Monday, November 10, 2008
Heifer International: Part Two - The Details

What's that you say? You'd like to make the world a better place while simultaneously winning fabulous prizes?

Well today is your lucky day.

Heifer International is my favorite charity. It helps people raise themselves up out of poverty and starvation. All over the world Heifer promotes education, sustainable agriculture, local industry, and clean water.

They don't just keep kids from starving, they make it so families can take care of themselves. They give goats, sheep, and chickens to families so their children have milk to drink, warm clothes to wear, and eggs to eat.



I think this is something we can all get behind.

If you're wondering *why* I'm doing this, that information is OVER HERE. This blog gives details on *how* the donation drive will work.

You've got two options for donating. Please read things all the way through before making your choice.


Option One: The Lottery.

I've created a webpage OVER HERE on Heifer's website. For every dollar you donate there, I'll donate a dollar too.

It works like this:





Elegant in its simplicity, no?

After a month's time, on December 11th, we'll have a drawing for prizes. I'll use the information from the Heifer site to get the donation totals. For every 10 bucks you've kicked in, your name will get entered into the drawing once.

So if you've donated thirty bucks, your name would go in three times. Think of it as buying tickets, if you like.

When I started this fundraiser, I thought it was mostly going to be for my readers and people on my blog. So most of the prizes centered around my book (as you can see below.) But the fundraiser has grown since then, and we're getting new stuff from generous donors all over the world. Stay tuned for new stuff.

Added Nov 18th - We have a bunch of signed books and ARCs OVER HERE.

Added Nov 20th - More signed books and ARCs OVER HERE.

Added Nov 24th - Signed manuscript of Enemies and Allies OVER HERE.

Added Nov 26th - More signed books and collectibles OVER HERE.


Added Dec 1st - Signed books from Bad Moon Press OVER HERE.

Added Dec 2nd - Signed books and prints from Peter S. Beagle OVER HERE.

Added Dec 3rd - $8000 of signed, limited-edition books from Subterranean Press OVER HERE.

Added Dec 9th - More signed books, ARC's, DVD's, and other cool swag OVER HERE.


  • 40 color maps of the Four Corners. Signed by me.




Drawn by my friend, Nathan Taylor. Nate is also the illustrator who drew the black and white map that ended up in the book. This is the color version, so you can see some of the detail that's not available in the book, including some of the political borders.

  • 40 Copies of The Name of the Wind Movie Poster. Signed by me.





Also drawn by Nathan Taylor. He was fantasising about them making a movie out of the book, and drew this as a mock-up of what the movie poster might look like. I love Kvothe's expression. It really captures a key piece of his personality.

Nate and I are also working on a not-for-children children's book together. So here's your chance to get hold of some of his art before he gets super famous....

  • 90 Copies of the DAW sampler. Signed by me.




DAW put this out earlier this year as a promotional item. It's got teaser pieces from all sorts of upcoming DAW books, from authors like Tad Williams and Mercedes Lackey.

It also has a chapter from The Wise Man's Fear.

  • 25 signed hardcover copies of the Name of the Wind.




The 5th printing with the sexy new cover.

  • 5 copies of the College Survival Guide. Signed by me and the illustrator.




My first publication. The first four years of the humor column I wrote for the local paper, along with illustrations and annotations. Only 500 copies of this were printed, so they're hard to come by these days. Perfect for reading on the toilet.

  • 5 First edition copies of the Name of the Wind. Signed by me.




With the old out-of-print cover. You wouldn't believe what some people are charging for these things out there.

  • 6 Copies of Tales of Dark Fantasy. Signed by me.




This is the Subterranean Press anthology that printed my short story, "The Road to Levinshir," which is an excerpt from The Wise Man's Fear.

It also has some great stories by folks like Tim Powers and Kage Baker. It's a beautiful hardcover book, and the cover price was $40, and that was back before it sold out.

  • A signed copy of the first printing UK hardcover.




