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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

This entry was posted in BJ Hiorns Art, Fanmail Q + ABy Pat29 Responses

29 Comments

  1. Ben
    Posted October 7, 2008 at 6:18 AM | Permalink

    well that was hilariously amusing.Thanks for getting my day of to a good start :D

  2. patham
    Posted October 7, 2008 at 7:29 AM | Permalink

    That was funny. :) And in a certain way cool too. You know you’re getting famous when you start recieving stuff like that. :P

  3. marky
    Posted October 7, 2008 at 9:16 AM | Permalink

    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. ————————–Sounds like something Joe would write.

  4. Dracc
    Posted October 7, 2008 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

    Vancouver eh? You should take a detour and stop by Port Angeles, Washington. You would really dig our little town, at least I suppose you would anyway.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted October 7, 2008 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

    Hmm. so the secret to getting your fanmail posted is to make it awkwardly creepy…“Name of the wind makes me all squiggy. I just want to thank you for writing it and to let you know how much I appreciate it, I’ll be sure to lick your eyes when next I find you.”There, how’s that?

  6. Captain Joe
    Posted October 7, 2008 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

    <>Marky said: 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.————————–Sounds like something Joe would write.<>Heh. As much as it would be cool to deny this. I have stated something very similar – only I was the woman.Damn.Blasphemy is sinfully delicious – like hot, sticky toffee pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice cream slowly a’melting on top.Today’s word verification was <>pewtbi<>, which I imagine is some sort of sexual orientation. Can anyone beat <>pewtbi<>? Five Pat Points to the man (or lady) that beats <>pewtbi<>!

  7. Nick
    Posted October 7, 2008 at 2:10 PM | Permalink

    Well, this almost makes me happy for not sending too much absurd fanmail then… Be careful about turning into a girl there, Pat. I’m told its not a comfortable process.My word today is <>zipoobv<>, which I’m guessing is something that happens in the bathroom after too much… of something…Anyway, not comfy once again.

  8. Kinson
    Posted October 7, 2008 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

    My word verification is:uzkrcjugWhich I can only assume is an orc complaining that I broke some sort of pottery of theirs.

  9. Laura
    Posted October 7, 2008 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    I am almost afraid of anticipating the next installment. What if I show up in the “how not to” samples? I mean, it’s a really fine line between fan mail and honest feedback including unsolicited suggestions, wardrobe criticisms, quick lectures in ethology and also the endurance merits of equine phenotype — maybe lots of people get them confused…. Okay, maybe not.On the other hand, it was good to hear that phone sales might be a good backup career, endorsed by a minor celebrity, even!@ dracc — Port Angeles is nice! Lovely area.

  10. fae
    Posted October 7, 2008 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

    Outing someone’s closet geekiness sounds like an accomplishment to me. Especially in the work place. Working in a Borders Book Store I don’t really have that problem. (It actually affords me ample opportunity to recommend your book to literally half the population in the surrounding towns.) The first week your paperback came out I told so many people about it who listened the story had to order more copies. It’s always my favorite when a customer actually comes back into the store a week or so later for the soul purpose of finding me to tell me how good the book is. That’s your writing Pat. That’s how good you are. You are so good that people who live in the middle of nowhere will drive thirty or forty minutes to the only bookstore nearby to tell a nameless cashier who recommended it how good it is.And that wasn’t just a one time happenstance. my word is ‘ifrnak’. A mythical creature with a knack for creating imaginary ‘what if’ situations and driving nearby pedestrians insane with worry.

  11. Alicia
    Posted October 7, 2008 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

    onizg – I have had people say this to me before. Usually when they’re trying to sell me something. “onizg uv, worth fifty quid, fer yuw, a tenner.” Fan Mail: Pat. I have recommended your book. But I have only leant it out once. It came back last week. I hugged it and cried. The girl who borrowed it had it for six months.I’m sorry, but I’m never letting it out of my home again. Your word can be spread by some other means.

