Tag Archives: Pat Rothfuss

Worldbuilders 2014

It’s that time of year again, folks. Time to make the world a better place while winning fabulous prizes.

Worldbuilders-Logo_Web_Smaller

Heifer International is my favorite charity. It helps people raise themselves out of poverty and starvation. For more than 60 years, Heifer has promoted education, sustainable agriculture, and local industry all over the world.

They don’t just keep kids from starving, they make it so people can take care of themselves. They give families goats, chickens, and sheep so children have milk to drink, eggs to eat, and warm clothes to wear. They provide communities with clean water to drink, building materials to improve homes, and business training to help families become self-sufficient.

goat 4

(Are you ready? I’m so ready. Let’s do it.)

We’re always looking for ways to improve the fundraiser. So while much of Worldbuilders is the same as last year, we have some things that are entirely new, and some things that have changed a little.

So even if you’re a Worldbuilders Vetran, you might want to look at this blog closely so you don’t miss the new coolness we have waiting there.

As always, you’ve got three different options for donating:

  • Option 1: The Lottery.

This is the option most of you will want. It’s quick, easy, and tax deductible.

You just hop directly over to the page we’ve set up on Team Heifer, and donate.

When you donate on that page, two things happen.

1. You’ll move us closer to our stretch goals (shown below).

2. You’ll be entered into the lottery.

For every $10 you donate on our Team Heifer page, your name will be entered into our random drawing for all the swag that’s been donated. Thousands of books, comics, and games. So if you donate $30, your name goes in three times. Donate enough for a goat ($120) and your name goes in 12 times.

What’s in the lottery? A lot. So much that if I showed it to you all at once, its combined awesome would cook your brain like a toad thrown into the sun.

So, for everyone’s safety, we’ll be posting up a new blog every weekday until the end of the fundraiser on December 8th.

You can see *all* the books currently in the mix on our snazzy Lottery Library page.

Or you can check out the individual blogs here:

Note: We’re doing something new this year. Thanks to our sponsors like Cheapass Games and Mayfair, we have a more games in this year’s fundraiser. A lot more. We know some of you aren’t big gamers, so you’ll be able to select whether you want to win books, games, or books AND games.

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That way everyone gets what they like best.

Stretch goals.

To encourage donations, we’ve brought members of the geek community together to do whimsical things as our donation total grows. There will be music, poetry, cosplay, puppets, and so, so much more…

Upcoming stretch goals include:

We’re recruiting folks for new stretch goals every day, so keep an eye on this list, and the Worldbuilders website under news for updates.

One of the new things we’re doing is letting y’all decide which direction these stretch goals will go. For example, donors get to vote on which animal I’ll kiss when we beat last year’s donation total.

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Personally? I’m hoping for the goat.

People donating will also get to decide what Neil Gaiman will read when we hit $600,000:

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Here I’m torn. Part of me wants to hear Neil say, “Goodnight Nobody,” while the rest of me dearly wants to hear him say, “Let the wild rumpus start!”

Either way, I’m going to have a new ringtone.

Note: Worldbuilders ends December 15, 2014 at 11:59 pm UTC-11. To be eligible for the lottery, you must have made your donation on the Team Heifer Page before then.

  • Option 2: The Sure Thing

For those of you not interested in the lottery, or if you’re just interested in doing some Christmas shopping early, we have a well-stocked store, lovingly named The Tinker’s Packs. We’ve got t-shirtsposters, and other coolness available for purchase.

We also have foreign editions of many titles, donated and signed by the authors. These are hard to find in the US.

All proceeds from everything sold in our store go to Worldbuilders, of course.

Additionally, this year we’ve published another calendar featuring the art of the wonderful Karen Hallion.

KHCalendarSpread_1024x1024

(Click to embiggen)

You can see many more pictures of the calendar in The Tinker’s Packs.

