An Interview with Brandon Sanderson: Transcript

This is a rough transcript of an interview between Mignon Fogarty and Brandon Sanderson in December 2020. You can listen to the interview on the main page.

Mignon: Hi, Brandon, welcome to the Grammar Girl podcast.

Brandon: Thank you. It has been too long since we hung out last.

Mignon: I know we're both old time podcasters now.

Brandon: Yeah. Last time we were able to chat was way back when Worldcon was in Reno, right?

Mignon: I know. We had dinner. I still think about that. It was such a fun night, a fun conference actually.

Brandon: Yeah, it was. It was it was really nice.

Mignon: It was. And you have done just so much since then. You're such a prolific writer that I am sitting here looking at my desk at the "Rhythm of War," which is, I believe, the fourth book in the Storm Light Archive. Is that right?

Brandon: That is correct.

Mignon: And it just came out, and it was an instant New York Times bestseller, right?

Brandon: Well, that's ... we have this fun thing in fantasy where first week, we can beat anybody because of all the preorders. Right? The fans just get behind a book. And for one week I can take on John Grisham or anybody. And then, the second week we completely collapse because everybody bought the book the first week because we're fantasy people. We love our our stories. And so we all have to have it immediately. And so for one week, I get to be king of the hill, and then someone comes and slaps me around and takes over. So the other 51 weeks of the year, I am not. But one week, I get to be number one. 

Mignon: That's so great. And, you know, you're so right that it's all about the fans. I mean, as podcasters, we know our fans are the most important thing. And for fantasy writers, that's true, too.

Brandon: Yeah, we are small but mighty. You know, it's kind of interesting, like you'll get something like a thriller, and they'll be perennial sellers, and they'll sell more copies overall. But the enthusiasm isn't there. Right? And so we have those of us in the sci-fi/fantasy community. It's just, you can see what a fan base can do just by watching some of the big fandoms out there. And so I am very lucky that they support these books. And so we have these explosive opening weeks and lots of fun discussion on the internet and things like that.

Mignon: Yeah, well, you're being very modest too because it's like you do great. And also, I'm sure that this is not a coincidence that the book is coming out right before Christmas. And I can say this because I know my dad doesn't listen to my podcast. Is that he's getting your book for Christmas.

Brandon: Yes. I like to have a really regular release, if I can, a book every year. And Christmas time is just the best time to have a book out. People are looking for gifts and things like that. And so started way back when I started to sell well, they moved me into the Christmas season. And so I've tried to kind of stake a claim on a week in November every year and have a book somewhere around there.

Mignon: Now are you still publishing more than one book a year?

Brandon: Rarely, but occasionally I can do generally around 300 to 400 hundred thousand words a year of prose, which is just kind of my normal writing speed. Thirty thousand words a month ish, depending on how many revisions things take, you know, and whatnot. And so a Stormlight book, which is around 400 ... a first drafts are usually 500 thousand, and I trim them back down to closer to 400 thousand. This one's around 450. They take around 12 to 14 months plus a few extra months for revisions. But that means, a lot of years, I could do two books or, you know, instead of a Stormlight book. So it just depends on how much I'm writing epic fantasy, how much I'm writing teen, that sort of thing.

Mignon: Yeah, yeah. And those revisions and edits, they take a lot of time too, and marketing things like going on podcasts.

Brandon: And so yeah, it's actually been way nicer this year than other years because there are a lot of terrible things about covid, But the fact that I don't have to fly around the world to promote my book, that I can go on more podcasts, which, you know, I'm a podcaster, I enjoy digital media, I enjoy listening to podcasts. You know, this is more relaxed to me. Last year, I did three tours in Europe and European tours, while I love going to Europe, who's going to complain? Right? I'm going back and forth three times all the jetlag and stuff it wears on you.

Mignon: It's brutal. Yeah. I remember my first book tour. I thought I was going to die. I said if I had known what it would be like, I would have like physically trained for it.

Brandon: How long did they send you out on that one. 

