Meeting Terry Pratchett

So as I mentioned yesterday, while I was at NADWcon this weekend, I got the chance to get a book signed by Terry Pratchett.

The thought of getting a book signed is an odd one to me. In these last several months, it’s possible that I’ve signed thousands of books. Many thousands. I’ve signed books to families, to kids, to grandparents. I’ve signed books in warehouses, libraries, bookstores, and colleges….

But honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever approached someone to get their autograph. Not in a formal setting. And certainly not anyone of Terry Pratchett’s status. Not someone I’ve been reading since I stumbled onto a copy of Sourcery in Shopko in 1989….

By the time Monday rolled around, I’d been at the convention for three solid days. And truth be told, I was kinda hoping that I might run into Terry at some point in that time. Maybe we’d be in the elevator together. Maybe we’d meet in the hallway on the way to a panel. Maybe someone would introduce us and I’d get a chance to say a few words….

But it didn’t happen. I wasn’t surprised or disappointed. I know how these things work. It’s a big con, and Terry’s the star of the show. They have to work hard to protect the Guest of Honor at events like this or they’re mobbed by fans. If they aren’t careful, a guest like Terry will have a hard time finding a moment’s peace to eat. I’ve seen some titan-level writers who have trouble simply walking down a hallway at a con without a handful of people asking for an autograph or a picture.

So I didn’t stalk Pratchett. I didn’t arrange an introduction, or just happen to bump into him somewhere. Even when I found out that his room was right next to mine in the hotel, I didn’t do anything like leave a copy of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle outside his door. I didn’t want to be that guy.

The signings were carefully controlled, too. They have to be. Terry has written more than 50 books, and everyone there would like nothing more than to get a bunch signed. If they let everyone get as many books signed as they’d like, Terry would have spent the entire length of the four-day convention signing books.

I’m not being hyperbolic here. It’s the literal truth. He could easily have spent 70 hours signing books if the convention didn’t work hard to control the situation.

This is something I understand only now that I’ve been on my first signing tour.

Take me, for example. I’m a newbie author. I have two books out (compared to Pratchett’s 50+). I’ve been published for four years (compared Pratchett’s 40.)

To put this in different terms, I am currently hovering around 2300 Gaiman-Day units of cool, which isn’t bad.

But Pratchett probably ranks in at more than 60,000. I mean, when you write so well they actually knight you, you’re kind of a big deal.

Despite my relatively newbie nature, when I showed up in Houston back in March, I signed books for 9 hours straight. Given that I’m about 2% of a Pratchett, you can see how quickly one of his signings could spiral into madness if it wasn’t carefully controlled.

My point is, I knew Pratchett wasn’t going to be signing books all higgledy piggledy at the con. Even if he signed a single book for every person there, it would take him 12 hours. Because of that, I knew I probably wasn’t going to have a chance to get anything signed.

That said, I was pleasantly surprised when the guest liaison for the convention told me that if I wanted, he might be able to pull a few little strings for me. Maybe enough for me to get a book signed. Maybe.

I was honest, and said I’d be grateful for the chance. If I could get a book signed, I’d be able to use it for the charity I run every year.

He said that if the book was for charity, we could almost certainly make it happen.

So I bought a copy of Nation from Dreamhaven in the dealer’s room, and on Monday, I wandered to the hall where Terry was signing. He was mostly autographing stuff items that had been sold at the charity auction the day before. I’d had to miss the auction because I was doing some paneling. But it was probably for the best, as I’d already spent more money than I should on swag.

The guest liaison motioned me over and told me it was cool if I got something signed. It really didn’t have to be for the charity, either, he said. I could just get something for myself.

Suddenly I was really conflicted. I’d brought a copy of Where’s My Cow? to the convention, because whenever we travel with Oot, we need to bring about a dozen books to keep him happy. (He’s like his dad that way.)

I’ve been reading Where’s My Cow? to Oot since before he could talk. It’s a great book, and the ending makes me a little weepy, because I’ve turned into a total soppy git ever since I became a dad.

Oot knows what noises the animals make, even the  Hippopotamus. He really likes the page with Coffin’ Henry on it, too, and asks to see it again and again.

He also enthusiastically says, “Buggrit!” Which is a little troubling to Sarah, but pleases me to no end.

So when the guest liaison says I can get any book signed, I realize I have Where is My Cow? in my backpack. I could get Pratchett to sign the book to Oot….

It’s a hard moment, but I decide to get Nation signed for Worldbuilders instead. Because personal isn’t the same as important. The signed book will be a nice draw for Worldbuilders if we throw it into the general mix of prizes. And if we auction it, I’m guessing it will bring in at least a couple hundred bucks. That’s enough for a couple of goats….

I consider trying to get both signed, of course. Because I’m only human. Terry is a nice guy, and accommodating, so I’m guessing if I pulled a second book out of my bag when I was at the table he’d go for it….

