2008 transcripts from audio/video WoJ sources

Jim has been very gracious in making himself available to his fan base, not only by interacting with us here and on other websites but by doing many interviews, con pannels, and Q&A sessions.

Quite a few of these have been recorded in audio or video format and posted on the internet, and an overall list of everything I know about is posted in the sticky above.  Several forum members have voluntiered their time to transcribe these for those that have trouble with audio recordings (some of our fellow forum members can not hear), and also for ease of reference for when we discuss what Jim has said about his works.

This is a continuous project.  At the moment (I am writing this shortly before the Ghost Story release) more than half of these audio and video recordings have been transcribed, but we could always use help with finishing those left, and Jim being so interactive with his fan base is always generating new ones.  So if you would like to contribute to this endeavor, please visit This Topic where I have tried to make a list of the ones that need doing, and where you can post your work when you are done, if you chose to help out with this project.

This page is where I am putting the transcripts from 2008.

Dorkgasm interview May 16 2008 on youtube
Part 1
  |  Part 2  |  Part 3 Icecream
2008 Book signing at some unidentified Boarders each vid is ~1 min with lots of laughing
“McAnally”  |  “Siblings”  |  “Apocolyptic Trilogy”  |  bob the skull…and scobby doo
Slice of SciFi youtube, Interview starts at 6:49 derek
2008 Seattle Book Signing
Part 1  |  Part 2  |  Part 3  |  Part 4
Interview at NY Comic con with Jim Butcher and Paul Blackthorne (TV HARRY) Crawker
2008 The Dragon Page article (audio podcast) LML
*2008 Comic-Con Q&A session youtube video
Part 1  |  Part 2  |  Part 3  |  Part 4  |  Part 5
2008 Tor.com Interview Writen interview + short video derek

By the way, it may be quicker to read these transcripts rather than viewing/listening, but if you have the time I highly recommend you view/listen as well as read.  They say some large (IMO usually arbitrary) percentage of communication is actually contained in the tone of a voice and such, and in these cases, I’d say that a percentage of the fun is distilled out when you only enjoy these in text rather than viewing/listening.

Dorkgasm 2008 interview.  Dresden files. A conversation with Jim Butcher
Part 1
Transcription by Icecream

Ok first part is done, I’ve done it in my own way so as long as it’s understandable I don’t care.I got most of the words but ones I put in [ ] I couldn’t really make out, I think it’s the accent. You all talk funny england. -Icecream

Interviewer: So what have you got going on here?
Jim: Uh. Stock signing I think
Interviewer: I’m not exactly sure what stock signing is.
Jim: That’s when you sign some books that like, I think these are presales.
Interviewer: OK
Jim: They’re already sold to somebody and they want to get it signed but they can’t be here to get it signed so…
Interviewer: Gotcha
Jim : It’s nice to get them out of the way ahead of time and then sometimes there’s a bunch of them, like I’ve been in stores where there’s been like a hundred of them and it’s good to let my wrist rest between then and afterwards because I can run my mouth for awhile , it’s easier on my hand. *opens can of coke*
Interviewer: there you go. So do you, um, you mentioned the hand cramping thing, do you write,um, longhand or do you type the stuff out usually?
Jim: Oh I type when I’m working; yeah it’s me on a couch with a laptop usually.
Interviewer: Well I think it was in this one (SmF) that you mentioned, uh, the thing in the thank you that, um, you finished writing the book while playing Nero.
Jim: *nods and makes approval sound with mouthful of coke*
Interviewer: So do you have a laptop out in the fields and…
Jim: No no, it was in the corner of a tavern where there was an outlet.
Interviewer: Ok
Jim: But yeah, I couldn’t play until I got a certain amount of stuff done and got the book finished. So I had to get the book finished. Got the book finished, put the laptop away. Got out the armour and entered the game and uh in time to catch all the serious political role-play session, no combat at all. I was like ‘ugh cheated!’.Yeah during those kinds of things, live role-play, I’ll be the guy who throws his shield on the ground, goes to sleep and says ‘Ok, wake me up when there’s something that needs to be broken.
Interviewer: So besides Nero, what else do you like to play?
Jim: Oh , uh, just every tabletop game you could think of ,uh, I’ve played almost all of them at one time or another.I’ve played a paranoia campaign . When you’ve played a paranoia campaign I think you’re pretty far gone, y’know?
Interviewer: I think [call of cthulu ?] is probably the epitome of pointless gaming but …
Jim: Oh, oh yeah well yeah multiple [call of cthulu?] are. Well we have regular [call of cthulu] campaign , which I wouldn’t let my son play . He’s like “why not? You’re always laughing”. And I said “yeah, but they’re cannibalism jokes and that’s just kinda where it starts, so no no”. But, uh, Warhammer role-play is one of my favourites to play. And I play online stuff, I used to play Everquest and I was pretty serious on Everquest but uh…
Interviewer: So it was Ever-crack for you?
Jim:  Oh absolutely and I’ve stay awaaaaaaaay from World-of-Warcrack so…
Interviewer: Yeah World-of-Warcrack has a tendency to suck people in. My executive editor had a problem sometimes pulling herself away. Hey Charlton Heston died the other day, can you write an obituary for him ? Uh no? Uh, you doing a dungeon, uh OK, Yeah I understand that. Your kids, how old are your kids?
Jim: I’ve got the one , he’s 16.
Interviewer: 16,OK. Um now has He read your stuff or no?
Jim: Yeah, He likes the Alera stuff; He doesn’t care for the Dresden stuff so much.
Interviewer: Really?
Jim: Yeah
Interviewer: Um how long the uh Dresden books, there’s ten of them now obviously , Small Favour coming out just last week and the Alera, there’s four Alera books currently?
Jim: So far, I’m working on number five.
Interviewer: Gotcha. And are you flip-flopping, you’re writing Dresden, you’re writing Alera.
Jim: Yep. Yeah it’s usually how it works. Although this time it’s been write a Dresden , write a little bit of Alera, write a comic book , a little more Alera, some more comic book ,write some more Alera, short story, short story , then go back to some more Alera. So…
Interviewer: Got it. Got it. The comic book that’s coming out form Dable Brothers 
Jim: *nods* Mmmmm *(mouth full of coke)*
Interviewer: How’s it working with those guys? They’ve got kind of a weird reputation in the comic book industry.
Jim: Oh as far as I’m concerned it seems to be going great. I’m writing the first four issues, uh that’s been fun. Though I didn’t realise how much work it was going to be when I signed on for it. Y’know, a pictures worth a thousand words , there’s between one and six pages on every comic book page and I’m the guy that’s got to write the thousand words and tell the author what I want, or tell the artist what I want . But I’m writing the first four issues and after that they’re adapting the novels to comics and those are supposed to be out and they said those will take between 14 and 18 issues each.I think.
Interviewer: Gotcha. So then the first four issue comic is going to be a side story? 
Jim: Yeah , it’s a short story set just before the events of Storm Front.
Interviewer: Will it be the short story you have up on your website or will it be something new?
Jim: No no. It’s not that. Yeah it’s a new one, there’s some problems with the Lincoln Park Zoo and somebody needs to investigate it and Harry gets called in on the case. It’s going to be one of his earlier cases with Murphy where He produced results that made her inclined to use Him again in the future.
Interviewer:  So Lincoln Park, the Dresden Files set Primarily in Chicago, you’ve mentioned you’ve played most games I’m assuming you’ve played the Whitewolf stuff back in the mid-90s.
Jim: No actually. I missed it except for a couple of mushes.
Interviewer: It was part of Whitewolf’s thing in the mid-90s at least, that Chicago was the creepiest damned place. In fact, in the newer stuff it still is. There seems to be a propensity, beside the world of darkness, there’s a forthcoming film called “Death walks the streets” apparently that’s being set in Chicago. It’s some mob, vampire, and werewolf trilogy thing and then of course the Dresden Files. What is it about Chicago that screams to you “creepy Damned Place”?
Jim: Oh, well I hate to break up the romance of it but the fact of the matter is I had originally set the Dresden Files in Kansas City and my writing Teacher ,I was doing it as an assignment in my writing class, my writing teacher looked at it and said “Jim you’re already writing something that’s close enough to walk on Laurel Hamilton’s toes,  you don’t need to set it in Missouri too, you gotta set it somewhere else”.
“I don’t care, anywhere, just not Missouri”. And I’m like OK. And there’s a globe on her desk, there’s four American cities on the globe. One of them’s New York, which is already sewn up by Spiderman and Superman. One of them’s DC, which I don’t want to write a story there because it’d have to get political and then you lose at least forty eight percent of the audience. One was Los Angeles , which I didn’t want to do because then I’d have to research Los Angeles . So I said “Chicago!” and she’s like “Yeah Chicago’s fine”. And I said “Ok!” But as it turned out it was a good choice, just in terms of how much lore there is in the area, y’know the various stories and so on that surround the history of the town. It’s an old town for an American city and that helps a lot as well and just generally speaking it’s a good place to set about any kind of story but for my story it worked really well.
Interviewer: Now you mentioned that your creative writing teacher pointed out stepping on Hamilton’s toes. How much of Laurel Hamilton’s work influenced the Dresden stuff? Or is there any one author that influenced you work primarily?
Jim: I think the biggest influence was probably a movie out on HBO long, long ago called “cast a deadly spell”. It starred Fred Ward, it was Gail Anne Herd who was also a producer of “Aliens” and “Tremors” and some other fairly cool movies that were cooler than they had any right to be. And this was another movie that was cooler than it had any right to be. It was set in the 1940s, this whole noir thing you know? But magic was this part of the world and this detective was the only one who didn’t use magic. There was this whole case surrounding these [Cthulu/kudulu?] entities and so on that he was off investigating and I just loved the investigation. The whole tenor and atmosphere of it was great.
Interviewer: Your series has managed to avoid the ‘sex trap’ as it were. I mean Hamilton’s , I think beyond the last novel perhaps three or four novels  past were primarily almost harlequin romance , sex novels it seemed like. And her Faerie series seems to border on soft-core show-time kind of thing. You’ve managed to avoid that and keep him fairly well-grounded and not asexual. Is that something you keep in mind or is that something that happens because of the way you write.
Jim: I didn’t have Harry’s love life planned out. That was one of the things, I mean I’ve got most of the things, the general story arc scripted, where I know what’s going to be happening and so on. But Harry’s love life was not planned out. I’ve always wanted that to be something that would just kind of organically go with what we were doing. And Harry Himself is just, it’s not like that He’s actively bad with women or anything, He’s just sort of, He’s the magical equivalent of a computer nerd really. I mean He is just a little bit socially awkward in certain aspects of it, of getting on with the opposite sex.
Interviewer: Another thing that speaks really well to the audience with the people that I know that read the books identify with that aspect rather um…
Jim:  Yeah let me go all Mr.Monk on this, it’s not straight
*straightens pile of SmF novels*
There I’m happier.
Interviewer: So you mentioned you have parts of it planned out, not the love life. So does this mean you know where the story ends?
Jim: Yeah. I’m planning on writing about 20 casebooks like we’ve got so far and then at the end I’ll cap it off with a big old apocalyptic trilogy. You know? Because who doesn’t love big old apocalyptic trilogies? I was taken to see Starwars. It was the first movie I remember being taken to see and it’s warped me. It’s warped me.

