Category Archives: being awesome

Name of the Wind Kickstarter: Final Days and the Coolest. News. Ever.

Honestly folks, I don’t even know where to begin today. I’ve got a lot of cool news to share about the Kickstarter.

And this is legitimately cool news. Not bullshit cool news that I just made up so I could pimp the project one last time before it closes in less than two days.

devi-colored

(Click to Embiggen Devi)

Because it *is* over in less than two days. Be warned.

Note: Please stay tuned to the end. Or skip directly down there. We have stunning news at the end of the blog.

  • We Crushed Everything

In the last blog I wrote about this project, I mentioned that if our Kickstarter hit 160K we would be the highest funded card-based Kickstarter ever.

The next day y’all stomped in to the tune of about 70,000 dollars, blowing past that goal and every other stretch goal we’d planned out.

In celebration, Shane drew a picture of me as a sort of great Krakken-bearded beast.

8bfc4f37d96d96c6fbd507a7959386a2_large

Because everyone loved it so much, we made the art available as magnet and t-shirt add-ons.

We currently stand at 440,000 dollars. Almost three times the previous record. The video of me singing will be forthcoming.

  • More Jots

I added 100 more jots to the kickstarter, doubling the previous levels.

I mention this early in the blog so those you can hopefully go and grab some before they’re all gone again.

Jot-ty1-02

Here’s a picture of the finished product, complete with the maker’s mark. Rest assured, more jots will be available in the future. Both in the Tinker’s Packs, and as a Worldbuilders fundraiser toward the end of the year.

  • Better Gaff Cards

Here’s the thing: all poker decks come with 2 gaff cards. They’re pretty useless. They usually have the rules for poker or some advertizement.

Shane and I came up with the idea of replacing them with something cool. We set stretch goals, then burned right through them….

So now we’re having:

1. A Lorren Gaff card that people can use as a bookmark. (Image forthcoming.)

2. A Willem Gaff card that you can use as a replacement card in your deck in case one of the cards is damaged.

All the Limited and Unlimited decks will have these Gaff cards included free.

We do this because we love you.

  • Signed Lorren Bookplates

Using the Lorren card art, Shane is going to make me a bookplate. My very first bookplate ever.

There’s only two ways of getting this bookplate.

1. You can add one to your order for five bucks. (Up to three.)

2. You get one for free if your order is $135 or more.

That’s it. Those are the only two ways to get them.

Would I love to include these bookplates with every order? Yes. But as it is, please understand that I’m going to be signing, like, 3000 of them. If I gave one away with every order, I’d be signing them for *days.*

That said, we have a stretch goal set at 450K. If we hit that, I’ll give one to everyone who buys in for 100 bucks or more.

  • Marked Cards

Or, as I like to think of it, the Taborlin deck.

I’ve always wanted a deck of marked cards. So I asked Shane if we could do one. And he said yes. And so we are…

You can add a marked deck to any Kickstarter pledge for 15 bucks. And they have a different back from the others.

tabback[3]

(I love the imagery here.)

Now here’s the thing: am I creating a deck of cards for cheaters?

No. I’m making a marked deck of cards. Because I think it’s cool.

Now you could use this deck of cards for evil if you wanted. But that’s your choice. You can use a screwdriver to kill someone if you wanted. That’s not necessarily what a screwdriver is for.

I like to think of this as the Taborlin deck because it will be *awesome* for card tricks.

Also, I’d get together with my friends and have a night of poker where everyone *tries* to cheat. Where it is effectively, *fair* to cheat. We would also probably drink whiskey and pretend to be cowboys of some sort.

Because I am seven years old inside, apparently.

In this deck, the gaff cards won’t be Wil and Lorren. They’ll contain the details of the marked-card cypher.

  • International shipping on the poker sets

Because several of you asked for this in the comments, we’ve added that as a special donation tier. (The rest of you can add the box sets as a simple add-on.)

541d706d0a2f5bc9a1ca85a7d8946817_large

The international shipping is expensive, but that’s because those high-quality clay chips are *heavy* and we’re going to be packaging them very, very carefully.