But I shake off the thought fairly quickly. I am not a special snowflake. I don’t deserve to get two books signed when everybody else gets one. If everyone tried to pull that shit, Terry would have an extra 2000 books to sign.

The guest liaison brings me up to the table and introduces me, explaining that I’m fellow author and that I’ve hit the New York Times with both my books. That’s nice of him. It lets me stand a little taller.

Terry looks up at me and says, “I’m guessing you’re fantasy, not science fiction.”

I grin and nod. “We do have a certain look, don’t we?”

I’m pleasantly surprised by the fact that I don’t feel terribly tongue-tied or shaky or awkward.

[Author’s note: Sarah just brought Oot in after his shower. He grinned at me and, “Bugit! … Hand and shrimp! Fow Ron!” (This will only make sense if you’ve read a lot of Discworld or Where’s My Cow?)]

I hand over the copy of Nation and say, “This book was absolutely gorgeous. It might be the best book I’ve ever read.”

“I got a lot of letters from children,” Terry says. “They were upset because it didn’t have a happy ending.”

He opens the book and signs his name. His signature is way loopier than mine.

Terry keeps talking as he signs, “But I always reply, ‘It has a ending. It has the right ending.”

“It has the perfect ending,” I say. “It was beautiful. It absolutely broke my heart.”

And that was it. I moved away and made room for the rest of the folk who had things for him to sign.

Would I have liked to talk longer? Maybe chat about writing and the art of ending? Of course. Who wouldn’t?

But there’s only so much time. And honestly, I was happy to wrap things up before I accidentally made an ass of myself.

Besides, though Pratchett didn’t know it, he’s said about the best thing possible to me. I worry about the ending of my story sometimes. I worry that people won’t like it. Most of my readers are hoping for a particular type of ending. They e-mail me with their theories and their hopes. They want X to hook up with Y. They want Z to get his comeuppance. They want such and such story tied up in a certain way….

I know it comes from a place of love. But it makes me nervous.

After talking to Terry, I’m less nervous. I can’t give each of you your own personalize ending, containing everything you specifically wanted out of the story. That’s impossible.

But I can give you the right ending. A perfect ending.

That’s all for now. If you have a spare moment, send a good thought this way tomorrow.

I don’t want to give any specifics, but tomorrow is going to be a little rough for us. If everything goes well it won’t be a big deal. But still, if you have a spare thought, Oot and Sarah and I could use it, just for luck.



This entry was posted in conventions, meeting famous people, Oot, signing books, Tales from the Con, Things I didn't know about publishingBy Pat101 Responses


  1. Jordi Cronin
    Posted July 14, 2011 at 11:17 PM | Permalink

    Good luck Pat, If anyone deserves it it’s you.

    Also if I were you the last thing I would worry about is not having a happy-go-lucky ending. I mean just look at some of the great writers like Shakespeare, Theres a reason that his tragedies are so well known. And while I know yours can’t really be called a tragedy most of my most treasured books are ones that challenge me emotionally not just end with a Happily ever after.

  2. kelly1767
    Posted July 14, 2011 at 11:17 PM | Permalink


    My best wishes for you and yours. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I am always excited when I see you have a new blog comment posted.


  3. Jordi Cronin
    Posted July 14, 2011 at 11:19 PM | Permalink

    And to be able to pull it off successfully, as their in no doubt you can, is a much greater indicator of skill than giving the fans exactly what they want. Because from my own fandom I know that what I “want” and what is truly great differ greatly.

  4. jaimo
    Posted July 14, 2011 at 11:21 PM | Permalink

    Luck to you and yours.

  5. kaleid
    Posted July 14, 2011 at 11:24 PM | Permalink

    Lighting a virtual candle for you.

    I remember standing in line to get ” The Light Fantastic” signed by Terry. I guess I was lucky, I think there were only about 50 people in line back then. But we were college students and didn’t have any money, so the books we were getting signed were all library copies. And yes, they were all returned by the due date.

  6. ResearchMom
    Posted July 14, 2011 at 11:24 PM | Permalink

    Pat, we wish you and the family the best. Please let us know that all is well after tomorrow. Hope it (whatever “it” is) goes without a hitch. You guys deserve only good things. BTW, I do admire your upstanding-ness – I don’t think I would really have the moral fortitude to walk away with just one book signed. Love Oot’s new words. Just wait until he learns Google, computer and Plants versus Zombies….

    • Posted July 16, 2011 at 1:55 AM | Permalink

      …or starts singing “there’s a zombie on my lwan”. My 2 1/2 year old does that, cutest thing EVER (her older brother sings “still alive” from portal…)

      Pat, the best of luck to your family, whatever goes down.

      I had the fortune of meeting Mr. Pratchett back in ’98. He really is very inspiring!

  7. katelyn
    Posted July 14, 2011 at 11:25 PM | Permalink

    LUCK! Your ending will be perfect, and right. And now you’ve made us all desperately curious about tomorrow, but even if we never find out, just know you have LOTS of positive vibes flowing towards you right this moment.

