Interview with Peter Orullian

While I was on tour, I did quite a few interviews, but because I was so busy with the tour itself, I never had a chance to post any of them up here on the blog.

The most elaborate of these was a interview I did with Peter Orullian out in Seattle. He had three cameras and everything. Very posh.

The interview was at The Signed Page, and I was about to knuckle down and sign the books that people had ordered. You see those boxes in the background? They’re full of The Wise Man’s Fear. There’s another 40-50 boxes behind the camera too. I signed 1500 books later on that day.

This interview was on February 28th, the day before my book was released, so it was still the day before my tour started. You’d think I’d be a little more bright-eyed and bushy tailed. But the truth is, I was already exhausted. I was in a rush getting ready for my trip, and so I hadn’t slept at all the night before I got on the plane.

So the downside is that I’m not as perky as I might otherwise be.

But the upside is that sleep deprivation probably causes me to rave deliriously on a few topics I’d otherwise stay quiet about.

As always, I’m a wordy bitch. So the interview is broken up into three pieces:




I wish I could give you some idea what we talked about, but, as usual, I can’t bring myself to watch videos of myself. So I really have no idea what I said in these interviews.

That said, I do remember we had a good time recording it, and I wouldn’t have talked for 45 minutes if he hadn’t been asking me good questions….

Share and enjoy,


This entry was posted in Interviews, videosBy Pat59 Responses


  1. Tager
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    I watched that interview a while back, very insightful Pat!

    • Posted May 20, 2011 at 11:01 AM | Permalink

      Do you remember what I was talking about? Did I say anything even halfway clever?

      • The Gryffon
        Posted May 20, 2011 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

        I just watched the first one. You had some VERY good thoughts, changed my whole perspective on writing and I enjoyed it much more than some of your others.

      • Posted May 20, 2011 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

        I’m sure you did, Pat. I’m sure you did. .-)

      • Tager
        Posted May 20, 2011 at 12:31 PM | Permalink

        You were talking about your view on the world in the relation to your books as far as I’m aware, it was very interesting. I think the best thing about it is that you seemed honest and what you were saying wasn’t regurgitated.

      • Lance Thompson
        Posted June 1, 2011 at 3:20 PM | Permalink

        In the interview you were posed a question in regards to the values of good and evil in an epic fantasy environment. Your response was fairly clever, referring to the concepts of good and evil in terms of properties of each. As a writer, I am sure that you are aware that many words in our language denote similar agenda. To say that properties of good and evil are any less than good or evil is an abstract objective. Earlier in the interview you spoke on the juxtaposition of worldly values into a fictional “what if” setting. It is in this very juxtaposition that the concepts of The Good and The Evil have the greatest metaphysical value. To forcibly try to remove such metaphysics in a self-admitted “what if” setting in favor of such synonyms as wise or unwise should be viewed as completely erroneous; essentially, beating around the bush. Very clever.

        • Lance Thompson
          Posted June 1, 2011 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

          Here is a poem I wrote that might clarify my meaning:

          ‎’Symbolic Array’

          Symbols are signs
          Assigned by design.
          Representing the ideas,
          Concepts reside.
          In the language we speak,
          The words we write.
          Symbols are to blame
          For contradiction plight.
          So say what you mean,
          Mean what you say.
          Letters and numbers,
          Symbolic Array.

      • sicvita
        Posted June 11, 2011 at 8:53 PM | Permalink

        Pat, you made some very interesting comments during your interview. Though, I disagree with one comment you made: That emotion is irrational. Emotion can be irrational, true; however, if emotion coincides with logic then it is rational because it accurately reflects the rational reality. For instance, anger is an emotion that motivates you to fight for your interests. Suppose someone threatens to run down your bunny with a lawnmower. Your reaction is anger, and thoughts of pummeling the rascally douche that threatened it. Your emotion is rational because it reflects a real threat and a desire to protect against that threat. Now, if you were feeling all warm and fuzzy inside in reaction to that threat while simultaneously hoping for a long and loving life with your young bunny, then your emotion is in fact, irrational. So what I’m trying to say, is that emotion is very rational if you consider it a heuristic, and the emotion you experience is accurately reflecting reality. Just something for you to consider. Love the books!

        • sicvita
          Posted June 11, 2011 at 8:55 PM | Permalink

          That is, if you define what is rational as reasonable and sane.

  2. pdxtrent
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    Pat, always brilliant! But I know what you mean about not liking to watch video, I’m always thinking “Am I really that much of an idiot?” when I’m watching.

  3. Flugenblarg
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

    Haven’t watched yet but based on what I see from the screen caps there I’m thinking there’s gonna be some SERIOUS hand gesturing.

