I got to meet Brandon Sanderson and now my life is complete!

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:

OMG Brandon Fucking Sanderson ZOMG

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.

Brandon Sanderson pointing at things

Before the signing itself, Brandon Sanderson gave a presentation, a Q&A session, and a reading from an unpublished story.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.

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Bridge Four

It was every bit as amazing as I thought it would be.  Worth the trip, worth the line, worth the exhaustion the next day.

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10 comments

  1. Yay, to Bridge Four and Kaladin!!!!!
    What a lovely guy. You kind of feel sorry for the authors when they have such a massive queue of people waiting. Like you said though you get involved with the other people in line chatting about books and favourite characters.
    Lynn 😀

    1. Mhm. And one of the nice things too was he took a few moments to talk to everyone while signing our books. A lot of people I talked to were at the book tour for WoK too. I didn’t expect Sanderson to be nearly as awesome in real life as he was, and it makes me even more glad that I went. 🙂

  2. I love book signings!! I just started going to them a couple of years ago, and I now have around 20 signed books. I love hearing about their writing habits and how they plan (or don’t plan) their stories ahead of time. And you are so right about the lineups. It is almost as fun talking to the other fans in line as it is meeting the authors themselves! I have never read any Sanderson but will definitely look into him now :).

    1. Yes! And sometimes I think of a story in a completely different way after knowing more about where the ideas came from and how the author relates to the book. Like, when I went to see Sue Monk Kidd… I thought of the first book I read by her as historical fiction, but she thought of it as her childhood. 🙂

  3. Woot and yay! I did not make my way to Tyson’s Corner, but I met him a couple of years ago at ALA or something similar. He was really nice.

    1. Ooh, nice. I hope he has another nearby signing when the next book comes out, which theoretically should be in about 18 months. 🙂

  4. Um Bridge Four wasn’t in the first draft. What the? So cool that he added that to the signing. He seems like a friendly chap. Can you ship him over to London now?