When I saw that Brandon Sanderson was doing a signing in my area as part of his Words of Radiance book tour, I got super excited. And that’s the understatement of the year. My calendar entry for the event sums it up a bit better:
I’m talking bouncing-off-the-walls excited. I’m a shameless Sanderson fangirl, and this was the chance of the lifetime. Of course, Tysons Corner is far enough from where I live that it was gonna be rough to get there before it started. I rely solely on public transit, because I never liked driving and I live in a city where having a car is more trouble than it’s worth. Doors opened at five, but till I got off work and navigated the epic bus journey, my wristband guaranteed me a place at the back of the signing line.
Before the signing itself, Brandon Sanderson gave a presentation, a Q&A session, and a reading from an unpublished story. I learned a lot of cool things about Sanderson’s writing and the upcoming Stormlight Archive books. The first five books in the series are going to be a complete story arc, then the next five are going to come back and deal with characters that were on the periphery during the first books. That way the world will be fully fleshed out, but we won’t have to juggle 20 million characters to the point that we start forgetting who is who. Oh, and in The Way of Kings? Bridge Four wasn’t in the first drafts. Considering that was one of my favorite parts of WoK, I’m glad he put it in and made Kaladin such a badass. And the original title of Words of Radiance was The Book of Endless Pages, but his editors laughed at him and made him change it. Although, to be fair, if Sanderson wrote The Book of Endless Pages I’d read it. Long books don’t scare me.
The long line, on the other hand, scared me a bit. Mike and I went out and got dinner then came back, and my group still didn’t get called to join the line until almost an hour after I got back to the bookstore. Once I got in line though, it was a lot of fun because all of the people were awesome. The one thing that I don’t like about living in the DC area is that people are so obsessed with their careers that in a lot of cases they forget who they are. You meet someone new, and the first questions are always where do you work and what do you do. These people weren’t like that at all. Everyone was there because they wanted to see Brandon Sanderson, and I talked to lots of people as we compared favorite books/movies/games/Dungeons and Dragons characters/etc. It was refreshing to meet so many awesome people who have hobbies and interests and personalities and care about more than just their jobs. And it’s not that I don’t love my career (I do), it’s just that most people here don’t realize that it’s possible to balance their careers with a personal life, and I get excited when I can step outside of that world for a while. But I digress…
My turn to get my book signed finally happened as the bookstore closed down around us. But Brandon Sanderson stayed till everyone’s books were signed, even though you could tell by the time I got to see him that he was exhausted and really just wanted to go to bed.
It was every bit as amazing as I thought it would be. Worth the trip, worth the line, worth the exhaustion the next day.