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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Alagaesia News

Christopher Paolini at the 2006 Quill Book Awards

Kvetha Fricaya! Greetings Friends!

A lot has happened since my last newsletter!

Random House sent me quite a number of foreign editions of Eragon and Eldest, including an Icelandic Eragon and an Italian hardcover Eldest that is just a bit larger than a mass-market paperback and is covered in shiny pink foil. It's quite striking. The first line of Eldest in Italian is: Il canto dei morti è il pianto dei vivi.

I learned that a spoof of Eragon—written by Joey Luke Bandini—is being published in Italy. The title is Aerosol, Il Fratello Furbo Di Eragon, which, according to the translation Google gave me, means something along the lines of Aerosol, the Clever Brother of Eragon. Assuming my Italian to English dictionary is accurate, the book follows the adventures of Aerosol as he becomes linked with a beautiful blue Musk Turkey and becomes one of the mythological Poultry Riders. Just for the record, I had no part in the creation of this book. Still, it seems amusing.

The link, if you’re interested is:

On September 27, Random House released the Limited Edition (LE) of Eldest. I'm very proud of this book, as I put a great deal of work into it and because the wonderful folks at Knopf and Random House did an extraordinary job with its design and production. The front cover and spine are decorated with large swaths of gold foil that make the book really stand out on the shelf. It contains a foldout poster of John Jude Palencar's painting of the dragon Glaedr; two of my drawings: one of Brom's ring, one of Thorn's eye; a complete list of people, places, and things; a concise history of Alagaësia; and an excerpt from Book Three. In my opinion, the LE is the version of Eldest, and I’m delighted to have such a handsome frame for my story.

Another piece of big news is that Fox unveiled several trailers for the Eragon movie. You can find the US trailer at:

And the international trailer at: 2006/october/1/eragon_intl_trailer_hi.php

And here's a high-quality trailer for the Xbox 360 Eragon video game:

And I've been hearing about all sorts of interesting Eragon items, including swords from the movie, clothing branded with the logo, a snowboarding competition, an Eragon computer mouse, board games, trinkets, and much more.

Last month, I flew out to New York City for an interview and photo shoot with Ed Speleers, the actor who plays the character of Eragon in the movie. We had spoken over the phone once before and had missed each other by a day at ComicCon, so that was the first time we met in person. It was hardly a casual encounter, what with agents, publicists, journalists, photographers, makeup artists, wardrobe designers, and movie executives milling around, but we had a nice chat all the same. He was genuine in his desire to portray Eragon to the best of his abilities. During our discussion, he made a comment about Saphira that was so close to my own concept of her, I felt as if he had put his finger on the essence of her character. To paraphrase, he said that when he was acting across from the neon orange tennis ball that represented Saphira on the set, he imagined her being a combination of his mother and his best friend. What a perfect way to describe her!

No doubt about it, meeting the person who is portraying a character I have spent the better part of a decade thinking about is an odd and exciting experience. I'm glad I had the opportunity to visit with Ed, and I wish him the best, both personally and professionally. From my own adventures, I know how it can be when life kicks you into the spotlight.

A few days ago, I flew out to New York City to attend the second annual Quill awards, as I was one of the nominees. Readers from across the country voted for their favorite book in each category.

The ceremony was a high-profile occasion attended by numerous celebrities, and which NBC filmed and will broadcast on Oct. 28th. This year the Quills were held in the Natural History Museum in New York City, an awe-inspiring location.

It was the first black-tie event I’ve ever attended, and the first time I’ve had to stuff myself into a tuxedo. I never realized getting dressed could take so long! My suspenders did their best to strangle me, and as for my cufflinks, we are no long on speaking terms.

To my surprise, when the presenters for the young adult award announced the winner, I heard them say my name. My heart was pounding so hard as I walked up to the stage, I thought that I might keel over in front of six hundred people. I said then, and I say now, that I am incredibly grateful and honored to know that you, my readers, voted for me. Having started in this profession by hand-selling books to people who, in many cases, didn’t give a hoot for some kid wearing a medieval costume in a store, it means a great deal to me that people have enjoyed my books enough to show their support.

Now I dive back into Book Three.

May the stars watch over you,

Christopher Paolini


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