Let me tell you a story.
Or rather, let me tell you a story about a story. (For those of you who know me, this shouldn't come as a surprise.)
Back in 2001, when I was toiling in the salt mines of grad school, my girlfriend Sarah and I had very different sleep schedules. I was up late, and she went to bed early.
One night, when she was going to bed, she jokingly asked me to tell her a story.
So I did, starting with with the most saccharine faerie-tale beginning I could think of: "Once upon a time," I said. "There was a Princess who lived in a Marzapan castle...."
The story was so cute and sweet that it began to irritate me even as I was telling it. And so I twisted it around until it was something entirely different. Something dark and strange. An older sort of Faerie tale.
When I finished, Sarah lay in bed, looking up at me with big eyes. "Now I can't sleep," she said.
So I told a second ending to the story. A sweet ending. A funny ending. A happy ending. An ending that made everything all better again. Sarah relaxed.
But that second ending irritated me again. It was too sweet and perfect.
So I gave the story a third ending. The perfect ending. An ending with teeth in it.
That night Sarah didn't get to sleep in any sort of timely fashion, but the next day she told some friends about it. I repeated the story for them, and one of them said, "I'd love to draw that."
Now a lot of times, that's where things would stop. But the friend who spoke up was none other than Nathan Taylor: he's the guy that drew the map for the US edition of the book. And he turned my puerile scrawlings for the Worldbuilder logo...
Into something cool and respectable looking:
I knew Nate was a great cartoonist and illustrator, as you can see for yourself over here or here.
But he completely blew me away with the illustrations he did for the Princess book. Here's a little taste:
Just yesterday, Subterranean Press announced The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: the Thing Beneath the Bed on their website, making it available for pre-order.
So I wanted to mention it here on the blog as quickly as possible. Apparently it's been selling really quickly, and the limited leatherbound edition they're printing is already half sold-out. So if you want one of those, you should get over there and order it sooner rather than later.
Edit: Apparently everyone wanted a limited edition, so they sold out about 9:00 this morning. Sorry about that. I don't think anyone expected it to sell quite so quickly as that.
That said, it's only the limited edition that sold out. There are still regular hardcovers available.
Also, Bill over at Subterranean Press has offered to throw five ARC copies of the princess book in with his other donations to Worldbuilders. If you win one of those, you get to see the finished product months before it comes out.
- Five ARC copies of The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: the Thing Beneath the Bed by Patrick Rothfuss and Nathan Taylor. Signed by the Author.
It's a picture book that's not for children. I can say with some certainty that it should never be read to children. But it's perfect for adults with a dark sense of humor and a love of old-school faerie tales.
Stay tuned. We still have a lot more to come. New blogs every day or so...
As always, with thanks to: Subterranean Press.
(Huzzah for Subterranean Press! Double Huzzah!)