Monday, January 11, 2010
Seven Stories Concerning Joss Whedon - or - The Road to Damascus




This is a Worldbuilders blog.





Ladies and Gentlemen, it's come to my attention that some of you out there might not know about Joss Whedon. This worries me.

Even more troubling is the thought that some of you might know of Whedon, but still haven't taken him into your heart or witnessed his glorious work.

I used to be like you. I used to live in darkness. Let me share my story with the hope that you might come to know him as I do....

* * *

It's 1999. Home from college, I go to a New Year's party with some old friends. Halfway through the evening, someone mentions Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

"Never seen it," I say.

Suddenly they're all bleating like sheep about how much they love the show. Everyone feels compelled to tell me their favorite line. Their favorite part. The time this character did this thing in this place.

"Yes yes," I said. "I've heard it all before. Honestly, it sounds pretty dumb to me."

Things get heated. It turns out I'm the only person there not actively following the show. They can't believe how ignorant I am. How can I not be watching it?

Finally I've had enough. I hold up a hand to get everyone's attention. "Listen," I say. "I'm a huge geek. I've written a fantasy trilogy that will never be published. I once dressed up as Pan for Halloween. I have LARPed." I looked at them all seriously. "And you people embarrass me. I am ashamed to be standing close to you right now. Kindly shut up about your stupid vampire cheerleader show."


It's 2002. I'm in grad school, covered in a thick, greasy layer of drudgery and helpless rage. I'm fighting as hard as I can, only to realize that academia is a tarbaby made out of bullshit and willful ignorance.

One of my friends buys the first season of Buffy on DVD and leaves it in my house. That's it. No sales pitch. I just come home from class and it's sitting on my coffee table.

And that's where it stays. I've made my feelings clear. I'm getting my Masters in English Literature. I'll be god-damned if I watch a show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

But, eventually, there's nothing else to watch in the house, so I plug it one evening while I eat my dinner.

And it's exactly what I expected. It's trash. It's heavy handed. The plot is predictable.

Worse of all, there's a showdown between the plucky blond eye-candy and the bad guy at the end of the first episode.

Buffy: Well you forgot about one thing!
Vampire: Whats that?
Buffy: Sunrise!

She breaks a window behind the vampire and rich amber light pours in, making the vampire howl in fear.

I roll my eyes. I've seen this cliche a dozen times before. I'd be bored if I wasn't so insulted. I reach for the remote.

But it isn't sunlight pouring through the window. It's just a lightbulb in the alleyway. The vampire looks out the window, confused.

Buffy: Its not for another 9 hours, moron.

I start to laugh, realizing whoever wrote this knows exactly what he's doing. This isn't cliche. This is whatever the opposite of cliche is.

I watch the second episode.


It's 2003. I'm out of grad school and teaching my own classes for the very first time.

I've made contact with a big-name New York literary agent. He's read my book and thinks it has potential. He says I'm a good writer, but my book has structural problems. There are plot issues. Am I willing to revise?

I am. But I have no idea where to start. I read a book called Writing the Blockbuster Novel and it makes no sense at all to me. I re-read my novel and realize I don't have the slightest fucking idea what I'm doing.

Fall semester ends, and the university tells me enrollment is down. Quick as that I'm unemployed.

So I go out and buy my very first home theater system. Bose speakers. Subwoofer. I fill up the credit card, figuring that if I'm going to be unemployed, I might as well enjoy my free time. Besides, it's not like I'm going to be able to get any writing done....

The first thing I watch is the second season Buffy.

It opens a window in my head. It changes the way I think about stories.


It's 2004. Despite the fact that I'm not really interested in space cowboys or whatever, I buy a copy of Firefly.

It's 6:00 AM when I sit down to watch it. After half an hour, one of my roommates wanders blearily into the living room.

"Wassis?" he asks.

"Firefly," I say. "First episode. I can start it over if you want..."

He lays down on the other couch and we re-start the episode.

Ten minutes later he looks at me. "They canceled this?" he asks.

