Category Archives: FAQ

Tak: The Final Day, Final Questions, and Final Announcements

We’re in the final hours of the Tak Kickstarter.

As I write this, our total stands at a staggering $1,100,000, and we’re so close to 10,000 backers that I can taste it.

Thursday night(It tastes like sweat and peppermint, if you were wondering.)

Almost immediately after I posted up the Tak FAQ earlier this week, I started thinking of other questions I wish I’d answered. So I’m going to do those now.

  • How much time is left?

The kickstarter ends TODAY (Friday the 20th) at 8:00 PM PST. That’s 10:00 Central. Or 11:00 if you’re in New York.

So odds are there’s only hours left if you’re reading this.

Here’s a link if you’d like to jump over and back it right away.

  • AAAAHHHH!!! Some of us don’t have credit cards, and Kickstarter doesn’t take Paypal! I know I can buy the game later, but I want to buy it sooner. And some stuff is kickstarter exclusive, it sucks that I’m going to miss that!

[Edit: We can’t take Kickstarter orders anymore, but we now have the pre-orders up for sale in The Tinker’s Packs, so you can order them there.]

Ah hell. I’m so sorry. I thought we’d already set something up to fix this. I’ve been doing a lot of things lately in addition to the kickstarter, and I’m guessing this is one of the things that slipped through the cracks.

Here’s what you can do. Email us. We’ll take your order as if you were part of the kickstarter, except we’ll let you pay with paypal. That way you can grab the kickstarter-exclusive stuff like Devi’s the double-sided Devi’s Board…

1a5e006cecaa06cf2593880636d5887a_original

…or the full-blown Devi’s box with the Bloodwood pieces. You’ll also be able to order the stuff that isn’t going to show up in game stores, like the cloth board, the travel set, the Arcanist’s board, Crazy Martin’s piece set, etc etc.

Does that sound fair?

  • How cool is it that you broke a million dollars?

I’m not going to lie. It’s pretty cool.

But the truth is, the thing I’m most excited about is how much people are enjoying the game. I’m excited because y’all are excited.

But it’s also fun to be number 1.

Screenshot_2016-05-19-20-31-27(Courtesy of Kicktraq)

  • Do you have any more stretch goals lined up?

First off, you can get the best, most detailed information about the stretch goals over in the kickstarter itself. A lot of them have been unlocked, and it’s really leveled up the content and quality of the hardcover companion book that’s part of most of the backer levels. There will be a lot of information about the culture that surrounds Tak. How it evolved through the history of Temerant, and how it’s played in different parts of the world.

But do we have any more big stretch goals we’re looking to spring on you right at the end? No. We really don’t. James and I decided early on that we didn’t want to constantly dangle carrots in front of you like that. We just wanted to make a good, quality game, and let you come in and buy it.

That said, once it became pretty clear we were going to hit $1,000,000, we decided to add some things to the Classic Set to let you know we appreciate you. A bit of a present to thank you for helping to get us here.

Some of the Bonuses:

1. Everyone who comes in at the Merchant level or Higher will get an extra, kickstarter-exclusive capstone.

Right now, we’re calling it the Royal Capstone. It will be from Renere, and it will be a different shape, shade, and possibly a different wood than the other capstones.

There will be more in the companion book about the culture surrounding capstones. But one of the big upshots is that what you pick for your capstone is a matter of personal pride. People have special capstones made, or they play a certain capstone to indicate a political orientation or show that they’re from a cerain culture. It’s not uncommon to collect them, or win/lose them when you’re playing a game.

And there’s no small amount of personal flair involved, too.

2. Something secret.

I’m not allowed to talk about yet because we haven’t worked out the details. But I’m hoping it will work out. And it will be cool. Just trust me. Seriously.

Edit: I just confirmed with James that we can do the Secret thing. And that thing is that we’ll be including rules for a Tak predecessor game that *I* came up with on my very own. It won’t be as elegant a game as Tak, but I’m honestly proud of how the gameplay works as a historical precursor to Tak.

So Yeah. We’re doing that thing.

3. We’re making the gameboard in the Classic Set double-sided.

This is more expensive as it requires extra printing costs and extra art. But we’re springing for it. One side will be the relatively simple tavern board, while the other will be more ornate, decorated with selas vines and flowers.

“But Pat!” I hear you cry. “How can you possibly have Selas flowers on the board? Aren’t they fictional? Haven’t people been asking you what they look like for years, only to receive frustrating and vague replies?”

Well, yes. All of that is true. I’ve tried to come up with a good representation of the Selas flower for years and failed for many reasons.

But that was before chatting with the fabulous Echo Chernik.

Selas(She did this.)

I want to say that she pulled this out of my head. But that’s giving me more credit than I deserve. I didn’t have anything this cool in my head. This is a perfect version of the selas that lives in my heart. I’m so happy to finally see it.

So. Yeah. Even though you didn’t know, the game you already backed just got cooler in a couple different ways.

  • EEEE! I don’t have the money to back the kickstarter right now! I don’t get paid for another week!

I’ve heard this from more than a few people. For some folks it’s the end of the semester. For others it’s just a tight time between paychecks.

But here’s a potential way around the problem. If you don’t have the money now, you can back the kickstarter at the $5 level. Then, in three weeks when the pledge manager comes out, you can add what you’d like to buy to your order.

Yes. Even the kickstarter exclusive things. Easy peasy.

  • Are you going to make an App for Tak?

Probably not.

We considered it. But creating a *good* app would cost a lot of money. And, generally speaking, people don’t pay for apps these days. That’s a bad combination. So we decided to just focus on making the game itself available.

What’s more, there’s such joy to be had sitting down and experiencing a game with another human being.

Don’t get me wrong. I love video games. I’ve played apps. They’re convenient and fun.

But they’re also solitary. I really want people to be able to sit down and enjoy this game with a friend. To talk and laugh. To feel the pieces in their hands and hear the sound of the pieces as they touch the board. To look at someone’s face.

It’s easy to forget it these days, but we are physical creatures. It is good for us to exist in the physical world sometimes. There is much joy to be had here, and that’s where I think this game really belongs.

*     *    *

That’s all for today, folks. Thanks for coming on this ride with us.

Last chance to click over to the kickstarter before time runs out….

Be good to each other,

pat

Also posted in cool things, gaming | By Pat25 Responses

The Tak FAQ

Well folks, we’re in the home stretch of the Tak kickstarter. Since my last blog on the subject we’ve launched some new stuff, like a much-requested cloth board and the opportunity to buy Devi’s board separately from the boxed set, so that more people can afford to pick it up.

