Mysterious Galaxy Book Signing: StoryTime with Sanderson

Story time reached its climax as Brandon Sanderson read aloud a portion of his up-and-coming third installment to his Stormlight Archive:

“That one in blue,’ he said ‘Near the overturned cart.”
Dalinar squinted, then nodded. Nearby, Thocke (I’m guessing at the spelling here) climbed off his horse and slid out his sword, resting it on his shoulder—a not so subtle warning. The archer contemplated this, then drew his bow and launched a single black-fledged arrow. It soared true, sticking into the chosen corpse.
“Stormfather.” Dalinar said, lowering his hand, “Thocke, before today i would have bet you half the princedom that such a shot wasn’t possible.” He turned to the archer.
“What’s your name, assassin?” The man raised his chin but didn’t reply.
“Well, either way, welcome to my elites,” Dalinar said, brushing off his hand.
“Someone get this fellow a horse!”
“What?!” the archer said, “I tried to kill you!”
“Yes, from a distance,” Dalinar said, letting one of his men help him onto his horse. “Which shows remarkable judgement. I have use for someone with your skills.”
“We’re enemies!”
Dalinar nodded toward the town below, where the beleaguered army was at long last surrendering.
“Not anymore!”

Image of artwork from Way of Kings book cover
Image of artwork from Way of Kings book cover

The audience and I laughed aloud as Brandon Sanderson finished a unheard of reading to the upcoming continuation to his series, the Stormlight Archive. The crowd, which consisted mainly of Sanderson fans, aspiring writers and Mistborn enthusiasts, were here at Mysterious Galaxies for the release of Sanderson’s latest Mistborn novel “Shadows of Self,” and the unexpected reading of one of his more popular series was very welcome. The bookstore was nearly filled with people; one of the employees told me later that night that there were over 150 fans waiting patiently to catch the author’s signature.

I, for one, was simply happy to be in the same room as Brandon Sanderson, whom, after reading Elantris and his Stormlight archive, I consider to be one of the greatest fantasy authors of all time. After the reading, we all lined up in order of our numbers, which came free with the purchase of his book “Shadows of Self” two days ago. The line stretched from right smack in front of the man himself, to outside of the bookstore. Aspiring writers, editors, and readers primarily in the fantasy genre were all present, and we were all excited to have a conversation with the man himself. With 85 people barring my way, it was close to an hour before the line shortened enough to allow me entry into the bookstore. To pass the time, I conversed with some of the Sanderson fans, all of who were extremely friendly, and some of who were dressed in hand-made Mistborn cloaks to show off their dedication to the popular book series. Smiles were in abundance the closer I got to the booth where Sanderson stood posing for photos, shaking hands, and signing books.

Image of book cover of Brandon Sanderson's Shadows of Self, a Mistborn Novel
Image of book cover of Brandon Sanderson’s Shadows of Self, a Mistborn Novel

When it was finally my turn to meet the man, I handed my phone to the employee who was taking photos. I then proceeded to lose my shit. I immediately shook his hand and switched into fanboy mode, spouting questions almost faster than he could answer. Almost. He was all too happy to answer my questions, signing my copy of “Shadows of Self” and “The Way of the Kings” all the while, and he even stopped to pose with me in the picture. He told me of possible sequels to “Elantris”, one of the first books of his I read; “Warbreaker” another popular novel, another addition to the “Legion” short-story series, and even possible movie deals for several of his more popular titles, including “The Way of the Kings” in the Stormlight Archives, and “Mistborn”. After shaking his hand one last time and gathering my books and phone, my turn was up and the line moved on.

Overall, the book signing event was extremely entertaining and even informative about writing in the fantasy genre. When I first arrived, Sanderson was answering any questions posed in the crowd, many of which were aimed toward developing magic systems in their story-making and how he divided his time between writing and essentially having a social life. He explained that in a normal day, his schedule involved over nine hours of writing, three hours of family time, and another session of writing until he felt that enough was enough and went to sleep. It was a very positive experience meeting someone who was genuinely happy to be with his fans and help them in any way he can. At one point, he even accepted a manuscript from a fan and promised to read it and respond back to him. It was my first time attending an event such as this one, and the combined geniality of the crowd, the employees at Mysterious Galaxies, and Brandon Sanderson himself made it an experience that produced many Awe and Passionspren.

By: J. Garza

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