Category Archives: Interviews

Pontificating on True Monsters

A while back, the some folks contacted me and asked if I’d like to talk about monsters and stories and mythology and stuff for a show they were putting together for the History Channel.

(I’m paraphrasing, of course.)

It wasn’t a hard decision. I’m all about talking about stories and mythology. Stuff is right up my alley, too.

And… Ah… who are we kidding? I just like to talk. If I didn’t have access to the internet, I’d constantly be pulling Ancient Mariner bullshit on people.

Anyway, the first episode went up last week Friday. Here’s a little teaser.

You can watch the entire episode right here. Brandon Sanderson is there too, better dressed and more articulate than me.

Before you rush over there and get your hopes up, I’m not in much of the episode. Part of this is because I didn’t have much to say about things like the Jersey Devil or Hel (The Norse Hel).

But a contributing factor is the fact that I have trouble talking in soundbites. Anyone who has seen me on panels at conventions knows this. When I’m asked a question, your best case scenario is that I’m going to talk a paragraph at you. More often my answer will probably be a little story of its own with its own distinct narrative arc. It’s the only way I really know how to talk. That doesn’t translate well onto camera.

Super impressed with my shiny name

Also, I was so impressed with how shiny my name was that I wore this expression all the way through the interview.

Seriously though, I spent most of my interview telling stories, making jokes, and cussing with extravagant flamboyance. Which, in retrospect, probably wasn’t what they were looking for. Though I do remember getting good laughs off the camera crew…

There are going to be 3 more episodes. I’m particularly curious about how #3 turned out: Gods and Monsters. I remember talking at some length about Loki fucking a horse. Which… now that I’m thinking of it… they might not put that in the episode either.

Blowing it off 2

Anyway, here’s the schedule:

  • Cannibals and Killers – Friday, October 16th, 2015 at 10pm EST / 9pm CST
  • Gods and Monsters – Friday, October 23rd, 2015 at 10pm EST / 9pm CST
  • Giants and Beasts – Friday, October 30th, 2015 at 10pm EST / 9pm CST

You could make a drinking game out of it. Every time they put me on the screen – take a drink. Every time I give a Midwestern pause in the middle of a statement – two drinks. Every time I laugh at one of my own jokes – three drinks. Every time they have to bleep me – do a shot.

That’s all for now, folks. Share and enjoy.


Also posted in Achievement Unlocked!, appearances, videos | By Pat23 Responses

Invisible Interview Questions….

I do a lot of interviews. I used to post up links to them here in the blog. Though lately most of them end up getting posted on facebook or twitter.

The thing is, what you guys end up seeing is the final version of the interviews. The pretty finished versions that have been tidied up. Edited. Expurgated.

For example, when I’m doing interviews, a lot of time, people ask questions like:

Them: If you’d never been published, what do you think you would be?

Me: An unpublished author.

Them: [Laughing.] I’m sorry, what I mean is, if you weren’t a writer, what other job do you think you’d be doing now. What are you suited to do?

Me: Oh. In that case, I think I’d be a hobo.

Them: What we’re looking for is something more along the lines of your dream job.

Me: Still hobo.

Them: [Long pause] I think being a hobo is actually the opposite of a job.

Me: [Thoughtfully] That’s a good point. It’s more of a calling, isn’t it?

Them: Yes?

Me: What you’re asking is if I wasn’t a writer, what would my perfect career be?

Them: Yes. [Obvious relief.] That’s it exactly. What’s your dream job?

Me: Batman.

The moral of the story is this: I am a pain in the ass to interview.

In related news, here’s a link to a recent interview I did with the A.V. Club. For those of you who haven’t seen it.



Posted in Interviews | By Pat40 Responses

Interview: Triangulation

I did an interview about a week ago over on Triangulation.

A good time was had by all. You can watch it over here if you like.


P.S. I think this might be my shortest blog ever….

Also posted in the craft of writing, videos | By Pat29 Responses

A different kind of story….

I’m still writing like a mad bastard over here. And since it’s going well, I’m loathe to break my stride by writing up a long blog.

That said, I’ve got a few things some of you might be interested in.

  • A different sort of interview.

Months ago, I did an interview while I was at a convention. There’s nothing new about that, as interviews have become kinda old hat for me.

But this interview turned into something different. It didn’t end up as the sort of Q&A thing I normally do, the journalist that did it went out and did other interviews, talked to people I went to grad school with.

The end result is almost more of a story than anything.

I like it. I’m fond of stories.