Transcriptions by LogicMouseLives

(These video’s are no longer available on youtube, so this is a great example of how these transcriptions are quite a worthy project, since they are now the only recording I know of these WoJ sources) –Serack


Any of your personalities that you’ve created in your books, are they based on anybody that you really know? 
Like Thomas? *Laughter*
That’s me.
*more laughter*
No really I–if anybody I’m closer to Butters or Bob. Let’s see, well I based ‘em on– Well I don’t really base them on people, as a general rule. There’s a few people that have– that actually got made into the book, like Shiro is based on a pair of martial arts instructors I had, there was an Okinawan instructor and a Japanese instructor I had. Uh– McAnally. Is based on my friend– McAnally!
‘Cause I needed a name- I needed a name for the bar in the first book and I’m like you know I haven’t seen Sean [dunno spelling] in a– Bar! Drinking! I haven’t seen Sean in a while. Uh, McAnally’s! Yeah, that’ll be McAnally’s place, and maybe if he sees this in a book someday, he’ll– he’ll get in touch.
And he did!
*more laughter* Sound fades out.


But yeah, I don’t have Harry’s romantic life planned out, so, uh, I dunno. Maybe. It’s possible.  [Transcriber wonders what question he was answering here…]

*Gesturing to the audience* Yes, please.
Did Harry and Thomas have any more siblings that are gonna show up?
No, cross my heart on that one! *Crossing his heart*

No mysterious twins, no *waving hands in front of face* Sound fades out.

“Apocolyptic Trilogy”

*Opens on laughter*
I don’t even know if he’s gonna survive!
*more laughter* [Transcriber blows raspberry at screen]
Which would be kinda funny.
*still more laughter*
Luccio theory. Marcone! 
But, uh, I’ve got about twenty
Butters! *yet further laughter*
Alright alright, simmer down people, I’m pulling rank!
But I’m planning on writing about twenty of the casebooks, like the ones we’ve read so far, and then cap the whole thing off with a big old Apocalyptic Trilogy ‘cause– *several words rendered indistinguishable by cheering from audience* –ever saw.
The Apocalypse!
*Gesturing to shouting audience member*  ‘Cause who doesn’t love apocalyptic trilogies!
*more laughter*
You’re the only series that I’ve got that I just, you know I went– I ended up banging up my shoulder, I was out for a couple months and I went back to the beginning of your series all over again and I went right through them in about three weeks. 
*Nods appreciatively*
Sound fades out.

“Originality” A.K.A. bob the skull…and scobby doo

I try and come up with– I try and do as much stuff original as I can but I often find out, I look back on the series and find out, “Oh god, I totally ripped that off from somebody!” I just didn’t realize it at the time. You know, Bob the Skull, I’m thinking “Bob the Skull what a great thing! You know I’ve got the skull with the glowing eye lights, like that’s awesome, that’s original, I came up with that on my own!” And then I sat down with my son one night and I watched the opening segment to Scooby Doo.
*Huge laugh*
So, uh. I make an effort but I’m just not immune to culture, and uh, I’m pretty much a nerd, I watch movies every week– and all the time and–
Sound fades out.

Slice of SciFi
Transcription by Derek

[Geek Speak This Week segment – start 06:49]

Brian Brown:  And welcome to this week’s Geek Speak.  I’m Brian Brown.

Michael R. Mennenga:   And I’m Michael R. Mennenga.

Brian Brown:  And we have Jim Butcher with us, guys.  Can you believe it?

Michael R. Mennenga:   Yeah.  Woo.

Brian Brown:  We kidnapped him.

Michael R. Mennenga:   Yeah, we did.

Brian Brown:  Well, not really.

Michael R. Mennenga:   He’s tied up.

Jim Butcher:  (mouths Help Me)

Brian Brown:  Well, we’re going to talk to Jim about his new comic —


Brian Brown:  We’re going to talk about his new comic book that’s coming out.  So you’re doing a Harry Dresden comic book?

Jim Butcher:  Yes, yes.  The Dresden Files are being adapted to graphic novel form by the Dabel Brothers.  They’re going to be distributed through Random House.  And they’ve asked me to do some original story for them along the way.

Brian Brown:  Cool.  So this will take place before the books?

Jim Butcher:  Yeah.  The first story is a four issue story that’s set right before the events of Storm Front.

Brian Brown:  Okay.

Jim Butcher:  And it was a lot of fun.  I got to go work on them.  I got to vet the art.  I got the write the script.  So, it was a whole lot of participation on my part this time, which I really enjoy.

Brian Brown:  So, are they going to continue on past this one, this little set?

Jim Butcher:  Yeah.  Yeah, as soon as they get done with the first four issue piece, then they’ll putting out the adapted novel.  And they’re going to be doing that for fourteen to eighteen issues per novel is what they said, and I think they’re going to try and sucker me into writing original stuff between each of the main books.

Michael R. Mennenga:   Now this comic book writing thing is a whole different animal, isn’t it?

Jim Butcher:  Yeah, yeah.  It’s much different from a novel.  I know that, you know, it’s often said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Well, in a comic book there’s between one and six pictures on every page and I’ve got to write the thousand words.  So, it was kind of a challenge but I’m getting used to it now and it seems to be working out fine.

Brian Brown:  Wow, that’s really cool.  So, are you going to do other books into comic books, maybe, or novels, graphic novels?

Jim Butcher:  Who knows.  Yeah, you can’t say comic books anymore.j;

Michael R. Mennenga:   Yeah, comic books will get you beat up at the the Comic Con.

Brian Brown:  Can’t say comic books anymore…graphic novels.

Jim Butcher:  That’s right.  They are graphic novels.  I don’t know.  I would like to.  I know that The Codex Alera, in my head, it’s an anime cartoon, anyway, so it would fit as comic book.  It would fit pretty well.

Michael R. Mennenga:   Now, Codex Alera.  That is the Pokemon versus what?

Jim Butcher:  Yeah, Pokemon meets lost Roman legion was the initial idea that that came from.  There’s a whole story behind it.  Ask me, I’ll tell you sometime.

Michael R. Mennenga:   That just makes my brain hurt anyway, so….


Brian Brown:  Well, I think we’ve tried your patience enough today.

Michael R. Mennenga:   Exactly.

Brian Brown:  So, thank you very much for coming and talking with us for a little while and just blabbing about stuff in general.

Jim Butcher:  It’s no problem.

Michael R. Mennenga:   Well, that’ll do it for this episode.  Thanks so much for tuning in.  If you like what we do, if you hate what we do…of course, vote.  It helps.  We appreciate your comments and your feedback.  See you all next week.

2008 Tor.com Interview
Transcription by Derek

Interviewer:  The soulgaze in The Dresden Files, where’d you come up with the idea for the soulgaze?

Jim Butcher:  Oh, honestly, I don’t know.  That was something that I just, I wrote and I went, ‘Hey, that’s kind of a neat thing to add in.  I think I’ll keep it.’

Interviewer:  And for the people who don’t know what the soulgaze is, do you mind just filling them in?

Jim Butcher:  The soulgaze is when a wizard looks into your eyes, the wizard literally — your eyes become the windows to your soul.  The wizard gets to look upon you as who you truly are as a person.  Every wizard sees them a little bit differently, just because everybody’s a person, so everybody sees everybody else a little differently.  But for Harry, when he looks in somebody’s eyes, he gets to see in some sort of symbology the kind of person they truly are.  So, and then he’s got to — well, then he’s got to work on interpreting that, but it generally gives him a pretty good idea of who he’s dealing with when he does that.  You know, other wizards, they kind of have a different — they get a different special effects budget for it, but they get much the same effect.

2008 The Dragon Page article (audio podcast)
Transcription by LogicMouseLives

Came out to 3 parts, in the end. -LML

Transcriptionist’s note: This one was quite a pain, what with no less than four (4!) interviewers, plus Jim, made no easier by the fact that Michael R. Mennenga, Brian Brown, and-under the right circumstances-Jim have unfortunately similar sounding voices, especially when making a brief comment. I’ve done the best I can to sort them out correctly, but if anyone notices any errors in attribution on this one, please let me know and I’ll fix it right up! -LML


Voice Over: Dragon Page cover to cover episode 307, show A.

{Intro music}

Michael R. Mennenga: From the Dracovista studios in Phoenix, Arizona. Unlocking secrets of writing. Conversing with masters of the craft. And just having a lot of fun. It’s the Dragon Page, cover to cover.

