I got married on May 5, 2007. The Name of the Wind was released on March 27, 2007. I bought the book on my honeymoon on a whim (the naked man chest cover was... odd). The book happened to be a first edition, first printing, though at the time I didn't particularly care. So first and foremost, I've been a fan from the get-go, practically. I knew there was something special about the story I was reading. I had been a reader of fantasy for so long that I'd grown calloused and bored of the repetitive, cliched yarns that authors told and re-told. The wool was thick over my eyes, and Pat's Name of the Wind was the catalyst that pulled the wool away and set it aflame, never to return again.
I was so blown away by the book that I sent Pat an email, timestamped in June of 2007.
Hey Patrick,Heh. It felt good to read something fresh and original. I was so thankful for the story and for its ability to pull me from the clutches of boring fiction that I just had to let the author know. I wasn't expecting a response or anything, not really, but not even a week later I received this.
I just finished reading the Name of the Wind and was sitting here absorbing the story. I usually don't read a book with the jacket on and so when I put it back on I noticed the web address. I just wanted to let you know that the book was absolutely amazing. I've been reading fantasy and sci-fi books since I was young, but this book was different. It really felt, well, real. I look forward to the next book and more from your creation. Take care & God bless.
Logan (?) [I'm assuming you're a logan, due to your e-mail address.]Perhaps had he not responded I wouldn't have the feelings for him that I do today. The feeling that even though Pat's a worldwide literary superstar, he still is a real, down-to-earth guy that enjoys people, not to mention nerdy things (e.g. Joss Whedon).
Thanks much for your message. Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you. It's been pretty busy around here.
I'm glad you liked the book. I love it when long time fantasy readers enjoy it. It lets me know that I've done something right. I was shooting for that "real" feeling.
I should go now. Got to get back to book two so I don't keep you waiting too long.
So I started following his blog, counting myself as one of his fanatical minions and basking in his general awesomeness. (I mean, did you see that beard?) And what does one do when one loves something? They talk about it. So I talked and talked about his book, but I didn't know anyone personally that had read it. So I bought some copies to give away or loaned mine out to friends and family, practically begging them to read TNOTW. Then I found other bloggers with similar interest, and my passion for blogging was rekindled toward the end of 2008.
In the Fall of 07 Pat blogged about getting your book signed if you mailed it to him. To make a long story short (you should go read that post, it's hilarious), Pat said he would sign your book if you mailed it to him and included "something cool." I knew exactly what to send. I packaged up my book and trinkets and sent them away, and sometime later received my book back, personalized and signed. "Cool," I thought. But even cooler, and another reason why Pat moved even higher up on the pedestal I had him, he mentioned the "something cool" that I mailed him on his blog.
Since then, hundreds of people have send in books for me to sign. And the cool things they’ve sent have been… well… really cool.
Someone send in a quarter with a bullet hole in it. A handmade Kvothe doll. Old coins. Keys. Jewelry. Magical charms. Grue protective gear. Brass gears, foreign delicacies, and strange gods…. [Source here.]You see that? I sent in that quarter, along with a few other odds & ends that I don't remember. The quarter, in particular, was one from target practice with my uncle and brother. If I remember correctly, the shot wasn't perfectly centered, but kind of off, hitting most of the coin but also clipping off part of the side. I was proud of the shot, and I thought this memento would make a great offering. Pat's mentioning it put a smile on my face for a while after that.
Considering all of this, there really was no hope for me. I fell into the role of devotee, recommending TNOTW to everyone and their brother. I read and re-read the book, once aloud to my wife even. His follow-up book, a not-for-children children's picture book, The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle, came out last Fall, and I loved it. It was funny, clever, witty, dark, and overall just another reason to like Pat.
Now that I am about 40% through The Wise Man's Fear, the sequel to The Name of the Wind, my faith in Pat has only grown stronger. The story is even more beautiful than the first, more refined and more entertaining. Last time I met Pat, I blanked out and got, uhm, star struck? Tongue-tied? Nervous? I mean, I was meeting an idol. Tomorrow I hope to act differently, but I make no promises. For even though Pat is a down-to-earth fellow nerd, he's still a famous author who will be, undoubtedly, exhausted from the tour and tired from the late night. I feel bad knowing that I'm taking up his time, but then again, I am driving three hours to see the guy.
Expect a write-up of the event next week. Who knows, I may finish WMF and have that reviewed, too. Also, you should check out Deanna's review of The Name of the Wind here. She met Pat last night at a signing and will have a post up next week, too.