Patrick Rothfuss: “A Writer of Things” | Talks at Google

morning everyone. Welcome to another exciting
Talk at Google event. Today, we’re extremely
thrilled to have with us Patrick Rothfuss, a writer of
things, welcome him to Google. [APPLAUSE AND CHEERING] MALE SPEAKER: Now, Pat
has written several books you may have heard of,
there’s this whole Kingkiller Chronicles bit, there’s “The
Tale of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle”, and we’re going
to talk about that today. For those of you that are here
in the audience and on YouTube, I do have one quick forewarning. We will be covering
spoilers from books one and two, mild spoilers. But if you haven’t read
the books, pause right now, go to the Google Play
store, buy the books, restart and then join
us in another day or two and you’ll be all set. Now, we also will have some
spoilers from the third book, but that’s only if you
take the YouTube video, reverse it, run it through
the Google Translate mode into [INAUDIBLE], and then
watch the hand-gestures, so that’s about it. And we also have
go/askrothfuss for those of you in the audience and want
to ask some questions. So Pat, I thought we’d start
by talking a little bit about your writing
process and how you come up with
these great ideas. So, going all the way
back, when you hang out with your children, do you
have ongoing narratives that you tell them,
stories that you weave? Do you find seeds
in that that could be appropriate for
a broader audience? PAT ROTHFUSS: Well, let
me do the first one first. I do, actually, with my
little boy, my oldest, I started telling him
stories years ago. We would sit down, and I would
tell him a little adventure story. And at first, it was just
sort of a story about a boy, and then it suddenly
it was kind of him, but sometimes it was not him. And it would be
centered around whatever he was fixated on in the moment. For a while, skunks were the
coolest possible thing ever, and so it wasn’t just the
story about this little boy, he was a skunk boy,
so the story had better center around his
ability to spray animals with this stank, or it would
not be a satisfactory story. Then he was into lizards,
and of course, the story better center around
him changing color so that he could defend
himself or scare people away. Now, do these directly
translate into stuff that’s good for a fantasy novel? No, no, not really. But it actually
goes the other way. It’s because storytelling
is pretty old hat for me, and that goes all the
way back to any table top D&D or any role-playing games. It’s really just
improvisational storytelling. I have LARPed, which is
real improv storytelling. It’s all similar aspects
of the storytelling craft. I’ve been thinking
about it a lot lately, because it’s
a ton of fun with him, and they used to be
little standalone stories, and then they started getting
connected where he would say, well he would use
the magic rope. And I’m like, what
magic rope is that? He’s like, the magic rope he
found before, and I’m like, right, OK, yeah, that’s
right, there was a magic rope. And so now, he’s having a little
D&D adventure with a continuing character that is him kind of. And I have a lot of
fun with it, and I’ve been thinking of trying
to come up with some way that I could bring that
to other people who aren’t storytellers by their nature,
that’s not their craft. Like a series of cards that
you could use as storytelling framework where it’s like a
setting card, it’s a forest, it’s a castle, it’s a
cave, what’s in there? Well, there’s webs, it’s
night time, it’s raining. And these things that
could give somebody who doesn’t do this
for a living a way to have a storytelling
experience with their kid. But you know, I
need another project right now like I need
a whole in the head, so I’ve been pushing off that. MALE SPEAKER: I like
what you said, there. I think there’s really a lot
to be said about improvising, and them whole
idea of, yes, and, and continuing with the story. Now, with that the
origin for Mr. Whiffle as well from stories
told to your children PAT ROTHFUSS: No, that was
a story that I originally told to my girlfriend
back in grad school. Grad school was a
dark time for me, and so we were both living
out in Washington state, and she was going
to bed earlier, and I was going to bed later. And one night she
said, tell me a story. We had separate bedrooms, and
so I went into her bedroom, and she’s like, tell me a
story before I go to sleep. So I said, once
upon a time, there was a princess who lived
in a marzipan castle, starting with the grossest,
most saccharin sort of children’s story I
could possibly imagine. And it infuriated me so
much when it came out of my own mouth that
twisted it into something dark and terrible. And then I finished it, and I
thought, that was a good story, I feel good about that. And she was laying there
in bed, and she was like, now I can’t sleep. And so I’m like, OK, and then
I put a different ending on it that was even more
saccharine and awful than the first one that
had started to piss me off. And so then I put
a third one on it that was much worse
than the other. And it was a fun story,
and I told it to somebody the next day, and one of
them was an illustrator. We did a cartoon in the
campus paper, and he said, I’d love to draw that. So I took a couple hours
and I scripted it out, and nothing came of it for five
years until “Name of the Wind” was already published, and
then somebody approached me, the lovely folks at Subterranean
Press, “Name of the Wind” had been out like a week and
a half, and Bill emails me, and he’s like, so,
what do you want to do that you’ve never
had a chance to do? Come do it with us. And I’m like, I got
a weird kids story, and he’s like, let’s do that. And if it wasn’t
for him it never would have seen
the light of day. MALE SPEAKER: So
marzipan castle, are there any other fancy
tropes that you particularly hate apart from stew and– PAT ROTHFUSS: I love stew. That’s Scalzi that has a problem
with stew and fantasy novels. I hate the feeling of
picking up any book and reading it, being excited
about reading a new book, and feeling like I’ve
read the book before. And if you read
a lot of fantasy, you know what I’m talking about. And I’m not saying– I’ve
done a couple of interviews, and I end up quoted
kind of out of context. I think there’s one
up on– it might have been io9 or something–
where the big pull quote is, Rothfuss says fantasy has to
move past dragons and goblins. And I’m like, whoa, whoa,
whoa, that’s a little extreme, it’s that we need more than. It’s like if you’re
going to do that, you should do it in a way
that hasn’t been done before. Oh yeah, I think I
took a crack at dwarfs an elves with long
bows and stuff, so it really looked
like I was either taking a pot shot at Martin, or
Tolkien, and that’s not true. Because Martin and Tolkien have
written some really amazing stories, but there’s a lot
of people who have maybe recycled some of those troops
past their sell by date. MALE SPEAKER: Well even having
a story told in the first-person was a pretty good– PAT ROTHFUSS: Yeah, although
I wasn’t the first there by any means. Joan Vinge was writing
brilliant first-person, Robin Hobb wrote brilliant
first-person fantasy, too. And honestly, first-person is
the most natural storytelling form. If you are talking to
anybody during lunch today, you don’t say, yesterday, she
was, you say, yesterday, I was, that’s the most natural
storytelling form there is. But you’re right, it doesn’t
show up in novels as much. MALE SPEAKER: Now,
