Thursday, September 18, 2008
Tales from the Con: Reading in Indianapolis

So when I was attending GenCon out in Indianapolis last month, I had several adventures.

For one, I got to eat at a Stake and Shake, which was pretty cool. This may not seem like a big deal for most of you, but... well... I don't get out much.

I also did a reading at the local library.

I love doing readings. But this one was especially fun, as I got to hang out with the folks from "...and Sewing is Half the Battle." They're the ones that won the photo contest from a couple months ago.

They all came dressed in their costumes and did an intro to my reading, talking about what cosplay is, why folks do it, and how to dabble if you're interested.

I have to say that it was pretty cool showing up for my own reading and having a bunch of the characters from the book in attendance.

As a whole, I was too bemused to take a lot of pictures. But I got a huge kick out of this:





I don't remember writing a hippie into the book. But then again, I don't remember NOT writing a hippie into the book. Trapis, nice guy that he is, seems to be reserving judgement.





Haliax, as you might have guessed, is a big hit with the ladies. Why do they always go for the dark types?




Here's one I snapped of Haliax when he didn't think anyone was paying attention. Apparently when there aren't any chicks around he summons some sort of glowing orb, practicing to destroy his enemies. I can't say I'm surprised.

Ladies, let this be a lesson to you. Sure, cowls are sexy. Everyone loves a bad boy. But when you're dating evil, it's only a matter of time before you get the glowing orb.




Here's everyone. From top left to bottom right you have: Elodin, young girl (see below) Haliax, Bast and Urchin, Ambrose, glowing death orb, Hippie, Trapis, Denna, Kvothe and Fela.


I won't bore you with the whole story of the reading, but here are the high points.

  • A 10 year old girl made fun of my handwriting.
She looked down at the book I was writing in. "Authors are supposed to use cursive," she informed me.

"Not me," I said cheerfully, scribbing away.

"Is that your name?" she asked.

"Yup."

She kept watching in disapproval, then said. "Authors are also supposed to have better handwriting than a third grader."

"You're fat," I said.

I didn't really. She was adorable. Plus, I was on an adulation buzz by that point and nothing could bring me down. I long ago came to grips with the fact that my handwriting looks like a psychotic grade schooler's ransom note. She wasn't telling me anything I didn't already know.

  • At some point during the Q & A period, I used a terrible phrase.
I used to do improv comedy. This is a good thing. I know how to work a crowd and think on my feet. Public speaking doesn't freak me out. I'm relaxed. I make jokes. It's a good time.

The down side is that I'm not exactly working off a script. And that means sometimes I'll say awful things.

I'm not talking about cussing. I cuss all the time. It's not a big deal.

All humor is rooted in transgression. That means that most things that are genuinely funny also have the potential for being really offensive, or weird, or creepy.

I can't remember the exact context for this phrase, but I was answering a question. I think I was making fun of the fact that since I hit the NYT bestseller list, everyone seems to think I'm all rockstar famous.

As I said, I can't remember the exact context. But I do remember the phrase I used.

It was: "Come Ride the Rothfuss Train!"

Yeah. I even pronounced it with the exclamation point, which is something I very rarely do. It was one of those things that seems brilliant before you say it, but goes horrible as soon as it leaves your mouth.

There was a half-second of quiet, then I said. "I'm never going to say that ever again."

THAT got a laugh. A big laugh.

So later, when I was signing books, everyone wanted me to write something about the Rothfuss train. So the story has a happy ending.

  • I got to hang out with the "Sewing is Half the Battle" crew.
After the reading, we all hung out, and I treated them to dinner as part of their prize for their epic win the in the photo contest.





Eventually the restaurant closed, so we went to... you guessed it. Steak and Shake. My second trip in as many days. It was there that a talented artist who will remain nameless drew this on a placemat for me.





Yeah. It's the Rothfuss Train. Hop on. Ride it. You know you want to....


Later all,

pat

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