Mignon: Not that long. I mean, ten days is my longest one just in the U.S., and I have never been so tired. Well, no, that's not true. I was more tired when I went to Europe. The jetlag is awful. But yeah, that was pretty exhausting. And I'm a writer. I sit at a computer all day, and suddenly you're running around from city to city and changing time zones, but you mentioned podcasting, and I did want to talk about that because you've been doing the Writing Excuses podcast almost as long as I've been doing Grammar Girl. What year did you start?

Brandon: Boy, it would have been like 2006 or 2007 somewhere around there.

Brandon: It's crazy to think how long...back when podcasting was this new, exciting format that everyone was talking about. Right? Like I started Writing Excuses because my brother was in college at the time. He's like, "Hey, I just took a new media course about these new things called podcast. You should do one of these." I'm like, "Oh, really?" And I started listening to a lot of podcasts because I just really never heard about them and started getting into it. And he wanted me to do a scripted show. He's like, you should do some old timey radio drama. I'm like, the amount of work that would go into that would just be insane. I need to do something that's more reality TV-ish, me interviewing and chatting with people. And so that's where we went to Writing Excuses is just talk to my friends about writing for 15 minutes and see what an informative, interesting things they can teach me.

Mignon: And it's wonderful, and all of your careers have developed since the beginning of then, and you've done some really interesting things, like, I know you did writing cruises for a while, right?

Brandon: Yeah, we did. So we did Writing Excuses cruises for a while. Those grew out of us doing retreats and trying to take care of everybody on a retreat and make sure their dietary needs were met and things was difficult. And so we're like, let's try a cruise. But cruises have their own host of problems. They're much more expensive, for one thing and stuff like that. So and then, you know, this year is just kind of killed cruising. So it looks like Mary Robinette is mostly in charge of all of that. I think she's going to move back to smaller scale writing retreats. But yeah, that was fun. We did that. We've really experimented a lot lately with the form of it because we start to realize we're saying all the same things.

Brandon: I don't know if you run into this problem, but we're like, man, we've been repeating ourselves. So let's have more guests on, right, is what we've been doing and let's have, you know, season-long guest appearances by people who can teach us about writing.

Mignon: Yeah, it is a struggle after so many years, I mean, I'm always looking for a news hook to cover an old topic, you know, someone, I don't know, some celebrity uses a semicolon wrong. Yeah, something like that. I'll jump on it.

Mignon: And and I have guest writers, too, and I love them because not only do they help, but they bring fresh ideas that wouldn't have occurred to me to cover. So that's been really great.

Brandon: I love to watch the the interrobang, the zigs and zags of the interrobang takes and the the publishing industry, because it's so common in comic books but not in prose. And you can tell which writers came from a comic book background or read a lot of comic books based on if the interrobang makes it in or not. But a lot of overzealous copy editors like to try and pull it out. And so it's that's one of the ones I love to watch. Who uses interrobang and who doesn't.

Mignon: Are there interrobangs in any of your books?

Brandon: I don't use interrobang because I came up through a prose background. I didn't read a ton of comic books. And so the first time I ran across them, I'm like, this looks so weird. 

Brandon: I just read Andy Weir's new book, which is coming out later in the year. He's the one who wrote "The Martian." And it has interrobang. And I'm like, oh, he's got interrobang, but he's got a science background. So where is the interrobang?How is it infiltrating his writing and getting in there? And that that's just all fascinating to me. Who uses it and who doesn't?

Mignon: That is fascinating. And for listeners who may not know, I'm sure I covered this years ago, but an interrobang is come a combined question mark and exclamation point that you use instead of using both of them separately. Yeah. 

Brandon: And most of the time in prose, in fact, almost every time I see it, they split them apart in the actual writing, the actual published. But in most most prose you won't see people use question mark and exclamation point together. They just use a question mark on a question even if it's, you know, exclaimed, and people who've read a lot of comics use them together as if they were one symbol, even when they're not together as the true interrobang. That is the single symbol, though you will see the true interrobang. People fight for it and try to get it in. Copyeditors usually pull it out and make it the two separate characters.