Terry Pratchett, one of your favorite
authors, well-loved among this crowd as
well, he ceremoniously deletes every draft copy of
his books and manuscripts before they come out. Do you do the same? Is there a university vying
for the Rothfuss papers, the early drafts? PAT ROTHFUSS: It
kind of horrified me, and it broke my heart
a little hearing that. But I read the same article
where he said, yeah, he goes, I delete every other
thing after it’s published. He goes, let the
literary analysis get real jobs or
something like that. And that’s his right,
it’s the equivalent of burning your papers. No, I keep a lot
of my old drafts, the computer file with “Name
of the Wind” in it has, like, 600 embedded
comments where I make note of what
particular words mean, or sometimes it’s just,
leave this sentence alone because the meter is good
so that if I’m revising it, I don’t screw up that nice
little piece in there. Sometimes it’s, this is actually
a reference to something that’s happening in book
three, so if you forgot this, Rothfuss,
don’t change this either. Sometimes one of my beta
readers has given me a really funny comment
that I don’t want to lose, and I’ll tuck it in there. I get a lot of great
peanut gallery comments from my beta readers. MALE SPEAKER: So, is
there any hope of those comments seeing the light of
day or an extended edition, things that may have
gotten in editing? PAT ROTHFUSS: There will
never be a director’s cut. This is the director’s cut. What you have is the
best possible book. If we cut something,
it’s because it really shouldn’t be in there. But that said, an
annotated version for the people who perhaps
enjoy the book beyond all reason or sense? I have a delightful
number of those people, I am one of those
people, and you really want to know what
this phrase actually means, what the
etymology of the words is, and a few of
the little jokes. And it’s not giving
anything away, in the very first pages
of “Name of the Wind” when you meet the
troop and they’re talking about them
setting up, and there’s Marion and his wife who are
doing a string-puppet show. And what would Marion wife,
what would his wife’s name be? What is it? AUDIENCE: Marionette. PAT ROTHFUSS: Marionette, right? See? And that’s just there for me
and maybe you, if you catch it, but the books are full of that. I wanted to put like
100 things on every page so that if you caught
two, you’d be like, oh, there’s some
cool stuff in here. And then when you
read it again, there’s some stuff that you
really can’t appreciate until you’re reading
it the second time or until you’ve read
the second book, or until you’ve
read the third book. So those things are
waiting for people. MALE SPEAKER: Yeah
even allusions to Dune I found on a repeated
reading, which was cool PAT ROTHFUSS: Something
about Dun, really? MALE SPEAKER: Sand
worms I don’t know. PAT ROTHFUSS: Oh,
yeah, there is, yeah. MALE SPEAKER: So,
another well-known author was recently in the
press a few months ago about things that she would
have changed in her books. So now that you have
two of the books out, anything that you would
have changed in book one or two or maybe done a
little differently? PAT ROTHFUSS: Who’s the author? Oh, right, I know that,
let’s not go there. I made a trigonometry
mistake in the first book, and it’s really embarrassing,
because like anybody who knows some basic
trigonometry looks at that and they’re like, no. It’s in Kvothe’s first
admission interview, and he answers with such
authority that a lot of people are like, I guess you’re
right, and they move on. And I did the math
once, but then I think I changed the formatting
and I moved the question, and so he’s supposed to
calculate the length of a side based on the angles in the other
two sides, and it’s just wrong and nobody calls him on it. And that’s my mistake,
some people are like, oh, maybe in the book,
I’m like, no, don’t. You can cut me a break
with other things, but this was me not
doing the math right. MALE SPEAKER: And I guess your
works have been translated quite extensively as
well, so what sort of hand do you have in that? Any hidden secrets found from
reading a foreign language edition or a favorite cover? PAT ROTHFUSS: I’m a
freak, and because there’s like 1,000 hidden
things in the book, it would be really irrational
for me to expect a translator to catch those things because
I specifically put them in such a way so
that they’re hidden. And so you have
a piece of poetry and it seems like it’s
about something else, but there’s actually
other things seeded in, like little secrets there for
the people who want to delve. I don’t want to turn this
into a fricking Sudoku, right? That’s not the
point of this book. I want you to be able
to read it and have fun, and if that’s
all you get, great. But if you’re the person
who likes to delve, I want there to be
stuff there for you. And so that means it’s sort of
resting underneath the surface. And my poor translators,
because I play word games, and I have puns. Who’s multilingual? Have you ever tried
to translate a pun? It’s a nightmare. And the books are full of it. Everyone’s name means something,
the name mean something, and it’s a reference
to something in one of my created languages. But in their language,
coat means kitten, and they’re like, how
do I deal with this? So I quickly realized
that this was going to be a problem
because one of my very first translators,
my Dutch translator, actually contacted
me and started asking me these questions. And I just started to
sweat cold realizing that there was no way
for the translators to do their job without a
ton of information from me. And so I actually
created a forum, there’s a
password-protected forum out there that only the
translators– even editors don’t get to go in there. Because I love my editors,
but that’s not for you, it’s for the translators and the
people who just need that info. There’s a lot of things there. MALE SPEAKER: So shifting
a little bit more towards the books
themselves, I see that there’s a heavy use of
three’s throughout your two books, and so this is a question
from Josh in the audience, so I must ask you
three times, why do you use groupings of
threes in your writing? PAT ROTHFUSS: OK, how–
isn’t there a Schoolhouse Rock, (SINGING) three,
it’s a magic number. (SPEAKING) The truth is, three
is just mythically significant, it’s mathematically significant. If I go on a big
screed about it I’m going to look either flaky
or tin foil hat, but it is. Here’s what it is,
three of something establishes a pattern. One, you can’t graph from
one point, you all know that. You can graph from
two points, but you shouldn’t, that makes a line. MALE SPEAKER: Three
makes a plane. PAT ROTHFUSS: Three makes
plane, more specifically, three makes a
circle, and a circle allows you to begin to
center in on a concept. Is that the reason we find
it mythically significant? No, maybe, I don’t know. That’s my answer, I don’t know. MALE SPEAKER: And
of course there’s seven as well so that’s nice. PAT ROTHFUSS: Sevens
easier, I think, actually, that goes back to the
phases of the moon. If you– these days,
who sees the moon? But– there’s somebody
back there, good, you and me, the people who
actually look at the moon– but if you think of it,
think of the people living pre-electric light,
the moon is a big deal. And it’s got a cycle of 28 days,
you have waxing, waning, full, each quarter is seven days. You can take out
all the way back like the Earth-mother
of Lascaux and whatever, I’m not going to do an
anthropology lecture, here. MALE SPEAKER: So,
