Brandon Sanderson Answers Your Questions About Skyward

Brandon Sanderson’s latest New York Times bestseller Skyward has something for everyone—a kickass heroine you want to root for, adorable space creatures, evil aliens, adventure, explosions, humor, AND more books to come in the series!

Skyward is one of those books that sucks you into its world and the characters, so we knew that Brandon’s bajillions of fans would have many questions about the new series and his writing process. Here’s a roundup of some of the amazing questions you’ve asked so far, with answers from the man, the myth, the legend himself: Brandon Sanderson!

***No spoilers, but if you want everything to be a complete surprise, read at your own risk.***

About the book:

1. Is Skyward going to be a part of the Cosmere?

It is unrelated to the Cosmere, since Earth is part of its history and because certain elements of space travel are done differently.

2. Do we get more background information on Captain Cobb?

Yes, we do. Quite a bit.

3. Is Spensa mechanically savvy enough to repair the starfighter alone?

Nope, she’s not. That’s going to prove a problem for her.

4. Will Jorgen keep the callsign “Jerkface”?

He hopes not.

5. Will we be seeing more of Spensa’s mom?

Yes, you will.

6. Is there a romance planned?

You’ll have to wait and see! This is an action-adventure story first and a character study second. So know that if there’s romance, it won’t be a focus.

7. On the cover, Spensa’s eyes are purple. Is this important?

Only in that they are distinctive. I chose purple for her as a color theme, and the artist ran with that. 

8. Will we see multiple alien species in this series?

You’ll have to wait and see. Anything I say now could be a spoiler for the ending.

9. Can the ships go backward while airborne?

Very slowly with maneuvering thrusters.

10. Is the whole story going to be told from Spensa’s perspective?

It will be 95 percent from Spensa’s viewpoint, but there will be three brief chapters sprinkled through the books that are from another character’s perspective.

11. Was there any specific inspiration behind the callsigns we’ve seen so far?

To help readers keep them straight, I tried to make all the callsigns start with the same letters or sounds as the character’s real name.

12. Is Detritus, Spensa’s home planet, purple?

More blue-grey.

13. If “evil superheroes” was the hook for the Reckoners, what is the hook for Skyward?

How to Train Your Dragon but with spaceships. (Or, for something even older, Top Gun meets Independence Day.)

14. I’m so curious about the Krell. Is there something big hiding behind their identity?


15. What was Skyward inspired by, and how long have you been working on it?

I’ve been working on it since about 2012, on and off. It was inspired by my love of stories about kids finding dragon eggs.

16. Will we see more animals like that strange slug?

You will indeed see more Doomslug and other creatures like her!

17. Is this going to be a trilogy?

I did an in-depth outline last July, and it called for four books. I’m going with that right now.

18. What Skyward-inspired cosplay are you most excited to see at upcoming cons?

Doomslug the Destroyer, obviously.

About the writing process:

1. Was there a scene that you had in your head from the beginning?

There were two. One is where Spensa sees the ship for the first time. The other is a spoiler!

2. What’s your favorite thing about writing new characters?

I love seeing the world through the eyes of a new character, particularly when they describe something common in a very different way.

3. What’s your writing process like?

I am a slow and steady writer, not a particularly fast one. I write a little each day, with a goal of around two thousand words.

4. Where did you write this book, and what music did you listen to while writing?

I wrote it partially on tour for Oathbringer and partially at home. As for music, here is the actual playlist!

5. How does writing science fiction differ from writing fantasy?

Skyward veered a little more toward the science (particularly with getting g-forces right), but it was actually quite similar.

6. Who was your favorite character to write?

It was definitely the character named M-Bot.

7. It’s been more than five years since the publication of Steelheart. What have you learned about writing YA in that time?

I’ve read a lot of great books by other YA authors, and I’ve been trying to pay attention to studying character interactions in particular.

8. Is sci-fi something you would like to venture deeper into in future series?

Yes, indeed. A lot of my fantasy worlds are inching toward science fiction and will get there eventually.

9. Was there anything different in your writing process for this book?

I needed to write it fast, since I really wanted to have it out last year. But I needed to meet other deadlines. Fortunately, it worked really well.

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