Category Archives: Nathan Taylor

Slow Regard of Silent Things: Recapping the Tour

When I started my book our for Slow Regard, I had high hopes of writing a few blogs while I was on the road.

Nothing big. Just little posts where I would mention some of the fun things that happened on each particular night. Maybe post a picture or two. Maybe if I was really ambitious, I’d put a cap on some of the blogs I had mostly done.

But no. Eventually, I will learn the truth: I cannot write a blog when I’m touring.

So here’s some highlights:

  • Pre-Tour:

Believe it or not, my signing tour actually started *before* my book came out.

As many of you know, Worldbuilders tried an experimental mid-year fundraiser last year. We ran an Indiegogo for a week and raised over $200,000 dollars.

Among other things, we gave people the chance to pre-order of signed copies of The Slow Regard of Silent Things. And in three days we sold about 1600 of them.

I wanted to make sure those folks got their books as close to the book release as possible. So in the week leading up to my tour, I signed about 2000 books.

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Believe it or not, that wasn’t the hard part. The hard part was bubble-wrapping, boxing, addressing, and shipping those packages.

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You don’t really understand how many 1600 packages are until you see them all in one place. Those shelves up there are stacked three deep, and there are other shelves I’m not showing you here.

Despite the tight timeline, the Worldbuilders team pulled it off. All the packages were shipped off the Monday before the book release.

I’m really proud of the fact. This was our first kickstarter-ish project, an experiment that was vastly more successful than any of us had hoped. I think it says a lot about my team that they put in the extra hours and made sure everything shipped on time so y’all could get your books in a timely fashion.

  • Opening Night: Portland.

Not only was this the first day of my book’s launch. This was my first-ever ticketed event that wasn’t a team-up with Paul and Storm.

The thought of selling tickets to my events seems strange to me. It offends my egalitarian sensibilities. But the simple fact is that you can’t fit 600 people into a bookstore. And even if you could, they couldn’t all hear me do my reading, or see me, or have seats.

So Powells arranged for a venue, and 800 people paid to come out and see me.

.@PatrickRothfuss and Nate Taylor get ready for tonight’s event! #PowellsEvents @MajorSheep pic.twitter.com/ppgUX5o8Po

— Powell’s Books (@Powells) October 29, 2014

It was a posh venue. Ushers and balconies and a delightful sound system. If I’d had my act together, I would have taken a picture of the crowd that showed up. But I didn’t, because I even think of it.

The Doubleclicks where there to open for me, and they rocked the house. I got misty when they sang “Wonder” like I always do. Then they invited me out to play the cat keyboard during the chorus of “I love you like a Burrito.”

Here’s the thing, we planned it before hand. I practiced a couple of times. I went so far as to number the keys on the cat-keyboard.

But I still screwed it up. More than once. Every time, in fact. On every chorus.

It was a great time.

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The signing afterwards was lovely, and I was joined by Nathan Taylor, the dashing artist who illustrated the book. Unfortunately, because I’m an idiot, I forgot to mention him to the crowd beforehand.

People brought me art. People brought me hugs. People brought me pie.

The next day I stole the fancy soaps from the hotel and it was off to….

  • San Diego:

The thing I remember most was that there was a really cute baby in the front row. Before my reading I talked to him for a bit, and when he reached for me, his mom let me hold him for a couple minutes. Thank you, baby mom. That meant a lot to me.

There were some awesome D&D players there who asked me geeky questions. They reminded me of me when I was their age.

And this happened.

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That’s right, they’re all wearing cloaks. They all came to the signing from the same college where they have a book club. They call themselves “The Scrivs.”

It doesn’t get much better than that.

  • Seattle:

This was another ticketed event, and another 800 people or so showed up. It was in a church across the street from the University Bookstore.

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Unfortunately, it wasn’t until I was already there that I realized it would be really funny to go in with a bunch of dry ice hidden under my clothes then cuss a lot and pretend to catch fire. Maybe next time.

The fabulous Molly Lewis opened for me, but I didn’t try to sing with her, as I’ve already screwed that up once before. (I’m pretty sure there’s a video out there of me making a hash of Tom Lehrer’s Elements with her.)

I also learned that Molly is doing a musical called ThanksGiving Vs. Christmas.

Image.axd

If you live near Seattle and don’t go to it, you probably really need to examine what you’re doing with your life. Seriously.

My friend, illustrator and frequent collaborator Nathan Taylor was at this event too, as Seattle is close to home for him. And in a blithering display of lame, I forget to mention it to the crowd a second time.

In an attempt to make it up to him, I’ll mention the kickstarter he just launched.

