Kvetha Fricäya. Greetings Friends.
Home at last.
Those are the three sweetest words I could write after traveling around the world on-and-off since August 20th. My book tours—most recently in Europe—have been amazing, but, all the same, it’s good to be able to sit down and stop moving. Not to mention, the last part of the trilogy awaits ….
Angela, my sister, accompanied me on the last trip. Our first stop was England, where I made numerous presentations at schools, bookstores, and a book festival in Cheltenham. One of the things I enjoy most about England is the welcoming quality of its bookstores; you feel as if you could just curl up in a corner and read for hours on end. (I’m a sucker for polished wood paneling.) This was my second visit to London, and I enjoyed the opportunity to again meet the wonderful Random House team there.
From England, we hopped over to Spain, first Madrid, then Barcelona. Spain was the first place where I had to speak through translators, which was a new experience for me. Every day, I had eight to ten interviews in a row, then usually several book signings. Whew! It was great though, and my publishers there, both Castilian and Catalan, did a truly awesome job of cramming events into every single available moment. It would have been physically impossible for me to do anything more.
Angela and I had one free day in Barcelona, so we took the opportunity to wander the city—which is beautiful—and visit many of the local wonders, including the Sagrada Familia cathedral designed by Antoni Gaudi. Even though the cathedral is still under construction—they’ve been working on it for over a hundred years—it’s breathtaking, and, in many ways, reminded me of something the elves would build.
Germany was the next leg of our trip. In Frankfurt, I attended several events at the Frankfurt Book Fair: the largest business conference in the world (284,838 people over five days). The highlight was a party arranged so I could meet representatives from publishing companies around the world that have released Eragon, several of which have also already released Eldest. The fact that my books are read in other countries never ceases to amaze me. We left Frankfurt for a quick jaunt to Berlin, then returned a day later. In Berlin, I gave more interviews, as well as a public presentation at the Bertelsmann media center. That event was fun: I read from the English edition of Eldest, then Andreas Fröhlich, who recorded the German audio book, read the translated version.
Paris was next. What a unique city! Most of my time there was spent giving interviews and visiting with the wonderful folks at my French publisher, Bayard. They were extremely nice to Angela and me, and even arranged for us to tour part of the Louvre. I was moved to see the originals of many paintings that, previously, I was only familiar with from books. Some were enormous! And they glowed with a warmth that can never be captured in a photograph.
And last was Italy. In Milan I spent two days talking with journalists and concluded with a book signing the likes of which I’ve never experienced before. It wasn’t the number of people that was so extraordinare, but rather their sheer enthusiasm. And to make it even more rowdy and hectic, no one stood in line. When I began to sign, everyone rushed the table, shoving books at me from all sides. It was exhilarating!
The tour ended in Rome, with several more signings. Angela and I then took a few days off, to sightsee and to meet our great uncle and aunt, and their children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews who live in Italy. All too soon, it was time for the long, long flight home.
Home. Is it too much of a cliché to say there’s no place like home? No matter; it’s true. And nothing is so conductive (change to conducive) to writing as comfortable surroundings.
Now that we’re back, I’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone—fans, publishers, publicists, media escorts, and many others—who took such good care of Angela and me. You guys helped to make this trip one of our most memorable experiences.
Visiting all those countries made me realize just how hard the international publishers have worked on the Inheritance trilogy, and how much I owe them as a result. It was humbling to see.
So that’s the news…. Now, I intend to rest, read lots of books, clean my room, and prepare for Book III.
I can’t wait to start!
May your swords stay sharp,