  4. Bugaboo53067
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    I loved hearing you talk about the authors that you’re a fan of and always excited to read. I love hearing other people’s favorite authors because it gives me a new area to check out, so thanks :)

    PS- Jim Butcher is one of my favorites too. James Marsters’ readings of those books are absolutely amazing as well :)

  5. Minuet45
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

    Loved the pieces about the authors you look forward to reading and your love for Scarborough Fair. ;)

  6. Posted May 20, 2011 at 11:55 AM | Permalink

    I thought your discussion of rude vs evil was pretty clever. My friends think I’m evil for killing the spiders in my bathtub. I’m just rude. I don’t like bugs seeing me naked! Instead of inviting them out to tea politely I take a shampoo bottle and smash them rudely.

    You talked about Labyrinth! And Jim Henson who really did make the world better place for the work he made. wow

    Music… you talked about music. Revisions too, always make revisions.

    And you laugh a lot. Which is wonderful.

    • Jansp
      Posted May 20, 2011 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

      You do have an awesome laugh. I always want to laugh when I hear it too.

  7. Posted May 20, 2011 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

    I enjoyed this interview. As I travel my own journey, writing the story that is in my heart, making it as perfect as my mortal soul can shape it, and then striving to get it published, knowing with every step along the path that the odds are against me, it is comforting to hear the insights and thoughts of someone who has successfully made the journey and has achieved what I aspire to achieve.

  8. Jack Lancaster
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

    I’ve repeatedly stated my belief that if everyone in the world read your work, the world would be a better place.

    So it’s not that arrogant.

  9. Krismason56
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

    Everything you said supported the way I represent your work to my family and friends (and random strangers) when I try to push the books on them. The books are unpredictable yet satisfying, realistic fantasy, heart-rending as well as heart-warming. I laughed, I cried, I bought copies for anyone who let me blather endlessly to them about this being top-shelf writing. It’s just nice to know I might have got it right! Thank you for the validation. Obviously that was your sole purpose to that interview.

  10. QWOPtain Crunch
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 3:32 PM | Permalink

    I was especially hit by what you were saying in the beginning about taking experience from life and putting them into stories. I have a couple of friends who have tried writing and they ended up doing the “cheap coat of paint” method you spoke of with a few scenes in their writings. They could have had much better writings if they didn’t use that method.

  11. rappy7
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 3:52 PM | Permalink

    Duuuuuuude, I can tell you haven’t read any George R.R. Martin yet, or you would’ve mentioned him among the writers whose books you can’t wait to come out. You haven’t lived yet! Some compare reading him to joy they felt at their first child’s birth.

    • daddydee
      Posted May 20, 2011 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

      While I have been waiting for George R. R. Martin to release his next book, I’m not certain if I could say that reading his books would equate to the same joy of having a first child (assuming you’re not the one pushing it out.) I threw my copy of A Storm of Swords across the room after reading the Red Wedding chapter. I didn’t pick the book up from that spot for about a week.

      • chaelek
        Posted May 20, 2011 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

        Oh my God yes, I didn’t throw my book but I was pretty upset. I’m currently watching the HBO series with some people who haven’t read the books, and I’m waiting for the finale when Ned makes his big exit. I can’t wait to see their reactions.

        • rookedwithElodin
          Posted May 20, 2011 at 10:43 PM | Permalink

          I just started A Game Of Thrones a couple days ago, and while I haven’t gotten to the meat of the story yet, from what I’ve read, I can tell that there is going to be some pretty cool stuff once I get to it. I actually saw the book after having seen commercials for the HBO series which looked really interesting and that’s when I got it.

        • Sedulo
          Posted May 31, 2011 at 4:11 AM | Permalink

          My mother cannot stand the suspense and calls me on Sundays after each episode of Game of Thrones and asks a ton of questions. It is difficult because she is way off on some things but gets some other things right. I feel conflicted because I am glad she likes the story, but it is a tough job keeping my mouth shut under the direct questioning of my Mom! Gah.

  12. Lochcelious
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

    Has anyone ever told you that your facial structure bears some resemblance to Leonardo DeCaprio? (I know, you can hate me now)

    • jaydelott
      Posted May 21, 2011 at 12:17 AM | Permalink

      I imagine the beard cuts down on confusion when people ask for his autograph.

    • Posted May 21, 2011 at 4:09 PM | Permalink

      No. I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard that before.

      I’m going to tell sarah though. She’ll get a kick out of it…

  13. chaelek
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 5:08 PM | Permalink

    Easily my favorite line was “I’m white, I’m just sooo white.”

  14. Kiarrens
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 5:10 PM | Permalink

    I love the Dark Tower art on the wall behind you. That’s my all time favorite piece of art from that series!