{music and ‘dragon’ roar}

Michael R. Mennenga: And welcome back to another Dragon Page cover to cover I’m Michael R. Mennenga
Michael Stackpole: And I’m Michael Stackpole.
Laurie Mennenga: And I’m Laurie Mennenga.
Michael M: Ooh, Laurie’s joins us as well!
Michael S: All right!
Michael M: Awesome! Uh, hey! We’ve got an awesome, awesome show for you, Jim Butcher is in the studio with us and we had an awesome interview, it was just great.
Michael S: It was a lot of fun. It’s a good long one, so we’re going to probably cut this front-end  short–
Michael M: Yes we will.
Michael S: But we also want to remind you that in addition to having him in the studio here
{Brief fooferaw over who should tell the news}
Michael M: You can actually see Jim for about three minutes on our YouTube video, which is our “Slice of SciFi” video news edition which you can find on our YouTube channel at YouTube dot com and slash farpoint media I do believe. Farpointmedia all one word. Just do a search on it. Search on “Slice of SciFi.” Search on Farpointmedia and you’ll find us. We have a channel on there. You will want to go check that out ‘cause it was a lot of fun.
Michael S: It was a lot of fun interview. I did direct it. This was take three.
Michael M: Stackpole’s trying to get his director’s credit in here!
Michael S: Absolutely! Don’t worry, when we win the Emmy for that, I’ll remember you.
Michael M: God knows we need it, that’s for sure! {Laughter} So without further ado, we will dive into the interview with Jim Butcher ‘cause it was a lot of fun.


{Advertisement for Parsec awards}

Michael M: And welcome back to more of Dragon Page cover-to-cover, I’m Michael R. Mennenga.
Summer Brooks: I’m Summer Brooks.
Michael S: I’m Michael Stackpole
Brian Brown: And I’m Brian Brown.
Michael M: And we’ve got a ton of people in the studio today because–
Summer: There’s a reason!
Michael M: We’ve got a special guest.
Summer: Uh huh. A surprise guest, right here in studio with us, and everybody, everybody in Farpoint Media-Land wanted to come here. So we had to beat them off at the door with a stick.
Michael M: On a Sunday, no doubt!
Summer: Yes. We have Jim Butcher here.
Michael M: That’s right! Hi, Jim!

Jim Butcher: Hi Guys.

Michael M: Awesome.
Brian: Welcome back again!
Michael M: Back again. You just can’t get enough of this place, can you?

Jim: It’s true. I get down here to the fair green land of Arizona and–

Michael M: That’s because we’ve got the best Scotch, that’s why.
Michael S: Plus the Farpoint Media implant that compels you to show up.
Michael M: {Stage Whispering} You’re not supposed to tell him about that. He’ll have it taken out!
Michael S: {Stage Whispering} He’ll only think to look for one!
{General laughing murmur of agreement} Nice!
Michael M: No, Jim was in town for a signing and that, evidently went really good, because you’re an hour late!

Jim: Yeah, there was a bunch of people there.

Michael M: They kinda like you, and what you’re doing. That’s a good thing.

Jim: Well, there’s– they kept laughing at the jokes so, you know you shouldn’t encourage me, even just, you know, by being polite, so.

Michael S: So you did an encore.

Jim: Mm hm.

Michael S: That’s right.
Michael M: So you’ve got a little book out.
Summer: A little one.
Michael M: Just a little book.

Jim: Yeah, the new Dresden book came out this week.

Brian: And so, yeah, Harry finally gets a little bit of closure on a few things.

Jim: Oh, well, I guess so. I think some of the readers felt that way. I kind of feel differently about it, ‘cause I know where the story’s going eventually.

Michael M: Uh oh!

Jim: So I know that some of the things that seem to be closure, weren’t necessarily that way and so on.

Brian: Well the last time you were here, you said that you planned on having this to be thirty books if you can make it that.

Jim: Nah, it was about twenty.

Brian: It’s gonna be twenty, okay. So obviously we’re only up to book–

Jim: Ten

Michael M: Ten.
Brian: Ten more books!

Jim: Yep.

Summer: Is there such a thing as faux closure?
Brian: Oh! I dunno.

Jim: Well of course there is! I mean, at the end of every movie where, you know, you think the monster’s dead, but… Here the alien queen comes off of the bottom of the dropship and now things are started up again.

Summer: All right.
Michael M: Good analogy!
Brian: Wow, that was pretty key. I like that!
Michael M: Now you’re very well known for beating up poor Harry, and putting him through torture. You like torturing your characters.

Jim: It’s been a recipe for my success, yes. Pretty much I can look at any given situation and say, “Does this make Harry more miserable? Yeah, it does! Oh, I should really think about doing that then.”

Michael S: And it can get worse.

Jim: Yes, exactly.

Michael M: Is he ever gonna get anything? I mean are you going to give him a little crumb?

Jim: What are you talking about? He’s got his own maid service, doesn’t he?

{General murmur of “True, that’s true.”}

Jim: They shop for his groceries for him. I mean, sometimes they get all Fruit Loops, but
Jim: They do his shopping and so on, so you know he’s not without any positives. There’s not zero upside for Harry.

Brian: That’s true, actually.
Michael M: So you’re ten books into this series now and you’ve put him through a lot, like we’ve just been talking about. Are you finding a lot of ideas, or are you having trouble coming up with new ones?

Jim: Oh no, that’s not really been an issue. I knew I wanted to do about twenty books from the beginning and I had twenty different ideas outlined. At this point, occasionally, I get a better idea for a book and I discard one of the old ones, so.

Michael M: Really?

Jim: Yeah, at this point we’re swapping out, I’m able to just stick with the best ideas, rather than struggling to come up with something.

Michael S: Have you found things going much along the way you’d originally planned, or are there radical differences? I mean swapping things in and out, that I understand–

Jim: Right.

Michael S: But as the characters have developed were you seeing it going sort of North North-West and now it’s kind of swinging over North-East, or–?

Jim: Um. Everything that I had planned seems to be going fairly well. What I didn’t have any kind of outline or script for when I started off was Harry’s love life. So all that stuff kind of happens as I’m going along. So that’s as much a surprise to me as I write it as it is to the reader.

Michael S: But within the genre, or within where you were starting, almost having an unscripted love life is part of the script for characters like that.

Jim: Yeah, as it turns out, you know, the people you love and care about can sometimes have an effect on the rest of your life as well! So it was perhaps not the wisest thing for me to say “I just won’t script this huge part of what is going to affect you as a person.”

Michael S: Yeah, yeah.
Brian: I was going to talk about the book a little bit, because, after I read it I realized that it seemed like it was starting off and going one direction, and all of a sudden Wham! we take a right turn, and Gloom! we go somewhere completely different. And I wasn’t sure if you said “Oh yes, I’m definitely going to throw you the loop and you’re going to go to the right instead of the left.” Is that how you kind of envisioned the story?

Jim: Well, yeah, more or less. I mean, again, it’s one of the things, from a reader perspective you see things kind of differently, ‘cause the reader doesn’t know what’s going on. As the writer, I know I’m setting people up for something that’s gonna happen later. And yeah, the reader’s supposed to pick up the story and go, “Okay, we’re doing this, we’re doing this. Oh crud! I just opened–I mean this wasn’t a land mine, this was a box full of nuclear explosives.”

Brian: Heh, heh. What’s in the box?

Jim: Yeah, exactly. This just got a whole lot worse than I thought it was gonna be, and that was sort of the idea.

Brian: And really, you did a great job with it too, because I was reading it going, “Okay, yeah, yeah I think I know where we’re going, Ha ha!” Oo, hubris, hubris. I got smacked.
Michael M: Yeah, the first time you think you know where a character’s going, then something’s wrong, somewhere.
{General agreement}
Michael M: It should be a journey, you know? It’s supposed to be a surprise.
Michael S: Do you find yourself in doing the books– Well, I don’t know, me personally I tend not to read books more than once, but I run into a lot of readers that do, and when I’m writing one, I try and find things to put in that they’ll miss on the first pass but they get in the second pass. You do the same thing?

Jim: Yes. I like to do a lot of doubled conversation and stuff like that, where there’s more than one meaning to what somebody’s saying, but you can’t realize that until later.

Michael S: Right, yeah.
Brian: And I always have to ask. I love this question, because everybody asks me, you know, what’s up with the picture, Jim? It’s like the thinker from the front.

Jim: Oh, uh. Okay, the last one that I had given them, it was actually a family portrait from Wal-Mart, and I’d Photoshopped my wife and kid out of it.
Jim: So it was kind of this miscellaneous thing cause it was one of those cheek to cheek family portrait things. It was kind of shaped weirdly and everything, so they said, “Okay, you’ve got to go do another one,” and I’m like, “Okay.” And we had just moved, and we had no money in the bank account, so I had to go to the photographer I can afford, rather than the one I would like?

Michael M: Okay.

Jim: And he’s like in there, “Yeah, okay, I can do one picture for you today, if you want to do it today,” And so I got two pictures, and there’s one of me scowlly– scowling and in the Alera books it’s the other one of me smirking, so.

Brian: Right, I was gonna say there’s just a slight difference between ‘em, you’re like, “Oh-kay!”

Jim: They had a choice between scowly Jim and smirky Jim.

Michael M: I’ve just got this vision of Jim chasing down a photo booth, somewhere in a Piggly Wiggly somewhere down south going, “I need a new photo shot!”

Jim: It was actually this little studio, this little loft room that was over a barbershop.

Michael S: What, you went to Sweeny Todd?

Jim: Sweeny Todd the photographer. The demon photographer of Main Street!

{more laughter} 
Brian: Aww, that’s good stuff. That’s very good stuff.

Continued below -LML

2008 The Dragon Page article (audio podcast)
Transcription by LogicMouseLives


Summer: It’s good to see that the jokes are carrying over from your signings. How many people actually showed up at the Poison Pen, today, ‘cause that’s a small kind of store?

Jim: Um, well, I don’t know exactly how many people were there. They sold ninety-five copies of the hardback. A bunch of people brought more than that. I think it was in the neighborhood of a hundred folks.

Brian: Wow. That’s a good turn-out.
Michael S: That packs that venue, yeah.
Michael M: Have you seen the turn-out increase because of the Dresden Files series?