There aren't many of these in existence the simple reason that I don't live in England. Plus, you know how everything sounds way cooler when it's pronounced in an English accent? Well this book is WRITTEN in an English accent. How cool is that?

  • 2 Copies of the original galley proofs of The Name of the Wind. Signed by me.




A galley is an early version of a book that publishers occasionally print in order to promote a book. There weren't that many of these printed, and the last one of them I saw on e-bay was going for over a hundred dollars. The few signed ones out there are going for more than that...

  • A copy of the UK galley proof. Signed by me.



I've only seen about ten of these, so a signed one is probably a bit of a collectible item.

  • Two advance reading copies of The Wise Man's Fear.




I need to stress that this book is not ready to read yet. Not. Ready. To Read. Yet. That means you can't have it right now. (This picture is a cruel lie.) But here's the deal, if you win this, I'll make sure you get a copy as soon as it's ready to show around, before it officially hits the shelves.

  • An early editorial manuscript of book one.


A proto-version of The Name of the Wind, printed out on my trusty HP printer, and marked up as part of my ongoing editorial process. Includes the now absent first chapter of the book, as well as a hundred other small differences. A similar item sold for 1000 bucks over in England a while back, and the one they have now is going for more than that. So odds are, if you don't want it, you can sell it to someone else who does....

Two things:
  • Make sure you donate on MY PAGE. Otherwise I won't know you donated, won't have access to your e-mail, and won't be able to include you in the fun.

Option Two: The Sure Thing.

Or, as I like to think of it, the Christmas Present Option.

Over the last couple months, people have been contacting me, asking if I'm still signing books like I mentioned in my blog from long ago.

The simple answer is, "yes." You mail me the book, something cool, and a check to cover return shipping, and I'll sign your book.

But right now, in honor of the Heifer fundraiser, I'm willing to streamline the process. Rather than you buying a book, finding something cool, packaging it up, and paying for shipping both ways, you can just mail me a check and I'll send you a book signed however you like. Then I'll ship it right back to you, carefully packaged and in time for Christmas.

Here's a list of the books I've got stockpiled here in my house. (For more detailed descriptions, look above.)

  • New - Signed color version of the Four Corners map. $40
  • Signed hardcover (5th edition with the new bluish cover) - $45
  • Signed copy of Your College Survival Guide - $65
  • Signed copy of Tales of Dark Fantasy - $75
  • SOLD OUT First Edition Hardcover - $85
  • Signed galley proof - $250
  • New - An ARC of book two - $1000 (Not now. When it's finished. Details HERE)
  • New - I will give you feedback on your manuscript - (Details HERE.)

For the most part, these prices are double what these things cost me, plus a little to cover shipping. I can get a 5th edition hardcover for 20 bucks, so they're up there for 45. The anthology I can get for 35, so they're going for 75....

The reason for this is that it's in keeping with me matching donations. If someone buys a book from me for 20 dollars and then I donate the money. They really haven't donated. They just bought a book. Follow me?


If you're going with option two, please follow these directions.

1. Write the following information on a 3 x 5 note card:

A) Which item you want.

B) EXACTLY what you'd like me to write in the book.

I have no problem personalizing books, but please be specific about what you'd like. Asking for a quote from Bast is fine. Asking me to wish someone luck in their own writing is fine. "Happy Birthday Schmendrick." "To the best lover I've ever had." It's all good.

But if your card says, "write whatever you want." I will write, "Whatever you want" in the book. Seriously.

C) Your return address.

D) Contact information. Either a phone number or an e-mail address where you can be reached.

2. Include a check. Make it out to me because I'll be using a couple bucks from each one to cover postage.

3. Mail the note card and the check to:

Pat Rothfuss
P.O. Box 186
Stevens Point, WI 54481

If you live outside the US and want to buy a book, follow the instructions I've laid out in THIS BLOG. International shipping is expensive, and you need to fill out your check a certain way or my bank won't cash it.

