Kaleb Nation: Young Adult Author Inspired by Christopher Paolini

Like Christopher Paolini, Kaleb Nation started writing his debut novel, “Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse“, as a teenager. Since then, Kaleb successfully published his first novel, with the second set to hit shelves on October 10th. Kaleb has also launched a successful blogging career (you may know him as the “Twilight Guy”) and vlogging career on YouTube, in addition to creating all of his own websites and book trailers and running one of the most impressive author-driven book promotion campaigns online. We are also excited to announce that Kaleb will be joining the staff of Lytherus in the near future.

Kaleb took time out of his very busy pre-book-launch schedule to share the story of how Christopher Paolini inspired him to begin writing a novel as a teenager and where that choice has taken him. Kaleb will also be joining Mike in the comments to answer questions from Shur’tugal fans interested in writing their own novels! Whether you’re a fantasy fan or aspiring author, Kaleb’s tale is sure to entertain and inspire you. Continue reading for the article and join us in the comments if you’d like to learn more about being a young author, how to get published, and more!

The following article was guest written by Kaleb Nation for Shurtugal.com:

When I was a teenager, I came across a magazine in a doctor’s office with an article about a new author. It told me he had started writing a novel when he was fifteen, and was now on the New York Times bestseller list. His name was Christopher Paolini, and the book was Eragon. Suddenly I knew exactly where I wanted to be one day.

Similarly to Christopher, I began writing on a novel when I was still a teenager. I was fourteen and up late on the night of 3/3/03, when suddenly I was hit with an idea. I leapt out of bed and scribbled down a few pages of notes in the dark. There was a boy and a city that outlawed magic. There was a creature and a curse. There were gnomes and criminals with supernatural powers. I wrote until I was exhausted. I had no idea those pages would change my life.

The next morning would be one of a long line of next mornings — six years of plotting and writing and editing until my first manuscript, Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse, was complete. From the notes on that strange night, I had formed the ideas for a series of six novels, telling the story of a boy whose past is saturated with the crimes of his parents, a plot to take uncountable lives, and the secrets of a city no magic would dare enter.

The strange happenings in my life continued when I signed with an agent, then a publisher, and then to my greatest surprise, held a novel in a real bookstore with my name on it. On 9/9/09, at age 20, I had become a published author.

Now, a year later, I’m preparing for my sequel, Bran Hambric: The Specter Key, on 10/10/10. I still dream of being on the New York Times bestseller list. I think that’s the last remaining step in me fully accomplishing my dream.

Unlike Christopher Paolini, I may not have started out self-published, and I may not be traveling around to schools in medieval garb, but I remain inspired by him to be creative in spreading the word about my books. I blog often, I post videos every day on YouTube (even in costume sometimes), and I animate my own book trailers:

I’ve always remembered that day I stumbled across the article about Christopher Paolini. Hearing his story was the encouragement I needed to go on writing, when the publishing industry and all its confusing twists and turns seemed far too imposing to ever allow someone like me within its gates. It’s for that reason I speak to as many writers as I can about it: no matter how young or old you are, your story is worth being told.

– Kaleb Nation
Contact Kaleb via Twitter – @KalebNation–

You can learn more about Kaleb Nation and the Bran Hambric series by visiting Kaleb’s official website, the official website for Bran Hambric, and Kaleb’s Youtube channel. You will also be able to find more articles by Kaleb on Lytherus.com in the near future! Check back soon for an exclusive video of Kaleb reading from his upcoming second novel, “Bran Hambric: The Specter Key“!

  • Anonymous

    best best


  • Kenny

    Hi, my name is Kenny. I read your review and good for you. I to, was inspired by Christopher paolini to right my own books. I am currently writing a series that i call ‘The Legend of Four.’ I am currently on my third book in the series and i hope to someday have them published like yours.

  • Inspiring, I’m working on two YA novels (out of 7 book series). I have reached a draw, I know there is something wrong but can’t figure it out. I’m having others read it. Should I write a different novel just for practice and return to my novels? You can read a short story I wrote on the homepage of: http://www.brainpan.webs.com

  • Christopher O’Loughlin

    Hey, Kaleb, you give me hope!

    I started writing my own fantasy when I was thirteen [2004]. When I read Paolini, I realized I stood a chance of getting my books published. Now I see you succeeding in a situation similar to mine!

