Tag Archives: Terry Brooks

Cool Books from Del Rey & Grim Oak Press

The Worldbuilders staff always get weirdly excited when the delivery driver pulls up and says with a horrified look, “You have 15 boxes today…” The team has been known to cheer at the backbreaking work of hauling thousands of books up or down sets of stairs. They’re not entirely right in the head, but it’s okay, because they’re my kind of crazy.

Recently, Del Rey and Grim Oak Press are two of the deliveries that made the team cheer. Both have been donating for a while, and we’re glad to have them, because they both are offering some really quality stuff this year.

So today we’ve got more than 100 new items going into the lottery where anyone can win them. For every $10 bucks you donate on our page, you get another chance to win.

We’ve also got 8 new rare, signed books going up for auction, too.

Let’s get rolling.

Coolness from Del Rey

  • First Books in Cool Series: 10 copies of 10 different books


Del Rey did not hold back this year. Here we have a collection of beginnings. Excellent books that kick off their own series. (Which is really nice if you’re a read-from-the-start-no-matter-what person like I am.)

There’s more than a few of my personal favorites in there. And I know for a fact that my blurbs are on the backs of at least two of these.

The full list includes: The Abyss Beyond Dreams by Peter F HamiltonHounded by Kevin HearneThe Warded Man by Peter V BrettThe Shadow Revolution by Clay Griffith and Susan GriffithFool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb,  Emergence by John BirminghamRed Rising by Pierce Brown, The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord, and The Hammer & the Blade and (plus its sequel, A Discourse in Steel) by Paul S Kemp. Half a King by Joe Abercrombie.


We’ve talked about the Iron Druid Chronicles a lot, but it bears repeating that these are great books. Del Rey sent Kevin two complete sets to sign, and he sent them on to us, so one is going into the lottery while the other one is going up for auction right here.

Lottery Items from Grim Oak Press

Shawn Speakman started Grim Oak Press a while back, and since then he’s collected a LOT of signed books from other authors. He runs preorders for them on his website, has the authors come sign books, and then ships them out. It’s a really great deal.

Its an even better deal for Worldbuidlers, because he’s held on to a bunch of them to donate this year, and we’re putting a lot of books into the lottery.


These are some serious anthologies, with a lot of heavy hitters in them. People like Brandon Sanderson, Neil Gaiman, Django Wexler, Cat Rambo, and Kat Richardson, just to name a few. Unfettered in particular is pretty rare, because only 5,000 copies were printed. Unbound hasn’t even been released yet.

All three of these anthologies are in the lottery, in all of their signed glory.


This is a good example of the wide variety of authors Shawn works with. He donated seven completely different books that do a pretty good job of spanning the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre, so if you win one of these from the lottery, you’re bound to find something to like.

  •  First edition copies of The Slow Regard of Silent Things. Double signed by me and Nate Taylor. One in the lottery and one up for auction.


I’m sure most of you have heard about Slow Regard, but if you haven’t, it’s my newest novella, and includes really beautiful illustrations from my friend Nate Taylor.

Nate is much harder than me to get to sign things (I’ve been known to sign a lot of books that weren’t mine), so the fact that we have two copies bearing his lovely signature is pretty cool. One is going into the lottery, and the other is up for auction right over here.

Auctions from Grim Oak Press

We put a fair amount of Shawn’s stuff into the lottery, but he’s got a bunch of stuff that’s very rare, limited, or otherwise specialty, so we’ve put the rest of it up for action.

  • Auctions: First edition copy of Firefight. Numbered edition of Legion: Skin Deep. Both signed by Brandon Sanderson.


These two auctions contain some of the books Brandon Sanderson has signed for Grim Oak. And look at this familiar blurb for the Reconers series (of which Firefight is #2):

“Another win for Sanderson . . . he’s simply a brilliant writer. Period.”—Patrick Rothfuss, author of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller The Name of the Wind

Both of these are really good books, but both of them are second in a series,  so rather than give them to someone who won’t appreciate them properly, we’re auctioning them off to people who will love them. You can bid on the signed copy of Firefight right here, and the fancy, signed and numbered edition of Legion: Skin Deep right here.

  • Auction: First edition copy of The Skull Throne. Signed by Peter V Brett.


