Category Archives: Sarah

Wise Man’s Fear: The Tour

Okay folks. The dates for my upcoming tour are finally set.

Here they are in chronological order.

Week One: The West Coast

SEATTLE, WA
March 1 at 7 PM
University Bookstore
4326 University Way NE
Seattle, WA

PORTLAND, OR
March 2 at 7 PM
Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing
3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd.
Beaverton, OR

SAN FRANCISCO, CA
March 3 at 7 PM
SF in SF Reading Series
The Variety Theater
582 Market St.
San Francisco, CA

LOS ANGELES, CA
March 4 at 7 PM
Barnes & Noble
7881 Edinger Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA

SAN DIEGO, CA
March 5 at 2 PM
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA

HOUSTON, TX
March 6 at 2 PM
Murder by the Book
2342 Bissonnet St.
Houston, TX

Week Two: Middle America


MADISON, WI
March 8 at 7 PM
Barnes & Noble
7433 Mineral Point Rd.
Madison, WI

CHICAGO, IL
March 9 at 7 PM
Borders Books & Music
1500 16th St.
Oak Brook, IL

DAYTON, OH
March 10 at 7 PM
Books & Company
4453 Walnut St.
The Greene, Dayton, OH

LEXINGTON, KY
March 11 at 7 PM
Joseph-Beth Booksellers
161 Lexington Green Circle
Lexington, KY

SAINT LOUIS, MO
March 12 at 7 PM
Left Banks Books
399 n. Euclid Ave.
St. Louis, MO

Week Three: The East Coast

WASHINGTON, DC AREA
March 14 at 12 PM
What If Reading Series
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, DC AREA
March 14 at 7:30 PM
Borders Books & Music
5871 Crossroads Center Way
Bailey’s Crossroads, VA

NEW YORK, NY
March 15 at 7 PM
Barnes & Noble
267 7th Ave.
Park Slope
Brooklyn, NY

BOSTON, MA
March 16 at 6 PM
Northeastern University Bookstore
Snell Library
360 Huntington Ave.
4 Ell Hall, Boston, MA

So now you know. And knowing is half the battle.

A few notes closing:

  • These dates are solid, and won’t be changing unless something strange and/or catastrophic happens. If that happens, I’ll mention it on the blog and update the tour schedule.
  • Did you see the first event in week three? Yeah. That’s right. I’m doing a reading at the Library of Congress. How cool is that?
  • Yes. I am doing fifteen signings in sixteen days. I expect somewhere around Lexington I’m going to have a manic episode, so those guys at Joseph-Beth are in for one one hell of a show.
  • I am considering buying a tuxedo. Or rather, I’m considering buying a new tuxedo especially for one of these events. I like wearing a tux.
  • I will be doing most of these events solo. But at some of them I might have Sarah and Oot with me. If this is the case, I will display Oot to you, and you will be required to gaze adoringly at his cuteness.

(Saying “awww” will also be encouraged.)

  • I’ve done the math, and with 15 signings, it’s a statistical near-certainty that at some point in the tour I will sing.
  • I’ll be posting up information about how you can get a signed copy of The Wise Man’s Fear even if you can’t make one of these events. Expect that blog on Friday.

In other news, for all you Girl Genius fans out there, Phil and Kaja’s new book just came out recently. It’s a novel set in the Girl Genius world.

I have to admit that I haven’t read it yet, but I’m excited to. I ordered my copy just 5 minutes ago because it’s Kaja’s birthday today….

Lastly but not leastly, could we avoid having a bunch of comments on the blog where people say, “Wah Wah! Why don’t you ever come to Hobgen?” (Or whatever town you live in…)

I know that those comments come from a place of love. Or at least from a place of vaguely love-scented narcissism. But honestly, they’re a little disheartening to read every time I post up an event.

Keep in mind that I’ll be traveling 3 solid weeks in March just to meet fans, hang out, and sign books. Unless my mutant power manifests in February and I’m suddenly able to bi-locate or teleport, it is physically impossible for me to do more events.

