Exclusive Interview with Fantasy Author, Brandon Sanderson!

A few weeks ago, buy information pills I was contemplating the book releases of the week and I decided, check let’s just get them all. One of them was Brandon Sanderson’s Steelheart. When I got the book, sick I did a little research on Brandon and found out that he is the author of many, many books and I’m embarrassed to admit that it took some time for me to discover this.


I read Steelheart and I absolutely loved it. It blew my mind, because it was such a new concept. Superheroes who use their abilities to gain power, and use it against those who don’t have powers. Its incredible. I’m excited to dive into his other novels, which have more of a fantasy feel than this book does. But we all know that’s a good thing for me.

Brandon is most notable for his Mistborn series, but also has about a dozen other fantasy books just ready for my perusal.

I am honored and SO excited to share this interview with you! Brandon was just around the country for his book tour, promoting Steelheart, and I’m so grateful he took the time out of his busy schedule to sit down and talk about books and writing, and all of that with us.

So enjoy!

Sara: What can you tell us about your new book and what can we expect from it? 

Brandon: Steelheart may not be what you expect to see from me because I’ve primarily released epic fantasy so far. As a writer, one of my main goals is to always be trying new things to advance my writing skill and to make sure that you have a varied experience reading my books. If you’ve enjoyed my books, particularly ones likeMistborn, and you pick up this, you’ll find lots of things to love. But you’ll also find some new things. Steelheart is an action-adventure thrill ride. I wrote it to be exciting, fast-paced, and fun. It is my experiment with dabbling more in science fiction than fantasy, and dealing with some of the current tropes in action movies, particularly some of the superhero tropes. In the end, however, it is very much a Brandon Sanderson novel.

The hardest part about doing a sequel is this: yes, it’s new, but it’s also familiar, and there’s a part of me that says, “I don’t want to do that. I want to do something completely different.” However, it’s important to have the discipline to say, “No, you promised your readers that you were going to finish this!” Beyond that, there are certain themes, characters, and stories that you can only explore by doing something that’s more long-form, like a series. As a reader, I prefer to read series, but as a writer sometimes it’s hard to make myself do the familiar instead of something brand-new.

Sara: What book is easier to write: the first book, or the second book? Why? 

Brandon: Here’s something about the way I work. New projects excite me. In fact, I’m often dangling the new project in front of myself as an incentive to finish my current project, saying, “When you get this book done, and it’s done right and it’s awesome, you get to go do something new.” It’s part of what I like about my job, always being able to do something new. It keeps me productive as a writer.


The hardest part about doing a sequel is this: yes, it’s new, but it’s also familiar, and there’s a part of me that says, “I don’t want to do that. I want to do something completely different.” However, it’s important to have the discipline to say, “No, you promised your readers that you were going to finish this!” Beyond that, there are certain themes, characters, and stories that you can only explore by doing something that’s more long-form, like a series. As a reader, I prefer to read series, but as a writer sometimes it’s hard to make myself do the familiar instead of something brand-new.

Sara: What advice do you give to aspiring novelists? 

Brandon: Practice. Don’t worry about anything other than finding time to write–then spend that time on your stories. Publishing shouldn’t worry you; nothing should. Just practice.

Sara: Where does your inspiration come from? 

Brandon: Any given book for me has more than one inception point, which makes it hard for me to discuss where the ideas come from. Books come from a lot of cool ideas bouncing around in my head until some of them stick together.

Sara: Did you always want to be a writer, or did you have other career aspirations? 

Brandon: No, I haven’t always wanted to write. Unlike a lot of writers, I was not born as a novelist, and I wasn’t writing as a kid. I actually didn’t like books until I was a teenager. My eighth grade teacher, Mrs. Reader, gave me a fantasy novel, and it was in fantasy novels in which I discovered myself and came to love the idea of storytelling. That’s when I decided I wanted to be a writer. I was fifteen, but I had no idea how to write. I just jumped into it and started practicing. I think that’s the best way for someone to become a writer–you’re a writer if you write. If you sit down and say, “I’m going to be a writer!” and you start writing, working on your fiction, you’re a writer! If you want to break into publishing, the best thing to do is to practice your craft.


Sara: What are some of your favorite activities outside of writing? 

Brandon: Most of my free time right now is consumed by playing with my three little boys, ages five, three, and less than a year. They are a handful, but also a delight. When I have a spare moment, my nerd obsession is the card game Magic: The Gathering.

Sara: What are some books, or who are some authors, that you enjoy reading? 

Brandon: Terry Pratchett is brilliant, and I buy everything that he writes. If you haven’t read him, you really need to do yourself a favor and pick him up. I also have to mention Guy Gavriel Kay. He’s one of the great writers of the genre, and he’s amazing. His writing is beautiful, interesting, fun, and exciting, but also lyrical.