    I have two main works: a history of my fantasy world and a novel. The world is quite extensive, so the novel covers only a small part of it.

    Right now I am editting the novel, getting it into a finalized manuscript form [I am aiming for around 50,000 words or more], but I have no contacts for publishers or anything. I send copies of the rough text around to people I know, and they really like it, but how do I progress from here?

  • Thewillpill3

    u guys if u have a question look at previous questions

  • Hey Kaleb, I’m just gonna ask a question that hasn’t been asked
    ‘running one of the most impressive author-driven book promotion campaigns online.’ <——- can you please mention a few things you did to promote your book? I'm currently writing my first decent shot at a story, and i was wondering about ways to promote it. Also, would you possibly be able to upload a kind of 'behind-the-scenes' of making your book trailer on YouTube? I only saw the first 10 seconds or so (cause my internet sucks) but it looks great 🙂

  • Rider of Fangs

    HOw can you keep yourself from putting in extra, unwanted descriptions, characters, and events in your book? That is oe of my biggest problems. Also, do you have any release dates coming up yet? I’ve been to Hambrik site and I’m very interested in reading your novel. ONe more question: Do you beware of certain books that might try to teack teh wrong things in life, or make you think of something completely different in a negatice way?

  • Iyrean City

    Hi Kaleb,

    It’s such an encouragement that a well known fantasy author would want to take the time to help others in achieving their dreams 🙂 I’m 14 at the moment and trying to plot a trilogy. I have two questions:
    1) How did you plot your novels?
    2) Who is your agent and from what agency are they?

    Thanks 🙂

  • Amethyst Rose

    Wow… I got done reading the first book just early this morning and already my mouth is watering for the next book! I’m a writer myself and getting help from authors on how to publish my own book (not to mention ideas being inspired by other books!) is very priceless in writing. Which do you like to write on more? Computer or Paper?

  • Albert

    Hey Kaleb, I’m a big fan of Christopher Paolini too, though since I don’t have access to the hard copies of the Inheritance cycle, I downloaded the e-books from file-sharing sites.I haven’t read your book but I’m hoping to in the nearest future.It’s really bad when you can’t have books delivered to your through mail because you live in Nigeria.From the comments I’ve read about your book, I’m sure it thrilling, waiting to be made a fan of your’s once I read your books….

  • Albert

    Hey Kaleb, I’m a big fan of Christopher Paolini too, though since I don’t have access to the hard copies of the Inheritance cycle, I downloaded the e-books from file-sharing sites.I haven’t read your book but I’m hoping to in the nearest future.It’s really bad when you can’t have books delivered to your through mail because you live in Nigeria.From the comments I’ve read about your book, I’m sure it thrilling, waiting to be made a fan of your’s once I read your books….

  • Jeriah

    Haha, wow. I’ve been a fan of Christopher Paolini for years, and one of my best friends is a fan of Kaleb Nation. Maybe now we’ll borrow each other’s books and read them.
    Also, I’m trying my hand at being an author, too. I have one book written, though I need to go back and add in a few more scenes and such to make it long. Any good suggestions for publishers to contact?

  • SilverScales

    Kaleb I’m definately going to check out your books! I can’t believe I haven’t heard about them before!. On another note though, I started writing down ideas for a novel after a very uniqe Dungeons and Dragon’s session one night then started putting it together the next morning. This was many many months ago and I’m nearly done with the first book, which isn’t named yet….Do you have an advice about choosing titles?


  • Dustin T

    I am currently working on my first novel, trying to revise it a little before I send it out into the world. How should I go about getting my book out there to publishers and such?

  • user44

    I’m fifteen and I wrote a book because I always wanted to say, ‘hey, i wrote book.’ I printed ten copies of it and gave them to everybody I know for FREE. But everyone gave them back to me. Probably because my book is rubbish, incomplete, full of spelling mistakes and the whole plot is copied from Harry Potter. Oh, and it’s 12 pages with a size 16 font. I really don’t care because I wrote my own ‘novel’.

  • Anonymous

    Kaleb inspired me to start writing my own story that I gave up 2 years ago! I can’t wait till the day I can get published and, hopefully, have Kaleb Nation read my book!