We’ll be adding new items to the store throughout the fundraiser, so keep an eye on the blog. If you’re worried you might miss some of the coolness, you can follow the Tinker’s Packs on Twitter and Facebook. We’ll post updates there whenever something new happens.

  • Option 3: Auctions.

Sometimes we get donations that are really cool…. but only for a select group of people. Some people would squee with delight at winning a portal gun, but other people, (sad, unhappy people) have never played Portal, and just don’t care.

The same thing is true with action figures, musical instruments, manuscripts, or other collectables.

So we put those things up for auction.

We have professionals willing to read and critique your manuscripts. We have signed art and rare books. We have the chance to win cameo appearances in comics and get your name into upcoming books.

We auction these things off as well.

All our current auctions are over on the Worldbuilders eBay page. Keep an eye on it. We’ll be adding stuff all the time.

  • NEW THIS YEAR – Option 4: A Partnership with Powells.

We show off a lot of books during the fundraiser, and over the years I’ve heard many people mention they do a their holiday shopping based off the books they see here. Or, if you’re like me, you use Worldbuilders to add to your ever-expanding must-read shelf.

So this year we’re doing something new.

If you see a book in this year’s fundraiser, and think to yourself, “I’ve got to have a copy of that….” you can follow this link, buy it from Powells, and they will donate 7.5% of the sale directly to Worldbuilders.

This applies to *anything* you buy from Powells. Not just books we’re featuring in the fundraiser. If you follow that link and buy stuff, not only are you supporting one of the coolest independent bookstores around, but a hefty piece of that money will go to making the world a better place.

You can also find the link in the navigation widget at the end of each of the blogs:

Look at that, all fancy and clickable.

Important Links and Contact Information

We’ve tweaked our website, since last year. And Worldbuilders also has a Facebook page and a Twitter account for those of you who like to have the internet injected directly into their veins.

If you have a question that isn’t answered here, you could check out our handy FAQ.

Need to contact The Tinker’s Packs? You can e-mail them here: orders [at] thetinkerspacks.com

Want to donate something to Worldbuilders? Help us spread the word? Do a stretch goal? Drop us a line here: donations [at] worldbuilders.org.

All right folks. Are you ready? I’m so ready.

Let’s do this thing.

pat

P.S. Just in case you missed it, here’s one more link to our Team Heifer donation page.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat27 Responses

San Diego 2011: Thursday Part II – Wootstock

This is part of my San Diego ComicCon diary from 2011. It’s sort of the middle of the story.

If you want the whole story, you might want to start reading at the beginning. Other parts include: Wednesday, Thursday Part I, and Friday Ad Infinitum.

*     *     *

Before I tell the story of Wootstock, I should give you a little background so things will make sense.

A stab at definition.

For those of you that don’t know about it, Wootstock is….

Wootstock is….

Well, it’s just Wootstock.

It’s sort of like a modern variety show. (Except nobody knows what a variety show is these days.)

Imagine A Prairie Home Companion if it was run by a bunch of sci-fi nerds. (Man, that’s no good either, does anyone else other than me listen to A Prairie Home Companion?)

Okay. How about this. There’s music. There’s comedy. There’s music-comedy. There’s skits. There’s cussing and nerd humor and poetry and, well…

It’s pretty much a big geek performance orgy.

Honestly, I’ve wanted a piece of Wootstock for ages. Ever since I first heard about it, I wanted in.

Now did I get a piece of the action?

I got an invitation from Ernest Cline.

I mentioned his book on the blog a while back. It’s called Ready Player One. And not only did I like it enough to give it a blurb. I liked it enough to dig up his e-mail address and gush to him directly about how much I loved it.

I think the entire content of my first e-mail was, “Your book is fucking awesome.”

I tried to get them to use that for the blurb on the back, (“This book is fucking awesome.” — Patrick Rothfuss) But their marketing people wouldn’t go for it.

Anyway, Ernest got an invite to Wootstock from Wil Wheaton, who is narrating the audiobook of Ready Player One. Ernest, being a generous human being, asked if I’d like to share some of his stage time.

