Category Archives: contests

Twitter – A Beautiful Game

So for a couple of years now, I’ve been a bit of a laughing stock in the geek community because I’m a luddite.

You see, I did not posses a smartphone. Neither did I have a twitter account.

This might not seem like a crippling social affliction, and most of the time it’s not. Most of the time I’m at home in Wisconsin, writing and hanging out with my little boy.

But then I go to a convention, like Origins, and while I’m there, I hang out with John Scalzi, Felicia Day, and Wil Wheaton. And while we’re playing games, someone snaps a picture. And then, when they’re posting it up online, someone looks at me and says “I’ll tag you here, What’s your twitter handle?”

And I say, “I’m not on twitter.”

Keep in mind who I’m hanging with here. Wil, John, and Felicia. If you added some sort of animal sidekick to this mix, I’m guessing they could join together and form a giant robot that would somehow defend the internet. The looks they give me are the worst sort of mingled pity and scorn….

Ah hell. I just realized *I’m* probably the animal sidekick in that group. I’m Lubar, the great shambling bear-man from the frozen tundra who is charmingly baffled by the subtle magic of the interweb.

Anyway, the point is that I’ve finally, *finally* taken the leap.

20131016_165726

But that’s only the beginning. The phone itself isn’t enough. To really wire myself in, I know I need to get on twitter.

*     *     *

Part of the reason I want to get on twitter is because it will save me time. I tend to be… um…. wordy. Verbose even. Sometimes a blog that starts out as a simple announcement turns into a 500 word screed.

Twitter will help me reign that impulse in a bit. I’ll be able to mention things to y’all without feeling the obligation to make a meaty blog about them.

The other reason I need to get on twitter is to stay in better touch with my readers.

You see, I’m not a total technological schmendrick. I’ve been on facebook since before it was cool, and I’ve slowly built my army over there. For years I’ve used facebook to clue-in readers when I’m doing events, running contests, or going to conventions….

But these days Facebook deliberately throttles back the reach of most pages. These days I’m encouraged to “boost” my posts by giving facebook money. If I don’t boost the posts (and I never do) the things I write there only show up on *half* my reader’s news feeds.

It happens all the time. I schedule a signing in Boston. I post on facebook letting people know about my signing in Boston. I go to Boston. I get home and later that day I see someone howling on my wall “You Were In BOSTON!!??!?”

Twitter doesn’t have this problem. If you follow me on twitter, and I post something on twitter, you’ll be able to decide for yourself if it’s worth reading.

But here’s the problem. I don’t want to spend ages slowly building up my twitter following.

Also, you only get to lose your twitter virginity once.

My thought is, why not have a little fun with this?

My thought is, why don’t we play a little game?

*     *     *

So here’s what I’ve done.

I’ve created six twitter accounts, all versions of the name “Pat Rothfuss.”

I’ve recruited 5 members of the geek glitterati. Friends who are good with words. They’re witty, wired-in, and social media savvy.

Starting today, each of them will claim one of those accounts at random and do their best to convince the world they’re the *real* Pat Rothfuss.

They’ll connive and scheme. They’ll share links, twitter at you, and generally attempt to exude an aura of Rothfuss-y-ness.

I will take the sixth profile and attempt to do the same.

The contest will run for two weeks and finish on Halloween at midnight.  Then everyone will vote on who they think the real Pat Rothfuss is.

CSG_WhatDoILookLike_Reveal-smaller

The winner gets that most valuable commodity of all: Bragging Rights.

Even better, the winner will have 1,000 dollars donated to the charity of their choice. The prize money being provided by DAW Books, my lovely publisher.

I might also see if I can find a trophy of some sort.

  • The Rules:

It should be blindingly obvious to everyone that I could win this game pretty easily. I could post up a selfie with today’s newspaper and that would be the end of it.

But what would be the fun in that?

The five other people who are playing are going to have to win through sheer cleverness, trickery, and guile. I plan on winning the same way.

What I’m getting at here, is that I’m looking to play a beautiful game. Why would I want to win anything other than a beautiful game?

Aside from my self-imposed handicap, there are only two rules:

1. Players can change anything on their twitter profiles except for their pictures. Those will remain the same throughout the contest. Otherwise things would just be too confusing.

2. Stories about Oot are out of bounds.

You see, I love telling stories about my little boy: (Codename Oot.)

