Gotcha! :P Not exactly, though it does have something to do with the forthcoming novel most fantasy fans want to get their hands on!
This picture was taken at the Daw Books annual dinner at the 2009 Worldcon in Montréal. Many of you will recall that when The Name of the Wind came out, a lot of fans thought I was Patrick Rothfuss. As you can see in the photo, we don't look alike at all, which always left me wondering how/why some people could mistake one for the other. I mean, no one has ever mistaken George R. R. Martin for George Clooney, right? So in any event, we joked about it and he gave me his blessing to autograph any of his books that came my way! ;-)
When I announced the Hotlist's 10th anniversary a few weeks back, some readers got in touch with me and wanted to know what were some of the quirky moments which left their mark in the history of this blog. There are quite a few, it goes without saying. But one of the weirdest had to do with the aforementioned The Doors of Stone. You see, though fans have mistaken me for Rothfuss on numerous occasions, it had never happened with one of his editors. Said editor will of course remain anonymous. . .
In May of 2013, I received an email asking for my input on sketches for the novel's cover art. I didn't immediately realize that something was amiss, for authors and editors do ask for my opinion on these matters from time to time. Here's the email:
Hi Pat, The illustrator has been working on the cover for book 3 for the past few months (using the working title 'Doors of Stone' as a placeholder only, I hasten to add). She's got to the point where we have a working rough, and wanted to ask for your input. Would you mind taking a look - please remember this is only a rough, so it's less than half done! - and letting us know your thoughts?
So I got back to them, letting the editor know what I thought worked and what didn't quite work. Got this reply the next day:
Hi Pat, Lovely to hear from you :) I don’t think we’re wedded to orange. Let me ask the question. And I’ll pass on the badass (good point) lute (great point) and facial expression (thank you!) points to the artist and see what we can do. Maybe once we have those tweaks in place and a slightly reworked version with (in particular) different coloured fonts, we can open the flood gates. What do you think? I’m very relieved that, broadly, this is looking reasonable to you. And I totally agree – the difference between US and UK covers can be absolutely fascinating. They’re different worlds sometimes. I just hope you like both :) . . . I’m going to dare to ask, so please forgive me. How is the third manuscript treating you?
Ooops. . . That's when I realized that Rothfuss' own editor emailed the wrong Pat. So I contacted the editor to let them know that this was the Pat from Pat's Fantasy Hotlist, not Patrick Rothfuss. The reply was not long in coming:
Aie!!! Oh no – I’m so sorry, and what a mistake :( Wow. Oops. I’ve passed it on to the intended recipient, but thank you for letting me know and I believe we’ll have to arrange a proper cover reveal with you when the time comes. Thank you for keeping it under your hat in the meantime and I hope you didn’t mind having an accidental sneak preview. Best, in embarrassment, [name withheld]
The whole thing was pretty funny! And to this day, I'm on the short list of people who have an idea of what the cover art will look like! =) Still have the two sketches on my computer. . .
Would have liked to see the editor's face when my last email got through! ;-)