How to Embarrass Yourself in Front of Famous People

Over the last couple years I’ve learned that whenever I do a signing, I will inevitably screw up the inscription in at least one book.

This trend started with my very first signing, the day The Name of the Wind hit the shelves. I actually wrote about that in one of my earliest blogs. I still have that book inscribed “To Hell” on a shelf.

A lot of times my screw up is a minor thing. It’s not uncommon for me to misspell a word. This is embarrassing, but it’s easy to laugh it off. I usually correct my mistake with proofreaders marks, and say something like, “That’s what editors are for.”

Occasionally I misquote a piece of my own book. That’s not so bad either. Understandable, as I’ve known the book it for 15 years in several hundred different revisionary versions.

Sometimes it’s just my handwriting itself that’s embarrassing.

But nothing is worse than screwing up someone’s name. This is why, when I do a signing, I usually ask people to spell it out for me. I write it down on a separate piece of paper, point to it, and ask, “is this right?”

Most people don’t bat an eye at this. They’re not Nicky, they’re Nikki. It’s not Sandy, it’s “Big S, little A, little N, Big D, little E, Big E. With a star at the end!”

I ask everyone. If you get to the front of the line and say, “Can you sign this to Joe?” I write down J O E in my childlike scrawl, point to it, and ask, “like this?”

The reason I’m so careful is because I can fuck up any name. Once a guy got to the front of the line and said, “John. With an ‘h.'”

So I write, “To Jhon.”

Then I sat there, staring at it, thinking: “I am a fucking idiot.”

The thing is, not only do I tend to screw up one book at every signing. I typically screw up the worst possible book. If someone drove four hours to get there and brought the first edition hardcover their mom gave them… that’s the book I’m going to make a mistake in.

Or, if someone cool shows up to the signing, someone I’d like to not look like an idiot in front of, I’ll cock up that book instead. That’s what happened when Felicia Day showed up when I was doing a signing in LA. I made a real mess of the book I was signing for her brother.

Are we sufficiently backgrounded for the story? I think so.

So let’s jump back to last year when I went to San Diego Comic Con. While I was out there, I did a few signings. One in the main autographing room, one at at Mysterious Galaxy’s booth, and one in the nearby Borders.

The Borders gig sounded pretty cool. First we were going to have a panel where a bunch of authors would discuss urban fantasy vs epic fantasy, then we would do a signing.

I was really looking forward to it. Partly because I love discussing books with other authors, and partly because I love doing signings and meeting fans. But mostly because one of the other authors on the panel was Amber Benson.

I was excited all weekend, telling everyone I met about the panel/signing. But when I mentioned Amber Benson’s name, they mostly looked at me blankly. “I don’t think I’ve read her stuff,” they’d say.

“She hasn’t been doing books that long,” I said. “She does comics. Screenplays. Directs stuff. She’s an actress too. You probably know her as Tara from Buffy. Willow’s girlfriend.”

It was only when I mentioned the last bit that I would see the light of recognition go on in people’s eyes. So eventually I just started skipping straight to that, saying, “She played Tara in Buffy.”

I had one signing earlier that day, and despite the fact that a ton of people showed up, I managed to make it through the whole thing without screwing up anyone’s book.

Maybe that’s it, I thought to myself. Maybe my streak is broken.

Later on in the evening I went to Borders and had a great time. I managed to say a few clever things during the discussion which is nice, because, well, Amber Benson was there, and I wanted to look cool.


[Photo link dead]


After the panel everyone signed books. I had a nice line of people, which gave me another iota’s worth of cool. More impressively, I didn’t screw any of them up, not even a little. My streak finally seemed to be broken.

After all the fans had their books signed, the authors hung out and chatted. Amber came over from her end of the table and said something along the lines of, “I don’t normally do epic fantasy, but after what you said, I’ll admit I’m curious about yours….”

“I’d love to give you a copy,” I said. “So long as you’ll sign my copy of Death’s Daughter.”

She agreed and signed my book. I was all aglow with geeky joy. I’d met someone cool, made a good impression, and even had a little bit of banter. I was awesome….

So I grabbed one of my books and opened it to the title page. Then, so I didn’t screw up her book, I looked up and asked, “Do you spell it T-A-R-A?”

She looked at me, slightly confused, as if she didn’t understand what I meant.

I looked back at her, slightly confused, not understanding why she wasn’t following me.

Then, at the same moment, we both realized what I’d done. At the same moment, we both realized that I wasn’t awesome at all. I was, in fact, a fucking idiot.

The other authors standing around overheard this. They realized it too.

Amber was very gracious and laughed it off. But I was still covered in shame. Even now it makes me cringe to remember it.

So there you go. Welcome to me.

For those of you who don’t know, Tara Amber has written and directed a couple movies. In fact, her most recent one, Drones, is being shown in a few select locations right now.

In fact, it’s being shown tonight, (Tuesday the 13th) in LA, with all the proceeds going to charity. If you live nearby and you aren’t going, you might want to seriously reconsider your priorities. In fact, you might want to reconsider what you’re doing with your entire life.