  • A different sort of video.

I’m a little fuzzy on the details of how this came to be, but apparently Peter V. Brett did an AMA recently on reddit. (You do know that Daylight War is hitting the shelves in just a couple days, right?) During the AMA, Brent Weeks apparently made some sort of dare.

Then I don’t know what happened. The result was this video.

Beware. You can’t unwatch it.


  • A different sort of picture.


Lastly, apropos of nothing, here is a picture of a little kid licking a pig.

(That’s not Oot. But I kinda wish it was.)

I showed this picture to my little boy, curious as to what he might think of this little scene. Because personally, I find it hilarious.

He looked at it and said, “Oh. Why am I in the baby cage?”

It took me a moment to realize that he thought that it was *him* in the picture. He was trying to figure out what he’d done to deserve being locked up. And, apparently, cozy up to the toughest pig in the joint for some protection.

There you go folks,  that’s all I’ve got for now…


Also posted in my student days, Oot | By Pat30 Responses

Please Stand By

Man, I have to tell you guys. It feels really good not to have to post a blog up every day about the fundraiser.

Rest assured that regular blog hijinks will ensue next week. Right now, I’m taking a little bit of a rest and getting some writing done.

For now, here’s a link to an interview I did about this year’s charity calendar. I posted this on facebook before, but not here on the blog.

So if you missed it, here you go….

I think it’s the best interview I’ve done in ages. Kat put some serious time into this one, and that let get into the issue and have a substantial discussion on the topcs involved.

Have a good weekend, y’all…



Posted in Interviews | By Pat30 Responses

Video, Verse, and Veritas. (Or Verbosity, if you prefer.)

Today we have a video that tickled me more than just a little bit.

Figuratively, of course.

Also, I did an interview on SF Podcast that was a lot of fun. I had a bunch of caffeine right beforehand, so I was a chatty, chatty bitch.

So you can check that out if you like. If you’re into things that are fun….

Share and enjoy,


Also posted in podcasts, reviews, Surreal enthusiasm, the craft of writing, videos | By Pat14 Responses

Rothfuss and Brooks: Part IV

Here’s the final installment of the mutual interview I did with Terry Brooks. If you’d like to start at the beginning, here’s Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

And now, without further ado, Part 4….

*     *     *

Pat: What’s your revision process like? How many drafts do you go through?

Terry: I outline pretty thoroughly before I put pen to paper.  I don’t write anything until I have it all pretty clear in my head, then I do the outline, and then I do the book.  This doesn’t mean there won’t be changes, some of them extensive.  But it is my blueprint for the book’s foundation and support timbers.  I can pretty much rely on it to see me through.  That said, nothing tells you more about your book than the writing of it.  So I pay attention to newer, fresher ideas that crop up as I write.  I listen to my instincts.

But here’s the good part.  With this method, I only write one draft.

Pat: Boy. I think I’d hate to outline everything. But I have to admit, I’m really jealous of a one-draft model. I end up doing somewhere between 50 and 300 drafts, depending on how you want to count them.

Hopefully I’ll manage to streamline that a bit as I gain more experience. I’m the first to admit my way isn’t very efficient. I end up going back and forth a lot. Once or twice I’ve gone back and realized the best thing for the book was to hatchet out an entire chapter.

What’s the biggest cut you’ve ever made to a manuscript?

Terry: I did a lot of cutting when I was learning the craft under Lester.  Lots of pages went by the board.  But along the way, I’ve learned a few things.  So I haven’t had to cut anything much in a long time.  I should add, though, that I decided a while back to curtail the length of my books.  I am an advocate of less is more these days.  I use fewer words and actively look for ways to cut bits and pieces as I write.  I was feeling wordy about my books about 15 years ago, and that was the end of big books for me.

Pat: Strange as it might seem, that’s actually my philosophy too. I really believe in less is more. And yes, I know how ridiculous that sounds coming from someone who just wrote a 400,000 word book. Believe me, it would have been much longer if I wasn’t constantly riding my own brake.

Terry:  I think you will do more of this the more you write and the older you get.  This isn’t meant to be a warning.  I just think that you learn how to say more with less (that less is more thing again) as time passes and writing skills improve.  You change because that’s in the nature of who we are as writers.

Pat: Roughly speaking, how many copies of your own books would you guess you have in your house?