Rest assured that once my mutant powers develop, I will make every effort to come to Wagon Mound, New Mexico. Until then, you’ll have to drive a bit to see me, or wait until I come to a convention in your area. And yes, when choosing which conventions and signings I attend, I make a point of trying to pick ones in parts of the country (and world) that I haven’t visited yet.

More soon. I’m back in the groove now, so expect a new blog on Friday.

Later space cowboys,

pat

Also posted in appearances, Oot, recommendations | By Pat214 Responses

Celebrating….

So I’ve been trying to remember what it is a person does when he isn’t working on a book 10 hours a day, then blogging, running a fundraiser, and mailing t-shirts for the other six hours he’s awake.

Sarah informed me that what a person does is go get a Christmas tree. She informed me of this very firmly. Several times. With increasing levels of frantic need in her voice. Getting a tree was very important to Sarah. She made it clear that if we did not go pick out a tree, together, our relationship would suffer irreparable damage.

So we got a tree. We did this pretty much the very day after I posted the last blog. It made me feel like a big man lifting it up and tying it to the roof of the car. Oot watched me with muted awe, amazed that I could lift up something so big.

I sawed off the bottom, which is more exercise than I’ve had in months. And while I wasn’t that excited about it at the beginning, the tree is actually pretty awesome.  It makes the house smell piney and nice.

We also made gingerbread men to hang on the tree, because Sarah wanted to, and I owe her because I’ve been neglecting family-ish things pretty severely over these last several months.

I’ve never decorated a gingerbread man before, but I was pretty sure it was supposed to go something like this:

And so that’s the first one I did. Then I tried to do a Santa, but it really sucked. Then I got bored.

You see, I have a strong contrary element in my personality. Plus I have a real problem when it comes to strictly adhereing to genre guidelines. So my next gingerbread people were more… meta.

I’m especially proud of this one:

To me, his expression really conveys the mute horror and existential doubt occasionally brought about by the holiday season.

At first Sarah expressed a little mute horror of her own at my cookie decorations. But there are only so many cute gingerbread people you can make before it starts to grate on you a little, so eventually she got into the spirit of things and made an emo gingerbread man. I made one too…

I think they’re in love….

After that, just a couple days before Christmas, our car broke down. Sarah was actually driving it down to our mechanic because the clutch was behaving oddly, and it died about a mile before she got there. Transmission was utterly shot. They can fix it, but it will take a couple days to get the parts.

By the time we got the diagnosis on the 24th, all the rental places were closed. And you can’t rent a car on Christmas. And in Stevens Point you can’t rent a car on the Sunday after Christmas either.

So the precious few days I’d been counting on to catch up with my shopping were spent car-less. And since I couldn’t shop, I spent some time playing Fallout New Vegas instead.

Merry Christmas to me.

pat

P.S. In a related Christmas Miracle, the Kingkiller shirts showed up on the 24th. My assistants are off for the holidays, so I had to borrow a car to move them over to the place where we do the packaging. Yesterday I slogged away for about 10 hours to get as many of them packaged up as I could. I really owe the folks at the post office something nice for putting up with me….

So rest assured, t-shirts are on the way as quickly as I can get them out the door.

Also posted in being awesome, Oot | By Pat36 Responses

Giving Thanks

One of my best thanksgiving memories is from 2003, back when I was still living my old student lifestyle.

To be completely honest, I wasn’t really a student at that point in my life. But the only real difference between 2003 and 2000 was that I was teaching classes rather than taking them. My habits, hobbies, and income hadn’t really changed from my student days, and I still felt like a student at heart.

A couple days before the real Thanksgiving, my friend Ian said to me: “We should get people together and have Thanksgiving tonight.”

“My stove doesn’t work,” I said. “And I don’t know how to make stuffing.”

He shook his head. “No. We should all go to the store and buy some kind of food we’re thankful for. Then we get together and share it.”

And that’s what we did. That night we ate taco dip and poppin fresh biscuits. We had fried mushrooms and shrimp and mountain dew. We had nutty bars and ice cream and a bunch of other things I can’t even remember.