    Also – this encounter is totally how I felt when I met you this spring in Portland. So many things you want to say, so many ways you feel connected, but so many other people in line – you don’t want to be THAT asshole. It was a great experience in any case.

  8. DecreasingWave
    Posted July 14, 2011 at 11:25 PM | Permalink

    “Because personal isn’t the same as important.”


    • priscellie
      Posted July 15, 2011 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

      I SEE TOO.

      I freaking loved that book.

    • Posted January 7, 2012 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

      Yeah; thanks for this, Pat — brought a tear to the eye.

  9. SadiCarnot2012
    Posted July 14, 2011 at 11:28 PM | Permalink

    Happy ending? M’lady informs me that a happy climax is where it’s at ;)

    Hope that wasn’t inappropriate…good luck by the way.

  10. Aphrael40
    Posted July 14, 2011 at 11:29 PM | Permalink

    Very good luck. A perfect ending is a thing of beauty, even if it’s not what most expect or wanted. I love a book that has an ending that makes me think, “dear gods where is the next one!”, or makes me go through a box of tissue, or sets the perfect picture in my head of release.

  11. ammberlea412
    Posted July 14, 2011 at 11:46 PM | Permalink

    All the best to you and yours.

    I’ve loved your books, and will eagerly continue to read them.

  12. LaisLindsay
    Posted July 14, 2011 at 11:49 PM | Permalink

    I love that you opted to have the book signed for WorldBuilders and not for Oot. That, sir, was a terrific and commendable sacrifice. Your’re just so darn… nice!
    On a different note, don’t sweat the ending of Kvothe’s story, Pat. It will end exactly as you intend, and that is what will make it perfect.
    *Warm, positive, happy thoughts heading your way for you and yours, guy.*
    Now go snuggle with your squeaky clean bundle o’ joy ya sloppy git!

  13. Lexxa
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 12:04 AM | Permalink

    “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu

    Sending good thoughts for your family. And here’s a *HUG*.

  14. LittleD
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 12:26 AM | Permalink

    God Bless you and your family, today, tomorrow, and all the days that follow. You are an amazing man Patrick Rothfuss, thank you for all the words you write down:)

  15. DraccusPlum
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 12:31 AM | Permalink

    Absolute good vibes coming your way. Happy thoughts and a few well-wishes, too.
    Also, your honorable-ness with the book signing got you a million cool points in my book.

  16. Naomi
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 12:32 AM | Permalink

    I think us humans like happy endings for stories because we want our own lives to have happy endings.

    But as Forrest would put it – you never know what you’re going to get. Good luck! Looking forwards to your next book.

  17. Posted July 15, 2011 at 12:53 AM | Permalink

    Good luck tomorrow – may the force be with you.

  18. condietwo
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 12:58 AM | Permalink

    Am sending you (all of you) every bit of luck I can muster. Make use of it.

  19. Constance
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 1:09 AM | Permalink

    Thunt from the Goblins webcomic just raised over 30k in an attempt to save his home from being foreclosed out under him. May his good luck rub off on you!

    • Posted July 17, 2011 at 7:07 PM | Permalink

      Wow. I totally missed that. Thanks for bringing it to my attention….

  20. The_Eleventh_Evien
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 1:29 AM | Permalink


    I just want to say that I hope The Kingkiller Chronicles end in only the most delightfully, heart breakingly beautiful way that you have so perfectly honed. You have shown, time and time again, that you are the master of this story and it is only in your hands that it affects us the way it does.
    “What what. Hush hush.” is a phrase that will always tug at my heartstrings.

    Conversely, I hope that the undertaking before you, your lady, and your child is met with cool ease, and passes quickly. We all have our mountains to climb, but at least you can say there are droves of people with witty comments and surprisingly abundant artistic ability here to cheer you on.

  21. Posted July 15, 2011 at 1:44 AM | Permalink

    Firstly: All good thoughts are and will be heading in your direction, hope Oot, Sarah and yourself get all the good things that can be hoped for.

    Lastly: However you end your tale, if it is how you envisage it, I can’t see many people not being fully behind you on it. You know the way of the words Mr Pat, they can’t help but be right.

  22. Posted July 15, 2011 at 1:53 AM | Permalink

    Good Luck! Hope whateveritis goes as smoothly as possible.

    PTerry was the first author I ever got to sign a book for me – I’d just popped into Waterstones to get a coffee and sit for a while, to avoid getting caught in the rush hour traffic, and they were just setting up for a signing, so I stayed, and came home with a lovely signed copy of ‘the Fifth Elephant’. a great man, and a great writer.

  23. mathw
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 1:57 AM | Permalink

    Pat, good luck. Whatever it is, good luck.

    So far your books have ended just right. I find myself dreading the ending of the third book, because I don’t want the series to be over, but I have confidence that it’s going to be a good ending, not necessarily in the sense of happily ever after, or something uplifting or whatever, but good in the sense that it’s the ending that’s appropriate for Kvothe.

