Okay. There's been a flurry of excited messaging ever since I mentioned I'd be making a trip to Europe, and was willing to sign books while I'm over there. Details are over here on the previous blog.
Here are a few general comments and some answers to questions in response to the hubbub.
To my German Readers:
Oh my German readers. I do love you. I love you with a fierce love that is big as the sky. I know there are many of you. I know you would like me to stop in your country and sign books and do various authory things.
Do not think that I scorn you. Do not think that I neglect you. Do not think I fail to appreciate you, because I do. It is because of you that I can now legitimately call myself "International Bestselling Author" Patrick Rothfuss.
Before that, I was forced to call myself merely "Skilled Lover of Women" Patrick Rothfuss or "That Strange Guy Who Sits in the Back of the Coffeeshop All the Time" Patrick Rothfuss.
I appreciate this. You must believe me. I love you.
But as for making a stop in Germany this time around. I just don't think I'm going to be able to.
You see, Sarah, she says. "I would like to go to Rome."
And I think, "Rome? Have they done five hardcover printings of my book in Rome? No. That was Germany. Did my book get all manner of cool reviews in Rome? No. That also was Germany. What of the swank little bookmark? Surely that was Rome? No. It was not."
But you see, Sarah, she has this baby in her. This baby gives her remarkable powers.
I say to Sarah, "Where would you like to go on your trip to Europe?
Sarah says, "I would like to go to Rome."
And lo. We go to Rome.
Sarah says, "Also, I would like to see Paris."
And suddenly, it is so.
I'm not saying I'll never visit you, Germany. I will. I promise. It's just that when I do visit, I want everything to be perfect. I don't want to rush this part of our relationship. I don't want to go too fast. We need to be sure we're both ready. I want this to be special for both of us.
Perhaps I'll come to visit when book two is translated. Or maybe when your paperback comes out. Hopefully, if the German publishers are willing to help, we can do it up proper and I'll hit a bunch of places all over Germany, rather than just making a two-day stop in one city.
Be patient, I love you.
To my readers in Dublin:
As above. I was really hoping to make it there during this trip, but it just didn't work out. You'll see me before too long. I promise.
To my readers in other countries:
I would love to come to Sweden. To Ireland. To Spain. To Belgium. To Estonia. To Finland. I would love to come to Russia. To the Czech Republic. To Turkey. To Wales. To Portugal....
I'm sure you can see the problem.
If you can't see the problem, it's this: if I went to all of these countries, I wouldn't have time to do anything but drive around. I wouldn't see anything except through the window of a train. It's pure logistics. I can't do it all this trip. Someday. Hopefully.
To people eager to help schedule a signing:
1. If you want your local bookstore to host a signing, you need to tell *them* you're excited about it, not me. I'm already interested in doing a signing. So are you. We're on the same page. We've established a rapport.
But without the bookstore it's just not going to work out. It's like a three-way. It doesn't matter how much you and me want it. Without that third person, it just doesn't work out.
2. If you have a friend/relative/lover/former roommate that works in a bookstore, and you think they'd be excited to help schedule a signing. Contact *them* about it, see if they're really interested, then have them drop me a line if they are.
3. If you want to contact me about a potential signing, use the contact form. If you post it in the comments, I won't know how to get in contact with you. I will be similarly helpless if you shout the information out your window, or write it on your bathroom mirror. Sad but true.
4. If your town isn't on the list of places I'm stopping, I probably won't be able to come out and do a signing. The possible exception to this is Manchester, as it's on my way between London and Edinburgh. But even that depends on the interest of the local bookstore. (See #1)
That said, if you're actually one of the folks in charge of scheduling events in a bookstore or a library, and you'd REALLY like me to stop in, you can still drop me a line.
A few quick answers:
Q: "Will I be posting up the dates, times, and places of the eventual signings?"
Thanks to everyone who offered their congratulations.
(I'd be more properly verbose and flowery, but I have to be brief here. I'm using borrowed internet up here in the northwoods of Wisconsin, and this place is closing in 15 minutes.)
Second: The Tour
A while back, I promised Sarah a trip to Europe. Now, with the baby coming, I'm realizing I'm going to have to either make good on that promise, or wait for years until we no longer have a newborn. Because dragging a newborn around an international trip is not cool on many levels.
So we're going. Sarah deserves her trip for putting up with my endless bullshit.
Soon I will be turning over a solid draft of my book for my editor to read and... well... edit. This will take her a while, because the book is beastly long and she's good at her job.
While she's doing that, I have a window of opportunity. Rather than sit around, twiddle my thumbs, and fret over what my editor will say, I'm going to take Sarah to Europe before she gets too big with baby to do more than waddle to the fridge and make me rub her feet.
I'm looking forward to the trip. It will do me good to take a break from the book for a bit. If I don't get a few weeks away from it in between drafts, I lose perspective.
Also, it will be nice to have a bit of a walkabout on my own before finalizing Kvothe's own set of adventure as he goes out to make his fortune in the wide world.
Third: Sending out the Call.
For years now, I've had folks in the UK and the rest of Europe saying things like, "When are you going to be coming to [insert name of foreign country here]??!!?"
Well now's the time.
I'm more that willing to do signings at the cities I'm stopping at. But since this is happening on the spur of the moment, I don't have time to go through official bookstore channels, or perform the typical courting dances with foreign bookstores: first researching, then calling around, then playing phone tag, then trying to convince them that it would be worth their while to order a dozen of my books and set up a card table....
By the time I finished that, I'd already be back in the US.
So here's where you come in.
