First off, let me get you a new Warbreaker Chapter: Chapter Forty-Two.
Thank you to everyone who has been commenting on these. It has helped me quite a bit. You can join the discussion–and find the other chapters–right here.
Time to add another few questions to the FAQ. I like to post the same questions on my blog as I build the FAQ larger, in case readers of the blog are curious about any of the questions. Eventually, this thing will replace the bio on my site, so let’s get through some of the questions about me and my personal life.
Q: Where were you born? Where do you live now?
A: Lincoln, Nebraska. Lived there until I was eighteen, when I moved to Provo, UT to go to school. Soon after, my family moved to Idaho Falls, ID. I now live back in Provo.
Q: Where did you go to school? What is your educational background?
A: High school was good old Lincoln East, where I spent a lot of my time hanging out in the band room. I played trumpet, though–unfortunately–I haven’t picked one up in years. There’s really only time for one art passion in this guy’s life. Anyway, I went to Brigham Young University in 1997, where I got my bachelor’s degree. I went back for a Master’s (after getting rejected to every MFA program I tried) in creative writing.
Q: What are your religious leanings? How does this affect your writing?
A: If you didn’t figure it out from the above post, I am LDS (Mormon.) Religion is very important to my life, as is belief. As you can probably tell from my writings, however, I’m not all that pleased with the track record of a lot of the world’s regions. I DO think that most of them are generally filled with honestly good people who never get any attention, but a few bad apples can cause a lot of pain–and, if they’re powerful enough, they can corrupt teachings and harness what should be a wonderful thing and turn it into something terribly destructive.
In both of my current books–Elantris and Mistborn–religion plays a big part, often on the side of the antagonists. This isn’t because I hate religion, but because it worries me. The use of something good for evil purposes is one of the most frightening things I can imagine. I also, sometimes, worry what would happen to me if I were to let fanaticism overrule good judgement. In a way, some of these characters are warnings to myself.
My goal is always to treat religious beliefs–even if that belief is atheism–with respect in my books. I feel this is what a strong belief SHOULD inspire in someone: a strong desire to respect what others believe. My goal is to respect my characters–even the ones I don’t agree with–and to not create plots that undermine or mock their beliefs.
Though, of course, mostly I just want to tell good stories that people like to read, no matter what religion they happen to be–or even if they think I’m a loon for believing myself….