  24. Fra
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 2:16 AM | Permalink

    Love and GoodLuck from Italy too (ours works just fine: smooth with all the butter and olive oil, probably).
    I just want to share an incredible stroke of luck, you made me remember:
    I was at the first Irish Discworld Convention, couple of years ago and it was tiny (in a very good way), probably because it was fair strategic to plan it in november… But I was in line with no more than a hundred people. I own all the possible “very expensive looking” first editions possible of Pratchett, but I brought an anonymous paperback copy of Equal Rites to sign, and to sign in middle of a written page, not in a blanc space at the beginning. So HE got curious and I had a chance to say: “I fell in love with you for this exact line. And thanks to the idiocy of old italian translation, it’a line you never wrote”… that got me a smile. A SMILE FOR THE MAN HIMSELF. Pratchett real line (which I discovered years later, when my knowledge of english allowed me to really read him, and you, am I lucky??) is: “magic has a habit of lie low, like a rake in the grass”. Can you see what he meant? In italy the same line was: “Magic uses to hide, like a secret way in tall grass” Can you get how non-humorous it sounds and how mistic a feel it has?? That’s it. But I met all of Pratchett’s world after that book, and even found yours recently, so all’s well what ends with good books.

  25. CapitanaCanija
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 3:30 AM | Permalink

    “Personal isn’t the same as important”. I’ve been thinking of this sentence for years. Pratchett always makes me think a lot, but this senteces touchs me deep inside!

    All my good thoughts for Sarah, Oot and you, from Spain =)

  26. dkat
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 5:15 AM | Permalink

    I do not worship a g~d so I cannot offer prayers of luck but I do offer my hopes and thoughts for good things going your way.

  27. Tony
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 5:30 AM | Permalink

    Hey Pat,

    I’m slightly envious, but only slightly. I had to work so I didn’t have the chance to go to the Con. Glad you had a good time though.

    Whatever Sarah and Oot are facing today, I pray they hear only positive. It can be a nerve wracking thing, this doctor visit stuff. However, I think that things will work out. If on the off chance the news isn’t exactly what you want to hear, we’ll be behind you 100%. And by “we”, I mean the readers, the people with whom this journey rides.

    I won’t speak for everyone (…much), but you’re an inspiration, and as such I will be there to help as you’ve been there for all of us in your bearded, semi-jedi way.

  28. Mark G. Schroeder
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 5:46 AM | Permalink

    Good luck Pat.

    I’ve been asking people the same thing lately. My Mom could use those good thoughts too.

  29. Posted July 15, 2011 at 6:12 AM | Permalink

    Oh Pat, you’re wonderful!
    You’ve brought tears to my eyes… And whatever the ending of Kvothe’s story be (was? were? xD Sorry, English is not my native language…), it will be the best for it, I’m sure! Don’t worry! ^.^

  30. Hecuba
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 6:16 AM | Permalink

    Good luck!! :-)

    As for the book… I’d be disappointed if it had a perfect sugary ending where Kvothe ‘passed from this world peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by fat grandchildren’ ;-)

  31. MaryRose
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 6:56 AM | Permalink

    Sending good vibes to you from Connecticut and wise words from Thich Nhat Hanh:

    Smile, breathe and go slowly.

  32. Istezada
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 7:06 AM | Permalink

    Huh. Yours is one of the few endings I’m not worried about. I’m terrified of what’s going to happen before the ending, (“… but no, of course there was no music.” actually made me a little sick with dread at the end of WMF) but I’ve never worried about the ending. I do have a minor case of awe in the “How on earth is he going to weave in all these loose ends tidily in one book?” department, but that’s different…

    Hope everything goes okay today.

  33. itsjusthim
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 7:54 AM | Permalink

    *sending good thoughts to you and your family* I hope everything works out.

    Also I’m really excited and sad for the end of your story. You’ve kept things so raw and real through out that I think it’s silly for anyone to expect an ideal rainbows and unicorns ending in which everything ties together nicely. Your books have such a life-like quality to them, and life rarely ties up every loose end with rainbows and unicorns. There’s always something we don’t know, or something that we wish had happened a little, or a lot differently. It took me a long time to accept that as far as books were concerned, but I see it as a mark of skill and reality now.

    In any case I doubt that you could let your fans down. You put a lot of work, skill, and talent into your books and that has achieved you rockstar status! XD

  34. Christer
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 8:12 AM | Permalink

    Much love and goodness vibes being sent in your general direction. I’m sure the ending will be epic. (win… not fail)

  35. Maureen
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 8:25 AM | Permalink

    Wishing you Good Luck

  36. iburnbrass
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

    I’m so glad you did the math to update us on your coolness rating! I KNEW you had to have moved up since last time! (Favorite blog post of all time! Seriously – I’ve gotten people who balk at reading fantasy to pick up your books by showing them that blog post!)