I’d be there in a heartbeat if it wasn’t 2000 miles away. Right now I’m kinda pissed at you cool kids who live in your big cities with your film festivals and fancy hats. Yes. I’m looking at you Orlando, Boston, and LA.

If nothing else, you should really check out the trailer. I was curious about the movie before I watched this. Now I’m filled with a terrible longing like unto hunger. I love Jonathan Woodward.

Share and Enjoy,


This entry was posted in buffy, meeting famous people, my dumbness, signing booksBy Pat103 Responses


  1. slowcar
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

    may i ask why the feed offers only a small part of the article? i preferred reading the whole article in the feedreader, despite me coming around for the comments from time to time.

    • Posted April 13, 2010 at 12:30 PM | Permalink


      Though, I mostly go to the blog for reading it, I tend to skim the post before opening it.

      Can we have it back again, pretty please. :)

      Johan, Denmark

    • Josh
      Posted April 13, 2010 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

      I too was wondering the same thing. I prefer to read in Google reader. Any chance of modifying WordPress to allow this?


      • Jazco
        Posted April 13, 2010 at 7:21 PM | Permalink

        I’m on this bandwagon too. Following a link to the blog itself is literally a waste of my mouseclicks. I only get so many per month on this broadband plan I have, plus my fingers get tired really easy…oop…there they go…

    • Posted April 16, 2010 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

      If you unsubscribe from the feed and then subscribe again, you’ll see the full posts instead of just the snippets.

    • Posted April 27, 2010 at 12:16 AM | Permalink

      Pat, I laughed pretty hard at your misfortune in this blog, and as an avid reader of Kvothe’s tale, I’ve decided to go tit for tat, so that in the event that you actually read this post, you can have a laugh at my expense.

      I’m a professional skateboarder, and when I was still competing in amateur competitions, I managed to secure a weekend to fly down to LA from my hometown of nowhere’sville Alberta, Canada. Now flying to california to go skateboarding, with your favourite pros, in front of people who, if impressed, will pay you to ride a little board with wheels, was like the second coming of Christ for the pope.

      So I boarded a plane with another hopeful from Vancouver, promptly fell asleep on the plane, and landed at LAX. I walked nervously through security, went to claim my baggage, and hailed a cab with my compadre and headed to our hotel.

      We arrived and quickly dropped our bags in the room and headed to meet the sponsors for dinner, we had a lovely dinner at a reputable steakhouse that shall remain nameless. We then walked down the strip and went from club to club having drinks, dancing with girls who were out of our league, and I was on top of the world! We hit all the party spots, drank and partied, and even had late night pizza from a scuzzy pizza joint filled with beret wearing art-weiners. Finally, at the end of the night, the rep from two of the companies that I was vying for let me know that the other guys on the team were happy to have me join them, and that they would love for me to come down and sign a one year contract in the morning!

      I was the king of the world, awash in a sea of awesomeness! The world was my oyster!

      I headed back to the hotel with the world’s largest shit eating grin, and headed up to my room to sleep off the euphoria. I went into the bathroom, did my business then stood up to admire myself and my newfound awesomeness in the mirror…

      I had a giant, veiny, triumphant, black dick drawn on my face in black marker…

      The bastard I travelled with had drawn it on me while I slept on the plane and NONE of the people I encountered that night said a goddamn word.

      My sponsors still call me dickface to this day.

      I hope you enjoy my misery as I have enjoyed yours. :D

  2. Julie
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

    Oh, wow, I didn’t know Amber was an author, too! Will have a lookout for her book(s?) and blame you if they’re not good ;)

  3. Susan
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    I have to admit I couldn’t stand Benson as Tara, but I love the clip from Drones. I love Jonathan Woodward too. I wish he’d hadn’t always been short-lived or utterly slimy in the Buffyverse.

    I suspect that other fans stuttered around like fools at your book-signings (like I did), so I think you’re off the hook. We’re all a little bit stupid sometimes.

  4. Shelli Richard
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

    OMG. I’ve been lurking on your blog for quite some time now, but nothing has made me laugh out loud so much as asking Amber if you spell her name as T-A-R-A. I’m sitting here at work and everybody’s trying to figure out why I have tears welling up in my eyes! You are so funny!

  5. Chris
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

    hahahaha… you really are a dumbass. I got a great laugh from that. It’s nice to know that you’re a geek like the rest of us and sometimes confuse tv with reality.

  6. Staci Thompson
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

    That was oh-so-painfully funny. It prompted an involuntary “Oh No!” aloud, accompanied by a squinchy face, right as I read T-A-R-A. When little Oot begins to run the gauntlet of Jr. High, you can share that, it will make him feel better.

  7. Posted April 13, 2010 at 9:39 AM | Permalink


    • Posted April 13, 2010 at 11:07 AM | Permalink

      You are covered in shame.

      • Jason
        Posted April 13, 2010 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

        For the record, the main post made me laugh, but this five word reply just made my day.

  8. Posted April 13, 2010 at 9:40 AM | Permalink

    Robert Jordan used to always have people sign their name (or the name they wanted a book signed to/for) on a slip of paper in block letters while they were waiting in line ~ saved a lot of time up front.

    Thanks for the heads-up on Drones; I hadn’t heard of it, but now I’m right there in the “longing like unto hunger” phase, too.