We gathered round, ate these wonderful things, enjoyed each other’s company, and watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Times have changed since then. These days, most of my friend have left town. I miss them terribly, but I have a different sort of family now. More specifically, I have a baby.

I’m going to post up a picture of him. Because it’s my blog and I can do whatever I want.

Apparently megalomania is genetic.

Today I’m taking a break from copyediting and posting more Worldbuilders books. That means I have time to do one of my favorite things. I get to have lunch with Sarah and Oot at the Olympic.

The Olympic is a restaurant I’ve been eating at for years. Sarah and I had one of our first dates there. And she tells me that once, years before we met, she watched me from a nearby booth, eavesdropping, lust simmering in her innocent young heart.

These days going to the Olympic is fun for me because I get to feed little Oot.

For months I had nothing to do with this. Sarah breastfeeds, and because she’s stay-at-home Oot can get a snack pretty much whenever he wants, straight from the tap. But now he’s over a year old, and while he still loves the boob, he’s eating solid foods too.

I order the chicken soup and give him parts of it. A noodle. A little chicken. A bit of celery. A little piece of carrot that’s soft enough for me to cut up with my spoon.

Oot investigates these things. He pokes them with a finger, then crams them into his mouth. It is not unlike the way his daddy eats, though his daddy tries to be more genteel in public.

I have a lot to be thankful for. My first book has met with stupefying success. I have an understanding editor who has given me the time to turn my second book into something I can be proud of. My work is being translated into thirty languages. I have awards. I have money in the bank.

But none of that makes me as happy as lunch with Oot. I give him a piece of lettuce from my sandwich. A piece of tomato that I bite in half for him. A little bit of turkey. He moves them around on his little plastic mat, then pokes them happily into his drooly little baby maw.

I was a fan of Heifer International long before I ever considered having a kid. I donated money. I got weepy when I read Beatrice’s Goat.  I gave goats and chickens and sheep as Christmas presents.

But now that I have a baby, it’s something else entirely. I can’t imagine how I would feel if I couldn’t get enough food for my baby.

Actually, that’s not true. I have a very good imagination. I can imagine exactly what it would be like to not have enough food for my baby. It’s a horrifying feeling. It’s a huge feeling. When I think about not being able to feed my baby, my mind brushes up against the edge of something very big and dark in my head. Like nighttime swimmer who feels something firmly bump against his foot.

They say any civilization is three meals away from barbarism. And now, having a child, I believe it’s true. If I couldn’t get Oot the food he needed, I think I would do monstrous things. Barring that, I think some part of me would break and never, ever be right again. Not ever.

Still at the Olympic, I give Oot my whole deli pickle mostly out of curiosity. He pokes it, then picks the whole thing up and bites off the end. He makes an indescribable face. Then he takes another bite. At first it looks like he’s going to eat the whole thing. Then he holds it out to me, and I take a bite. I made a face and he laughs. He takes another bite, then holds it out for me again.

I am very lucky. I think this all the time. I have a warm house. I have a healthy baby. Not only do I have food for him, but we have food enough so that eating it can be a form of play.

This is why I started Worldbuilders.

When I started making serious money off my first book, it was nice. I paid off my credit card. I earned enough so I could get a mortgage on a house. But other than ordering a slightly better brand of frozen burrito, my lifestyle hasn’t changed that much. It’s nice to be able to order Chinese takeout whenever I want. But really, money hasn’t made me noticeably happier.

Matching donations through Worldbuilders makes me happy. It’s my new hobby. I look forward to it all year long.

Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes I see the donation thermometer jump up by a thousand dollars and I flinch a bit.

Then I remember that 120 dollars buys a family a goat. I think about children drinking milk. Not just one morning. Every morning. I think about children eating eggs. I think about mothers and fathers selling the extra milk and wool and eggs to buy things they need to have a better life.

And then I’m happy.

After we finish up at the Olympic, I run some errands. At Shopko, I see a little bath set. It’s got a little comb, and some bubble stuff, and a yellow sponge duck.