1a5e006cecaa06cf2593880636d5887a_original(Also available in the appropriately-named Gaelet’s Pack.)

As I write this, we’ve just topped $800,000 in the kickstarter. Almost 7,500 people have jumped in to play with us, and there’s only four days left for people who want to get in on the action. So if you know of anyone who might be interested, this would be the time to ping them.

Since we started the kickstarter, I’ve been fielding questions here in the comments of the blog and on twitter. But some of them have come up enough that it feels like we’re overdue for an FAQ.

  • So… I thought Tak was just a different name for Go.

Nope. Sorry. Different game.

  • Is this game accessible to the blind?

A little, but ultimately, not really.

When this question first came up, I thought we were pretty good. The pieces have different shapes, so you can tell them apart by touch. What’s more, the Arcanist’s board has grooves, so you can even feel the squares.

But then I looked into it, and saw what a game really needs to be usable by the blind. Among other things, it requires pieces that can’t be accidentally knocked over. And that would involve us prototyping some sort of pegged pieces and a pegged board to go with it. And there just isn’t enough time.

My suggestion? Maybe start a conversation in the Tak subreddit and see if someone has and idea about adapting the pieces. Or if you have a 3D printer, you could design and print your own pieces that are more blind-compatible. There’s a plethora of options.

  • Can I make my own set?

If we weren’t cool with that, we wouldn’t be encouraging people to do it as a stretch goal. We know if you play the game you’ll like it and probably want to pick up a copy. But to play it, you’re going to have to make up a set.

Luckily, you can throw a set together from almost anything:

ChL3heKVEAAFBdn(Like Post-its.)

And play almost anywhere:

ChmDkW-W0AAfrxG(Like the Great Wall of China.)

Some folks have gone really crazy making their own sets:

CiRg7EqXEAIsaFj(Like this one made of iron. I think of as the Anti-Faen set.)

And that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface, if you want to see a bunch more photos, you should check out the #Takgamephoto hashtag on twitter.

  • Can I make sets and then sell them?

Well… no. You shouldn’t do that. Because that’s kind-of a dick move.

Remember the kickstarter we’re running? Where we are… y’know, selling the game that we made? Selling something that belongs to someone else isn’t really a cool thing to do. Above and beyond the legality it’s just not respectful. James hammered this lovely, elegant game out of the pure awesome in his brain. And you know how he makes a living? Wait for it…. he sells games.

So yeah. Don’t do that. Kinda rude.

  • Why does it cost actual money to ship this thing? Don’t you have a magical teleporter to Europe?

Okay I know that’s not what you guys are actually saying, but the truth is, it kinda *sounds* like what you’re saying when you complain about how much international shipping costs.

I know it’s pricey. But please keep in mind that international shipping requires a box being carefully packed, then moved thousands of miles. This requires multiple planes and trucks. Multiple people. It is complicated and hard, and hard things cost money. I mean, there’s a *reason* spice used to cost so much, and it’s not just that the Fremen had a monopoly.

That said, we are sympathetic to your plight. And we were wondering if there was a way for multiple people to order games together and save on shipping. So we asked Carol, the true Mistress of Shipping Questions over at Cheapass, and here’s what she gave us.

I’ve fielded a few direct messages from people, and explained that all they need to do is back for one person (at even just the $5 level), and then do their add-ons through the pledge manager for up to another 10 games. That lets them see the exact postage as they go, and select the precise collection of products they want for their friend-group or buying club.

So there you go. Just team up with some friends and everyone saves money.

  • I have an idea for a rule change!

We’re pretty confident in the rules at this point. We wouldn’t have launched the game if we weren’t sure that the game was good.

  • I AM FROTHY WITH RAGE THAT YOU’RE MAKING THIS GAME AND NOT THE ONE I JUST INVENTED IN MY HEAD.

1. That is not a question.

2. I am happy you have a game in your head. You should make that game.

  • How can there be an Edema Ruh board or University board if Kvothe has never played before?

There’s a game I’ve played my whole life called euchre, and I’m guessing that 90% of you haven’t ever played it. Most of you have never played Go even though there’s probably group of devoted players in your nearby college or town. Ditto with bridge, or Sheepshead. Or any of  number of very common games.

Relax. Kvothe was only 12 when he lost his troupe, and he’s been kinda busy since then. Most importantly, not everyone experiences everything a culture has to offer.

  • I still don’t really understand how to play the game…

We have a video that will help with that.

  • How high do you think the kickstarter will go?

I honestly have no idea. Before we started, I was kinda hoping we’d get past $500K, but we passed that more than a week ago. I really don’t know where things are going to end up.

At this point, I’m just trying to be happy that so many people have been enjoying the game.

CiTPYTIUYAAJIhS

That said, I *have* been spending a lot of time over at Kicktraq. There’s a bunch of graphs and charts that juggle the kickstarter data over there, and I’m mildly addicted to it. Here’s a link if you’re the sort of person who likes graphs.

If you have any other questions, feel free to comment here on the blog, or drop them over on the kickstarter itself, where James and his crew will tackle them.

Later Space Cowboys,

pat

P.S. And a final link to the Kickstarter, for those of you would like to go check it out directly.

Also posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, cool things, side projects | By Pat54 Responses

Concerning Cake, Bilbo Baggins, and Charity

So a couple days ago I did an AMA on Reddit.

It was fun. I enjoy goofing off, interacting with my readers, and answering questions. So this sort of thing is a good fit for me.

Kvothe pants

The day after the AMA, I went back in to see if I’d missed any particularly important/interesting/clever questions.

And I found one. A really good question.

I started to answer it. Then I kept answering it. Then I realized I’d written about 400 words and stopped myself from going any further.…

So rather than post my answer there, buried deep in a thread at the bottom of a dead AMA. I’m answering it here with the author’s permission.

*     *     *

This is going to sound pretty awful, but why all the charity work?

I’ve always been… well, financially challenged (at young Kvothe-like levels at times), and from what I’ve read, you were in a similar state for a long time. I can’t imagine doing so much for strangers even if that changed, and sometimes…

Well, it kind of bugs me. There are loads of things that you do that I would love to give you money for, but when you do them for charity, I feel like I wouldn’t be supporting you, my favorite writer, by supporting those charities.

This sounds intensely selfish, I know, but it comes from ignorance, not malice.

Thanks for being honest here Jason. This is an interesting question for me to see. And I think it’s an important question to answer.

The simple truth is, Jason, at this point in my life, I have enough money to live comfortably. And in my opinion, if you have enough money to live comfortably and you keep trying to get more and more and more money… well… it’s kind of an asshole thing to do.