  • Guest appearances by Neil Gaiman and Felicia Day

Neil and Felicia graciously allowed us to use their likenesses for our two jokers: Elodin and Auri.

We listed these as stretch goals and met them less than a day later.

Reactions were divided. Some people made a vast ululating *squee* noise. Others said something along the lines of, “Boo! I want to see the *real* Auri and Elodin!”

So I just want to clarify things. We aren’t just going to draw Gaiman as Elodin, as if he were doing some sort of cosplay. That would be lame.

(Actually, that would be kinda awesome….)

But no. That’s not what’s going on here at all.

First off, the main reason Shane and I thought of Neil and Felicia is because they both possess certain characteristics we feel are very appropriate to Elodin and Auri.

Hell, I did an interview with Felicia on my blog back in 2008. Back before she was FELICIA DAY. While we were chatting, I asked which part she’d pick if she could play anyone in The Name of the Wind movie. She said, “My dream role would be Auri. I like playing damaged goods….”

And I thought, Yeah. I could totally see that. She has a whimsy about her that would be perfect….

Does that mean Auri is going to have red hair like Felicia? No. Obviously not. Auri will have Auri’s hair. But her expression and face will be influenced by Felicia’s because it works for the character.

It’s the same way we brought Jim Butcher in as everyone’s favorite Jackass:

amsam1

(God. I want to slap him so much….)

It doesn’t really look too much like Jim, but if you know it’s there, you can spot it.

Gaiman is a similar good fit for Elodin. Trust me about this. Neil and Felicia are perfect for my two wise fools.

  • Superhero Team-Up

Almost exactly 24 hours ago, I did a video conference with Shane and Erik, the folks behind Albino Dragon. We were going to plan our strategies for the final days of the kickstarter. Plan stretch goals. Talk strategy.

But before we could get into that, Shane said, “We’d like to give 5% of Albino Dragon to Worldbuilders.”

“Sorry?” I said.

“We’d like to give 5% of Albino Dragon to Worldbuilders.”

And then I just kinda sat there. I knew what he’d said, but I didn’t quite believe he’d said it.

So I asked. “Do you mean you’d like to give Worldbuilders a piece of the profit from this project? More than we already negotiated?”

No, he said. Then he explained again.

“Are you serious?” I asked.

Shane and Erik have built this company themselves with their time and energy, with their blood and sweat and money.

And they want to give a piece of it to Worldbuilders.

We couldn’t mention it on the kickstarter itself, of course. Because kickstarter projects can’t be directly associated with charities.

But yes, they were serious.

“And if we hit 500,000 before the end of the kickstarter,” Erik said. “We’d like to give you another 5%.”

It’s not often that I’m caught completely flat-footed and at a loss for words. But I was, I honestly was.

Eventually I kinda pulled myself together. “That’s really amazingly generous of you guys,” I said. “It’s amazingly kind of you. I’m so flattered, and I’m floored, and I’m stupefied. It’s one of the most ridiculously generous things anyone has ever offered me, and I don’t know how to respond.”

Then I paused and took a deep breath. “But maybe you want to think this over. Chat about it. Make sure it’s something you really want to do. We can talk about it some more tomorrow.”

And they kinda laughed at me. They explained that they’d already thought it over and talked about it. Which is why they were making me the offer now.

I nodded for a while kinda absentmindedly, getting my head together.

“If you let me tell this story on my blog,” I said. “Me and my people will blow the fucking roof off the last two days of this kickstarter. We will bring thunder and fury to your very door. We will shake the earth.”

They said they were okay with that.

So. Here is our 500K stretch goal.

500k

Now. Let’s be honest here. Are Shane and Erik being generous? Absolutely.

Are they being perfect, saintlike altruists? No. They’re clever folks. Really amazingly clever. Because with a single piece of outside-the-box thinking and startling generosity, they’ve brought me onto their team. I’m going to *so* many projects with them in the future. So many.

And you know what? I’m fine with that. Because they do awesome work.

This is the best sort of cleverness. The sort of cleverness where everyone is awesome, and everyone wins.