    • Tyson
      Posted April 13, 2010 at 6:00 PM | Permalink

      Brandon Sanderson does that too. Seems to make things go more quickly when he has a long line (which he usually does, lately).

    • Tyson
      Posted April 13, 2010 at 6:01 PM | Permalink

      Brandon Sanderson does that too. Seems to make the line go more quickly when it’s long (which it usually is, lately).

  9. Staci Thompson
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

    That was oh-so-painfully funny. It prompted a verbal “Oh No!” accompanied by a squinchy face right as I read T-A-R-A. When little Oot begins to run the gauntlet of Jr. High, you can share that – it will make him feel better.

  10. Posted April 13, 2010 at 9:44 AM | Permalink

    I face-palmed the second you wrote “So eventually I just started skipping straight to that, saying, ‘She played Tara in Buffy.’“. I knew what was coming. I feel for ya man. That sucks.

    I almost wrote a book’s worth of explanation when my favorite author the other day asked a simple question about WordPress. Then thankfully I re-read it, took out all the blabbering and groveling about what an awesome author they were and answered the question in on or two lines. There’s nothing worse than looking like a complete fan-boy in front of your muse/author-crush/etc…


  11. Michael
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 9:49 AM | Permalink

    I’m really sorry you had to go through that. I know what it feels like to be reduced to a quivering pool of nerves when confronted with someone whose books you love. I once made a profound fool out of myself in front of none other than Neil Gaiman.
    I still don’t like to think about it.

    That said, when I met Michelle West I was able to control myself enough to carry on several interesting conversations and only embarrass myself a little.

    • Posted April 13, 2010 at 11:09 AM | Permalink

      Surprisingly, I avoided it with Gaiman. But I don’t doubt that eventually I’ll lose it in front of him….

  12. Cam Banks
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 9:50 AM | Permalink

    This is why I don’t sign books to people but instead write “GRATZ LOL ROFLMAO I CAN HAS BOOKZ”

    Now you know the secret.

  13. Posted April 13, 2010 at 9:55 AM | Permalink

    I actually laughed so loud I startled my baby, but it’s ok because he joined me once he got over it. Thank you for that!

  14. Max
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

    For having the courage to put that on your blog, you are now even more of an awesome person in my book.

  15. Amanda
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    That trailer was too cool. Darn central Wisconsin and its lack of connections.

    No offense, but the Tara/Amber thing… sounds like something you’d do. I’m not horribly surprised haha.
    But if anything, you’ve learned, right?

    Word Verification: Minister hacksaws – Seriously? The mental images coming to me are astoundingly gruesome.

  16. Luke
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 9:58 AM | Permalink


    Awesome, just pure awesome. Names are indeed a touchy thing. One of the most personal things about an individual is their name. However, to get it wrong on a signing is usually a good thing. A person is more inclined to remember the event even in the late stages of Alzheimers.

    ‘ I remember the time Patty Rothfuss… or was it just Pat… Well, whatever the case, he signed my book to: Luck and even though my name was Luke, I felt lucky…’

    Heh, you get the point. It just proves everyone, even the most successful authors, are human.

  17. Sartre
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 9:59 AM | Permalink

    Should’ve passed it off as a joke:
    “Tara… haha get it? I knew your name wasn’t ACTUALLY Tara! HAHAHA!
    *shifty eyes*
    By the way did I mention I’m a big fan? Oh I did?

  18. luize
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

    Its nice to know Authors make stupid mistakes and get nervous about it…… reminds me of the time I met Dave Grohl and as he held out his hand to sign my cd he looked at me for my name. I think I told him it was Keeermmmiiinngjhjdfsggshutusrt.

    see we are all human! :)

  19. Jimmy
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink

    This totally made my day ^^
    Especially the part about “Jhon”. Not because i’m all evil to the core, but because I sorta find myself at easy that a great man like yourself, can make mistake I do on a daily basis^^

    Best regards


  20. Posted April 13, 2010 at 10:07 AM | Permalink


    If you unsubscribe from the feed and then resubscribe, that’ll fix your problem. I think it was just a kink in the switch over to WordPress.

  21. Posted April 13, 2010 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

    Movie looks great.
    Its inspiring to know that people who achieve great things can be a mess. So keep telling embarrassing stories.

  22. Miriam
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 10:13 AM | Permalink

    Sounds like the very definition of ‘brain fart’.

    Don’t worry. It happens to all of us.

  23. LaurafromNY
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

    ooh….you called her Tara (from Buffy) instead of Amber (her acutal name). LOL. That’s ok, maybe she thought her role as Tara is how you got to ‘know’ her.

    By the way….is there some way to switch the comment page back to the original…like how it was set up a month ago…this new set up is majorly annoying…deters me from posting a comment…

  24. LaurafromNY
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

    ooh….you called her Tara (from Buffy) instead of Amber (her acutal name). LOL. That’s ok, maybe she thought her role as Tara is how you got to ‘know’ her.

    By the way….is there some way to switch the comment page back to the original…like how it was set up a month ago…this new set up is majorly annoying…deters me from posting a comment…

    (did this post??!)