I said yes. I said it in a firm, manly, baritone. Then I hung up the phone and laughed my most maniacal laugh.

Right. So. We all on the same page here?

7:00 – Backstage.

I walk up to the side door of the Balboa Theater in San Diego. Someone was waiting for me at the door, where they gave me this:

My very first All Access pass. It makes me feel like a rockstar.

I go backstage and down into the secret parts of the theater. It’s a magical sort of place. It’s a secret place that only the performers get to see, and it’s electric in a way that’s hard to describe. Everyone there is getting ready for the show. They’re excited, and a little nervous, and happy to see each other. Plus it’s comic-con, so we’re all a little exhausted. And a few of us are slightly tipsy, too… (Though not me, as I’m not much of a drinker.)

There’s a blur of people all over the place. Some of them I recognize, like Adam Savage from Mythbusters. And the guys from Rifftrax (who used to do MST3K.)

I’m introduced to a few people in a whirlwind fashion. I shake hands and nod at names. But they all run out of me like water. If I say, “someone said” or “someone did” I’m not trying to protect anyone’s identity, or snub them. It’s because a lot of the evening is a blur to me. I suck at meeting people, and I only have space in my head for about 5 new names.

Then I turn around and Wil Wheaton is there.

It’s weird meeting someone you kinda already know. And I kinda know Wil from a bunch of different directions. From his blog, from Star Trek, from his books, and from the Guild.

Plus we e-mailed just a little a day or two before Wootstock. I won’t bullshit you, that made me kinda tingly.

Anyway, we’re introduced, and we shake hands. He thanks me for the nice things I said about his book on my blog. And I’m a little surprised that he’s read it, though I shouldn’t be, I suppose. I tell him that I loved it.

That’s all we have time for. The stage manager is gathering everyone up to make some announcements before the show.

We all jam into a room and Liz is introduced. She is the boss. She tells us how it’s all going to work. She tells us we can watch from backstage, and that we should, so that we don’t miss our cues. She tells us to stick to our allotted time. She tells us where the beer and pizza are.

Everyone else nods attentively. There are a few jokes. But all of this is old hat for most of them.

Me? I’m grinning like an idiot. The show hasn’t even started yet and I’m having the best time….

*     *     *

I should explain something. I used to do lots of group-performance type things. I used to sing in choirs. I used to do radio comedy. I used to act a little, and did a few plays, a musical or two.

I even used to do a little improv comedy. Which is like a trial by fire. Once you do improv comedy, no other type of performance will ever truly frighten you.

Now I didn’t do a lot of these things seriously. But I did them. I enjoyed them.

And I miss them.

You see, one of the downsides of being a writer is that it’s a very solitary occupation. If everything is going well with my writing, I’ll spend 10-12 hours a day alone, and the rest of my time sleeping. (Also alone, usually.)

When I do get out to do a reading or a convention, I have a lot of fun. I enjoy meeting fans and signing books. I enjoy doing Q&A and reading stuff to an audience. It’s a nice opportunity for me to go out and be social.

But while it’s social, it’s a very solitary type of performance. I’m up in front of 200-600 people talking. There’s just me and the audience.

I’d forgotten what it was like to be part of a group of performers. To be a piece of a WE.

It feels great.

*     *     *

Liz makes one last announcement. They’ve gone to the worst seat in the house and borrowed the person’s camera. They’re going to pass it around backstage and we’ll all take pictures with it. That way the poor schlub with the worst seat will have a cool memento of the show and, as a bonus, the pictures will go online so everyone can use them.

It’s only because of the photoset that I have a shot of Ernest and me backstage, wherein I am getting my Kawaii on.

The show kicks off, and after cadging a piece of free pizza, I head upstairs we head up onto stage and watch the show from the wings. The theatre is gorgeous. A place with some real style to it.

