Another favorite-author profile, this one is Fantasy author Brandon Sanderson. This is another author whose work fills the “keep” shelf. Also, another author that both my fiance and I enjoy reading.
How I Found Him
Brett brought a copy of Mistborn home from Dragon*con several years ago. I’m not just an avid reader. I’m a reader of books like I’m a drinker of coffee. There needs to be an unlimited supply incoming at all times. Brett understands this, and when he was cruising through the dealer room and spotted these books, he picked one up for me. At the time, few people had heard of Sanderson. He’d just been pegged to pick up Wheel of Time to finish Robert Jordan’s work, and he was still gathering readership of his own.
It was the first book of the series, so I read it pretty willingly. (Harder to get me to start at book 12.) By the end of the novel, I was scrambling to find the other two books in the trilogy. By the time I’d finished the trilogy, I was a die-hard Sanderson fan, and every other book I could get my hands on started making its way onto my shelf. I handed Brett the whole trilogy, and he finished them in a weekend and went out and bought Warbreaker.
I’m seriously considering going to Dragon*con this year for the sole purpose of meeting Sanderson. I can count on one hand the people I could say that about.
Why I Love Reading His Work
Holy plot-twist, Batman! Brandon Sanderson is a master of details. Even if you’re paying attention, even if you know that seemingly inconsequential details are never inconsequential in his writing, you’re going to say “Wow,” when you get to the twist. It’s like the promise that M. Knight Shylaman had after the Sixth Sense but that is actually delivered consistently book after book.
The twist always contains that “duh” moment, where all of the pieces slide into place in your mind as a reader, and you wonder how the hell you had ever missed the hints and clues.
I like his worlds, I like his magic, and I like his characters. But mostly, I like the fact that he manages to surprise even a jaded, calloused reader like myself.
What I Learn About Writing From Him
This is actually a pretty long list.
I think Sanderson does a damned good job of engaging with his readers via Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook, and attending conventions. He’s approachable in a way a lot of authors aren’t. He’s creating a new fan base for the WOT series just by being himself. Yes, there is much to be learned there.
In terms of writing, I love his use of details to move toward the climax of the plot. I am no where near that skilled, but it’s something to aspire to. During this edit, I’m really focusing on making sure that the details I leave on the page truly matter to the plot – if not to this novel, then to its sequel.