Mignon: It's just really I wonder if I wonder if it's a typesetting issue too, if it would confuse the typesetters. Now, you make me want to put one in one of my books. Yeah, I have to. I think I have some, but only to explain what they are. I need to sneak one in somewhere.

Brandon: So yeah. They're there are fun there. Like the, the. Yes I think there's a there's a there's a sarcasm mark that someone came up with that the internet has overridden by the slash S that you'll get all the time used in forums now.

Brandon: It was there. It had its day, it could have been real, but the Internet did not adopted it. 

Mignon: Well, we have to fight for it.

Yeah. So you have your books, you have the Writing Excuses podcast. And I believe that you also still teach writing, is that correct?

Brandon: Yeah, but I'm the least amount professor that someone can be and still claim the title. I teach one class, one night a week, one semester a year. And so yeah, basically on Thursday evenings from January until April, I go to campus, who knows if I'll be going to campus this year. But normally I go to campus, I teach a hour and a half long lecture and then an hour and a half long workshop with 15 people at the lecture who have applied to the specific smaller workshop class. And we do that. And then I come home. I don't even have office hours and things like that. I'm not on campus, but it is fun. I came up through academia. I enjoy academia. I really like teaching. I like teaching things that I love. Freshmen comp was not as much fun as creative writing.

Mignon: Yes.

Brandon: But they give me this class to play with, and I just try to have fun with it.

Brandon: That's great. Is it a novel writing class? It is. It's in the English Department, science fiction fantasy.

Brandon: Last year, I do this periodically. Last year I recorded all the lectures and posted them to YouTube. So there's like four years worth across the almost 20 years that I've been teaching this class that are on YouTube that people can find and watch. I just put them up there as a resource for people.

Mignon: I was going to ask you about that, because I saw the one that I know about is called Writing about Dragons. Yes. So that looks like it might be kind of old.

Brandon: Yeah, that's the first one. So that happened because I had a student in my class who was doing some graduate work in, again, new media, and they needed a project that they were going to ... it was mostly just an academic project. It wasn't meant to actually be a thing, but they're like, I want to do this and do it as a course and post this like, you know, a Khan Academy style course that they would put all this stuff up around, and none of that that they put on the actual internet. But they had these recordings and like, why don't we just put these on YouTube? Since I recorded your lecture and I gave permission and the school gave permission. And so the student just posted them all up on the channel. And that's where we found out people actually wanted to watch these things. They they were just, you know, they're like those live recordings of musicals that you see that I'm always like, yeah, but I would rather be there at the musical. I don't want them to record the musical. So I didn't know people would want to watch the lectures. But I suppose if you can't be there, you might want to indeed watch them because they have hundreds of thousands of views. So people do enjoy them.

Mignon: So where can people find the more current ones?

Brandon: Find Brandon Sanderson just under my channel, I think it's just called Brandon Sanderson on YouTube. So if you Google Brandon Sanderson YouTube or just YouTube search engine, it I don't know. It's probably Google, so they own it. You should find me. I do live streams. Another way that I double use my time. I don't know if you have this trouble, but there are so many things to do that I literally can't fit them all in the day, and so I have to try to overlap them. This is where podcasts come from, right? I want to listen to podcasts. I need to be doing something else as well. So what we do for my live signing sessions is I have big stacks. I don't know if you signed tip-in pages for your books.

Mignon: No, I've never done that. No.

Brandon: These are the things that the publishers will send you a big stack of. I'll get like 10,000 pages, and they're like, these are for Barnes and Noble. Since, you know, you can't tour all the Barnes Nobles, we want you to sign these 10,000, we'll bind them in the books, and they'll sell it as a as a signed edition at Barnes and Noble. And so signing 10,000 pages takes some time. And so I turn on, we live stream me doing it and I do Q&A as well. I'm signing big stacks of pages.