  12. super happy girl
    Posted October 7, 2008 at 7:45 PM | Permalink

    OHMYGOODNESS. YOU POSTED MY FANMAIL AND CALLED IT SURREAL!!!I LOVE YOUUUU. SO MUCH.I was really and truly honest about the spit thing.THANK YOU PAT!! You made my day.

  13. Fe2O3
    Posted October 7, 2008 at 7:46 PM | Permalink

    Wow, I always thought that “word verification” was being used by fledgling writers to come up with words for their new evish/dwarvish/demonish/fairyish languages, but the comments here tend to prove the point.My word is ecsekisr which sounds like the name of a very powerful sword or gunblade.Anyone who hasn’t heard Cap’n Joe’s remark concerning NOTW should click on his name above to go to his blog and watch the end of the “Dresden Files” post; Ultimat fan-, um, sure, fan-boy.Pat, it was your fabulous writing that brought us together out of our respective worlds into your world. It’s your fault. Now you must endure your punishment … your own, awkward, slightly creepy, stalker inducing, ofttimes inspiring and uplifting punishment.

  14. Kalligenia
    Posted October 7, 2008 at 7:48 PM | Permalink

    Oh man, that was a much needed laugh! I recommend your book all the time. I pimped it for you at Archon last weekend.

  15. Fe2O3
    Posted October 7, 2008 at 8:01 PM | Permalink

    Oops, correction. Joe’s comment is at the end of his < HREF="http://captain-joe.blogspot.com/2008/07/getting-underway.html" REL="nofollow">‘Ice Station’post<> at about the 9:25 mark.new word: li’ilixh (added diacritic)A popular fairy rapper, whose lyrics contain explicit lyrics concerning dwarf violence and human submision.

  16. logankstewart
    Posted October 7, 2008 at 9:27 PM | Permalink

    kinson, your word made me giggle. and then i laughed. and then i kept laughing. i liked it.my word’s ddigk. y’know, the same word that was at the end of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the ddigk.”

  17. pdxtrent
    Posted October 7, 2008 at 10:51 PM | Permalink

    Joe, Joe, Joe.What does it say that when I read that comment, I thought of you too? Nothing bad I’m sure. Just that you have fallen hard for those lovely pages, with their virile attractiveness.Anyway, I am in Paris, and read this post to the friends I am traveling with, who think it’s very odd that while checking my email I check out your Blog. But hey, I’m an addict.My word today is Aigesu. Strangely, this is a real word, meaning heat in the limbs(in hindi I think). But it also has a second meaning in the world of high magic among the demon summoning tribes of the River Dai, where it refers to any spirit(though generally demonic), which is summoned by accident. So if I were trying to summon an Great Old One or an Outer God, perhaps Nyarlathotep, and were to receive a demidemon named Ansicora instead, this would be an incident of aigesu. Of course, if the reverse happened, there’d be only a small pile of dust for someone to sweep up later.On a side note, there is increasing evidence of Pat’s beard being this dimension’s next Great God. The situation is being monitored carefully.TJ

  18. littlejigman
    Posted October 8, 2008 at 12:04 AM | Permalink

    An interesting little circle you created Pat…I write you telling you about how you made my day by writing a book that my daughter says she’d read if she had only 24 hours to live. Apparently, it made your day. You write about it in your blog and reading it made my wife’s day–and when my daughter came home from school (early because she went to the nurse’s office cause she felt like dirt), we pointed her to your blog and she hasn’t stopped smiling since. So you made her day too.Thanks again, Sir!

  19. rob
    Posted October 8, 2008 at 1:47 AM | Permalink

    Wiseo, the only breakfast cereal that gives a +5 to wisdom AND deliciousness!I’m worried i may end up on day three. My fiance read my e-mail and saved it as “Rob’s Creepy Stalker Letter”Here’s hoping :P

  20. Nick
    Posted October 8, 2008 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

    Well, after all this talk of silly words, I can’t help but point out this useful diagram from another of my web-based addictions: http://xkcd.com/483/xjvyqv. There’s not even a vowel in that, so I’m going with…. Xtreme Jewish Vision for Yiddish Quality Votes. -Sorry, best I could do on short notice (im not trying to be mean, honest!)

