Patrick James Rothfuss (born 6 June 1973) is a New York Times bestselling American fantasy writer and a college lecturer. He is the author of the projected three-volume series The Kingkiller Chonicle.
- Fantasy is my favorite genre for reading and writing. We have more options than anyone else, and the best props and special effects. That means if you want to write a fantasy story with Norse gods, sentient robots, and telepathic dinosaurs, you can do just that. Want to throw in a vampire and a lesbian unicorn while you're at it? Go ahead. Nothing's off limits. But the endless possibility of the genre is a trap. It's easy to get distracted by the glittering props available to you and forget what you're supposed to be doing: telling a good story. Don’t get me wrong, magic is cool. But a nervous mother singing to her child at night while something moves quietly through the dark outside her house? That’s a story. Handled properly, it’s more dramatic than any apocalypse or goblin army could ever be.
- I remember sitting down once, [at] three in the morning and probably the only person awake in Stevens Point [...] *imitates typing with his fingers* And I stop, and I think: "This is crap! I've spent years of my life writing crap. This will never be published - it isn't good... I've wasted years of my life!" *shrugs and types on* You do it because you like the process. I mean... you write because you like to write.
- I was heavily influenced by my first attempt at a novel. I started a fantasy novel back in high school, and.... well... it really sucked. It was a plotless, clichéd mess. When I sat down to write this book, I wanted to make something much, much better. I wanted to write something that was pretty much the opposite of that first novel.
Also, I read Cyrano De Bergerac, right before I started writing the book. Cyrano's character reminded me of some important things, namely, what it really means to be a tragic hero. You don't need a lot of the cliché fantasy trappings to have that cool character.
I also read Giacomo Casanova's memoirs soon after starting this project. That opened my eyes to how interesting an autobiography could be, provided the person telling it has a way with words and has lived a sufficiently adventurous life....
- Anyway, I was listening to Beagle answer a question on the panel, he said something along the lines of, "I'd never want to write The Last Unicorn again. It was excruciatingly hard, because I was writing a faerie tale while at the same time writing a spoof of a faerie tale."
I just sat there thunderstruck. I realized that's exactly what I had been doing for over a decade with my story. I was writing heroic fantasy, while at the same time I was satirizing heroic fantasy.
While telling his story, Kvothe makes it clear that he's not the storybook hero legends make him out to be. But at the same time, the reader sees that he's a hero nonetheless. He's just a hero of a different sort.
- Interview with Fantasy Book Critic (25 May 2007)
- I’m just very careful with my words when I write. Obsessively careful. I’m the sort of person who worries about the difference between “slim” and “slender.”
- Interview with Peter Hodges and Kate Baker
- Quotes from Patrickrothfuss.com (primarily from his official blog)
- My book is different.
In case you hadn't noticed, the story I'm telling is a little different. It's a little shy on the Aristotelian unities. It doesn't follow the classic Hollywood three-act structure. It's not like a five-act Shakespearean play. It's not like a Harlequin romance.
So what *is* the structure then? Fuck if I know. That's part of what's taking me so long to figure out. As far as I can tell, my story is part autobiography, part hero's journey, part epic fantasy, part travelogue, part faerie tale, part coming of age story, part romance, part mystery, part metafictional-nested-story-frame-tale-something-or-other.
I am, quite frankly, making this up as I go. If I get it right, I get something like The Name of the Wind. Something that makes all of us happy.
But if I fuck it up, I'll end up with a confusing tangled mess of a story.
Now I'm not trying to claim that I'm unique in this. That I'm some lone pioneer mapping the uncharted storylands. Other authors do it too. My point is that doing something like this takes more time that writing another shitty, predictable Lord of the Rings knockoff.
Sometimes I think it would be nice to write a that sort of book. It would be nice to be able to use those well-established structures like a sort of recipe. A map. A paint-by-numbers kit.
It would be so much easier, and quicker. But it wouldn't be a better book. And it's not really the sort of book I want to write.
- I saw Mr. Martin at Worldcon last year. And I almost went up to him and asked, “How have you gone this long without killing someone?” Because however much flak I happen to get from fans, he has to get a thousand times more.
In my opinion, he's a saint. If I had to deal with that level of fan dickishness, I would have already lost my shit in some spectacular way. There would be a video of me on youtube, gone all berserk with nerd rage, holding someone up by the neck, shouting "I've got your sequel right here, bitch!"
- There is only one Whedon, and I am his prophet.
- I really don't go in for talking about current events on the blog. The main reason for this is the fact that I am profoundly out of touch with the outside world. I don't have cable and I don't watch the news. On the rare occasion I miss the news and feel the need to absorb some fearmongering bullshit, I just drop a tab of acid and read a Lovecraft story. There's less pretense that way.
- I mean seriously. If the book had a solid pub date, don't you think I'd mention it? Do you think I'd sit here at home, rubbing my hands together and chortling: "Yes! If I withhold this information another week, I'm sure to get another 100 e-mails asking me about the book!"
Yup. That's exactly what I'd do. Because obviously I am some sort of alien life form that lives on snarky fanmail and bitchy blog comments. Since I became stranded on your strange world years ago, they have been my only means of sustenance.
- It’s like this: if you have one piece of cake, and you eat it, that’s fine. If you have two pieces of cake, you should probably share some with a friend. But maybe not. Occasionally we could all use two pieces of cake.But if you have a whole cake, and you eat *all* of it, that’s not very cool. It’s not just selfish, it’s kinda sick and unhealthy.
The Name of the Wind (2007)
- My name is Kvothe, pronounced nearly the same as "quothe." Names are important as they tell you a great deal about a person. I've had more names than anyone has a right to. The Adem call me Maedre. Which, depending on how it's spoken, can mean The Flame, The Thunder, or The Broken Tree.
- First lines
- I have been called Kvothe the Bloodless, Kvothe the Arcane, and Kvothe Kingkiller. I have earned those names. Bought and paid for them.
But I was brought up as Kvothe. My father once told me it meant "to know."
I have, of course, been called many other things. Most of them uncouth, although very few were unearned.
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
You may have heard of me.
- "Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. There are seven words that will make a woman love you. There are ten words that will break a strong man’s will. But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself.”
- "Remember this son, if you forget everything else: A poet is a musician who can't sing. Words have to find a man's mind before they can touch his heart. And, some men's minds are woeful small targets. Music touches their hearts directly, no matter how small or stubborn the mind of the man who listens.”
- "Call a jack a jack. Call a spade a spade. But always call a whore a lady. Their lives are hard enough, and it never hurts to be polite."
The Wise Man's Fear (2011)
- On his first hand he wore rings of stone,
Iron, Amber, Wood and Bone.
There were rings unseen on his second hand,
One was blood in a flowing band,
One was air all whisper thin,
And the ring of ice had a flaw within.
Full faintly shone the ring of flame,
And the final ring was without name.
- We love what we love. Reason does not enter into it. In many ways, unwise love is the truest love. Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.
- There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.
- By Kvothe, main protagonist of The Kingkiller Chronicle. The quotation is referred to for the first time in chapter 43 of The Name of the Wind.
- "It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he'll look for his own answers.