It’s like this: if you have one piece of cake, and you eat it, that’s fine.

If you have two pieces of cake, you should probably share some with a friend. But maybe not. Occasionally we could all use two pieces of cake.

But if you have a whole cake, and you eat *all* of it, that’s not very cool. It’s not just selfish, it’s kinda sick and unhealthy.

portal(No lie.)

And if you have *two* cakes, and you keep trying to get more cakes so you can eat ALL the cake? Well… that’s really fucking mental. And awful. And about as close to real evil as actually exists in the world.

Right now, I have… well… probably somewhere between 2-4 cakes, financially speaking.

But some people out there don’t have any cake at all. Some people don’t even have dinner, let alone desert.

That’s why I run Worldbuilders. Because some people out there have no cake at all. There are kids out there that are hungry all the time. There are kids out there with no books at all to read. There are kids out there with no beds to sleep in. No homes to come home to. No safe places. No sweet dreams.

That’s why I do all the charity work. Because the world isn’t as good as I want it to be.

We all feel this way sometimes. Because honestly, the world is a fucking mess. It’s full of dragons, and none of us are as powerful or cool as we’d like to be. And that sucks.

But when you’re confronted with that fact, you can either crawl into a hole and quit, or you can get out there, take off your shoes, and Bilbo it up.

Rankin and Bass Bilbo it up(So What’s It Going to Be?)

The work I do with various charities is my attempt to Bilbo the fuck up.

Now it’s true that I could just devote myself to making a ton of money, then donate however much I liked to charity. A lot of people have suggested this to me. Smart people. People who care about me.

And y’know. It’s not terrible advice. That’s what Carnegie did…

But honestly, that’s not for me. I don’t like the thought of spending my whole life being utterly rapacious, getting *all* the cake it is humanly possible to acquire. And then, ten years before I die, giving a chunk of it back to the world.

One reason I don’t like this philosophy is that it means you have an excuse to act like a total bastard until you’re 60 years old. And y’know, Carnegie did a lot of ethically dubious things back in the day. There’s a reason they called him a robber baron.

My other problem with this is that after 60 years of being a bastard, most people aren’t going to make a sudden transformation into being kind-hearted humanitarians.

But the main reason I don’t like this way of thinking is that it’s predicated on the thought that you, my readers, are selfish, self-centered individuals. Carnegie’s philosophy implies that I should take as much money off you as I possibly can. Then, eventually, I should do something good with it, preferably getting my name on a building the the process. Because *obviously* the lot of you are not smart enough to make the world a better place on your own.

I don’t believe that. My philosophy is that people are inherently good. I believe when given the chance, people will happily line up to make the world a better place.

I think this is doubly true of fantasy readers, and trebly true of my readers in particular.

As evidence, I give you Worldbuilders. Over the last five years the geek community has given over two million dollars to Heifer International.

This year, I hope to raise another half-million. (Though I wouldn’t cry if we managed more.)

The truth is, you don’t have to be a billionaire to change the world. You don’t have to build a library. The truth is, if you donate 30 bucks to Worldbuilders, it will change someone’s life. Forever.

chicken 2

And sure, when you donate you get the chance to win a bunch of cool books, too. But that’s just a perk.

I know the truth. I know why you’re all *really* here. I know why you’ve read all the way to the bottom of this post. It’s because you’re good. It’s because you want to make the world a better place.

The truth is, Jason. I don’t think you’re selfish. You want to support an author whose work you enjoy. That’s not a selfish thing.

But here’s the thing. I don’t need twenty bucks from you. That’s not the support I want. That’s not the support I need.

I need you to help me make the world a better place.

You can do that by donating to Heifer International over on the Worldbuilders team page.

If you can’t because you’re broke, that’s fine. Believe me, I’ve been there. But you could still lend your support by spreading the word about Worldbuilders on facebook or twitter. You could write a blog. You could make a video. You could tell a friend.

Thanks for helping everyone,

pat

  • 12:30 – Since posting three hours ago, we’ve raised $3,000.

That’s enough to provide 150 families with flocks of chickens.

Chickens require little space and can thrive on readily available scraps; this allows families to make money from the birds without spending much. A good hen can lay up to 200 eggs a year, so a flock of chickens provides a steady source of nutrition and income.

  • 2:30 pm – Five hours after posting, we’ve raised $6,000.

That’s enough to purchase biogas stoves for 6 villages.

“For most families in the places where Heifer International works, cooking usually means gathering firewood by hand, which often depletes the soil and robs the environment of its trees. In addition, smoke inhalation in poorly ventilated homes often leads to chronic lung and eye diseases.

A biogas stove is a better option. It runs off methane gas captured from animal waste, and burns cleanly, reliably and efficiently. This is not only better for the environment, it is more sustainable and healthier for families feeding their children.”

  • 7:30 pm – $10,000. 

That’s enough to train and equip 50 Community Animal Health Workers.

In many countries, access to veterinary care is limited. So Heifer International trains Animal Health Workers. Participants receive training in animal health, husbandry, breeding, and nutrition as well as tools such as thermometers, stethoscopes, hoof trimmers, gloves, disinfectants, medicine for animals, and more.

This training and equipment gives someone the ability to support themselves in a lifelong career. What’s more, the presence of an animal health worker improves an entire community with healthier animals, more successful farms, and better education about sanitation and disease.

  • 6:30 am – $15,000. 

That’s enough to supply clean water to 50 communities.

In many communities where Heifer works, most homes lack running water, and some families do not even have a well nearby. Instead, they spend a huge portion of each day fetching water. This is often a chore left to children — especially girls — leaving them no time for school. Without a good education, those children have little hope for good jobs in the future.

Heifer helps families and communities install irrigation pumps, usually muscle-powered treadle pumps that are easy to maintain and repair. Heifer also provides education in terms of water conservation and sanitation, improving community health and making local farms and gardens more productive.

  • 24 hours after making this post… 

…lovely people have donated an additional 18K to Worldbuilders, bringing our total at this moment to more than 317,000 dollars.

That’s enough to start 850 small businesses.

Enough for 2600 goats and the training to care for them.

Enough for 10,000 hives of honeybees that will improve crop yields.

Enough for 17,000 trees that give fruit, provide income, and prevent soil erosion.

I won’t be updating our total on this blog any more. Instead I’m going to put in our donation thermometer so you can watch it climb yourself.

If you want to be a part of this, it’s easy. Click here to make it happen.

(P.S. For every $10 you kick in, you get a chance to win books.)

ShelfJanuary

 (A LOT of books.)