Jim: Well, I didn’t really actually get to go on the tours like this before the Dresden Files series, so it’s kinda hard to say, but they do seem to be larger than they were last year. I think it’s probably been helped along by the show.

Michael M: Even though the show has been cancelled and so forth, people still know it.

Jim: Yeah, and it was shown over the summer, and it’s still occasionally on, usually about once a month they have one of those SciFi all-day schedules of nothing but episodes of the Dresden Files.

Michael M: Well we just finally caught the un-edited two-hour original, which–the way it’s supposed to be, dammit!–version of Storm Front.

Jim: See, I haven’t even seen that one yet.

Michael M: You haven’t?
Summer: They aired it at three a.m. on a Saturday, that’s why.
Michael M: It’s amazing. It’s amazing!

Jim: Oh!

Michael M: It really is. It’s better than anything else that was in the series.

Jim: Yeah, the only long version of the pilot that I saw was, where there was supposed to be a special effect, they didn’t have any actual special effect. It just had, literally, like a Ken doll getting hit by a truck, and it’d say “guy gets hit by truck”.

Michael M: Well, the interesting thing out of the pilot, the uncut pilot, was Bob never shows up. You never see Bob, he’s just in the skull.

Jim: Right.

Michael M: The way it is in the books.

Jim: Oh, I didn’t know how they’d done that out. Originally they had been planning on doing some sort of computer animated skull, and it looked like Nicholas Cage in Ghost Rider, only a little bit cheesier.

Michael M: No, it was just a regular skull and put a little glowing effect around it and it worked out very nice.

Jim: Oh, I wish I’d seen that.

Michael M: It’s still–I’m sure it’s available. I’ve got it on my DVR, we’ll go hang out for a bit!

Jim: Yeah, okay.

Summer: Is your tour this year bigger, because of the series?

Jim: It is, but it’s shorter, because I had pneumonia earlier this year, and you know I think my wife told the publicity people, “No, you can’t have him for longer than X amount of time because he’ll get sick and I’ll have to deal with it when he gets home!”

Michael S: Yeah, the people who schedule these tours tend not to think in real terms. I mean for them, going across the street in New York is an arduous journey, and they, they just have no conception of how the United States is set up.
{Knowing laughter}
Summer: Yes, you’ll be in San Diego on Sunday, you’ll be in Texas on Monday, you’ll come back to Phoenix on Tuesday.
Michael S: Well, the one tour I did, we got into Nashville at eleven-thirty and were scheduled to be in Tennessee six the next morning.
Brian: Oh, nice!
Michael S: And their solution was, “Just order room service.”
Brian: That’s insane!
Michael S: Absolutely.
Brian: Wow. And I thought you guys had such a rock-star life. Boy, I’m disillusioned now.
Michael S: Well, Brian, this is actually what was so bad on that tour, is it was Mike McDowell and me, and a limo picked us up at the airport in Nashville, and the two of us were such rubes we didn’t know if we were supposed to pay the guy or not!
Brian: That’s a long time ago.
Michael S: Should we tip him, or not? I mean–
Michael M: And then you get to the hookers and blow and you’re just–no idea!

Jim: Oh, I dunno about you, on this tour I gotta go back to my hotel room and then start a full day’s work once I get back there.

Michael S: There you go.

Jim: Yeah, I’ve still got deadlines coming up, so–

Michael S: Well, my tour was long enough ago that laptops were not available.

Jim: Oh, okay.

Summer: What are you working on?

Jim: Oh, right now I’m writing the fourth issue of the comic book.

{General acclaim}
Michael M: Very nice! Great segue! Boy, this guy’s a natural!

Jim: I thought so.

Michael M: Talk about the comic book, because this is also very cool!

Jim: The comic book is coming out, they’re doing an adaptation of the novels of the Dresden Files, and to introduce it they asked me to write a four issue intro. So I put together a four issue intro of a story that happens a couple of days before the beginning of Storm Front, and they just asked me to write it, so I did, which was actually, writing comic books is a lot harder than I thought it was gonna be, it takes a lot more writing than I thought was gonna be involved.

Brian: Yeah.
Summer: This is the Dabel Brothers, right?

Jim: Yeah, this was the Dabel Brothers. I think it’s being distributed through Random House, so.

Michael S: Have you learned the secret? I did a bunch of Star Wars comics. Have you learned the secret of the two page spread?

Jim: Mm, uh, oh Oh! Where you–

Michael S: Yeah, cause a two page spread, you write about a paragraph, the artist works for a week.

Jim: Awesome!

Michael S: And it takes care of two pages, so you get paid for two pages for one paragraph.

Jim: I’m taking that home tonight, back to the hotel tonight!

Michael S: Oh yeah. That is it. Two page spread, pages eleven and twelve, right in the middle of the book, you’re good to go.

Jim: Awesome! Thank you!

Michael S: There you go!

Jim: I’m taking notes too!
Jim: But it’s cool because the comic book is actually coming out very close to what I see in my head when I’m writing. I’ve actually got editorial control of the characters and the art, and all this other stuff and they let me pick the artist.

Summer: Wow.
Michael S: Oh really, who’d you get?

Jim: The artist is named Ardian Syaf. He lives in Indonesia. He’s new. I got him because a friend of mine, Katie Murphy, C. E. Murphy, she writes books.
{general recognition}
Jim: She played in his City of Heroes supergroup, and they did a comic book for their City of Heroes supergroup and everybody was like, “Oh my gosh, this guy’s really good!” And then he did another comic book for one of her characters, and she said, “You’ve gotta check this guy out, Jim!” And I checked him out and I was like, “Wow, this guy does seem to be really good,” and I sent his stuff to the Dabel brothers and said, “Hey, what do you think about this artist?” and they thought that they should offer him a five year exclusive contract.

Michael M: Ho–ly cow!
Michael S: Well there you go!

Jim: And he’s just amazing, he’s really good at just everything you wanted to do I’ll be able to write something and he can convey it really well from the stuff that I give him. And very good at drawing Harry’s expressions while he’s in the middle of all these situations. He’s really good at–what I wanted Harry to be when I saw him on screen was  to have that kind of Harrison Ford quality of, you know, whatever was going on he would kind of have that one second of that particular expression on his face that just encapsulated the situation how he must be feeling, you know? And Ardian’s really good at drawing Dresden like that.

Michael M: I want to back up for a second. You said that this was gonna be a prequel to Storm Front, so this actually follows in line with not the book series but the media series stuff?

Jim: Well no, it’s following the books, really.

Michael M: Oh, is it?

Jim: Yeah, this starts a few days before Storm Front starts, and I’ll segue it into Storm Front at the end of the first four issues. And then they’re gonna do Storm Front, which is gonna be, I think they said fourteen to eighteen issues to do all of Storm Front.

Michael M: Holy cow.

Jim: And then after that, I know at the beginning of Fool Moon, Harry doesn’t know some of the things that are going on ‘cause Murphy tried to call him earlier and didn’t get a hold of him, and Harry’s like, “Yeah, I was in Minnesota, somebody saw something in a lake,” so, after they get done with Storm Front, they’re probably gonna try to sucker me into writing another four issue thing of ‘somebody saw something in a lake’ and dropping that in there.

Michael M: Nice! So this could actually be a way to fill in all the gaps inside of the books, as well.

Jim: In a lot of ‘em, yeah. And it’s fun because you get to use the medium in different ways, to convey humor, to convey emotion. You know, there’s one issue where it starts off, the first page is Harry stumbling back out of the blue beetle with a black dog the size of a pony–you know this is the black dog in the Welsh/Celtic sense–coming after him and all you could see is like jaws and claws and fangs and muscle as he’s falling backwards, and then at the bottom, in the caption, I just get to write, “I’m a cat person.”

Part 3 to follow! -LML

2008 The Dragon Page article (audio podcast)
Transcription by LogicMouseLives


Michael S: That is, I think, one of the fun things about comics is being able to do things, both also foreground–background.

Jim: Yes.

Michael S: You know when you’re writing a novel, you can’t describe what’s going on in the background without attracting too much attention to it.

Jim: Exactly, yeah.

Michael S: But you can have the artist do all sorts of weird stuff, and the reader’s sitting there going, “What? Wait a minute, hold it!”

Jim: Right.

Michael S: Yeah.
Michael M: Well, it’s interesting, this kind of brings up a topic that I’m not sure we’ve got time for right now, but–
Michael S: Oh sure we do, we’ll run long.
Summer: Yeah, sure! Come on. We got it.
Michael M: Oh, well okay. Is that, you’re so focused on writing the books as an author, when you start out. It’s like, “Oh I gotta get this book done, I gotta get this novel done.” But really, when you start thinking about it, there’s so many other avenues, and so many other cross-media that are out there, that as you write the books, as you write the novels, that leaving those little spots in there for other things like the comic books, “Where do I fill this in, where do I fill that in?” Do you think about that now, or have you ever thought about that?

Jim: Um. I haven’t ever really thought about it, but it’s worked out so well because I wanted to write the Dresden books, you know with the specific feeling of; you’re not getting to see everything Harry does all the time, you’re getting kind of the high point of his year, this is the worst spot of his year is right here, so we’ll do the story about that. But he’s meant to have other things that are going on, in the background, and to know that his world keeps spinning even when the books aren’t covering it.

Michael S: And I think with authors who are good, you do that on purpose, because that allows the readers to–gives them room to imagine stuff. I mean, with Conan-Doyle, you know there’s always the mysterious case of the giant rat of Sumatra. Doyle never wrote that story, but everybody who’s ever seen that case goes, “Wonder what the heck this was?”
Michael M: Exactly.
Michael S: You know, are they in Sumatra? Is the thing here? How does that break down.
Michael M: But we see that so often in authors where they end at page 399 on this book and start in right on page one in the next one there’s no gap, there’s no breaks, everything’s told. And it’s kind of nice to leave some of those gaps, and leave some of those holes.
Michael S: But it depends, now. When you said, when you were setting up these books, you had twenty different ideas, so you were viewing them as twenty episodes, as opposed to, necessarily that one long–
Michael M: Arc
Michael S: –every second tapestry.