Sara: Bonus question, I ask all of my interviewees: who is your fictional crushes? 

Brandon: Wow. Probably I would have to go back to being a high schooler, which is the last time I would feel that the word “crush” applied to what I felt, and I would say Sioned from Melanie Rawn’s Dragon Prince. I was totally into that woman. She was awesome.

*      *      *      *      *

I hope you all enjoyed this interview with Brandon Sanderson. Do not forget to check out my review of Steelheart, and don’t forget to check out Brandon’s website to learn more about him, and his epic fantasy books. He is definitely an author you should be checking out and I hope this interview made you curious about Brandon and his books!

Thank you Brandon for doing this interview!

October Book Wrap Up!

Books Pledged to Read in 2013: 200 Books

Read so Far: 173

On Track?: Yes! I’m actually 7 books ahead!

Total Books For October: 20

As always, more about if you click the title or cover, you’ll get the review!

The Extra by Kathryn Lasky


Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs


The House of Hades by Rick Riordan


Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson


Just One Year By Gayle Forman


Goddess by Josephine Angelini


City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (Re-Read)


Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan


Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan


Panic by Lauren Oliver (Review Will Come Closer to Book Release in March)


Teardrop by Lauren Kate


Allegiant by Veronica Roth


Reality Boy by A.S. King


Olivia Twisted by Vivi Barnes (Review Next Week!)


Legend by Marie Lu (Re-Read)


Crewel by Gennifer Albin


The Fall of the Hotel Dumort by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson


52 Reasons to Hate my Father by Jessica Brody


Prodigy by Marie Lu (Re-Read)


Ten by Gretchen McNeil


*      *      *      *       *

What were some of your favorite books that you read in the month of November? Share them in the comments!


*      *      *      *      *

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson Book Review

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson



You Can Find the Book At:



Barnes and Noble

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

There are no heroes.

Ten years ago, abortion Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.

But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. 

Nobody fights the Epics… nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, help they spend their lives studying Epics, about it finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience. 

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge..

My Review:

I do have to say one thing that really bothered me about the novel, and its this: what on earth is Calamity? I mean, we briefly get told that it appears in the sky, and then the Epics come but other than that, it just really confused me. Especially when David would look up into the sky and see Calamity and I’m just like, okay, but what IS it? Is it a space ship? Is it a big ball of…something? Maybe this is a question that is going to be answered in the second book (which is titled Firefight, and is due sometime in fall of 2014), but it was something that drove me nuts. Like I said, maybe this was done on purpose, to increase the mysterious of Calamity and the Epics and where they came from, and how they got the way they did, etc, and in that case, I applaud it immensely because that left me feeling incredibly confused.

That being said, I thought this was an interesting take on the idea of superheroes. When I read Brandon’s acknowledgements in the back of the book, and how it was a story idea that he had for awhile, but he never wrote, and he put aside other ideas to focus on this, I thought that was kind of interesting. The premise of this story grabs at you, and I can imagine as the writer to come up with it, it had to be extremely compelling and probably a little irritating to have that story in your head, begging to be written.

The thing is, the idea of people with powers that abuse their powers isn’t anything that new. But the idea that they go around giving themselves names, and identities, like Steelheart or Firefight is just sickening when you realize all the terrible things they do. Its like watching Batman and Superman and Spiderman using their powers to take us over. Its just freaky. I don’t know why but the idea that they name themselves like superheroes just freaks me out. It makes them seem even more demented and cruel.

Because they are so CRUEL. They don’t even really work together as villains either. They’re completely driven by power and greed, and they take each other out in the quest for more power. They use each other, and abuse each other. And Steelheart is almost the worst of them all. He is in power over a city that really has it so much better than others. They’re fed, educated, they have electricity. They aren’t exactly happy but they’re so much better off than others. Its like, just because a tyrant takes care of you, doesn’t mean that tyrant is right, and David and the people he meets through the course of this novel, really see that, and even though its so unlikely and its so little against so many, they’re determined to take Steelheart down.

And the story is addicting the entire time. The people in this novel are action people. They’re intelligent and ready and determined and so while they plan, they also are people of action, and the action keeps you gripping your book the entire time because you honestly have no idea how anything is going to turn out. These are smart and well prepared people but you never know when things are going to go wrong. Honestly, this book would make an absolutely incredible movie. Between the drama, the tension, the planning and the action, it would make a seriously amazing movie.

Oh, the cliffhanger? Thanks Brandon Sanderson. Thanks for having a nice big reveal and then just leaving us hanging here! I can’t be the only one who is now anxiously waiting for Fall 2014, and all the amazing that is going to come with that.


4 out of 5 stars