Friday, September 28, 2007
A quick answer about the quill award....

Normally if someone asks me a question over e-mail, I just answer it directly. But if I get the same question several times, it lets me know I should post up the answer in a blog for everyone to see.

Over the last week I've had five people send me e-mails similar to this one:

Hey Pat,

Yesterday my friend Jake who is also a big fan of your book asked me if I'd gone and voted for your book for the quill award. I explained to him that you'd already won the quill award. We argued for a while, then, since I was right here by the computer, I thought I'd ask you directly.

I'm right, aren't I? You already won, didn't you?

Suz

P.S. Congratulations, by the way. You rock.

Luckily Suz, this is one of those situations where everyone is right.

You're right because I did win the Quill in the Science-Fiction/Fantasy category. I'll be heading out to New York and you'll be able to see me wearing a tux on NBC.

BUT, Jake is right too, because right now the voting is going on for the BIG quill award: the Book of the Year award.

You see, the winners for the individual categories (Romance, graphic novel, etc.) are voted on my a bunch of booksellers, librarians, and literati. But the Book of the Year is determined by popular vote. Which means you could go over there and vote for me, if you were so inclined.

And by over there I mean OVER HERE. (After you click, you need to click again on the link in that press release that says, "vote here.")

I think a lot of the confusion has come from the fact that they aren't running this award the way that we're used to seeing it. It's not like the Oscars where all the nominees show up and then the winner in each category is a big surprise. The only real surprise at the quills will be who wins Book of the Year.

Hope this clears things up for those of you who have been confused....

pat

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posted by Pat at 24 Comments



Wednesday, September 26, 2007
They are not all good days....

When I stop to think about it, I realize how odd blog-writing is....

These last several months of posting haven't been that strange for me. I've had years of practice writing a weekly humor column in the local paper. For nearly a decade I've told stories, given bad advice, and generally tried to make people laugh.

This blog is kind of like those columns.

Also, when I was growing up, I always loved it when the books had author's notes in the back. Not just a little one-paragraph blurb. But a real message from the author to the reader. I thought that was the coolest thing, getting a little glimpse into their lives.

I like to think that this blog is kind of like those notes, too.

The blog is other things too: It's a way for me to spread book-related news to those of you who give a care. It's an easy, if rather unscientific, way to gather information. It also allows me to give some writing advice to people who are interested, though I'll admit, I haven't had much time for an "ask the author" blog lately. I should do one of those soon.

But recently, I've been wondering about the blog. What troubles me is this:

Though I am a liar by profession, I like to think of myself as a fundamentally honest person. Painfully honest, some people have said. But recently I've come to realize that the picture I've painted here is a somewhat dishonest portrayal of myself and my life.

It started months ago when I had a bad day and I thought about writing about it in the blog. Then I thought to myself, "Pat, people don't come to your blog to listen to you bitch and moan about your sad life."

"But I tell them about other stuff," I protested. "Why shouldn't I mention this?"

"Because they come here for news or for laughs, not so you can get all weepy on them."

I realized I had a pretty good point, so I decided to keep quiet. Once I made that decision, it was fairly easy to abide by it. And lord knows there's certainly been enough cool news lately so that I haven't been scraping for stuff to post.

But over the last several weeks I've come to realize the other side of this. Sure I'm keeping it light and entertaining. But by only posting when I have cool news or a joke to make, it looks like my life is some sort of happily-ever-after, candy mountain place constructed entirely of rainbows and orgasmic bliss.

But this just isn't the case. Things are not all sunshine and roses in Patland. I have bad days too.

Don't get me wrong, life is pretty good. Hell, after all these years, my book is in print and people like it. That's the top of the mountain, things don't get any better than that.

But shit still happens. Today I bounced a check for the first time in ten years. Cost me fifty bucks and make me feel like an idiot incapable of performing simple math. Instead of leaving my credit union with money in my pocket, I left knowing my account balance was -2.56 even after depositing the whole check I'd gone in to cash. I didn't even have enough to bring my balance up to zero.

Later on, I went to the coffee place and after I've ordered, I see the sign that says they don't take credit cards. And of course I don't have any money. So I have to explain that I can't actually pay....

Then I come home and I see that on Amazon someone posted a one-star review of NOTW. That means my average dropped just enough for me to lose my perfect 5-star status, which I was unreasonably proud of. Then I feel like a dink for even caring about something like that. But I go on being irritated even though I know it's silly, and that makes me even more irritated....

That's the reality of things. I have money troubles. I make bad choices. I get pissed off for no good reason. It's stupid how a few relatively small things can just wear you down.

It used to be that when I had a day like this I'd call my mom. I'd tell her about the one-star review and she'd be pissed. She'd go online and read it and just seethe about how the person was a total ass, and probably a half wit too. She'd be furious on my behalf, and I'd explain that it wasn't really that big a deal (which it isn't) and it would be off my chest and over with. It was enough to know that she was looking out for me, even if only to protect me from one-star reviewers.

