An Article from Aaron's Article ArchiveThe Well of Ascension
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The Well of Ascension
Tuesday, 28 August 2007 9:38 PM MDT
Brandon Sanderson's second book in the Mistborn series, The Well of Ascension is now out! I got my copy a few days early on Saturday the 18th.
Saturday morning my brother, sister, and I decided it would be fun to drive up to Provo to go to Brandon Sanderson's first book signing for The Well of Ascension and pick up some early release copies. Before we could go my brother and I helped my sister move a bunch of her stuff from St. George to Hurricane.
By the time we were ready to leave, it was well into the afternoon, but we still had time to make it to Provo by 6:00 PM. Unfortunately during all the moving work, my sister began feeling ill and so would not be accompanying us. We promised to take her Elantris and Mistborn: The Final Empire books up with us and ask Brandon to sign them.
So my brother and I drove over 250 miles northward from St. George, Utah to Provo, Utah, arriving and parking at the Towne Centre Mall shortly after 6:00 PM when the event was scheduled to begin. Though Mother Nature was urging me to visit the mall's public facilities, that could be ignored as there were more important things at hand.
We'd chosen our parking place well, for we were unfamiliar with the mall and knew not where Waldenbooks was located inside. Turns out we parked near the closest entrance. The bookstore was on the second floor.
The line was still forming, already winding out the Waldenbooks entrance into the mall's interior past several adjacent storefronts, turning a corner, and obstructing nearly half of the large Dillard's store entrance. We quickly claimed our places in the line and began the wait.
With our place in line assured, I had my brother save my spot and hang on to my camera and the bag containing the two of my sister's books, then I was off to find the mall's restrooms, for nature was growing insistent.
When I arrived back at the line it seemed it hadn't moved at all yet. I found my brother, a guide for a St. George area spa in leading groups on hiking, reservoir kayaking, and mountain biking adventures, engaged in conversation with several friendly newcomers in line behind us, exchanging snowboarding stories and bicycling adventure tales. It made waiting in line enjoyable to encounter friendly people.
By the time we had moved forward perhaps 20 feet, the line still growing, mall security had taken notice of the line, and while most Sanderson fans in the line were courteous and careful to keep a gap in the line open for other mall patrons to enter and exit the nearby stores wherever the line crossed in front, the mall people had a better plan. The line was moved and reformed along the railing of the second-story walkway bridging the two sides of the wide two-story hall, overlooking the lower floor, then turning sharply to follow the railing down the length of the central hall.
Slowly but surely the line crept forward. Finally we arrived at the table just inside the Waldenbooks entrance. It was our turn.
Brandon Sanderson was courteous and friendly. I don't know how he manages to sign so many books. He numbered fresh copy of The Well of Ascension (it's #98) then signed and numbered (#99) one for my sister. He signed my sister's books we'd brought with us and also some others I bought on the spot. (I asked for a hardback copy of Elantris so he grabbed the one he had displayed on the table and signed it, all because my own copy was still in St. George, forgotten on my bookshelf in my haste to depart. That forced someone at the bookstore to go scrounge up some more hardcover copies. They found some, but they were already signed.)
While Brandon and also Isaac Stewart (the man who did the map work and symbol design work) signed the books, Brandon was being continually bombarded with questions. (I helped in the bombardment.) I don't know how he managed to keep track of things, but he did, signing away, chatting, and answering questions nearly simultaneously.
When one of our line neighbors with whom we'd been chatting asked Brandon about his future plans for Elantris, I surreptitiously captured it as a video clip with my camera. Here is an Apple Quicktime MPEG4 video file (.mp4) of Brandon's answer. (If you have iTunes installed, then that should be able to play it, otherwise try VLC player.)
My question for Brandon was "What is the least asked question you get at book signings like this one?" since I wanted to be a little different, and I suspected that "What is the most asked question..." is one of the more often asked questions he fields at such events.
Once finished, and after paying for the books, it was time for some grub. We had time to hit the mall's food court (Panda Express) then come back for the drawing at the end of the signing. The big prize? A manuscript of the third Mistborn book. I wanted it!
In spite of having purchased several books and having a greater chance at winning, sadly I didn't. Nor did I win one of four or five gift certificates. *sigh*
Overall it was a fun event. I appreciated Brandon Sanderson, Isaac Stewart (the map and ornaments designer who also signed the books), Brandon's wife (I only assume that was her), the others helping, including all those at Waldenbooks for making the experience enjoyable. I only wished while waiting in line, Brandon was miked so we could all hear the questions and answers of others as he signed away. (Ooooh the carpel tunnel, signing so many many books!)
So thanks, Brandon!
On the way back home, my brother and I paused for a night visit with our brother who lives in Nephi, Utah. If only we'd been able to leave earlier, it would have been a blast to visit longer with him and his family.
Once back in St. George, after midnight, my brother and I having parted ways, I immediately had to begin reading.
Overall I really enjoyed The Well of Ascension. It's a good follow-up to the first book, which remains my favorite Sanderson novel. I look forward (and wish I didn't have to wait) for next year's release of the final installment.