and also, how do you approach the balance of
technology in your world? Do you introduce something
like The Bloodless? How do you keep that from
becoming a deus ex machina that just starts an arms race. PAT ROTHFUSS: You have
to be really careful. And this is a criticism I will
level against some fantasy, sometimes– OK, Rowling’s
books are well-loved. But some of the things that
were put in those books to serve a very useful
purpose in the book were not well considered
in terms of their– like, if this exists, then. And the biggest, classic version
is the time turner, right? If something like this exists,
well then, and any rational person says, but if this, then. And there’s a bunch of
then from the time turner. It’s so big that everyone
butts up against that. But there’s a bunch of
other little things, too, that once it’s
introduced, this should have huge, far-reaching
implications in the world, and if it doesn’t,
what this does is it screws up the elaborate
modeling system that we have that makes us human. We’ve got an incredible
modeling processor, here, that allows us to set
and solve problems without even being aware of it. It’s the thing that
creates the uncanny valley. If you see a face, and
it’s not a right face, it freaks out our brains. But if it’s a totally
off face, that’s fine, but if it’s a
slightly wrong face, it gives us a severe wiggins. It’s the same thing is
true with our fiction. If everything is just like
William Burroughs “Naked Lunch”, crazy, nothing,
nobody ever points at something in William
Burroughs and says, this is a plot hole,
that’s ridiculous. But with a story that’s supposed
to cohere, and be rational, and follow rules, and then
it doesn’t, it bugs us. It really bugs us, and
sometimes in the rush to tell a good story,
technology is introduced, or a piece of magic
is introduced, and its ramifications
are carefully permeated through the society. And then sometimes authors
go back in later books and really have to start
to backfill, which is fair, and I respect the ones that go,
whoa, I did not anticipate that and then they fix it. But sometimes it’s just
like, and I’m moving on, I’ve got a new book to write. I think the difference is
hard fantasy in soft fantasy, people talk about hard
sci-fi and soft sci-fi, I think there’s hard and
soft fantasy as well. Hard fantasy tries its best
to be coherent, and realistic, and it all fits together,
and it all makes sense. Soft fantasy is like,
eh, there’s dragons, there’s a million dragons in
the world, what do they eat? A million dragons,
magic, there’s a lot of hand-waving involved. I don’t write soft fantasy. MALE SPEAKER: Well, and I
think that you did a good job with that, as well, in terms
of the economy of the Four Corners, like
Kvothe’s tuition bill, and just the monetary exchange. PAT ROTHFUSS: I’m a bit
of an economy geek, yeah. MALE SPEAKER: So,
let’s see here, so, George R.R. Martin
wrote the scenes following the red wedding before he
wrote the wedding itself. When you were writing
the books one, books two, what was the last
thing that you wrote? Did you skip around? Or did you move forward
through the narrative? PAT ROTHFUSS: The last thing
that I wrote, I do skip around. I do skip around, when I
was writing the whole thing, I skipped ahead and wrote
a huge chunk of book three before I went back and filled
in the gaps, so to speak. And then when I’m
revising, of course, I’m hopping all over the
place and sometimes I need to yank out a chapter
for pacing reasons, and I need to put something
in here for clarity, so no, I’m all over the place. MALE SPEAKER: I guess
the latest rumor from the internets concerns
a series of short stories, some origin stories,
some novellas, something like [INAUDIBLE] or something
like that, why them? Why now? Does it help you write
what’s yet to come? Or is it something that’s
always been in your mind? PAT ROTHFUSS: Well, George
Martin and Gardner Dozois, I think– I don’t know how
to pronounce his last name, I just see it in print– were
editing an anthology called, Rogues, and they invited me in. And they invited
me in previously, and I wasn’t able to take
them up on their offer. They do these
beautiful anthologies, they did dangerous women
and star-crossed lovers, with big names, and it’s really
flattering to be invited. And I had to pass on
two of them because I was working on book two and
trying to really get that done. Then I realized that focusing
exclusively on book two really makes me
crazy, and unhappy, and does not make
me write faster, it makes me right slower. And so when they invited
me into Rogues, I accepted. And when I was struggling to
write a good story for it, after failing remarkably
about three times, I wrote a Bast story. I wouldn’t say it’s
an origin story, but it centers around Bast. And so that’ll be coming
out in that anthology. And I just found out
that’s happening in June. And I’m a little tingly, there,
because Gaiman’s in it as well, and he’s got, I think,
in this anthology, is how the Marquis de
Carabas got his coat back, which is, if you’ve
read Neverwhere, I’ve been waiting to hear
that story for five years. Yeah. MALE SPEAKER: And
that’s yet to come. Do you think that there’s
room for a Silmarillion or an atlas, things like
that in the Four Corners? PAT ROTHFUSS: I
could do an atlas. And people, a lot of
people who ask me, when are you going to
do role-playing game set in your world? What they kind of
mostly want is an atlas. And I know a lot of
people who would never role-play in the
world would still probably buy it and
use it as an atlas. And I’d love to do that if
I did not have anything else going on right now,
which I kind of do. It would take a lot of work
for me to assemble that, and I can’t outsource that, I’m
the only one that knows so many of these things. MALE SPEAKER: All right,
so Kvothe shortens momentous events into a couple
sentences, things like his boat ride to the sea, his
trial, how much of that is the way he tells stories? And how much of that corresponds
to things that you actually wrote then but then
decided not to use? PAT ROTHFUSS: You know,
this comes up a lot, and there’s a few places in
the book where people are like, oh, Rothfuss cut this because
the book was too long. Or Rothfuss cut this
because he wanted to cut it. But if I wrote a story and it
left a visible scar like that, that would not be
good storytelling. In the same way, it
would not be good surgery if you have a big Frankenstein
scar running down, and the two pieces of my head
don’t fit together right. That would be clumsy. So, you can assume,
and honestly, people assume that I wrote that
and then took it out, and it’s simply not true. I didn’t write it. So then, why did I put
something like that in implying that
there was a story, and then not giving you the
story, therefore, making you want something that
you’re not going to get. Why would I do that? And that’s a good question. MALE SPEAKER: It leaves room
for imagination, I like that. So here’s a question from
Michael here at Google. He says, at Google,
we sort of implicitly stand for the proposition that
making knowledge available is good. In that way, the [? K’thah ?]
scares the crap out of me. PAT ROTHFUSS: Oh,
the [? K’theh ?]. MALE SPEAKER: [? K’theh ?],
that was the follow-up question. PAT ROTHFUSS: Yeah, it’s
a weirdly spelled name. [? K’theh ?]. MALE SPEAKER: [? K’theh ?]. We’ll pause on that,
can you offer any solace to that dichotomy? Is too much knowledge
a bad thing. PAT ROTHFUSS: Is? I won’t say is, I won’t say too
much knowledge is a bad thing. I will say that too much