Peter V. Brett is one of our beloved, long-time supporters. In the early years of Worldbuilders (the second year, actually), Amanda actually won a signed copy of his first book, The Warded Man, in the lottery. This was years before she worked here, and she told me it’s one of her prized possessions.

I like to think it’s because I read that exact copy and signed it too, but she neither confirms nor denies that guess.

This is the fourth book in the series, and you can grab it all for your own right over here.


These are some beautiful comic books.

The comics are scripted by Daniel Abraham, and George R.R. Martin advises the adaptation. These are all signed by both of them. Again, they’re not the beginning of the series, so we couldn’t put them into the lottery, but they’re definitely cool, and so we’ve put them up in an auction here.

Unbound special

We have a rare ARC copy of Unbound, which isn’t hasn’t even hit the shelf yet.

This features another 22 stories by great authors, and it’s no ordinary, flimsy ARC – this ARC is a hardcover, one of only 250 printed, and has the in-progress cover artwork Todd Lockwood finishes up the final.

Plus, Todd Lockwood himself has doodled a dragon inside it. Which is pretty damn epic.

You can bid on it over here.

  • Auction: Limited edition Unfettered. Signed by all authors.

Unfettered special

(Click to embiggen, and see how everyone else has a cooler signature than me.)

Limited to 500 copies. Signed by 22 of the biggest names in modern speculative fiction. Special edition cover…. honestly, I don’t know what else you could ask for here.

Unless it’s a cool slipcase to keep the book safe. But wait, it’s got that too.

This is a truly marvelous donation, a real rarity. And if it doesn’t goes for less than 500 bucks, someone’s getting a hell of a bargain. But as I type this, it’s going for a lot less than that: bid on it here.

* * *

We’re creeping up on $125,000, which is when John Scalzi, Ann Leckie, Sabaa Tahir, and I read our own 1-Star Reviews, which is sure to be hilariously painful. And at $150,000 you get to have a Worldbuilders edition of Fox in Socks. Knowing my team, there’s probably going to be a lot of bleeped-out cussing in that video.

As a matter of fact, you should really take a glance at all of the upcoming stretch goals, because some really cool people are doing some amazing stuff this year….

Cool stuff on the horizon, guys. Big news. Exciting events. And don’t forget I’ll still be streaming on twitch every day at 4:00 CST.

Thanks for being awesome, everyone…

Posted in Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat5 Responses

Pre-Order of Unfettered

So, to cut right to the chase here, I’ve got a story coming out in an anthology next spring.

The anthology is called Unfettered. I’m in there with Terry Brooks, Brandon Sanderson, Tad Williams, Naomi Novik….

Well… a lot of cool people, basically. If you click to embiggen the cover, you can read the whole list of authors for yourself.

You can go pre-order copies over here.

My advice? If you want one of the limited-edition copies, signed by all the authors, you should probably hop over there sooner rather than later. They aren’t going to last long.

And to answer the question before anyone asks it in the comments below: Yes, my story is set in the Four Corners world.

It’s called, “How Old Holly Came To Be.”

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you might actually remember me talking about how I wrote it in a single day about a year ago.

I’m excited about this anthology for a couple reasons.

First and most obviously, because there are a lot of really good writers in there. I’m actually really excited to read it.

Second, when you write kinda slowly, like I do. And you revise obsessively, like I do. And you write books that are really long, like I do. It means there are long gaps in between your published books. It’s been more than a year since I’ve had anything new to show y’all. So I’m glad this is coming out to help give y’all something new of mine to read….

Lastly, the proceeds from the book go to a good cause. You can read more about that over here if you want.

More news soon,


Posted in being awesome, book covers, cool things, upcoming publications | By Pat51 Responses

Rothfuss and Brooks: Part IV

Here’s the final installment of the mutual interview I did with Terry Brooks. If you’d like to start at the beginning, here’s Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

And now, without further ado, Part 4….

*     *     *

Pat: What’s your revision process like? How many drafts do you go through?

Terry: I outline pretty thoroughly before I put pen to paper.  I don’t write anything until I have it all pretty clear in my head, then I do the outline, and then I do the book.  This doesn’t mean there won’t be changes, some of them extensive.  But it is my blueprint for the book’s foundation and support timbers.  I can pretty much rely on it to see me through.  That said, nothing tells you more about your book than the writing of it.  So I pay attention to newer, fresher ideas that crop up as I write.  I listen to my instincts.