Now I’m not asking y’all to rush over and join the kickstarter. If you’ve already signed up, I’m not asking you to run over and increase your order.

But if you were thinking of picking up some of the new add-ons anyway…. Well, you can make that purchase knowing that an even larger portion of the money is going to a good cause.

And if you have a friend that loves NOTW, and you wanted to buy them an deck of cards as early Christmas present…. Well, you can rest assured that not only will that deck be as awesome as I can make it, but that the money is going directly to the artists. To the company they themselves own.

And if you wanted to twitter about this. Or talk about it on your blog. Or drop a link to this blog on facebook….

Well, I’d take that as a kindness. Because we have less than two days left.

And I’d really like to show Shane and Erik that they’ve made a good choice here.

Later space cowboys,

pat

P.S. If you have any questions about the kickstarter. You can ask them in the comments here. I’ll answer the ones I can. But tomorrow’s a busy day, and I’m flying out to Ohio for a convention.

So if some of the more kickstarter-savvy among you can help out with some answers too, I’d really appreciate it.

Also posted in calling on the legions, cool news, Felicia Day, Jim Butcher, Neil Gaiman | By Pat137 Responses

Preview, Review, Redo

Still recovering from the fundraiser and my recent trip to LA. Most of my time is spent catching up on sleep, writing, and spending time with my boy…

Even so, I’ve got some stuff I ought to share. Three things, actually. Because… well… y’know. Three.

  • First off…

…here’s a Kickstarter thing I’m involved with for next year. A cool, fantasy-themed photography calendar.

What they can’t mention on Kickstarter is that the proceeds from the project will go to support charity.

What charity, you ask? Why Worldbuilders, of course. And another favorite of mine, First Book.

But Kickstarter won’t let you discuss charity stuff on their site. So Lauren, the photographer spearheading the project, goes into it in more detail over here.

  • Secondarily…

Anyone interested in the classics might want to take a look at my goodreads review of Go, Dog, Go!

Here’s a teaser for those of you disinclined to click a link….

I respect what the author is attempting to do here, thematically. Eastman is a philosopher at heart, examining how things relate to one another. Are we a green dog or a yellow one? Is it day or night? These are big questions, and they need to be asked….

You can read the whole thing over on goodreads. Or, if you’re really trying to avoid doing any work today, you can browse through all my reviews on there…

  • Thirdly and lastly…. 

For those of you who have not yet seen the pictures, last week at Confusion I did a thing with some other authors.

I will speak no more of it, merely provide a link.

Be careful, once you’ve seen it, you can’t un-see it.

If you happen to be the odd sort of person who *wants* to see something like that, perhaps even multiple times, you can bid on a rare, multiple-autographed copy of it over here.

Proceeds, as always, go to charity.

pat

Also posted in Fucking With You, recommendations | By Pat27 Responses

On Being A Winner

Remember the David Gemmell award I talked about waaaaaay back in May?

You don’t? It’s the UK based contest. The one where I did a promotional interview after drinking too much coffee and talked about how I wanted to be Spider-Man?

Yeah. That contest. The one where the award they give out is an actual axe.

I won:

I have to say that I really approve of this trend. In the future, all awards I get should be weapons. Or a bejeweled crown. Or some manner of scepter that I can use to lord my awesomeness all over the peasantry.

The best part is that it’s actually a pretty good axe. I’ve already used it to destroy parts of our porch, and the old garage at the work house where this photo was taken.

(Click to Embiggen, If You Dare…)

And it’s not even sharpened yet. I’m thinking once I get a good edge on this, it will become my backup writing axe.

Have a great weekend everybody,

pat

Also posted in accolades, awards, Dionysian force | By Pat70 Responses

Pre-Order of Unfettered

So, to cut right to the chase here, I’ve got a story coming out in an anthology next spring.

The anthology is called Unfettered. I’m in there with Terry Brooks, Brandon Sanderson, Tad Williams, Naomi Novik….

Well… a lot of cool people, basically. If you click to embiggen the cover, you can read the whole list of authors for yourself.