Terry: I don’t know how many of my books I’ve got in my house, but I’ve got thousands in my book storage rooms, and about half of them are European paperbacks!!  Those guys insist on sending out dozens of author copies every time there is a new print run.  If you put them altogether I think you would find I have somewhere around 20,000 on hand.  Anyone need a foreign edition?  Croatian, Thai, Hebrew or Inuit?

How about Martian?

Pat: The foreign editions really do pile up after a while. And I’ve only got the two books. I can’t imagine what it’s like for you, so many different editions of so many books. There’s really only so much you can do with them, too. One to the library. One to a friend who wants to brush up on his Estonian, then the rest of them sit on a shelf…

Terry: Do you see yourself writing fantasy twenty years from now?  Or do you think you might go off and write something else entirely?

Pat: I don’t think I’ll ever stray very far from fantasy. Not only is it what I love best, but there’s so much room to write any sort of story you want.

Terry: That’s pretty much my thinking, too.  I’m writing what exactly what I want to.

Pat: Rumor has it that Edith Sitwell used to lie in an open coffin for a while before she began her day’s writing. Do you have any little rituals that help you write?

Terry: I’m kind of like Monk.  Very anal.  I have my writing space and I never write anywhere else.  I have my stuff all carefully arranged, and I don’t like it if something gets moved.  I have several recourses that I can turn to when I am stumped or bothered about a piece of writing to remove the so-called block.  I always write in silence.  No sounds, no music, no interruptions.  This is all weird, but it beats lying in a coffin!

Pat: We’re birds of a feather there. I’m not orderly or neat. But I do have my writing space. Nobody is allowed in there, with a few rare exceptions.

And I’m with you. Silence. No interruptions. I can’t understand how some folks write with music playing. I know it’s an issue of different strokes for different folks, but writing with music on strikes me as being profoundly counter-intuitive. Unnatural even.

Pat: The internet has really changed the face of fandom in the last ten years. Has it had much of an effect on the way you interact with your fans?

Terry: When I started out, there was no internet, of course.  My connection with fans was all by snail mail and personal appearances.  I’ve never been good about mail, but I loved going out and meeting readers.  I did it every year, sometimes for as many as 5 or 6 weeks a year, here and abroad.  Can’t do that anymore because my energy level and tolerance for airport security won’t allow for it.  Now I do maybe 2 or 3 weeks a year.  But the personal connections, face to face, always mean more.

On the other hand, the internet allows for instant communication, and a different kind of closeness between writer and reader.  Before, there was no central venue for communicating with readers.  It was all done one on one.  If you were doing a tour, you could send out fliers or the stores could print and distribute them.  You could rely on word of mouth, but you didn’t have video or audio mass distribution available that didn’t cost an arm or a leg.  The internet changed all that.  About ten years ago, I went out on tour and asked at every stop how many people were there because they had read about it on the website.  Web Druid Shawn asked me to take this survey.  The response was eye opening.  More than 80% were there because they had read about it on the site.

How about you, coming in later on when the internet was already the established form of communication? I know you blog regularly.

Pat: Yeah. I have a lot of fun interacting with my readers online. I’ve met a lot of cool people that way. It can be very rewarding….

But part of me also thinks that it would be nice to be able to go back to writing in a vacuum, like I did before I was published. I get about 10-15 e-mails a day from readers. That’s not counting print letters, or Facebook, or Goodreads. It can get a little overwhelming.

As for the blogging, I do that almost as a defensive measure. I know I can’t write a detailed letter back to every one of my fans that contacts me, but I can write something that anyone can show up to read. I use it to tell little stories out of my life and answer questions. I’ve run a contest or two. We’ve sold some t-shirts at our online store, The Tinker’s Packs, to support my charity.

I mostly goof around, in all honesty. But in between the goofing around, I keep people filled in about events and new projects.

Plus it gives me a venue to do the occasional interview with another cool author….

Terry: I like your thinking about using the blogs to answer questions for a general audience when it is virtually impossible to answer individual letters.  I used to do that by snail mail before the internet, but I can’t manage it anymore.

Pat: It works out pretty well. It lets people know that you care. Plus you get to be helpful without having to spend three days of the week doing nothing but correspondence.

Terry: Hey, Patrick, this has been a lot of fun.  I love finding out how other writers manage their lives, why they choose to write what they do, and what makes them tick.  Especially writers I admire.  Thanks for taking time to do this.

Pat: The pleasure has been all mine, Terry. This has been such a thrill.

*     *     *

There you go folks, share and enjoy….



Also posted in fanmail, Me Interviewing Other Folks, meeting famous people, Revision, the craft of writing | By Pat22 Responses
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