    • Posted April 13, 2010 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

      Give it time. We’re going to be fine-tuning things over the next couple weeks…

      • Dan
        Posted April 15, 2010 at 8:50 AM | Permalink

        While fine tuning, can you reinstate the “click to Embiggen” feature? I miss that one.

  25. Myles
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    Damn. Reading the latter part of your post was like watching a super embarrassing scene in a movie. Ugh. I feel so bad for you.


  26. Alicia
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    I feel your pain. Except that I have met you, and you never appear flustered. You’re always cool. If you had my curse, you couldn’t have pulled it off even a little bit, because everyone would have felt tyhe need to reassure you that you aren’t some kind of fiend. You see, I have a routine. I do/ say something stupid. I have a moment of realisation. I go deathly white. Then I hope no-one noticed and try to relax. Then I wonder if peole are looking at me funny. Then I go red. Then, as I realise I’m going red, I turn a peculiar purple shade. Then, as people stare at me (and this is the really humiliating part: I wish to God it didn’t happen) I feel the tears forming, and I find it very difficult to say anything to laugh it off.

    It’s a wierd extension of my stagefright, which is why I could not do your job, will endlessly respect you, think you are utterly cool and generally worship your beard. Maybe if I had one I could hide my face colour.


    • xjm
      Posted April 13, 2010 at 11:25 AM | Permalink

      The fuchsia! I get the fuchsia. My friends in high school used to oh-so-helpfully smirk at me and say “Fuchsia!” when it happened. As if, you know, the burning of my face didn’t tell me.

      Also, my captcha is “about gomorrah.” I agree.

  27. Llyralei
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

    HAHAHA omg it totally took me like three re-reads of “T-A-R-A” to get why it was wrong. Oh, Pat, I love you.

    • Little My
      Posted April 13, 2010 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

      Yeah, I actually didn’t get it at all, and just read on, and then the penny dropped with the “[crossed-out Tara] Amber” part.

  28. xjm
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 11:19 AM | Permalink

    Oh my God. If that were a scene in a sitcom, I’d be hiding my head under a blanket in empathetic shame and asking my partner, “Is it over yet? Please tell me it’s over.” (This is also my reaction to images of needles being put into eyeballs and suchlike, which would cause me roughly equivalent distress.)

    You should take comfort in the fact that actors probably get that sort of thing all the time. (She’d be “Tara” to me, too. I still refer to the actor who played Paul on Dollhouse as “Helo.”) In fact, actors who play villains get hate mail from people who don’t quite comprehend that it’s… you know… acting. So in the grand scheme of things, your funny fanboy slip is probably not so bad. :)

    • Julie
      Posted April 13, 2010 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

      Helo!! :D I mean, Tahmoh, of course. I’ll see him in two weeks time at FedCon. Whohooo!

  29. Posted April 13, 2010 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

    Nice to know you can be just as discombobulated at meeting authors as us reader-types. :)

    When I attend a signing, I work on some short, intelligent question or comment that I can make when I make it to the front of the line. (I always have a slip of paper with my name on it handy). At one event, the author saw my name and said to me “I read your blog!” I became one of the stammering masses at that point…. all my prep for naught LOL.

    I promise to come up with something really good if you ever make it to Phoenix ;)

  30. Brian
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 11:43 AM | Permalink

    I’d been dating Jennifer (my [eventual] wife) for a year when we went to a wedding with all her friends from college. I’d heard all about her friends, in particular, Mikey – Mikey this and Mikey that. They all filed into the church just before the ceremony so there was no time for introductions though I saw one guy that had to be Mikey. Just fit the profile.

    The ceremony ends and we turn around for reunions and introductions. Jennifer introduces me and they go down the line introducing themselves until we got to “Mikey.”

    “Hi, I’m Dennis.”

    I am baffled by this and introduce myself,

    “Hi, I’m Mikey… I mean… Brian”

    Bit of a low point there.

  31. Posted April 13, 2010 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

    Once threw up on Chris Tarrant. Also had to take a leek next to Kenneth Branagh in a pub. It was a bit touch and go for a while but I pulled through without too many embarrasments.

  32. Tarus
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    LA Story is a vastly under appreciated movie.

  33. Mainjari
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

    My name is almost impossible to get right the first time (or second, or third…), so I’m used to correcting people. In a nervous state I corrected Neil Gaiman at a signing using a corny pronunciation guide before he even called me anything or asked, which left me feeling like I’d been kind of presumptuous and unnecessarily curt towards him. Probably not the worst you can do, but no one wants to feel like they’d been unintentionally rude to someone they admire.

    Pat, you can call me whatever you want, it’ll be cool.

  34. Lanceare
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 12:38 PM | Permalink

    Long time lurker, first time poster (I think).

    This story made me laugh out loud and think ‘oh no!’ at the same time.

    That’s exactly the kind of thing that I would do. In my case I’m usually able to play it really cool and make a great impression up until I do make my blundering mistake and blow it, so it makes it stand out all the more. The important thing is being able to laugh at one’s self – that makes all the difference in the world.

    Good stuff.

    P.S. I finally got my hands on a copy of ‘The Road to Levinshir’ – I’d been trying to find it for months. Good read.

