Tag Archives: Mysterious Galaxy

San Diego 2011: Wednesday

Okay. ComicCon was cool this year, and people have been asking for details.

So here they are.

*     *     *

As I mentioned earlier, my trip to comic-con had a pretty rocky start.

This seems to be a theme of ComicCon for me. My first trip to ComicCon was fraught with peril, as mentioned in this comic by Greg Dean. While my second trip had a delayed flight that left me stranded in Chicago for a night.

Luckily, this year I had Valerie to help me out, so I made it to the con without too much stress. Though I did only get about an hour and a half of sleep Tuesday night.

Wednesday:

  • 11:00 – Nap.

I arrive in San Diego, find my hotel, and promptly fall asleep. The people at the hotel seem a little confused when I ask them for a 3:00 wake up call.

“You want us to wake you up at 3:00 AM tomorrow morning?” they say.

“No.” I say. “3:00 this afternoon. Four hours from now.”

Eventually they catch on, but I feel like they’re judging me. And I guess that’s fair. When the first thing I do at the convention is take a nap, I am officially old.

The fact remains that it was a delicious nap. I wake up refreshed and ready to get my geek on.

  • 4:00 – Blog.

Because I didn’t have the chance the night before, I decide to post a blog telling everyone about the talent pipes Badali Jewelry is making based on my books.

(This one is shown with black antiquing)

I’ve been approached by various people over these last couple years who want to do merchandising. Most of the time I’ve replied with a polite, “Thank you, no.”

The biggest reason is that I don’t want to feel like a great big whore. I don’t want to churn out a bunch of gimmicky merch just to make some extra money. That sort of thing has always struck me as being tacky, if not downright unethical. It seems like a betrayal of trust, like taking advantage of my readers.

But Badali Jewelry does wonderful work. They hold the jewelry licenses for several big-name geek properties (LOTR and Wheel of Time, just to name a few.) What’s more, they’re actually fans of my books. They’re proper geeks, and their love for what they do shows in their work. I trusted them enough to let them beta read The Wise Man’s Fear, and that says a lot right there.

Anyway, the pipes turned out great. That’s the moral of the story here. You’ll be seeing some more stuff from them before too long.

  • 5:00 – Crash.

After banging out  quick blog on the computer in the hotel lobby, I head to the convention center. I end up standing next to Seth Green while waiting for a stoplight to change. I try to think of a way to say, “Your stuff is awesome” that doesn’t sound gushy and fanboy, but I can’t think of anything. So I settle on a companionable silence instead.

Despite the long line, getting my badge is a remarkably painless process. I’m just putting the program book in my backpack when my phone rings.

I open it up. “Hello?”

Hey,” Valerie says. “It’s Valerie.

“I know,” I say. “Your text is green. What’s up?”

Badali’s website is down. A bunch of people posted comments about it.

“Really?” I say. “When did it go down?”

About twenty minutes after you posted the link on your blog.

My first reaction was to feel pretty cool. My second reaction was terrible guilt. I thank Valerie and give my contact at Badali a call. They’re only a couple hundred feet away, but I don’t have an exhibitor badge, so I can’t go into the hall until 6:00.

“Janelle?” I say as soon as she picks up. “I’m sorry. I think I broke your stuff.”

“What?”

“I posted up a link to the talent pipes on my blog. But I think the traffic crashed your website.”

“Wow,” she says. A pause. “That’s kinda awesome!”

A wave of relief fills me, and I’m no longer overwhelmed with guilt. “I know!” I say. “I feel like Neil Gaiman!”

  • 5:30 – First contact.

I get off the phone and finish putting some stuff away into my backpack. I sling it over one shoulder and look around, wondering how I’m going to kill half an hour until the hall opens up for preview night.

A pretty young Asian woman makes eye contact with me. She cocks her head to one side. “Are you Patrick Rothfuss?” she asks.

“I am,” I say.

She looks hesitant, then says, “Can I have a hug?”

“Absolutely,” I say.