You can go pre-order copies over here.

My advice? If you want one of the limited-edition copies, signed by all the authors, you should probably hop over there sooner rather than later. They aren’t going to last long.

And to answer the question before anyone asks it in the comments below: Yes, my story is set in the Four Corners world.

It’s called, “How Old Holly Came To Be.”

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you might actually remember me talking about how I wrote it in a single day about a year ago.

I’m excited about this anthology for a couple reasons.

First and most obviously, because there are a lot of really good writers in there. I’m actually really excited to read it.

Second, when you write kinda slowly, like I do. And you revise obsessively, like I do. And you write books that are really long, like I do. It means there are long gaps in between your published books. It’s been more than a year since I’ve had anything new to show y’all. So I’m glad this is coming out to help give y’all something new of mine to read….

Lastly, the proceeds from the book go to a good cause. You can read more about that over here if you want.

More news soon,

pat

Also posted in book covers, cool things, upcoming publications | By Pat51 Responses

The 2013 Fantasy Pin-up Calendar: Announcing our Authors

Last year, as some of you might remember, I accidentally published a calendar.

We did it as a fundraiser for Worldbuilders, and it fit in with our book-centered geekery pretty well because each month featured a pin-up based on a classic literary figure.

Like Mark Twain:

Lewis Carrol:

Or Nathanial Hawthorne:

At some point while working with the artist, Lee Moyer, we ended up discussing how it would be cool to do a similar sort of calendar, but with more modern authors.

Maybe even doing it with some of the more popular authors that write in the genres we love.

Maybe we could even do it with, say, some big-name fantasy authors.

So I made some phone calls. Lee did some sketches. And almost before we knew it, a bunch of amazingly generous fantasy authors had agreed to help us raise money for Worldbuilders.

Up until now we’ve kept a pretty tight lid on this project. But now it’s time to show off the cover and announce the authors that are involved.

Take a look:

You really need to click on that to see the bigger version. If only to read the names more clearly.

Seriously. Look at that. Gaiman AND Pratchett AND Harris AND Martin.

And Ray Bradbury. The man himself. He agreed to be a part of this not long before he passed away.

Really, there’s no names in there that aren’t big names. I’m solidly geeked about everyone involved.

This is all we’re showing off for now. Just a bit of a teaser. You’ll see some of the finished pin-ups in the weeks to come, and we won’t be shipping them out until November. But I wanted to let everyone know what was coming for a couple reasons….

  • A heads-up to retailers.

Do you run a bookstore or some other geek-friendly business? Do you love things that are awesome? Would you like to sell copies of the calendar and help make the world a better place?

If so, drop us an e-mail at:

questions [squiggly at sign] worldbuilders.org

We’ll make it happen.

  • A chance to pre-order.

You can pre-order your copy of the 2013 calendar right now if you like.

We’re even offering a special pre-order deal. If you order 2 or more calendars, you’ll get a $6.00 discount if you use coupon code PINMEUP.

Also, we’re shipping calendars out in the order they come in, so ordering early means you’ll get your calendar sooner.

But you need to remember that this is a pre-order.

Amanda’s Edit: Good news, everyone!  We’ve extended the pre-order to last through November 3rd, so you’ve got more time to get in your order!

Calendars won’t start shipping until early November.

Still, if you’re interested: you can head over right now and order copies from our online store: The Tinker’s Packs.

Later Space Cowboys,

pat

Also posted in cool news, cool things, Worldbuilders 2012 | By Pat49 Responses

On Being Manly

I’m still sorting pictures for the photo contest. The process got slowed down a little bit because Sarah and Oot got home on the 2nd, and I’ve been trying to hang out with them as much as possible before I leave for ComicCon in a week.

Sarah had a lot of stories about their vacation. They saw a bear, they went bowling for the first time, they went to some hot springs….

Oot had a different perspective on the the ten days he spent in Colorado.

He said he saw a machine with a green button and a yellow button. Then he sang me the song he’d learned while he was away (“On Top of Spaghetti”). Lastly, he asked if I’d like to see his “penis trick.”

