Category Archives: foreign happenings

A New Addition to the Family – Russia

Every once in a while, I get a package from my agent. And honestly, it’s always a little like Christmas.

I spent so long trying to get an agent, you see. Now, not only do I have an agent, but he’s a really good agent. And the people he works with at the agency are really good too. We get along really well, and they help me sell my book all over the world.

So when they send me something, it’s cool by default. They could mail me a gum wrapper and I’d be happy. Why? Because getting a gum wrapper from your awesome agent is roughly a billion times cooler than getting form-letter rejection from yet another agent rejecting your book.

It doesn’t hurt that I’m new enough to this whole professional writer thing that everything is still fresh and new.  Foreign contracts are still interesting to me. I get an envelope in the mail and think, “Yay! I get to read an 8 page contract detailing the sale of the Brazilian rights of my book!”  Even the cryptically opaque royalty statements are fun.

But my favorite things to get in the mail are new foreign editions of the book.

I’ve talked about some of them in previous posts. The German version. The Portuguese version. Japanese, French, Danish

I love them all. Even the ones I’ve gently mocked.

But just a couple days ago I had a new experience. A book showed up and I couldn’t figure out what country it was from.

(Click to Embiggen.)

Usually if I don’t know which country a book is from, it’s not that hard for me to figure out. If worse comes to worst,  I just google the publisher’s name. For example, if I search on “Argo” and “Rothfuss” I find out that “Jméno Větru” is the Czech version of my book.

But this book had nothing on it that I could use. The foreign character set completely flummoxed me. Normally when I get a book, I can at least read my name on the cover. Not so with this one.

I was pretty sure it was Russian. I needed to be *really* sure. If I was wrong I’d look like a real idiot. It would be like introducing your own child using the wrong name.

Eventually I took an educated guess and decided that Патрик Ротфусс was a transliterated version of “Patrick Rothfuss.” But even then, it took me a long time to figure out how to type “Патрик Ротфусс” into google.

So, after a little bit of research, let me introduce the Russian Version of the Name of the Wind: Имя ветра.

It’s a pretty book. Good paper and a nice binding. It doesn’t have a book-jacket either, the art is printed directly on the cover of the book. I kinda like that.

Also, join me in enjoying the cover art. It isn’t to-the-letter accurate, but it’s not that bad, either.

I’ve become philosophical about cover art over the years. I know that its main job is to catch the reader’s eye. If the picture isn’t entirely true to the story Kvothe tells, if it over-dramatizes a bit… I can live with that. I comfort myself with the knowledge that if the cover doesn’t fit Kvothe’s story perfectly, it’s probably pretty close to the version Old Cob would tell….

Later folks,

pat

Also posted in book covers, translation | By Pat70 Responses

A New Addition to the Family: Portugal

The Name of the Wind just came out in Portugal. They tell me that at the beginning of the month it was actually #7 on the bestseller lists over there. Which, I will admit, gives me a little bit of a tingle….

I haven’t actually held one in my hands yet, but the cover looks pretty cool:

I always like seeing new covers for the book. Especially when the art has obviously been commissioned especially for the book.

Though I’ve only recently become a father, I’ve compared writing a book to having a baby for years. My mom used to refer to it as “her grandbook.” And one of my friends used to ask about it in those terms. We wouldn’t see each other for months, and when we got together and caught up on the news, she’d eventually ask, “And how’s the baby doing…?”

Now that I’ve been a dad for a couple of weeks, I realize that the baby analogy is better than I thought. Before I was mostly referring to the emotional connection you feel to your own book. But now, having dealt with a newborn, I realize that writing a book is not entirely dissimilar to actually raising a child.

You feed it. Change it. Cuddle it. Dress it. Undress it. Change it. Feed it. Change it. Change it. Get it to take a nap. Change it.

And then, at the end of the day, you look at it and realize that it’s pretty useless.

Don’t get me wrong, you love it. You love it like nobody’s business. But unless you’re an idiot, you realize this thing really isn’t good for anything yet. You’re going to have months and months of thankless, repetitive work before it’s capable of going out into the world on its own.

