Brandon Sanderson Q&A
Author: Baryd al'Syeen
From the New York City signing of the Towers of Midnight Tour
Q - Do we see Verin in Towers of Midnight?
Brandon - I know what you’re trying to figure out (Who’s Nakomi?). R.A.F.O (Read And Find Out)
Q - Since his epiphany, does Rand recite his list anymore?
B - R.A.F.O. because we don’t really see much of what Rand is thinking in ToM. We are saving that for the next book.
Q - What is up with the red veils? Have we seen that before?
B - The red veils are a complete R.A.F.O.
Q - Do we see someone get turned by the 13 Aes Sedai and 13 Myrdraal in this book?
B - R.A.F.O.
(It was at this point Brandon said we had the longest running set of R.A.F.O.s)
Q - Can Rand still access the True Power since his epiphany?
B - I’m not going to answer that!
Q - In the early books, when Mat speaks in the Old Tongue without realizing it, he speaks with a certain voice that seems different from when it happens in ToM, why is that?
B - The simple answer is that Mat is now getting more comfortable with who he is and the memories in his head, so it’s coming out smoother now. Some of the difference is that the earlier books were completely written by Robert Jordan and I can’t know what he was thinking at the time he wrote them. Alan- Also, the Old Tongue is constantly shifting and idiomatic. It is very fluid, and certain words can mean more than just one word. There will be a lot more of the Old Tongue in A Memory of Light and the Encyclopedia. (Old Tongue is one of Alan’s specialties!)
Q - Is Padan Fain going to turn out like Gollum?
B - No, he is not going to be like that. I am aware of the comparisons, and I am trying to distance him from that. The scene in ToM with Padan Fain was originally written differently, and when I submitted it to Harriet she said, “Oh no he’s much crazier than that!” So I changed it accordingly.
Q - How is it writing from someone else’s outline as opposed to your own?
B - It’s easier than I thought. I base my outlines off focal points and build backward to what would make that scene happen. RJ would work on scenes he found important and write them first. And so the notes that I was handed were list of important scenes without any connecting material. But in a lot of cases, the very important scenes where either indicated to me or written completely or left with a line or a paragraph or a dictation telling me what to do. And when I built this it fell very naturally into my type of outline. I have complete creative control, so long as he can convince the rest of “Team Jordan”.
Q - What exactly does “Mah’alleinir” mean?
B - It means, He who Soars.
Q - Why do Mat, Perrin and Rand always stop the swirling colors when they have visions of each other?
B - Their personalities. A piece of them still feel that they are still those small village boys and don’t want to be involved. Its the nature of the beast.
Maria - And sometimes they see things they really don’t want to see!.
Q - Do you already have an outline for A Memory of Light? Is it partially built or do you have to do the whole thing?
B - It’s partially done. I have an outline, but Team Jordan hasn’t read it yet. They will in March. I am also going to read through the entire series again before I start the last book.
Q - Will people just be able to win at snakes and foxes all the time now?
B - Nothing has fundamentally changed in the game. Interpret the end of the book how you would like!
Q - Where is Bela right now?
Maria - The last time we saw her was when Siuan rode her when going to rescue Egewne. She is probably in the Tower stables.
Harriet tossed in an ominous, “She’s, of course, communing with the Dark One!” (Joking, of course!)
Q - Have there been any female ta’veren?
M - None in the main series, but they can be. Some people think Egwene may be ta’veren, but I don’t think she is. (A fan pointed out that someone would have seen her as ta’veren and Maria agreed that she is not.)
Alan- The Dragon is always a man.
Q & A from the table
Q - Will you be doing a signing in Toronto next year?
B - I wanted to do an entire Canadian tour next year.
Q - What have you written and what has RJ written? Will you publish the outline?
B - I’d love to, but it’s up to Harriet!
Q - Do you intentionally put a character that everyone seems to hate in every book?
B - No - Sometimes your friends annoy you and sometimes you get along. Different characters appeal to different people, and sometimes at different times.
Q - RJ was able to write the fighting and military scenes so well because of his military background. How do you deal with those scenes?
B - I rely a lot on Alan, and I read a lot of military history.
Q- What was your favorite non Wheel of Time book to write?
B - I would say Way of Kings.
Q - Has anyone called you Branderson?
B - It has been heard.
Q - Does Rand sheath the sword in the Last Battle?
B - You know I’m going to R.A.F.O. that!
Q - When you were just another reader of the Wheel of Time was there anything you didn’t like?
B - I was not a big fan of Cadsuane.
Q - Which kind of Misting would you want to be?
B - A Coinshot so I could jump around.
Q - Can you give us a hint on who the second woman will be in Rand’s circle? (With Callandor)
B - Not really, but I can give you a tiny bit of information. She has already been introduced.
Q - How’s your hand doing?
B - Pretty good. It was sore after the first few days, but I’m used to it now!
Q - Did dragons ever exist in the Wheel of Time? Are they actual mythological creatures? (In the Wheel of Time)
B - The creatures don’t exist in life. They know the symbol is a dragon, but they don’t know where it came from. Maybe it’s one of those things where the symbol remained, but the meaning was lost.
Q - What was the most exciting/shocking thing you found out when you got to read the notes?
B - Verin!
Q - Can I shake your hand?
B - Sure!
Q - Will we see the Ogier again?
B - Yes. There will be more of them in the last book. Not a lot but they will be there.
Q - Who is your favorite character to write?
B - Aviendha, but she’s also the hardest. I’ve just always liked her. Egwene was fun to write, particularly in TGS.
Q - Is Aviendha a red-head or blonde?
B - Red-head.
Q - Are you having fun?
B - I am!
Q - Is Aviendha the only one to go forward in time through the ter’angreal?
B - As far as we know, yes.
Q - What do you get asked the most?
B - Who killed Asmodean- hands down.
Q - What’s up with Zeth? (Way of Kings)
B - He’s very bound by his honor, but very messed up psychologically.
Q - Who makes it all the way to the end?
B - Bela.
Q - How long is the last book going to be?
B - Probably about the size of ToM. Not shorter, maybe longer, but about that size.
Q - There was a really strong channeler. Will she be back?
B - It’s likely.
Q - Will there be an overlying plot for the future of Mistborn?
B - Yes, but it may not be immediately obvious.
Q - How can you keep all the details in mind?
B - Part of it is how my brain works, but I also read some scenes that RJ wrote in a certain character’s viewpoint before I write in their point of view.
Q - When will you come out with the next Stormlight book?
B - A year after A Memory of Light.
Q - Are all the time lines caught up?
B - The Black Tower is still behind.
Q - I was scared of someone else writing this, but you did a great job!
B - I was scared myself! Thank you.