With apologies to Greg Behrendt, Patrick Rothfuss is not cool. He is a big ol' geek, nerd, and total frickin' dork of the highest order, best known as an impossibly talented storyteller - but he's not what we'd traditionally describe as "cool".
And he agrees with me.
On the evening of March 1st, I had the privilege of attending the first stop of Patrick's tour to support his highly anticipated second novel, "Wise Man's Fear" at the University of Washington Bookstore in Seattle, WA. Upon entering, Pat marveled at the massive crowd and immediately launched into an endearingly self-deprecating anecdote where he explained how he wants so badly to "be cool" about the success of the book, the dedication of his fans, and the fun of it all - but just can't: he wants to geek out and be excited like the rest of us. It was the manliest Silent *Squee* I've ever witnessed, and we all immediately became best friends.
Sweet, funny, genuine, and exceedingly gracious, Pat answered questions, read from "Wise Man's Fear", and shared some of his poetry. With the bookstore filled to the rafters (with many standing in the nearby stacks, on the stairs, and around the foyer), he acknowledged those who kept in touch with him through his blog and Facebook, talked about world-building, and confirmed he really does want to help Nathan Fillion buy the rights to Firefly. He introduced us to Nathan Taylor (at left in photo), the artist who brought the world maps and The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle to life. It was one big hangout, like old friends catching up after years apart, and long after I said my goodbyes just after 10pm, Pat was still smiling, laughing, and signing books for the 100 or so people who continued to wait patiently.
But he's not cool.