So guess who I got to hang out with last night? Brandon Sanderson! He's an up and coming Sci/Fi-Fantasy author who I discovered a few years ago. And it turns out that he lives just around the corner from me. I just got invited to a book club and this month's book was Brandon's first published work, Elantris. I had read it before, and while it doesn't quite grip me the way that his newer trilogy-in-progress (Mistborn) does, it's still a good piece of work. And it's a stand-alone book which is refreshing to me in these days where it seems every writer feels compelled to write books that only come in packs of 3 or herds of many, many more than that.
So we all read the book (and some of us finished it) before book club last night. I have never been a part of a book club before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. There were eight or nine people there total, including Brandon and his wife, Emily. I don't think they are a regular part of the book club, but one of the girls is the VTer of Emily and so decided to pick his book to read, and then somehow he got roped into coming along. It ended up being a lot of fun.
Brandon is a very nice, very down-to-earth kind of a guy that obviously loves what he is doing. He has put a lot of thought into these stories and patiently endured over an hour of questions and comments from our little group. He was very gracious at accepting our criticisms too. Maybe having his wife there kept him on his best behavior, but I get the feeling that it's just because he a decent sort of chap. A big nerd, admittedly, but a good guy all the same.
He explained some of the thoughts and feelings he's had on writing book #12 of Robert Jordan's extensive Wheel of time series. He was chosen by Robert Jordan's widow after his passing to finish off the series. A daunting task, especially knowing the kinds of fans that have followed this series for the last 18 or so years. According to Brandon, people are mostly supportive. There have been a few threats of what people will do to him if he screws it up, but having read the 4 books he has published as well as the copy of "Dragonsteel" that resides in the HBLL, I have confidence that he will do a fantastic job. Maybe not what Robert Jordan himself would have done, but good nonetheless.
The book club should be fun. People were great, and I was the youngest one there! Not that that's a huge thing, but it's kind of nice to be 28 years old and the youngest one in a group setting in Provo. We're reading Robinson Crusoe for next month. Odds of the author being at that one are pretty slim. I'll let you know how it goes in any case.