It’s certainly the biggest house I’ve ever played to, and I’m a little nervous. But despite the fact that I’m anxiously fretting over what exactly I’m going to read, I can’t help but get pulled in by Molly Lewis playing the ukulele.

Her songs crack me up as I watch from backstage, and it helps me relax a bit.

Then, as I’m watching her play, a little motion catches my attention from the corner of my eye. So I look over and see Wil Wheaton dancing.

Before that point, I liked Wil Wheaton. I knew he was cool. I respected him as a writer, enjoyed him as a performer, and admired him as a strong, smart, outspoken member of the geek community.

But backstage in the Balboa theatre, I watched Wil Wheaton do a happy, goofy little dance, and that was when I started to love him.

Soon afterwards, Ernest gets his cue and heads out onto stage. He reads some hardcore geek poetry. Good stuff. He’s a good performer, too. Gets a good reaction from the crowd.

Then he introduces me. I’m a surprise guest of sorts, as I’m not on the program. People cheer when they hear my name, which is kind of a shock. It’s then that I decide what I’m going to read. I’m not going to try to follow Ernest’s poetry with more poetry. I think he’s got me beat in that regard.

I’m not going to read a piece out of my book, either. Too clunky. I even decide against reading a piece of a short story I’m working on.

No. A whole theatre of people cheering and my new man-crush Wil Wheaton watching from the wings means I go straight to my best material. The piece I keep in my back pocket whenever I do a reading. My sure-fire winner. My big gun.

I pull out The Guinea Pig Story.

Those of you who have seen me at a live reading might have heard it. Most of you have not.

It’s one of of the humor pieces I wrote back in college. Theoretically I was writing an advice column, but realistically I was making fun of people and telling incriminating stories about my life.

Here’s the only video I was able to find of the performance. The first little bit of my performance is cut off there, but it’s only about a sentence of the letter someone wrote in, asking for advice about keeping pets in their dormroom.

[Edit: After searching around a bit, I found another video from farther back in the audience that shows my performance AND Ernest’s with Wil Wheaton’s introduction.]

I got a great reaction from the audience, and left the stage feeling roughly ten thousand feet tall.

8:00 – Random House Party

After hanging around for a while and watching a few more acts, Ernest said he was going over to the Random House party and asked if I’d like to come along.

Though I was loathe to leave, I figured I should go and rub some elbows with some more bookish types. That’s kinda my job in some ways.

So I went to the party, hung out with some folks, and ended up riding a mechanical bull.

Why? No. Why is not the right question. I was at San Diego ComicCon. The proper question is “why the fuck not?”

That party was fun, but after about 45 minutes, I made my excuses and headed back to Wootstock. Because, y’know, Wootstock.

9:00 ish – More Wootstock.

I got back just in time for intermission, where I amused myself by handing out copies of the Chick Tract Dark Dungeons to members of the audience. I hope nobody thought I was serious….

After all my tracts were gone, I used my fancy pass to get backstage, feeling rockstar all over again. I wandered down to the dressing rooms and bumped into Felicia Day, who was also a surprise guest. I got a free hug and we chatted for about forty-five seconds before someone tells her she’s about to miss her entrance cue.

Somehow, someone managed to catch us on film during that brief moment. Proving that I’m not a big fibber.

I hang around and chat with folk, occasionally watching some of the show from backstage. I catch Jeff Lewis (Vork, for you Guildies out there) doing a piece of honest-to-god standup comedy. The man has amazing comic timing and delivery. As you’d already know if you were watching The Jeff Lewis 5-minute Comedy Hour.

11:30 ish – Autographing.

Eventually the show wraps up with a great closing number that I watch from the wings. Then I head downstairs to get my backpack and maybe another slice of pizza before I head out. When I’m gathering up my stuff, someone asks if I want to stick around and sign autographs. I shrug and agree, because I have nowhere else in particular to be.

Now over the last couple of years I’ve done a lot of signings. It’s old hat in a lot of ways. Usually I’m all alone. I’m a one-man-show.

