Gemmells Interviews 2014 - Brandon Sanderson

Morning all,

The days are well and truly ticking away until this year's Gemmell Awards ceremony, and today I'm delighted to be able to present our interview with Legend-nominated author Brandon Sanderson, shortlisted this year for The Memory of Light. The following is transcribed from an audio recorded especially for this interview, so a big thanks to Brandon for everything. And on we go...

1) Tell us a little about your Legend-nominated title, A Memory of Light.

Brandon: A Memory of Light is the final book of The Wheel of Time, the culmination of five years of working on the series on my part and much, much longer by Robert Jordan, the creator and primary author of The Wheel of Time. It was a very difficult book for me to write, the most difficult of my career, I would say. I'm extremely proud of it, as I was able to read the first book in the series as a youth, be inspired by it, eventually become a writer myself, and then have a hand in finishing the series. The whole process was extremely gratifying.

2) This book concludes The Wheel of Time, a series that has now been running for over twenty years. Did you feel any extra pressure in writing this book?

Brandon: You could definitely say that I felt the teeniest, tiniest bit of pressure in writing this book. I had the honour, privilege, and the burden of trying very hard not to screw up something that had gone so wonderfully for many years and had been an inspiration to a lot of different writers and fans. So yes, there was in fact a great deal of pressure to make this book turn out well.

3) You also recently started a new series, The Stormlight Archive. What can readers expect from that?

Brandon: I will be writing ten books in the series, two sets of five, and they will hopefully be coming out with regularity now that I have been able to finish The Wheel of Time. I'm anticipating one book every eighteen months to two years. The first volume, The Way of Kings, won the David Gemmell Legend Award back in 2011, and that’s a high honour for the subsequent volumes to live up to. So far the response to Words of Radiance has been fantastic, but we’ll see if I can keep it up for the next book!

4) I've always been struck with how much of your working process and writing journey you share with your readers via your website and social media. Is this something you find valuable as a writer?

Brandon: For years as a fan, this is the sort of information I wished I had. We live in a society now where these sorts of things can be shared much more freely and easily because of the internet and the direct interaction with fans. I think it’s important to do it. And it’s fun. I think it makes a difference, so I do it when I have the chance.

5) You've been nominated more times for the Gemmell Awards than any other author, and took the snaga home in 2011. How would it feel to bring the prize home for a second time?

Brandon: It would feel awesome. Certainly it is the coolest award to hang on my wall. I love how it looks, and I love that it is a fan participation award. I believe Robert Jordan would be very pleased as well. But there are a lot of other great books out there, and every nominee deserves the voters’ well-informed consideration.

Remember you can still be at this year's ceremony, with the smallest handful of tickets remaining - find out more about how you can join us at


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