Before I get into rambling, I just wanted to mention that it looks like Barnes and Noble.com sold through their copies of Mistborn Three at the 50% off sale. I don’t know if they’ll get any more in stock. However, my agent has said that he’s seen them in bookstores at that price. The sale is supposed to run until January 20th. So if you were waiting for the paperback, you may want to consider grabbing a hardcover from your local B&N for a few bucks more. (And if they don’t have any left, you can probably have them order one for you. They make great gifts! For . . . uh . . . (grabs a calendar and searches for next holiday coming up) Martin Luther King day!)
Anyway, I’m looking forward to the new year, and what it will contain. These times also make a person retrospective about the past. It wasn’t so long ago—six years now, I guess—that I had no real assurance of what the future would hold for me. I can still remember the holiday season of 2002. I had just finished doing draft work on a book called THE WAY OF KINGS during NaNoWriMo in November. It was the longest, most ambitious book I’d ever written. (More info here about that book, which I’m now calling THE WAY OF KINGS PRIME, as I’m going to rewrite it soon.)
I was pleased with it. Very pleased. But I’d spent years trying to get published with no success, and I’d just written a 300k word book in a time when everyone was telling me that 150k was too long to publish from a new author. I’d had nothing but nibbles on every novel I’d sent out, and I had no current dating prospects.
I’m not the type to get down. I have one of those even-keel personalities, and I have a generally optimistic outlook on life and on humankind in general. But I can remember the transition that year being a tough one for me. I was in the first year of my master’s program, and soon I would have to decide whether or not to apply to Ph.D. programs. That would take my life in directions I wasn’t certain I wanted. A master’s in creative writing can be a good shelter for someone hiding from the world and working on their writing, but a Ph.D. in literature wouldn’t leave as much time by writing. I knew I couldn’t keep working at a low-wage graveyard shift job for much longer, even if it gave me a lot of writing time. I would have to move on.
I wouldn’t have stopped writing. Nothing would have stopped me from that. But life was looming, and I knew it was going to steal time from my writing.
Three months later, I got a call from Tor, and everything changed. Two years later, I met a very special woman who—finally—’got’ me. That had never happened in my dating life before. I snatched her up as quickly as she would let me.
Six years have passed. I’m helping complete the Wheel of Time. I’ve hit the New York Times Bestseller list. I have a movie deal. And I’ve got a wife and family. Life is like a flame. Sometimes it flickers along, but sometimes the right fuel comes along, and you get an inferno.
What am I looking toward this year? Well, the release of A Memory of Light (or a part of it, if that is what Tor decides to do.) That will be a strange experience. I’ll have to think a lot about how to do my signings. Right now, I draw good crowds—but nothing like what I’m sure the Wheel of Time will draw.
Tor really wants me to complete one of my own novels this year too, otherwise there won’t be a Brandon Sanderson solo release next year. That’s going to be tough. Wheel of Time comes first, and I won’t let myself stop and write something else even if Tor and Harriet decide to break AMoL into multiple books. I will work on nothing else until at least the rough draft of this book is done. That’s been my promise to myself and to the other fans. We’ve waited long enough for this book. I’m pretty certain I can have it done by summer, even if it goes longer than the 750k I’m anticipating. (And that really doesn’t seem likely.)
But that leaves me working very hard the second half of the year to get my next project ready. I can’t rush it, either. I plan to launch a large, multi-volume epic of my own. That sort of thing requires groundwork. Fortunately, I have a 300k ‘dry run through’ of the book that I wrote those six years ago. It has to be scrapped entirely, of course. But six years of thinking on the book I wrote—along with many years of planning before that—have left me with the most dynamic, powerful story in my head that I’ve ever developed. We shall see.
New years resolutions? I don’t really tend to make them, not in so many words. But if I were to make one, I think it would to be to keep giving that flame fuel. I’m enjoying the inferno.
But being who I am, when that flame returns to a peaceful candle, I’ll probably enjoy that as well.
May all of you have a period in your lives like these last six years have been for me.
(And sorry for the typos. Didn’t have time to proofread this one before posting it.)