Sunday, November 8, 2009

The mark of a humble man

A couple of years ago, after I had heard that Brandon Sanderson was going to be the author of record to finish the Wheel of Time, I picked up and read his first novel: Elantris. I knew after reading this excellent work that Brandon was an author worth the name, and from then I looked forward even more to the release of the next Wheel of Time (WoT) novel.

Not only is Brandon a published author of several books (Elantris, Mistborn Trilogy, Alcatraz Series, Warbreaker) but he is personable and more than a little bit humble. When I sent an email to the contact listed on his website, I expected it to make it to him but that was as far as the interaction went - or so I thought. When I received an email reply from him directly, I was pleasantly surprised.

Now, given that he's being... overwhelmed? with new fans as a result of WoT, this might be one aspect of his life that has to change out of necessity. Not only does he write WoT, he also continues writing his own creations - he released a new Alcatraz novel just over a month ago!!! To top that seemingly crazy strategy off, he also instructs creative writing - fantasy of course - at Brigham Young University.

Coming back to humble, here's the quote that inspired this whole post today, taken from his blog posting of today where he talks about his involvement with WoT - particularly in light of The Gathering Storm smashing its way to the top seller on multiple book seller listings.

Beyond that, the strength of this book is directly tied to the excellent storytelling that came before it. It doesn't take much experience with construction to realize that the foundation of a building is far more important—structurally—than the roof. Robert Jordan's skill with worldbuilding, characterization, and plotting was amazing. Working on these books has only increased my respect for his abilities.

None of you ran out to get the book because of me. My job was, and continues to be, to stay out of the way and let you enjoy the story that Robert Jordan wanted you to have. I am honored and humbled that so many of you have enjoyed the book. Thank you for what you have done in giving me a chance to prove myself to you.


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