I sit here, I find it hard to summarize my trip; it
was such a large and overwhelming experience. How
can I do justice to each and every person I met when
I often spoke to thousands at each event? How can
I convey the palpable heat of standing in a bookstore
filled with so many people that it’s standing room
only, or the near-deafening sound of scores of children
screaming at the top of their lungs? How can I make
you feel the depth of emotion apparent in so many
readers’ voices as they explained what the Inheritance
trilogy meant to them? The task is beyond me, unless
I were to write an entire book about the trip. And
even then, I could not capture all of it.
had high hopes for this tour when I started out, but
I never imagined that it would receive the response
it did. Astonishment and amazement
are both too small of words to encompass my initial—and
ongoing—surprise. . . . I mean, all I do is sit in
my room and tap the keys on my computer, or wiggle
my pen across a sheet of paper, and things like this
happen as a result. It’s very strange. Despite speaking
in public for a number of years now, I’m still not
very comfortable with all the attention, nor do I
think that anyone should grow accustomed
I can not give you a feeling for the whole tour, I
can at least touch upon a handful of unique moments,
a montage, if you will—like I did with Eragon during
the Agaetí Blödhren—of a few memories
that flash bright and clear through my travel-induced
remember sitting in the Random House building with
Mike Macauley and Matthew (both of Shurtugal.com),
helping them to stuff pamphlets into envelopes in
order to fill a few spare minutes. I remember having
my picture taken in Times Square, listening to Gerard
Doyle doing an incredible reading from the beginning
of Eldest, and being so overcome at my first
signing that I could barely get the words out of my
throat. And I remember meeting Tamora Pierce (a lovely
woman), meeting again a young man who made an incredible
board game out of Eragon, and being escorted
by three policemen (for security) through a Barnes
& Noble in Bethesda, Maryland.
Cleveland, I was privileged to introduce the cover
artist for the Inheritance trilogy, John Jude Palencar,
to the bookstore audience. He ended up signing as
many books as I did—and he’s got a longer name, to
Nashville, I visited the headquarters of Ingram, the
book distributor, and stared with wonder at what seemed
like miles of automated machinery designed to get
thousands of books a day to stores across the country.
Kansas, before my presentation, the folks at Rainy
Day Books arranged to have the Five Rings Fencing
school demonstrate various types of swordplay, and
I got to cross rapiers with their coach, Mark Wickersham.
I felt like Eragon when he first tried to spar with
in Salt Lake City, I again crossed paths with the
artist, known online as Fatty Lumpkin—Kim Kincaid—who
has created a collection of art that captures the
spirit of Alagaësia. She gave me an magnificent
drawing: a portrait of me standing next to Saphira,
as Saphira gazes across the misty reaches of Alagaësia.
was joined for lunch in San Francisco by Danielle
and her mother. Danielle was the grand prize winner
chosen at random from among everyone who attended
the midnight parties for Eldest. Random House
flew Danielle and her mother down from Seattle for
one of my events. Danielle is a delightful young woman,
and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversations. After
my presentation that evening, I brought her up on
the stage with me, and she helped me with the signing.
had two great signings in Canada, one in Vancouver
and one in Victoria. Both places were beautiful, and
I would love to return and spend more time there to
gaze at the gorgeous mountains.
was more, of course, so much more. The employees at
the stores that hosted the events went above and beyond
the call of duty; not only were they always kind,
courteous, and helpful, but they stuck it out through
signings that were often four hours or longer. My
gratitude goes out to you guys! And also to the media
escorts and others who ushered me around, got me to
places on time, made sure that I was fed and had the
right pens (no small concern on tour), and otherwise
made this trip possible. Anyone who has that job deserves
a medal for perseverance, valor, and good cheer in
the face of lost sleep.
last but not least, I say thankya true to Judith,
Melanie, and Shannon from Random House who traveled
with me. They did everything I did, plus—in Judith
and Melanie’s case—answering all their e-mail on their
Blackberries. May the stars watch over them for their
end of this part of the tour certainly felt like the
close of another chapter in my life, as did the actual
completion of Eldest. It struck me during
my last signing that that was it: I would never do
a trip like this again for my second novel. In a way,
it was hard to let go, after so long spent with Eldest.
Still, Book III beckons. . . .
that however, I’m flying to Europe to meet the foreign
publishers and readers of the Inheritance trilogy.
I leave tomorrow for the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany,
France, and Italy. It will be lots of fun, and I’ll
be sure to tell you about it once I return at the
beginning of November.
then, may your swords stay sharp!