Oot loves ducks. It’s one of his favorite words. We could play with this in the bathtub.

And I almost buy it before I realize how stupid this is. We have combs at home. We have stuff that makes bubbles. I would be paying twenty bucks for a bunch of plastic packaging and a sponge duck. For twenty bucks, I could get a flock of chicks from Heifer.

And once I think of it in these terms, it’s easy not to buy this useless piece of crass commercial shit. Oot is deliriously happy playing with a cardboard tube or one of the rubber ducks that we already have in the house. He doesn’t need this.

When I get home from errands, the first thing I do is check the donation totals. I’m really hoping we can get the thermometer up to 130,000 dollars again this year. Maybe more. It would be great if we could beat last year’s total.

The thermometer has gone up another 500 bucks. That’s good. That’s another $250 I’ll be kicking into the pot. That’s six goats and a bunch of chickens.

That’s a lot to be thankful for.

Have a good turkey day everyone,

pat

P.S. Just in case you want to wander over to the Worldbuilders donation page, here’s the link…

Also posted in day in the life, Heifer International, musings, my student days, Oot | By Pat31 Responses

Fanmail Q&A: YA Recomendations

Hello, Pat!

Today, my 10-year-old daughter, Becca, came home from school with a book pressed to her nose. This is nothing unexpected; she’s been addicted to books for nearly as long as she’s been able to speak!

But today, I had a little smile when I noted the title that she’d selected from her school’s library: “A Wrinkle In Time.”

I recently read your blog post about your early experience with the book, and it gave me pause to think. I had one of those thoroughly “mom” moments, suddenly picturing my redheaded, freckle-faced, bespectacled, skinny 10 year old as a grown-up with a career!

I hope I don’t sound dreadfully stage-momish when I say that I’ve long guessed she would end up being a writer. She thinks differently from other kids. She’s never been afraid of spiders or robbers, instead, her real-life fears include the concept of infinity and people one day traveling at the speed of light. Many nightmares over the size of the universe. She’s bizarre, but pretty darned cute, so it balances. ;)

(Editor’s note: She is pretty cute.)

Writing all that down probably seals her fate as a future tax accountant!

So, here begins my question to you… She’s read all of the usual suspects for children at her age, including Harry Potter and the Narnia series. She also spent a whole month reading every BabySitter’s Club book she could scrounge up! (She is a little girl, after all!!)

But finding books that really challenge and appeal to her as a voracious reader has been a years-long sprint to stay ahead of her curiosity! She adores fantasy, but a LOT of fantasy novels are just too sexual, or too violent for her, at this age.

I’ve loved your recommendations of books over the years, and I wonder if you could think of a list of books that little budding geeks would adore? …a geekery primer, as it were.

Thank you so much for sharing your time and talent with the world.

-Carrie

Well Carrie, I won’t lie to you. You do sound slightly stage-mom. But at least you’re aware of it. Knowing is half the battle, after all.

I have a lot of control-freak tendencies myself. (I think some of it comes from being an author.) But so far I’ve managed to reign in those elements of my personality when it comes to planning Oot’s future.

Sarah constantly wants to speculate about what he’ll be like when he grows up. What job will he have? Will he be right handed? Will his hair be curly or wavy? Will he be gay or straight? What will his secondary mutation be?

I decided early on that I don’t care about any of that stuff. I only want two things from him when he grows up.

He must:

1. Make the world a better place.

2. Be happy.

That’s all I require of him. He can even do them in whatever order he likes. Concurrently or consecutively. Everything else is meaningless detail as far as I’m concerned. (Though it would be nice if he was a bit of a reader, too.)

But yeah, back to the point of your letter. Let me see if I can think of some good YA reads for you….

The first thing that leaps to mind is:

  • Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching books.

I don’t really feel the need to sell these books to you. If you know anything about fantasy, you know who Terry Pratchett is. You know he’s great.