Mignon: Oh, that's nice. Yeah, no, I see more and more authors doing live streaming. I've been thinking about trying to start, but I haven't wrapped my head around what it would be yet and how it would work. But I've been sort of dipping into different authors live streams. I've checked out yours a couple of times. So, yes, it's a really interesting new thing. Well, it's not that new, but…

Brandon: It's fun that pass the time. A lot of the other, I think, like Pat Rothfuss streams video games and things like that. But for me, it's just these signing sessions, and they've been successful. People seem to enjoy the.

Mignon: Yeah, yeah.

Mignon: Well, we're going to take a quick break for our sponsor, but when we come back, we're going to talk about how you create your character and place names and some of the things you struggle with about writing what the future holds. So stay tuned. We'll be right back.

Mignon: So, Brandon, you know, I was thinking about your writing in particular, and you do so much in fantasy and all the character names are always so interesting. And I started wondering how you come up, like, if you have a method for making sure that your character names fit and your place names fit and how it all comes together. And do you end up changing them a lot? Like, I'm just curious how that all works.

Brandon: So to the question of do I end up changing them? Yes, I do. Coming up with a good character name is a process for me where I'll try it out in some chapters and if it's feeling right to me, I'll go with it. But if it's not, I'll try something else for some chapters. And even after the book's finished, I'll get responses and reactions from readers. Most of the time. If I change a name, it's either because it's getting mixed up with another name, which is very common, or it reminds people too much of a real world name or word or things like that, which is kind of stealth hits you because as the author, you won't notice these things very often because you've come up with this name, and it's the identity of this character to you. And then everyone else will be like, oh, wow, that sounds a whole lot like barf. And you're like, oh it I sound like a barf for vomit or something.

Brandon: I never even noticed that because you'll have blinders on as a writer for this. I have two general methods. They get way more detailed than this, but I'll talk about my two general methods. So when I'm building a fantasy world, one of the questions I have to ask myself is how much time do I have for the various parts of the world building? You can't do everything in every book. Even Grandpa Tolkien couldn't do everything in the world building that he wanted to do. And so I tried to target my world building for a given book based on where the conflicts and the character interests will be. For instance, if religion is a big conflict in the book, if people are of different religious backgrounds and this is going to cause strife between them and maybe be involved in the politics or the the world building in the magic, then I'll spend a lot of time on the religions. And another book I won't because the conflict just isn't there. I'll mention them, have a cool idea or two, but not really dig deeply into it. You're really the biggest pitfall of writing fantasy or science fiction is to turn your book into an encyclopedia which you don't want to do. You don't want anything to read like an encyclopedia entry. And one of the ways you do this is make sure that it's important to the characters and their passions and their interests are kind of overlapping with the plot.

Brandon: So if linguistics is a big deal in a book I'm doing, which generally means there are different cultures whose linguistics kind of advanced their cultural ideas, they kind of tie into who and the identity of the culture, which all languages do in the real world. But in the fantasy world, you won't necessarily be able to dig into that in every book if I have them clashing. And it's really the differences in the linguistics that will make things stand out, or if the linguistics is involved in the magic system, then I will do the deeper, harder method of worldbuilding, which is where I'll kind of try to look at the different morphemes, the different sounds, and all of these different things and build a linguistics for them. I won't do the whole Tolkien thing where I have an entire dictionary of languages and things, but what I'll do is be like these sounds are really common and I'll usually look for a theme. An example of this is I want something on the page that's going to the reader is going to kind of connect to, and even if they don't know linguistic say, hey, I can see that these names are kind of similar, and you'll do things like that. For instance, one of the fascinating things about Hawai'ian is that Hawai'ian uses fewer sounds than a lot of languages and so needs to repeat those sounds and make longer words out of them. Which leaves this really distinctive sound for Hawai'ian that I just love.