You see, that's the main thing that I've avoided talking about on here for months now. Months and Months. Normally if something big happens to me, I tell stories about it. It's how I'm built. But I've been keeping that particular piece of story under wraps for a while now. Not only has it made me feel dishonest, but it really goes against my nature.

The thing is, my mom died a little while back, just a few weeks before the book came out.

She was great. I wish you all could have met her, and I'm sure most of you would have if she were still around. She'd be on here reading your posts, calling me on my bullshit, and telling stories. She would have gotten such a kick out of all the attention the book has been getting lately. The movie talk. All the foreign deals....

The Quill award. Oh man, she would have been unstoppable with a piece of news like that. She'd be telling strangers on the street. Moms don't have to be modest so she would have been bragging all over the place. I'd be a embarrassed about it, of course, but knowing that she was being excited on my behalf would mean that I'd feel better about just being calm and happy about the news. Sometimes it's not that much fun being excited about your own stuff.

She didn't miss all of it. She got to have some fun with NOTW. She read the galley and saw the printed versions before she went. She was around for some of the initial cool news: the first few foreign sales, some of the movie talk. She was so proud of it even then, before it even hit the shelves, even before it ever had an agent or a publisher. She referred to it as her "grandbook."

I tell you though. I'd set these books on fire if I could have her back healthy and happy for one good week. Fuck. Some days I'd trade it for a good fifteen minutes.

What's my point? Hell. I have no idea. If I had a point when I started writing this, I've long since forgotten it. I certainly didn't sit down tonight with the intention of writing about my mom....

I think I mostly just wanted to let the cat out of the bag. I generally live my life with policy of full disclosure, and it was feeling increasingly weird keeping mentions of such a big part of my life out of these blog posts. I prefer to keep my lies and editing for my books. My life I just like to live and share.

Tell you what though. Let's not have a big sympathy fest in the comments section. I'm not looking for a pity party. Aside from the occasional bad day where I can't seem to do anything but miss her, I'm doing pretty good. I'm doing pretty good right now, actually. I feel better than when I started writing this. Which might be the moral of the story.

You be happy too, okay? As for me, I'm going to go eat a cookie and go to bed.

Maybe two cookies.


Fondly,

pat

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posted by Pat at 45 Comments



Thursday, September 20, 2007
The long awaited address, plus webcomic coolness

Before we get to today's main event, I have to say that when I saw THIS, I was filled with geeky delight. Something Positive is one of my favorite webcomics, and if your sense of humor tends toward the slightly deranged, odds are you will find whole days of your life destroyed by the uncontrollable urge to read every last scrap of his archive.

Share and enjoy.

Now. On to business.

A few weeks ago, somewhat overwhelmed by people asking me to sign their books, I posted THIS BLOG. I expected it to act as a slight damper to the book signing requests, but quite the opposite happened.

After hearing a few horror stories from fellow authors, I started to get a little freaked out at the thought of giving out my home address. I tried to get a PO box, but to do that I'd have to get a new driver's licence. And to do THAT I'd have to go to the DMV.

I don't know what your local DMV is like. But personally, I can think of better ways to spend my afternoon. For instance, I could go to the local hardware store, buy a ten-penny nail, and then hammer it directly into my eye.

So the PO box plan is temporarily out. But I found a new option. You can send your books to my office at the University where I work.

If you're sending it through the post office, use this address:

Patrick Rothfuss
English Department
UW-Stevens Point
Stevens Point, WI 54481

If you're sending it UPS or FED-EX, use this address:

Patrick Rothfuss
English Department
486 CCC
UW-Stevens Point
Stevens Point, WI 54481

And remember the rules. If you want me to sign your book, you need to include:
  1. The book. (duh)
  2. Seven dollars for return postage and packaging materials.
  3. A return address and instructions as to how you'd like me to sign it. (Be specific, I work well under direction.)
  4. Something cool. (If you don't know what I'm talking about check out the blog I linked to above.)
Lastly and most importantly, I would like to encourage you to pack your books carefully. Perhaps even obsessively. Padding is important, but the true key to keeping the book safe is to make sure your it can't move around inside the package itself.

If you have any doubts about your packing job, think to yourself: "If I threw this package across the room, into the wall, would the book get hurt?" If the answer is, "yes" then you need to pack it more carefully. These things get really knocked around sometimes. And if your book shows up damaged, I'll have no real choice but to shed a single tear, sign it, and send it back in its crippled state....


Later,

pat

P.S. Remember, I'm going to be making an appearance over near Minneapolis this Friday (the 21st) from 6-8 at a local store called Back to Books in Hudson. Festivities include signing of books, chatting, and answering of questions. For more details, check out the tour schedule page.

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posted by Pat at 26 Comments



Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Updated appearances, plus a treat....

