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October 2010

Kvetha Fricaya. Greetings Friends!

Apologies for not writing sooner, but I’ve been so busy working on Book Four, I’ve had little time for anything else.

Every book in this series has presented me with its own challenges, and this one is no different, although it’s proven to be somewhat more difficult than I had anticipated. Not because of any issues with the story or the characters, but rather because of two inescapable facts concerning the circumstances in which I’m producing it: One, I’ve been working on the same story for over a decade now, and, understandably, a certain amount of fatigue has set in. Don’t misunderstand me, I still love the world and characters, and I still want to finish the series—very much so!—but it’s been a real challenge to stay focused on Book Four when I have so many other stories I want to tell. And two, I’ve never had the chance to end a story before, not properly, that is. It’s a bit funny to think. After all, I’ve had three novels published, and all of them have endings, but in over ten years of writing, I’ve yet to wrap up the story as a whole. Practically, the process is no different than writing the end of Eragon, Eldest, or Brisingr, but, mentally, it’s a much more significant event. Also, I want to do justice to all of the characters and plot points I’ve already established. I’ve put a lot of thought into how to deal with them, and hopefully you’ll enjoy how I’ve decided to close out the Inheritance Cycle.

That said, be assured that the end is in sight. I have a few more plot points to cover . . . then . . . it . . . will . . . be . . . Done! Thank you all for your patience and support as I work to complete the project-that-ate-my-life. I know you are looking forward see what happens to your favorite characters, and I’m doing my best to get it to you.

In addition to writing, my publisher sent me on a few interesting trips in the past several months. In August, I attended the science-fiction/fantasy extravaganza that is the San Diego Comic-Con. As always, the excitement, energy, and sheer number of people at the event made it an overwhelming experience. Beyond my panel presentation and other signings and interviews, I was free to wander around, see the displays, and visit with other authors and artists, which was a lot of fun.

One of the authors I met was Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Name of the Wind, which I highly recommend. It’s one of the best fantasy books I’ve read in a long time, and Patrick is a really nice guy in person. I got to interview him for the folks at suvudu.com, the first time I’ve ever interviewed anyone else. At first I was nervous, but I relaxed as the interview progressed and Patrick and I had a great time. You can see the result on the above mentioned web site.

Among the artists I met were a number whose work has inspired parts of my writing, most notably Brom. Yes that Brom. I named the character after him ages ago, when I started the Inheritance Cycle, but this past Comic-Con was the first time that we ever crossed paths in real life. It was quite an honor to be able to shake his hand and get some pictures with him. I don’t get to play fan boy very often, so I jump at the opportunity when it presents itself, especially when I get to met someone who inspired a character as important as Brom.

Directly after Comic-Con I flew to the Boy Scout Jamboree in Virginia. The event was their 100th anniversary. It was held on an enormous military base, and tens of thousands of people attended. The boys were great, very enthusiastic. Many walked miles through the hot, muggy afternoon to attend my presentations and get their books signed. Employees of the Boys Life magazine helped organize my event and even gave me the opportunity to do a bit of skeet shooting at a range set up for the scouts to earn badges at. (I was pleased to get nine out of ten . . . having never done it before). Dozens of boys gave me badges, and one of the troops even made me a honorary member, which I thought was pretty cool.

And, in September, it was my great honor to attend the 175th anniversary celebration of the Bertelsmann company, which was held in Berlin. Bertelsmann is the family owned and run company that owns Random House, my publisher. Ms. Mohn one of the owners, invited me, along with three other authors (John Stevens, Marcus Zusak, and Lauren Kate) to represent Random House at their international business meeting and gala event. Wow! I had no idea what a grand event it was going to be. The business meeting was held in an enormous high-tech auditorium, while the gala was held in a multi-story concert room reminiscent of a Viennese ballroom, with carved and painted walls and ceilings and a huge wall screen at the front to project our images. The head of the EU Commission was at the gala, as was the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel. Talk about intimidating! I even had to wear a suit and tie—not something I tend to do for the most part. Overall, it was an amazing experience that felt like something out of a movie, and I’m very glad I was able to go. Who knows, if I keep writing, maybe I can be at Bertelsmann’s 200th anniversary someday.

But that’s not all!

Next week I’ll fly to South Carolina to speak with thousands of high school and middle school students who have been reading my books. I’ll be there for two days, talking about my life as an author, about the craft of writing, and trying to inspire a new generation to become inveterate readers and writers.

This will be my final trip until the manuscript is finished. Once I return I’ll be focused on getting out the final chapters, so you can have the book in your hands as soon as possible next year. Again, thank you for your patience. I’ll be in touch with an exciting announcement later this month. Promise.

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, MT.