But this one was different. A bunch of the performers were sticking around to sign posters and programs.

What’s more, at Wootstock, most of the people could give a damn about me. They’re there to see Wheaton, or Savage, or bask in the radiant glory of Paul and Storm.

And you know what? It was nice  doing a signing where most folks didn’t care who I was. It gave me a chance to goof off and get to know the people sitting on either side of me. To my left was the aforementioned Molly Lewis. And to my right was someone I didn’t know at all, but I quickly learned that she was Amy Berg, writer/producer for Eureka (among many other things.)

So we hang out and chat as the line of people slowly trickles past. I’m feeling pretty relaxed. I’ve had a good day. I was on a panel with George Martin, had dinner with Jim Butcher, and got to chat with Wil Wheaton. I went to a party with an actual velvet rope, and the bouncer nodded me through even though I wasn’t on the list. I rode the mechanical bull and didn’t hurt myself. I got a hug from Felicia day and made a thousand people laugh….

It’s  been a busy 14 hours, and I’m in that warm, happy place that comes when you know you don’t have to work any more. And, because I’m in a good mood, I start to joke around with the people coming through the line….

And that’s when I *really* start to get to know the people sitting on either side of me.  I draw a picture of a duck on someone’s poster, and they mock me for its utter terribleness. They mocked me with a sharp-tongued viciousness I haven’t experienced since most of my best friends moved away from Stevens Point.

So I abandoned drawing and started signing clever things on the posters. Then my neighbors started writing things on their posters that were clever-er. And I feel really put out by this, because normally *I* get to be the witty one, and they were out wittying me without hardly trying. I felt the sudden need to step up my game, to say nothing of wanting to buy some of Molly’s music and catch up on the current season of Eureka….

The signing went on for at least a couple hours, and it was the perfect end to the perfect day. As I left the theater I felt that strange, glowy feeling that comes when you level up. It wasn’t until I got home that I found out where the XP boost had come from:

Best of all, I’d made it through two entire days at the convention without making an ass of myself in front of anyone.

But then again, it was only Thursday….

*     *     *

Sorry this one was so long delayed. More soon…

pat

Posted in a billion links, College Survival Guide, Consistent Verb Tense Is For Bitches, conventions, Felicia Day, meeting famous people, my rockstar life, the longest fucking blog ever, videos, Wil Wheaton | By Pat37 Responses

Auctions: A Professional Critique of Your Manuscript

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

Last year, several publishing professionals donated their time and energy to Worldbuilders, offering to give unpublished novelists feedback on their manuscripts.

The response was wonderful. The auctions raised thousands of dollars for Worldbuilders, and a lot of people got good feedback on their books. It was one of those warm, fuzzy win-win situations.

So this year we’re doing it again. I’ve gathered a few professionals willing to donate their critiquing skills to the cause.

All auctions are starting at the price of one (1) penny. Personally, I think these would make great Christmas gifts for that hard-to-shop for writer in your life…

And remember, all the proceeds go to improving people’s lives all over the world with Heifer International. So bid lavishly and spread the word.

  • A read-and-critique of the first 20,000 words of your manuscript by Lindsay Ribar.
(Bam!)

Lindsay is assistant to Matt Bialer, my agent. That means she reads a *lot* of manuscripts and works intimately with the publishing world every day. What’s more, she does work as a freelance editor. In short, Lindsay knows about stories, what sells, and how the industry works.

What more could you ask for, really?

Here’s the official description of what she’s offering:

Lindsay Ribar (assistant to Matt Bialer, freelance editor) will read and evaluate the opening chapters of one manuscript (up to 20,000 words) within six weeks of submission. She will write a general evaluation of the book, with a focus on character, language, and story structure. Line- and copy-editing are not included. Representation is not a guarantee, but not out of the question either. Lindsay is open to editing all genres of fiction, but keep in mind that the bulk of her experience lies in the realm of YA, fantasy, SF, thrillers, and mysteries.