"Apparently."

He looks at the screen, then back at me. "I'm so fucking pissed!"

I nod.

Six years later I'm still pissed. I'll probably be pissed about Firefly until the day I die.


It's 2006, and I'm attending one of my first conventions. I've sold my book, so now my job is to make friends in the fan community. Mingle. Rub elbows. Network.

I get invited to a party. I drink a drink. I end up talking with a beautiful young woman in a tight red dress.

"I don't know what all the fuss is about," she says. "I watched some Buffy, couldn't get into it. Firefly was boring. I just don't get what I'm supposed to be missing."

"Well..." I said thoughtfully. "Have you ever considered the fact that you might not actually have a soul?"


It's 2008. Dr. Horrible goes online. I'm giddy as a schoolgirl. I write a blog about it. I bring my friends over to watch. I leave it playing on my computer while I do work around the house, while I check my e-mail, while I eat lunch.

This continues for weeks.

Then one day while I'm singing "A Man's gotta Do..." in the shower, I have an idea for a short story. This is a rarity. I don't do short stories. Better yet, it's a short graphic novel.

So I sit down and start to write it out. It's fun. I've never written a script for a graphic novel, and it's tricky thinking in terms of page layouts, paneling, and dialogue placement. I break out my copy of Understanding Comics and start making notes for a friend who could do the illustrations.

Two hours later I realize I'm writing Dr. Horrible fanfiction.

Four hours later I'm still writing it.


It's 2009. While playing Guest of Honor at a convention, I end up on a panel about Joss Whedon.

Much to my surprise, I hear people nitpicking. They say, "Buffy was great until season four." "I got bored with Dollhouse after two episodes." "Angel was too dark." "Buffy got weird in season five...."

Finally I've had enough. I hold up a hand to get everyone's attention.

"Listen," I say unto them. "You're all a bunch of whiny little titbabies. Joss Whedon is a storyteller and you're upset because he isn't acting like a music box, playing you your favorite song again and again.

"Joss Whedon made me care about the X-men, even Cyclops. He sold me on space cowboys. He made me sing in the shower and write fanfiction for the first time in my life. He told me a subtle story with Dollhouse and gave me the best character arc I've ever seen with Wesley Wyndam-Pryce."

"Why don't you marry him?" someone shouts from the audience.

"Because of Proposition 8," I shot back. "And because he never returns my calls."

* * *

So that's the story of my conversion to Whedonism. I've pulled a Saul of Tarsus and these days I'm a full-blown missionary. In fact, Sarah has informed me my man-crush is about to step from being cute to creepy, so I'm trying to reign myself in a little bit here.

For example, I'm not going to post up any of my Whedon-tribute macaroni art. Neither will I trouble you with any of the sonnets I've composed.

Instead, I'll add some Whedon stuff to the Worldbuilders lottery. That means if you donate money to Heifer International before January 15th, you have a chance of winning this stuff in addition to all the other cool prizes.

  • All seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the five seasons of Angel, and the first five graphic novels composing "Season Eight"of Buffy.

About a year ago, I went to talk to a bunch of high-schoolers as part of a book festival.

As per usual, I read a bit, then did some Q&A.

One of the kids asked a question about character building. I thought of the perfect example that would answer his question and said, "Have you seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer?"

I meant it to be a rhetorical question. I mean, everyone's seen Buffy, right?

He hadn't. I was a little surprised. So I asked the whole auditorium, "Who here has watched Buffy?"

Only about three hands went up.

I shouldn't have been surprised, I suppose. But I was. What's more, I was actually mad. I turned to the teacher that had arranged for me to come out and talk to the kids and demanded, "What the hell are you teaching these kids?"

  • Both hardcover volumes of the Astonishing X-Men, containing the entire story arc written by Joss Whedon.

Even if you don't read comics, you will enjoy this. Even if you don't care about the X-Men, you will like this story. It's wonderfully self-contained, so you don't need to know the last 40 years of x-history to follow what's going on.

