Tag Archives: Europe

Adventures Abroad: Rome

Previous Adventures Abroad post here.

We landed in Rome after 17 hours of traveling and slowly made our way to the baggage claim.

While I’ve been excited about this trip, it’s excitement mingled with a healthy dollop of terror. I find the thought of being in a foreign country vaguely frightening. Not because of culture shock, or pickpockets, or strange food. It’s because of the language issue.

There are only about three things that I’m really good at, and communicating is one of them. Well, actually that’s not true, it’s not communicating in general, it’s use of the English language. In English I’m clever and articulate. I’m funny. I’m persuasive.

If I have a superpower, it’s probably my use of words. But now, suddenly I’m visiting a place where there is no yellow sun. I’m going to be powerless, and the thought is troubling to me.

I’m not entirely monolingual. I studied German for four years in high school, but that was a long time ago. I remember phrases like, “At least the sink still works” and “I have too many monkeys playing in my attic.”

It would be hard for me to work these into a conversation even if I were going to Germany, which I am not.

Sarah has prepared herself. She listened to language tapes and bought a phrase book. She’s proactive

She says, “Are you ready? Here’s how you say, ‘I don’t speak Italian.‘”

“That’s a pointless phrase,” I say. “Within two seconds of interacting with anyone, it’s going to be blindingly obvious that I don’t speak Italian. Why should I tell someone, in their own language, that I don’t speak their language?”

Sarah gives me a look. She has many looks. You would too, if you had to deal with me on a regular basis.

“All I’m saying,” I continue. “Is that if I’m going to learn a phrase, it should be something that communicates information that someone can’t easily infer on their own. I don’t need to learn how to say, ‘I have a beard.’ They can see that. I should learn how to say, ‘I have been stabbed in the guts, and I fear my pericardium is punctured. Would you please summon an ambulance?’ Or ‘Where is the nearest methadone clinic?’ Those might be useful.”

How about ‘where’s the bathroom?‘” she asks.

“I can mime that,” I say. “How do you say ‘hookers’ in Italian?”

That’s pretty much where my instruction in Italian stopped.

So here I am, in Rome, walking to baggage claim, and utterly at sea.

Now normally this would be the part of the story where there’s a dramatic reversal of expectation. I’m expecting things to be scary, but it’s not nearly as bad as I’d feared.

Except it’s just as bad as I’d feared. In fact, it’s worse. After grabbing our bags, I go to the information booth to ask where I can change some currency. The woman there can’t understand me, so she calls over someone else and I ask him. He points me in a direction and I wander off, feeling like a complete idiot. Not an auspicious beginning to the trip.

Another problem was that I’d been focusing on how hard it would be for me to get my point across to others. What I hadn’t realized is that with no working knowledge of the language, I was effectively deaf. I can’t understand a word being said by anyone around me.

This wasn’t really a surprise, of course. But I was startled at how self-conscious it made me. As I walk to the baggage carousel, I pass a group of women who burst into laughter, and I become convinced that they are making fun of my shoes. I pretend that I don’t notice, that I don’t care. But of course I do.

I’ve been in another country for 20 minutes and I feel nervous and awkward. I’m confused and self-conscious. I knew there was a time difference between the US and Europe, but I didn’t know it was big enough to make me feel like I’m in high school again….

Posted in BJ Hiorns Art, European Adventures | By Pat74 Responses

The Upcoming London Reading (and my growing pigeon obsession.)

It’s 4:30 AM here in Paris. Sarah has been asleep for hours. And I’m exhausted from a long day of fighting the urge to try catching a pigeon with my bare hands.

I’m fairly certain I could do this. What I don’t understand is *why* I want to do this. I know I shouldn’t for good reasons: ethical and social, not to mention my own health and safety. Nevertheless, this is a growing desire in me, and it takes more energy to fight the impulse every day. I don’t know how much longer I can resist…

I said I’d post up a picture of the Amsterdam reading – So here you are:

We had a great turnout, and they were a great audience. Thanks for coming everyone.

Oh my god. Sarah just oinked in her sleep. It was like a tiny little snore that she closed her mouth in the middle of. It sounded just like a tiny little piggie, “oink.” It was the cutest thing.

Okay, she can’t know that I told you about it. It will be our little secret.

I’ve already mentioned my London signing. That’s at Forbidden Planet and everyone is welcome to come.

There will also be a reading afterwards, unfortunately, it will only have about 50 seats available. It will be on Thursday May 21st at 7:30 PM right after the signing at Forbidden Planet.

Since there probably won’t be enough seats for everyone interested, there’s going to be a drawing to see who gets to come. If you’d like to be one of the chosen few, send the answer to this question to the address listed below:

“Kvothe is the main character in the fabulous The Name of the Wind, but what is his name when we first meet him?”