As for my reading and Q&A, I can’t remember much of what I said. But I do know that I talked about feminism a bit, and at one point I held forth about the several ways that Frogger was sexist.

I felt pretty stupid about that afterwards, until a guy in the signing line said, “I’d never really thought about sexism in games before. But you’re right. Frogger is sexist. That’s kinda fucked up.”

So I’m counting that as a win.

  • Milwaukee:

At this point I’m four days and four cities into the tour. I’m getting around 3-5 hours of sleep a night with supplementary naps on planes and in cars.

Because of that, I remember less and less of the events. I know it was Halloween in Milwaukee, but I can’t bring to mind the costumes except that someone came as Batman.

The other thing I remember is that in the signing line, someone told me that their creative writing teacher required them to go to a reading as part of their class, but that my reading didn’t count, because I wrote fantasy.

I had her record a video where I voice my opinion on the matter.

Here’s the video. It isn’t entirely safe for work, as I remember saying the word “Bullshit” about seven or eight times.

 

Then onward to…

  • Lexington:

The cafe attached to Joseph Beth bookstore changed their menu for the day of my event:

Damfine menu

I’m proud of my addition: the Damfine Apple Pie.

We had about 600 people show up, including two gender-swapped Kvothe cosplayers showed up. That’s never happened before.

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  • Chicago:

People brought me wine and wizard hats,  and after the signing I had dinner with Peter Segal and some new friends.

Other than that, all I can remember is that this was actually in a town called Skokie.

Skokie. It sounds like an adorable animal sidekick from a Disney film.

Skokie.

  • St. Louis: (Fenton) 

The last stop of the tour. It might be unfair to call me a shambly mess, but it wouldn’t entirely be untrue.

Some of my friends who live in the area turned up at the signing, and it almost made me weepy. These are the old friends, the ones I’ve known since college. The people that have known me most of my adult life.

I haven’t been a very good friend over the last five years. My life has upheaved several times in several different ways, and I’ve been endlessly busy with one thing and another. All of that has turned my ordinary bumbling forgetfulness into complete isolationist non-communication that sometimes lasts for years.

Despite this, some of my friends drove miles and miles to visit me. They stood in line for hours. They brought me food and presents. They are better than I deserve.

  • The Reviews:

The best part of hitting a different city every day for a book tour is that I was too busy to obsess about reviews. And when I got home, I was mostly too tired to care anymore if people hated it.

Besides, I’d already heard from many of my readers that they loved the book.

Some of them on my blog:

“Thank you for giving me a moment of connectedness. Thank you for helping me love (just a little bit) a piece of myself that I’ve always hated.”

Some on twitter:

(And apparently I’m some kind of sadist, because when people read my book and cry, I feel strangely proud.)

People have also forwarded very nice reviews written by people I respect.

Like this one from NPR titled: Slow Regard is a riddle wrapped in a Mystery Living in an Underground Tunnel.

And an equally lovely one from GeekDad.

Some people don’t like the book. Or they were expecting something else. There’s a delightful blog about the book called: “This Pretzel is the Worst Lasagna Ever” where they discuss the problem of reader expectation in a wonderfully ridiculous way. Another blog dealt with the same issue with considerably more snark.

Generally speaking, I don’t go looking for bad reviews. I’ve been down that road, and I don’t plan on traveling it again. Besides, I already knew people wouldn’t like this book. I said as much in the author’s forward. And I knew people would be pissed that it wasn’t book three because I have the ability to see into the future and read people’s minds.

When writing The Name of the Wind, I decided I’d rather write a book some people love and other people hate, rather than write a book that everyone thought was pretty much okay. That seems to be what I’ve done here. So I’m happy.

This helps.

#2(Click to Embiggen.)

I’m pretty happy with taking second place after Grisham.

To all of you that came, if we had a moment during my tour and it wasn’t mentioned here, don’t take it the wrong way. I had so much fun with all of you. I appreciate the gifts, the hugs, and the thousand small kindnesses you have shown me. But this blog is already ridiculously long, and I have to wrap things up.

Stay beautiful, my people,

pat

P.S. Stay tuned for the big launch of Worldbuilders on Monday. It’s going to be awesome this year.

Also posted in appearances, the longest fucking blog ever | By Pat35 Responses

Final Call for Torment….

As I write this, there are less than two days remaining to the Torment Kickstarter I mentioned a couple weeks back on the blog

I hope you’ll forgive me for bringing it up again, but I’m a little excited about the project. Plus the clock is ticking, and a few things have happened since my original post.

Actually, a LOT of things have happened, but I’ll just hit the high points here…

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1. Support

First I want to thank everyone that stormed over to the Torment Kickstarter and signed up. The folks running the show tell me that the day I announced my involvement and posted up my blog was the second biggest day of the kickstarter so far.