knowledge can be a bad thing. Yeah, I will absolutely–
and of course, that’s of extraordinarily
simplified stance, I’m painting with a
broad brush, there, but yeah, I would make an
argument for some instances where too much knowledge
is a bad thing. MALE SPEAKER: All right, cool. He also wants to know
if the Lackless box is keeping something or
keeping something out. PAT ROTHFUSS: That is
also a great question. MALE SPEAKER: I’m sure it is. So, why didn’t Kvothe ever
make a concerted effort to show that Ambrose sent him
into the stacks with a candle? Question from Andrew
in the audience. PAT ROTHFUSS: That’s
a fair question. You can almost view that from
a simple legal standpoint, it’s like, he says, she says. You have two people
who are saying different things,
who do you trust? MALE SPEAKER: One’s a Scriv. PAT ROTHFUSS: One is
an established student, he’s been around for a long
time who works at the archives, and the other is
some punk kid who’s already started making
trouble in his first days at the university. It sucks, yeah,
but you should not mistake your over-arching
narrative perspective as something that everyone
possesses both in the book and in the real
world, by the way. MALE SPEAKER: So, can you
shed some light on what things some other folks may have taken
from the Latantha, the Sword Tree, what would
you, personally, have taken during your trials? PAT ROTHFUSS: That’s an
interesting question. Pass. I don’t have a
good answer for it. That’s the mark of
a good question, that I hesitate to
be glib with it. But no, I can’t get my
head around that quick. MALE SPEAKER: Well, here’s
a follow-up along the lines that hopefully you can
answer, do you know Kung Fu? You’re describing the martial
arts scenes in great detail, is there any interest there? PAT ROTHFUSS: Actually,
if you go back and look, you’ll realize that I did not
describe them in great detail. And this is a thing that I
delight in fooling people with. I met somebody once
at a con ages ago, and that was back when things
were a little more relaxed, book had only been
out 18 months. So I got together with some
high school students who had contacted me,
and they were like, you’re coming to Dragon Con,
we should have burritos. And I’m like, we
should have burritos. And so we went out,
and we had burritos, and we’re hanging
out, and he was like, my favorite part
is when Kvothe goes and he kicks ass on this Scrael. And he’s just all over the
place, and he’s just awesome, and he’s so badass. And I’m like, I’m really
glad you like that scene, but I didn’t write it. You kind of wrote
that, because you see everything that
leads up to it, and then there’s a
scene break, and then you come in at the end of it. And I’m like, you did that. Which is great, because
that’s how I like to write. I’d like to imply, more than
I exply, that doesn’t work. I like to be implicit
more than explicit. It takes a lot more work and
it’s dangerous in your writing, because what I want you to infer
is not always what you infer, which is why I have this
elaborate beta reader process, to check
if my implication is having the desired effect. For the Kung Fu–
you want a secret? Do you want secret? MALE SPEAKER: I think
so, we’re here at Google. PAT ROTHFUSS: If you’ve ever
read the Princess Bride, who’s read– not the
movie– who’s read it? Right? You know when they’re
fighting, Inigo Montoya is fighting his sword
master, whatever. And they’re going
back and forth, and they’re saying,
oh, you’re using this, oh, you’re using that. The sword play is
never described. And I remember reading
that and thinking, this is so exciting,
and so cool. And I’m not reading eight
brick thick passages of like, then I parried in Quarte
and the forte of my sword touched his whatever dongle. Because for the people
who get fencing and know all the terminology,
that can be really sexy, but the slice of
the pie chart is very narrow for
those fencing geeks. And in the Princess Bride
what he did is he’s like, can you imagine what
Benetti’s defense might be? You do that. Is it awesome? Yeah, that’s so awesome. Now we’re going to
move on, and I’m going to give you another
cool-sounding name, can you imagine what
that sounds like? Yeah, that’s awesome,
too, isn’t it? Let’s keep going. And so you don’t need to know
anything about sword play or anything, and you cannot
be disappointed in the action because it’s all here. And this is something the books
can do that movies can’t, and so if you’re writing and you
don’t take advantage of that, you’re really missing out on one
of the huge potential benefits of text over visual imagery. And so what I do a lot of
times, now, I do occasionally, I talk about some elements
of the body or whatever. But usually I try
to give something a very evocative
name, and then I’ll describe a little bit of the
physicality, but just enough to ground it in reality. And then I give you a
little bit of scaffolding and you create the rest, so
it’s a total team effort. MALE SPEAKER: So
Fela’s explanation of the rival factions of
Master Archivists and Scrivs throughout the years, each
organizing their own library is great, but Alison,
who wrote this in, said that it reminds her of
the bad side of Wikipedia or refactoring other
open source products. Did you have a real life analog
in mind when that came through? PAT ROTHFUSS: A lot of times I
write something and then people email me and they
go, it’s so nice that somebody who
really understands post traumatic stress disorder
has finally written about it. And I’m like, ah yeah, I suppose
that is post traumatic stress disorder, isn’t it? I’m glad I nailed that. But really what I
was doing is like, if this person was
in this situation, what would the realistic
human response be? And then I postulate,
and extrapolate, and attempt to convey that. There’s some things in
writing that I’m not good and I have to struggle with, but
I think that piece is something that I am very good
at, that extrapolating from known factors
into the unknown. And so that’s how
I did the music. I love it when people
say, oh finally, a musician writing about music. I’ve been waiting
for so long, and I’m like, ha, ha, ha, I got you. Nothing makes me prouder
than fooling a musician into thinking that
I am a musician. I think I might have had a
third point, but it’s gone now. I only got two hours of
sleep last night, sorry. MALE SPEAKER: It’s always
important, the sleep. I wanted to talk a little
bit about the fans, and the fan community
that’s arisen around you. You’re always really
generous, like you said, from going for
burritos, to signing books that people will mail you. Was that something that
came immediately to you, or where you always
this extroverted? Did you grow into it? PAT ROTHFUSS: I don’t know
if I’m actually extroverted. You can be– this
is something I’ve been trying to get
a bead on for years, now, because I love this. I love getting
together with people that are interested
in books, I love talking about things, whether it
be writing, or the earth-mother of Lascaux or anthropology,
or whatever your a geek about. And so I always assumed that
I was kind of an extrovert, but it turns out
you can actually really enjoy talking
about things like that, or being in front
of an audience, or signing 1,000 books, and
be an introvert as well. So first off I’ll say,
introverts I am one of you. Then give me the question again. MALE SPEAKER: Was it
something you grew into, like managing the fan community. PAT ROTHFUSS: Actually,
here I can trace this back to its origin. For one, I am from
the Midwest, and so we tend to be considerate people,