I'm posting my itinerary below. What cities I'll be and where. If you own a bookstore (or work in one) and you'd like me to come in and do a signing, lovely. Drop me a message off the contact form and we'll set something up.
If you don't work in a bookstore, but you know a cool one you think would be interested, ask them if they might be interested. Then, if they are, drop me a message. Or have them do it.
Everyone, I would like you to meet the newest edition of The Name of the Wind.
I'm now in trade paperback. Today, I am a man.
(Click to Embiggen)
I don't know what it is about being in trade paperback, but it makes me feel kinda literary. Which in turn makes me feel kind of dirty. Which makes me feel sexy. Which makes me feel pretty, then embarrassed, and finally kinda tired and confused. Plus hungry.
(I want to make a Goldilocks joke here, but I'm too tired to think of one.)
I never used to appreciate trade paperback books. I just didn't get them. At best they seemed pointless. At worst they were a type of perversion. They were what happened when a paperback and a hardcover had an illicit, incestuous lovechild.
But now I get the appeal. With trade paperback you have the easy-to-read larger type of the bigger book, but it's a size that you can actually carry around with you. It can still stop a small caliber bullet, but you can bend the cover back if you're reading it in the bathtub. It slices. It dices. It's all things to all people. Ego sum alpha et o.
I really shouldn't be blogging right now. I'm way too tired to be sure if I'm making much sense. It's still yesterday for me. I haven't been to bed yet.
This newest version of the book also proudly proclaims itself to be, "The New York Times Bestseller," which I have to admit gives me a bit of a tingle.
Also, for those of you who haven't already heard, The Name of the Wind is now available in all manner of electronic formats. Kindle and Sony and whatever. So now you godless heathens can have your bookless versions of my book. Ick.
Lastly, it looks like we'll finally be getting an audio book before too long. A few weeks back I spent several hours on the phone pronouncing all the weird names and languages I invented. "Saying things like, "Cealdish. No. Wait. That's not right. It's Cealdish. CEaldish. CeALDish. No. Wait..."
It was magical experience, let me tell you. And by magical, I mean vaguely humiliating. I can hear the characters say these things in my head, but it's hard to make my mouth make the shape of the word. Like Imre. There are two different ways to say it, depending on who's talking.
Anyway, there are the newest additions to the family. Share and enjoy.
That isn't the hard part. Truth is, being Guest of Honor is a pretty sweet gig. I had my first taste of it up in V-Con last year.
When you're GOH, the convention typically does lovely things for you, like pay for your hotel room and your flight out to the convention. Usually an author has to pay for all that out of their own pocket, which means it's really expensive to hit two or three cons in a year. Let alone the five or six I usually try to attend.
This year, through a weird confluence of events, I'm going to be Guest-of-Honoring at four different conventions. Details are over on the Tour Page, if you're interested.
One of these conventions is only a couple of weeks away, down in Madison. I'm sorry I haven't posted up the info about Oddcon sooner, but I've been busy writing, and I was called in as a last minute pinch-hitter GOH to replace Tobias Buckell. He had to bow out on account of his wife being super-pregnant. If you're interested, they've extended pre-registration until Friday because of the change of plans.
Anyway, in exchange for having our expenses paid, the GOH has certain responsibilities. The main one of these is to do stuff for the convention. We do more than the usual number of readings, signings, panels. Etc.
I don't have a problem with this. This is why I go to conventions. I like talking about stories. That's what I'm all about.
My problem was with something much simpler. As I mentioned above, I'm going to be the author GOH at Gencon this year. So they asked me to write a bio they can put in the program book....
This should be easy. It's short. 150 words. When I was born. Where I'm from. What I've done. Stuff like that.
But I overthink these things. It's a problem I have.
So I write a regular bio. Names. Dates. The Name of the Wind. Sold in 27 countries. Simple.
But then when I'm finished, I read that bio and it seems really dry and boring.
So I write a new bio. I want it to be better. Different. A little funny. I want it to be cool. Sexy even.
But then I read that one and it seems desperate, whorish. It's stupid and corny.
So I write a new bio. I tone it down, try to be subtle, understated, professional.
But then I read that one and it seems boring again, plus stiff and awkward. Plus fakey.
So, finally, I get fed up and write something like this:
Patrick Rothfuss sprung fully formed from Marge Rothfuss, his mother, in Madison Wisconsin. In a mere three months, Pat grew to the height of a man while teaching himself to read and write using only a shovel and a dead cat.
When the voices told him to, Pat left home to attend college in at University Wisconsin Stevens Point where he joined Slytherin house and had many wonderful adventures. After graduating, Pat evolved into a being of pure light and energy. Then he went to grad school and evolved even further into being composed entirely of bile, anger, binder twine, and sweet, sweet, methadone. After grad school Pat joined forces with five plucky Japanese schoolgirls to form a giant robot that fights crime.
Through all of this Pat has read fantasy, watched fantasy, and written fantasy. Some academics have suggested that Pat eats, sleeps, and breathes fantasy, but this is simply untrue. The truth is that Pat eats burritos, sleeps like a drooly baby, and breathes a white-hot plasma composed of molten gold and rage.
And you know what? I like this bio the best. If I'm going to spew out bullshit, I'd rather have it be pure, unadulterated bullshit.
By the way, a lot of you have been asking who's been doing my illustrations for the blog. It's not me. I can't draw worth a tinker's damn. My illustrator's name is Brett Hiorns, and he is awesome. You can say howdy to him in the comments, if you like.
That's all I've got for now. More news soon. Cool news. Stay tuned.