An interviewer for a Turkish newspaper asked me if I’d had any funny experiences while wearing my Medieval costume. This got me thinking about how far Eragon has come since I drove from school to library to bookstore promoting the self-published edition with my family.
I remember sitting on the couch in my living room, pen in hand, wondering if I could capture the adventure of a boy and his dragon on paper. I could see the images, feel the excitement . . . but could I convey those sensations to other people? That was my challange. I loved Saphira when she hatched, soared with her over the craggy peaks as she bore Eragon through the Spine, and cried when Brom died. And I struggled to find just the right words to convey the sense of awe and wonder I felt when Eragon and Saphira entered Tronjheim, the city mountain, for the first time.
When the first printing of Eragon arrived, I piled the books on the kitchen table and marveled at the sight. My story. My book. My very own novel. But looking out the window at the snow-capped mountains and open fields, I wondered how to spread the word. My family and I discussed various ideas. The costume was one way we thought to bring attention to the book and to help people remember me after my book signings and presentations. It worked!
Which brings me to the story I told the Turkish reporter:
I remember doing a presentation to a classroom of third-grade students, in southern Texas, when a boy asked me if everyone in my home state of Montana dressed the way I did. I assured her that black billowy pants with leather lace-up boots, a red swordsman’s shirt, and a black beret were not regular Montana clothing. Locals most often wear jeans and a T-shirt or sweatshirt.
During the past two months I did interviews for major newspapers in Italy, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, and Turkey. In each of these places, thousands of people are living the adventure of Eragon and Saphira for the very first time. I find that amazing.
Last week, I attended the Montana State Reading Conference in Great Falls, Montana. It’s a wonderful event to promote reading and literacy, and is attended by educators from across the state. I did two presentations at the conference: one to a large group of children from nearby schools, and one to the educators themselves. Everyone from the event was as nice as could be. They put a huge amount of work into preparing for my visit. I especially want to thank Nancy McManus for her efforts.
By the time you read my next newsletter I will have finished the final chaper of Eldest. The adventure continues. Both Eragon and I have experienced things we could only dream of when this all began . . . and more.
Thank you all for your support, and of course . . .
May your swords stay sharp!