A lot of the stories I tell are funny, silly, or irreverent. For example, on facebook I recently shared how Oot spent 20 minutes running around shouting “Gangnam Style!” and dancing naked.

I shared the story because it’s funny, and because he has no sense of shame at this point in his life.

But the thought of someone *else* making up a story along those lines…. It creeps me out a little bit.

So. No Oot stories. He’s out of bounds.

That’s it though. Everything else is fair game.

  • The Charities:

The charities are people are backing:  WorldbuildersArchitecture for HumanityTeach for America826LACon or Bust or Project Nightlight.

(Here’s a hint. I’m playing for my home team, Worldbuilders.)

If you want to know more about these charities, you can read some brief summaries over on the page where you can see all six twitter feeds at once.

TheRealRothfuss

Fair warning: We kinda threw this page together. If it gets hammered with 100,000 visitors in the next two days, it might crash.

So if you want to follow the contest, you might consider following all six of these accounts right now. That way you can watch the entire beautiful game without fear of tech glitches getting in the way.

As of right now, each profile is virtually identical except for its name and the profile picture. While the pictures will remain the same, (as per rule #1 above) the profiles will doubtless change as soon as the players take charge.

A careful observer will notice that each of the profiles has one tweet from Oct 14th saying, “I am the real Pat Rothfuss.”

A *very* careful observer will notice that that post is actually from Oct 14th 2012. That’s how long I’ve been planning to do this contest, but I’ve never managed to get around to it until now.

Because the profiles have been sitting around for a while, some of them have collected different numbers of followers.

I’m guessing that in the next couple days they’re going to get a few more….

In case you’d like it again, here’s a link to the page where you can see and follow all of the accounts.

Game on,

pat

P.S. Just now, minutes before we launch this blog, it has occurred to me that we should have some sort of official hashtag associated with it.

I consulted with my staff, and my twitter-smart assistant Amanda has confirmed that yes, this is a good idea.

What’s more, she has implied to me that this tag could even be used to ask a question of all the different accounts at the same time. Something along the lines of “If you’re the *real* Pat Rothfuss, what’s your favorite flavor skittle?”

And then you’d somehow… um… hash things. Together. I guess that’s another thing I’m going to have to figure out…

Anyway, how about we use #TheRealRothfuss. Using it all the time would would probably be cumbersome and cluttery. But now it’s there for people if they want it. (Sorry to make y’all use caps, but otherwise it looks too much like “There Al Rothfuss.” Which would be some other, entirely lamer game.)

Also posted in Achievement Unlocked!, Beautiful Games, My brilliant ideas | By Pat93 Responses

GenCon Badge Giveaway, My Convention Schedule, and a Reading in Indianapolis…

Heya everybody.

Sorry I haven’t gotten around to posting up details about the TV deal yet.

(Oh yeah. For those of you who haven’t heard, there’s a TV deal.)

Things are still in very early stages, and a lot of the brief articles that are out there are only about 60% accurate.

I’m putting together an official announcement post that is full of all manner of True Facts ™. But it’s taking a while, and I have to run it by PR people. It’s taking a while.

So for now, some other news…

  • Gen Con Badge Giveaway  

As you know, I’m going to be at GenCon next week.

What you might not know is that I’ve got two 4-day Gen Con badges to give away.

These were generously given to us by the Gen Con Writer’s Symposium, which is the group running all of the cool author panels at the con.

The great thing about the writing track is that most of their events are free. So getting a free badge means you can go to the con and soak up as much writing panel-ness as you’d like and it won’t cost you an extra nickel. If you go to the Writer’s Symposium website, you can see a full schedule of what sorts of things they’ve got going on.

And there’s a lot of other cool stuff you can do at the con, of course. You could take a whole day just browsing through the dealer’s room.

If you’d like a chance at winning one of these badges, just drop a comment down below. It should say, “I’d like a badge” along with…. um….

How about with your favorite quote from the book?

Make sure you have a current e-mail address listed in your profile, as that’s how we’ll end up contacting you.

Post a comment by Saturday at Midnight, CST. That’s when we’ll be picking the winners.

  • Cool Things at Gencon – Booth #661

So this year at Gencon, Worldbuilders will be having a booth. We’re sharing with Badali Jewelry  at booth #661.

266696_287860688003317_1310606195_o

(Look at us, being all fancy with our signage….)

