Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Concerning Fanmail: Part One

So while I wasn't paying attention, I apparently received my 1500th piece of fanmail.

Rather, I should probably say I recently received mail from my 1500th fan. There's been more mail than that, because sometimes I end up e-mailing back and forth with people who drop me a line. Interviews. Witty banter. Coy flirtation. Geek talk. That sort of thing.

But yeah. 1500, people have sent me messages. And that's just through the contact form on my webpage. That doesn't count the people who have dropped me a line through Myspace, or Facebook, or sent me a physical letter. I'm guessing that if I counted those, the number would rise up over two thousand.

It's a little stupefying now that I'm stopping to think of it.

I won't lie to you, fanmail is great. There have been occasional exceptions to this, like the guy who sent me a message saying that he hoped a dog would bite me on the nuts. But even that made me laugh.

I'll even go so far as to say that over the last year or so, fanmail has significantly improved the quality of my life. I've had some real emotional low points since the book came out. But many's the time when I'd get a little note from someone and it would salvage what was shaping up to be a real turd of a day.

Like today, for example. Today someone sent me a pair of fucking nunchucks. I'm not even kidding. Look:

Okay. This picture is crap. But the nunchucks are cool. They're heavy, solid. Not toys at all. And the only thing keeping me from swinging them around as an idiot is the thought of showing up as Guest of Honor at V-Con having broken my own nose.

They were sent to me as the "something cool" part of the package so I'd sign someone's book. I was understandably delighted.

Then, later, I was out running errands and found out my favorite restaurant had just shut down. This place made sandwiches so good that they were sexual. Not just regular sexual either. These sandwiches were transcendent. They were the sandwich equivalent of a three-way. It was like you, the sandwich, and a sexy god made entirely of bacon got together for a friendly yiff.

Anyway, my point is that my favorite restaurant closed. Depressing. I was ready to be really bummed out. Then I thought to myself, "Someone sent me nunchucks today. I have nunchucks at home right now that I can go and play with." And my day was saved.

Of course, not all fanmail is physical. But that doesn't mean that it isn't lovely. Take this excerpt, for example.

I want to thank you so very much. Your book brought me and my girlfriend closer together. Life is tough, my girlfriend and I have a 15 month old son (named after me!) and it seems all we do is work and work and occasionally work some more. Money is always tight and stress is always high, but your book brought a respite from our monotonous routine. J---- loved it (as I hope you guessed already). I had so much fun discussing the book with her I can not even put it to words.

Needless to say, reading something like that is every bit as good as getting nunchucks in the mail. What's more, that e-mail has the added bonus of having absolutely no chance of breaking my girlfriend's coffee mug. Which I just did.

In part two of this post, I'll share more of my favorite fanmail excerpts. Y'all have said some crazy stuff over the last year.

Stay tuned.


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posted by Pat at


Blogger marky said...

Damn! I wish I had sent you a better email. I think I managed 10 lines, or something equally crap. I've never really been good at handing out compliments. I always end up sounding like a crawling tit.

Quality fucking nunchucks by the way. Never heard of that kind before! :-)

October 2, 2008 1:33 AM  
Blogger Captain Joe said...

Whoa... this is like trying to put out a fire with kerosene.

Honestly, Pat, I would've pegged you as already concealing many Ninja weapons in your majestic beard. Perchance this is a distraction from the baker's dozen of throwing stars hidden just below your left ear? I thought so.

Heh, Marky, what the hell is a crawling tit? Does it involve x amount of beer and a crawl up the hill to Edinburgh castle?


Stay safe, folks.

October 2, 2008 4:20 AM  
Blogger marky said...

I wouldn't go near that castle Captain! My dad used to work there on guard duty and he heard many spooky sounds. It's very, very haunted.

Crawling tit = Embarrassing flatterer. Sycophant. Big sook. Brown nose. Bum licker. Shoe shiner.

October 2, 2008 4:41 AM  
Blogger Cassie said...

he stole my idea for cool swag to get my book signed!

well, not really, but I WISH I'd had such a cool idea.

October 2, 2008 5:07 AM  
Blogger Captain Joe said...

Spooky sounds, you say?

I was there about eight years ago, caught the military tattoo - it was cold, there was some kickass fireworks and pie, but no ghosts.

Ah, crawling tit, of course. T'is a fine way of putting it, Marky.

October 2, 2008 5:21 AM  
Anonymous Kip, Splat! said...

My Pal Jesus and I are still trying to figure out what to send you. we have some Ideas, but nothing interesting.

October 2, 2008 6:33 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Wow. You have awesome fans. I'm not allowed to by weapons. My husband worries that I'll hurt myself, having been born without a scrap of natural grace. I had to go get stitches after an unfortunate fight with the apple corer. :)

You really should start using that in your talks, Pat. Next time someone asks you why you started writing, tell them it was the cool swag.

October 2, 2008 9:04 AM  
Blogger Micah Cowan said... god made entirely of bacon...

oh... my... god... I think you may have just brought an end to my atheism!

October 2, 2008 9:48 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

What sandwich place closed??

I can't wait to read some of this fanmail :)

October 2, 2008 10:24 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I am giggling at someone actually taking the time to angrily write out a wish that a dog would bite you in the nuts. People need to get out more...!

What a compliment, really. He can't just ignore your book, he has to get angry. That's either a roundabout compliment to you or a pathetic commentary on him.

If you need any crotch-biting dogs, though, drop me a line. I can have that trained for (safe) performance in about fifteen minutes. Just in case you should meet up....

October 2, 2008 10:47 AM  
Anonymous Caleb Armstrong said...

next time you're out Baltimore way hit me up and I'll give you a crash course in the nunchucks and we'll grab some sushi.