Later, when your book is published, it’s very cool and very scary. That’s when your baby has grown up enough to leave the nest. It’s out there, meeting people all on its own. If you’ve raised it properly, it hopefully makes a good impression. Hopefully it makes friends.

But the foreign editions of the book are… different. It’s still my baby, but it’s not *really* my baby. It’s like someone has cloned my baby and dressed it up in lederhosen and made it smoke a pipe for marketing reasons.

Yeah. The analogy really starts to fall apart after a while, I guess.

What was my point? No point. I don’t always have to have a point, you know….

Wait! I guess I do have a point. It’s that sometimes they make your baby smoke a pipe and you have to shrug it off. You don’t know what sells books in Bangladesh, or Berlin, or Brigadoon. For the most part, you have to trust that the publisher knows what they’re doing. For all you know, those Doonies are loonies for pipes…

But it’s nice when you see the marketing and it appeals to your aesthetic. Like the trailer I posted before. Or this picture that I stumbled onto when I was googling up an image of the cover for this blog.

(Click to Embiggen)

I’m guessing this is a promotional poster. If it is, I wish I had a copy. I like the tagline across the top. “Kvothe: Magician, Musician, Thief, Assassin and… Hero.”

Hell, if I’d have been able to come up with promo copy like that on my own, it wouldn’t have taken me five years to sell the thing.

Later, you hoopy froods….

pat

Also posted in babies, book covers, cool things, translation | By Pat55 Responses

New coolness

So The Name of the Wind is coming out in Portugal soon. Look what they’re doing to promote the book:

How cool is that?

pat

P.S. In case you’re wondering, the answer is pretty fucking cool.

Also posted in cool things, videos | By Pat96 Responses

Interview at Fantasymundo

The book’s doing pretty well over in Spain, from what I understand. So earlier this month I did a bit of a Q&A interview for a Spanish website called Fantasymundo.

To my pleasant surprise, they didn’t just post up the translation of my answers, they put up my original English version as well.

That means my fellow monolingual English-speaking brethren can head over there and read it if they’re interested…

Keep in mind you have to scroll down past the entire Spanish interview to find the English version.

pat

Also posted in Interviews | By Pat48 Responses

Adventures abroad: Prologue

Before I start talking about my trip to Europe, I should mention that in many ways I am embarrassingly American. I’m monolingual. I’m fat. And in many ways, I’m terribly ignorant of the shape of the world. For example, until a couple years ago, I didn’t know where Belgium was. True story.

This means that about 95% of my knowledge about Italy comes from two sources. 1) The movie Hudson Hawk. 2) The episode of Angel where they go to Rome to face down the Immortal.

This is important because Rome was going to be our first stop on our European walkabout.

Sarah was good about preparing herself for the trip. She did research. She got phrase books. She looked at maps. I was too busy getting the first draft of the book ready to do much preparation. I didn’t study any languages. I didn’t look at any tourist guides. I know that somewhere in Rome there’s old stuff and a cool fountain. I know that somewhere in England there’s Stonehenge. Somewhere in Amsterdam there are whores. Other than that, I’m flying blind….

And I do mean flying. Our flight goes from Central Wisconsin –> Detroit –> Amsterdam –> Rome. I’ve done a lot of flying in the last couple years, but this is different by an order of magnitude. Pretty much a whole waking day spent in the air.

Interesting fact: When you get pregnant, your body makes a bunch of extra blood. Pints and pints. Sarah told me this. She’s a font of bizarre information about pregnancy. “Today Oot is growing a pancreas,” she’ll say. “Now he has gills like a fish.

I’m fairly certain that she makes a lot of it up. But still, I look attentive whenever she gives me these facts. Partly because I prefer things that are interesting to things that are true, but also because Sarah will cry at the drop of a hat under normal circumstances. Pregnancy has magnified this amusing quirk in a exponential way.

I actually took a video of her crying on the trip. Yes really. These things need to be recorded for the sake of science. She cries because she’s upset, then I cheer her up and she cries because she’s happy. Then she cries because she loves me. Then she cries because she’s crying.

I probably shouldn’t post that video without asking her, but here’s a picture, just add a little verisimilitude.

Witness my mad comforting skills. She was weeping just minutes before this picture. After all these years with Sarah, I can stop someone’s crying jag with two hugs and less than 50 words. You’ll be tear-free in 60 seconds or your money back.