Interested? You can bid on the critique by Lindsay Ribar over here.

  • A read-and-critique of the first 100 pages of your manuscript by David Pomerico.

David is the sort of editor I would have loved to have read my manuscript and give me a few pointers back during the long years of rejection before my book was published. What’s more, he’s an absolute prince for donating his time and energy to Worldbuilders even though I don’t have the least bit of blackmail evidence to use against him.

The official description:

David Pomerico is an Assistant Editor at Del Rey Spectra, where he focuses primarily on traditional fantasy, urban fantasy, and dystopian and post-apocalyptic literature.  That’s not to say that he doesn’t know other genres (he claims to be something known as “well-read”), but that’s definitely where his interests lie.  He’s worked with a variety of authors, including Felix Gilman, Sarah Zettel, David J. Williams, Chris Wooding, Darin Bradley, and Ari Marmell, as well as being a part of the Star Wars publishing program at Del Rey.  He’s offering a detailed critique and commentary (but not a line edit) for the first 100 pages or so of your manuscript (double-spaced, please—and no margin shenanigans!), which he will get back to you within the first three months of 2011.  While he could possibly be blown away and want to make an offer on your book, this isn’t guaranteed (otherwise this might be a really pricey auction!)

Mailing details and contact with David will be set up following the auction.

Interested? You can bid on David’s critique over here.

  • A read-and-critique of the first 20,000 words of your manuscript by agent Matt Bialer.

Matt is my agent, and I wouldn’t trade him for his weight in gold. He helped me revise my book several times before we landed a publisher, and his help has been invaluable in revising my second book. He’s all kinds of smart, understands stories, and I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

You can get more of his professional information HERE.

Matt Bialer (literary agent) will read and evaluate the opening chapters of one manuscript (up to 20,000 words) within three months of submission, not including the last few weeks of December. He will read and critique, and help the author think about the issues that could be raised by editors at publishing houses. He will write a general evaluation of the book, both strengths and weaknesses, but line editing is NOT included. If the book is fantastic or has the potential to be fantastic then offering representation is not out of the question — but representation is not a guarantee.

Interested? You can bid on this critique from Matt Bialer over here.

  • A read-and-critique of your entire manuscript by Pat Rothfuss.

(Me.)

Man. It’s hard for me to do these promotional write-ups for myself. Let’s see…

Before I became a published writer, I was a teacher for five years. Before that, I was a writing tutor for nine years. So I know something about giving productive feedback on a piece of writing. I’ve read roughly ten thousand novels, and my first book, the Name of the Wind, is published or forthcoming in 30 languages.

I think about stories all the time and am obsessive about revision. I also have a soothing baritone voice, an IQ in the 160s, and the ability to steal any other mutant’s power just by touching them.

Ah hell… See? I can never take these things seriously. Just read the official description below for the details:

Patrick Rothfuss (international bestselling author, lover of women, and hirsute iconoclast) will read your manuscript and give you critical feedback. We’ll schedule this based on when your manuscript will be ready and my own schedular constraints.

I’ll read through your manuscript, scrawling notes and dirty words in the margins, then I’ll call you on the phone and we can discuss it. I won’t write you up a detailed critique because that’s not how I roll. But we’ll probably chat on the phone for a couple of hours discussing the various strengths and weaknesses of the book, your writing craft, and I’ll offer any suggestions I might have.

If I think your book is super-awesome, I might be willing to pass it along to someone. But be very aware that what you’re buying here is a critique, not a blurb or an introduction to the publishing world. A critique.

Interested? You can bid on the critique by Pat Rothfuss over here.

NOTE: All these auctions will be ending on December 3rd.

Time is limited, so if you know someone that might be interested in these auctions, I’d appreciate you spreading the word….

Don’t forget, there are hundreds of rare and signed books up for grabs in this year’s Worldbuilders fundraiser. For all the details, click here.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2010 | By Pat50 Responses
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