Current Projects
Stormlight 4 & 5 outlining
92 %
Starsight (Skyward 2) final proofread
100 %
Stormlight 4 rough draft
73 %
MTG: Children of the Nameless release
100 %

Brandon Sanderson Newsletter for May 2013

In this newsletter:

  1. The Rithmatist is out!
  2. The Rithmatist Tour
  3. Steelheart is coming in September. (Prologue going live Thursday!)
  4. Baby Melvin is here, and growing up too quickly
  5. Words of Radiance (Stormlight 2) update

From Brandon. You’re receiving this because you signed up or sent me fan mail. If you’d prefer not to get emails like this in the future, just reply and ask to be taken off the list.


Hey, guys and gals! A few things to update you on. The first is the release of my new book, THE RITHMATIST. Though this is being marketed as a Young Adult book (and I hope teens love it) I really think everyone who enjoys my books will like this one. I’ve done an extended blog post on it, but the relevant part is the pitch:

Imagine a world where people duel using a magical, StarCraft-like system where one draws units and structures in chalk. Those come to life once you complete them, though they remain two dimensional, and you can use any drawing surface as a dueling platform. The main character, Joel, gets to go to a school specializing in this magic, though he can’t actually use it himself. (He is the son of the cleaning lady, so he gets free tuition.) Students start disappearing, and he gets mixed up in the mystery. (Read more here.)


I’m on a tour for this book as we speak. (Or, well, as we exchange impersonal emails via newsletter.) Here is the list of dates:

Tuesday, May 14th: Books of Wonder, New York
Wednesday, May 15th: Children’s Book World, Philadelphia
Thursday, May 16th: Tattered Cover, Denver
Friday, May 17th: Barnes & Noble, Omaha
Saturday, May 18th: Maple Street Book Shop, New Orleans
Monday, May 20th: Blue Willow, Houston
Tuesday, May 21st: Hicklebees, San Jose
Wednesday, May 22nd: Alamosa Books @ UNM, Albuquerque
May 23rd–26th: Phoenix Comicon
Monday, June 3rd: The King’s English @ Provo Library
Saturday, June 22nd: Costco, Spanish Fork, UT

As always, feel free to bring any of my other books to get signed, including Wheel of Time books! Most signings allow only three books a time going through the line, but if you wait until the end, you can usually get everything signed.

As a disclaimer, though, do look up your specific event for info about whether a ticket, or purchase of THE RITHMATIST, is required to attend the signing. I try my best to make sure every venue will allow people in who don’t have the new book, but in some rare occasion, this doesn’t work out. For events that aren’t ticketed, it’s also nice to support the store hosting me by buying one book (it doesn’t have to be one of mine!) at the store on the day of the event. Details and links are here.


In other fun news, STEELHEART (releasing in September) is getting some extra cool love from the Onion AV Club. They’re going to release the prologue the day after tomorrow, which is awkward timing for this newsletter, but hopefully you’ll remember to look for it on Thursday.

This prologue is its own pitch for the book. Check it out! (And yes, we will be doing numbered copies through Weller Book Works, as well as a tour, for this book. Watch the blog in coming months for more info.)


Baby Melvin arrived in January, right in the middle of my tour for A MEMORY OF LIGHT. (Don’t worry, we planned the tour so I could be home in time.) Melvin (not his real name) is our third child, all boys. Right now, he’s growing very practiced at gnawing on things and/or barfing on them. He’s growing up too quickly. At this rate, by the time I get home from tour, he’ll be jumping on the trampoline playing Lego Batman with Limeboy(5) and Meatloaf(3). (Also not real names, just in case you were wondering.) As always, if you see my wife, give her a hug and a thank you for putting up with a husband to gallivants around the world scribbling illegibly in people’s books and playing Magic the Gathering with them. She’s awesome.


And now, as many of you have been hoping to read, some news about WORDS OF RADIANCE, the sequel to THE WAY OF KINGS.

The book is progressing well. But it’s also going slowly. Big epics just take so much TIME. It’s not simply the wordcount; the longer and more complex the book gets, the more time it takes to produce each page. A weaving of a half dozen characters and plots is a difficult thing to juggle. I love it, but boy is it hard.

I’m at 260,000 words as of this writing. (The target is 300,000 words, or about the length of THE GATHERING STORM.) Awesome things are happening in the book, but I worry that it feels too fragmented, with everyone doing their “own thing” and without a stronger narrative to hold the book together. This was an issue with the first book, but the powerful Bridge Four sequence served as a backbone for the entire book and held it together.

This book needs more of an eye toward the entirety, and that’s my main focus right now as I finish up the last chapters and turn toward revisions. I wanted passionately to have it out by November of this year, but that’s growing more and more difficult. I know you all would rather have a better book later, and I’m not going to force anything.

At this point, we still have a “soft” release date of November, as listed on Amazon. However, we haven’t committed to retailers for that date, and we haven’t bought marketing space for it. (Which are the two big things that lock in a publication date.)

THE WAY OF KINGS was turned in in May 2010 and came out in August/September 2010, and TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT was turned in in August/September 2010 and came out in November 2010. So there is still plenty of time, but I can’t promise anything. It could come out anywhere between November 2013 and May 2014. (Though it’s highly unlikely to be later than that, considering how much I have done, and how well the writing is going.)

If you haven’t been aware, I uploaded a series of YouTube videos of me writing a new interlude for the book. This may help tide you over. You can see the high-speed version here.

Take care, and happy reading.


P.S. I’m also happy to announce that Isaac and Kara Stewart are now joining my other assistant Peter to work for my company Dragonsteel Entertainment full-time. You will recognize Isaac as one of my interior artists for Mistborn and the Stormlight Archive. Isaac will be handling art direction for me as well as administrative duties, and Kara will be running my store. I’m thrilled to have them onboard.

If you don’t want to get these newsletters in the future, just ask to be taken off the list. And if you’re on this list and want email reminders when I’m signing near your house, email me your city and state if you haven’t done that already.

|   Castellano