  35. Pete Walker
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 1:01 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat, we’ve all goofed up, don’t sweat it, you’re only human. Despite being a pretty confident bloke I always get all tense when I get to the front of the line and meet one of my favourite authors – I got so star struck when I met Iain Banks, my mouth had dried up and I could barely speak; how sad is that?

    Come and see us in England mate – where we still spell names old style! You can pretty much guarantee that John will be spelled John and not Gyhorne! ;- 0

  36. Liz
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

    Now pat i think we need to have a talk about your self confidence. I think you really dramatized about the reactions of the writers. You know what I will say to this.~~

    ~~YOU, Pat Rothfuss, need to get off that chair and talk to the beautiful faced women out there without hesitation. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Next time that happens and i’m around, you’re doing it. If you want, I can do it. And I hate people. If that helps any.

  37. Posted April 13, 2010 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

    So, just thought I’d let you know Amber Benson’s twitter led me here, with this…


    “We may write at opposite ends of the fantasy spectrum, but Patrick Rothfuss is as cool as it gets!

    You can find her twitter here:, where she talks about you not only once, but twice AND has a conversation with Felicia Day about it.

    Now that she’s introduced me to you, I’ll go pick up a copy of your book(s).

    PS: I actually laughed out loud, thanks for that. :)

    • Posted April 13, 2010 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

      Heh. I feel much cooler now. She said I was a sweetie.

      • Posted April 13, 2010 at 9:27 PM | Permalink

        And so you should!

        The internetz is so cool sometimes.

  38. Posted April 13, 2010 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

    Oh god, I have so many completely lame Comic Con stories about me having absolutely nothing of value to say to various celebrities. The lamest thing ever though, was when I saw voice actor Jim Cummings (Pooh, Tigger, Darkwing Duck…pretty much 1/3 of ever cartoons you’ve ever liked as a kid) walking around the Gaslamp in San Diego shortly after I’d seen him at a voice actors panel at Comic Con. I was driving in my convertible with the top down, and I literally stopped in the middle of traffic to shout “You are totally awesome!” He like looked up and gave me a little awkward wave. I was happy to know at least that he heard me and recognized that I, indeed, thought he was awesome and some other douche didn’t think he was actually awesome instead. Also happy that the guy behind me didn’t rear end me.

    • Alicia
      Posted April 14, 2010 at 10:24 PM | Permalink

      Aaaw well at least he heard you!

  39. Ana
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    HA! Are you trying to make it up by pitching her movie?Ha! Someone’s still in the pits of dark shame! Yeah!
    But listen, by sharing these stories it sort of makes you cool again. It’s like you can laugh about them now so it brings you up in the cool meter. But I’m sad to say that even though what happened was pretty bad…well it’s not THAT bad. How about you make a contest? A ‘Shame Fest” where people can send their stories about their embarrassing moments just so we could vent out? And then we can all laugh.

  40. Marcus
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

    I love that fact that now Felicia and Amber are talking about how cool/adorable you are on Twitter :)

  41. Iarann
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

    Such mistakes happen to me in my everyday-life.
    I can hardly imagine what it would be like, if I had to sign my own books in front of someone popular or important.
    I would totally suck at it.

    So up to now I managed to escape this destiny…I didn’t write a book jet.

  42. Asheraven
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 2:25 PM | Permalink

    LOL it’s okay Patrick, I’m sure Amber really didn’t mind. According to her facebook status: We may write at opposite ends of the fantasy spectrum, but Patrick Rothfuss is as cool as it gets!

    How cool is that? See, she loves you! :)

    A side note, I saw you posted what looks like your note sheet where you practice names. I swear I see Douche on there. Someone had you sign “To Douche?” PRICELESS.

    • Posted April 13, 2010 at 3:39 PM | Permalink

      Yeah. It was pretty funny actually. He said, “Sign it: To Pete, You are a douche.”

      I wanted to make sure I spelled “douche” right.

    • Sean
      Posted April 25, 2010 at 8:51 PM | Permalink

      Hi Pat. My name is Sean and I actually just received this book as a gift from my good friend Pete. Thank you so much, it is totally hysterical. Pete was actually who requested the autograph and sent it to me. This is now one of the 5 things I would rescue if my house was on fire.

      I remember seeing this blog and thinking that the words “Sean, Douche & Pete” were way too much of a coincidence so close together. I found out tonight in spectacular fashion how wrong I was.

      Keep up the good work, I cant wait for the 2nd book. A reaction shot video was taken, it will be on facebook soon…

      I hope there arent too many typos… its been an hour and I am still laughing hysterically…

  43. Joe M.
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    “Jhon” is an older spelling of “John.” e.g., Sir Thomas Urquhart’s 1653 translation of Rabelais:

    “There was then in the Abbey a claustral Monk, called Freer Jhon of the funnels and gobbets, in French des entoumeures, young, gallant, frisk, lustie, nimble, quick, active, bold, adventurous, resolute, tall, lean, wide-mounted, long-nosed, a faire dispatcher of morning prayers, unbridler of masses, and runner-over of vigils ; and to conclude summarily in a word, a right Monk, if ever there was any, since the Monking world monked a Monkerie : for the rest a Clerk even to the teeth in matter of breviary.”