polite, considerate, people who will make you a casserole
at the drop of a hat. We try to take care of people. Also, when you start
out as a writer, it’s not like your book
gets published and then here’s an 800 person signing,
how do you deal with this? No, I got pictures of me
sitting at a table in front of a Waldenbooks and
people walking past, desperately trying to
avoid eye contact with me. That’s where you start. And then you get
to the point where you’re like, 10
people showed up, woo! I’m famous! And then there’s this level,
which is just, frankly, weird, and I only cope by not
thinking about it too much. I’m getting to the
point now where I’m having to reevaluate the
level at which I interact with people just from the
cruel mathematics of it. When I went to Barcelona, and I
did a signing– I was in Spain, and I did something at Madrid,
and 800 people showed up. And so they couldn’t let
them in, they were lined up in the street, and then they
couldn’t– there was no dealing with them all. And I would happily
stay all night, but I did have stuff to
do in the next morning, and so when we went to
Barcelona, there like, we’re worried. Barcelona’s a bigger city,
we’re going to get a lot more, we’re going to get 1,000 people. I’m like, we won’t
get 1,000 people. They’re like, we should only
let people bring one book, and I’m like, no, no, I
don’t want to do that. If these people are going to
stand in line for five hours, I’m going to– I let her win that argument,
and 2,000 people showed up. And then I have to
do this math where it’s like, now I can’t take
pictures with everyone. We left the burrito
days behind long ago. I can’t hang out and have
burritos with everyone, now. But now it’s weird, because you
start looking at 2,000 people, and you’re like, if I can save
three seconds in each of these, then the people at
the end of the line get to go home and
hour and a half early. And it leads to some
really weird stuff. Like if I don’t say, to Maria,
if I just say, Maria, comma, this actually has an
impact on how long the signing is going to take. And that kind of sucks. Because I would
love to hang out, I want to hear your story
about how you found the book, or it helped you through
a difficult time, or we’ll talk about whatever. And it’s getting
to the point where I can’t do that with
every one, and so I don’t know how to
do with some people without having it
be really unfair. And I’m still
struggling with that. But I can say I got started,
partly with my own personality, being Midwestern, but
just a couple months in, I saw Neil Gaiman in action. He did a reading in assigning
it a little time near where I was so I watched him
read and answer questions. And who’s seen Neil
Gaiman do his thing? He’s marvelous. He’s so graceful, and
gentle, and articulate, and considerate, and I
saw him– so he was there, he gave this little
con a piece of his time as a favor to his friend,
took the red eye back from the Beowulf
premiere in London to get there on Saturday,
to do this little con. And then after doing
his thing, stuck around to talk with the new authors
for like an hour and a half, just goodness of his
heart, man is exhausted. And then after that, he starts
to go home so he can sleep, and he gets hijacked, somebody
ambushes him, and says, oh, Mr. Gaiman, my
brother is a huge fan, and he’s really trying
to get published, and it would really
mean the world to him if you could read
his manuscript. And he says, I wish I could. If you could email me eight
hours in which to read it, I would love to
read it, but they’re just aren’t enough hours in
the day, I don’t have the time. And he goes, how about maybe
just a couple of chapter, he’s such huge fan, he’s having
such trouble getting started. And Neil says, well, he’d
probably get better response from somebody he could
sit down with and have a good conversation
with, somebody he could sit down
over coffee with. And the kid wasn’t mean,
there was no malice, he just didn’t get it. And he was coming
from a place of love, trying to help his brother. And he ran up against
Neil like five times, and I was watching it, trying
to figure out how I could, no! Like, take the bullet
for him or say, I’d read your brother’s
manuscript, I’m not that busy, so Neil could run away. But I watched Neil do it again
and again, always polite, always considerate,
never got tetchy, never got a little snarky, never
did [SIGH], none of that. And I thought, if Neil
Gaiman can do this, and he gets this five times
a day, and he’s exhausted, there’s no reason for
me to ever be anything other than gracious
to one of my readers. And so I made that
decision right there. MALE SPEAKER: So going
off the Midwest threads that you started weave, is
your writing Midwestern? Is this a Midwest tale? PAT ROTHFUSS: I’m not
sure, I don’t know. It could be that some of
it is influenced– probably my landscapes. There’s a lot of small town,
and the landscape itself is usually forested. Somebody said once, they wrote
in my margins, they said, I know you try to make your
world not look like our world. Then they said, but I
recognize your trees, and I’m like, yeah, that’s true. This is a Wisconsin forest
that he’s walking through. MALE SPEAKER: And roads as well. So, I wanted to shift the
focus over to Worldbuilders. So, Alison wrote again,
congratulations on the $670,000 raised for Worldbuilders this
year so that’s really great. That’s actually the
charity that Pat founded. She wants to know what the
second best part of running it is. PAT ROTHFUSS: The second
best, that’s a great question. MALE SPEAKER:
There’s warm fuzzies, but what’s the second best? PAT ROTHFUSS: Honestly,
the second best part of it is the confirmation of
my longstanding theory that people are inherently good. I mean, there’s
a lot of evidence to the contrary out there,
and it’s really easy to get down on humanity. And then you say,
hey, everybody, would you like to give money to
make the world a better place? And they do, and they
do they do in scads. And it’s not just
rich folk, this is like broke college kids,
broke high school kids, somebody kicking in $10 because
that’s all they can afford. And you’re like,
people are really good. MALE SPEAKER: So does that
map onto personal philosophy that you have? Is there a [? lithani ?]
genuinely believe that people are inherently good. Sometimes we can
have low blood sugar, sometimes we can
be a horribly hurt by our environment
or our upbringing and damaged, perhaps, beyond
our ability to cope with it or realize that goodness. But truthfully, those are
situations that have nothing to do with what the
person actually is. I almost launched into the
weirdest analogy ever, there, and I’ve spared you. There was another weird one,
I’m having a weird analogy day. You can shave a dog, but
that doesn’t mean– see, that’s a bad analogy. It’s still a dog even if
you shave it, no, that makes sense Rothfuss,
what are you– this is why I have an
extensive revision process. No, the fact is, and I believe
this more now has a parent, my little boy is so good. And I view it as
one of my main jobs, not to teach him
to be good, it’s just to not fuck
up his being good. He already is good,
and I just got to try to not get
in the way of that and accidentally
set a bad example or hurt him in such a
way that he will be hurt and then takes it
out on other people. MALE SPEAKER: Playing
games and everything. PAT ROTHFUSS: Playing games, and
trying to set a good example, but yeah. Are there any questions from
the audience that were here? Say it and I’ll repeat it. AUDIENCE: Sure, I was going to