  • The complete series of Firefly and the sequel movie Serenity.

If I ever get to teach a creative writing class, I'm assigning Firefly as a textbook. Everything you need to know about storytelling is right there in the pilot episode.

Side note: if you watch the movie before watching the series, I will magically appear and choke you.

  • The first season of Dollhouse.

Some people I normally respect are all snarky about Dollhouse.

Fie, I say unto them. If you can't handle a subtle story, feel free to go watch MTV cribs. The rest of us will be right here, enjoying the awesome.

It's a different sort of story. That means, of necessity, it has a different tone. But it's still Whedon, and that's all that matters.

  • Two copies of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

For concentrated cool, it's hard to beat this disk. Not only is DR. Horrible like a primer on how to create a realistic villain, but the commentary track is a musical too. I'm not even kidding.

God. Just looking at the cover makes me want to listen to it again....


That's all for now folks. Remember that the fundraiser is over on January 15th. So if you want to get in on the action, you better do so soon.

Money raised by Worldbuilders goes to Heifer International, which helps people all over the world raise themselves out of poverty and starvation. If you'd like to donate directly you can head over to my page at Team Heifer and I'll match your donation by 50%. Trust me. You'll feel great afterward.

Or, if you want more information about the Worldbuilders fundraiser itself, you can head to the main page HERE.



With thanks to our sponsor, Subterranean Press.

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posted by Pat at 115 Comments



Tuesday, September 30, 2008
IAQ - Kvothe's Alignment.

I get a lot of fanmail, which means I get a lot of questions.

The questions that get asked a lot, I put into the FAQ, for obvious reasons.

But there are other questions too. It's occurred to me that some of these questions, while infrequent, might still intrigue or amuse folks.

So here's the first of these. Not part of the FAQ. More like the begining of an IAQ, if you will....

Pat,

With the shape of an "L" on my forehead, here's my question: What would you say is Kvothe's alignment (i.e. ad&d terms)

[Name withheld for reasons of not wanting the person to die of geeky shame]


Oh yeah. Total Geek question.

Here's my total geek answer: I didn't even have to think about it. Chaotic good.

Though honestly, now that I pause for consideration, it's possible he's neutral good. He doesn't work actively against the system, he just doesn't feel constrained by it.

Now, of course, you've got me thinking about everyones' alignment.

Some are easy, like Master Lorren: Lawful Good.

Some are hard, like Elodin. Chaotic neutral? True neutral? He's just too complicated to put in a box like that. Plus there's a lot of him you haven't seen yet. I honestly don't know where I'd put him overall.

The more I think about it, the fact that I can't fit most of the characters into little AD&D boxes makes me feel good. It shows that they're more complex than that. I hope that complexity isn't just inside my head. I'd like to think that y'all get to experience it too....


Pop quiz:

What is Pat's alignment?

Where does Bast fall on the Kinsey Scale?

What is Denna's Myers-Briggs Personality Type?

Would Elodin pass a Thematic Apperception Test?

How many questions does it take to clear Lorren on the Voight-Kampff?

Extra Credit:

If Auri were a tree, what kind of tree would she be?


Geekily yours,

pat

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posted by Pat at 28 Comments



Saturday, July 19, 2008
Do Not Bounce.

So, I can't imagine my life without Dr. Horrible. I'm dimly aware of doing things prior to watching it. I wrote a book, learned to walk, lost my virginity, etc etc. Silly things. Trivial things.

Joss Whedon. I don't think there's even a word for what I feel for him.

There's awe, that's a given, plus a vasty respect. Then those two emotions are tangled up with an odd, primal terror. I know that sounds odd, but that's the only way I can describe it. He terrifies me. It's the same fear a caveman would feel when confronted with, say, Opimus Prime. It's the terror that drove people to burn witches at the stake. Why? Well, because they can do things. They have preternatural abilities that freak us out right down to the marrow of our bones.

