Patrick Rothfuss arrived at BookPeople as a fantasy writer; the creator of the legend of Kvothe, the Kingkiller, whose narration forms the award-winning Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy. By the time he left, he was a legend himself.
We knew we were in for a treat when a last-minute trip enabled Pat to swing by the store while he was in town to learn how to breathe fire. (Yes, you read that correctly.) We built a fortress out of his books around the info desk, made sure all of our staff that are also fans (hint: there are…er…quite a few of us) were working that night, and battened down the hatches. The blockbuster Kingkiller series, of which two out of three books have been written, turned Pat into a superstar in the realm of high fantasy, and we were right to expect a doozy.
Our night started at 7, when Pat read from some assorted new material (it’s a smidge early for us to have gotten a sample from his upcoming novella, set in the same world as Kvothe’s story, which comes out in October and is available for preorder), including a bit from his contribution to a new short story anthology called Rogues. He also read a bit from Neil Gaiman’s contribution to the same book, to the crowd’s delight, and then turned to taking questions about his craft, his characters, and, of course, when we can expect the third Kvothe story. (He answered much more politely than this, but the basic answer to the latter was “If you want it done right, hang tight.”)
Pat and 450+ of his closest friends then took to the signing line, where we hung out, got serenaded by a saxophone solo (fans were encouraged to bring anything to be autographed, and one local musician took that straight to heart), and admired the amazing gifts Pat’s fan brought for him, for four hours. That’s right: Pat was willing to stay until every single fan had gotten to say hello, which meant staying an hour after the store closed. If we’re fortunate enough to see Pat again the next time he’s on tour, we’re bringing sleeping bags and s’more makings.