  37. Jjaks
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 9:08 AM | Permalink

    I so love this post :-)

    Good luck to you and your family!

  38. Posted July 15, 2011 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    It never ceases to amaze me how so many people get so upset over endings. Why do we feel so entitled? The ending belongs to the author. It’s their story. Besides, reading for an ending is like living just to die. Pointless.

    Pat, you’ve got my full support for your true ending. I suppose the rest of the minions would say likewise.

    • marcocanov
      Posted July 15, 2011 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

      Completely disagree. Kvothe is no longer just Pat’s baby, he is now every readers baby. We became uncles one we bought the book and loved the story.

      Yes, I could NOT read the books, just as Pat could have NOT published, and have Aurie die a long horrrible and painful death, just because he is the author and he can.

      • SadiCarnot2012
        Posted July 15, 2011 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

        Hmm I would think of Kvothe more as our brother. Pat is the father and he knows what Kvothe and all of his children need better than we do. If he did kill Auri, he would do it because it’s right for the family, even if we don’t understand it.

        • marcocanov
          Posted July 15, 2011 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

          Really, he kills our sister Aurie, for the good of the family and we all just stand there and say “Father knows best”? The truth of the matter is that we trust parents and most of the time they are right. Most of the time.

          I just find it hipocritical of some people that say “I will be fine with any ending” when thats just not true. We read stories and love happy endings, it human nature. Any ending will not do.

      • brrbear
        Posted July 16, 2011 at 1:49 AM | Permalink

        for every child of flesh or ideation, you crave out of love for that child to grow strong in the manner which best suits him. wishing for him to be happy in his life is far more important than his meeting the end you wrote. like children, ideas grow and live their own lives, and we can only hope that we gave them a solid foundation from which to be successful. and keep in mind: every man’s idea of success is different. the best way to measure success in a person’s life is to measure their accomplishments to their personal aspirations…

      • brrbear
        Posted July 16, 2011 at 1:49 AM | Permalink

        for every child of flesh or ideation, you crave out of love for that child to grow strong in the manner which best suits him. wishing for him to be happy in his life is far more important than his meeting the end you wrote. like children, ideas grow and live their own lives, and we can only hope that we gave them a solid foundation from which to be successful. and keep in mind: every man’s idea of success is different. the best way to measure success in a person’s life is to measure their accomplishments to their personal aspirations…

        • brrbear
          Posted July 16, 2011 at 1:51 AM | Permalink

          don’t know why that posted twice….sorry

  39. kitgordon
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 10:14 AM | Permalink

    Sending lots of good thoughts and positive energy your way!

  40. Mcdazzlepants
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

    If it weren’t weird for two bearded men to hug in public I would give you a hug if I ever saw you.

    Maybe not, but you’re seriously an awesome dude with a big heart. I’ll support your projects as long as I’m able. Good luck with your troubles, may they be quick and painless.

  41. marcocanov
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 11:15 AM | Permalink


    I wish you the best of luck.

    For the first time, I am going to have to disagree with you. We the fans have followed Kvothe for a while. You have said before that Kvothe is yours, but in truth, once you published, he became our as well. In fact, you published the book so he COULD become ours as well, he was already yours, and you could have kept it that way. And now we care about Kvothe, we care about his story, maybe not as a parent (that would be you) but as uncles watching their favorite nephew grow up.

    You cannot give everyone their perfect ending, but my guess is that there is an ending that would satisfy most of us. There is an ending that we would all be able to accept.

    The world would not have been the same if Edmond Dantes had died at the end of the Count of Monte Cristo. Authors do have a responsibility to their readers, the worst thing that could happen is that your readers, these surrogate family Kvothe has joined, feel betrayed by the end of the story.

    You have crafted a great story, a powerful story but it is the ending that will make or break your legacy.

    • Posted July 24, 2011 at 8:35 PM | Permalink

      “When someone gives you a piece of their story it is a gift not your fare.”

  42. agibson
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

    Best of luck!

    Good thoughts!

    I’ll have to check out the cow book.

    It reminds me that I’ve yet to break out my own geek-children’s book for my two preschoolers. Will have to rectify that soon.

    (I do particle physics, so it’s “Pat Schrodinger’s Kitty”,

  43. Gourey
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

    Good luck out there. hope everyhting is good


    love your books

  44. asterny
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 11:32 AM | Permalink

    Nothing will be laid at your feet that cannot be overcome. And worry will not add one second to your life of fix any problem that you have. Keep a cool head.

  45. metalhobbit
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 11:41 AM | Permalink

    Lots of luck to you and yours and whatever it is to come. And the ending, I hope it is satisfying.

  46. ocac
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

    I’d wish anyone freedom from bad things, and easily spare a good thought for another.
    No-one could write of their characters with the kindness and patience you do (or as you do on this blog), without being an actively good person – unless it was with some momentous strain against your nature.
    You exude a kindness that merits implicit trust, whether asking for yourself, another or something far bigger. You have good thoughts from me, and they are easily given.