  • If you'd want to buy something AND do the lottery, that's fine. So if you send in a check for 85 dollars, and specify that you'd like a copy of the College Survival Guide, I'd mail you that book, then match the extra twenty dollars and throw your name in the hat twice when we did the drawing.
  • If you're an author or some other interested party who would like to donate something other than money to the cause, feel free to drop me an e-mail at Paperback.contest (squiggly at sign) gmail.com

Additional questions? I might have answered them HERE or HERE or HERE. Please read through those FAQ's before you e-mail me.

That's all for now. If you have any other ideas for things that might make good prizes, feel free to leave them in a comment below.

And one more time, here's the link to MY TEAM PAGE.


Hopefully yours,

pat


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Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I'm Kind of a Big Deal (in Germany)

So the German edition of the book came out just a couple of weeks ago.




(As always - guest starring my thumb)


The book has serious heft. Good paper. Good binding. It is, in a word, gorgeous.

Holding this book in my hand made me realize that over in Germany, they consider my story fairly high-class. It make me realize that over there, I might even be considered literature.

There have been hints of this all through the publishing process. First, the publisher itself is very prestigious. (So they tell me.) Klett-Cotta carries very few fantasy authors, including luminaries like Tolkien and Peter S. Beagle. Klett-Cotta also assigned a very skilled translator to the job, which is always a good sign that they're taking things seriously.

But that's not what convinced me I might be thought of as literary over there.

Another big indicator was when someone from Germany came out to interview me. My first thought was, "Who did this poor guy piss off at work? How low on the totem pole in do you have to be before they send you to interview some newbie fantasy author in Middle-of-Nowhere Wisconsin?"

But it turns out the interviewer was Denis Scheck. I didn't know it while the interview was taking place, but he's actually a celebrity over in Germany. You know how Siskel and Ebert were celebrities because they reviewed movies? Well over in Germany, apparently, they care about books. Because of this, they also care about the people who read books.

Yeah, I know. Weird.

Anyway, while I didn't know this guy was a celebrity, I figured out pretty quickly that he wasn't there because he was getting punished. He was there because he was really, really good at his job. I've done a lot of interviews over the last year, and I'll admit that by the time he showed up, I'd gotten a little blase about it.

But when he started talking, I realized he was playing the game at a whole different level. He was really clever, talking about things no interviewer had ever brought up before, asking questions I'd never been asked. Asking questions that I'd never even *considered *before. I remember at least one occasion where my answer was: "Wow. That's a great question.... I have absolutely no idea how to answer it."

If you're interested (and can read German) his review is up over here. Or if you're monolingual like me, you can click on the link *below* the interview to see a video clip of Denis talking about the book on his television show. Personally, I thought it was pretty cool even though I only know enough German to catch about a third of what he's saying.

But back to my previous point. Even after I found out who Denis Scheck was, I didn't realize that over there my book might be considered literary.

The fact that they converted my author photo black-and-white was a good indicator....




(Click to embiggen)


Why? Because black-and-white is classy. It's arty. It's posh. Don't get me wrong, I'm fond of my blue photo. But you have to admit that it makes me look like a Muppet, or a character out of a Harry Potter movie. But in B&W I look, if not distinguished, then withing spitting distance of respectable.

Or within spitting distance of being the sort of person who would never use the term, "within spitting distance."

Still, none of these things are what convinced me. This is what did it:





That's right. One of those built-in ribbon bookmarks. So genteel. So suave. Nothing screams sophistication like a ribbon bookmark. It's the textual equivalent of wearing a silk smoking jacket and speaking with an Oxford accent. It is, in fact, dead sexy.

Today, my friends, I join the ranks of the literati.

Go me.

pat


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Friday, October 17, 2008
The Good Life

A while back I was in the grocery store picking up something to eat. I ended up behind a mom and her little boy in the checkout line. She was buying all sorts of grown-up groceries: hamburger, milk, celery, saltines, green peppers, tomatoes...