And if you use a trick like that, you're like, I'm going to I'm only going to use like half the the sounds that are normally used in a language. And I use all the wrong terminology. I'm sorry, all my linguistic classes professors are so mad at me. And, you know, boy, I know I know these words. I'm gonna use them wrong. So I'll just use the vague terms. But, you know, use this in "War Breaker," one of my books, I'm like I'm to use repeated consonant sounds in the names. Even though this isn't a real thing from our world, it feels fantastical. And so you have names like Vivenna or Susebron and things like this that just on the page you're looking for stuff on the page looks really distinctive and sounds really distinctive. This takes a lot of work, right? This is you only want to do this if you are really digging in deep, and it's important and relevant to the plot. The easier method that I use is what I use for like "Mistborn," which is one of my my big series where I said I'm going to make the world of "Mistborn" mostly an Earth analog with a couple of regions where I'm going to borrow sounds and language constructions and, you know, this grouping is going to be Latinate, and this grouping is going to be Germanic, and I'm going to go back to the roots of kind of some Latinate things in some Germanic things.

Brandon: I'm going to borrow some sounds and some words, and I'm going to play with things, and I'm going to make it work. And so you end up with stuff like in the Germanic area and up with names like Stroth and Elend and very, you know, classic Germanic Anglo-Saxon ish sort of things. And then you go on the Latinate and you have Vin and Kelsier and all of this stuff that's kind of growing up in this kind of French-Italian roots thing. And you can do that a lot more easily than you can the other just by getting yourself a big, big atlas of the world and looking at all these place names and being like, oh, could I design something that feels like it could fit in this country that doesn't, but uses just you can get a feel for it looking at them. And that's what I'll do for the places where in linguistics aren't as big of a deal, where I don't need to know where the sound changes happen 400 years ago, that the words that the, you know, that this culture uses are going to have A's in this culture is going to have E's, even though they're the same words with the same root, all of that stuff you can ignore if you want to or you can dig into it and have a lot of fun with it.

Brandon: I fortunately have my editorial director at my company is a linguist by trade. He you know, he has degrees in linguistics, speaks a couple of languages, and I can just go to him and say, does this work? Does this work? And he can correct me on all the stuff, and he knows all the right terminology that I am not using on your podcast. I'm sorry.

Mignon: I no, that's fabulous. So have you ever accidentally created a name like a place name that ends up being real like that actually exists?

Brandon: That happens all the time in the second one, right where you're looking at and I'm like, I'm going to build, you know, like I didn't know both Elend and Stroth, which are "Misborn" names turned out to be words in German that I just didn't know, not that well-known or used, but they were real words. I did pick Vin's name intentionally. Vin is, one of the protagonists and her name, you know, comes from the French word for "wine." And I picked that intentionally knowing that it was, so a lot of times it's intentional, but a lot of times it's not. And you accidentally get names, or I've accidentally written fantasy words that people are like, in our language, that's a really bad slur. You should not use that. And I'm like, oh, I'm glad I have beta readers, you know, different languages, and can say "cut that out."

Mignon: Yea, thank goodness for the beta readers. And, you know, you're talking at the sound of the words. It made me wonder if you think about the audiobook version as you're writing, do you ever think about how something might sound or work in the audio book version compared to how it looks on the page? Or is that just something that the system works itself out? 

Brandon: These days, I do. I didn't when I started, I didn't listen to audio books, but not nearly as much as they've become a thing in the modern world. Audible and digital downloads.

Brandon: You kids, I don't know if you kids understand how much a pain audio books were in the old days, but when I listen to "Wheel of Time" audio books, they were something like 80 CDs in this pack. I'm exaggerating a little, but it's not really that much, where it's like you have to change a CD every 40 minutes it felt like or something like that. And they were these massive things. And now you push a button and you start listening, and it turns out a lot of people would like to do audio books if you can do it that way. Back in the day, in the late '90s, early 2000s, you'd sell two dozen audio books, right? If that many, and they all went to libraries. Nowadays, audio books are about forty percent of my business. Forty percent of the New Stormlight book, opening week it was over fifty percent, but the hardcover caught up since then a little bit.

Mignon: Well, I have to say, your books are the best value per credit on Audible that you can possibly get. They're, like, fifty plus hours long.