  47. Erzberger
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

    And the funny thing is, this blog has exactly the right ending, but totally not the one I was hoping for. I was kinda hoping Terry would look up and say something like: “Hey, you wrote that humongous book about the red haired musician, right? Let´s have a cat over dinner tonight.” But of course, he didn´t say that.

    • Erzberger
      Posted July 16, 2011 at 3:29 AM | Permalink

      err, a cat over dinner. Yeah… Meow. I meant chat. :-)

  48. taylor_s
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    This was touching. Very selfless of you, too; I suspect Oot would be more than happy just to hear the story again!

    I personally don’t have a preference how your books end, for instance. You’re a wonderful writer, and I want to hear nothing more than the story you have to tell.

    Best wishes and fortune,

  49. JohnDoom
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    I met Sir Pratchett at the last NadwCON at Tempe, AZ last year and even though I only spoke to him for a few moments he was completely engaging. He was drinking a nice Sierra Nevada and we talked a moment about micro-brews, and home-brews. I asked if he had ever tried home-brewing.

    Did you know that in an effort to make his own wine he found it had a slightly off flavor, and discovered that the off-flavor was caused three mice that so enjoyed the vintage they died in the barrel.

    Even in his quick story I was driven to laughter. What an amazing, wonderful and delightful man.

  50. Josh
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

    You’ve done an amazing job with the ending’s so far. The story isn’t under my control, it’s under yours. I look forward to where YOU take it, not my own expectations. If I want my expectations to be fulfilled I should write my own story. You’re doing an amazing job.

  51. Josh
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    Also, you have my spare thought. Hope tomorrow turns out well.

  52. kitkatzh
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

    Just wanted to say it was a pleasure attending your “What to read when you’re not reading Pratchett” panel. Was wondering if you’re going to put up that list of book titles, as you stated; heard a lot of good reccommendations but can’t exactly remember what they were! Much appreciated.
    Katie Zheng

  53. Liam
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

    The best ending any of us could hope for is the perfect one. If your book finished exactly as we all expected would be a true disappointment. What’s the point of reading something that I can predict ahead of time?

    Also best of luck to you and yours. I’ll be concentrating really hard all day on sending you happy thoughts.

  54. vanessa
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

    Good luck, Pat, Sarah and Oot.

  55. drkitjones
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

    Thinking of you and Oot and Sarah today–hope everything goes well.

  56. zdrumz13
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 5:26 PM | Permalink

    Pat, best of luck to you, Sarah, and Oot in whatever you do. The geek nation salutes you. Your books have touched me deeply and I look forward to whatever ending you have in store for Kvothe and friends.

  57. Seth
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

    Good luck Pat Rothfuss+Sarah Rothfuss +Oot Rothfuss (Lol…yeah I included the last names just to say Oot Rothfuss) –

    Your family deserves the good luck.

  58. r_linton
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 6:45 PM | Permalink

    Good luck navigating whatever bump in the road that lies in front of you.

    Loved this post. I think we readers occasionally forget how crazy the word of a famous author can be. Mr Pratchett is one of my favourite authors of all time: picked up The Colour of Magic in my first year of grammar school, haven’t looked back since. I owe that librarian so much for having all of his discworld series to date at that point. Terry Pratchett then introduced me to Neil Gaiman through Good Omens… TP’s done some really interesting documentaries for the BBC. His latest one, “Choosing to Die”, was very thought provoking.

    I think you’ve got the right attitude about the ending – and to be honest, I think we know from the previous two books that Kvothe’s ending has a large chance of not being sunshine and daisies. We want the right ending, and you’re the one who can give it to us.

    And now this blog has made me want to read a discworld novel, except all of mine are in storage for the summer (student: could only bring a few books in the suitcase when flying home: WMF was one of them). Sensing a trip to the nearest bookshop sometime soon…

  59. Andrew
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 7:27 PM | Permalink

    Best of luck Pat! I wish I’d seen this post yesterday so my wishes can be more timely but Rothfuss nation has delivered in full ahead of me.

    As always thank you for sharing this little piece of you with us fans from time to time. All the best!

  60. backgroundc52
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 9:14 PM | Permalink

    If I have any luck to give, it is yours.

  61. Widow Of Sirius
    Posted July 15, 2011 at 9:43 PM | Permalink

    I’m a bit late to the party, but I’m sending late-night good vibes your way, and I’m glad you were that cool-and-casual fan for Pratchett. It’s always my goal to be that fan whenever I’m anywhere with people I respect.