I can’t thank you enough for that. It’s not often I get to look cool, but you guys made me look cool.

Also, your comments in that blog were delightfully supportive and encouraging. A few were kind enough to make me weepy.

So… yeah. Thanks for being lovely humans. And double thanks for proving that the internet is peopled with something *other* than wankers, whiners, and people that type “first.”

2. The Stretch Goal

The kickstarter has flown past 3.25 million, which means I’m officially going to be helping write a piece of the game.

Woo!

3. Character

After I was officially part of the team, I started to think about what I was going to write. And my thoughts kept coming back to what I really liked about some of those older games. Specifically, the companions your character travels with as you move through the story.

How cool would it be, I thought, to write the dialogue and story arc for one of these secondary characters?

So I called Colin and asked him how he’d feel about me writing a companion.

He asked me if I had any ideas for a character.

I told him I did. I explained the character.

He said it was weird. Not the sort of character that normally gets written into games.

But he also said I could do it.

So now I’m excited. I get to write a companion for the game.

I can’t tell you anything about her except that it will almost certainly be a she.

And she’s not going to be the usual sort of thing, because this isn’t going to be your usual sort of game.

4. Extras

They’ve added some new stuff to the Kickstarter since my last post. You can be a Beta or an Alpha tester now. (So if you’ve ever wanted to be a beta reader of mine, now’s your chance.)

I’ll also be doing a comic for the game, because comics are another form I’m looking to experiment with a little more, and it gives me a chance to work with Nate Taylor again. I’ll be using that story to introduce my character, and flesh out my little corner of the world. Plus writing comics is easier for me, as the artist has to do most of the heavy lifting.

If you’re interesting in adding stuff like being an alpha tester and/or getting some of the comics being written for the game by me and other folks, you can increase your bid over on Kickstarter.

5. The Final Days

As I mentioned before, the kickstarter is about a day and a half from being over. Right now we stand at about 3.6 million, making us the second-highest game ever funded on Kickstarter.

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If we can hit 3.99 before it ends, we’ll be *the* highest funded game ever. I’m thinking we can do it if we can just get the word out to enough people…

So if you’re interested in getting in early, now would be a great time to jump on board. Supporting the game now is much better than doing it later, because if you buy in now, that money goes toward making a better game. Plus it’s cheaper to buy now. Plus you get the chance of cool extras and add-ons that won’t be available after the kickstarter closes.

Yeah. There you go. That’s my final pimping of the Kickstarter.

Here’s the link,

And I’m done.

pat

Also posted in calling on the legions, cool things, video games | By Pat67 Responses

A taste of things to come…

I got an unexpected package in the mail the other day. It was a poster tube from my good friend and Nathan Taylor.

Nate is the guy who illustrated The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle. He’s also the one who did the Kvothe Online comic I put up on the blog a while back.

I thought he might have sent me some of the sketches for an upcoming project we’re working on. Or maybe the original art for the Kvothe Online comic.

But what I found inside was treasure of an entirely different sort.

You see, Nate is one of the few people that read The Name of the Wind long before it was ever in print. I met him when I was in grad school back in 2000.

Even rarer, Nate is one of the people who has role-played in my world. I’ve run a few games over the years.

He’s also one of the people I recently trusted to read a beta version of book two and give me some feedback on it.

That means Nate knows all kinds of things about the world that other people don’t. Nate knows all manner of secrets.

This is what he sent me:

When I unrolled the poster, I laughed. It was a big evil-mastermind kind of laugh. Because once again Nate has managed to ring the bell beyond all reasonable expectation. This is the perfect depiction of the Amyr. It fills me with a dark and terrible joy….

In other news, for those of you who would like a small, pretty-much spoiler-free peek at a piece of book two, you can find a small scene over here.

Share and Enjoy,

pat

Also posted in book two, cool things, delicious fanarts | By Pat105 Responses

A New Addition to the Family: Tuulen Nimi

Guess what showed up in the mail today?

(Click to Embiggen.)

It’s the Finnish translation of The Name of the Wind. Huzzah!

I suppose I might get jaded about this stuff eventually. But the truth is, I still love seeing the new editions of the book. I love trying to figure out how to pronounce the title. I love seeing which map they end up putting in the front. (Usually it’s Nate’s version, but not always.) I love flipping through the book and seeing if I can figure out what’s going on.

And I *love* the versions with new covers. For this one, I’m willing to bet that the artist actually read the book. I can tell because of how the lute looks. The pegbox isn’t cantilevered, and there’s only three pegs on this side (so four on the other side would make seven.) I also like the hood of his cloak.