And we hug.

I decide that this is probably going to be a pretty good convention.

  • 6:00 – On the Floor.

For those of you that don’t know much about San Diego ComicCon, let me explain. Wednesday night from 6:00-9:00 is preview night. Only people with 4-day passes can get in.

This makes it a great time to meet people in the exhibit hall. Not only is the place relatively uncrowded, but all the exhibitors are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. (Both literally and/or figuratively, depending on the booth.)

I wander around pretty aimlessly at first. But luck takes me past Donato’s booth, and I get to say howdy to him. He’s a hell of a nice guy, to say nothing of the fact that he’s amazing artist. We chat for a bit, and I thank him for the donation of some prints he made to Worldbuilders this year. (You’ll be seeing those in the Tinker’s Packs before too long.)

I swing by Jason Palmer’s booth too, but he’s not at the con yet. I shrug it off, knowing that I’ll have plenty of time to stop back later in the con.

Next I stumble onto a booth where the cast of the Guild is doing a signing. The con is barely half an hour old, and they already have a huge line. I consider stopping to say hello to Felicia and Sandeep, but even though they’re not signing yet, I can tell the cast is kinda hanging out together. Besides, Felicia and Sandeep are chatting with some guy and I don’t want to barge into their conversation.

I’m also vaguely anxious that if I run into them 30 minutes into the convention, I’ll look like I’m stalking them. Which I’m not. Not at the current moment, that is.

I decide to leave them to their throng of adoring fans and see what else the floor has to offer.

I swing by the Penny Arcade booth, where I say howdy to Mike and Jerry. I wrote an intro for their most recent anthology, and hadn’t had a chance to see it in the real world yet.

Jerry comes out from the booth and gives me a hug. “We said terrible things,” he says.

At first, I have no idea what he’s talking about. Then I realize he’s probably referring to the comic they did a while back, and the podcast where they talked about the book in frank terms, and, well… mocked me.

Honestly, I’m a little flabbergasted. “I don’t know what it’s like where you live,” I say. “But where I come from, mocking is how we express love.”

And it’s true. There’s a world of difference between snarkery, loving satire, and full-blown vitriolic excoriation. Penny Arcade does all of these things, and does them well, but I can tell the difference.

After establishing that we’re all still best friends, I wander by Mysterious Galaxy’s booth, where it turns out they’re selling copies of Ghost Story even though the book technically wasn’t going to be released for days yet.

Needless to say, I bought a copy and clutched it lovingly.

“Is Butcher going to be here at the con?” I ask the people at the booth.

They tell me he is.

This is good news. I’ve read all the Dresden Files books at least twice, many of them three or four times. I’m a huge fan and I’ve been hoping to meet Butcher for years.

So Wednesday was full of win. A great way to start the convention. Best of all, I’d managed to make it through the whole thing without committing any huge social gaffs and making an ass of myself.

But it was only Wednesday, I still had four days of convention left….

*     *     *

This is part of the San Diego Diary: Wednesday, Thursday Part I, Thursday Part II (Wootstock), and Friday Ad Infinitum.

Posted in geeking out, meeting famous people, my dumbness, my rockstar life | By Pat56 Responses

Comic-Con Schedule and a Chance to Ask Your Questions.

I’m a couple days away from leaving for San Diego ComicCon. Since I decided to scale back on my conventions this year because of Oot, this is one of the few big cons I’m hitting this year.

Since San Diego is big to an insane degree, I figured I’d post up my schedule here. Normally when I go to a con I do a dozen panels and signings and such. But at ComicCon I’ve only got a handful of events, so it would be pretty easy to miss me with all the background noise and residual coolness.

Thursday –  July 22:

1:30- 2:30 pm

Panel: Once Upon a Time: Epic Fantasy, Bigger Than Life Heroes/Heroines

Location: Room 24ABC

Notes: I’m pretty excited about this panel. It’s got Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks, Lynn Flewelling, Christopher Paolini, and Megan Whalen Turner. And me, of course. Should be a good discussion.

