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Dear Mr Rothfuss. Thank you for your time for an interview.
You grew up in Wisconsin – probably this is lucky for you and the fans of the “Kingkiller Chronicles”. Long winter months and missing cable television initiated your love of printed words. But not everyone who likes to read also likes to write. How did you developed from a reader to a writer?

At first I probably didn't think in terms of being a writer at all. I probably just through it would be cool to have written a book. It's like when a kid thinks about being a rock star. They think about being on stage and all their fans screaming. They don't think about spending years learning an instrument, putting together a band, practicing…

Probably one of the things that started me thinking about actually making my own stories was playing games like Dungeons and Dragaons. Games like that encourage you to make a character of your own, to make a world. Those are the building blocks of stories.

You worked on your first volume of the “Kingkiller Chronicles” - titled “The Name of the Wind” - 14 years altogether. It took seven years to produce the concept, seven years for the revision and the search for agents and publishers. This is quite a long time. Have you ever been in doubt about seeing your book as a printed version?

You've got it turned around. The question should be, "Did you ever think it *would* get published?" and the answer to that is simple. No. I didn't.

I hoped it would, certainly. But I knew the odds were stacked against me. I'm a practical person, I knew I wasn't special or well-connected. That meant I knew it was a statistical likelyhood that my book would never get into print.

After all the novel was published in March 2007. Could you describe the feeling of finally holding the book in your hands?

[I cant' think of a good answer for this. Sorry.]

What was your inspiration for the idea of this trilogy?

[Same here. It's much too big a question for me to answer in a small space. Sorry.]

The background story of this trilogy is very extensive; scenes and figures are elaborated in a detailled and caring way. How does your way of planning work? Do you outline the characters and draw maps to keep an overview yourself?

I don't outline characters, but I do make maps. I'm not a very talented artist, though. I use a computer program for the most part. The ones I draw by hand are very crude. My drawings look like a child's.

In your fantasy-novel you did not make use of creatures like elves, orcs and dragons. Has this been coincidental or was it intended? Did you like to stand out in the crowd of fantasy-authors?

It was very intentional. So many of the fantasy books I'd read seemed to be the same. Elves, dwarves, orcs and goblins. Magic swords. I wanted to write something different.

In April 2009 the second volume “The Wise Man’s Fear“is supposed to be published. Could you already disclose a little bit about it for us?

Wise man's fear won't be out in April. I don't know why everyone thinks that. I'm still working on it now, making sure everything is as good as I can make it.

I can say that Kvothe grows up a bit in the next book. He ends up going out and exploring a bit of the great wide world.

Are you already writing your third volume or does it just exist in your mind by now?

A lot of it is finished. But it will need a lot of work before it's ready. There's a lot of things that need to be just so before a book is really good. It's like trying to bake a cake without a recipe. If you get everything right except one think, the cake will still be ruined.

Do you have plans for the time after you will have finished the “Kingkiller Chronicles“?

A few. I think I might like to try some Urban Fantasy. Or perhaps a modern day Faerie Tale. I also have a dark, strange childrens' book that's almost finished. That should be coming out the US later this year.

Do you have particular rituals which you follow while writing, for example a particular time of writing or a certain number of pages per day?

I tend to write at night, but I don't need to I'm just a night owl for the most part. I like to have some coffee or some strong tea too, to keep my brain spinning.

One thing that I do need to get good work done is a particular keyboard. It's an older kind of keyboard that IBM used to make. The keys click when you type, and when you push them down they make a little "ping" that you can feel through the tips of your fingers. Other non-clicky keyboards are hard for me to use. They feel like I'm tring to type using a bowl of oatmeal.

What do you do when you are not writing? How could we image one day in your life?

Heh. My average day isn't very exciting. I e-mail a lot. Stay in contact with my fans and publishers. I goof off on facebook, play computer games, go out to dinner with my girlfriend and watch movies. Normal stuff.

You already won some awards like the “Quill Book Award“ in the category ‘science fiction, fantasy and horror’. What does this mean to you?

My favorite awards so far have been the ones given to me by the ALA (American Library Association.) So many awards are given away for strange reasons. But librarians are different. All they care about is getting good books into the hands of people who will love to read them. I love librarians.

You would like to teach “creative writing“ some day. What fascinates you concerning this topic?

Everything. I think about stories all the time. What makes them work. What makes characters interesting. Tension, plot, pacing, the use of language. It's all facinating to me. I like to think that I've figured a few things out over the last twenty years. It would be nice to share those thoughts with people who also like to think about writing.

What do you like to read yourself?

Mostly fantasy. But I'll read pretty much anything if it's good. Recently I've been re-reading some of Terry Pratchett's books. He's such an excellent writer.

Is there something you would like to give your readers to ‘take along’?

If you love to write, write for the joy of it. Don't worry too much about what people tell you should or shouldn't do. Find your own way. Make your own mistakes. Find out what's important to you, and wrap your stories around it.

Thank you very much for this interview.

To read the german version of this interview click here.





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