The Wise Man's Fear: An Interview with Patrick Rothfuss


How do you follow up a run-away bestselling heroic fantasy novel that catapults you into the spotlight and earns raves from readers hungry for the next Lord of the Rings? If you’re Patrick Rothfuss you spend the next four years carefully perfecting the sequel while publishing a dark “not-for-children” book in the interim.

A certified Best of the Month selection, The Wise Man’s Fear picks up where Rothfuss’s hugely successful The Name of the Wind left off. Rothfuss’s hero, the youth Kvothe, is cast out of his familiar university environs due to a rivalry with a powerful noble. Penniless and alone, Kvothe travels to a far-distant city, only to become embroiled in court intrigues and even more exciting adventures than related in the first volume. Rothfuss’ commitment to telling the story of one man’s journey through life, set against a backdrop of a truly epic fantasy setting, will richly reward readers who enjoy the work of writers like George R.R. Martin and Brandon Sanderson.

Omni interviewed Rothfuss recently via email to talk about the new novel. Do you mind telling Omni readers where you are right now, while answering these questions?

Patrick Rothfuss: Right now I am sitting in a leather armchair in my private study. I'm wearing a silk smoking jacket and drinking cognac while dictating these answers to my personal assistants. It’s been four years since the first volume of the Kingkiller Chronicle came out. Was that kind of interval always part of the plan?

Rothfuss: You're assuming I had a plan. I really didn't. The Name of the Wind was my very first book. That means I'd never written as my full time job before. I'd never written a book to a deadline. I had no idea what I was doing. At first, I was sure I could get the book out in a year. But that was my ignorance and inexperience talking. I had no idea the amount of revision I needed to do to get the second book ready for publication.

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