  44. mote
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 2:37 PM | Permalink

    I once spilled coffee on Neil Gaiman’s shoes at a con. He was very gracious, but for about two weeks after that I felt as though the Powers That Be were about to strike me down for it. I was absolutely mortified.

  45. Stephanie
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 2:45 PM | Permalink

    Actually Pat, I was at your signing in Lyndhurst, Ohio last month and you misquoted your own book in my book too lol. But I think that just makes it like…a super collector’s edition.

  46. Jacob
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 3:03 PM | Permalink

    Wow, if it makes you feel any better.. I googled her name before I finished reading this story. When I saw that you asked T-A-R-A, I thought it was because she looks like Tara Reid.. lol.. that would have been much worse I’m sure.. cheers

  47. Theo
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 3:40 PM | Permalink

    When I met you in Cleavland I was pretty nervous a couple days prior to meeting you. I approached you and got a charismatically cozy vibe. None-the-less I was a little nervous. There’s a minor chance that you recall me “that one insecure teen in the black suede” (might have been wearing sunglasses); I had a million things to say to you and chocked and ended up asking if you read this one e-mail I sent you. AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I could have curled up and died of shame. Its so ironic that you have felt the same way. I too am a fellow Buffy/Whedon fan and could have easily made that mistake. We have a moderately similar sense of humor and insight so this blog doesn’t surprise me in the least of terms. In some ways we already know the artists we admire from there work; it says almost everything about them. In a way I felt I knew you and I was just another book you had to sign. This word mystifies me…..

  48. Thomas
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

    I noticed a lot of people commented about your feed showing summaries instead of the full text. It’s easy to change in wordpress. On your dashboard:

    1) Click Settings (left sidebar). This will expand the settings dropdown menu.
    2) Under Settings, click “Reading” (left sidebar under Settings).
    3) Find the section that says “For each article in a feed, show:” and make sure “Full text” is selected.
    4) Click “Save Changes”.

  49. Angela
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

    Was that… IT WAS!!! Tracey from the firefly episode The Message! I’m geek blissed, right now, and that film looks awesome!

  50. truckyforme
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 6:37 PM | Permalink
  51. bobkat
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

    Heck, when I write Tara in a fanfic I use interviews with the real Amber to fill out her personality.

  52. Posted April 13, 2010 at 6:59 PM | Permalink

    So…I just found out that Joss Whedon is going to direct The Avengers.
    He is the man, and this is a great opportunity for him. I’ve only recently gotten into Buffy and Angel, and I’m loving them. Dr. Horrible was also fantastic!
    Just thought you would like to know, lol.

  53. jason
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 10:54 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for making me laugh, Patt. I needed it.

  54. Posted April 14, 2010 at 1:44 AM | Permalink

    Oh, thank you for sharing that! Makes you look both geeky and human and we fellow geeks love that :-)

    BTW – you should just screw up the first book at every signing to get it over with :-)

  55. Tristan Tobertson
    Posted April 14, 2010 at 2:10 AM | Permalink

    First and foremost I have to say that I love your book. To the point of I actually checked it out from my local library because my Paperback is falling apart. This makes me sad. Don’t worry about this mistake though, the first time I read Name of the Wind i was so occupied with what was going on in the book that i opened a box of captain crunch, poured milk into the bag and feasted. i didn’t realize what I had done until the next day when my mom asked why I had a half eaten box of Captain Crunch in my room. Now i just accept that Captain Crunch is delicious and get on with my life. I have also hit four digits in the number of times I have read Name of the Wind. And like Ben says Beware of Folly.

  56. Meg
    Posted April 14, 2010 at 2:41 AM | Permalink

    I just wanted to say that reading your regular blogs getting me through the long hours of hacking at my keyboard trying to finish my novel. Thanks for the chin-up.

    Also, your wisdom of living somewhere where the rent is cheap is something I’ve never forgotten.

  57. Linda
    Posted April 14, 2010 at 3:47 AM | Permalink

    Reminds me of the time when I met Tad Williams a few years after I had been to a party at his house. He had a pretty zoned out look, so I kindly reminded him of the nickname that I use at his message board. The text he wrote on my copy of his German radio drama was: “Sahi doesn’t get to pretend that she doesn’t already know me”.

  58. JenMo
    Posted April 14, 2010 at 5:21 AM | Permalink

    It’s good you’re meticulous about names, though you sort of set yourself up for SNAFUs. If you just randomly messed up and accepted it, you’re screw ups would be collectibles!

    Side note: I just read Brandon Sanderson’s write up of how the cage match REALLY would have went down. In a giant melee that involves all the characters at once. Hilarioius!!!

  59. Hanna
    Posted April 14, 2010 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    Hi! I was one of the people (the one with the evil thesis director) that ended up hanging out after the signing in Cleveland.

    Just so you know, I was terrified of meeting you: Jittery, certain the fangirl would appear anytime or worse, I’d get this tone that makes me sound like an arrogant twit who is trying to sound intelligent.

    I think (hope) I managed to come off merely as highly caffeinated and trying to repress that – but if I managed that well, it was because you were so, umm, normal? in a geeky wonderful way.