Also posted in calling on the legions, musings, Worldbuilders | By Pat141 Responses

Fanmail Q&A: Worldbuilders

Hey Pat,

Are you doing Worldbuilders again this year? I understand if you don’t have time, what with your dad an all….

But I will say that I’ll miss it if you don’t do it again. I usually ask my family to donate a goat to your fundraiser for Christmas, that way it’s really like I’m getting a goat and a half.

If there’s anything I can do to help, let me know. I only live 40 minutes away from you, and I can help lift boxes if nothing else.

Worldbuilders fan since 2009,

Brad

Those of you who have been following the blog for a while know that this is the time of year when we typically kick off Worldbuilders.

Well… actually, we tend to start up Worldbuilders a little earlier than this, which explains why over the last couple weeks I’ve been getting a slurry of e-mail asking about it.

We’ll be officially launching the fundraiser next week, but before we pull the trigger on that, I thought I’d take this chance to answer a few of the questions people have been asking in their e-mail.

  • Are you still doing Worldbuilders?

Yes. Very yes.

  • When are you starting it?

The official launch will be next week.

  • What is Worldbuilders? (For those of you that are new to the blog.)

Back in 2008, I thought it would be fun to see if I could raise some money for Heifer International. So I posted up a blog and told people if they donated to Heifer International, I’d match their donations. What’s more, I’d give away some free books to the winners, lottery style.

I was kinda hoping I could raise 5000 dollars, but things quickly spiraled out of control. Other authors donated books, people spread the word, and by the end of the fundraiser, we’d managed to raise more than 100,000 dollars.

I decided to make the fundraiser a yearly thing. I got more organized, hired an assistant, and had a friend make up a logo:

We got an office, ran some auctions, started running an online store, and last year we finally became an official not-for-profit charity.

Over the last three years we’ve raised more than $500,000 for Heifer.

(You can peek at last year’s fundraiser over here if you like.)

  • What’s going to be new this year?

Lots of stuff. One of our big projects this year is the literary pin-up calendar I already mentioned on the blog.

We’ve also got more publishers donating than ever, so that means more books this year. So many books we’ve had to put up new shelves just to hold them all.

I’ve got fun interviews scheduled with folks we’ve we’ve never seen on the blog before.

And more cool rare books. Some of them we’ll be auctioning off, others we’ll be giving away lottery style.

On top of that, this year the fans have really stepped up, donating cool collectibles and things they’ve made with their own, lovely geeky hands. Some of those things we’ll be auctioning off, some we’ll be selling in the store.

  • Where can I donate?

Hold your horses, buckaroo. You can’t donate quite yet. Like I said, we haven’t officially started this year’s fundraiser.

But we will be starting soon.

Soon…

  • What can I do to help?

There are two main things Worldbuilders needs to succeed.

1. People willing to donate. (See above.)

2. People willing to spread the word.

That means for now, the best thing you can do is wait.

If you’re exceptionally eager, you can go digging around in the sofa cushions to gather funds or talk to your family about maybe doing an animal exchange as part of your holiday festivities.

But for the most part, you can help by staying tuned to the blog and preparing to tweet to your friends when we launch the fundraiser in about a week.

  • I *really* want to help. Are you sure I can’t do anything?

If you *really* want to help, and you feel like you have a skill/cool book/rare collectible/mutant power that would be helpful to the cause, you can drop a line to: worldbuilders.2011 [squiggly at-sign thinger] gmail.com

  • I know I can help. Seriously. How can I send you something?

If you’re an author, publisher, comic artist, etc and you’d like to donate some books to the fundraiser, we would absolutely love to have them.

You can mail them to:

Worldbuilders
PO BOX 186
Stevens Point, WI 54481

Three things:

1. If you’re the author, we’d love if you signed the books before sending them to us.

2. If you’re thinking of sending a collectible of some kind, please contact us first.

3. Please package the books carefully. It breaks my heart when books arrive damaged.

If you’re a journalist, blogger, webcomic-er, a celeb with a huge twitter following, or just someone who has a cool idea about how to spread the word, drop us a line at the aforementioned e-mail: worldbuilders.2011 [squiggly at-sign thinger] gmail.com.

Pretty much if you have any questions about the fundraiser, that’s the e-mail to use. You’ll get a response much more quickly than if you use the contact form on my website.

  • You asked me to donate books last year. Why haven’t you invited me this year?

I should have said this first: Worldbuilders isn’t an invitation-only party. There is no velvet rope. No bouncer at the door. We welcome any authors, any books. (Though I will admit we have a definite lean toward fantasy and sci-fi going on here…)

So if you’re an author/publisher I know, and I haven’t sent you an e-mail asking if you’d like to donate, it’s not because I’m snubbing you, or because I don’t want your books in the fundraiser.

No. Far from it. Of course I want your books in the fundraiser. It would fill me with joy to include them.

If you haven’t recieved a specific invite from me already, it’s probably because you’re way cooler than me, so I was embarrassed to bother you with an e-mail. Or it’s because I’m from the Midwest and asking for things makes me kinda uncomfortable. Or, you know, because with all the things going on in my life now, I’m kind of a disorganized idiot.

Seriously. If you don’t believe me, just look at this picture:

There. Anyone can see that I am clearly a fucking idiot. A person who wears this expression does not have the mental wherewithal to snub you or purposefully exclude you from any of his reindeer games. In fact, it’s quite possible that a person wearing this expression entirely lacks the capacity for intentionality, let alone rational thought.

That means if you haven’t recieved an invite from me, it was clearly an oversight firmly rooted in my own stupidity. Q.E.D.

So yeah. Books = Yes. Worldbuilders = Soon.

Me = Bed. I really shouldn’t be writing anything resembling a serious blog when I’m punchy like this.

Later space cowboys,

pat

Also posted in calling on the legions, Fanmail Q + A, Worldbuilders 2011 | By Pat26 Responses

Fanmail FAQ: NaNoWriMo

Pat,

Do you know about National Novel Writing Month? I’ve tried it for three years now, though I’ve only ever managed to make 50,000 words one time back in 2009.

I was just wondering if you’d ever tried it. In some ways, it seems like it might be like your thing. But the more I thought about it, it seems like it might NOT be your thing. Your writing is really carefully put together, mythic and lyrical, so I could see how your style wouldn’t really lend itself to being able to write a whole 50,000 words in a single month.

So I guess I have two questions:

1. Have you ever done NaNoWriMo? (I’m guessing no, because I couldn’t find you on their website.)

2. Do you have any tips for keeping up this grueling writing pace? How do you stay motivated?

A fan,

Jake

For those of you who don’t know what Jake is talking about, National Novel Writing Month is when people who want to write get together in November and vow to get 50,000 words done on their novels in a single month.