ask without too many spoilers, what you were planning
for [INAUDIBLE]? Given what you said
so far, I’ll ask more. Why did you decide
you could actually afford the time for [INAUDIBLE]? [INTERPOSING VOICES] PAT ROTHFUSS: Do you want
to repeat it, so that on– MALE SPEAKER: Or if you
want to rephrase it. PAT ROTHFUSS: The
question was, first off, what’s going with Torment? Or can you tell us
something about Torment? Or why did I pick it up? And the follow up,
given what I’ve said that I had to not do
projects because I’m too busy, what made that one
a project that I felt like I could pursue? Did I get it right? AUDIENCE: Yes. PAT ROTHFUSS: The first– I’ll
answer the second one first– I love video games, right? And the video games that I
grew up playing, some of you might have played, who played
Infocom games back in the day? Hey! This is proof for my
theory that people that played Infocom
games turned out to be the smartest goddamn
people in the world, and it is just true. You know who played video games? Neil Gaiman, it was one of
the first things that came up in that first
conversation at that con, he talked about how he
played the Douglas Adams one. And he complained
about the babel fish, and I’m like, this–
OK, no, I’m not going to go off onto a
screed about video games. Bring it back Rothfuss,
what’s your point? I love playing
video games, and I love some of the
narrative opportunities that are present in video games
that are not present in text. Specifically, there’s a
level of interactivity and the ability to branch
a narrative that does not exist in text to
the same extent. Yes, you can do a Choose
Your Own Adventure, but it’s not the same
because you’re always keeping one finger in
there, you always want to, oh, maybe I’ll flip back,
oh, it doesn’t count, it doesn’t count. There’s also the ability for
problem solving in a video game that you don’t have in
the same way in a book. And the team was amazing. Also I do hope to eventually
have a video game in my world, and so I need to build up some
skills now so that when it’s time to launch into doing
mine, I know a little bit, so I can be a better
member of that team. In terms of what
am I doing, I’ll share just a brief story there. We had a team meeting
where we went in and I talked to all
the other writers, and it’s like an
all-star cast of people who have been
doing games forever from all these different
studios, people who’ve won awards, just marvelous
folk who’ve come together for this Torment game. There’s Chris Avellone,
several of the people that worked on the original
Planescape Torment game. Who played Planescape Torment? See, 15, 20 years
after the fact, people still remember
that game fondly because it was an amazing
storytelling experience. So it’s this great
team, and then there’s Rothfuss who like
has never done– I have not programmed
since basic. Or actually, that’s not
true, I did Pascal, too. And so, they’re all
talking about this stuff, and they’re like, well,
what about your character? What are you thinking? And I’m like, I’m thinking
of something weird, can I pitch it to you? So I sit there, and for 15
minutes, I pitch my concept. I go, this is not anything
that I’ve ever seen in any game that I played for this companion
character, and I pitch it, and I pitch it, and I’m kind
of watching them, trying to read the audience. And eventually I see–
and it’s a weird concept, I can’t tell you what it is
right now, because it’s still coming– and I’m going,
do you have them Rothfuss? Are they just being polite? Are they listening? And then eventually, I
see Chris Avellone go, and I’m like, oh, good,
if I’ve got Chris, then I can’t be
totally off target. And they’re like,
OK, let’s do that. And I’m like,
awesome, awesome, this is going to be
something that it’s going to be double or nothing. If I can pull it off, people
are going to talk about it, and it will be
very new and cool. And if I fail, then I
will fail spectacularly. MALE SPEAKER: And also with the
card games out of your world that have come. Two Kickstarter projects so far. We had a person ask on the
blog by the name of true eyes, is Corners just a
variant of Spades? Is there going to be a
Kickstarter for that as well? PAT ROTHFUSS: It’s
not fair to say it’s a variation of
any game, and if I was going to say if it
was close to something, I’d probably pick
something like euchre, which I’m guessing like– MALE SPEAKER: Midwest. PAT ROTHFUSS: Yeah, if
you’re from the Midwest, you play euchre. See, I go to a gaming
convention and I look for somebody
who can play euchre, because I was trying to
play test some of my rules for corners. And I could not find
the game designer who knew what euchre was. Because they’re not
from the Midwest. It is a trick taking
game, there is bidding, but it’s not really
a variant of anything so much as it is a different
sort of trick taking game. MALE SPEAKER: Well
hopefully we’ll see that in the
marketplace someday. PAT ROTHFUSS: Hopefully. MALE SPEAKER: Hopefully. Other questions, yes. AUDIENCE: I’ve read your blog
piece about wealth accumulation and having a chocolate
cake and one slice, and two slices, and
the whole thing, and I wonder how you think
about having a family, having a child, having a
future where your writing career suddenly
goes south, and now what’s your income
earning ability? How does all of
that fit together in your attitude towards wealth? MALE SPEAKER: What is your
attitude towards wealth as it has highs and lows and
with the wheel of fortune? PAT ROTHFUSS: Yeah, I did write
a blog post where somebody asked me the question, it
was effectively, why charity? Why do you do this? And I responded with my now
famous chocolate cake analogy. You have a slice of cake and you
eat the cake, then that’s OK. And if you have two slices
of cake and you eat the cake, well, that’s kind of OK, too. But if you have a whole cake,
and you eat the whole cake, then you’re kind of an asshole,
because some people have no cake, and some people don’t
have dinner before the not-cake that they don’t have. And so I’m glad that
you liked that, I’m sorry if that gave you
a stroke right there. The absence of not-cake
would actually be cake. Can you take the no tea? I dropped the no
tea, now I have tea. That’s for just a
few of you out there. And some people, a
lot of people have said that Rothfuss, you’re
doing you’re riding high now, you’re making money off these
books, but what happens if? What if things
stop going so well? Aren’t you going to
really feel stupid if you’ve got to go back
to doing some other job or you don’t have the
money to do whatever? What they’re
effectively– I’ve had a lot of people espouse the
Carnegie solution, which is you are like a
huge, rapacious bastard for your whole life, and you
get all the cake you can, and then, before
you die, you set up a foundation to
give it away again. And Carnegie’s foundation has
done some really awesome stuff, that’s undeniable, but the
underlying philosophy there is that people
aren’t smart enough to take care of themselves. That’s fear that if I give you
a piece of cake, you’ll eat it and you’ll get a tummy ache
because you’re an idiot and only I am smart enough
to actually allocate cake. And I don’t really
think that’s the truth. I think that people can
deal with their own cake, and because you are good, if
I give you two pieces of cake or you accidentally end
up with some extra cake, you will share it
with your neighbors. And that is– I see
somebody going, no. And I’ll fight
you on that point. That is the hill