Jim: Exactly, yeah, exactly.

Brian: Yeah, you have about a year pass between each book, pretty close to that, right?

Jim: It averages out to a year, yeah.

Brian: So you leave plenty of wiggle room for things in there.

Jim: Yeah. Plus it’s way easier to keep track of, you know, how much time has gone by in the series, you know, and anything that makes it a little bit less work, I’m in favor of.

Michael S: Besides, when you kill Harry in book thirteen, you’ve got a couple of fill-in novels, you know, before you resurrect him again.
{laughter–the poor ignorant schmucks}

Jim: Yeah, there you go, right there.

{more laughter and general agreement}
Brian: Wait a minute, wasn’t that…Potter or something? I didn’t think that was Dresden.

Jim: That was a different Harry.

Michael M: Different Harry.
Summer: Zombie Harry!
Michael S: Hey, it worked for Sherlock Holmes. It worked for James Bond, so, you know, you might as well, {inaudible}
Brian: Hey that is a brilliant thing that’s happening inside of Torchwood! They’ve got the dead guy. We’ve got a zombie in Torchwood, that is so frickin’ cool. Are you a Torchwood fan, have you been watching that at all?

Jim: No, I haven’t watched it.

Brian: It was an interesting way to move that character forward!

Jim: Killing him and re-animating his corpse? Wow.

{General agreement}
Brian: Yeah, no, he’s pretty much, he’s the dead guy.
Michael S: But think about it from the actor’s point of view; “Oh, man, you know, you die in this script.” He’s thinking, “Uh oh, I better get my [resume?] out.” “No, no! It’s okay, you’re gonna be back!”
Brian: You’re in every show! Yeah, really other than just wandering around, you’ll look exactly the same!
Michael S: Parts of you’ll fall off as we go along, but–
Brian: No, no he’s not decaying.
Michael S: Oh okay. Well, that’s good.
Brian: Well, he’s got damage–er, anyway, we’re getting off on tangents here.

Jim: What? Us get off on tangents?

Summer: Not ever!
{General negation} 
Michael M: Anyway–
Michael S: Though we should say something else about Harry dying just to start that rumor off, {inaudible} nuts.

Jim: Oh, by all means.

Summer: How about this? Where are you appearing next, so people can try to catch up with you?
Michael S: And ask you about Harry dying and–
{laughter and general agreement}

Jim: Lemme think, lemme think. Tomorrow I’m going to Huston, the day after that is Chicago, then Saint Louis, and then Kansas City.

Michael M: M’kay.
Summer: All in a row?

Jim: Yeah, yeah. One city a day.

Summer: That’s crazy.
Michael S: It is, yeah.
Michael M: Wow.

Jim: It’s fun. You know, I can stagger around from place to place. I just have to try and look at things, you know, “Okay, where am I going next?” To the elevator. Okay, right. Now I’m in the elevator, where do I go? Well, let me get the paper out and look at it. Okay, I’m in room 518. Fifth floor. I just kind of have to go do one thing at a time until I get back home again.

Brian: You remember being here last time then, do you, Jim?

Jim: Oh, vaguely, yeah.

Summer: I hope so.

Jim: I remember the hotel I was staying in had one wall that was like bright chartreuse and one wall that was turquoise and then it had a three-color painting of John Wayne on the other wall, that was like–

Michael M: Nice!

Jim: It filled up the whole wall.

Michael M: So you went to the really nice hotel in Phoenix. Got it!

Jim: Apparently, I–
Jim: It had a fantastic TV though, I remember that much. I remember thinking, “I wish I had this TV at home!”

Michael S: You didn’t just slip it into your carry-on with you?

Jim: Nah, I would’ve, but I was carrying too many books.

Michael M: I was gonna say, “A pair of pliers and a screwdriver and it could be yours!”
Michael S: Well, you know, they give you those robes! They charge ‘em to your room, a hundred and fifty dollars. TV, same thing!
{general agreement}
Michael M: That’s right, listen to Dragon Page for all your larceny tips, folks!
{laughter, agreement}
Michael S? *Hick Voice*: Ah thought it was free, just like thuh soap!
{more laughter}

Jim: Oh man.

Summer: Train. Tracks. Off.
Brian: Yeah

Jim: Big time!

Michael M: I think we better shut this down quickly before we end up in Slice of SciFi or something. Thanks so much, Jim, for being here. It’s great having you any time you’re in town, obviously you’re welcome.

Jim: Well thanks for having me out.

Michael M: All right, we’ll be back with more of Dragon Page cover-to-cover—I almost said Slice—Dragon Page cover-to-cover right after this.

{exit music} 

There ya go! -LML

2008 Seatle (Washington) book signing Part 1
Transcription by Crawker

-Video says Jim Butcher in Washington, April 3 2007
-The beginning starts mid sentence, I think Jim is talking about correspondence about the TV show.
-Also, I couldn’t quite catch the name of the comic book artist at the end of the video. Could someone double check it for me?
-And I’m not sure I got the name of the band he referenced in Proven Guilty right. Could someone check?
-I’ll do the rest of the parts too, so reserve them for me. All four parts are now done.

Jim: {caught mid-sentence} And then the email comes in on Monday morning, well this is the first week I actually haven’t had angry, ranty email on Monday morning-
{audience laugh covers what he says here}
Jim: I guess it led to be collected this week so…
{audience laughs}
Jim: But, yeah, it’s cool, I’m cool with it, I like what they’re doing, I wish that there was more explosions and kung fu.
{audience laughs}
Jim: But aparrently in the real world kung fu is dangerous, explosions are expensive. I’m like, what’re you talking about, I animated a dinosaur and wrecked half the town!
{audience laughs and applause}
Jim: But you know, TV they have to sweat this stuff there, so… yes?
{points at member of audience}

Audience: Just how many obsolete skills are under Dresden?

{Jim and audience laugh}

Jim: A lot. I’m adding leatherworking to it next now, and after leatherworking we’re done. Let me think, aside from the martial arts stuff, which I regard most of it as obsolete because, you know I would really prefer to have a shotgun in situations like that.
{audience laughs}
Jim: But aside from the martial arts stuff, there’s the fencing, the archery, horseback riding, a lot of campcraft which is kinda obselete because I don’t go camping anymore, you know. I’ve actually done a lot of horsemanship stuff, I’ve done drill riding and exhibition riding and stunt riding, once you’ve done cartwheels off the back of a running horse, you know, the minibikes weren’t nearly as cool at camp after that!
{audience laughs}
Jim: The horse man. And chicks dig horses!

Female member of audience: Its true!

Jim: Yeah, it is, it is. But, that’s a lot of writing, storytelling. I play guitar, badly, I write songs, badly. But I’m not assaulting anyone here with songs so that’s ok.
{audience laughs}
Jim: But, yeah I mean you know, besides from the horsemanship and the swordsman and the archery and the fencing and so on, you know that’s obselete enough for most. God there’s so many things I’m good at! And there’s been not much call for it these days! But  what else, yeah?

Audience: How far in advance do you tend to plan out your series, like how many books do you know what’s going to happen?

Jim: I know what’s gonna happen at the end of book 23. I planned the whole thing in advance as a class project, and so far its working. I’m scared now, I’m just gonna stick to it!
{audience laughs}
Jim: You know, so far its gone real well, I’m right there with that. But yeah, I’ve got about 20 of the case books planned out, like the ones we’ve had so far, where each do a case, and at the end I’ll do a big old apocalyptic trilogy, for {sing-song voice} I am a child of Star Wars!
{Audience laughs and claps}
Jim: And who doesn’t love apocalyptic trilogies, why he might not do it? Yeah I’ll do about 20 case books, it could be 19 it could be 21 depending on how long it takes me to do stuff. The only thing I don’t have planned out is Dresden’s love-life, ’cause I wanted that to be something that happened along the way, and what I found out was that; falling in love with people screws up everything.
{audience laughs}
Jim: So, you know, I’ve gotta adjust how on the fly as we go.
{guestures for next question}

Audience: I know that you listen to music when you write-

Jim: Yeah.

Audience: And Queens Right got a mention in Proven Guilty, which I found. What do you listen to now?

Jim: Oh, now, with the advent of I have my own MP3 player-
{audience laughs}
Jim: Now I just pool in everything, I’m trying to think of whats on the MP3 player that I’ve listened to recently… She Wants Revenge, Apocalyptica, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of them, they’re like somewhere in Scandanavian area, they’re an electric cello band-
{audience laughs}
Jim: It’s kinda Metallica playing classic music and I’ve got their copy of Night on Bald Mountain, which, you know, electric guitar music is awesome. I’m kinda going blank here, I was listening to it just the other day, but lets see, there’s Evanesence on there and a little bit of Linkin Park, hail Chicago, and a bunch of the old stuff too, I’m discovering Led Zeppelin for the first time now, so I’ve got the immigrant song on there.
{Jim squeals sings}
Jim: I love that, it’s just so over the top. A whole bunch of mixed up stuff now, lots of righteously angry music is the kinda music I tend to listen to, you know, where it’s furious young men singing, about things that matter to them, and so we’ve got a lot of Offspring in there, yeah they’re furious. Oh and I’ve got every bit of Wierd Al polka I can find.
{audience laughs}
Jim: So yeah, polka will never die! But, so that’s what I’m listening to now. Yes sir?

Audience: Any plans on writing a Michael book?

Jim: Well, it’s gonna depend on whether I’ve had anymore children and if they’re through college yet or not.
{audience laughs}
Jim: I’ve actually, I’ve had a notion of writing a bunch of books like, after I’m done with the Dresden books, so I’ve got grandkids that need to go to college or something, I can do a series of books called The Dresden Contracts, where I can go back in and write about a bunch of stories of people that happened between the books, but no plans on just a Michael, Michael book as it is, but he’s in the next book though, so. I’m working on, the next book’s called Small Favour, right now, ’cause Harry still owes to who, so that’s what I’m working on. Yes?