  15. itsjusthim
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

    I like the part about making the world a better place through your stories. I feel like a lot of who I am was built from the stories I read throughout my life. I believe that your story has the power to teach and shape people. You are making the world a better place

  16. stephanie
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

    I’ve only seen the first two parts so far but I just had to stop and comment because those pictures of The Dark Tower you have on your walls are making me jealous. They would look amazing in my room or, well, they wouldn’t, but they would look amazing in my livingroom once I move out of my parents’s house.

    Other than that, I really liked that question about semantic contagion! I’ve had that discussion with my dad so many times now.

  17. stephanie
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 6:57 PM | Permalink

    Seen them all three now. I love how you’re constantly backtracking through your thoughts and correcting yourself, such dedication!

    I’ve got a tiny question as well if you can find the time (I haven’t seen it answered before but you might have, somewhere).

    Now that you’ve spent so long on writing this story, aren’t there already other new and exciting plot bunnies hopping around in your brain, even though this one’s not finished yet?

    I ask because I constantly get sidetracked when I’m painting or writing. Usually the longer a work takes the more ideas I get for other things and then I really have to find the discipline to finish what I started first.

  18. Mossy Toes
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 7:26 PM | Permalink

    I’ve been struggling with a similar conundrum as to whether or not to classify the Kingkiller Chronicles as “epic”…

    I can honestly say, though, that a lot of epic fantasy DOESN’T leave me as a reader feeling that the world is a better place–A Song of Fire and Ice? The Sword of Truth? The Wheel of Time? As much as I love it, the Malazan Book of the Fallen? …not really reinforcing my faith in the human spirit, to be honest.

    • Thigis
      Posted May 22, 2011 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

      Personally i think that morally ambiguous are much better at ‘leaving the world a better place’, these show true moral dillemas and sometimes the truly awefull consequences of a decision which seemed and maybe was morally ‘right’ at the time. These kind of novels force you to think and re-assess your own rationale.

      Saving the princess from the tower is all well and good, but what if she was locked up for a good reason? How about killing a dragon for his hoard? is that morally upright?

      I dont think i’d classify the chronicles as epic, but i dont really care either.

  19. The Wise Mans Fear
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 8:39 PM | Permalink


  20. rookedwithElodin
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 10:46 PM | Permalink

    I definitely agree with what you said about writing a story and ending it. Ive read some really good series but when they just go on and on and on the main reason I keep reading is just to know the ending and not so much because I enjoy the books anymore (even though I still do just not as much as when I started).

  21. christie
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 12:14 AM | Permalink

    I could sense the teacher in you with your explanations. The fiction writing versus non-fiction writing was interesting. I think of evil as the absence of good, not necessarily something in and of itself. Epic is hard to define, a world in and of itself and the completeness of the world’s existence makes the difference to me.

    My favorite part of the interview was your introduction to Simon & Garfunkel with your mom’s comment of “Sweetie” and showing you the collection in the basement.

    And I think many people would agree that the world is better with your books. (No Pressure)

    • Thigis
      Posted May 22, 2011 at 9:20 AM | Permalink

      and how would you define good?

  22. Pandora13
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 2:43 AM | Permalink

    I’m crushed. Just heard from the Danish publisher that they are not planning on translating The Wise Man’s Fear. Isn’t there anything to do? I NEED that book!! :'(

    • Erzberger
      Posted May 21, 2011 at 3:34 AM | Permalink

      You seem to speak english very well. Give the original a try, if the book really isn´t going to be translated.
      You could even try it out on the first book to see if it can be read comfortably.

      Added bonus: You don´t have to wait any longer. :)

    • Little My
      Posted May 21, 2011 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

      Not going to translate a NYT #1 bestseller? What does it freaking TAKE? Perhaps the work involved in getting the translation right isn’t worth the small market.

  23. mehawk
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 4:49 AM | Permalink

    I’m actually here to register a complaint. The subliminal advertising was unfair. There I was enjoying the interview and the next thing I knew I had ordered an Eolian T-shirt. Very sneaky!

      Posted May 21, 2011 at 10:02 PM | Permalink

      Odd… I did the same thing…

  24. Platypusking
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 4:51 PM | Permalink

    I kept watching for the cookie pile to go down some, but it didn’t really…

    • Posted May 22, 2011 at 10:24 PM | Permalink

      I was trying to eat healthy on the tour….

  25. Lobodato
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 8:14 PM | Permalink

    Pat, the interviews were fine. Peter said something near the end that moved me to register to post for the first time since I started reading your blog back in … 2008?

    Your work does NOT read as “effortless.” It reads as a well-crafted and beautiful story, but one where the thought that went into each phrase and sentence is apparent. Yes, it flows well. Yes, it is graceful. It *reads* effortlessly. But no, no it does not seem that it was crafted effortlessly. It is a beautiful, wonderful work, and its craftsmanship in current genre fiction (and perhaps beyond), is unparalleled.