This is a new thing for us, and we’ll be doing pretty much what you’d expect. I’ll be hanging out, signing books. And we’ll be selling some of the stuff that’s available in The Tinker’s Packs with the added bonus that you don’t have to pay for shipping.

And we’ll have other things too. Stuff we’re debuting at the convention. Stuff you can’t get in the store, at least not yet.

For example, we’ll be selling Boss Monster, a game by Brotherwise Games.

In this game, there are a bunch of hero cards that pay homage to characters from classic fantasy video games and/or literature.  In the prototype deck, there was a “Quothe Ladykiller, The Polymath” hero card.

BMA073_Quothe_Ladykiller,_the_Polymath

That’s actually how I first found out about this game. Someone sent me a link to a picture of this card. I was amused by it, and called them up to ask if they’d be willing to let us sell some for Worldbuilders. They agreed.

But here’s the thing, the Quothe card didn’t make it into the final game. It was just one of the prototypes.

But because they’re awesome, the guys over at Brotherwise made a special promotional card just for us. They printed 200 copies of the Quothe card so that we can use them as a special promotion when we sell our copies of the game.

So not only are these cards limited edition, but buying them from us is the only way to get them, and we’re debuting them at GenCon.

Right now, we’ll be making 50 of the decks available each day of the con. That way, while it’s still first-come first-serve, you have a chance of getting a deck even if you’re only coming on Saturday or Sunday.

And we’ll have other things too we’ll be launching at the con. Cool things. Trust me. Stop by.

(As always, all profits from The Tinker’s Packs go to Worldbuilders.)

  • My Schedule in Indy

Thursday, August 15th

12-1:45 Signing at the booth
2PM The Art of Storytelling – Moderator ICC Room 245
3PM Dynamic Characters ICC Room 245
5PM Literary Alchemy ICC Room 245

(Unfortunately, I’ve had to bail out of that last panel, as I need to get to my Reading/Signing event at the Central Library on time.)

Friday, August 16th

10:30-11:45 Signing at the booth
7:30-9PM – An Evening with Pat Rothfuss – ICC Room 243

Saturday, August 17th
12 NOON Reading ICC room 244
2:00 – 4:00 pm: True Dungeon
4-6 Signing at the booth

Sunday, August 18
11-1 Signing at the booth
2-4  Signing at the booth

  •  Getting Your Books Signed

Here’s the thing, GenCon doesn’t want us to have a huge line that will block traffic and people’s access to other booths.

So if you want to get something signed, you’ll need to swing by the booth to pick up a ticket. They’re free, but we’re using these to organize things. That way you don’t have to stand in line for an hour, and we don’t get in trouble with the con.

If you can’t get to the booth during one of my signing times, or your time slot is full when you try to get a ticket, I’ll be signing things at my “An Evening with Pat Rothfuss” panel on Friday at 7:30, as well as my off-site event at the Central Library (see below).

Both events will be nice, relaxing places to hang out, get stuff signed, and listen to me to me either rant or ramble, depending on my bloodsugar levels.

  • Library Reading in Indianapolis – With Goodies… 

For those of you who aren’t really into the con scene, I’ll have my off-site reading and signing at the Central Library at 7:00 PM. I’ll be reading some stuff, answering questions, and signing books for everyone who’s interested.

Central Library – Clowes Auditorium
40 E St Clair St
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Facebook Event

Since we’re going to be in town running a booth at Gencon, we’re going to be supplying our own books for this event. And since we’ve got some *other* cool stuff with us for our booth, we’re thinking we could bring those things out to the library event as well.

But for logistical reasons, we can’t pack up our whole booth and bring it with us. We simply can’t bring *all* the t-shirts in *all* the sizes.

We will be bringing a selection of stuff, but if you’re coming to the library reading and there’s something in particular you’d like for us to bring, it might be best if you mention it down in the comments. We’ll do our very best to bring it along for you.

Please be clear and specific in your comment, lest we descend into madness. Something like this would be ideal:

“Could you pleas bring a woman’s L Greysdale Mead shirt, a copy of Unfettered, and Denna’s Ring in a 6.5 with the antiqued finish. My name is Laurie.”

I’ll be seeing you soon….

pat

Also posted in appearances, The Tinker's Packs | By Pat201 Responses

Ghost Stories, Writing Contests, and Sad Puppets

I would just like to say that the above might be the best title I’ve ever given anything in the history of forever.

Today we have some cool news.

