets readers to turn pages in a book that is primarily a work of humor? More importantly, how do we as writers get that driver into our books? We cover this, and provide some starting points for writers seeking to improve their humor writing, along with a bunch of neat techniques and a long example for deconstruction.

Last week, in’s continuing reread posts for Words of Radiance, a highprince met his fate and four Radiants gathered. This week, in Epilogue and What Comes Next, Wit expounds and [redacted] Elsecalls, as we conclude our discussions of this magnificent behemoth.

My assistant Adam has updated the Twitter post archive for July and August.

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Published on August 10, 2016 12:41 • 784 views

KillJodi Mon Aug 01
@BrandSanderson this was an old version I drew after my first read. Again the high storms really throw me off lol pic

BrandSanderson Mon Aug 01
@KillJodi Nice!

Knappppank Mon Aug 01
@BrandSanderson Realised my job is basically being an Obligator. Minus the tattoos and tyranny. This has made it much better, thank you!

BrandSanderson Mon Aug 01

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Published on August 10, 2016 07:28 • 309 views

August 5, 2016

Occasionally I receive some very cool, and creative, emails from my readers from around the world. Recently I received a survey from a few of my (self-described) weirdest, nerdiest, and most number one fans: Jessica, Matthew, and Jared Ashcraft. I thought it would be fun to share it with all of you. I have italicized my answers for your convenience.

You are a…

Potted Plant
Fish Stick on top of a potted plant

Would you rather…

Become an evil High Epic and destroy everything and everyone in your city?
Watch all your friends and family be eaten slowly by wild chalklings?

Who would win in a fight between Vin and Kaladin and why?

Vin. Kaladin isn’t good at hurting people who aren’t hurting people he cares about.

Are you more like…


Which of your characters is your favorite?

None. They’re all like my children.

Which of the following has a larger obsession over guns?


Who would it make you more sad to turn evil?


Which would you choose?

Full Feruchemist
Elantrian (not the undead kind)
Epic (nice)
Knight Radiant
Smedry Talent
Other :

Explain previous answer including form of power if necessary

Lots of metal in my current life. Not much Stormlight. So Mistborn wins.

If you didn’t choose Twinborn previously but you were Twinborn anyway, which two metals would you choose?

Same as Wax.

If all your books were burning in a fire, and you could only save one, which book would you save?

Way of Kings.

Is Zahel really Vasher?


Is there significance in the fact that the world of Silence Montane uses silver for protection? (Even though there is no known allomantic use for silver)


Are you fluent in High Imperial? If so, do you teach lessons?

No and no.

Have you really had your library card revoked 17 times?

Alcatraz made that up. He does things like that.

Why are you doing this survey instead of writing Stormlight 3?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Because the writers of this survey are so awesome

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Published on August 05, 2016 11:59 • 1,580 views

August 2, 2016

The new Elantris maps poster set is now available in my online store for those who have been asking. These maps were composed by Isaac Stewart for the 10th anniversary and leatherbound edition of Elantris.

The seventh installment of the 2016 Sanderson Lectures, “Character,” is now live! If you missed last week’s episode, “The Business of Writing,” you can catch up on all the videos here. Enjoy!

In this week’s new Writing Excuses episode, Futurism, with Trina Marie Phillips, she joins us at Phoenix Comicon to talk about her work as a futurist. Futurism, for those unfamiliar with our use of the term here, is related to science fiction, but it remains rooted in existing technology and trends, then seeks to be predictive in useful ways.

Last week, in’s continuing reread posts for Words of Radiance, the secret societies began to reveal their purposes in aftershocks from the climax. This week, in Chapter 87, Adolin gets angry and the Radiants gather in conference.

My assistant Adam has updated the Twitter post archive for July.

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Published on August 02, 2016 11:23 • 1,177 views

July 26, 2016

For my European readers (or those of you interested in going to Italy this fall!) I will be in Italy at the end of October as the guest of honor at the Lucca Comics & Games Festival. I will announce my exact festival schedule once it is finalized. For more details check out my upcoming events page.

The sixth installment of the 2016 Sanderson Lectures, “The Business of Writing,” is now live! If you missed last week’s episode, “The Box,” you can catch up on all the videos here. Enjoy!

In this week’s new Writing Excuses episode, Elemental Thriller Q&A, we fielded the following questions about the “Thriller” elemental genre from listeners on Facebook and Twitter:

How do I build tension consistently through my story?
How do you maintain tension during dialog?
When do you not use a cliffhanger?
Do you ever picture your scenes as if they were in a movie?
How much elemental thriller is too much for a book that isn’t a thriller? What’s the tipping point where you’ve switched genres?
What do you do when the tension in your story peaks too early?

My assistant Adam has updated the Twitter post archive for July.

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Published on July 26, 2016 12:05 • 621 views

July 22, 2016

It’s time to talk novellas. I commonly do one or two of these a year (this year, I did Mistborn:Secret History and the Stormlight novella Edgedancer, coming out in November in Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection). These shorts are ways for me to explore cool or intriguing ideas in a briefer form, so that my attention isn’t drawn too far away from my main projects.

For next year, I only have one novella scheduled right now: a science fiction detective thriller called Snapshot. I wrote it during my trip to Dubai this year, and I’m quite pleased with it. I think you’ll all enjoy it quite a bit.

Normally when it comes to one of my novellas, I just release it and then start promotion. With this one, however, some of my professional colleagues (including the bookseller who long ago organized my first real signing) are starting a specialty press, and so we wanted to announce this one early to give a little momentum to their company. Therefore, Snapshot is up for preorder at Vault Books right now. (Exciting!) It releases February 2017.

I do want to warn you, however, that their edition is the expensive, leatherbound collector’s edition we sometimes do for these books. If the price tag makes your eyes bulge, realize that there will be a simultaneous cheap ebook (which will also be included for everyone who buys the limited edition), and then later in 2017 we will have a non-limited-edition hardcover on my webstore along the lines of the Shadows for Silence/Perfect State double. (We might publish Snapshot alongside Dreamer, the horror story I did for a Charlaine Harris anthology.)

As always, thanks for reading!


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Published on July 22, 2016 13:09 • 1,760 views