That’s all for now, T-shirts will be showing up soon. So keep an eye out here if you’re looking to vote on which ones are your favorite…

pat

Also posted in book covers, cool things, foreign happenings | By Pat52 Responses

And it’s off to the printer….

For those of you who haven’t heard the news, my new pet project is going to be coming out at the end of June.

While I’ve mentioned the book on the blog before, it’s only been while talking about something else, like the fundraiser or my recent road-trip.

Today, after talking about the final edits before we send the book off to the printer, I figured it was time that I give The Princess and Mr. Whiffle its very own blog. Especially as it will be coming out in just a couple months.

The other reason I wanted to mention it here is so that you folks who care enough about my stuff to check the blog regularly have a chance of actually buying one.

So here’s the brief pitch. It looks like a children’s book, but it’s really not. Seriously. It’s more like an old-school faerie tale, and I’m profoundly, almost ridiculously proud of how it’s turned out. If you have a dark sense of humor, odds are you’ll enjoy it. If not, you probably want to avoid it.

Here’s the deal: this book’s print run isn’t very big. And I have a lot of readers. That means there’s a very decent chance that the book will sell out.

In fact, there’s a good chance it might sell out really, really quickly.

That means if you want to make sure you get one, you should probably pre-order a copy. Here’s a link to the publisher’s website.

And before somebody says, “why don’t you just print more books?” let me explain that I’m just the writer here. The publisher makes all those decisions. I don’t have any say in how big the print run is.

Okay. My work here is done. Consider yourselves fairly warned.

Hope y’all have a lovely weekend, folks. Myself, I have to go dress up as Zeus for a parade….

pat

Also posted in cool news, The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle, upcoming publications | By Pat132 Responses

Coming Soon: The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle.

Let me tell you a story.

Or rather, let me tell you a story about a story. (For those of you who know me, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.)

Back in 2001, when I was toiling in the salt mines of grad school, my girlfriend Sarah and I had very different sleep schedules. I was up late, and she went to bed early.

One night, when she was going to bed, she jokingly asked me to tell her a story.

So I did, starting with with the most saccharine faerie-tale beginning I could think of: “Once upon a time,” I said. “There was a Princess who lived in a Marzapan castle….”

The story was so cute and sweet that it began to irritate me even as I was telling it. And so I twisted it around until it was something entirely different. Something dark and strange. An older sort of Faerie tale.

When I finished, Sarah lay in bed, looking up at me with big eyes. “Now I can’t sleep,” she said.

So I told a second ending to the story. A sweet ending. A funny ending. A happy ending. An ending that made everything all better again. Sarah relaxed.

But that second ending irritated me again. It was too sweet and perfect.

So I gave the story a third ending. The perfect ending. An ending with teeth in it.

That night Sarah didn’t get to sleep in any sort of timely fashion, but the next day she told some friends about it. I repeated the story for them, and one of them said, “I’d love to draw that.”

Now a lot of times, that’s where things would stop. But the friend who spoke up was none other than Nathan Taylor: he’s the guy that drew the map for the US edition of the book. And he turned my puerile scrawlings for the Worldbuilder logo…

Into something cool and respectable looking:

I knew Nate was a great cartoonist and illustrator, as you can see for yourself over here or here.

But he completely blew me away with the illustrations he did for the Princess book. Here’s a little taste:

(Awww…)

Just yesterday, Subterranean Press announced The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: the Thing Beneath the Bed on their website, making it available for pre-order.

So I wanted to mention it here on the blog as quickly as possible. Apparently it’s been selling really quickly, and the limited leatherbound edition they’re printing is already half sold-out. So if you want one of those, you should get over there and order it sooner rather than later.

Edit: Apparently everyone wanted a limited edition, so they sold out about 9:00 this morning. Sorry about that. I don’t think anyone expected it to sell quite so quickly as that.

That said, it’s only the limited edition that sold out. There are still regular hardcovers available.

Also, Bill over at Subterranean Press has offered to throw five ARC copies of the princess book in with his other donations to Worldbuilders. If you win one of those, you get to see the finished product months before it comes out.

  • Five ARC copies of The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: the Thing Beneath the Bed by Patrick Rothfuss and Nathan Taylor. Signed by the Author.

It’s a picture book that’s not for children. I can say with some certainty that it should never be read to children. But it’s perfect for adults with a dark sense of humor and a love of old-school faerie tales.

Stay tuned. We still have a lot more to come. New blogs every day or so…

pat

As always, with thanks to: Subterranean Press.



(Huzzah for Subterranean Press! Double Huzzah!)
Also posted in cool things, Sarah, side projects, Subterranean Press | By Pat54 Responses
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