Now, do I have to state the obvious here? You should only send in the answer if you’re interested AND AVAILABLE TO ATTEND THE LONDON READING. This means if you work on Thursday night, don’t e-mail my UK publisher with the answer. Because then they might draw your name and it might screw someone else out of the chance to go to the reading. Similarly, if you’re in jail, don’t e-mail my UK publisher with the answer. If you live somewhere like, say, Montana, don’t e-mail my UK publisher with the answer.

The last one doesn’t have anything to do with you being too far away to go to the reading. I just don’t like folks from Montana.

Okay. We clear on the basic principles here? Don’t you embarrass me in front of my British publisher. I swear I will pull this blog right over….

You can mail them at: gollancz.feedback [squiggly at sign thinger] orionbooks.co.uk.

Lastly, thanks to the kindness of several fans who have offered to drive my worthless right-side-of-the-road American ass around, I WILL be doing the signing in Taunton on the 26th. I don’t have all the details yet, such as address, exact start time, etc. But I’m figuring it will be in the evening.

Just giving y’all as much advance warning as possible, and I’ll post the specifics as soon as they become available.

More soon,

pat

Posted in foreign happenings, Sarah, signing books | By Pat51 Responses

UK signings…

The Amsterdam signing was lovely. I have pictures that I’ll post up soon.

I wanted to post up the details about the London signing as soon as they became available, so here they are:

Thursday May 21st
6pm onwards
Signing
FORBIDDEN PLANET
179 Shaftesbury Avenue
London
WC2H 8JR

This will just be a signing, not the reading/signing/Q&A session I normally do. We’re having trouble finding a big space for a reading to hold a reading where we don’t start to violate fire codes if 100 people show up. So if you’re looking forward to hearing me talk, Manchester is looking like the better option.

I’m also hoping to have another signing in Taunton on the 26th, while I’m visiting Glastonbury. I’d like to do it, as it’s in a different corner of the UK. But I’m having trouble figuring out how I’m going to get there, as I won’t have a car, and there’s no train station in Glastonbury.

An Edinburgh signing isn’t looking likely at this point. Bookstores there seem strangely reluctant.

More soon,

pat


Posted in foreign happenings | By Pat30 Responses

A Love Note to Germany (And Other Things)

Okay. There’s been a flurry of excited messaging ever since I mentioned I’d be making a trip to Europe, and was willing to sign books while I’m over there. Details are over here on the previous blog.

Here are a few general comments and some answers to questions in response to the hubbub.

To my German Readers:

Oh my German readers. I do love you. I love you with a fierce love that is big as the sky. I know there are many of you. I know you would like me to stop in your country and sign books and do various authory things.

Do not think that I scorn you. Do not think that I neglect you. Do not think I fail to appreciate you, because I do. It is because of you that I can now legitimately call myself “International Bestselling Author” Patrick Rothfuss.

Before that, I was forced to call myself merely “Skilled Lover of Women” Patrick Rothfuss or “That Strange Guy Who Sits in the Back of the Coffeeshop All the Time” Patrick Rothfuss.

I appreciate this. You must believe me. I love you.

But as for making a stop in Germany this time around. I just don’t think I’m going to be able to.

You see, Sarah, she says. “I would like to go to Rome.”

And I think, “Rome? Have they done five hardcover printings of my book in Rome? No. That was Germany. Did my book get all manner of cool reviews in Rome? No. That also was Germany. What of the swank little bookmark? Surely that was Rome? No. It was not.”

But you see, Sarah, she has this baby in her. This baby gives her remarkable powers.

I say to Sarah, “Where would you like to go on your trip to Europe?

Sarah says, “I would like to go to Rome.”

And lo. We go to Rome.

Sarah says, “Also, I would like to see Paris.”

And suddenly, it is so.

I’m not saying I’ll never visit you, Germany. I will. I promise. It’s just that when I do visit, I want everything to be perfect. I don’t want to rush this part of our relationship. I don’t want to go too fast. We need to be sure we’re both ready. I want this to be special for both of us.

Perhaps I’ll come to visit when book two is translated. Or maybe when your paperback comes out. Hopefully, if the German publishers are willing to help, we can do it up proper and I’ll hit a bunch of places all over Germany, rather than just making a two-day stop in one city.

Be patient, I love you.

Sincerely,

pat

To my readers in Dublin:

As above. I was really hoping to make it there during this trip, but it just didn’t work out. You’ll see me before too long. I promise.

To my readers in other countries:

I would love to come to Sweden. To Ireland. To Spain. To Belgium. To Estonia. To Finland. I would love to come to Russia. To the Czech Republic. To Turkey. To Wales. To Portugal….

