Author Spotlight: Brandon Sanderson

250px-Brandon_Sanderson_signWe had a fabulous time at LTUE this year, especially for the Sibyl’s Scriptorium award ceremony! One of the fun authors that played at LTUE with us this year was Brandon Sanderson – a regular at the sci-fi/fantasy conference.

He is best known for his Mistborn series and his work in finishing Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy series The Wheel of Time.

Sanderson worked as an editor for the semi-professional magazine Leading Edge while attending school at Brigham Young University, where he now periodically teaches creative writing. In 2008 Sanderson started a podcast with authors Dan Wells and Howard Tayler called Writing Excuses, involving topics about creating and producing genre writing and webcomics.

Sanderson was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, and currently resides in Utah. He earned his Master’s degree in Creative Writing in 2005 from Brigham Young University. He was a college roommate of Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings.

Sanderson was married in 2006, and currently has three children. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served as a missionary in Seoul, Korea. He currently teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University, in addition to working on his own writing.

The Cosmere is the name of the universe in which the majority of Brandon’s books exist. This idea came from his desire to create an epic length series without requiring readers to buy a ridiculous amount of books. Because of that he hides connections to his other works within each book, creating this “hidden epic”. In the end the Cosmere Cycle will include between 32-36 books.

The story of the Cosmere is about a mysterious being called Adonalsium, who existed on a world known as Yolen. Something made Adonalsium shatter into sixteen different Shards, of which each bears immense power. The sixteen people who took these Shards created new worlds, populating them with people and different types of magic. However, each Shard has an Intent, such as Ruin or Honor, and they became molded to it. A man named Hoid travels these so-called Shardworlds, interfering with the people of those worlds when they become heroes and come in contact with the Shards.

As of this point there are eight Cosmere books: seven full length books and one novella, along with various short stories.

Sanderson has served as a mentor for many writers and is always willing to give advice to aspiring authors. He also has a lot of podcasts as well as videos from his classroom on Youtube for those writers that are unable to see him in person. Each of these are brimming with great writing tips that help any writer, from beginner to experienced.