      Posted May 21, 2011 at 10:20 PM | Permalink

      I gotta say, reading it wasn’t effortless:
      1) I grew so attached to the characters that I was constantly worried about what was going to happen to them.
      2) On two occasions i became afraid of picking up the book because I knew I would not be able to put it back down again and go to work.

      • Lobodato
        Posted May 21, 2011 at 11:51 PM | Permalink

        Fair, NAMDORG.

  26. Oatmeal
    Posted May 22, 2011 at 2:38 AM | Permalink

    I haven’t watched the whole thing yet. I just wanted to say it’s very unfair of you to have me looking at yummy nummy chocolate chip cookies for 45 minutes. AND I didn’t even get the vicarious joy of watching you eat them. (I don’t think, they’re still there in the still shot from the last one, so I’m assuming you didn’t chow down in the middle of an interview. Which I suppose is appropriate, since eating while you’re trying to talk at a camera … or three … would be rude. But still. Cookies!)

  27. Shea
    Posted May 22, 2011 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

    When talking about the need for revision, revision, revision, you mentioned that Auri and some other characters weren’t originally part of the story. Auri is a character unlike any I have ever read before, and for that, she is one of my favorites. I love the presents she gives Kvothe: a key that unlocks the moon, a feather with the spring wind in it, a ring that keeps secrets, etc. It’s like she knows something the rest of us never knew or have forgotten…

    • Shea
      Posted May 22, 2011 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

      One more thought – you mentioned that after you finished the 3rd book, you may write more stories about this world. If you do, I would love to read a short story about Auri’s life, for what it’s worth.

  28. Illarion
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 7:08 AM | Permalink

    I loved what you said about discovering music that really sang to you for the first time. I wonder if you’ve ever heard of the Mediaeval Baebes? I ask, because they did a particularly lovely version of Scarborough Fair (though there’s always the danger that, with a song you love, it’s *just wrong* to hear someone else do it).

    Anyway, have a listen if you care to:

    They’ve done a great many other fine songs also.

  29. Beej
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    Pat, who are you kidding? You are such a wordy bitch you’d talk for 45 minutes about anything! ;)

  30. Cloudgazer
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 6:52 PM | Permalink

    I thought it was really interesting that Lorren originally was written as being a friend to Kvothe, as it always seemed to me that their relationship should have been on a friendlier footing. I can see why you changed it, you get more tension by denying Kvothe the archives – but the cost is that Lorren is somewhat adrift as a character.

    There is still the sense that they are natural allies, much as Lorren would presumably have been a friend to the Chronicler or Skarpi, which makes Lorren’s continued animosity towards Kvothe feel just a little odd, a splinter in the wood that has been sanded so smoothly elsewhere.

    • Oatmeal
      Posted May 25, 2011 at 3:15 AM | Permalink

      I feel that Lorren’s relationship with Kvothe still being a bit strained is just right. It’s like, he likes Kvothe, and knows he should do well, and that’s why he’s staying back and being (maybe even a little extra) strict and hard on him because he likes him and knows he can do well.

      • Cloudgazer
        Posted May 27, 2011 at 12:41 PM | Permalink

        No, it’s not that simple, Lorren is left the most inconsistent character in the book.

        He’s supposed to be intelligent, we’re given a lot of indications that he is, but by the end of Wise Man’s Fear any intelligent teacher would know from the continued animosity of Ambrose & Kvothe that Ambrose did indeed supply the candle, way back at the start of Name of the Wind.

        To anybody else this might not seem a big deal but Lorren is totally devoted to his books, the thought that Ambrose would endanger them out of petty dislike for Kvothe would be FAR worse than the thought that Kvothe would endanger them out of ignorance. While Lorren wouldn’t be able to punish Ambrose without evidence he would be able to act to protect his precious books from him by limiting his powers as a scriv – or even telling him to find a new sponsor.

        Lorren’s current attitude isn’t consistent with his character. By the standards of the average novel it’s not a big deal, but in these books it stands out.

        • Sedulo
          Posted May 31, 2011 at 4:03 AM | Permalink

          Not knowing where Lorren stands creeps me out. Remember how he diverts Kvothe away from a certain research topic? He could be protecting Kvothe, or he’s up to his neck in something else. He also got Kvothe’s book out of hock right? He is in the know. “Arliden the bard?” Also, where exactly are those fascinating doors? Hmmmm?

  31. MereShadow
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 9:17 PM | Permalink

    Wow! I’m so glad someone else was just like me as a child! When the neighbors and/or my family came over they would always be pestering me, “Let’s go do something!” … I am doing something, I’m reading a book. Perfect, classy, love it.

  32. chat
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

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