Wisconsin Life Flash-Fiction Ghost Story Contest

The folks at Wisconsin Public Radio sweet-talked me into judging a writing contest for them. And by “sweet-talked,” I mean they pretty much just asked me and I agreed. I have a bit of a weak spot for ghost stories.

Some points of interest:

  • You don’t have to live in Wisconsin to participate.
  • The contest deadline is October 7th.
  • Stories must be 600 words or less.
  • Winners will be read on Wisconsin Life. Maybe by me.

All the other details you can find over here on their website.

Though I do feel compelled to mention one other thing.

Please note that Flash Fiction refers to the brevity of the piece of writing. As in, it’s something so short you can read it in a flash.

It is not (and I can’t stress this enough) something you *wrote* in a flash. These stories should have some polish on them. If you’ve only got 600 words, you better make them count.

I’m looking forward to seeing what y’all come up with….

Since we’re talking about writing, I should probably put up a link to the second episode of Story Board that we recorded a couple weeks ago.

We talked about what makes characters tick with our lovely and talented guests: Amber Benson, Bradley Beaulieu, and Mary Robinette-Kowal.

And if that weren’t enough, we ended up with a surprise guest star at the end of the show….

If my background looks different there, it’s because I was in Seattle, mooching a computer off Shawn Speakman, who runs The Signed Page.

I think it turned out pretty well, despite the fact that I’d just done two conventions and three events in five days. Plus I suck at at making things work on a Mac. The lack of a second mouse button freaks me out….

We’ll be having another episode of Story Board in just a week or so on October 2nd at 8:00 PM Pacific time. I’ll be home in Wisconsin for this one, and we have another all-star line-up ready to talk stories.

Hope to see you there….

pat

Also posted in my rockstar life, the craft of writing, The Story Board | By Pat42 Responses

Two great books, and a chance to win a free DeLorean

Commander Harken: Seems odd you’d name your ship after a battle you were on the wrong side of.
Captain Reynolds: May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.

That’s all I feel like saying on the subject of the recall election right now.

*     *     *

There are two things happening this week that all proper geeks should be aware of.

First off, Redshirts, is hitting the shelves.

I know, I know…. you can’t really judge a book by its cover. In my opinion, if you’re going to judge, you should do it by the blurbs on the back:

(Click to Embiggen.)

As I mentioned on the blog a couple months back, I got an early read of the book early on this year. As a result, I ended up laughing my ass off at a local restaurant, while everyone stared at me like I was a crazy person. Which is fair enough, I suppose.

If you’re interested, you can read the review I wrote, including the bit where I threaten Scalzi with violence, over here.

The second piece of vital geek news today is the fact that Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, went on sale in paperback this week.

Now this would be news enough by itself, because honestly, Ready Player One was probably the best book I read last year. (And I read a lot.)

But no, the REAL news is that to celebrate the paperback release, Ernest is giving away a DeLorean. Which is somehow manages to be the coolest AND the geekiest promotional thing that I’ve ever run into.

(Seriously, he’s giving away a DeLorean.)

How can you win it? Well, he’s hidden clues in his book. You find the clues, you play some games, you can win his sweet ride.

For the details, you can head over here.

I’ll also mention, just as an aside, that both John Scalzi and Ernest Cline were very cool about donating stuff to Worldbuilders last year. So if you were right on the edge, and just needed one more reason to rush out and buy their books, there it is…

pat

Also posted in cool news, geeking out, recommendations | By Pat28 Responses

Photo Contest: Prelude

So for a while now, I’ve been sifting through all the photos that people submitted to the contest. More than a thousand photos in all.

Needless to say, it’s been taking a lot longer than I expected.

It’s not just that life seems determined to get in the way. Neither is it the fact that there are more photos than I expected, or that so many of them are clever. It’s not even that so many of them were so obviously taken as an act of love. (And I mean that literally in some cases.)

The real problem is that so many of the pictures are really good.

While I’ve been sifting through them, organizing them into categories, and trying to winnow some of them out. I keep thinking of what happened last year when I went to Neil Gaiman’s House on the Rock shindig on Halloween.

He had a costume contest there, American Gods themed. And the winners were going to get to ride the carousel. Yeah. The carousel that nobody gets to ride.

Needless to say, the competition was fierce. Of the thousand or so people that attended, I’m guessing almost half dressed up.