On the off chance that you don’t, I’ll simply say what I’ve said before: There may be authors as good as Terry Pratchett, but there are no authors better. And the Tiffany Aching books are as good as anything he’s ever written. I just pulled one down off the shelf and right now I’m having to actively fight my desire start reading it again.

In order, they are: Wee Free Men, Hat Full of Sky, and Wintersmith.

The fourth book in the series, I Shall Wear Midnight, is coming out in less than a month. I plan on reading it the day it’s released.

Side note: I’d probably recommend *any* of Pratchett’s books as a safe YA read. They’re all really good, and by opening that single door, you instantly add more than thirty exceptionally high-quality books to your reading list.

  • Neil Gaiman’s Coraline

Again, I don’t feel like I need to push you very hard about this book. It’s Neil Gaiman. You know how good he is.

Side note: The audiobook version of this is really excellent. I just listened to it for the third time about two weeks ago. Gaiman reads it himself, and does an absolutely brilliant job.

  • Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn.

Again. I rave about this book all the time, so I won’t go on and on. I didn’t read it when I was a kid, but I can’t help but feel that it would be a great YA read.

Secondary Recommendation: There’s a movie too.

  • The BFG by Roald Dahl.

I remember reading this one as a kid and loving it. Dahl has the rare gift that I’ve come to think of as The Divine Ridiculous.

You see, anybody can be goofy. Anybody can just make up some silly bullshit. But true inspired ridiculousness can’t be forced. You cannot strive for it, for in striving you fail. It’s like Nirvana. It’s like the eternal Tao.

Some authors manage to touch this odd piece of our Jungian collective consciousness, and when they do, they write things that are genuinely delightful and bizarre. Douglass Adams brushed up against it occasionally, as do the guys over at Penny Arcade.  Dahl kinda lived there. I remember reading his books as a kid and thinking the kid version of, “WTF?”

That’s a good thing for a kid to think, in my opinion.

Secondary recommendation: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is pretty good, too.

  • The Fledgling by Jane Langton.

Honestly. I can’t remember much about this book except that I read it when I was a kid and I loved it. When you asked this question it was one of the first books that sprung to mind, that says a lot, considering it’s probably been 25 years since I’ve read it, and usually I can barely remember to put on pants before I leave the house every day.

  • Zarah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor.

I’ve interviewed Nnedi Okorafor on the website before, and talked about some of her newer books. But this was her first book, which I read years and years ago. I really enjoyed it, and have given away many copies as gifts. Not only does it have some cool non-western worldbuiding in it, but the protagonist is a clever, capable young girl.

I could go on and on. (The Hobbit, The Princess Bride, Podkayne of Mars or other Heinlein juveniles, Peter Pan, The Little Prince…) but I think I’ll stop there.

Feel free to post some of your childhood favorites in the comments below. Discuss and disagree. That’s one of the joys of threaded comments.

However, I do expect things to remain civilized. If you you don’t think a book is appropriate for kids, feel free to say so. Feel free to explain why. But don’t be a dick about it. Typical internet asshattery will result in suspension of posting privileges, the scorn of your peers, and my terrible, terrible wrath.

pat

Also posted in Neil Gaiman, Oot, recommendations, Young Adult | By Pat486 Responses

A Handful of Fanmail

I’ve got two pieces of mail, both of which should be answered sooner rather than later. So today we’re going to have a twofer.

Let’s do it.

Pat,

I missed your signing in Waukesha! I had a UFO come up at the last minute and wasn’t able to make it. (UFO = Unavoidable Family Obligation.)

My major problem is that I wanted to buy a signed book as a present for my boyfriend, who got me hooked on your book about a year ago. But now, when I’m catching up on your blog, I see that you had copies of the princess book there, too! I’m heartbroken!

Was it cool? I bet it was cool…

The point of my e-mail is to ask you if you’ll please come back to Milwaukee soon? Pretty Please?

Nat

It’s too bad you missed it, Nat. It was pretty cool. Everyone that showed up got an early copy of The Wise Man’s Fear and a backrub. Batman showed up too. He brought oatmeal raisin cookies and taught us all how to shatter a man’s hip using a broken-0ff chair leg.