  21. Sailor Matt
    Posted October 8, 2008 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

    I love Wiseo’s! Made with whole grains, too.let’s see… my word ver. is:zpbxmit’s an old sailing term, a method for handling drunk and disorderly sailors. Similar to a “clamshell.”Whoa, this one’s a biligerent old fool! We’re gonna need to zip-box ’em!

  22. Jennifer
    Posted October 8, 2008 at 4:24 PM | Permalink

    When I wrote, I just gushed and sort of babbled. I think I tried to make “Book good, me likey!” sound a little less insane by using fancy words. Somehow, even when I met this god among men in person in Indy, I managed not to drool and babble as well, surprising myself to a great degree. Well, Pat, if you want a true measure of your success, I’ve counted twelve different variations of Kvothe as character names on my server in World of Warcraft. Seems to be split between warriors and mages, too, which means that people are trying to play it correctly. So, you’re not quite up to the Legolas variation level, but you are gaining on the Drizzt camp. Yes, the ultimate gauge of success as a fantasy writer, how many of your characters show up in MMOs.

  23. Rachel
    Posted October 8, 2008 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

    glad to see other people have freak dreams about you too. just the other day i dreamed that you shaved your beard to hide from your obsessive fans.

  24. Karyn
    Posted October 8, 2008 at 6:48 PM | Permalink

    O wow, Spit Girl commented. That is laugh out loud good times right there.Obviously, my fan letter to you was a giant YAWN. It said “I love the book & am telling everyone about it”, and you replied “Thank You”. I don’t get an honorable mention for being pedantic, eh?Speaking of boring, my word is umeynw. That’s practically a sentence in itself, you and me you know?

  25. Laura
    Posted October 8, 2008 at 8:15 PM | Permalink

    I am going to have to bookmark the comment page for when I need new fantasy-language vocabulary. Yes, now Pat’s blog’s comments are drawing visits all on their own….rwguk — a pleasant surviving example of /w/ as a vowel, “rwguk” refers to a small amphibian found in the lowlands of Chrenada, named for its characteristic mating call and used commonly in peasant dishes.

  26. Captain Joe
    Posted October 9, 2008 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

    Hey!Everyone!Nathan Fillion, of internet fame (plus firefly), is back on the web:< HREF="http://www.spike.com/video/pg-porn-pg-porn/3041858" REL="nofollow">PG Porn<>Its not really porn, just a funny skit – you’ll laugh.Word verification:I say we give five Pat Points to both kinson and Rusty (fe2o3) because those words were awesome.pdxtrent gets an honourable mention and a hat of his choice for his awesome description.

  27. Jana
    Posted October 9, 2008 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

    OH MY GOODNESSi know this is off topic, but i finally watched dr. horrible’s sing-along blog… wow. like really. it rocked my world. and i seriously just needed to share that with y’all. WATCH IT! http://www.drhorrible.com/mushortio.html

  28. marky
    Posted October 9, 2008 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

    Brilliant. Good find Captain. Not the ending I was hoping for, but entertaining none the less. Fillion is the baws.Late entry? – vinvzvd – were old VCR’s go to die.

  29. Kinson
    Posted October 10, 2008 at 9:21 PM | Permalink

    I think all of my fan mail has just been asking about what Pat’s role in events he was going to was going to be. That way I could gauge if it was worth going to see him, again, or not. This time my word was ‘brrmps’ which is another way of saying ‘goose bumps’. Use it next time you are chilly at work or in some other adult oriented group. Ex: “Geeze! It is cold out here. Look, I even have brrmps on my arms!”

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