I was buying Fritos, some Mountain Dew, and a box of Fruity Pebbles.

The boy looked at his mom's groceries, then at my groceries. Back and forth. I could see him putting together the pieces. His mom's groceries were going to make meatloaf. My groceries....

That's when I realized how awesome my life is. I was living this kid's dream. Of course, I was living MY dream too, but I had forgotten it until this moment.

I looked at him and pointed at the Fritos. "When I get home, I'm going to eat all of those," I said. "and it's going to completely spoil my dinner." I smiled and pointed to the box of fruity pebbles. "That's my dinner."

He didn't say anything. He was only about six or seven, and I'm guessing that he was too stunned with my untrammeled glory to put together a full sentence.

But he looked up at me with eyes that said, I want to be like you. How can I do these things which you have shown me?

"Go to college," I told him.

I was just about to tell him that I was going to put the Mountain Dew on the cereal instead of milk when his mom hustled him away, probably because she thought I was some kind of pervert.

Which is only fair, I suppose. I probably am.





Later all,

pat

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Thursday, April 10, 2008
The New York Times Best Seller list





(Click picture to embiggen.)






Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!


Sincerely yours,

pat

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posted by Pat at 36 Comments



Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Daily adventures: The Dentist.

So today I went to the dentist.

This might not seem like a big deal to y'all. In fact, for a lot of you, I'm guessing a trip to the dentist is no more of an event than going to get the oil changed in your car or buying a new pair of shoes. That is to say, its falls under the category of routine maintenance for your life.

But you see, I haven't been to the dentist in a while. A long while. An amount of while that would be considered obscene by many people.

Yes yes. I know everyone puts off going to the dentist. You're supposed to go every six months, or a year. But you forget, or you avoid it, and one year stretches into two, or three, or five.

But, as with all things, I've taken it to the next level. For me it's been so long that I can only dimly remember the last time. My last dentist was a huge Italian man with fingers like sausages. He looked like an honest-to-god mobster, and when he mentioned that I wasn't flossing, it sounded like something out of the Godfather. Like if I didn't floss, he was going to send someone around to my house to straighten me out....

Also, the brand name of the little workstation they had next to the chair? "Cavitron" I shit you not. The thing was called The Cavitron.

It would be funny to say that that experience traumatized me, and that's why I haven't been back for so long. But the it wouldn't be the truth. I thought all that was funny as hell.

The truth is, I just never think of going. And when I DO think of going, I worry that when I show up they're going to say something like, "Well, it's too late. Our only option now is to surgically remove your whole mouth in the most excruciating manner possible."

So, of course, it's easier to avoid the whole situation.

How long has it been? It has been, at my best guess, eleven years. Maybe twelve.

And I don't floss. At all. It would be impossible to floss less than I do, unless you somehow invented a machine that made negative flossing possible.

So, to cut to the chase, I went in to the dentist and got to experience the new tool. Apparently that sharp metal pokey thing was getting blase. Now they have much cooler high-tech version of that. It combines all the pokiness of the metal tool, with a tiny spray of water and a feeling like...

You know when someone runs their fingernail over a chalkboard and you feel it back in the base of your neck. It's like that. Except it's the pokey thing and my teeth making the noise. Huzzah for science.

But deep in my heart I know I've earned this. This is Penance. It's fair. This poor hygienist wasn't planning on dealing with this today and they probably scheduled my cleaning thinking that they'd only need the regular amount of time. I can't blame them for being a little rough and a little hurried.

Still, part of me wonders if there is an upscale dentist option out there. I mean, I don't think Brad Pitt goes in to the dentist and has someone scrape away at him like this. It's just undignified.

Anyway, it's good for me. Not only because my teeth did need cleaning, but because I haven't practiced my Buddhist meditation lately, and I typically only do that in situations like this.

