Category Archives: side projects

A New Addition to the Family

Much to my delight, something arrived in the mail today:

(Click to Embiggen.)

That’s right, I was so excited about finally holding a real-life copy of The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle that I actually went outside to take a picture of it.

It was strange outside the house. Everything was very bright and green. There was some sort of fiery orb in the sky that burned me….

Seriously though, I’m so happy with how the book turned out. It’s gorgeous.

Best of all, since these boxes of books showed up today, I’ll be able to take them down to my reading near Milwaukee this Saturday.

That means if you swing by the reading, you’ll be one of the first people to hear me read the whole story. And, if you want, you can buy a copy before they’re even in stores.

The books literally just got in from the printers. So the folks at Subterranean Press are still busy processing them. That means they won’t be shipping for a little bit. But the good news is that if you haven’t ordered it yet, you still have a day or so to get free shipping.

Or you can come down to Waukesha on this Saturday and pick up a copy. Did I mention I’m doing reading and a signing there? I’m pretty sure I did.

Man, I really need to get some sleep. Even new-book excitement can’t change the fact that I’ve been up for 40 hours.

Sweet dreams everyone,

pat

Also posted in appearances, cool things, signing books, The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle | By Pat58 Responses

Coming Soon: The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle.

Let me tell you a story.

Or rather, let me tell you a story about a story. (For those of you who know me, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.)

Back in 2001, when I was toiling in the salt mines of grad school, my girlfriend Sarah and I had very different sleep schedules. I was up late, and she went to bed early.

One night, when she was going to bed, she jokingly asked me to tell her a story.

So I did, starting with with the most saccharine faerie-tale beginning I could think of: “Once upon a time,” I said. “There was a Princess who lived in a Marzapan castle….”

The story was so cute and sweet that it began to irritate me even as I was telling it. And so I twisted it around until it was something entirely different. Something dark and strange. An older sort of Faerie tale.

When I finished, Sarah lay in bed, looking up at me with big eyes. “Now I can’t sleep,” she said.

So I told a second ending to the story. A sweet ending. A funny ending. A happy ending. An ending that made everything all better again. Sarah relaxed.

But that second ending irritated me again. It was too sweet and perfect.

So I gave the story a third ending. The perfect ending. An ending with teeth in it.

That night Sarah didn’t get to sleep in any sort of timely fashion, but the next day she told some friends about it. I repeated the story for them, and one of them said, “I’d love to draw that.”

Now a lot of times, that’s where things would stop. But the friend who spoke up was none other than Nathan Taylor: he’s the guy that drew the map for the US edition of the book. And he turned my puerile scrawlings for the Worldbuilder logo…

Into something cool and respectable looking:

I knew Nate was a great cartoonist and illustrator, as you can see for yourself over here or here.

But he completely blew me away with the illustrations he did for the Princess book. Here’s a little taste:

(Awww…)

Just yesterday, Subterranean Press announced The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: the Thing Beneath the Bed on their website, making it available for pre-order.

So I wanted to mention it here on the blog as quickly as possible. Apparently it’s been selling really quickly, and the limited leatherbound edition they’re printing is already half sold-out. So if you want one of those, you should get over there and order it sooner rather than later.

Edit: Apparently everyone wanted a limited edition, so they sold out about 9:00 this morning. Sorry about that. I don’t think anyone expected it to sell quite so quickly as that.

That said, it’s only the limited edition that sold out. There are still regular hardcovers available.

Also, Bill over at Subterranean Press has offered to throw five ARC copies of the princess book in with his other donations to Worldbuilders. If you win one of those, you get to see the finished product months before it comes out.

  • Five ARC copies of The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: the Thing Beneath the Bed by Patrick Rothfuss and Nathan Taylor. Signed by the Author.

It’s a picture book that’s not for children. I can say with some certainty that it should never be read to children. But it’s perfect for adults with a dark sense of humor and a love of old-school faerie tales.

Stay tuned. We still have a lot more to come. New blogs every day or so…

pat

As always, with thanks to: Subterranean Press.



(Huzzah for Subterranean Press! Double Huzzah!)
Also posted in cool things, Nathan Taylor, Sarah, Subterranean Press | By Pat54 Responses

Conventions, Forwards, and Jetlag.

So right now I’m in LA. I’m in the eye of the storm, schedule-wise. I was at Worldcon last weekend, and I’ll be at GenCon in a couple of days. Right now I’m helping out a little bit with the Writers of the Future workshop.

And when I say, “a bit” I mean just that. The workshop is run by Tim Powers, who (whom?) I’ve mentioned before on the blog, albeit briefly. He’s one of my favorite authors. And not only does he have an amazing grip on the craft of writing, but he’s a great teacher to boot. That means, for the most part, I feel my best contribution to the workshop is to nod and occasionally chime in with an emphatic “hell yes.”

Worldcon was cool. I sat on some panels talked about writing, and generally avoided making too much of an ass of myself. That’s about as much as I can hope for, overally.

I got about 30 people for my reading, which was nice. I read some poetry, a couple humor columns, including one of my old favorites about guinea pigs, and a tiny piece of book two. Not even hardly a taste, just a tease.