  62. brrbear
    Posted July 16, 2011 at 1:38 AM | Permalink

    I’m not going to wish you luck, only because i don’t think you need it. considering the many voices you hear on your blog is only a small percentage of those that read it, and the readers of your blog being only a small percentage of those that choose to read your stories, i’d have to say you’re doing something right. and by the way, it’s YOUR story. end it the way you see fit. if i wanted my ending to my story, i would be writing it on my own….take care of that kid. he’ll keep you young way past when you start to feel old…

  63. Posted July 16, 2011 at 4:12 AM | Permalink

    I have Terry in a very high regard. I met him first about 15 years ago on a reading in Hamburg. I got a book signed then and got back at the end of the line to get others signed (for friends). When i reached the him again, he recognized me (how the heck did he do that, there were 100+ people ligning up) and asked me give him all my books for signing. My own copy has a place of honor on the shelf.

    Within that reading (which was more a “telling”), he got my laughing muscles sore… and i am a well trainer laugher.

    Also he has answered every email i sent him (about 4 in 15 years), which is also an incredibly feat if you take the number of fans into account.

  64. Posted July 16, 2011 at 5:50 AM | Permalink

    *good thought sent*
    Make sure to be a bit careful with it, unless it tips over and goes all light-slimy on the floor. We wouldn’t want that :/ Makes a terrible mess.


  65. MereShadow
    Posted July 16, 2011 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

    The only happily ever after ending I liked was Tolkien. The best books have the endings that stay with you because they are perfectly bittersweet. Personally I think King has most of his endings nailed because they are the right ones. I like your writing style enough to know you will deliver a great ending. Sounds like I have to give Pratchett’s Nation a try too, just to make sure you know what you are talking about :)

  66. He without a clever name
    Posted July 16, 2011 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

    Love and luck for you and yours.

  67. arch2ngel
    Posted July 16, 2011 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

    I apologize, as I usually only check in with your blog once a week or so, and as such I missed the deadline for well-wishing. I hope things went well yesterday for you and yours (better late than never, right? and maybe it’s the thought that counts? sorry – those are the best cliched excuses I’ve got for the situation.)

    Seriously, though, I hope things went well…

  68. DietchyPeach
    Posted July 16, 2011 at 8:26 PM | Permalink

    as long as your ending is better than the one for the malazan book of the fallen i will be content

  69. Frandelor
    Posted July 16, 2011 at 8:57 PM | Permalink

    I hope that after the third book of the kingkiller chronicles, you’ll make something related to that, like a thousand years later, and the new characters listen to Kvothe- The Arcane’s history, and they’ll talk of him like he talks of the Great Taborlin.
    Anyway, just a sugestion. I just finished The Wise Man’s Fear, and am anxiously for the next, make it worth !

  70. dancer7887
    Posted July 16, 2011 at 11:01 PM | Permalink

    well its been 2 days since you posted this so i really hope everything went ok for you, sarah and oot. my bf and i are a little worried for you.

    also i totally agree with your “important over personal” since thats how i felt when i saw you at the library of congress. i really wanted your picture, but i settled for the 3 books signed and decided i shouldn’t be greedy. plus by the time it was my turn i was so awestruck i kind of forgot about the whole picture idea. just seeing you was perfect.

  71. Posted July 17, 2011 at 5:21 AM | Permalink

    Best of luck for tomorrow. I wish you all well.

    I feel a little bit greedy now…. Sir Terry Pratchett used to come and visit my city (Christchurch, New Zealand) every other year, and thus I have been to several of his talks and also had signature opportunities on various occasions. Quite a few of my books are autographed. Including one that my husband accidentally got signed with his name instead of mine… *grrr*

    He is probably my favourite author, and I hope he returns here one day in the not-too-distant future.

  72. darrenwhite
    Posted July 17, 2011 at 6:18 AM | Permalink

    Hi Pat,

    I don’t know if you recall, but we chatted over e-mail a while back. I was working with Terry Pratchetts’s daughter Rhianna at the time and after reading your Nation review and realising you were such a fan I thought I’d use my connection to get you in touch with Terry. I’m sorry that nothing came of that but I’m really glad you got to meet your hero eventually.

    On another note I just finished Wise Man’s Fear today and enjoyed it ever so much. I commute on the train to London followed by a 20 minute walk to my office. Knowing the book was very heavy and that I wouldn’t be able to put it away for the walking part of the journey, I thought it was best to invest in a Kindle to keep the weight down. I was right to do so as I couldn’t take my eyes away from the screen and walked blindly through the streets of London with my head buried in your book. It was an accident waiting to happen but the light weight of the Kindle allowed me to manoeuvre like an Adem mercenary and narrowly avoid disaster. Your books are great mate and I can’t wait for the next.

    All the best to you and your family.

  73. Jsherry
    Posted July 17, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    Wishes were welled – I hope everything turned out fine.

  74. Green Man
    Posted July 17, 2011 at 12:48 PM | Permalink

    Bonne chance!

  75. pablohunny
    Posted July 17, 2011 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

    It’s a bit late, I guess, but I hope all went well *e-hugs*

  76. nb
    Posted July 17, 2011 at 4:09 PM | Permalink

    Patrick, you are a “special snowflake” like it or not. I hope you stay as humble as you are now because it is so refreshing and…unfortunately, rare.