    Thanks for that. A lot. And for the blog. ^_^

    (ps. I hope you blog when you read “Two Hearts”)

  60. Posted April 14, 2010 at 8:56 AM | Permalink

    In this I can totally, absolutely, utterly relate. I have a bad habit of saying/doing something that is utterly and appallingly embarassing at precisely the moments I wish not to. After a few years I’ve trained myself to think “They won’t remember it. What’s a standout incident of horror in your mind is an odd quirk in theirs that will be rapidly dismissed.” This might be somewhat harder to convince yourself of when you’re Patrick Goddamn Rothfuss, but hey.

    Strongly considering buying The Name of the Wind in hardcover. Somehow going around with my softcover copy while endlessly beating it about people’s heads declaring it’s the best thing since the Bible seems insincere.

  61. Maia
    Posted April 14, 2010 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    Oh I cringed for you (while laughing. out loud.). I’ve really got to read Death’s Daughter, I’ve owned it for ages and just haven’t gotten around to it.

    And Drones looks awesome! I agree, silly movie industry, the midwest has fans too!

  62. Posted April 14, 2010 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

    This is only a test to see if the comments issue has been fixed.

  63. Little My
    Posted April 14, 2010 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    That was fun, but now I’m curious about the second part of the sentence that involves Kvothe. . . Don’t tell me I’m going to have to start watching a SECOND blog. I refuse. Will someone please post in the comments here when Sanderson serves up the rest?

    • JenMo
      Posted April 14, 2010 at 5:38 PM | Permalink

      Yeah it’ll be big news when Sanderson finishes his sentence about Kvothe. I’m sure it’ll be all over the interwebs when it happens.

  64. Little My
    Posted April 14, 2010 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

    Sorry – my previous comment was originally a reply to JenMo about Sanderson’s Suvudu-related blog, but for some weird reason I kept getting reCaptcha errors and it became NOT a reply.

  65. Posted April 14, 2010 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

    I like this new commenting format. Kudos on the switch, Patrick.

    Mainly I want to thank you for quoting a portion of the brilliance that is L.A. Story. Thank you. Also, thank you for posting the trailer for Drones, especially since I live in Canada and likely have a 0.03% chance of seeing it. It looks hilarious.

    Don’t beat yourself up too much over name-spellings and such. It is the bane of every artist to occasionally play the part of the ass. I, for one, never remember names until six or seven times through the noodle. Occasionally, one of these sub-six names will be a big fan of my music, attended several shows, maybe even hung out with me for a bit after one of them, and I play the part of the ass. When this happens, it is best to remember to laugh at yourself, to embrace the hilariousness of your blunder.

    Though I bow to you and your accomplishments, even the great can use sage advice.

    Bon chance,

  66. Jeb
    Posted April 14, 2010 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

    One of the reasons I enjoyed your book so much was because of how easy it was to relate to Kvothe, the world, and the rest of the characters as well. Kvothe may have killed a dragon but he also makes a drunk ass out of himself with his buddies at the bar. I can see how you embody that same character trait from your blog. You may be writing one of the greatest fantasy series since Tolkien but you conflate hot famous girls real names with the name of the character they played on Buffy. Thanks for that!

  67. Sabrina
    Posted April 14, 2010 at 8:32 PM | Permalink

    And we thank you for not messing up any books at the big ComicCon signing. Although… maybe fangirling about how Patrick Rothfuss messed up my first edition w/Fabio cover would have been even more fun.

    That was a great chuckle. It does, in fact, make you seem more human.

  68. BC Woods
    Posted April 14, 2010 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    If it makes you feel any better, I once told a guy I was in a weight lifting competition with that I was going to “wipe my face with his ass” after combining “I’m going to wipe the floor with you” “wipe that smile off your face” and “I’m going to kick your ass.”

    Also, I once had zipper malfunction while having a screaming match with someone and… it fell out.

    It helps to get through the really bad moments when you stop to realize “Well… at least I’m not dangling any trouser bait at this current moment in time.”

  69. Stephanie
    Posted April 15, 2010 at 9:54 AM | Permalink

    Just the other day someone linked to a youtube video of a fan talking to an actor and I was so impressed by how calmly she managed to ask him a question and then follow that up with a decent conversation. I actually grew kind of jealous.

    When confronted with a famous person/idol, I usually just stare while my mind shouts “Quick! Hurry! He/she’ll be gone in a second! You’ll regret this for the rest of your life!” Words just fail me. Even that one time when there was a Q&A with Christopher Judge!

    “Is there anyone else with a question?”

    Brain: Me! Me me me!
    Me: “…*staaaaaare*”

    I’ve started considering carrying around a small notebook with default questions and conversation topics I can use when meeting a famous person.

  70. baldsilver
    Posted April 15, 2010 at 9:42 PM | Permalink

    haha,yea cringe moments are cringe moments, everyone has them. Sounds like your gaff wasn’t too bad. I’ve had some atrociously tactless moments of my own, such as one, after having come back from France i was telling someone about how awful and arrogant the French were only to find…yes, my listner was French, with an extremely good english accent. Oh and the preview looked pretty good, I always like original stuff.