 If you could choose a fury for yourself, what would it be?

Jim: If I could choose a fury for myself? I’d want a caffeine fury-
{audience laughs}
Jim: I really would, caffiene fury right here? Ok, right, now I’m ready to go. Or alternately maybe a warm milk fury. It’s the whole I have to go until I collapse, you know, if I could learn to sleep in, I think if I lived on a planet that had about a thirty-six or thirty-seven hour day, I’d be much better off than I am. But no, I checked around and we haven’t been able to find any houses for sale there so, you know. But yeah, that would be it for me. Yeah?

 Any more in your books, I just got the feel for, what, fourteen pages on what he did before he became Harry?

Jim: What, you mean the short story thats out there? Restoration of faith?

Audience: Yeah! Any more of that?

Jim: Class project also, I got a B.
{audience laughs}

Audience: Are you gonna bring in a book about that, anything from the early years, before he became all-mighty, powerful?

Jim: Yeah, we’ll get some of that, but, well you’ll have to wait for that to show up. I don’t want to reveal too much about it. We’ll get some more, and then it’s always possible we might be able to hit on some more in one of the other mediums we’re looking at. Right now we’re talking to people about comic books and apparently somebody’s talking to Sci-Fi about an animated series, and I had to swap email about a possible  massive multiplayer online role-playing game today, so..
{audience murmers}
Jim: This is all just talk, until it happens, you know, maybe it happens, maybe it doesn’t. But it’s fun to talk about! And I got some Anita Blake comic books from Ern Stobble ’cause I signed some books and gave them to him, turns out he’s a Dresden fan, so that’s cool, I get Anita Blake comic books!

2008 Seatle (Washington) book signing Part 2
Transcription by Crawker

-I couldn’t quite hear the name of the Codex Alera book the audience member was talking about, but I assume it was the one before Captain’s Fury.
-Also some muffling covers the audio when Jim is talking about Captain’s Fury, can anyone make out what he said?

Audience: How did Harry come to Chicago?

Jim: My writing teacher told me I couldn’t use Kansas City.
{audience laughs}
Jim: Yeah, she looked at me and she said “You know this is a good idea and all Jim, but really this is enough like Laura Hamilton’s work as it is, you don’t need to set it in Missouri.
{more laughter}
Jim: She says “Pick another city.” What other city? She says “It doesn’t matter, just another city somewhere.” and there was a globe on her desk and there were three American cities on it, New York, Chicago and LA. And I said OK, Chicago, and she said that’ll be fine.
Jim: It was a class project! You know, but it turns out like it was a really good choice, because now I’ve got contacts with a bunch of people there I’ll be able to call up and say “Hey, I need you to drive by the east wall Of Graceland Cemetery and tell me what it looks like on your way to work today.” “OK I can do that!” And when people call and say “You got this detail wrong in Chicago! I live there and I know!” or “I see this view out my front house, the front door of my house so I know you’re wrong” I was like “Ahah! Can I put you on my list of people I can ask about?” “Oh yes!!”
{audience laughs}
Jim: So that’s fun. And plus Chicago, its one of the older American cities, well, for Americans, what is it, people in America think 100 years is a long time, while people in Europe think 100 miles is a long drive?
{audience laughs}
Jim: But yeah, it’s one of the older American cities, it’s got a lot of history to it, it’s got a lot of messed up things that have happened there, and much fodder to be used. I’ve still gotta have the Cubs coming to Dresden and have him explain to the cub “There’s nothing I can do about the freaking billy goat! You should’ve let the goat in!”
{audience laughs}
Jim: But yeah, a wizard’s death curse, the billy goat thing, it’s a done deal, it’s over. Anything else? Yes sir?

 What was the writing class you started with?

Jim: It was the professional writing class called “Write a Genre Fiction Novel” at the University of Oklahoma at the School of Professional Writing in the Journalism department, and it was being taught by Debbie Chester, who thought that she was qualified to tell us how to write a novel, just because she had forty of her own published.
{audience laughs}
Jim: You know, but I had an English Lit degree.
{more laughter}
Jim: She was wrong! You at the back here, of course, yes sir?

 When’s the next Codex book coming out?

Jim: The next Codex book? Lets see, it was due February 1st, I finished it Monday-
{audience laughs}
Jim: Last Monday! And it’s gonna be out in December, and the next one’s due December 1st, I’ve got the next Dresden book due June 1st so I’m writing all through April, I’m touring all April and writing, so I’ve got to rush, you know, after I get done here I have to go back to the hotel room and work until two in the morning writing, and I’ve got the next one due in December, it’s not gonna be here before the fith next year, so {muffling covers audio} but  that’s just a guess, so maybe they’re just trying to tell me I can do it two months in advance so that it comes in on time.
{audience laughs}
Jim: I wouldn’t put it past them, they’re crafty in here
{more laughter}

Audience: {can’t hear word} was really good, you know, you had to stop and re-read that last chapter, twice, to make sure I got it right.

Jim: Oh, yeah, yeah. That was a fun ending I did and I mean to start on from there and the Beta readers who read the Captain’s Fury, they were quite happy. Yes?

Audience: How did you come up with the idea for Codex Alera?

Jim: On a bet.
{audience laughs}
Jim (indignantly): What? What did you expect?
{more laughter} 
Jim: Oh, I’m sorry, I was supposed to tell you I’m brilliant and it came to me in a dream, and the angel Raphael came to me and said “You! I will grant you the fires of heaven for inspiration!” No, um, there was a bunch of us, I was an internet loudmouth, which sounds like the opening of, maybe a Disney movie or something, but, I was an aspiring writer, I was on several different writing lists and we were talking about stuff and I was an internet loudmouth, and I’m still an internet loudmouth, its just people sometimes give you a little more credit than they should because you have books published. Which they probably shouldn’t.
So I try not to be too loud anymore. I say that… And there was this big discussion, on one side it was, all these folks over here were arguing that the idea was holy and sacred, and if you had a great idea nobody could possibly screw it up, no matter how bad they were, and they held up Jurassic Park as an example.
{audience laughs}
Jim: Genetically engineered dinosaurs! Look! It couldn’t fail! It couldn’t miss! And then I, mostly because I was being contrary, not because I necessarily thought they were right about Jurassic Park anyway my contension of it was that the idea is just the middle of it, you know, a good enough presentation can take even a lame idea and write an exceptional story out of it, it was all install of the writer, of how they presented it. And so it was one of those flame wars that goes on, and it was me against many, it was an epic battle, and the guy finally said; “You know what?” he said “Why don’t you put your money where your mouth is. I’ll give you a terrible idea, and you write it into a book and lets see what happens.” I said “No! You give me TWO terrible ideas!”
{audience laughs}
Jim: Because I was an internet loudmouth!
And he says “Fine! First terrible idea: Lost Roman legion, I am so sick of the lost Roman legion, all the lost Roman legions should’ve been found by now, I’m tired of reading that story.”
{audience laughs} 
Jim: I’m like “OK, lost Roman legion, give me, what’s the next one?” He says “Pokémon”.
{more laughter}
Jim: When I tell people that, it kinda often changes their whole perspective of the whole Codex Alera affair. Brutus I choose you!
{more laughter} 
Jim: And I said “Fine! I’ll take those and I’ll do it!” And I went and so I started looking at the ideas, and the lost roman legion was the ninth Iberian legion, which vanished, and I started looking them up historically, and I started, what’s in this legion? And about half of it is the cosmopolitan Roman types who ran the legion, and this was long after the citizen soldier days, and then the other half were German mercenaries, and Ok, what kind of support stats did the legion have? And we think they had about this, and so there were this many people with them, and what kind of camp would they have? And I said Ok so we’ve got this amount of people, so I took all those people, I scooped the people up and I dropped them off in Alera, and I said Ok you’re going to go over here in my fantasy world, boom. And I said OK now,I’ve gotta take my fantasy world, so I watched Pokémon.
Jim: And I didn’t have to look real far, because I had a kid! He was like seven! And he had this whole thing about his Charmander deck and it would beat my Mr. Mime “NO! It defeats Mr. Mime!” {does mime hands}I used to do mornings for cards with my kid every morning, and opening of new Pokémon packages was a ceremony you know. “Specials! Wooh! Did you get a foil?”
But anyway, so you look at Pokémon. And what pokémon really is is, well, pokémon is also a marriage of two ideas, and the first one obviously is professional wrestling, and the second one is the literalisation of the Shinto religion! Shinto religion tells that there’s a spirit of the devine in all natural things. And if you have a mountain there is a great big spirit inside it, and you’d better respect that! And if you’ve got a pebble, there’s one in that too, and you should respect it ’cause it’s the right thing to do, but if you don’t it probably can’t do anything about it.
Jim: And Pokémon is just kinda a literalisation of that, and you’ve got these spirits of the elements and they fly around and they look like plastic hawks for some reason. And then they fight.
So I decided, lets set up a world I said, well I’ve gotta have a good name for it because I don’t have a good name to call them, I don’t know what to call them. And what am I gonna call them? And Big Trouble in Little China’s on, set on replay on my VCR, and we get to the part where the old Chinese guys are talking, and one of them says “All motion in the universe is caused by tension between positive and negative FURIES!” And I’m like “FURIES!” So, that’s kinda sorta vaguely Roman, so, at least classical, so I took it! I said OK, so I’m gonna call them furies, and we have a literal Shinto kinda world, where we’ve got these natural spirits, we’ll call them furies, we’ll take our Romans, I threw them in there with them, I said, here, we’ll give you about 2000 years to ferment, and form a society. And so I decided they’d form this basic original Roman legion, half Roman townies and half German mercenaries, kinda forming this bifurcated society, all based around, you know, they had these big cities, but then surrounding the cities were these small, kinda very dramatic freeholds of small clans, societies, and I put ’em all together like that and I said OK, you know, this is the Romans dream, they’re gonna base their civilisation on who has the most personal power, you know, and so the guys that can actually do the most are the guys who are in charge, and have the most authority, and its just the ‘we have power, we want to hold it’ kind of personality’s dream. And so I put the Aleran society together the way it was, and there’s still a lot of things that I haven’t told them about in the book because they don’t know, but I went into a ridiculous amount of detail on it.

