Monday, October 6, 2008
Concerning Fanmail: Part Two - Hubris

I'm in Vancouver right now, working at a computer in the hotel lobby. I'm going to blame any sloppiness in this post on that. Fair?

As promised, here are a few quotes from fanmail that's been sent in over the last year. It's by no means comprehensive or scientific list. Just a random sampling of quotes that happened to strike me as funny, flattering, or odd.

As you'd probably suspect, a lot of these are good old fashioned compliments. How can I tell? Well, sometimes because they actually make a point of telling me:
Your book is gonna be bigger than any fantasy book that has ever been made. If I was Rowling I would kill you now. That is a compliment.
This is surprisingly helpful, because sometimes I can't tell the messages are supposed to be flattering or not....

If Noam Chomsky can provide his email address and invite questions on his website why can't you? After all, Prof. Chomsky probably receives more email than you do and obviously does more important work than you.

Lazy bones.

You're a good writer though.

Ummm.... Thanks?

Some people explain how the book has effected their lives:
I am a closet geek. I suspect no one would ever think of me as a fantasy reader. Yet I have recommended your books to colleagues, my wife and friends. Effectively, you outed my geekiness.
Some folks tell me about the nature of their obsessive relationship with my book:

We left the house the other day, and I made a mental note of the page I was on in your book. While we were out, we stopped at a book store for a couple of hours. So I found a copy of the book and read it until we left.

*****
If Name of The wind was a woman, I'd find out her address and move next door to her with the hope of making her mine.
*****
When my home was threatened by fire 2 weeks ago your book was one of the few things I packed in my handbag on my way out the door.

Here's one that struck me as being very sweet in its honesty:
I love "The Name of the Wind" like I love my picture in the mirror.

More than a few have contained various flavors of delicious blasphemy:

You are something very similar to God, with The Name Of The Wind being the Bible me and my close friend worship on a daily basis.

*****

For the first time in a long time: a class Fantasy novel. Burn everything else you own, roll in the ashes, read this book and make it your new god.


Some have been.... surreal:
I'm almost done with your book. Its fantastic. I LOVE it.

I also like the cover. Its really fun to feel. When I touch it I get these weird spit thing in the back of my throat. But its a good spit thing. When I swallow it it makes this nice noise.

Some have been flabbergasting:

So, my daughter, who's twelve and has read NOTW twice now, lists you as one of her very favorite authors (she's got great taste--Buffy's her favorite show ever too.)

Anywho, she had an assignment in class--part of a "Who am I?" sort of assignment. One of the questions that she was asked to answer was, "If I had 24 hours to live, I would..."

Her answer: "I would donate all my saved money to Perfect Pals [a cat shelter hereabouts] and then read Name of the Wind one more time."

Wow. Warm Fuzzies don't get any warmer and fuzzier than that.....

Lastly, I seem to be showing up in people's dreams. A lot.

I dreamed that I was walking through a mall or whatever in Kansas City and I saw you working in a cell phone kiosk. I was like "Holy shit, you're Patrick Rothfuss! I loved The Name of the Wind!" to which you replied "Thanks man, always great to hear. So....you wanna buy a phone?" Then I woke up.

Very random, and a little strange. Not sure why you were trying to sell me a cell phone.

*****

I had a dream last night that we watched TV together. No Joke. At one point I went to the fridge to find you a drink and found that everything was moldy and old. Then you told me we have to watch a certain movie next time we meet. Then you gave me your telephone number, but told me that it wouldn't work in a week or so because you had to keep on changing it since so many fans would find it out and call you.

So I just wanted to stop by and thank you for being so kind as to drink the crusty old Snapple I had lying around. Thanks for also not kicking my dog as some people tend to do in my dreams.

*****

Pat, I dreamed about you last night. You came to Austin, I was so happy. Then you turned into a girl....


Please note that those final ellipses at the end are from the guy that wrote the e-mail, not me.

Personally, I'd like to know a few more details. Was I pretty? Did I still have my beard? How can I not be curious?

Soon we'll have part three of the fanmail series: Some gentle advice on what you might want to consider including (or avoiding) in your fanmail.

Later all,

pat

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