Brandon: Yeah. Yeah. That's, that's one of the reasons why, right? Like if you're going to look at this and you're like Matthew McConaughey, his new book is seven hours. Sandersons' new book is fifty-five hours. They both cost the same amount. I wonder which one I should buy. For a while I was, I had a record, a really cool record. I was the most preordered author in the history of Audible, but I lost that record to Michelle Obama earlier this year. She became the new most preordered book in the history of of Audible. She read her own book. And, you know, President Obama read his own book that he released the same week as mine. So I get to say thanks, Obama, to both of the Obamas this year. They both released books in the same year. But for a while, I was the most preordered book, which is really remarkable because, you know, Stormlight books, we have a good fan base, right? Like I've said, but we aren't nearly as big of an interest book is like a political memoir, right? So the hold a record is pretty remarkable. And it's because the books are such a great deal on audio.

Mignon: They really I mean, they're wonderful books too. They're well read, but, yeah, yeah. Well, you go, that's a good deal. So tell me. I'm sorry I interrupted you though. So tell me how you think differently about the audio book as you're writing.

Brandon: So these days my my team has me repeat all the names out loud to make sure we can say them and tell the audiobook narrators. And I will often tweak names based on that, just as I'm writing even before that, where I'm like, how will Michael read this? How will Kate read this? Because I have I have to audio book narrators that are my favorite, that work on on my books. They were the narrator to the "Wheel of Time" books. And so I asked for them way, way back when, and I just ended up getting them. And now now it's established that their narrators for my books, and I love them, but I have to be like, all right, how's Michael going to say this? He's going to be reading it from this character's viewpoint. So it's going to have this kind of accent. Can I, is that what I want it to sound like? And I will do a lot more of that than I used to. I know some of my friends who have more of a theater background. They will often read every chapter out as after they've written it. I did not do that.

Brandon: I don't have that theater background, and I've just never found that as helpful as they do. But some authors really depend on it.

Mignon: Yeah, I've heard of people who do that. So, you know, given that this is a writing podcast, I wanted to sort of close out with talking about what you're writing struggles are, like, are there particular punctuation marks or types of writing that that you still struggle with even after all these years of writing.

Brandon: So the thing that I'm working on the most I'm trying to get better at is it's it's a constant struggle with prose, right? As a writer, I follow more of an Orwellian sort of philosophy on prose, which George Orwell had talked about prose as being a window pane through what you experience. The ideas in the story didn't want the prose to distract from the story. Whereas, you know, if you're reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez, right, the writing is a stained glass window that's it's there to draw attention on purpose. And I generally take more of an Orwellian approach. But the danger in the Orwellian approach is you end up with a certain toolbox terms and words you use that then start drawing attention to themselves by overuse, right? And this is a real danger that as soon as the readers like, wait, this is like the fourth time someone shrugged in the scene, then you've kicked him out of the scene, right? But if you want to use replacements for shrugs, you sometimes go too far, and they're like, I'm this person is contorting. I can't imagine this.

Brandon: And so there's this constant little back and forth where I'm trying to use evocative, powerful, concrete language that doesn't lose its effectiveness through cliche, but at the same time is invisible enough that it's not going to pull you out of the story with you saying, wow, that word, I don't that's a ten dollar word. I don't know what that word means, right? And you do want occasionally even to have some of that stained glass window and some of your descriptions and then fade out of it for dialogue. And this is a constant kind of struggle on my part to craft prose that does kind of what I want it to do. That's that's less, you know, that's like not something that I'd like, oh, I hate this. It's just a constant evolution of my style that I pay a lot of attention to as it goes with, like, writing is their punctuation and stuff that I don't get other than some of the standard things like Peter most often is going to have to correct me on "lay," "laid," "lie," all of that, those ones I still, like, if I sit and think about it, I'll get it right. But if I just type it, I do get "affect/effect" right most of the time, and some of those other ones. But the "lay/lie" one I don't always get right. Some tense things can get really complicated when you're writing, like, I am and kind of the past tense where it's like the past perfect and things like this. And when you use it and with flashbacks and when you don't and things like that can get really tricky because you don't want to lose people, but you want to be consistent. And how many times you put "had" in "they had had," which I first saw and noticed in a "Wheel of Time" book way back in my teens. And like, can you use "had" twice in a row like that? What does that even mean? I try to avoid the "had had" I try to at least make one of them a an abbreviation. So "she'd had" just reads better to me.