Audience: When you sold it did you split the Pokémon types into versions?
{audience laughs}

Jim: No, no, I never mentioned that, suprisingly they never picked up on it! Although I did read a review on Amazon the other day saying “So one of the books was really good but it really reminded me of pokémon”
{Jim raises his arms in celebration as the audience cheers}
Jim: My work here is done.

2008 Seatle (Washington) book signing Part 3
Transcription by Crawker

-I can’t make out animal name around 1:36, after turkey and rabbit. can someone check? Thanks Derek
-Can someone check I got Master Oyada’s name right?

Jim: Yes sir, back there.

(Continued from part 2 about inspirations for Codex)

Audience: Have you gone back and gloated?

Jim: Oh, you know, I don’t even remember who I was having an argument with now!
{audience laughs}
Jim: I’ve had so many computers blown out on me no! But I did go back and tell him “I’m not gonna share this with you, because this is actually turning into a good book and I’m gonna go ahead and write it”, none of this was published yet, so he was just like “Yeah, that just means you lost!” And so yeah, I’m perfectly willing to admit now, yeah I lost! No, I don’t have to much pride to do that. Yes?

Audience: I was just wondering, just how big and ferocious is your dog really?

Jim: He’s extremely ferocious. He’s 25lb. He’s a bichon frise.
{audience laughs}
Jim: Shhh! He doesn’t know that! Don’t anybody tell him! He’s sure he’s a rottweiler! He grew up when we were living in Pennsylvania, like out in Amish country Pennsylvania when at the grocery store there were these horses and carts parked in spaces, literally. And where you couldn’t go to Pizza Hut on Monday night because that was Mennonite night, and the Mennonites all came in and had pizza on Monday night. And you couldn’t trust those shifty Mennonites! They used cars! There’s something wierd about those people! But, that’s where we were living, and we had all kinds of wildlife around the house, we had wild turkeys that would cross our property every morning, and the dog would chase them and they’d flee, and we had rabbits, and the dog would chase them and they’d flee, we have groundhogs and the dog would chase them and they’d look at one another and go “You know, we outweigh two of these things, just one of us, are we gonna have to run away?” {Jim mimes flicking through a book} “Well, yeah, according to the union rules…so yeah we have to flee.” and they’d flee, and the dog became convinced that he was the ultimate macho. So he’s 25lb, a fluffy french dog. But quite ferocious, and actually an excellent watchdog. You know there’s a difference between a watchdog and a guard dog. A watchdog tells you what’s going on, a guard dog tells you what’s going on and then does something about it. My dog tells me what’s going on, he says “Right, you’re the guard dog, go! I’ll be right here behind ya boss.” I have no doubt he’d be crouched six inches behind my legs, ferociously unleashing his sonic initiative. So that’s how big and ferocious my dog is. Yes?

Audience: Are any of your characters, do any of them have elements of people you know?

Jim: No, I’d have to be crazy to answer that question yes! Bits and pieces. Most of my female characters have got my wife in them, because I’ve been around her too long and I don’t see how anybody else could exist, so… Really, I don’t hang out with other people, it’s just me and her most of the time, and…the boy.
{audience laughs}
Jim: What? Did you ever raise- OK, did anybody else here have a three year old that got kicked out of their school? For inciting a riot?
{laughter and clapping}
Jim: Yeah, my kid incited a riot at the age of three. Some kind of nap time rebellion. Everyone refused to go to sleep. “No! I am Spartacus!”
{more laughter}
Jim: No, I had to deal with him. Now he’s 6’2″ you know, so… But as far as people I know, I never grab anybody and just say “Here”. Except for a character in White Night-
{Jim holds up book}
Jim: Called Anna Ash, who is there because I auctioned off that character, I was at a convention and I auctioned off a horrible death! It was at the Buffy convention, and I auctioned off a horrible death and they ran up the bidding on it, Julie Caitlin Brown was the auction person, and she ran up the bid on it. And so Anna wound up giving $3000 to a children’s cancer foundation, and so she gets a horrible death in my book! So that’s based on somebody I really do actually know. Harry Dresden is kind of losely based on my friend Charlie, who’s 6’9″, British, and Charlie and I, Charlie was an extremely comforting person to have with you in a dark alley. He and I hit a couple of dark alleys occasionally in the days of my foolishness, which are from about 1971 until now-
{audience laughs}
Jim: But back when I was in college being foolish, I had different things to be foolish about then. So Charlie would be with me, he’s a very comforting person to have with you in a dark alley, 6’9″. You know, skinny, glowering, very intense personality guy. And with the British accent he got all the girls too. He would just collect phone numbers, falling out of his pockets. But anyway, yeah, I don’t really base them too much on anybody. I take that back. Shiro in the books, he’s one of the Knights of the Cross, I guess maybe you’ve read that book.

Audience: Yeah!

Jim: Sometimes I forget! You know while you’re all here I’m just talking. But he was actually based on a guy who opened a martial arts school in my town, and who was my teacher’s teacher. So he was based part on my teacher, who was actually, I knew he was from Japan, I knew he was from a samuri family, that’s all I knew. I didn’t know he was from a big samuri family until I read an article about his $12 million full Shinto wedding on the roof of a building in New York.
{murmers of approvement, a whoop}
Jim: So like, golly! I didn’t realise that! But yeah, he was the one who was a 6th degree, he was a national college champion of Aikido in Japan, he was a 6th degree blackbelt in a martial art he was studying which was called Ryu Kempo, I’d seen him catch arrows! Not arrows that were flying by like here;
{indicates past himself}
Jim: Arrows that were flying by like here.
{indicates towards his chest}
Jim: Pointy ones!
Jim: I’d seen him catch them, they shot three of them at him and he had to catch the blue one to break the red one, and he didn’t know which stripe was coming at him until it was in sight, they didn’t tell him.
Jim: Yeah. He was that kind of martial artist. And I remember he was teaching in a basic Ju-Jitsu class that I’d been to, and he says:
{Jim puts on bad Japanese accent}
“Though, really I feel I-” Because it’s the Japanese accent, I’m not trying to insult anybody, it’s just the way that in my head I remember him. ” Really I feel I am not really very good at hand to hand martial arts, I think I’m begining to touch potential, but really I feel I am nowhere close to what I will one day be. However I do feel that I have a competent basic understanding of the sword.”
{Jim and audience laughs}
Jim: OK! And then his teacher was this old guy from Okinawa who had learned martial arts in the power vacuum between the fall of the Japanese and before the Americans got there in WWII. The Yakuza came in to fill the power vacuum, they came in and they killed this kid’s dad, and then they said “You’re gonna pay us x amount of money by this time next month or we’re gonna kill you.” And the kid’s family didn’t have it, so he went to these two Chinese monks that were living up a mountain when the Japanese invaded, and they had taken shelter in Okinawa, and it hadn’t worked out so well. And they were living in a cave up in a mountain, and the kid went up there and begged them to teach him to fight so that he could protect himself and his family. And they told him no, go away, and they started asking him about it, and they found out that actually the kid was a descendent of the last king of Okinawa, Shautai, and they’re like “Oh my gosh, this kid’s from a divine bloodline, we have to help him!” So they beat him unconcious every day for a month!
Jim: Which, you know, that was the level of martial arts they were operating at, they were teaching serious stuff. And the Yakuza sent an assassin to kill the kid, and the kid killed him, and left his body hanging over the fence in the front yard. The next week the Yakuza sent another assassin, who also got left over the fence, and so did the two that came after that! Then the Yakuza went to the kid and said “We would like you to work for us!”
{audience laughs}
Jim: And the kid said “No, I just want you to stay off my street.” and the Yakuza said “Much better business!”
{more laughter}
Jim: It’s a true story, and eventually he wound up moving to Independence, Missouri and I ask one of his students “Why does a guy like that wind up in Independence Missouri?” And the student says “Because he wants to.”
{audience laughs}
Jim: Ahh! Yes. And that was Master Oyada, and between my teacher Shiro, and Master Oyada they formed Shiro in the books. Actually I ran into Master Oyada at the grocery store the other day, he was getting a perscription. He’s this cheerful little Okinawa guy, he’s about 5’2″, big old broad shoulders, got a big old pot belly, he had a stogie in one hand and was there getting some medicine for something. But a nice guy. A really nice guy. All the really, really extremely… just the most deaadly skilled people I’ve ever met are the nicest people. You know, or so they seem to be to me, in my terror.
{more laughter}
Jim: But really, when you run into places like that, where the people are serious, they know they’re confident, they know what they’re doing, they often treat one another very well, they’re very polite to one another because you never know when the little 5′ nothing blond woman is gonna throw you through a wall! You know, maybe she can do that! So, long answered question, there you go, you’ve had my martial arts history in there, so.

2008 Seatle (Washington) book signing Part 4
Transcription by Crawker

-The question where the guy asks about Bob, he mumbles the whole first sentence, I can’t really hear it. Anyone? Ta again Derek
-And the bit about the number of people in Laurell Hamilton’s house, eight, eighteen or eighty?

Jim: What else, yes?

Audience: So is Mouse actually a real breed or just a created breed?