I’ve actually known about it since the year 2000. I remember the date because one of my web-savvy friends caught wind of it. He knew I’d been working on a novel and thought I might be interested.

My immediate reaction was dismissive disdain.

You see, in November of 2000, I was in the midst of the most productive writing jag of my entire life. I’d been working on “The Book” off and on for over six years, and I was finally closing in on the end of huge arcing story that I’d started by writing, “My name is Kvothe” on a friend’s computer back in 1994.

At that time in my life, I’d been tracking my writing progress for a couple years. I was taking it seriously and held myself accountable for 1500 words or three hours of writing a day. Whichever came first.

I’d been keeping up that pace for the better part of a year. But as I closed in on the ending of my story, the writing got faster and faster. I could write for 10 or 12 hours at a stretch, day after day, and it came easy as breathing.

So when my friend brought NaNoWriMo to my attention, my thoughts were roughly along these lines:

“I laugh at your piddly 50,000 words! I am a golden god of writing! I’ve been doing this on my own for years! I don’t need some gimmicky bullshit for encouragement! I’m a *real* writer….”

Over the next couple weeks, I finished my draft and started revising. Several months later, I went to grad school. There, under the soul-crushing boot heel of academia, my vast torrent of creative output dwindled until it was a tiny trickle that resembled an an old man in Waiting for Godot trying to take a piss.

I spent the lion’s share of the next two years getting rejected by agents, revising The Book, then getting rejected by agents again. When someone pointed out NaNoWriMo a second time, I looked down my nose at it, thinking something along the lines of:

” Writing is something you do all the time, not just one month out of the year! Besides, it’s not the length of a book that matters. It’s how polished it is. I know that now because I’m a *real* writer.”

In 2005, a third friend mentioned NaNoWriMo to me. Again, I scoffed at it:

“I’ve been published in an anthology,” I thought to myself. “I have an agent. I’ve written a 500,000 word fantasy trilogy. I have nothing to prove. I write because I’m a writer, not because for one month out of the year it’s fashionable. I’m not doing this out of some desperate need for social approbation. I’m doing this because I’m a *real* writer.”

By 2008 The Name of the Wind had been on the shelves for a year, and I was woefully behind deadline for the second book. Some of my fans asked me if I was going to participate in NaNoWriMo. It came at a bad time, because I was feeling guilty for missing my deadline. So this time I didn’t merely scoff, I scorned:

“I’m a professional author now,” I thought. “I’ve sold a book. I’ve hit the New York Times bestseller list. I’m published in multiple countries. I don’t need to get into a circle and sing kumbaya. I don’t need to join a cult of newbies and wankers. I write because it’s my job. I’m a *real* writer.”

Now it’s 2011 and people are asking me about NaNoWriMo again. You’re not the only one, Jake.

I like to think I’m a little wiser than I was a few years ago. I’ve certainly learned a lot about writing. If nothing else, I’ve come to realize one single fact:

Anything that motivates you to write is a good thing.

For some people, having a writing group helps. Others take a class. Some people go out and get their MFA’s. Some people drink gin and smoke black tar heroin.

And for some people, NaNoWriMo provides a swift kick up the ass that helps them put pen to paper.

Everyone is different. Ultimately, what motivates a writer is a very personal thing. What works for me, Jake, might not work for you….

For example I’ve come to realize that I have a strong seam of contrarian in the bedrock of my personality. If someone says I can’t do something, a piece of my hind brain rears up and says, “the fuck I can’t!”

In the past this has led me into trouble. I’ve done all manner of stupid shit because someone’s dared presume I wouldn’t. Examples include making a naked snow angel, living for a week using nothing but my wits and three dollars, and eating an entire package of ranch seasoning. (Not ranch dressing, mind you. That would have been easy. I’m talking about the seasoning packet that you would use to make a pint of ranch dressing.)

I’ve mellowed somewhat in my old age, and these days the heavy-handed “I dare you…” taunts that used to set me off no longer have any power to sway me.

But your subtle implication that my writing style “wouldn’t really lend itself to being able to write a whole 50,000 words in a single month” made me raise my hackles a little bit.

“Who does this little punk think he is?” I found myself thinking. “Implying I can’t swing NaNoWriMo? You think I can’t be mythic and lyric AND write 50,000 words? The fuck I can’t!”

So. I’m going to participate this year. What’s more, I’m going to officially start now, on November 7th. That’s right, Jake, I’ve given you a week’s head start. You just try to stay ahead of me.

For more than a decade, I didn’t give NaNoWriMo a fair shot. More than that, I actively maligned it.

But never let it be said I can’t admit I’m wrong. I’m willing to eat my words. I’d make you eat your words too, Jake. But you know what? I’m going to eat them instead. I’m going to eat all the words I can get my hands on in this next month and turn them into mythic, lyric story that will break your heart.

And then I’m going to go update my wordcount on the profile I just created on the NaNoWriMo website.

Because I’m a real writer.

pat

Also posted in Fanmail Q + A, My Iconoclastic Tendencies, the craft of writing | By Pat91 Responses

Fanmail FAQ: Looking for Good Books….

So in the last week I’ve had three e-mails along these lines:

Pat,

School is over for the semester, and I have a long, glorious summer stretching out in front of me. What’s more, I’ve got a summer job that involves very little actual work. (I’m a late-night gas station attendant.)

This leaves me all the time I could possibly want for reading.

Here’s my problem. I’m having trouble finding good stuff to read. Any advice for me? What’s your summer reading list?

Love your stuff,

Ben

I get a fair number of these sorts of letters. And generally speaking, they’re pretty easy to answer, as I can just point people at all the blogs I’ve written over the last four years where I recommend books.

Barring that, I point people at my Goodreads profile. Where I sometimes list the books I’m reading, and occasionally post up a review if I really feel strongly about a book.

In addition to letters like the one above, I’ve also had many, many people forward me the link to the current Poll NPR is holding, asking people to nominate books for their upcoming top 100 SF and Fantasy novels of all time.

For those of you too lazy to click a link, the gist is this: On NPR’s page, they’re asking people to post a comment listing their top five favorite SF/F novels or series.

I have opinions on this matter. So, of course, I posted my vote. It was pretty easy, because I’ve been obsessed with the Dresden Files lately. That’s one. Then there’s The Last Unicorn and Something Wicked This Way Comes – Three. Then Stranger in a Strange Land. Four.

I was going to vote for Lord of the Rings, too. But then I erased it and voted for my own series instead. I’m not entirely proud of that, but I’m not going to lie about it either. I figure Tolkien has enough votes. Besides, I happen to like my books a hell of a lot.

