Brandon Sanderson Biography & Facts
Brandon Winn Sanderson (born December 19, 1975) is an American author of high fantasy and science fiction. He is best known for the Cosmere fictional universe, in which most of his fantasy novels, most notably the Mistborn series and The Stormlight Archive, are set. Outside of the Cosmere, he has written several young adult and juvenile series including The Reckoners, the Skyward series, and the Alcatraz series. He is also known for finishing Robert Jordan's high fantasy series The Wheel of Time and has created several graphic novel fantasy series including White Sand and Dark One.
He created Sanderson's Laws of Magic and popularized the idea of "hard magic" and "soft magic" systems. In 2008, Sanderson started a podcast with author Dan Wells and cartoonist Howard Tayler called Writing Excuses, involving topics about creating genre writing and webcomics. In 2016, the American media company DMG Entertainment licensed the movie rights to Sanderson's entire Cosmere universe, but the rights have since reverted back to Sanderson. Sanderson's March 2022 Kickstarter campaign became the most successful in history, finishing with 185,341 backers pledging $41,754,153.
Early life and education
Brandon Sanderson was born on December 19, 1975, in Lincoln, Nebraska, the eldest of four children. Sanderson became a passionate reader of high fantasy novels while a teenager, and he made several early attempts at writing his own stories. After graduating from high school in 1994, he went to Brigham Young University (BYU) as a biochemistry major. He took a two-year leave of absence from 1995 to 1997 to serve as a volunteer missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was assigned to serve in South Korea.After completing his missionary service, Sanderson returned to BYU and changed his major to English literature. While an undergraduate, Sanderson took a job as a night auditor at a local hotel in Provo, Utah, as it allowed him to write while working. One of Sanderson's roommates at BYU was Ken Jennings, who nearly ten years later became famous during his 74-game win streak on the American game show Jeopardy!. Sanderson graduated from BYU in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts. He continued on as a graduate student, receiving an M.A. in English with an emphasis in creative writing in 2004. While at BYU, Sanderson was on the staff of Leading Edge, a semi-professional speculative fiction magazine published by the university, and served as its editor-in-chief for one year.In 2006, Sanderson married Emily Bushman, an English, Spanish, and ESL teacher and fellow BYU alumna who later became his business manager. They have three sons and reside in American Fork, Utah.
Early writing career
Sanderson wrote consistently throughout his undergraduate and graduate studies, and by 2003 he had written twelve novels, though no publisher had accepted any of them for publication. While in the middle of a graduate program at BYU, he was contacted by Tor Books editor Moshe Feder, who wanted to acquire one of his books. Sanderson had submitted the manuscript of his sixth novel, Elantris, a year and a half earlier. Elantris was published by Tor Books on April 21, 2005, to generally positive reviews. This was followed in 2006 by Mistborn: The Final Empire, the first book in his Mistborn fantasy trilogy, in which "allomancers"—people with the ability to 'burn' metals and alloys after ingesting them—gain enhanced senses and control over powerful supernatural forces.He published the second book of the Mistborn series The Well of Ascension in 2007. Later that year, Sanderson published the children's novel Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians, about a boy named Alcatraz with a talent for breaking things. Alcatraz confronts a group of evil librarians who are bent on taking over the world. The first of his "laws of magic" were first published in 2007, with the second and third published in 2012 and 2013 (respectively). In 2008, the third and final book in the Mistborn trilogy was published, titled The Hero of Ages, as well as the second book in the Alcatraz series, titled Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener's Bones. That same year, he started the podcast Writing Excuses with Howard Tayler and Dan Wells.
The Wheel of Time
Sanderson rose to prominence in late 2007 when Harriet McDougal, the wife and editor of author Robert Jordan, chose Sanderson to complete the final books in Jordan's epic fantasy series The Wheel of Time after Jordan's death. McDougal asked Sanderson to finish the series after being deeply impressed by his first Mistborn novel, The Final Empire. Tor Books made the announcement on December 7, 2007. After reviewing what was necessary to complete the series, Sanderson and Tor announced on March 30, 2009, that a final three books would be published instead of just one.
The first of these, The Gathering Storm, was published on October 27, 2009, and reached the number-one spot on the New York Times bestseller list for hardcover fiction. Towers of Midnight, the second-to-last Wheel of Time book, was published just over a year after The Gathering Storm on November 2, 2010, debuting at number one on the bestseller list. In early 2013, the series was completed with the publication of A Memory of Light.
In 2009, Tor Books published Warbreaker, which originally appeared serially on Sanderson's website while he was writing the novel from 2006 to 2009. In the same year, the third Alcatraz book was published, titled Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallia. In 2010, Sanderson published The Way of Kings, the first of a planned ten-book series called The Stormlight Archive. It achieved the number seven slot on the New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller list. The fourth Alcatraz novel, Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens, followed soon after.In October 2011, he finished a novella e-book, Infinity Blade: Awakening, based on the action role-playing, iOS video game Infinity Blade, developed by Chair Entertainment and Epic Games. In November 2011, he published a sequel to the Mistborn trilogy, Mistborn: The Alloy of Law. It was originally planned as a standalone novel set about 300 years after the original trilogy, but it was later expanded into a four-book series. It debuted at number nine on the combined print and e-book New York Times Best Seller list.On August 31, 2012, Sanderson published a science fiction novella entitled Legion, followed by another short work titled The Emperor's Soul. In 2013, Sanderson published two new young adult series. These series included The Rithmatist and the first of The Reckoners series titled Steelheart. In March 2014, Words of Radiance, the second book in The Stormlight Archive, was published.Later that year, Subterranean Press published the second novella in the Legion series, Legion: Skin Deep. It was a preliminary nominee for the 2015 Hugo Awards, but did not make the final ballot. In January 2015, the second book of The Reckoners.... Discover the Brandon Sanderson popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Brandon Sanderson books.