So yeah, as far as my readings go, it was pretty much average.

I’m sorry you weren’t able to make it, but I don’t know soon I’ll be down in that area again. Logistically, it makes better sense for me to spread around my readings a bit, as it gives people in different areas a chance to attend.

I’ll probably do something down in Chicago before too long. Sarah wants to take Oot to the aquarium there, so I might as well do a little reading and signing while I’m in the area. (If anyone has a favorite bookstore in Chicago where they think I should stop, they can mention that in the comments below.)

Anyway, my point is I probably won’t be doing another reading in Milwaukee for months. But if you keep an eye on the blog and tour schedule page, you should be able to catch me when I’m somewhere nearby.

And if you still want a signed book for your boyfriend, you might want to check out Martha Merrell’s Bookstore. They brought in books for my signing down in Waukesha. And before I left, I signed a bunch of their stock. So they should have a bunch of my signed books still in the store.

They even have a few signed copies of the princess book, if you think your boyfriend would like one of those. It’s probably the only store in the country with those on the shelf right now.

Letter #2

Master Rothfuss,

I’ve been bad. I haven’t been keeping up on your blog, and consequently, I only today found out about your t-shirt design contest.

I desperately want to enter a design or two. But your blog says that the cutoff for entries is… today.

Can you please stretch out the deadline a bit for us sad, sorry losers that don’t check your blog as frequently now that school is out?

I promise it will be worth your while. I’m a graphic design major. I seriously do art and stuff.

In desperate minionhood,

Rich

(For those of you who are hopelessly out of the loop, here’s the blog where I talk about having a t-shirt design contest.)

This is what happens when you’re a lackluster minion, Rich. It’s because of people like you that the death star gets blown up.

Hmmm… I’m guessing that’s not the best example.

My point is that checking the blog should be an essential part of your life by now. You should treat my blog like your second job. You should revel in my blog with the same obsessive-compulsive fervor Sarah uses when I bring a bag of Cheetos into the house.

Seriously. She’s a freak for Cheetos. It’s like watching a very dainty shark.

Anyway, as I am a benevolent overlord, I realize my original two-week deadline was a little tight for some people. I’ve had several letters like this in the last few days, asking for a little extra time to complete designs.

So here’s the deal: I’ll extend the deadline for t-shirt submissions until the end of the month.

Two things to consider:

1. You’ve got your work cut out for you. We’ve had more than 100 designs submitted in the last week, and honestly, I’ve been really impressed. People came up with things I never would have thought of….

That means if you’re coming in under the wire, you better bring your A-game.

2. From this point on, we’ll only accept actual picture-type designs. We’ve got plenty of text descriptions right now. Over this next week, I’ll be turning over the best of these to our team of talented artists. They’ll work their magic, and early next month we’ll put the cream of the crop up here on the blog for people to ogle and vote upon.

Later everybody,

pat

Also posted in fan coolness, Fanmail Q + A, Oot | By Pat83 Responses

Fanmail Q&A – Beta Readers

Dear Pat,

I read your post about book two, and I just wanted to say thanks for letting us know. It’s nice having a real date.

I noticed that you aren’t posting much on facebook or your blog these days, and I hope it’s not a result of people shitting in your cereal. (metaphorically speaking.) I don’t read any blogs other than yours, and I’d hate for you to quit writing stuff online just because of a few dickheads.

I’m actually writing because I was curious about a term you used in your previous blog. You said that you were wondering about who you could still use as beta readers. I hate to sound ignorant, but what’s a “beta reader”? Is it a different name for a copyeditor?

Hugs and kisses,

Simon

Heya Simon, thanks for being patient. I appreciate it.

I’ve been offline a little more these days partly because I’m focusing on revisions, but also because my main computer is in pieces in my closet right now. These days I’m getting my internet access the way our neolithic ancestors did, by hanging out in coffeeshops, using the public library, and viciously stealing unsecured wifi from my neighbors late at night.