(One of these days I’ll get around to telling the whole story of that day, the story of how I got to ride the carousel with Gaiman, but for now I’m just going to tell a tiny piece of the story.)

Anyway, the vast array of costumes paraded in front of Gaiman. The line went on and on. The outfits were clever and funny and elaborate.

And, more than anything, they were acts of love.

It goes on for hours. Sexy costumes, smart costumes, detailed costumes. Then, eventually, after everyone has had their turn in the spotlight, Gaiman goes up to the microphone, shaking his head.

“I hate you all,” he said.

He gets a big laugh, because he has enough charisma to pull off a line line that and make it charming.

He explains that he was expecting maybe a hundred costumes. He said he thought it would be fairly simple to weed out the rubbish ones, and pick the good ones as winners. (I specifically remember that he said “rubbish,” because that’s a word you can only really get away with if you’re British.)

There were too many good costumes, he complained, and he only got to let 8 people on the carousel. There could only be 8 winners.

Then he settled down to the hard job of picking the winners.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot these last couple weeks as I look through all the photos that were sent in for the contest. Honestly, I’m amazed at the lengths people went to for some of their pictures.

Anyway, I just wanted you to know that you’ll start seeing the results of the contest soon.

Soon….

pat

Also posted in fan coolness, Neil Gaiman, Photo Contest 2011 | By Pat31 Responses

Photo Contest: Final Call.

So over the last several weeks, entries for the photo contest have been pouring in.

Well… that’s not exactly true. “Pouring in” overstates the case a bit. There hasn’t been a deluge or anything. It’s been more like a slow, steady stream of submissions.

But if I say entries have been “streaming in”, that overstates the case, too. That implies dozens or hundreds of entries a day, and we haven’t had nearly that many.

“Trickling in” isn’t quite right either. That implies we haven’t had many entries at all….

I can’t seem to think of something in between a stream and a trickle. A streamlet? A creek?

I can’t say entries have been creeking in, that would just confuse people.

Well, in the interest of perfect clarity, I guess I should say that entries have been coming in a variable but fairly steady amount between two and twelve a day. Bringing our current total to about 350 pictures.

As description goes, it lacks a certain something, doesn’t it?

Anyway. The purpose of this blog is to send up one final signal flare, letting people know they can still submit photos to the contest until Monday the 16th.

I know, I know. I said the 15th before, but the truth is I’m going to be away from home until the 16th. So, since I won’t be able to do a lot of stuff on my computer until Tuesday anyway. So I’m extending things one last day for the stragglers.

Want a sneak peek?

So far we’ve got photos that are artistic:

And sexy:

And, um, baffling:

I have to admit. This last one gave me a good belly laugh….

I’ve posted up a few more on the facebook fan page, if you’re interested.

Right now we’ve got about 350 photos, so the competition is stiff, but by no means overwhelming. So don’t be bashful about throwing your hat into the ring.

And by ‘hat’ I mean ‘photo’ and by ‘the ring’ I mean the e-mail address that I give over here in the contest guidelines.

Have a good weekend everybody….

pat

Also posted in facebook, fan coolness, The difference between 'slim' and 'slender' | By Pat47 Responses

Retro Kvothe?

So my UK publisher, Gollancz, is having its 50th anniversary.

In celebration, they’re holding a poll/contest… thinger.

Let me explain more clearly than that.

They’ve picked 50 of their top novels from the last 50 years. 25 in fantasy and 25 in science fiction. Flatteringly enough, The Name of the Wind made that list.

They’re asking people to vote on their favorites, and the top five novels in each category are going to be published in special retro-style collector’s editions.

Normally when there’s some sort of online poll like this, I try to resist the urge to point y’all at it, howling, “Fly my pretties, Fly! Vote for me!”

I did that sort of thing fairly often back when The Name of the Wind first came out, because…. well… because I was pretty excited about my book. And it’s nice to win things, even if it’s just an online poll in someone’s blog.

These days, I try to restrain those impulses. Mostly because my inner Midwesterner isn’t entirely cool with that sort of self-aggrandizing behavior. I always felt kind weird afterwards.

That said, I have to admit I’m curious what a retro edition of The Name of the Wind would look like. I think that would be pretty cool.

Here’s a link to the Gollancz poll, just in case you want to, y’know, go over there and, like, look at it. Or whatever.

pat

Also posted in foreign happenings | By Pat103 Responses
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