So. You take that knot of molten awe, respect, and holy terror, wrap it up in a fluffy blanket of love, then sprinkle it lightly with toasted coconut. That's how I feel about Joss Whedon. Is there a word for that? If not, we need one.

Were I not Pat, I would be Diogenes. Were I neither of those, I would be Joss Whedon.

But I'm not. I can't be Dr. Horrible either. Is it wrong that I want to dress up like him? Where can I get a lab-coat like that?

I think that there might be something wrong with me....

By tomorrow I'm guessing I will have settled down a little. But right now I'm thinking I might want to do a video blog or two. But honestly, I don't know if that's a good idea, I am many things, but I'm no Neil Patrick Harris.

What about you guys? Would any of you be interested in seeing a video blog?

pat


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posted by Pat at 52 Comments



Tuesday, July 15, 2008
The Day Has Come: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.


For you Whedonites out there, I just thought I'd remind you that the first part of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along blog is now live.





This probably isn't a big surprise for those of you who have been reading the blog for a while, as I've been geeking out about it for a while.

A couple months ago might remember me talking with Felica Day. She's Penny, the female lead. On the offhand chance that you weren't reading a couple months ago, and you're interested, here's a link to the interview I gave her. And, contrariwise, here's a link to the interview she gave me.

If nothing else, they will give you something to read while you're waiting for Dr. Horrible's page to load. I'm guessing it's going to get hit pretty hard today.....

pat

P.S. By the way, let's keep the comments section spoiler free, shall we? Not everyone will be able to watch it right and nobody likes having the good bits given away before they've had a chance to watch something themselves.

While I understand the desire to talk about the awesomeness of something like this, we must restrain ourselves. Sublimate the urge to say something along the lines of, "That was so cool when he blew up the sun and died at the end." Instead, say something gushy and loving about the show itself. Extra points given for odd-but-appropriate comparisons. For example: "That was so cool that I feel like I just got to hug a kitten and eat an entire ice-cream sundae."

Remember folks, people who give away spoilers go to the special hell: one reserved for child molesters and people who speak in the theatre.


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posted by Pat at 48 Comments



Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Trailer for Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.


I don't know if it's possible for me to be more exicted about this than I already am.....


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posted by Pat at 18 Comments



Thursday, May 15, 2008
Photo Contest Part I - Shrines.


When I first had the idea for the photo contest, it was completely off-the-cuff. I was making a facebook event for the paperback release date, and I thought, "What the hell. I'll offer prizes if people want to take pictures of themselves with the new book."

In my secret heart of hearts, I was thinking that it would be cool if I got maybe eight or ten pictures. Enough so that I could post them up in a blog, have some fun, and give prizes to everyone who played along.

I even had a secret backup plan. If not enough people participated, I would take some photos on my own to pad things out so I wouldn't look like a big loser.

Suffice to say that I am officially stunned by the response. We ended with over five hundred pictures, so many pictures that it's taken me hours and hours to download, label, and organize them. I'm sorry that not everyone can get prizes, and that I can't even display all of them. There were just so many....

Anyway, today we're going to start with just one category: Best Shrine.






Nice genuflection, you really stuck the dismount.






I like the fact that each of my books seems to have access to its own sword here.







Kneeling in reverential awe - check. Scenic backdrop - check. Dramatic sunset - bonus points.

Wait... is.... is that a frikkin gunblade? Yes. Yes it is.

While it would seem like this picture would be a shoe-in for the win, the mastermind behind it, Captain Joe, can't win this category. You'll learn why in more detail during the next blog, but rest assured, this level of awesome will not go unrewarded.






Here's the runner-up. The Name of the Wind in paperback, playing king of the hill. If you look closely, there's also a little plush draccus there.





The Winner. At first I thought this might be a very surreal candlelit dinner for a college student, but then I realized that the flowers, food, and drink were being offered up in tribute to the book. Also, the composition of the photo is really nice, though I'll admit that the lighting makes me wonder if there might not also be a black goat and a knife just off frame.