Only after I voted did I start to look at other people’s comments, and the titles of some of the books they mentioned hit me like bombs. Dune. Of course. I should have listed Dune. Discworld. Of course I should have listed Pratchett. Amber. Of course.

Luckily I’d already voted, so I couldn’t spend any time agonizing over which ones should really fit into my top five.

Then, later that same day, I got this letter:

Pat,

I’ve only recently started reading Fantasy and Sci-Fi about a year ago. You were one of my first. ;)

I know you’ve read it your whole life. I need to play some serious catch-up. If you were going to list the most important books you’ve ever read. Like a bibliography of the best, most influential fantasy books you ever came in contact with, what would be on that list?

Specifically, I’d like to become well-read in fantasy and science fiction. But it seems like half of what I pick up is… don’t be offended. But it’s kinda shit. I know that one man’s trash it another man’s treasure. But I’ll trust a list of books from you more than some generic list I found online. I’ve enjoyed most all the books you’ve recommended so far….

Thanks so much,

Pennie

“What the hell?” I thought. Never let it be said that I ignored a serendipitous confluence of events. Or that I missed a chance to answer several e-mails in a single blog….

So I did some research. By which I mean I went downstairs and looked at my shelves:

For some perspective. Here’s one part of one wall of the downstairs library. Note that this does not give any impression of books on the other walls. Or on the upstairs shelves. Or in boxes in the hallway. Or the boxes in the basement. Or over at the office. Or in storage in the office. Or on my shelves in my childhood bedroom in Madison. Or in the boxes in my childhood bedroom in Madison.

I kinda have a lot of books.

It is my dream to someday have all my books in one place, all on shelves, all organized in a system that pleases me.

It is a beautiful dream.

Anyway, here’s my list of SF and Fantasy recommendations. If you read nothing but these books, I think you could consider yourself to be reasonably well-read and somewhat well-rounded in the genre.

The rules I set for myself:

1. Only stuff I’ve actually read.

2. No more than 40 items, or I’d be doing this forever.

3. No more than one book or series per author.

So here we go:

  1. The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
  2. The Last Unicorn By Peter S. Beagle
  3. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
  4. Stranger In a Strange Land Robert Heinlein
  5. Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
  6. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
  7. Dragonriders Of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
  8. Dune by Frank Herbert
  9. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
  10. The Discworld books by Terry Pratchett
  11. The Chronicles of Amber–Roger Zelazny
  12. Brave New World–Aldous Huxley
  13. Wizard of Earthsea By Le Guin
  14. Sandman  – Neil Gaiman
  15. The Fisher King Trilogy by Tim Powers
  16. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy by Douglas Adams
  17. The Riddlemaster of Hed series by Patricia McKillip
  18. Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath by H.P Lovecraft
  19. Neuromancer by William Gibson
  20. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  21. 1984 – by George Orwell
  22. Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon by Spider Robinson
  23. Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare
  24. The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox, by Barry Hughart
  25. The Princess Bride – William Goldman
  26. The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter
  27. Gun, with Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem
  28. The Odyssey by Homer
  29. The Last Herald-Mage trilogy – Mercedes Lackey
  30. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  31. River World Series – Phillip Jose Farmer
  32. One Thousand and One Nights
  33. Riftwar Saga by Feist
  34. The Dark Tower series – Stephen King
  35. Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn by Tad Williams
  36. Belgariad series by David Eddings
  37. Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson
  38. Michael Ende – The Neverending Story
  39. The Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
  40. The Shannara Trilogy – Terry Brooks

Now before everyone starts to squawk that I left out their favorite babies, keep in mind that I’m throwing this list together on the fly. So I’ve doubtless forgotten a few I would otherwise have included.

But yeah. It was really hard to even keep it to 40. Here’s the ones I had to cull from the above list. Consider them the runners-up.

  1. The Farseer Trilogy – Robin Hobb
  2. Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais
  3. Only Forward by Michael Marshal Smith
  4. A Canticle for Leibowitz- Walter M Miller
  5. Pretty much Anything by Christopher Moore
  6. Time Enough for Love – Robert Heinlein
  7. Stardust – Neil Gaiman
  8. His Dark Materials – Phillip Pullman
  9. Black Company Series – Glen Cook
  10. Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
  11. Lud in Mist – Hope Mirrlees
  12. The Red Magician – Lisa Goldstein
  13. Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
  14. A Wrinke In Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  15. Death is a Lonely Business by Ray Bradbury
  16. Declare- Tim Powers
  17. Legend- David Gemmel
  18. Icewind Dale Trilogy – R.A. Salvatore
  19. Harry Potter by Rowling (Mostly the first four)
  20. Beowulf

Gech. I have to stop. I’m done. Seriously done.

What’s that you say? Your absolutely favoritest of favorites still isn’t on the list?

Well… suck it. It’s my list, not yours.

No. Wait. What I mean to say is that I picked these books for the list because they:

  1. Influenced me because I loved them so very much.
  2. Influenced the genre because of when/where/how they were written.
  3. Influenced the SF/F readership because so many people have read them.

Every book on this list has done two of these three things. Many have done all three.

While I was doing my brief spatter of research and trolling through the comments on the NPR poll, I kept spotting books and thinking, “Oh yeah, I’ve been meaning to read that….”

So, lastly, to partially answer Ben’s question about my summer reading list. Here are the books that would probably be fighting for positions on the above lists if I’d read them. They’re books I’m meaning to read, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

  1. The Doomsday Book – Connie Willis
  2. Fafhrd & Gray Mouser books – Fritz Leiber
  3. Watership Down – Richard Adams
  4. The Gormenghast series – Mervyn Peake
  5. Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham
  6. The Glass Book of the Dream Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist
  7. A Song of Ice and Fire – Martin (Yeah Yeah. I know. I’ve been busy…)
  8. The Forever War – by Joe Haldeman
  9. House of Leaves – Mark Z Danielewski
  10. The Mote in God’s Eye – Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
  11. Nova – Samuel R. Delaney
  12. Dhalgren – Samuel R. Delany
  13. The Uplift Trilogy – David Brin (I’ve only read one so far…)
  14. The Hollows series – Kim Harrison
  15. The Fionavar Tapestry – Guy Gavriel Kay
  16. The Vorkosigan Saga – Lois McMaster Bujold
  17. The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula K. Le Guin
  18. Conan stories – Robert E. Howard
  19. Little, Big – John Crowley
  20. Lensman Series – E.E. “Doc” Smith
  21. Malazan Books of the Fallen – Steven Erikson
  22. Wheel of Time – Jordan and Sanderson (I’ve only read the first two)
  23. Tripod Trilogy – Samuel Youd
  24. Flatland – Edwin A. Abbott
  25. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Okay. I’m done. Not only should you have plenty to read now, but those of you who were suffering from a paralyzing lack of numbered lists should be satisfied as well.

