Four-hundred fans gathered at the BYU Store at midnight Monday to celebrate the release of popular fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson’s new book “The Bands of Mourning.”
Fans gathered to watch Sanderson perform a reading and a question and answer session. The night concluded with Sanderson signing personalized messages in pre-signed copies of the new book.
Joshua Perkey is one one of Sanderson’s volunteers. “This whole event speaks to how much he cares for his fans,” Perkey said. “He will probably spend five to 10 minutes with each person here, wanting to get to know them as a person and thank them for coming and supporting his writing. He will probably be here until 4 a.m. signing books and talking to people.”
Sanderson also chose 20 fans to help as volunteers for the event, working closely with Sanderson and his team as they prepared for the release of his new book. Fans were eager to help and spend as much time with Sanderson, since he announced he will not be doing a book tour for this book release.
Fans also received free merchandise as they completed a special scavenger hunt, the activity part of the release party. The activities were designed as a creative way for fans to have a fun time as they awaited midnight, when the book would be officially released, according to Perkey.
Emily Ashcraft, a fan of the series, was very excited for Sanderson’s next book to come out. “I’m not typically a fantasy fan, but I love his writing,” Ashcraft said. “His worlds are so detailed, you can clearly picture them in your mind.”
Sanderson started building his avid fantasy fan base 10 years ago with the release of his first book “Elantris.” The special 10 year edition was also available for purchase at last night’s release party. Many fans, especially those a part of the 17th Shard, the author’s official fan site, like Mi’chelle Yoman, have been fans since the release of Sanderson’s first book.
“Someone who worked at my local bookstore actually recommended him to me,” Yoman said. “He has such a creative way he looks at things and I really admire that in any writing I read.”
Sanderson graduated from BYU in creative writing. He teaches evening creative writing classes when he is not busy writing his books or traveling to promote his books. He plans to go to Dubai in March.
Since “Elantris,” Sanderson has released many more books, including the “Mistborn” trilogy. Sanderson was asked to finished the renowned fantasy writer Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” series after Jordan died. Sanderson has has won countless awards for his work and has spent numerous weeks on The New York Times Best Sellers list.
Fans that were not able to make it to the signing have a chance to still get their copy of “The Bands of Mourning” signed. Sanderson will do a signing at the Provo Convention Center in February for a different book, but said he is happy to sign any of his books. Sanderson’s website contains more information concerning his current work and book signings/tours.