But here’s the good part.  With this method, I only write one draft.

Pat: Boy. I think I’d hate to outline everything. But I have to admit, I’m really jealous of a one-draft model. I end up doing somewhere between 50 and 300 drafts, depending on how you want to count them.

Hopefully I’ll manage to streamline that a bit as I gain more experience. I’m the first to admit my way isn’t very efficient. I end up going back and forth a lot. Once or twice I’ve gone back and realized the best thing for the book was to hatchet out an entire chapter.

What’s the biggest cut you’ve ever made to a manuscript?

Terry: I did a lot of cutting when I was learning the craft under Lester.  Lots of pages went by the board.  But along the way, I’ve learned a few things.  So I haven’t had to cut anything much in a long time.  I should add, though, that I decided a while back to curtail the length of my books.  I am an advocate of less is more these days.  I use fewer words and actively look for ways to cut bits and pieces as I write.  I was feeling wordy about my books about 15 years ago, and that was the end of big books for me.

Pat: Strange as it might seem, that’s actually my philosophy too. I really believe in less is more. And yes, I know how ridiculous that sounds coming from someone who just wrote a 400,000 word book. Believe me, it would have been much longer if I wasn’t constantly riding my own brake.

Terry:  I think you will do more of this the more you write and the older you get.  This isn’t meant to be a warning.  I just think that you learn how to say more with less (that less is more thing again) as time passes and writing skills improve.  You change because that’s in the nature of who we are as writers.

Pat: Roughly speaking, how many copies of your own books would you guess you have in your house?

Terry: I don’t know how many of my books I’ve got in my house, but I’ve got thousands in my book storage rooms, and about half of them are European paperbacks!!  Those guys insist on sending out dozens of author copies every time there is a new print run.  If you put them altogether I think you would find I have somewhere around 20,000 on hand.  Anyone need a foreign edition?  Croatian, Thai, Hebrew or Inuit?

How about Martian?

Pat: The foreign editions really do pile up after a while. And I’ve only got the two books. I can’t imagine what it’s like for you, so many different editions of so many books. There’s really only so much you can do with them, too. One to the library. One to a friend who wants to brush up on his Estonian, then the rest of them sit on a shelf…

Terry: Do you see yourself writing fantasy twenty years from now?  Or do you think you might go off and write something else entirely?

Pat: I don’t think I’ll ever stray very far from fantasy. Not only is it what I love best, but there’s so much room to write any sort of story you want.

Terry: That’s pretty much my thinking, too.  I’m writing what exactly what I want to.

Pat: Rumor has it that Edith Sitwell used to lie in an open coffin for a while before she began her day’s writing. Do you have any little rituals that help you write?

Terry: I’m kind of like Monk.  Very anal.  I have my writing space and I never write anywhere else.  I have my stuff all carefully arranged, and I don’t like it if something gets moved.  I have several recourses that I can turn to when I am stumped or bothered about a piece of writing to remove the so-called block.  I always write in silence.  No sounds, no music, no interruptions.  This is all weird, but it beats lying in a coffin!

Pat: We’re birds of a feather there. I’m not orderly or neat. But I do have my writing space. Nobody is allowed in there, with a few rare exceptions.

And I’m with you. Silence. No interruptions. I can’t understand how some folks write with music playing. I know it’s an issue of different strokes for different folks, but writing with music on strikes me as being profoundly counter-intuitive. Unnatural even.

Pat: The internet has really changed the face of fandom in the last ten years. Has it had much of an effect on the way you interact with your fans?

Terry: When I started out, there was no internet, of course.  My connection with fans was all by snail mail and personal appearances.  I’ve never been good about mail, but I loved going out and meeting readers.  I did it every year, sometimes for as many as 5 or 6 weeks a year, here and abroad.  Can’t do that anymore because my energy level and tolerance for airport security won’t allow for it.  Now I do maybe 2 or 3 weeks a year.  But the personal connections, face to face, always mean more.