  77. Rhia
    Posted July 17, 2011 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

    I have to admit that I have not read a single Terry Pratchett book….I know him by name, but so far I never got round to try one of his books. But I’ll put it on my evergrowing list (somewhere in between the stuff I need to read for my University Courses (this week’s self-assigned work from the reading list: Heart of Darkness) and the stuff I just want to read.

    However, I really loved what Mr Pratchett said about ‘Nation’ having the right ending. There’s something very important in that.
    I remember how Frodo leaving Middleearth upset me when I read The Lord of the Rings for the first time (I cried for some time….), but after re-reading the book, I realized that it was the right ending. Everything else, while maybe being happier would not have worked.

  78. Posted July 17, 2011 at 8:52 PM | Permalink

    Wonderful story. And I’m sure your story will have the right ending: after all, it’ll be the one you give it.

  79. novaengliae
    Posted July 17, 2011 at 10:50 PM | Permalink

    Best wishes to your family. I’m glad to hear that everything turned out well, and the worst crisis was the juice box one.
    As far as your story’s ending, it will be the perfect ending for your story. If someone else wants a different ending, they can write their own books. I have been reading anything and everything I can get my hands on for as long as I can remember, and I honestly try to start a book with no expectations. I want to know what the author is trying to tell me, not what I want them to tell me. That said, I love your books, and eagerly await your future work.

  80. galadriel007
    Posted July 18, 2011 at 8:55 AM | Permalink

    Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that authors are people too and reading this post reminded me that we’re all just humans after all. except i would have gotten totally tongue-tied and broken out in the sweats just at the idea of meeting the main man, Pterry. The love i have for his books is…stellar.

    Good thoughts for your kiddo, I love that he quote Foul Ole Ron.

  81. colettak
    Posted July 19, 2011 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

    Everyone save this page. It’s the blog where Pat confirms that the 3rd book ends with the silence chapter. Total spoiler, Pat.

  82. Posted July 19, 2011 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

    “I worry about the ending of my story sometimes. I worry that people won’t like it.”

    It’s going to be terribly, wretchedly, irrevocably sad isn’t it. You know I can’t reread the section in the first book where Kvothe’s father’s lute is broken. It makes me tear up just thinking about it.

    Fraggit, Patrick Whateveryourmiddlenameis Rothfuss! Now I’m crying and the book isn’t even out yet.

    This is going to be a long couple of years.

    I think I need a teddy bear.

  83. Lie
    Posted July 19, 2011 at 8:13 PM | Permalink

    “Because personal isn’t the same as important” Nice phrase

  84. Lala
    Posted July 20, 2011 at 4:58 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat!

    I’m so happy for you and your family that everything worked out
    as well as it did!

    I thought a lot about how this wonderfull story will, or according to
    my oppinion, should go on, or how everything should end. To be honest, I don’t have the slightest idea. There are so many details in the books, which lead my thoughts in the most different directions. I can only imagine that the story will end when Chronicler knows everything . That makes me kind of sad.
    Afterall I take Bast’s side. He isn’t dead yet!

    I’ve telling you my oppinion this straight is inappropriate, please don’t be mad at me. But I really worried about that since forever!
    Sorry for all the mistakes I made, but English isn’t my native language.

    Greetings from Austria,


    Ps: Will you ever come to Europe to sign books here?
    And would you mind telling us really early? I would even go to London
    to get my copies signed!!

  85. PerykPeryk
    Posted July 25, 2011 at 5:14 AM | Permalink

    Hello, Pat

    I agree with Lala. You should come to Europe one day (tomorrow? pleeeeease)

    Go (on holiday) to Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain; and enjoy it. It’s beautiful.

    Here you have the website. It’s not wonderful, but it works: Visit Menorca

    Go on writing, crack

  86. Red
    Posted July 25, 2011 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

    Hi Pat,

    Glad the surgery for Oot went well. I know exactly how you felt. Unfortunately it never gets any easier.

    So jealous you met Terry Pratchett!! I’ve been worshipping him for years now and have missed countless opportunities to get a book signed, through my own ignorance of the events occurring.

    Really impressed you managed to resist the urge to get the personal signing rather than the charitable one – not sure I’d have been able to do that. LOVED your use of “personal/important”.

    And yet another call for you to do a European tour! PLEASE! I have now gained you a loyal following, including my own mum who is an avowed disliker of fantasy and who read WMF twice in 8 days because she was so upset she had finished it, and is demanding to know when she can expect the final book. The UK is sporadically lovely at this time of year! :oD

  87. chat
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

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  88. Sybil
    Posted March 31, 2021 at 1:58 PM | Permalink

    I was at NADWCON 2011 in Madison!! I just now am catching up on your blog so it is a long shot if you even see this, but I am so surprised to hear you were there! Did you go to any of the hotel parties? Do you happen to remember two young women painted green from head to toe to be imps? lol

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