Here's my philosophy. Any wanker can meditate at home, listening to Enya and sitting on his yoga mat. That's for sissies. You managed to clear your mind from all distractions? Wow. Congratulations. You want an organic, sugar-free walnut and raisin cookie to celebrate?

Me? I'm badass. My thought is that if you can relax, clear your mind, and contemplate the four noble truths while someone is drilling your teeth, then you've got your place in the universe pretty well sorted out. Meditating while under extreme conditions is like going running while you're wearing leg weights and occationally stopping to have a fistfight with a shark. Except, y'know, with your brain.

So I meditate in the dentist's chair. I meditate while flying through a thunderstorm sitting next to a mom with a screaming baby, while getting stitches with no anesthetic at the doctor's office, and, once, in the fourth row of a Gwar concert. Keep your circle breathing to yourself, hippie. I've got so much pranjna I don't even know what to do with it all.

And the end of the story? I'm fine. No cavities. No trouble. I'm the first to admit that this little story would work better with a moral at the end. But that's just not the way some stories actually happen.

Goodnight everyone,

pat

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Thursday, March 15, 2007
Losing My Anonymity...
This past weekend I drove down to Madison to catch a reading/signing by Tad Williams. While we've e-mailed back and forth a little, I've never actually met him. And despite the fact that he's a seasoned pro and I'm a wet-behind the ears newbie, we're the literary equivalent of cousins: we both have the same editor and agent.

Because of this, I've heard a lot of stories about Tad over the last year or so, many of which have ended with comments like, "You'd really like Tad. The two of you are a lot alike."

So part of the reason I was coming down was to see the guy I'd heard so much about. Another large chunk was pure fannishness. I read Memory Sorrow and Thorn years ago. The size of his books and the scope of his story gave me hope that my own huge fantasy novels might actually be publishable some day.

Lastly, I was there to do reconnaissance. I've got readings and signings of my own coming up when my book hits the shelves in a couple weeks. I wanted to see how a pro handles it.

Because I was driving down from Stevens Point, I ended up getting in a little late. So I just sat on the floor off in the back corner of the room beside a cart full of folding chairs. Believe it or not, this is actually my happy place. I like being in the back corner of classrooms and restaurants because sitting with people behind me makes me profoundly uneasy. I'm a lurker by nature.

I watch Tad do his thing. He's got a great stage presence. He finishes his reading and starts into his Q & A. This is even better. He's quick on his feet, funny and clever. The group loves him.

Then somebody says, "Assume we've already read all of your books and we're looking for something new to read. What do you recommend?"

Tad says, "Well, it seems a little odd to mention it because he's here right now, and I might be accused of log-rolling, but I recently read a great debut fantasy by Patrick Rothfuss. That's spelled R-O-T-H-F-U-S-S. It's called...." he paused and cupped his hand to his ear dramatically.

I was caught flat-footed, but can know enough to take a cue when it's handed to me. "The Name of the Wind," I said from where I sat tucked away in the corner of the room. A few people turned to look, but most of them couldn't see me as I was sitting on the floor, partially tucked behind the cart of folding chairs. I wondered what they thought of the voice coming from nowhere to supply the title of the book. Was it an unseen employee? A high tech customer service device? Some helpful totemistic bookstore spirit?

Tad went back to answering questions, and I sat feeling odd and unsettled. Part of this was that I was flattered he thought enough of the book to mention it. But what really threw me off my stride was the fact that he recognized me. I'm not used to being recognized. I'm pretty comfortable in my anonymity.

After the Q&A, a youngish guy walked up to me and said, "You're Patrick Rothfuss, aren't you?" I admitted I was, and we had a pleasant round of what I fondly think of as 'geek talk.' We chatted about what books we like, what games we play, what comics are worth reading. It was nice. I like geek talk.

Still, it's odd having someone come up to me and know me just because they heard about my book.

It's not a bad thing, just a new thing. It's going to take some getting used to.

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