Remember kids, blood sacrifices won't get you book two any faster.

The clincher? The person who built the shrine got not only my favorite brand of ramen, but my favorite flavor too. Mmmmm.... Chicken.


Next blog we'll get more photos, along with a discussion of what the winners actually win, and the revelation of Captain Joe's tragic secret.

Later all,

pat



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posted by Pat at 20 Comments



Sunday, April 27, 2008
The Rothfuss Corporation


A couple weeks ago I had the delightful experience of doing my taxes. It was extra exciting this year, because most of my money came from writery stuff. That means for the most part, I'm self-employed.

I've always thought "self-employed" had a nice ring to it. It's sort of Firefly-esque. Wear a gun, take jobs as they come, and never be under the heel of nobody ever again....

But then I found out that if you're self employed, you get to pay super double-fun bonus taxes. Because, apparently, the government hates you.

Up until this year, I've always gotten money back because I've lived well below the poverty line. This year, I got to give them money. It was, as they say, more fun than getting kicked in the throat. Mostly.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against taxes. Everyone loves to bitch about them, but taxes pay for schools, and roads, and snowplows, and sewage treatment plants. My friends have a son who is autistic, and the government helps them by bringing in well-trained people.

These things are important. If that's all my taxes went toward, I would pay them gladly. I would sing a song while writing out the check.

However, we all know that's not the case.

So, under the advice of several wise people, I've decided to start a corporation. This is supposed to prevent the government from taking quite as big a bite out of my ass for next year's taxes.

It doesn't seem right, honestly. The corporation is just me: I own it. And this corporation (let's call it Me-corp) will be employing me. That, apparently, is different from being actually self-employed. Sorry? What? How does that work?

I guess what it comes down to is that the government is really, really dumb. Dumb enough so that if I put on sock on one of my hands and use it as a puppet, it will be convinced that the puppet is actually paying the taxes, not me.

But I'm not above exploiting a loophole in the system. So all that remains is to figure out what to call this corporation. I having trouble picking a name. Names are important things, you know. They tell you a great deal about a... a corporation.

So far, the only names that I can come up with are goofy ones, like Puppet-Co. Because the thought of owning a corporation is just silly to me, I keep thinking of cheesy names and slogans. Things like:

Rothco: Our Future is Your Tomorrow....

The Badassery: Crushing Your Hopes and Dreams Since 1998


Another part of me wants to just geek out and name the corporation after something in my book. I could call it "Elodin Enterprises" Or "The Valaritas Consortium."

If y'all have any clever ideas, please feel free to list them below....

Also of note:

  • Today my book is going to be listed in the New York Times print edition at #11. It's probably not such a big deal for you, but I've been excited to see it....
  • I've been really surprised by the response I've had to The Contest. I've already received over a hundred entries, and decided to push back the deadline because some people heard about it late and asked for more time. New deadline is May 4th. Clever readers will realize that this opens up the possibility of taking pictures on Beltane.... I'm just sayin'.

Later all,

pat

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posted by Pat at 58 Comments



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



Friday, February 15, 2008
YES!

This is awesome. Seriously.

I've known about the fanfic community for years now, though I've never myself gone swimming in those dark waters.

In fact, not too long ago someone apparently had a dream where I was acting as a councilor for fanfic-traumatized characters. They wrote about their dream over HERE on Deviantart....

While that is cool, it's not what I'm excited about.

I've known for a while that it was only a matter of time since someone did fanfic based on The Name of the Wind. I've also known that it was only a matter of time before someone did some Yaoi fanfic.

As soon as this idea got into my head, I couldn't stop thinking about it. Every couple weeks it would pop back into my head and I'd do a quick google search to see if anything was out there yet. I'd keyword search "Kvothe Bast" "Kvothe Yaoi" "'Name of the Wind'" yaoi." But there was never anything...

It's been months since I went looking. But tonight I was doing an e-mail interview and made a joke about it. Then I googled: "Bast Kvothe kissing."

Bingo.