Jim: No, he’s not a created breed, he’s a real breed. He’s a Caucasian.
{audience laughs}
Jim: No, meaning he’s a Cacuasian mountain dog. Actually, they were bred from Tibetan mastiffs by the Russians during the Soviet government. Really, if you get one, they’re huge, they’re extremely aggressive and they’re guys that roll along the lines of {puts on gruff voice} “There’s somebody, let me go knock them down!”
Jim: You know, they’re not necessarily gonna rip you apart and kill you, but they’re happy to come up and knock you down and hold you right there, like “Show me your ID!”.
{more laughter}
Jim: Yeah, so that’s what they do. But they’re just huge, and incredibly powerful and I was like “Ooh! That would be really cool for Harry to have!” His life is getting increasingly dangerous, and he really needs to be able to go home, and sleep. So that was one of those things that I wound up giving him. Plus I just realised how great it was, I hadn’t had a dog in the family in years and years, when we moved to Pennsylvania we promised to get a dog. You’ve moved away from all your friends and everything, but you have a dog! It was like great! It was a fantastic idea! And Shannon was like “I don’t care what kind of dog we get so long as it’s outdoors all the time”, and so on and so forth, “it doesn’t need to be in the house” so I was like we’ll get an outdoor dog, it’ll be alright around here, it’s not gonna cause any trouble, I researched all these outdoor, high energy breeds, and then my stepmother-in-law got lime disease from a tick from a dog, and Shannon got to see how horrible that was, and she said “I want a dog that’s gonna be inside. All the time.”
{audience laughs}
Jim: “I want a dog that won’t smell, that won’t shed, and if a tick gets on it we’ll be able to see instantly.” And I’m like “OK, slightly different search parameters…” But I went and looked! And it turns out there was a couple of dogs we could get and one of them was a bichon frise. And we got a bichon frise which the boy named ‘Frostbite Doomreaver McBane’.
{more laughter}
Jim: He was like nine, so Frost is my dog, my 25lb killer. Yes?

 You like a lot of sci-fi stuff or fantasy whatever-

 Yes, I am a nerd.
{audience laughs}
Jim: Goes with the territory.

 Nothing to be ashamed of! So, if you could cross over the Dresden Files with anything-

Jim {instantly}:  Spiderman.
{audience laughs}
Jim: which is why I hope that the comic book thing goes through with the Dabel Brothers, they’re being distributed by Marvel now, and if there was an actual Dresden comic book there literally would exist the outside chance of the Spiderman-Harry Dresden crossover.
{crosses fingers, audience laughs and cheers}
Jim: I’ve also been approached by somebody who’s putting together a Kolchak the Night Stalker anthology of short stories-
{audience oohs}
Jim: and wanted me to do a Kolchak-Harry Dresden crossover. Yeah, I don’t know if I have time to do it, it’s the time issue that’s really starting to get to me now, which is a bizzare problem to have. It’s a good problem, but very strange! You know, people want you to be around. Pfft, maybe they should’ve married me then.
{audience laughs}
Jim: I joke, but I called my wife like 4 times today so… Yes sir?

 How does Harry unscroll in your head? You’re going back tonight to write, do you resume a dialogue with Harry?

Jim: No, I mean, I’m a little bit more cold-blooded and mercenary about the actual process of the craft when I go back. I’ve got a story to get told, and Harry’s gonna have to do it.
{audience laughs}
Jim: Which is probably why he gets bludgeoned so often!
{more laughter}
Jim: We’re at the first chapter of the next book, and he’s already had his nose broken, and he’s got whiplash.
{audience awws}
Jim: Big old bruises under his eyes, he looks like a racoon. So anyway, I’ll just go back and I’ll sit down, and I’ll turn on some movie that I’ve seen a million times, so it won’t distract me, but it’s background stuff I’m familiar with, and then I’ll start writing and eventually, sometimes I just have a bad writing night where I just plug along for six hours and I just wind up with three or four pages to show for it, and it’s all kinda cruddy. Or at least it seems to be that way to me at the time. But then I’ll go back and I’ll read it later and go oh, that was fine. And sometimes I’ll sit down, and it’ll just take off, and I’ll look up, and it’ll be five in the morning, and I’ve gotten 22 pages written that night, and everything is wonderful. So I don’t know, it depends on how much sleep I’ve had, and my attitude going in, and whether or not there’s an editor with an axe out there breathing down my neck to get it finished. ‘Cause that’s a motivating factor! Yes sir?

 Speaking of Bob. Where do you get you’re inspiration for Bob? Is Bob like Dresden’s Yin and Yang? dark side-light side?

 Bob’s an inside joke between me and my writing teacher.
{audience laughs}
Jim: I was putting it together and I told her, “Look, I’m gonna give Dresden this advisor figure, who he’s gonna get together with to talk with about magic. And that way instead of just infodumping everything the reader needs to know about magic constantly through big paragraphs, I’ll have bob the skull there, and Harry can talk about it with Bob, and the reader can get the information that way.” and she says “Ok fine, you can do it that way so long as you don’t make the character a talking head.”
{audience laughs, Jim raises a finger for quiet}
Jim: Which is writing lingo for a character who comes on, spouts information and then vanishes again, you see them a lot in fifties science fiction movies, “As you know Bob, the african spider monkey”
{audience laughs again}
Jim: But if the guy knew that you wouldn’t be telling him about it! It’s bad writing. And “As you know, Bob” is the phrase that goes along with it, that was always the phrase that gets associated with it, so I wrote a literal talking head named Bob, just to tweak my writing teacher’s nose. That’s where Bob came from.
{more laughter}
Jim: I wish it was more complicated than that, I really do, I wish I had some sort of dark, I could reference proofs or something and say something cool, but no, bad joke. Yes?

Audience: You created a lot of characters surrounding Harry in the universe, and I think you’ve done a better job than most rationing them throughout the books.

Jim: Yeah, they can only show up a certain amount of time, and I always have a ratio planned out of how much you can be there as, you know, as a certain role in the book.

Audience: Thank you!

Jim: Oh! {looks suprised then grins} You’re welcome!

Audience: Unlike Laurell Hamilton, who winds up having eighty people living in a house!

Jim: Yeah, I hate it when you see those episodes where they would kind of trot somebody across the stage; “look, I’m also in the opening credits so I’m also participating in this episode! Bye!” And that would be all you saw of them, I just hated that when you saw that. Although now I know a bit more about the business, I understand that maybe that was the week the actor had to be in rehab or something.
{audience laughs}
Jim: There’s all kinds of things that can influence it that’re just silly. But yeah, I try and keep that ratio moving, I’m itching for some more denarians here, we haven’t seen them in too long, so…

Audience member: Here here!

 Thank you. I’m kinda proud of those guys, I can’t think of anybody who I ripped them off from.
{audience laughs}
Jim: Well really! I think I come up with these wonderful ideas, I go “Ooh! This is an original, brilliant, wonderful idea! I thought of this!” and two years later I’ll be on Boomerang late at night {mimes flicking through channels on remote} and I’ll be like “Awww… I stole that from Johnny Quest…”
{laughter, cheers}
Jim: Darn it! You know, the talking skull with the lights and everything? The opening segment of Scooby Doo. Also, third act of the last unicorn.
{audience laughs}

Interview at NY Comic con with Jim Butcher and Paul Blackthorne (TV HARRY)
Transcription by Crawker

Video link
-I can’t hear the place the woman asking the first question says before New York, can anyone make it out? (around 2:40 in video)
-I also can’t hear what Paul Blackthorne had done in the second question (around 4:20)
-The video ends before the second question gets anywhere, so you might want to just cut the last bit

Host: Hi, welcome everybody!
{audience cheers}
Host: Welcome, to the second ever New York Comic Con which clearly is getting bigger and better, fantastic turnout, thank you so much for coming. My name’s Jay Pow, I’m the general manager of the Sci Fi channel, based here in New York.
{audience claps}
Host: It’s great fun to be in our home town as opposed to San Diego, which is on the other side of the country
{audience cheers}

Audience member: New York!

Host: We’ve got a great treat in store for you tonight, we’re gonna give you a sneak preview of Sundays episodes of Dresden Files and Battlestar Galactica
{more cheers}
Host: You’ll see them before anybody else, including me, I’ve not seen these two episodes so I’m looking forward to them as well. But before we kick off with that we’ve got fifteen minutes in which to introduce you to two new talent, new stars at Sci Fi; Paul Blackthorne
{loud cheers from audience, Paul nods}
Host: A talented actor I think we’ve seen on Sci Fi for a very long time

Audience Member: We love you Paul!

Host: Dresden Files is the best new edition to our schedule of shows I think in the last five years. We’re thrilled. And while Paul Blackthorne’s character himself, he doesn’t do potions, he doesn’t do parties, but he does do Comic Con conventions.
{cheers from audience}
Host: And let me remind you, we would not be here without Jim Butcher!
{very loud cheers from audience}
Host: Jim started us off in 2000 with an amazing series of books; he’s bringing out number 9 of this series in April, called White Night. He’s just told me that he’s mapped out 20 books, so that bodes incredibly well for Jim and the book series, and actually for our TV show as well, so welcome to you both and I’m going to take some questions from you guys for about 10 or 15 minutes, so go ahead:
{host gestures at audience}
Host: I’ll pick someone close to the mic I hope. Oh yes actually if you could go out to the middle there’s a mic just in the middle there, if you can just repeat the question.

Audience member:
 My name is Connie Coleman and I am now the biggest Dresden Files fan in {see notes} and maybe New York.
{a few laughs from audience}
Audience member: I’ve just read two of the books,it took me two days. And I just wanted to know, how you feel about how they adapted it for TV, and Mr Blackthorne, Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, that’s a great name, have you read the books and were you familiar with the material beforehand?

{Paul gestures to Jim}

Paul: Your question?

Jim: How I feel about it? You guys are getting to see the show tonight, I’m not even getting to see this episode yet! I can’t even watch it on Sunday because my hotel doesn’t have Sci Fi, I’m gonna have to wait and watch it on cable on Monday when I go back home! Which I’m disappointed about because I’m really enjoying the show. I like it a lot.

Paul: What was the question again, I’m sorry. Have I read the books, yes, yes I had all these wonderful ideas of reading all the books when I got the part, but of course I had no time to read them before doing the first pilot movie shot way back when. But I was able to read Storm Front after that, which of course I very much enjoyed, so. And then I didn’t get a chance to read any other books because these scripts started coming in! So I figured I ought to concentrate on those. So yeah, Storm Front is the only one I’ve read. The first story. Next?

Audience member:
 Well Paul, I have read online that you had done {see notes} and {see notes} and I’m also quite priveleged I totally think that’s awesome. And I –

End of video