I said I would like to see it, and was kinda relieved to discover it was just him dancing and jumping around naked.

Note to future Oot: Odds are, by the time you’re in highschool, the internet will have morphed into something new and terrifying, which means people will use it all the time and nobody will read text blogs anymore.

If you read this anyway, and you are embarrassed and angry at me for sharing this little story, just remember. I could have put up a video, but I didn’t. This is because I love you.

Then we had cake.

Why is there a tree on the cake? Because we told Oot it was a black forest cake. He said, “with trees?”

So yeah. That makes sense. It really should have trees, shouldn’t it?

The night after they got home, a bat somehow found its way into our house. Specifically, it found its way into Sarah and Oot’s room. Sarah discovered it around 3:30 AM, then came to get me.

Why? Well, I am the man of the house. I am powerful. Puissant even. I am an international bestselling author, after all. A warrior. A magician. A hero…

Anyway, the point is that bats at 3:30 are part of my job description, so she came to get me so I could deal with it.

This led to an exciting hour’s worth of adventure. Which in turn led to me sharing the following story on Facebook.

I just managed to catch a bat that had somehow gotten into my house.

I would like to reassure you all that I was extremely brave and manly through the whole process. At no point did I dive to the ground, flinch and hide my face, or emit anything resembling a high-pitched squeak.

It will help if you picture me as equal parts Crocodile Hunter (except I was up against an animal that’s pretty much the same as a mouse) James Bond (except I have a beard) and Clint Eastwood (except I was using a powder-blue bed sheet instead of a gun.)

Suffice to say I have defended my home, my woman, and my child. And I did it with considerable composure and panache.

The main reason I mention this is because a couple hours ago, someone sent me a picture they drew, memorializing the event, and I wanted to share it with y’all….

(You should really click to embiggen it.)

 

That was exactly what it was like. Exactly.

pat

Also posted in day in the life, Oot | By Pat73 Responses

Yay Me!

Over the last year and a half a lot of folks have e-mailed me, asking if there’s a place they can buy signed copies of my books.

Other folks email me because they *know* there’s an online store, but they can’t find it.

In the last year, I’d say I’ve had roughly ten billion e-mails of this sort. (I’m rounding up.)

While the e-mails have been a little repetitious, they’ve never irritated me. It’s my own fault that there’s never been any sort of permanent link to the store on the website.

The best we’ve had until now is occasional links in the blog itself. Which is dumb. It’s like having a fully stocked refrigerator, except you can only open the door by walking into the bathroom and putting your foot in the toilet.

Actually, it’s not really anything like that. That’s a really awful analogy. I’m kinda tired right now, so my word-put-togethering is not all, um, good. I apologize.

Anyway, this blog celebrates the first step in the long path of tweaking and updating the website, something I’ve been meaning to do for years.

Those of you reading this blog directly off my site will see the new graphic up there on the right. It’s a little widget that will take people directly to the store where we sell signed books, posters, and other miscellany. A place we’ve decided to name The Tinker’s Packs.

I’m not going to lie to you. Nate sent me the art earlier today, and I’m really inordinately proud of the fact that I bunged that silly little widget together on my own.

I know for a lot of you, maybe even *most* of you, doing something like that is about as difficult as writing a check. But you have to understand that I know about as much html as your average dancing bear. So yeah. I’m gonna feel all sorts of self-sufficient because I didn’t have to run to one of my tech-smart friends for help on this.

For those of you that are interested, here’s a pic you can click to see a bigger version of the art:

Go on. Bask in its untrammeled glory. (I had to trammel it a bit to get it to fit in the space available for the widget.)

As always, all money spent in the store still goes directly to Worldbuilders. We’re not changing that.

So… yeah. That’s all I’ve got right now. I was just proud about my widget and wanted to share. Rest assured that in the relatively near future, we’ll be updating the website, adding some new stuff, streamlining the store, and generally embettering everything.

Later space cowboys….

pat

Also posted in my dumbness, Nathan Taylor Art | By Pat49 Responses
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