On the other hand, the internet allows for instant communication, and a different kind of closeness between writer and reader.  Before, there was no central venue for communicating with readers.  It was all done one on one.  If you were doing a tour, you could send out fliers or the stores could print and distribute them.  You could rely on word of mouth, but you didn’t have video or audio mass distribution available that didn’t cost an arm or a leg.  The internet changed all that.  About ten years ago, I went out on tour and asked at every stop how many people were there because they had read about it on the website.  Web Druid Shawn asked me to take this survey.  The response was eye opening.  More than 80% were there because they had read about it on the site.

How about you, coming in later on when the internet was already the established form of communication? I know you blog regularly.

Pat: Yeah. I have a lot of fun interacting with my readers online. I’ve met a lot of cool people that way. It can be very rewarding….

But part of me also thinks that it would be nice to be able to go back to writing in a vacuum, like I did before I was published. I get about 10-15 e-mails a day from readers. That’s not counting print letters, or Facebook, or Goodreads. It can get a little overwhelming.

As for the blogging, I do that almost as a defensive measure. I know I can’t write a detailed letter back to every one of my fans that contacts me, but I can write something that anyone can show up to read. I use it to tell little stories out of my life and answer questions. I’ve run a contest or two. We’ve sold some t-shirts at our online store, The Tinker’s Packs, to support my charity.

I mostly goof around, in all honesty. But in between the goofing around, I keep people filled in about events and new projects.

Plus it gives me a venue to do the occasional interview with another cool author….

Terry: I like your thinking about using the blogs to answer questions for a general audience when it is virtually impossible to answer individual letters.  I used to do that by snail mail before the internet, but I can’t manage it anymore.

Pat: It works out pretty well. It lets people know that you care. Plus you get to be helpful without having to spend three days of the week doing nothing but correspondence.

Terry: Hey, Patrick, this has been a lot of fun.  I love finding out how other writers manage their lives, why they choose to write what they do, and what makes them tick.  Especially writers I admire.  Thanks for taking time to do this.

Pat: The pleasure has been all mine, Terry. This has been such a thrill.

*     *     *

There you go folks, share and enjoy….



Posted in fanmail, Interviews, Me Interviewing Other Folks, meeting famous people, Revision, the craft of writing | By Pat22 Responses

Interview with Terry Brooks, Part 2

When I got the opportunity to do an interview with Terry Brooks, I was delighted. And by delighted, I mean terrified.

I mean, I’ve been reading Brooks for roughly two thirds of my life. And now I was supposed to ask him questions?

Luckily, as soon as we started to e-mail back and forth questions, my anxiety melted away and our discussion really took off. Eventually we had an interview longer than some novellas.

So we decided to break it up into four pieces, split up between Terry’s blog and mine. What I’m posting today is the second part, the first part went up on Terry’s blog on Monday. You can find it over here.

*     *     *

Pat: Do you ever go back and re-read your books? I have to in order to maintain the consistency of my story. But then again, I only have two books out so far.

Terry: Yeah, you’ve only got two.  But two of yours equals six of mine!  Well, maintaining consistency is incredibly important because your reputation is at stake.  There is always a 10 year old kid in Boise who’s knows your work better than you do and will catch you out every time.  I’ve got something like twenty-five books in the Shannara series by now, including the three that start coming out in August, so slipping up becomes increasingly easier.  Not just in the details, but in the behavioral patterns of characters.  So I do reread the books that chronologically come just before anything I am writing.  Also, if you live long enough, the publisher says something like, “Hey, Pat!  You should have a companion volume to your body of work!  Let’s call it “The World of Rothfuss.”  You say, “Sure, as long as I don’t have to write it.”  Then you have a ready reference for all those troubling details.

Or you can make the choice I made all those years ago to write the world’s biggest historical saga with huge gaps of time between sets of books so that each set of books uses a time period and storylines only once.  Helps keep you from getting mired down by using the same characters over and over.  A problem, I think, with a lot of mysteries and police procedurals that seem to get stale after a time.

Pat: I think of that as “The Dune Solution.” You don’t have to worry too much about consistency when you jump forward in time 2000 years and kill off all your characters.