I also had my first experience of randomly seeing someone reading my book in public. Unfortunately, it was at a convention, so it only counts for half points, but it was still pretty cool.

I think I freaked out the woman who was reading it though. I walked up to her and said, “That’s my book!” She looked up at me with mingled surprise and horror. Understandable really, that’s how I’d feel if I looked up and saw some freakish hobo-muppet crossbreed grinning down at me.

Next weekend I’ll be at Gencon, doing all manner of panels, readings, and signings. I’ll also be making appearance at the local library, accompanied by the awesome costumers who won the photo contest. A good time will be had by all.

And in related news, I’ve written my first-ever introduction. It’s for the new Order of the Stick collection.

Gech. Stupid hotel computer. I can’t make it display the cover of the book. You’ll just have to follow the link, I guess.

If the comic sounds familiar, it should. Rich Burlew was the cartoonist who did the lovely tribute to Gary Gygax that I linked to a while back.

It was fun writing the forward for the book, as I really love the comic. Plus Rich drew a comic version of me which is pretty dead on. If you’re interested, the book will be available for sale at Gencon, and can be ordered off Rich’s website.

That’s all for now folks,

Pat

Also posted in conventions, hodgelany, recommendations | By Pat34 Responses

A Glimpse of Things to Come.

I thought I might mention this, on the off chance that any of you might be interested….

What’s this? An anthology of some sort? Nice cover by Dave McKean. Wow. It’s got a story by Tim Powers. Oooh, one by Kage Baker, too. And another by… me?

Honestly, it’s just weird to see my name included on the cover with these other folks.

So… yeah. There I am in a book that will be coming out in a couple months. And no, I haven’t been dicking around, writing other stories instead of working on the second book. You see, the story included here is actually FROM the second book. It’s called “The Road to Levinshir.” It’s an excerpt from “The Wise Man’s Fear.”

So. Looking for an early taste of book two? Look no further.

Enjoy,

pat

Also posted in recommendations | By Pat25 Responses

Ask the Author #3: Dark Poetry.

Pat,

I’d like to ask about a subject close to my heart:

How do you feel about poetry? Have you ever written any? What is your favorite kind? and in particular how do you feel about Dark Poetry?

Oh and do you feel that getting poems published is maybe easier/harder then publishing a book?

N-
Generally speaking, I like poetry. Specifically, it’s more of a love/hate relationship. I love some types, but a great portion of does nothing but irritate me.

I’ve written poetry in the past and enjoyed it. I believe that if an author loves language and words, then poetry can teach a great deal about how to use those words effectively.

True, all authors use words, but not all authors focus on making them beautiful. Shakespeare loved words, so did Roger Zelazny and Angela Carter. Ray Bradbury also has what I consider a poetical turn of phrase, by which I mean that the language itself it beautiful, regardless of content, character, or cleverness.

Some authors just don’t play that word game. They care more about story, or plot, or character, or… I dunno, unicorns or making money. I’m not being critical here. Those things are important. Those authors can still write good stories, there’s no denying that.

But my favorite authors love words AND character AND story… and sometimes unicorns, I guess.

Even if you aren’t a word-centric writer, poetry can teach you a lot. You know how everyone talks about Hemmingway learning his tight style by writing for newspapers? I think people can learn the same economy of phrase from poetry. In an 80,000 word novel you have space to waste. But in a twelve line poem you need to make every word pay for itself twice. Ideally, poetry is all about the efficient, affective, well-crafted line. Any author will benefit from learning lessons in that vein.

Unfortunately, a lot of poets these days don’t give a damn about a well-crafted line. They think poetry is about getting drunk or wasted and then vomiting their emotions onto a page. These people idolize Ginsberg and Bukowski, but they don’t realize that those poets used an amazing amount of craft in their work.

Where were we….? Oh, Do I like Dark Poetry?

Honestly, I don’t really know what you mean by Dark Poetry. If Dark Poetry is a pages-long free-form rambling discursion on the angsty emoness of a person’s life…. then probably not. Generally speaking those folks have different poetic goals than I do. There’s not much attention to the beauty of the language, which is where my heart lies.

In terms of publishing, I never really tried to get my poetry published in any professional way. But I can make a general statement that I’m reasonably sure is true: the difficulty involved depends on where you’re looking to get published. If you’re trying to hit the big dozen poetry venues where they pay serious money and you get real fame for being there, then it’s going to be hard. Same with publishing, the A-list venues and big publishing houses are like unassailable mountains where you really need a friend on the inside or some really remarkable writing to get in. (Or both, ideally.)

But if all you’re looking for is to see your work in print and have it read by people, there are a lot of smaller venues that do a nice job publishing people’s writing. Not much money or fame, but it can be a good place to start.

Good lord, I thought this was going to be a short post. Sorry for my long windedness. I’ll get to a few other questions later, and, as brevity is the soul of wit, I’ll try to be brief.

pat

Also posted in Ask the Author, Fanmail Q + A, the craft of writing | By Pat3 Responses
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