Patrick Rothfuss was well aware that the natives were growing restless.
"I had somebody come up to me in a Pizza Hut and ask me where the hell the second book was," he says.
But the author, who spent nine contented years as an undergraduate in his native Wisconsin, is clearly not a guy who will be hurried.
It took him seven years to write "The Name of the Wind," the acclaimed best-seller that was the first installment in his projected fantasy trilogy, "The Kingkiller Chronicle."
The sequel, "The Wise Man's Fear," came out this week. Four years later.
Yes, Rothfuss, 37, is taking his own sweet time unfolding the tale of his hero, Kvothe (pronouned Quothe).
But the wait has been worth it.
Writes noted fantasy critic Paul Goat Allen on BN.com: "I have never read anything as so totally immersive -- and audaciously innovative -- as Patrick Rothfuss's 'Kingkiller Chronicle.' The saga of Kvothe is nothing short of a timeless, towering masterwork."
Rothfuss's narrative wheel is not only slow, it grinds exceedingly fine.
The 700-page "Name of the Wind barely" took Kvothe into his teens. The nearly 1,000 page "The Wise Man's Fear" advances him only a few years further.
"I know better than to read reviews but I do it anyway," says the scruffy scribe. "Somebody described my pacing as 'glacial.' I wasn't thrilled but I think they meant it in a not entirely unflattering way."
At this point, it probably won't surprise you to learn that Kvothe's slow-cook progress is intentional.
"I'm a fan of books that are almost langorous in their storytelling," Rothfuss says. "That is a little bit lost sometimes in the modern media that we have."
It isn't the books' lengths as much as it is the writer's meticulous work habits that make for such a sporadic publishing schedule.
"I'm obsessive. That's the word for me. I obsess -- perhaps to the point where it's moderately dysfunctional," he says, laughing.
"I tend to put a book through about 100 revisions. If anything, that's an understatement. If there's another author out there who does this sort of revision, I would really like to meet him. Maybe we could form some sort of support group," he says, laughing robustly again.
Rothfuss has invested the Four Corners world of "The Kingkiller Chronicle" with remarkably rich and intricate detail, right down to its music, its myths, its currencies and its colloqualisms.
He's always been a bit of a pedant. Asked how his parents would describe him as a boy, he states, "My mom would have said precocious. My dad might say snotty. But they're talking about the same thing.
"My mom once lost track of me at the zoo and when she found me I was lecturing a man about the difference between dromedary and bactrian camels. I was about 3 1/2."
Born in Madison, Wis., Rothfuss went to college and still resides in Stevens Point, a small city about halfway between Oshkosh and Wausau.
Back when he was a perennial and penurious student, he wrote the passage that sparked his wayfarers-and-wizardry epic.
Here is how Rothfuss's legendary adventurer introduced himself:
"My name is Kvothe ... I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during the day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep."
"That was the first piece of the book I ever wrote," he recalls. "I sat down at a computer, not even my computer. I didn't have a computer. I couldn't afford one back then. When I wrote that I kind of knew where the character was coming from."
With his sequel just hitting the shelves, you know Rothfuss is dreading the question, but it's hard to resist asking: When can we expect the third installment?
"I know better than to make any wild statements about when it will be done. I've learned that lesson in spades," he says. "I can say it will be years."
In the meantime, Kvothe will have to wait.