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March 2005

Greeting friends,

This month the Fox 2000 company announced that Stefen Fangmeier will direct the Eragon movie! Stefen has a strong background with special effects, having worked as visual effects supervisor on Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Master and Commander, Dreamcatcher, Signs, The Bourne Identity, The Perfect Storm, and Saving Private Ryan. Visit the Internet Movie Database for more.

Stefen will begin filming Eragon in Budapest, Hungary this July, with a planned release date mid-2006. I promise to keep you updated as I learn more.

When the UPS or FedEx truck pulls up to my door, I’m often surprised by the deliveries. Two days ago, I received an impressive-sized box and wondered what it could be. To my utter astonishment, it contained a beautiful replica of Eragon’s sword, Zar’roc. This amazing sword has a blood-red blade, the likes of which I have never seen before. The pommel is formed by an enormous red blown-glass gem set in a crown of gold. The handle is wire-wrapped. To complete the package, a mounting board accompanied the sword; its black finish sets off the red blade to perfection.

I am nearly at a loss for words to describe my feelings. When I was a young boy, I dreamed of owning a sword of my own. I paged through armory catalogs and hoped that one day a sword would be mine. Lacking the funds to purchase my fantasy, I crafted my sword with words. I never imagined that one day someone would make a sword for me, let alone a sword of my own design.

Mike Macauley at Shurtugal.com came up with the idea to recreate Zar’roc as described in Eragon. He coordinated this five month project, found a sword maker worthy of the task, and gathered contributions from fans in Project Zar’roc. I am honored and send my deepest gratitude to Mike and each person who contributed to this project.

I shall treasure this memento of your goodwill, and I will hang it in my room to remind me of you when I write. It will spur me to do my very best work, for you who have given me so much.

Speaking of work, I have been refining, polishing, and rewriting short sections of Eldest where needed. I’m almost to the copyediting stage, and that will go fast, as printing deadlines loom. It won’t be too long before you can immerse yourself in Eragon’s world and see what he and Saphira have been up to.

Early this month I flew down to San Antonio, Texas for a long-promised event for the 2005 National Renaissance Conference. Because of my tight schedule, I stayed only one day. It’s always a thrill to meet with readers, and this was no exception. The conference was for educators: librarians and teachers. I gave a fifty minute presentation, participated in an author panel, and signed books—lots of books! My dad had read that a public book signing was planned, so he had announced it on the web forums. What he didn’t know was that the public and private signings both were events for conference attendees only. Despite the mixup, when fans started arriving at the entrance, I was determined to meet each one and sign their books. So a table was provided, and that’s what I did. One family, a mom and five boys, drove six hours from Houston to see me!

Many thanks to all the fine folks who made my visit a success. A special thanks to my dad, who accompanied me, and Bernell Blunt, our escort. Bernell is a rare and precious class of professional, the male reading specialist. I was heartened to see such a stalwart role model for boys. Keep up the good work!

A word to all who wrote in to the poetry contest. Please be patient! The good folks at Random House have not forgotten you. Your entries have astonished them, both in quality and quantity. Once I complete the editing, I will put my full attention on choosing the finalists and completing the artwork for the winner.

Until next month, let the glow of Zar’roc’s shimmering red blade flicker in your mind. And . . .

May your swords stay sharp,

Christopher Paolini

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Christopher Paolini

About Christopher Paolini

Christopher Paolini is the author of the international bestsellers Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, and Inheritance, along with Eragon’s Guide to Alagaësia. He resides in Paradise Valley, Montana, USA.