I've got a new signings, readings, and convention appearances coming up over the next few months. The ones I'm certain of are now all listed on the tour schedule part of the webpage.
If you're ever wondering where I'm going to be rearing my ugly, beardy self, that's the place to check.

I'll be near or in Madison a couple of times, and over by Minneapolis this Friday. Well, okay, technically I'll be in Hudson. But that's practically spitting distance. You Minnesota folks have to admit that I'm meeting you more than halfway....

While it might seem that I'm saving all my love for people here in the Midwest. Let me reassure you: I love all my readers, no matter what their geographical disposition might be.

Why are most of the appearances in Wisconsin, then? Well, because those are the places that ask me to come visit. AND they're the places I can make it to without spending more than a couple hours and couple bucks in gas. If your book club wants to pay my way to Texas so I can drink coffee and chat... That's lovely. I'm on board. If your local convention wants to fly me out to talk on panels and sign some books. I'll be there in a heartbeat. But so far the majority of my offers have been local....

And now, the treat. Those of you with a discerning eye for art might recognise the graphic stylings of this particular website. It's done by Nathan Taylor, the guy who did the map in my book.

Anyway, I have it on good authority that if vote for his webcomic, you'll see something that is, in fact, wicked cool...

If that alone cannot slake your terrible hunger for delicious fanarts, then you should vote for his other comic and see what's there.


More later. Now? Sleep.


pat

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posted by Pat at 28 Comments



Tuesday, September 11, 2007
More than slightly stunned...


I just won the Quill Award....






This is... This is really big. Steven Cobert [Edit: Sorry, that should have been "Colbert."] is opening the show. Al Gore and Scott McCloud are going to be there because they won in their respective categories.

I guess I really will have to get a tuxedo now. And soon. The award ceremony is less than two months away...


Wow.

pat

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posted by Pat at 70 Comments



Saturday, September 8, 2007
The end of an era....


I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But I just found out that Madeleine L'Engle died.

When I was a kid, I read a Wrinkle in time and all the later books in the series. They were my favorites. I wanted to *be* Charles Wallace.





(The newer versions have a different cover. But this is the version I read.)


I even wrote her a letter. She was the first and only author I ever wrote to. I think I was in the fourth grade.

And she wrote back to me. Madeleine L'Engle hand wrote me a letter thanking me and telling me she was glad I liked her books. She also told me that she thought it was great that I wanted to be a writer, and that I should do it.

I always hoped that I'd get a chance to meet her, now that I was finally published. I wanted to give her a copy of my book and say, "Thanks for being nice to me when I was a kid. I really needed it back then. And by the way, I really did do it. See?"

Oh Madeleine. I'm sorry I never got the chance to meet you. Thank you for everything.

We'll miss you.

pat

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posted by Pat at 17 Comments



Thursday, September 6, 2007
My Awfulness...


In the last set of comments, Mr. Puddifoot called me out. He said that the book I displayed was actually a promotional cover slapped over the top of a plain-old copy of The Name of the Wind.

He was right. The photo was nothing but base trickery on my part, a deception born of my dark, tarlike heart. All I can do is ask for your forgiveness.

Believe me, if book two were that close to being done, you'd be seeing it on the shelves a lot sooner than July of 2008.

As a penance for my horrible tricksyness. I offer up the following:

First, a picture of the UK versions of the book. I just got these in the mail a day or two ago. I think they look pretty cool. Apparently over there, they release the hardcover and the trade paperback at the same time. Go figure.





(You can click the picture to make it bigger, if you're into that sort of thing.)


Can you see the subtle difference in the two covers? I didn't notice it while I was taking the pictures, only when I was posting them up here afterwards....

You know that the UK hardcover sells for 19 pounds? That's almost 40 bucks. I guess I won't cringe so much at the thought of paying 25 for a hardcover here in the states after this....

Also, I've got a new multi-lingual set of interviews for a website called Phantastik-Couch. Bringing my four years of high-school German to bear, I can tell you that this translates as "Fantastic Couch," or quite possibly, "Fantasy Couch."

They were nice enough to post the interview up both in ENGLISH and GERMAN, depending on which way you swing.

Back to revisions for me, and sorry about toying with your emotions yesterday. I promise it won't happen again unless... Well, unless I think of something really funny.


Fondly,

pat

posted by Pat at 26 Comments



Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Slanderous Claims.....


Okay. About a week and a half ago, I posted up the cover art for The Wise Man's Fear. My second child. Or, as you probably think of it, book two in the Kingkiller Chronicles.

Now, some of you said some hurtful things after I made that post. Some of you implied that I was merely taunting them by displaying cover art to a book that they couldn't buy. Several people said that I was being a tease.

Words can hurt, you know. I resent being called a tease when all I'm trying to do is share thing with you. I'm trying to give you a little preview of things to come.


Besides, if I were a tease, I'd post up something like this....






(Guest Starring - my thumb)


Heh heh heh...

Love,

pat

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posted by Pat at 31 Comments



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