2:30 pm-3:00 pm

Autographing session

Location: Table AA1

Note: The AA table number designates a table in the convention’s Autograph Area, upstairs, under the sails.

Saturday, July 24:

1:00 — 1:50 pm

Signing at Mysterious Galaxy (Booth #1119)

Note: The folks at at Mysterious Galaxy will be selling copies of The Name of the Wind and The Adventure of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle. If you buy your copy of the Princess book there, you’ll also get a copy of the sticker I mentioned a couple weeks ago on the blog.

Further note: Apparently this signing will be a ticketed thing. So if you want to make sure you get a place in line, you need to show up at the Mysterious Galaxy booth at some point on Saturday and get a ticket. Sooner is probably better.

Additional Further Note: Mysterious Galaxy will be selling The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle all through the convention. They’ll probably be the only ones that have it. That way, even if you aren’t able to make one of my signings, you can still stop by their booth and grab a copy of my book.

Sunday, July 25:

3:00 – 4:00 pm

Reading and signing with Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, and Brent Weeks.

(I’m guessing 3-4 is the time for the reading itself, with the signing directly afterward. Rest assured I won’t be bugging out right at 4:00. I’ll stick around until everyone’s books are signed.)

Location: Borders 668 6th Ave

Facebook event here.

Note: While this event is happening at at San Diego, it’s not part of the convention itself. That means you can show up for the fun even if you aren’t attending the con. It’s free and open to everyone. There also aren’t any tickets to this one, so if you miss me at the convention on Saturday, you can catch me here on Sunday.

Further Note: To add some extra excitement, Brandon, Brent, and I won’t just be reading our own stuff. Oh no. Far too pedestrian. We’ll be reading each others’ stuff. Honestly, I’m stuck between excitement and terror just thinking about it.

Last but not least, we’ve got something for those of you who won’t be at the convention.

Last year I did a video interview with Shawn Speakman at Suvudu. It was fun, so this year I’ll be doing another.

Gentleman and free-thinker that he is, Shawn is taking suggestions for interview questions. So if you have something you’d really like him to ask me in the interview, you can post it in the comments below. The door’s open, folks. Thrill me.

Later,

pat

Posted in appearances, Ask the Author | By Pat64 Responses

How to Embarrass Yourself in Front of Famous People

Over the last couple years I’ve learned that whenever I do a signing, I will inevitably screw up the inscription in at least one book.

This trend started with my very first signing, the day The Name of the Wind hit the shelves. I actually wrote about that in one of my earliest blogs. I still have that book inscribed “To Hell” on a shelf.

A lot of times my screw up is a minor thing. It’s not uncommon for me to misspell a word. This is embarrassing, but it’s easy to laugh it off. I usually correct my mistake with proofreaders marks, and say something like, “That’s what editors are for.”

Occasionally I misquote a piece of my own book. That’s not so bad either. Understandable, as I’ve known the book it for 15 years in several hundred different revisionary versions.

Sometimes it’s just my handwriting itself that’s embarrassing.

But nothing is worse than screwing up someone’s name. This is why, when I do a signing, I usually ask people to spell it out for me. I write it down on a separate piece of paper, point to it, and ask, “is this right?”

Most people don’t bat an eye at this. They’re not Nicky, they’re Nikki. It’s not Sandy, it’s “Big S, little A, little N, Big D, little E, Big E. With a star at the end!”

I ask everyone. If you get to the front of the line and say, “Can you sign this to Joe?” I write down J O E in my childlike scrawl, point to it, and ask, “like this?”

The reason I’m so careful is because I can fuck up any name. Once a guy got to the front of the line and said, “John. With an ‘h.'”

So I write, “To Jhon.”

Then I sat there, staring at it, thinking: “I am a fucking idiot.”

The thing is, not only do I tend to screw up one book at every signing. I typically screw up the worst possible book. If someone drove four hours to get there and brought the first edition hardcover their mom gave them… that’s the book I’m going to make a mistake in.