that I will die on, and the only reason that
sometimes it doesn’t work is because people have
grown up in situations that have hurt them terribly
or taught them skills that have forced them to hoard as
the only survival mechanism that they have. Or they don’t
understand that you need to shop at the
local comic book store if you want the local comic
book store to stay in business. And this is something
that you’re like, well, duh, of course. But there was a
time in your life when you did not
understand that. And so you can either just
rage and gnash your teeth at the world, or
you can hopefully be one of the people
that says, boy, you know, it’s really nice, you guys
got Pandemonium Bookstore here in Cambridge, it’s a great local
bookstore, great local game store. And that means that if you
go online and buy your games there, you are saying, the $2.50
I save is more important than having this resource
in the community. What was the question again? MALE SPEAKER: The cake is
a lie, I think you got it. AUDIENCE: How does being a
father change your attitude? PAT ROTHFUSS: Ah,
now here’s the key, and for those of you that
might be Pratchett fans, this is not an
unfamiliar philosophy. It’s the fact that personal
isn’t the same as important. My kids are really important
to me because they’re my kids, but the point at which I
say, it’s better for my kid to have food and to have
these two kids go hungry, that is the thin end
of the wedge that leads to the only thing
that I would label as evil. Because as soon as you
do that, it selfishness. And it’s a natural impulse,
it is a reasonable impulse, it’s a biological impulse. It’s an impulse
which has made us able to survive
through the years, its a mechanism which made
us extraordinarily successful monkeys. And now, at this stage, because
we are no longer monkeys, at this stage, that
behavior, that impulse, if we give into it, that makes
us extraordinarily ineffective human beings. We need to recognize our
monkey impulses, and then say, is my kid really more
important than four other kids? And it’s hard, and
you have to say, no. MALE SPEAKER: Well-spoken. I think we have time for
one more audience question, then I’ll wrap it up with
some zingers of my own. All right, [INAUDIBLE]. AUDIENCE: Jumping
well back in the talk, I was struck when
you were talking about hard fantasy
versus soft fantasy. My impression both as a
child reader of fantasy and a parent of child
readers of fantasy is that somehow
children’s fantasy tends, as far as
I can tell, to be soft fantasy more
often than not. What’s your sense,
more important, less important for kids’
fantasy to be hard or soft? Easier or harder to make
hard fantasy for children? MALE SPEAKER: How hard is it to
make hard fantasy for children, or keep it soft? PAT ROTHFUSS: There’s
an unfortunate tendency among people, in
general, to say, oh, I’ll write a fantasy
novel because you can all just make stuff up. And that’s wrong, because
that’s not– you can just do a bunch of stuff and magic
will make it make sense. You can, but that’s
not good writing, it’s not good storytelling,
it’s not good craft. In my opinion, similarly,
people, sometimes, in the genre are like, well, boy, I
wish I could write YA, because then kids don’t
know what a plot hole is, they don’t care about
consistent characterization, they’re not going to call me
on the million dragons ecology problem that I’ve
created, this is not a sustainable ecostructure. But that, in my opinion, is
a really egregious cop out. Because in the same
way that the food we feed our children
should be actually held to a higher standard than the
food that you give to an adult, because an adult can say,
blech, this is awful, or they can read
the label and go, oh, this has
terrible things in it and it’s going to make me
sick and give me cancer. A kid can’t. And so you owe it to kids
to actually put more work into this, because it’s
actually harder to write short. It’s harder to write simple. It’s harder to do a
lot of these things, and it’s harder to write
cohesive, coherent, internally consistent fantasy. And you shouldn’t go to
YA thinking, oh, my, this will be way easier, I can
just bang out 30,000 words and then go play
World of Warcraft. No. I do not approve. But then again, I have not
really taken a legitimate crack at YA, I know that
it’s hard, but that doesn’t mean that
we shouldn’t try for it, that’s my philosophy. MALE SPEAKER: Quick question
here, any update on Kingkiller on TV or Mr. Whiffle
the cartoon version. PAT ROTHFUSS: I would love to
see a Princess and Mr. Whiffle cartoon, that would be awesome. I’m trying to imagine
that right now. There is a TV deal
in development. I have no more news than that. MALE SPEAKER: It exists. So the final question I wanted
to wrap up with, first of all, thank you very much for joining
us today, it was really great. Talk to me about the care,
growth, and maintenance of such a magnificent beard. PAT ROTHFUSS: A beard
is the only thing in the world you
get by being lazy. And people are like,
wow, how do you grow? See, I’ve got a couple
beard people, here, and do people ask, how do
you grow a beard like that? Do people ask you? AUDIENCE: Sometimes. PAT ROTHFUSS: And the
thing, I started saying, for two hours a day I sit in a
dark room and I just grow it. Because it’s the
only way I can not be snarky about that
conversation anymore. This is what a person looks
like when they do not care. Don’t ask me for
grooming suggestions, what the hell’s wrong with you? This is man in
his natural state. I literally, I was going
to get a haircut for this, we scheduled a haircut, and
then the one person I trust to cut my hair, her kid got sick
the day before I was flying, I couldn’t find
another haircut person, so you get to see
me in my full glory. I think it’s been a year since
I’ve been trimmed in any way. This is not a maintenance
issue, I do not, beard. MALE SPEAKER: No favorite
comb or anything like that. PAT ROTHFUSS: No. And actually, it’s
going to probably be getting severely
cropped back, because my littlest is
starting to develop fine motor coordination, and little
sweaty kid fingers, ladies you have no– whoa–
you have no idea how much it hurts to have your beard pulled. It’s right on one of the most
sensitive parts of your body, you get a little kid with
his sweaty fingers in there, and then he just pulls on it,
and you cannot cuss him out. You have to say,
ah, daddy loves you, he’s crying so much
that he loves you. This is not a fashion statement. MALE SPEAKER: And
no beard shaving challenges for
Worldbuilders 2015? PAT ROTHFUSS: People said,
how much money would it take for your to
shave your beard? I’m like, make me an offer. I did not cultivate this
to be a marketing ploy. Again, I have a
beard because I don’t want to waste my time
scraping my face every day. MALE SPEAKER:
Cool, on that note, thank you very much for joining
us at Google, you can check out his books online, and in stores,
and at your local book seller, thank you very much. PAT ROTHFUSS: Thanks so much. This is very inside the Actor’s
Studio, a very tall chair. How do I sit in the
tall chair without kind of exposing my
crotch to you guys. I’m don’t know how to be
dignified in this position, here. Oh, see, that’s something
that I shouldn’t say in front of an audience, I’m
bad at this, I’m bad at this. How’s my hair? Oh, you can see my bald spot. Do you have some sort
of special technology that can get rid of that for me? [INTERPOSING VOICES] MALE SPEAKER: Should we switch? PAT ROTHFUSS: I
thought he was going to come just put his
coat over my head.

