Last year, I met Brandon Sanderson for the first time during his tour for the release of Oathbringer, the third installment in the Stormlight Archive. At the time, I was in the middle of the first book. I had read his Reckoners series and the first three Mistborn, so I was definitely excited but I was obviously not in the same realm as his other fans at the event because I was so behind in the Stormlight Archive. That being said, it was one of the BEST events I had ever been to and I wrote a whole blog post on how awesome I truly thought and think Brandon is.
At his event last year, I asked him if he would go back to writing anything YA and he said that he had read a piece from his brand new YA book, Skyward, that night – we had unfortunately missed that part. I immediately was excited and counted down the days until release, which was this past Tuesday, the 6th. When he announced his tour, I knew he’d be coming back to San Diego so my boyfriend and I planned for the day.
We got there early afternoon to pick up my book and to purchase Daniel’s book. We were relieved to see that the signing numbers were in the early 200s – Oathbringer was into the 500s and we were the second to last people in line, at 230 am. It was a relief to know we wouldn’t be there that late this time!
We had time to kill so we headed over to Old Town San Diego to enjoy some delicious lunch. I used to go to Old Town a lot as a kid so it was nice to go back and enjoy a meal, before heading back to Mysterious Galaxy.
The plan was to arrive there a little earlier, scope out the place, see what the situation was like. It was going to be standing room only, with a limited amount of seats for those with medical reasons to sit. I have no problem standing and we planned to hang out to get a good standing spot and then we could read our books while we waited. My body had other plans though – I was recently diagnosed with diabetes in May and am still learning my way through it – and I had a major blood sugar drop. I have never been that low and I felt so awful. Its hard to describe except I just felt terrible. I knew I was being a little bad in what I ate but…yeah, not THAT bad. It was very unexpected.
I am so grateful to the staff at Mysterious Galaxy for taking care of me, making sure I had water and getting me cookies to get my blood sugar back up. Through all of the chaos, I ended up with a front row seat, which honestly was never my intention at all. I kept an eye out to make sure that no one needed the seat more than I did and ended up being able to stay there.
I was really excited to see Brandon’s presentation. Last year’s Oathbringer event was so intense and ginormous (but very well organized) that we weren’t able to get inside for the event and we were so far down the list in signing numbers that we showed up late to even hear the presentation on the speaker outside. This was going to be our first time and I think both Daniel and I truly enjoyed. He did a 15 minute speech and then took questions from the audience and then read a bit before signing.
His speech was fantastic and honestly so well timed with everything going on this month for writers and NaNoWriMo. He talked about writer’s block and about how a lot of writer’s block comes from the fear of failure. He talked a lot about a book that he had spent so much time writing, that he eventually pulled from being published because it was just not working. He also talked about writing Way of Kings – the first Stormlight book – and how it took him seven years to get to where he wanted it to be and how the first draft of it was missing things that are so key and important in the book that exists now. It honestly was so great and seriously motivating and inspiring for me – and I’m sure others – in the middle of NaNo right now, especially since I’ve been working on this book for about three years now. Its hard.
What was great too was that he read a bit from the “failed” first drafts of Way of Kings and it was so great. He said he would eventually publish that one day but that it contains spoilers for future books that aren’t even written yet so its not going to come out quite yet.
I also got the chance to ask him a question during his Q and A, perks of being front row, I suppose. I asked him what he would say to his fans that are reluctant to read his – or other author’s – YA novels, simply because its teen books or whatnot. I think he had a lot of truly great things to say – that its always okay to like something and its always okay to not like something, but to not give something a try is not okay. He talked about books that he had read recently that he loved, and he said that YA authors are doing some seriously amazing things right now and quote ” you’re doing yourself a disservice by not trying YA”. I really really loved that.
Another perk of my random blood sugar drop, we were able to get our books signed right away, instead of having to wait in line, which was super helpful. I love that Brandon really is able to get through people quickly but it doesn’t feel like he’s pushing you through. He takes pictures with everyone and let’s everyone ask him a question and gives great answers. I am so so excited to dive into Skyward – it sounds so great and I’m excited for future events, both with Brandon and Mysterious Galaxy.
We got home SO much earlier than we expected to, and had planned on reading Skyward but I was just so exhausted by that point that I just curled up with the book and went right to sleep ;)
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