Brandon: These are all really my new detail-oriented sentence things, but I know that's why people listen to your podcast. So I thought I would mention.

Mignon: Thank you. Yeah. Definitely, no the "had had" isn't wrong. But still just can be very distracting. Yeah.

Brandon: I end up with a few of them in every book just because it fits the best that way. But I try to reconstruct to avoid them. And even though like ending with a preposition is not, you know, I'm more of a descriptivist in linguistics than I am a prescriptivist, right? But some things will kick people. There are some constructions that end with a preposition that just read wrong in people's brains because we've followed the Latin rules so long in English that it just reads strangely. And so I'll try to avoid those when it just is kind of sticking out. A lot of this is Peter's job, my editorial director, who is the linguist, where he's also watching for widows and orphans and and spacy lines and things which I don't pay any attention to. He's doing on the layout stuff. But he'll also watch for some of these these hanging prepositions that just feel wrong and whatnot on the prose level.

Mignon: Right, yeah, I know, I mean, it kind of sounds like what you're talking about, the Orwellian approach is just, you know, it shouldn't be distracting no matter what, whether it's, you know, that word choices or the the sentence construction or all the things you want the story itself to come through.

Brandon: I only want you to be distracted by the prose in occasional descriptive sentences like, wow, that's really pretty. Once in a while, that's OK for the prose to take it on. But you don't want it when you're having an action scene, for instance, you don't want anyone stopping saying, wow, that was a really cool line. Wait a minute, what's happening? At least in kind of my philosophy of writing.

Mignon: All right, who's running away now? Yeah, right. Well, so what does the future hold for you now? What are you working on now? What will be the next things out? What are you looking forward to in the next year?

Brandon: Yeah, so I divide my time about half between Stormlight books and half not. So it's a three-year cycle where you 18 months on a Stormlight book and 18 months off. And I'm six months into my 18 months off and I am writing, I have a YA series called "Skyward," which is why a science fiction. My pitch for that is it's a girl and her spaceship, kind of using the old boy and his dragon story, but turned into a science fiction story with my own kind of spin on it. She finds an old broken down spaceship. She's always wanted to be a pilot, it's far future science fiction. And she kind of repairs it finds it has a really wacky A.I. and is trying to join the space force using it. It's a lot of fun. I'm writing the third book in that, it's a four book series. I hope to finish both of those before my next Stormlight book. And then I have one more Mistborn book that I owe fans that I'm also trying to make sure I write next year. I've did. I'm doing Mistborn in eras. So era one is an epic fantasy. Era two is actually an urban fantasy in the same world as the epic fantasy series where all the things happen in the epic fantasy are now the foundation of myth and religion in a more urban, modernized environment. And I'm going to I got one more of those. They're kind of ish 1910s level technology detective stories, a little bit Sherlock Holmes, a little bit Wild West mixed together. And then I'll be doing another Mistborn trilogy that's 1980s level kind of spy thriller stuff, which is kind of building on all of these. I just take that world and do it in different eras.

Mignon: That all sounds like so much fun. So where's the best place for people to catch up with you, with your website or your social media that sort of consolidates everything so people can see everything you're doing.

Brandon: So Brandon Sanderson, dot com. I'm active on Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit, a little bit on Instagram, not as much on Instagram. So if you really want to get the updates, you can watch my Facebook page. That's probably the best page, though BrandonSanderson.com Should have everything as well on that.

Mignon: Wonderful. Thank you so much for being here. It's been great to catch up with you.

Brandon: It was a true pleasure. Thank you.