To tell you the truth, I don’t remember when I began using the term beta reader. I might have picked it up from other writers, or I could have started using it on my own. If I had a better internet connection right now, I’d do a little research into it, but I’ve only got 35 minutes before I have to give up this computer (I’m in the library right now.)  

Wherever I found it, I’m pretty sure I’ve been using the term in one way or another for about 6-7 years .

When I say beta reader, I’m talking about someone who reads an early version of my book and gives me feedback on it. Sort of the same way a beta tester gives a software developer feedback on a nearly-finished game.

I also have people I call alpha readers. They read very early, very rough versions of the book and tell me what they think.

I have gamma readers too. They read my solid, almost-finished drafts.

I don’t go any lower than that, simply because I worry that some of my friends would be insulted if I referred to them as Epsilon readers. Plus, every time Kvothe climbs on top of a building, I know I’d have a slew of them writing “Roof! Oh Roof!” in the margins of my manuscript.

Alpha readers are hard to come by, and I only have a handful. These are people who know the book really well. They tend to be old friends who have been reading my stuff for years, if not decades. Many of them have read all three books. Many of them have role-played in my world, back when they lived closer to me and I had the spare time to run games. 

Brett, the guy who draws illustrations for the blog, is one of these. He read an early version of my book back in 1990’s when we were both students at UWSP.

Sarah is also an alpha, and she’s been helping me recruit another future reader:

This is Sarah reading a beta version of The Wise Man’s Fear a couple months back. She reads it out loud to Oot sometimes.

Click to embiggen

Oot:  “Is that a comma splice Momma?”

Sarah: “They’re all comma splices, sweetie.”

From what I’ve been able to gather, I work differently than a lot of other authors, in that I like to get a lot of feedback on my book while I’m revising. A lot.

Also, generally speaking, I prefer my test readers to be just regular readers, as opposed to other writers. 

Note that this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Brett, for example, is a great writer, and one of my favorite alphas. But generally speaking, I prefer getting feedback from, say, plumbers. Or chemical engineers. Or actors. Or historians.

I have several big reasons for this, but the biggest one is this: after my book is published, the vast majority of people who read it won’t be writers. They’ll be teachers, or fry cooks, or programmers, or soldiers. If I only gathered  feedback from other writers and slowly shaped my book according to what they said, I’d end up with a book designed to please writers. Personally, I find that thought vaguely terrifying.

Anyway, my time’s about up on this computer. Hope this answers your question, Simon.

Hugs and kisses to you too,

pat

Also posted in Fanmail Q + A, Oot, the craft of writing | By Pat115 Responses

Cage Match – Kvothe vs. Jaime

As many of you know, Kvothe is one of the final four remaining fighters in Suvudu’s fantasy cage match. After beating Aslan and Dumbledore, he’s come head-to-head with Jaime Lannister from Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire books.

Right now I’m losing. And while that stings a little, it doesn’t sting nearly as much as what Sarah said to me last night.

Are you still losing to Jaime Lannister?” she asked.

“Yeah,” I said. “By a couple percentage points.”

Well, Jaime’s a pretty awesome character,” she said. “I don’t think that Kvothe will be able to beat him.

Now she’s entitled to her own opinion, of course. But still, what the hell? Whatever happened to “Stand by Your Man?” Even leaving aside the fact that I’m the pater familias, you’d think that she might at least show a little brand loyalty. After all, Kvothe as the one who puts food on our table and gives us the money to buy Oot jingly toys.

Seriously. Ow. My authorial pride is all hurty now.

Anyway, since I had a lot of fun writing up the Kvothe Vs. Aslan scenario, and a bunch of people asked for something similar for Kvothe vs Jaime, I decided to type one up. I just sent it in to Suvudu site, so it should be up there for you to see pretty soon.

Here’s a link to the fight, if you want it.

And remember, this round of the fight only lasts until Friday (tomorrow) noon. So if you want to vote in the last two matches, you need to do it soon.

pat

Also posted in cool things, fanfic | By Pat136 Responses
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