  • Squash


    If you don’t believe me follow this link:

  • Anonymous

    Hi Kaleb!
    I’m 12, but I’m POSITIVE that I want to be a fantasy author. I have some ideas. I go through secenes in my head, but when I put them on paper…they just don’t seem as a magical. I’m working on finding my writing “voice.” I also struggle with making sure that what I write is believable. Any tips???
    BTW: I’m a homeschooler too, and it definitely helps a lot! =)

  • Sirsimon

    Congratualtions kaleb, what you done is an amazing achievment, I wish you every sucess for the future.

    Though this article does make my heart bleed a little.
    When I was 15, i started writing a novel, it came out last year, but because of production incompetance, not many have heard of it.
    I was inspired greatly by Paolini, it was called The Realm: Dawning of a Hero, i am in the process of writing the third book at this moment.

    But anyway, well done my friend, brilliant, it seems Paolini’s magic isn’t confined to his books

  • MAP

    Dear Kaleb,
    Last year, I finished my first novel for the NaNoWriMo contest, and I’ve already begun writing up a second draft for it. However, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do after that. I guess my question is this: what do I do after I’m done doing all that I can on my own? -MAP

    • You should get some friends to read it — friends who you trust to tell you honest opinions about things to edit and change. An outside opinion can do huge things for a manuscript.

      • MAP

        Okay, sounds good to me. I know just the person for it. Thanks, Kaleb!

  • Kmc995

    OMG! I have never heard of your series before! I Can’t believe it either because when it comes to books, I usually find all of the good ones! I am totally going to check out Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse, and when it comes out, Bran Hambric: The Specter Key! I have a feeling that I am going to love them! There are going to be 6 books in this series? I love series with a lot of books in them! As you can probably tell, I LOVE to read! 🙂 I hope you have success in writing your other books and that you do end up on the New York Times bestseller list! (You WILL end up on there, I bet!)


  • Rider of Fangs

    I really want to read your books Kaleb. I’m ashamed that I haven’t heard of them yet. I will buy the book as soon as I can, hopefully by Late October or early November. They sound very interesting. What type of genres do you write and read. Question: How many events should be added in a story?
    Answer soon!

    Rider of Fangs

  • Anonymous


    I really like how you interact with the fans. Paolini doesn’t constantly vlog… we hardly hear from him either from interviews or just random interactions with his fans.

    I don’t blame Paolini, all of us work differently. But that’s what I like about you. Interacting with the readers is sure to get you millions of fans and best selling books.

    I would just die to see Paolini interact with us on Shurtugal.

  • Caolan

    Hey Kaleb, Love the vids n stuff, i just want to ask you for a favour. My friends and i make youtube videos as well, but we need alot more views and subscribers, Our youtube channel is called Manboobfilms so could you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE aske people to check us out in your next vlog, it would mean so much to us. Here is a link to one of our videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amIBfjAQR4g. You are my favourite youtuber/author EVER
    Yours sincerley,
    Your no.1 fan Caolan

  • SyDe

    This article is really amazing 🙂 your passion for writing seeps through and the Christopher Paolini story is very inspiring. I’ve been following your youtube blogs for about a year now and nearly all of them make me literally laugh at my notebook 🙂
    Also, exactly two years ago I read the early copy of “If I stay” when it was still one of those copies they just send to bookstores to advertise them. Now I’m from Germany and I was just visiting the US back then and my friend, who works in a bookstore, gave that book to me and said: “read it!” So I did and loved it. Yesterday, I saw the German version in a bookstore and now one of my favourite vloggers writes an article that ends up on the frontpage of NPR 🙂 so congrats sooooo much and keep up all that stuff that makes you so busy and your watchers happy <3

  • Breann Loveless

    Hey Kaleb! I’m such a big fan of yours. You have inspired me to pursue my dreams. I just got Bran Hambric: The Spector Key in the mail yesterday!! Its sooo good so far. I can’t wait to see you when your on your book tour! It will be so awesome! You are so cool! 😀

  • Rider of Fangs

    I guess I’m not the only one that is inspired by the great Christopher Paolini to begin my own novel. Much like Christopher and Kaleb, my idea’s came to me as one huge burst of energy, but I’ve added my very own twists of my heritage and included it in the book, which gave me thousands of opportunities how the series will go.