October 2, 2008 11:12 AM  
Anonymous rachel said...

I still need to send you something for signing my book at Gencon. I have some nifty ideas up my sleeve.

As an aside do you have any kind of schedule for Daisho Con? I am going to be there helping my friends to run the Steam Century game and am hoping to convince you to play if you have the time :D

October 2, 2008 11:32 AM  
Blogger Fe2O3 said...

Pat -
I think you misread the label; they were made in Fu-King, China maybe?

If not, then either you or the person who sent them needs a lesson in what you do with nunchuku. Go watch They call me Bruce again for an introduction. *g*

Totally cool. I wish I had fans to send me cool stuff in the mail. The only fans electronic engineers have spin at 3600 rpm. Now I wish I'd said more cool/interesting things in my correspondence with you; an opportunity missed...

Can't wait to hear from all of those who were inspirational, funny, or just "out-there" enough to stand out from the thousands of messages you've received.

October 2, 2008 11:47 AM  
Blogger Alicia said...

Whilst trying to think of something witty to say it occurred to me that to be in your position right now - where thousands of people want to be able to think of something witty or impressive to say to be slightly as cool as you... Wow. Words fail. And surely that qualifies as an Ouroboros.

One day I shall write proper fan mail! And become a worthy part of the tail. :P


October 2, 2008 1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Rothfuss,

I find you -- interesting. But I loved your book! Have you ever seen the Literature Map?

October 2, 2008 2:30 PM  
OpenID shadowwhys said...

Huh. Anon makes "Interesting" sound like a bad thing... I'm all for interesting, life would be boring otherwise. :-)

Sounds like you get some great fanmail. Especially since even the not so positive ones can still make you laugh. :-)

Great gifts too! Better if you can avoid injuring yourself with them though... ;-)

October 2, 2008 5:03 PM  
Blogger Icarus said...

Well, at least it wasn't a gun-blade...

October 2, 2008 7:39 PM  
Blogger Captain Joe said...

icarus said: Well, at least it wasn't a gun-blade...

You raise a valid point, my friend. Pat should have a gunblade. Then we could battle.

Although I think more than one country's custom agents might have something to say if I try and send four-feet of jagged steel blade 12,000 miles.


October 2, 2008 8:03 PM  
Blogger dani said...

Your posts here always brighten my day. I was bummed that I couldn't teleport to Vancouver to see you at your book signing. Ah well, some day you'll come to my city :)

October 2, 2008 9:24 PM  
Blogger marky said...

@Rusty. Is Fu-King anywhere near the Wan-King Provence?

October 3, 2008 2:10 AM  
Blogger rob said...

@marky and @rusty
Those puns feel like they are coming straight out of Su-King prefacture, along the wai-mi river of 好的神,現在停止雙關語 mountain.

and if you don't speak chinese like us civilized folks, babelfish doesn't screw it up too bad.

October 3, 2008 9:05 AM  
Blogger ripshin said...

Fanmail is definitely one of those forms of communication that should be well-thought-out, utilize thrift in words, and definitely avoid saying things like, "Your book was good but I thought it fizzled out at the end."

Yes, my major confession is that I broke all of the above rules, and my only mitigating factor is that I think I was really expressing disappointment that the book ended at all...I know, I know, infinitely progressive stories aren't really in vogue right now, but, hey, here's wishing...

The only other thing I can say is that I believe I'm the first person to accuse Mr. Rothfuss of secretly being Jack allegation that has yet to be denied.


October 3, 2008 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted to say thank you.

I read your book about a month ago. It took me a couple of weeks to read through it. When I turned the last page, I felt physically and emotionally satisfied, as if I had finished an extraordinary meal. I put the book down on the coffee table, thought for a moment, then picked it back up and started reading reading from chapter one. I've never done that before.

Your book has inspired me to start writing again. I'm not sure why. I'll never be published, and don't really care, as writing is just a hobby to me.

So anyway... thanks! I look forward to your next novel. Take your time.

October 3, 2008 6:23 PM  
Blogger marky said...

@ Rob. 不要停止我! I'm Lea-King puns!:-)

October 4, 2008 7:41 AM  
Blogger Sailor Matt said...

@Captain Joe: I'm not sure Homeland Security would allow Pat to own a gunblade, anyway. With his beard already a registered weapon, he puts people in mortal danger just by turning around too quickly.

October 4, 2008 9:56 AM  
Anonymous pdxtrent said...

It's nice to know we're as awesome as we think we are...... well, I know I'm that awesome, and The Captain probably knows he is as well.
You, of course, should knw how awesome you are as well.

October 4, 2008 11:27 PM  
Blogger Captain Joe said...

@Sailor Matt: Hey, dude, s'up? You're right - I always underestimate the Beard. I have no doubt whatsoever that it will one day be my downfall.

pdxtrent: Man, you rock.

Joe: No, you rock.

pdxtrent: Thanks, man. I like to think I rock.

October 5, 2008 3:00 AM  
Blogger Sailor Matt said...

I'm glad to be back, Cap'n. The whole Navy thing really gets in the way of my Pat-Posting.

47 more days 'til I'm a civilian...

October 5, 2008 6:47 AM  
Anonymous Kalligenia said...

I have long been trying to think of something cool to send you, too, but I don't think I can beat those nunchucks. Those are awesome!

Hope you had fun in Vancouver. I lived there for a year and I miss it. Mountains and ocean. Beautiful.

October 5, 2008 7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heyy. Did we ever find out what Pat's little excursion into mental fanfic was?

October 6, 2008 9:54 PM  

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