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About Brandon Sanderson – For School And Book Reports

  • Brandon’s life story
    • I was born in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1975. I have one brother and two sisters. When I was 19, I served a two-year LDS mission in Seoul, South Korea. I attended Brigham Young University, first studying Chemistry, then English. While there, I was an editor at our SF/F magazine, The Leading Edge where I met several friends I still hang out with today. I married Emily Bushman in 2005. We have three sons and live in American Fork, Utah.
  • Getting started reading
    • I didn’t really like books much as a kid. It was a teacher (who was actually named Mrs. Reeder) who handed me the very first fantasy novel I ever really finished reading. I was 14 and the book was called Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly, and it had this gorgeous Michael Whelan cover on it which immediately caught my eye. I read the book and absolutely fell in love with it. I became an avid reader, mostly of fantasy novels, over the next couple of years. Soon I began to think, “You know, somebody out there is making a living at this, and it seems like it’s something that I would really enjoy doing.” That’s when I found some purpose and direction.
  • Getting started writing
    • I started writing my first novel when I was fifteen years old. I didn’t have a computer; I had an old, electric typewriter that would remember your file on a disc. It had a tiny LCD screen that could display three lines at a time. When you were done, you hit print and it would type out the document. The book was terrible of course, as most first novels are, but it got me started.
  • Writing at the hotel
    • When I was in college, I got a job working the graveyard shift at a hotel, which was great for my writing because I was there most weeknights from 11 pm until 7 am, and the only requirements that they put me to were, “Just don’t fall asleep. Do whatever you want, just don’t fall asleep. We need you awake in case there’s an emergency or if anyone comes in.” I ended up spending a lot of my time working on novels during those early morning hours, and that’s how I was able to pay for school, attend it full-time, and still have time for writing. I still do most of my writing in the middle of the night.
  • Getting published
    • The journey from starting to write to actually getting published was long, frustrating, and difficult. I wrote 13 novels before I sold Elantris, which was my sixth. The big change for me happened when I managed to figure out how to revise. I always had good ideas and got better and better at storytelling. But it was the power of revision that finally got me published. It took about eight years of dedicated writing and being rejected. The one who gave it to the editor who finally bought the book was an agent I had met and talked to at a convention. He thought I was a nice guy and didn’t want to just reject the book without looking at it.
  • Where do you get story ideas?
    • Ahh…the good old “Where do you get your ideas?” question. Inspiriation comes from all over. Often things I see. Color magic in WARBREAKER came from watching b/w movies. The mist in mistborn came from driving through a foggy night at 70mph. Sazed came from a Buddhist monk I met in Korea. Sarene came from a friend, Annie, who complained that she was too tall and too smart for men to want to date.
  • How many books have you written?
    • Because I’m constantly writing new books, it’s hard to maintain the complete list in more than one place. Here is a link that has an up to date lists of my published novels and short stories. http://brandonsanderson.com/books/
  • Do you ever get writer’s block?
    • When I have writer’s block, it’s almost never “What do I write next?” For me, writer’s block happens when a novel or a chapter just isn’t working the way I want it to. I deal with it by writing the next part anyway. I find that just writing it anyway, writing it poorly, and setting aside what I wrote and trying again fixes the problem almost every single time.
  • Who is your favorite character?
    • You ask a tough question. Very tough. I sometimes say Hoid is my favorite, but I’ve written so many more characters now that asking me to choose is pretty much impossible.
  • Where can I send you a letter?

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