Terry: Can’t resist pointing out that in spite of the above plan to leave gaps in time between sets of books, I have fallen away from my policy by writing in the last dozen years about one character in six books.  Grianne Ohmsford appears in the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy as a girl and again in the High Druid trilogy as a grown woman.  So much for keeping my promises to myself.  The nightmare is a living, breathing fact of life with Grianne, and I have been forced to reread those books a whole lot more often than I would have liked because of it.

Pat: Have you ever had a significant consistency mistake creep in to a book? Not a little thing, like the spelling of a name. But something substantial?

Terry: My biggest, most horrible consistency issue was with Walker Boh in the Heritage of Shannara set.  Early on, Walker lost his arm up to the elbow.  Even now, I forget which one.  Back then, I had to deal with him for those four books and then later in the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara set for two more.  What happened was I kept forgetting which arm he’d lost.  Or I would have him use the missing arm or his hands (plural).  So I had to keep going back and checking everything he did that involved the use of his arms.  Even with at least six or eight readings of the books, I missed one or two.  But the kid in Boise didn’t.  So I heard all about it.  Even worse, the publisher reversed the print of the cover art that featured Walker with his arm missing and showed the wrong arm gone.

There were other incidents of this sort, but that was the worst.  Afterwards, I swore I would never give another character a physical affliction involving limbs.  That pledge lasted about two books, and then someone had a limp or a damaged hand or something of that sort.  This wouldn’t happen if I were writing cottage mysteries, I bet.

Pat: At least you fess up to it. I remember a story about how Tolkien had three different elves named Glorfindel, showing up in the history of his world, dying at least twice. Rather than admit that he might have made a mistake, he claimed it was a strange instance of reincarnation.

Or something to that effect, at any rate. The story might be apocryphal for all I know.

Terry: On a more mundane level, I latch on to at least one phrase in every book that I feel compelled to use until Judine, wife and first reader, begins crossing out everywhere.  I don’t know why I do this, but I do.  In the first three books, before we were together and she could act on it, it was ‘trailers of mist.’  Please tell me you have this problem, too?

Pat: I occasionally overuse a word I’m fond of. It’s usually not obtrusive word on its own, but when it crops up three or four times in the same context, it starts to look odd. In book two, I think it was ‘murmuring.’ Or maybe it was ‘susurrus.’ I think you can only get away with using ‘susurrus’ twice in a book before it starts getting weird for a reader.

A bigger problem for me is a tendency to repeat pieces of body language. I tend to use a lot of that in my dialogue to convey emotional content. Because of that, my characters sometimes end up nodding a lot. Or rather, they’d be nodding an appropriate amount if you were just watching a conversation, but reading about someone nodding 3-4 times in one scene makes them seem like a bobblehead. I trim a lot of those out in my later revision.

Terry: Here’s a different sort of question for you about your books.  Even with planning, do you sometimes find yourself in a corner or up against a blank wall with where your story is going?  Does the carefully laid out path suddenly lead nowhere?

Pat: Yeah. That just happened, actually. I’m working on a novella (that’s rapidly becoming a short novel) and I hit a scene I just couldn’t make work. Took me a week to figure out what was going wrong with it.

Though honestly, I’m not much for planning my stories out ahead of time. At least not in a formally outlined way. I have the shape of them in my head, and then I just run with it, making changes as the story develops.

The downside is that I have to do a lot of revision to make things hang together properly. Plus things happen like my novellas turning into novels. But the upside is that I leave the door wide open for something wonderful to happen. Some of the best parts in my books haven’t been part of my original plan.

Terry: At this point in your career, how do you feel about continuing to write books that run eight hundred pages or so?

Pat: Well… In some ways it’s nice, because it gives you room to tell a really complex story. Plus a little room for some beautiful digression.

But at the same time the problem is that it gives you time to tell a really complex story. And that’s hard. You know how hard that is.

Terry: Do you think you can sustain this given the time and effort it takes to complete one? Is this a conscious effort for you at this point or does the story dictate the size of the book?

Pat: Well. I’ve got to do it at least one more time. After that, I’m not sure.

I think you’ve hit it on the head though. The nature of the story is what decides the length for me. That’s what happened to this novella, it was too much story for 20,000 words. It’s probably going to be triple that in the end.

Terry: Also, are you giving any thought to doing a collection of short fiction?  I know you are prolific writer.  Does the short form tempt you sufficiently that you want to do more with it than what you are doing at present?