Share and enjoy….

pat

Also posted in Fanmail Q + A, recommendations | By Pat394 Responses

FAQ: The Wise Man’s Fear Signing Tour

Ever since I posted up the schedule for my upcoming signing tour, people have been asking a lot of questions.


View Patrick Rothfuss, Wise Man’s Fear, Book Tour in a larger map

This has been a good thing. Your questions made me think about the tour in ways I wouldn’t have considered otherwise. I’ve spent weeks figuring things out, and now I have all sorts of answers for you. Plus a few other cool things that will probably be of interest even if you’re not planning on coming to one of the signings.

Also, for those of you who RSVP’d to the San Francisco event and couldn’t get a seat, we’ve managed to arrange a second event in San Francisco. Details are below in Question #2.

Ready? Here we go.

1. This is going to be my first booksigning and I don’t know the etiquette. Do I need to buy my book at the bookstore, or can I bring a book from home?

Honestly? The polite thing to do is to buy your book at the bookstore hosting the event.

You see, the bookstores hosting me put a lot of time, energy, and money into events like these. They order a BUNCH of books. They bring in extra staff to manage the crowds, set up chairs, and sometimes reorganize parts of the store. If the signing goes late, they have to keep the store open after hours.

Also, you have to remember that while the bookstore loves you, they are also, you know, a store. A store that sells books. They need to sell books to stay in business.

But there are other reasons too. Let’s say I do a signing and the bookstore sells 500 books. That bookstore is happy. That bookstore likes me. That bookstore wants to have me back for future events. Also, my publisher is happy, and they feel like spending the money to fly me out to events like this are a worthwhile investment.

But if I do a signing and sell, say, 20 books, odds are the bookstore won’t be inviting me back in the future.

Ultimately, buying a book at the hosting store is just good manners. They’re putting a lot of work into the event, and buying a book is the best way to show that you appreciate that.

*** There is one exception to this rule. There will be no books for sale at the Library of Congress reading. I’m happy to sign your book. But you’ll have to bring them with you.

Now does that mean you MUST buy a book to attend? Well, not exactly, read on…

1b. Pat, I called the bookstore and they said if I didn’t buy a book there, I couldn’t get anything signed. But I’m planning on buying your book March 1st, then driving three hours to get to your signing on the 10th. I’m a poor college student. I really can’t afford to buy a second book…

When I got the first message like this, I was surprised.

Needless to say, this isn’t the sort of policy I feel good about. The main reason I do these readings is so I can meet up with fans. I don’t want anyone getting turned away because they can’t afford to buy a book. (Or a second book, as with the example above.)

So I called my lovely PR team. They, in turn, called all the stores.

As a result, I’ve been reassured that nobody will be turned away from any of the events simply because they aren’t buying a book at the store.

That said, you can probably expect the hosting bookstores to give some preferential treatment to the people who buy at least one copy of the book in store. For example, they’ll probably get to go through the signing lines first. If we get huge turnouts, people who buy books in store will probably get first dibs on seating. Stuff like that.

1c. Can I get more than one book signed?

Yes.

The number of books you can get signed varies from store to store. Some stores will let you take three items through the line, some stores will let you bring five. If you want more books than that signed, you’ll have to get back in line.

For specifics, I’d suggest calling the store and asking them.

What if you’re picking up books for eight of your best friends? Well, odds are you’ll still be able to get them signed. The main reason I’m doing this tour is to sign books. My intention at each event is to sign books until there are no more books to sign.

I will only stop if I need to catch a plane, if the store needs to close, or if I collapse from exhaustion. That’s my plan.

2. I just found out that your reading in San Fransisco has limited seating! I e-mailed them 6 hours after you announced it, but all the seats were already taken! I was going to drive there with my girlfriend as her birthday present! Is there anything I can do to get us in? Anything?

I got a lot of messages like this. A lot.

The truth is, we were caught off-guard at how many people responded to the event. We weren’t expecting such a big turnout.

As soon as we realized the problem, we started trying to figure out some way to get more people in. The fabulous folks who run SF in SF tried to find a bigger venue, but there wasn’t anything available. We couldn’t do an afternoon event because I’m not even going to be in San Francisco until 3:30 that day.

Still, I felt really bad that so many people were going to be disappointed. So I worked with my PR team and the folks at Borderlands Books to create an overflow event. Something to give the rest of the people chance to come see me and get their books signed.

So. We are holding a second event in San Fransisco. It will be DIRECTLY AFTER the evening event on March 3rd.

It will, in fact, be my first-ever midnight signing.

The second event will be held at:

Borderlands Cafe
870  Valencia St. (between 19th and 20th),
San Francisco 94110.
  • Books will be on sale at Borderlands Books, right next door.
  • First come, first seated.  There will also be standing room and, once the cafe is at capacity, there will be overflow space at the bookstore. We can’t guarantee that there will be enough space to accommodate everyone.

Edit: * The Cafe will be closed between 9:00 and 10:00. But at 10:00 they’ll be back up and running, so you can show up, grab your seat, and grab some coffee in preparation for the event.

  • If you don’t have a seat at the event at SF in SF, YOU SHOULD COME TO THE MIDNIGHT EVENT INSTEAD. Only people with tickets to the SF in SF event are guaranteed to get their books signed there.
  • Each person will be able to get two books signed. People wishing additional signatures will have to go to the end of the line and may or may not be able to get additional books signed, depending on how late the event continues. (I do have to catch a plane in the morning, you realize.)
  • There is no need to RSVP for this event and no seats will be reserved.

It’s entirely possible that I will be wearing my footie pajamas for this event, as I’ll be giving up a couple hours sleep to make it happen. It’s also fair to say that I’ll probably look a little wild around the eyes. But that’s half the fun of a midnight signing, isn’t it?

My sincerest thanks go out to the folks at Borderlands for helping us pull this together at the last moment.

Thanks so much, guys.

3. Can I get my picture taken with you at the signing?

Normally, my answer would be an unqualified yes. Anyone who’s glanced at my facebook page, has seen ample proof of the fact that I’m not camera shy.

(Yes. I’m wearing a kilt.)

However, there are certain logistical problems with me taking pictures with everyone at these bigger signings. Simply said, photos make a long signing even longer. But what usually happens is that you hand your phone over to someone else to take the shot, then we pose, then the person can’t figure out how to use your camera. Then you explain to them that it’s the button on the side….