85 thoughts on “Patrick Rothfuss: “A Writer of Things” | Talks at Google

  1. He is absolutely right when he is talking about the translations of his books. At first a read the Slovak version (because i am from Slovakia) a I was like, that was brilliant book. And after that a red the original version and I was like Oh my god that was unbelievable!!! Much more better then the translation. And after my second reading of the original, well it is perfection right there, I mean, man I can not imagine that i am going to read someday better book than is this. (of course except the end of the trilogy witch is going to be amazing, and I am sure that I will laugh and I will cry) 

  2. I  have highlighted so many cool quotes in your books that they look more like textbooks than a fantasy novel.

  3. It would suck for him trying to write my first name, it's nine letters five of them are consonants and one of those is a special character. 🙂

  4. Um…marry me…J/K. 

    You're great, I love WHO you are. Thank you. 😉

    Your wife and children are a very LUCKY family. Thank you for your writings. I appreciate your mind…and everything that lurks within it. Keep up the great work. You are brilliant, you just don't know it yet! Thank you. 🙂

  5. The way he casually talks and writes seem very different. It's like Patrick as an author and as a daily person are two  very different people.

  6. Pretty much every nerd has noted Pat's "Serenity" t-shirt, but I wonder if the android in the host's t-shirt is wearing Jeyne's hat…

  7. I don't get the praise for this guy. The Name of the Wind was a snoozefest and now I find he STILL hasn't reached the present after two books. He could become the next George RR Martin with massive praise going to his head and each book taking longer and longer to come out.

  8. Its fun how in the subtitles it appears "[inaudible]" when I could clearly hear the interviewer saying "Auri" name (a character of the book). And I wasn't using Headphones or even watching with the áudio loud enough for clear understanding of the dialog (thats why I activated subtitles in the first place). 22:38

  9. The storytelling card-game Rothfuss is talking about designing sounds a whole lot like the Once Upon a Time cardgame..

  10. Well today I learned why I love his books so much and why "the book is always better than the movie". Its pretty obvious but you never really think about that, because as he said, it is there for you, cause you wrote it in your head.
    He's great, I can't wait for book 3 (:

  11. TImeturner, thank you! just by mentioning that timeturners exist in that world, just with that, you have plot holes. There is a whole Harry Potter book revolving around timeturners, so its not something she just mentions in the passing, and yet it is never addressed again.

  12. I am one of those two thousand people of Barcelona 🙂 I got my two books signed and a photo. Thanks Patrick!

  13. hm, i have no problem coming up with interesting concepts for stories and books, the problem is, i just can't fill the pages with the 90% of the book thats just small talk and basically nothing happening. anyone else get that? like in TV shows where it goes away from the action scene and the husband and wife are standing in their kitchen eating breakfast, and talking random breakfast nonsense to the kids and one of them, is eating a slice of toast while talking babel to the one of the kids about never eating in the mornings.
    or the pages and pages of nonsense in a courtroom in a TV show or movie where there's some banal conversation going between the protagonist and some low level antagonist who's a better lawyer etc.
    how do you come up with those completely random conversations without literally just making every word of whats said in them being invented on the spot and not sounding like they are? anyone understand me? anyone can write a good concept, but it seems to me the best storytellers can make you interested in the other 500 pages of literally nothing happening.
    again, like the sopranos. how the hell do you write the scenes of his wife standing in the kitchen reheating some pasta she made for that priest guy, and talking about stuff SO boring i can't even remember one part of one of the conversations. And how do you write these completely random (boring) scenes that everyone hates watching unless you're in your 50's?

  14. That annoying frequency that is like on the point of feeding back from the PA system, yuk, so off-putting.
    Good interview though:)

  15. No one in that room has read Naked Lunch, just a bunch of companionable nerds going with the flow around 20 minutes.

  16. When I see the cover of any fantasy novel these days it appears that the scene on the cover is taken from one of the most boring scenes in Lord of the Rings. Dragons and Goblins are gone. All you have is humans with staffs and cloaks.

  17. Good afternoon, I was wondering if you had a transcript of this interview, as I am doing a piece of research on Patrick Rothfuss and it would be invaluable to have everything that he wrote down so that I can then cite it exactly. Hope it is not too much to ask.
    Yours sincerely
    Nicolas Brodbelt

  18. Interviewer and audience a little awkward, but I wouldn’t expect a google talk to go any other way ❤️

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