Or, if someone cool shows up to the signing, someone I’d like to not look like an idiot in front of, I’ll cock up that book instead. That’s what happened when Felicia Day showed up when I was doing a signing in LA. I made a real mess of the book I was signing for her brother.

Are we sufficiently backgrounded for the story? I think so.

So let’s jump back to last year when I went to San Diego Comic Con. While I was out there, I did a few signings. One in the main autographing room, one at at Mysterious Galaxy’s booth, and one in the nearby Borders.

The Borders gig sounded pretty cool. First we were going to have a panel where a bunch of authors would discuss urban fantasy vs epic fantasy, then we would do a signing.

I was really looking forward to it. Partly because I love discussing books with other authors, and partly because I love doing signings and meeting fans. But mostly because one of the other authors on the panel was Amber Benson.

I was excited all weekend, telling everyone I met about the panel/signing. But when I mentioned Amber Benson’s name, they mostly looked at me blankly. “I don’t think I’ve read her stuff,” they’d say.

“She hasn’t been doing books that long,” I said. “She does comics. Screenplays. Directs stuff. She’s an actress too. You probably know her as Tara from Buffy. Willow’s girlfriend.”

It was only when I mentioned the last bit that I would see the light of recognition go on in people’s eyes. So eventually I just started skipping straight to that, saying, “She played Tara in Buffy.”

I had one signing earlier that day, and despite the fact that a ton of people showed up, I managed to make it through the whole thing without screwing up anyone’s book.

Maybe that’s it, I thought to myself. Maybe my streak is broken.

Later on in the evening I went to Borders and had a great time. I managed to say a few clever things during the discussion which is nice, because, well, Amber Benson was there, and I wanted to look cool.

 

[Photo link dead]

 

After the panel everyone signed books. I had a nice line of people, which gave me another iota’s worth of cool. More impressively, I didn’t screw any of them up, not even a little. My streak finally seemed to be broken.

After all the fans had their books signed, the authors hung out and chatted. Amber came over from her end of the table and said something along the lines of, “I don’t normally do epic fantasy, but after what you said, I’ll admit I’m curious about yours….”

“I’d love to give you a copy,” I said. “So long as you’ll sign my copy of Death’s Daughter.”

She agreed and signed my book. I was all aglow with geeky joy. I’d met someone cool, made a good impression, and even had a little bit of banter. I was awesome….

So I grabbed one of my books and opened it to the title page. Then, so I didn’t screw up her book, I looked up and asked, “Do you spell it T-A-R-A?”

She looked at me, slightly confused, as if she didn’t understand what I meant.

I looked back at her, slightly confused, not understanding why she wasn’t following me.

Then, at the same moment, we both realized what I’d done. At the same moment, we both realized that I wasn’t awesome at all. I was, in fact, a fucking idiot.

The other authors standing around overheard this. They realized it too.

Amber was very gracious and laughed it off. But I was still covered in shame. Even now it makes me cringe to remember it.

So there you go. Welcome to me.

For those of you who don’t know, Tara Amber has written and directed a couple movies. In fact, her most recent one, Drones, is being shown in a few select locations right now.

In fact, it’s being shown tonight, (Tuesday the 13th) in LA, with all the proceeds going to charity. If you live nearby and you aren’t going, you might want to seriously reconsider your priorities. In fact, you might want to reconsider what you’re doing with your entire life.

I’d be there in a heartbeat if it wasn’t 2000 miles away. Right now I’m kinda pissed at you cool kids who live in your big cities with your film festivals and fancy hats. Yes. I’m looking at you Orlando, Boston, and LA.

If nothing else, you should really check out the trailer. I was curious about the movie before I watched this. Now I’m filled with a terrible longing like unto hunger. I love Jonathan Woodward.

Share and Enjoy,

pat

Posted in buffy, meeting famous people, my dumbness, signing books | By Pat103 Responses
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