You know what I’m talking about, right? We’ve all been there.

But let’s do some simple math. Assume that 200 people show up to my signing, and I take *just one minute* with each of them to shake hands, exchange a few words, then sign a book. 200 people at a minute each means that the signing is already more than three hours long.

That’s not even counting if people have more than one book. Or if people ask me for personalizations. If we add another 50 people taking pictures on top of that, the signing will suddenly be five hours long.

So my answer to this is… Maybe. We can probably snap a quick picture. But don’t be offended if we have to skip it if the line is really long.

4. Will you sign copies of The Name of the Wind?

Hell yes. Just because I have a new baby doesn’t mean I don’t love my first baby.

5. Will there be hardcover copies of The Name of the Wind available to purchase at your signings?

Almost certainly. But if you want to make sure you get one, the smart thing to do would be to call the bookstore and reserve a copy.

6. Will there be copies of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle available at your signings?

Maybe. Very maybe. Most bookstores only know about me because of The Name of the Wind. If you want to buy a Princess book, I’d suggest you call the store and try to reserve one. If they don’t have one in stock, I’m sure they’d be happy to order one in for you. Bookstores love selling books, you know.

6b. Will I get a special promotional sticker if I buy a copy of the Princess book at the store?

Good idea. I’ll throw some of those in my luggage. So yes. You can have a sticker.

7. Can I bring you cookies or some other sort of treat?

Let’s be clear here. I’m not posting this question as a desperate attempt to cage cookies off of everyone. I’m posting this question because at least five or six different people e-mailed me on the subject. So I figure it’s a legitimate FAQ.

The short answer is that yes. You can bring me cookies. That’s very sweet of you.

The long answer is that if you do bring me cookies. Please don’t be offended if I give some of them away. This tour is going to be kinda rough on my system, so I’m going to try and eat healthy. If I eat a dozen cookies at each signing, it’s going to ruin me.

7b. Do you have a cookie preference?

Chocolate-chip cookies are the favored kind of cookie. Raisin cookies are for people who secretly hate themselves. A real cookie shouldn’t have fruit in it. A real cookie is bad for you. It is like a delicious nail driven directly into your heart.

8. Do you hug?

I have been known to hug.

That said, you might want to refer to the logistical issues I mention up in question #3. It might have to be a short hug.

And watch those hands.

9. I want to buy a Kingkiller t-shirt to wear to your signing, but I can’t find the link to your store, the Tinker’s Sack. What’s the URL?

Here’s the link for you.

And by the way, it’s called The Tinker’s Pack. Pack. With a “P”.

The Tinker’s Sack would be a whole different sort of website. I don’t know what they’d sell there, but I don’t think you’d want to buy any….

10. What are your signings like?

First say howdy to everyone and explain some of the ground rules of the event.

Then comes the reading. I read a little something, answer some questions from the audience, then read another little something, then more questions. I do this for about an hour.

Last comes the signing. I pretty much sign books until they make me leave the store.

11. When are you coming to Canada/Spain/Ireland/Estonia?

Rest assured than when I make plans to travel to another country, I’ll post those signings up on the blog as well.

12. I live in Mexico/Germany/Korea/Bulgaria. How can I get a copy of the English version of your book? I want to read the original language.

If none of your local bookstores carry English books, I know that some of the stores that are carrying signed versions of my book are also willing to do international shipping. You could order from them….

13. I won’t have had time to read the whole book before I attend the your event in Portland. I’m looking forward to hearing you read, but I hate spoilers. Do I need to be afraid?

I hate spoilers, too. So you don’t need to worry about me giving away big secrets like the fact that Kvothe is really Kaiser Soze.

14.You’re coming to my town, but I’m going to have to miss your signing by just a couple hours because of attend class/go to work/catch a plane/etc.  Can I meet up with you a little earlier and have you sign my book?

I’m sorry. But my schedule is way too tight to do anything like that. A lot of times, I won’t even be flying into town until a couple hours before the signing.

But if it’s your hometown, you can just call the bookstore and reserve a copy. Whenever I do a signing, the bookstore has me sign a bunch of books for people that couldn’t make it to the event.

15. Will you personalize my book to me? To my dad? To my girlfriend?

Yes. Yes. And yes.

However, I probably won’t have time to write anything really lengthy in the books. (See the Answer to #3 for the reason why.)

That means personalizations will probably have to be limited to a name and just a few words. No really long quotes.

16. Will you Sign my Nook/Kindle/E-reader?

Yes. This is something that I’ve done before.

That said, you might want to check out the answer to question #1 up there. Showing up with your kindle is just the same as bringing a book from home.

17. I have an important question. About how tall are you?

I am one thousand feet tall.

18. Is it really surreal that people are taking days off of work to come see you?

Yes.  It is weird as hell.

19.Will your baby be with you at any of your signings?

My accountant has informed me that if I’m going to keep writing him off as a promotional expense, I need to take him to at least one signing.

That means it’s a fairly safe bet that you’ll see Oot in Madison. You might also get to see him in DC, New York, or Boston.

(He’s the one on the right.)

Who’s daddy’s cute little deduction?

20. Mr. Rothfuss, is it better for you if I buy your book at any particular store? Or in any particular way? (Nook? Hardcover?) I love your books, and so I want to support you as much as I can.

Over the last month, I’ve had more than a dozen messages like this. It just goes to prove something I already knew, that my readers are delightfully considerate human beings.

The truth is. I make more money off the hardcover of the book. Also, the more hardcover books I sell, the better chance I have of making it onto the New York Times Bestseller list. That’s kind of a big deal.

For the most part, it doesn’t matter where you buy the book, though I do usually encourage people to shop locally. Because supporting your local economy is a good thing.

If you *really* want to help, you could make a point of buying the book close to the release date. If enough people buy the book in that first week, I might get onto the New York Times Bestseller list. That would be really good for my career.

There you are folks. All of the big questions answered.

And for those of you who actually took the time to read all the way to the end. Here’s a little something extra. Over on the Gollancz facebook page, they have a video of me reading a scene from the Wise Man’s fear. I taped it with them more than a year ago when I was in England, so it’s a little different from the finished version. But if you’re looking for a little taste of what’s coming. You can head over there.

And don’t worry, it’s only a small piece in from the second chapter. No big spoilers. It isn’t until the third chapter that we learn that Kvothe’s dad isn’t really dead, he was merely horribly wounded and now serves as the strong right hand of the empire, Darth Vader.

Share and enjoy,

pat

Also posted in appearances, Fanmail Q + A, signing books, the longest fucking blog ever | By Pat137 Responses
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