I’m sure you can see the problem.

If you can’t see the problem, it’s this: if I went to all of these countries, I wouldn’t have time to do anything but drive around. I wouldn’t see anything except through the window of a train. It’s pure logistics. I can’t do it all this trip. Someday. Hopefully.

To people eager to help schedule a signing:

1. If you want your local bookstore to host a signing, you need to tell *them* you’re excited about it, not me. I’m already interested in doing a signing. So are you. We’re on the same page. We’ve established a rapport.

But without the bookstore it’s just not going to work out. It’s like a three-way. It doesn’t matter how much you and me want it. Without that third person, it just doesn’t work out.

2. If you have a friend/relative/lover/former roommate that works in a bookstore, and you think they’d be excited to help schedule a signing. Contact *them* about it, see if they’re really interested, then have them drop me a line if they are.

3. If you want to contact me about a potential signing, use the contact form. If you post it in the comments, I won’t know how to get in contact with you. I will be similarly helpless if you shout the information out your window, or write it on your bathroom mirror. Sad but true.

4. If your town isn’t on the list of places I’m stopping, I probably won’t be able to come out and do a signing. The possible exception to this is Manchester, as it’s on my way between London and Edinburgh. But even that depends on the interest of the local bookstore. (See #1)

That said, if you’re actually one of the folks in charge of scheduling events in a bookstore or a library, and you’d REALLY like me to stop in, you can still drop me a line.

A few quick answers:

Q: “Will I be posting up the dates, times, and places of the eventual signings?”

A: Um… Yes? Rest assured. I’ll be posting them here on the blog, and on the Tour Schedule Page.

Q: “How’s the book going?”

A: Very well. Don’t bug me about it. It harshes my vibe.

Q: “Does Sarah have any news about the baby?”

A: I just asked her. Sarah says: “It’s freaking huge.”

Q: “I live in a town in Europe! We have a bookstore! You should come here!”

A: That is not a question. Also, please see above points one through four inclusive.

Hugs and kisses,

pat

Posted in appearances, BJ Hiorns Art, foreign happenings, Sarah, signing books, travel abroad | By Pat72 Responses

European Tour – a call for bookstores.

First: My Thanks

Thanks to everyone who offered their congratulations.

(I’d be more properly verbose and flowery, but I have to be brief here. I’m using borrowed internet up here in the northwoods of Wisconsin, and this place is closing in 15 minutes.)

Second: The Tour

A while back, I promised Sarah a trip to Europe. Now, with the baby coming, I’m realizing I’m going to have to either make good on that promise, or wait for years until we no longer have a newborn. Because dragging a newborn around an international trip is not cool on many levels.

So we’re going. Sarah deserves her trip for putting up with my endless bullshit.

Soon I will be turning over a solid draft of my book for my editor to read and… well… edit. This will take her a while, because the book is beastly long and she’s good at her job.

While she’s doing that, I have a window of opportunity. Rather than sit around, twiddle my thumbs, and fret over what my editor will say, I’m going to take Sarah to Europe before she gets too big with baby to do more than waddle to the fridge and make me rub her feet.

I’m looking forward to the trip. It will do me good to take a break from the book for a bit. If I don’t get a few weeks away from it in between drafts, I lose perspective.

Also, it will be nice to have a bit of a walkabout on my own before finalizing Kvothe’s own set of adventure as he goes out to make his fortune in the wide world.

Third: Sending out the Call.

For years now, I’ve had folks in the UK and the rest of Europe saying things like, “When are you going to be coming to [insert name of foreign country here]??!!?”

Well now’s the time.

I’m more that willing to do signings at the cities I’m stopping at. But since this is happening on the spur of the moment, I don’t have time to go through official bookstore channels, or perform the typical courting dances with foreign bookstores: first researching, then calling around, then playing phone tag, then trying to convince them that it would be worth their while to order a dozen of my books and set up a card table….

By the time I finished that, I’d already be back in the US.

So here’s where you come in.

I’m posting my itinerary below. What cities I’ll be and where. If you own a bookstore (or work in one) and you’d like me to come in and do a signing, lovely. Drop me a message off the contact form and we’ll set something up.

If you don’t work in a bookstore, but you know a cool one you think would be interested, ask them if they might be interested. Then, if they are, drop me a message. Or have them do it.

May 8-11 Rome

May 13-15 Amsterdam

May 17-19 Paris

May 21-25 London (And environs.)

May 27– 28 Edinburgh

May 30 Glasgow

Crap crap crap. The place is closing.

More later,

Fondly,

pat

Posted in appearances, Sarah, signing books, travel abroad | By Pat128 Responses
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