  71. Tristan Robertson
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 12:59 AM | Permalink

    well to prove it happens to everyone you can look back some and see I already posted something, I should have looked at it but I didn’t. Until about a minute ago when with utmost horror I discovered I spelled my name wrong. so for those of you looking, its under Tristan Tobertson.

  72. Travis
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

    Funny stuff. There is also the other side of the signing table. My wife and I went to your Lexington signing. My wife was only on the second chapter, but wanted to get her book signed. You asked if she would like a quote and wrote, “blue, blue, blue.” She was too embarrassed to admit she hadn’t read or ask what it meant. I was too bedazzled by your beard to even recognized what was going on. Now when we are truly confused, we just say “blue, blue, blue.”

  73. Posted April 18, 2010 at 8:03 AM | Permalink

    You quoted LA Story! Yay!!! I use that SanDeE* spelling all the time!

    And I embarrass myself in front of famous or almost famous people whenever I run into them. Mostly I don’t recognize them and am unpardonably rude to them. Which should really teach me something about how I treat strangers.

    Or occasionally I blurt out a criticism of their signature. That was Michael Moore, who I had taken a half day at work to go see, got a ticket to see speak, I had to be their hours early to get a number so I could get a book signed, stood in the snow for two hours to see. When I finally got up there I wanted to say something profound about anything about what he did or the trouble of America or how much I enjoyed his show “TV Nation” and instead I blurted out “Oh so by the end of the night your signatures just sort of a big “M” He gave me a strange look shut my book loudly and said “No that’s how my signature always looks” I wanted to crawl under the snow and cry. And that book had been for my friend… whose brother went to a separate signing and got her the same book.

    So in a way, I’m relieved you haven’t been to Boston… because without a doubt I will embarrass myself about meeting you and possibly insult you.


  74. Posted April 18, 2010 at 8:05 AM | Permalink

    OMG and Drones looks awesome!

    • Posted April 25, 2010 at 8:17 AM | Permalink

      And was awesome, or wicked awesome as we say wearing our fancy hats in Boston. Amber Bensen was there and was just the most adorable darling things I’ve ever seen. I imagine any one would be a little tongue tied around her.

  75. Jordan Smith
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

    I agree with you, Patrick, Jonathan is beautiful. And the movie looks hilarious. I wish I could live in a big city with special showings….

  76. Posted April 22, 2010 at 7:23 AM | Permalink

    I can relate. Once I met this really cool author and got to photograph him. I was doing alright but at some point half way through the day my brain melted down and I started asking random people to guess who the guy next to me was. It’s kind of a blur but my wife who was with me there at the time says it’s best if I just try not to think about it too hard.

    Good thing I didn’t embarrass myself or anything. :-)

    Anyway, hope the baby is doing well!

    J.M. Johnston
    WinterWolf Studios

  77. JR
    Posted April 22, 2010 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

    A mispelt signature = a collector’s item!

    I once queued to have a hardback edition (read: I spend more than my lunch money on it) signed by a Very Famous Indeed woman author (protected by two intimidating minders); we were instructed not to talk to her as she was short of time (so I may as well have just ordered a signed copy from the bookshop) and her signature looks like a child took a pen to the page (a skew line). I hid the book on the top shelf behind something and have never read anything of hers again as it just brings back the disappointment. A book signed with my name spelled wrong would make me smile.

  78. Posted April 25, 2010 at 7:49 AM | Permalink

    [español]English translation down…
    hola patrick permiteme que te tutee =) sé que ultimamente estas trabajando en el segundo libro de tu triologia, la verdad es que lei el nombre del viento (the name of the wind) y me sorprendiste gratamente, lo he releido en mas de 2 ocasiones dandome cuenta de cosas nuevas, te animo a que sigas escribiendo y termines pronto la segunda parte, ya todos sabemos que eres un perfeccionista y te encanta dejar perfectos los libros antes de su publicación =) eso es genial, respecto a tus firmas espero que vengas pronto a España y te pases por Canarias (un conjunto de islas situadas casi en el ecuador, en el atlantico junto a Africa, seguro que te vienen bien unas vacaciones por nuestras playas)como no hacer algunas firmas de libros, espero que no te lies mucho con los nombres. saludos.

    hello patrick, I know that lately you’re working on the second book of your trilogy, the truth is that I read the name of the wind (the name of the wind) and I was pleasantly surprised, I reread in more than two occasions realizing new things, I encourage you to keep writing and soon finished the second part, we all know you’re a perfectionist and you love books perfect stop before publication =) that’s great. I hope that you come to Spain and you pass through the Canary Islands (a group of islands situated almost in Ecuador, in the Atlantic with Africa, you’ll love a holiday on the beach) as do some book signings, I hope not mistake a lot with our names. sorry for my bad english T.T

  79. jena
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 7:20 PM | Permalink

    If it makes you feel any better, I know a Jhon.

  80. Posted March 30, 2011 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

    this is great, sorry man, but it is funny. I appreciate your care in names, though

    aaaand I laughed harder because my wife’s named tara.

  81. drakonidhart
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 10:19 PM | Permalink

    my my, this is shit embarrassing hahahaha

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