Pat: Yeah. I’ve been thinking of that more and more this last year. It’s a real treat to write something and be done with it in a week or two. Even a story that takes a month or so better than something that takes years. This last November I wrote a whole story in a day, and it was really fun. I didn’t know I had it in me before that.

So yeah. I’m planning on playing around with more short fiction. It’s good practice for me. When I have enough of it, I’ll probably do an anthology. I’ll throw in some of my poetry too, just to prove to people that I don’t really have a grudge against poets.

Terry: You know what?  I would rather crawl across broken glass than write short fiction.  I just can’t do it.  Oh, I shouldn’t say I can’t do it.  I should say I can’t do it without agonizing.  It takes me almost as long to write a short story – say 10,000 words, which is as short as it gets for me – than it does to write half a book.  I just can’t make myself operate in such a confined space.  I tend to sprawl all over the place, and short stories turn into novellas or even novels.  I love reading short fiction, but can’t write it.

Pat: I’ll admit it doesn’t seem to come naturally to me yet. I seem to have two writing gears: Epic Novel and Short Poem. And Blog, I suppose. But I don’t think that’s a gear, really. I just seem to produce anecdotes as a result of my engine running.  ‘Blog’ seems to be my neutral gear.

Terry: Hmmm, blogging as a neutral gear.  No forward, no backward, no movement at all.  Works for me.

Did your teachers over the years prove supportive or not?  I had much better support in elementary and high school than I ever did in college.

Pat: I was mostly a science geek in high school. I didn’t get much support, but only because I didn’t make too much noise about wanting to be a writer.

In college I got very lucky. I had Larry Watson as a creative writing professor here in Stevens Point. Not only was he an incredibly compelling teacher, but he was a successful published novelist at well. A rare find in a smaller school like UWSP.

He even went so far as to do an independent study course with me, allowing me to get credit for working on my novel, (a very early version of The Name of the Wind). He did this despite the fact that fantasy was rather out of his bailiwick, genre-wise.

I had a lot of great teachers in college, but he was one of the best.

It makes me feel guilty that I once skipped his class in order to go out to lunch with his daughter….

Terry: That’s very funny.  I was a science-challenged.  Never could get it down right.  I was the one who would touch the two wires together to find out what would happen.  I just didn’t get it.  Math was great until college, when I lost interest.  Actually, I spent my college years reading.  I pretty much blew off everything else.  But my parents were very understanding.

*     *     *

Tune in on Monday to Terry’s blog to see part three. And I’ll be posting up part four here a week from now.

I’m diving back into comic-con now. Wish me luck.


Posted in Me Interviewing Other Folks | By Pat36 Responses


…or something. Is that too obscure a reference these days? Should I have gone with the cliche but easily recognizable “there can be only one?”

What I’m talking about is the battle royal going on over at Suvudu. They’ve taken a bunch of our favorite fictional characters and paired them up in head to head fights. They’ve chosen a pleasantly bizarre and diverse group of fighters: Gandalf, Cuthulu, and Hermione are all in there duking it out.

Flatteringly enough, Kvothe is in there too, paired up against Garret Jax.

It’s a fun concept, and you get to vote on who you think should win. But what makes it truly entertaining is the brief descriptions that they give each of the characters, complete with strengths, weaknesses, and special attacks. Better still are the staff’s narrative descriptions of how they think the fight would turn out.

I’ll admit that I’m surprised how pleased I am at how how some of the voting is going. For example, Ged from the Wizard of Earthsea is currently kicking the stuffing out of Edward from Twilight.

Anyway. Feel free to wander over and take a look for yourself. It’s a good time.


[Edit: For those of you asking in the comments. I didn’t send in a little blurb when I heard about the contest for two reasons. 1) Because I was really busy. And 2) I heard that Terry Brooks was too busy to send stuff in too. It didn’t seem particularly fair for me to step in and stump for Kvothe when Brooks wasn’t going to be able to do the same.

That said, Lewis isn’t around anymore. And I’ve got a little time on my hands. So if Kvothe makes it to the match-up with Aslan, I might send a little blurb their way.]

Posted in cool things, fanfic | By Pat80 Responses
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