By the way, Oot is the baby’s in-utero name. I figured we couldn’t just call it “it” until it was born, so I gave him a temporary name. It’s pronounced like “boot” without the “b.” Just so we’re clear.

Anyway, the point is that pregnant women have a lot of extra blood. So Sarah says. I can’t remember her saying if it happens to all women, or just her. For all I know it might be something Sarah decided to do on her own.

Either way, apparently all this extra blood makes it a bad idea for her to sit still for long periods of time. There’s a risk of blood clots. To prevent this, she has special stockings to wear and instructions to get up and walk around regularly.

Luckily, the guy next to me is willing to switch seats so Sarah can sit next to me. It’s easy to forget if you watch too much news, but the vast majority of people in the world are kind and generous.

The down side is that Sarah’s fear of blood clots combined with her favorite hobby, peeing, means that she wants to get up every three and a half minutes. This means that I, sitting in the isle seat, have to get up so often you’d think I was doing jumping jacks.

Why didn’t I just give her the isle seat, you ask? Well… mostly because I like the isle seat. And jumping jacks, for that matter.

Eventually we made it to Amsterdam. And while Sarah and I were walking to the new gate so we could catch our connecting flight to Rome, I hear two people talking behind us. They’re speaking Italian, and I hear one of them exclaim, “Mama Mia!” He says it twice in the time it takes us to get to the gate.

What really throws me off is the fact that he sounds like a bad stereotype. His accent sounds exactly like someone pretending to have an over-the-top Italian accent. If a really bad sitcom was going to have an embarrassingly unoriginal Italian character, that character would say “Mama mia!” in exactly this way.

Since this is, in many some ways, my first European experience, I can’t help but wonder: is all Europe going to be like this? Are all the stereotypes true? Will a dark, handsome Italian man try to seduce Sarah? Will English food be horrifyingly bad? Are the French going to wear berets and mime at me?

These were my thoughts as our plane touched down in Rome….

Also posted in European Adventures, Oot, Pregnancy, Sarah | By Pat65 Responses

Home again, Home again, Jiggedy Jig.

Merciful Buddha, it’s good to be home again.

Don’t get me wrong, traveling abroad was a wonderful adventure, and I have many exciting stories to tell. But I got sick a few days after my London signing/reading and after that the trip was not so much fun. My memory of that last week blurs because I was either in terrible pain, under the influence of powerful drugs, or both.

Take my reading in Manchester, for example. I’m dimly aware that I might have said something about wanting to mess up Joe Abercrombie’s pretty face.

Like I said. Powerful drugs.

Anyway, just wanted to let everyone know that stories and photos will be forthcoming. I’m brimming with things I’d like to write about: Taxis of various nations. My inappropriate encounter with Stonehenge. A list of historic landmarks where I have touched Sarah’s bottom….

I would have posted some of these stories sooner, but internet access was not easy to come by traveling in the UK. One of the many things I never appreciated about Stevens Point before was how easy it is to get wireless access here. There are three coffeeshops downtown with free wireless. No, wait, four. Five. Hell, my neighbors have free wireless, though I suspect that’s an accident on their part.

Yessir. This small town boy sure found out that the world can be a cold, unfeeling place. More specifically, I learned that it can be a place that tries to charge you 22 Euros a day for Wifi.

Personaly, I have better things to do with my money. Specifically: Ale and whores.

Man I really need some sleep.

But first, more drugs.

Until later,

pat

Posted in foreign happenings | By Pat40 Responses

Signing In Taunton..

Sorry for the delay getting this information to you, but here’s the information about the signing in Taunton on the 26th.

I’ll be signing books and hanging out in the store from 1:00 until 3:00 in the afternoon. Then, for anyone who’s interested, we’ll wander off and find a place to hang out and talk. I’ll answer questions, and maybe do a bit of informal reading. Maybe something from book two…

Here’s the info for the Waterstones in Tauton, I think:

The County Hotel, East Street
GB – Taunton TA1 3LU
Tel: 01823 333 113

Gotta Run, I’ve got my Forbidden signing in 10 minutes…

pat

Also posted in appearances, signing books | By Pat36 Responses
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