I have truly arrived on the scene as a fantasy author.

Happily yours,

pat

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posted by Pat at 31 Comments



Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Official Announcement: The Campbell Award

A couple weeks ago, I got the following piece of fanmail...

Mr. Rothfuss,

I've been reading your blog for a while now, and I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that I really loved your book. I mean REALLY loved it. Probably the Best I've read in five years.

In fact, I loved it so much, I just nominated you for the Campbell award. I thing [sic] that there's going to be a bit of a showdown between you and Scott Lynch, but personally, I think you're a shoe-in.

Keep on Truckin,

I've removed his name for confidentiality reasons, so for simplicity's sake let's call him.... Susan.

Anyway, I replied to Susan and told him that while I was really flattered, I wasn't actually eligible for the Campbell Award.

For those of you who don't know. The Campbell Award is awarded at Worldcon. It's given out to the best new Sci-Fi/Fantasy author to appear on the scene. While it's not a Hugo itself, it *is* given out during the same award ceremony, and it's a pretty big deal. Honestly, I'd love to win it.

Unfortunately, I can't. You see, the Campbell is only awarded to new authors. You're only eligible for the first two years after your first publication, and "The Name of the Wind" wasn't the first thing I ever had in print. Back in 2002 I published my first and only short story, "The Road to Levinshir."

Very few people actually know about that story, but it still counts. That means my eligibility started in 2002, and ended in 2004. I was out of the running long before "The Name of the Wind" ever saw print.

I sent Susan an e-mail thanking him, explaining why I couldn't win, and letting him know that, generally speaking, calling me "Pat" is fine, as "Mr. Rothfuss" sounds oddly formal to me.

He e-mailed me back, saying:

Pat,

Thank you for e-mailing me back. That was unexpected. I just wish that I would have known earlier, or I wouldn't have wasted my time voting for you for the Campbell, and would have gone straight to nominating you for the Hugo instead.

Unfortunately, I've already sent in my Hugo nominations for this year, so I'll have to settle for rooting for you from the sidelines. Rest assured that if you make it onto the final ballot 'Best Novel' you'll have my vote.

And that, I thought, was that. The thought that anyone would nominate me for the Campbell or the Hugo filled me with lovely warm feelings. I didn't give much thought to winning, because honestly, those awards get won by huge authors like Gaiman and Rowling and Susanna Clarke....

Then I got another e-mail that said pretty much the same thing as Susan's. They loved the book and nominated me for the Campbell. I e-mailed them back and told them the truth...

Then I got a third e-mail and realized I needed to put out an official statement of some kind....

So here's the official announcement:

*ahem*

If you're thinking of nominating me for the Campbell, thank you very much. I'm flattered.

But I'm not eligible. It makes me feel bad that people are wasting their votes on me when there are other cool new authors out there that would love your nominations. (Folks like Joe Abercrombie, the aforementioned Scott Lynch, Kat Richardson.... There's too many to mention, check out a full list over HERE.)

That said, if you're absolutely dying to nominate "The Name of the Wind" for something, feel free to mark me down on your Hugo nomination ballot for "Best Novel." I am eligible for that.

Truthfully, the odds are vastly against me winning the Hugo, but I'll admit that even the thought of making it onto the preliminary ballot makes me all tingly. I mean seriously, look at the award itself....




It's a frikkin rocket. How cool is that? All phallic jokes aside, I swear if I won that thing I'd carry it around with me for a solid year, making rocket noises and flying it through the air.

Then, when my arms got tired, I would affix it to a gold chain and wear it around my neck, not only would it be the most badass author bling imaginable, but it would protect me from accidentally dying before book two comes out by stopping bullets and deflecting laserbeams.

Okay.... At some point that stopped being an official announcement and turned into me being a total geek about something shaped like a toy. I think I'm going to stop blogging now and put this energy into revising The Wise Man's Fear....

Later all,

pat

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posted by Pat at 22 Comments



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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posted by Pat at 13 Comments



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