    Long ago I decided to create a Native American story, but I thought not to make a “The White Man took our land,” or “This is going to be another native american story with a boring theme,” which people might think about when I tell them about it. I have not been able to finish it yet (I’m not even at the middle), but I’ve managed to organize my high school work and my book. I had already completed nearly five chapters before I read Eragon. When I got the authors notes and bio I felt that I could get published and sell my book to anyone. It’s typical that young authors admire Paolini and Rowling and many others, but one author can surpass another.

    I’m close to the middle of my book and I feel that many might enjoy. So far, I’ve given my classmates and teachers a few samples and they loved it. Just a few day’s ago, I grandmother sent the first three revised chapters of my book to a professer at a college. When I read her review, it was amazing that she thought my book had potential and an epic voice. Even though I am not homeschooled yet (and I hope I might be) I have found many ways to write while keeping my grades up.

    If you would like to check a few chapters and see if you might enjoy it, it is posted at Booksie under Rokutenchi. Like Paolini, I plan on self-publishing, since you can sell at your own pace and keep finacial control over title, rights, and everything else. I think I might be done with my first book in a half year, but I don’t expect to be finished the my 1st draft soon.

    Currently, I’m a freshman, but I have found ways to organize my time with academics and writing. Very oddly I’m fifteen writing a book, but I started originally at fourteen, although I had to stop production for awhile because my computer broke down. But now that is all fixed and I’m writing about two pages a day. My reason for writing is to be able to tell a good story for someone that isn’t as fortunate, or to tell them that they are not alone in this world.

    Whether I get on New York list or not, I’ll continue with series, and hopefully make a good difference in the world as many had done before. If I do get published, much of my thanks will have to to go to every writer or authors before and after.

    Rider of Fangs

    • Rootrot

      I am also 15 (a sophmore), and I have currently self-published my own novel, Wolves the Elite Deltas (where you can find if you Google it) – which is 215 pages, and about our troops ten years from now….Funny story, actually. I started my novel when I was 14, and spent less time because MY computer actually broke down quite often, and because of school. As of now, I’ve ordered two copies of my book, and I’m donating them to my local school library. Self-publishing is actually easier than it sounds, because I found a website that allows you to publish for FREE, and sell your book for a bit of cash. (The website is http://www.lulu.com). Happy writing, and keep it up.

      • Rider of Fangs

        Thank you for reading my post! I really love how one person can relate to another when writing something; it gets alot of interest. Thanks for the comment and the website, it will make things more easier for me. But right now, I just have keep grades up as well my other respnsibilities and commitments. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could go ahead in your classes if your far ahead of the other students. My best subject is normally history, and last year, I took half of U.S., but I got to the point where I was knowing almost everything (except the technological advancements, but I never really cared much for tech, even though it’s an important part in life.) I hope your books become a success!

        Rider of Fangs

      • Rider of Fangs

        Thank you for reading my post! I really love how one person can relate to another when writing something; it gets alot of interest. Thanks for the comment and the website, it will make things more easier for me. But right now, I just have keep grades up as well my other respnsibilities and commitments. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could go ahead in your classes if your far ahead of the other students. My best subject is normally history, and last year, I took half of U.S., but I got to the point where I was knowing almost everything (except the technological advancements, but I never really cared much for tech, even though it’s an important part in life.) I hope your books become a success!

        Rider of Fangs

  • christina

    writing is very important to me it’s a dream i hope to come true

  • Kaleb, I read your first book and loved it and TSK should be at my house tomorrow (I’m so excited!). I was just wondering, I’m fifteen (I’ve written a few books), and I’m currently working on one that I think will be really great. For every book, though, I always feel a bit of a letdown, like the story I write down is never as wonderful or amazing as the one in my head. Do you get that feeling too?

    • Yes, every time. That’s when editing and revising comes in! Every book is a misery in the first draft, but that’s just the story skeleton. Then you have to go back and edit and polish it to make it shine 🙂

  • KALEB!
    I have to wonder… What are you gonna be choosing for release dates after 12/12/12? :p

    • 1/3/13?

      You heard it here first, folks!

      • MasterBrom

        That’s only a few weeks from 12/12/12, so how about 11/12/13?

        • I think most likely it’d be the 11/12/13 😛

          • Iyrean City

            And after that??

  • Anonymous

    If you didn’t become an author, what do you think you would have become?

    • A filmmaker. As you can tell from my Youtube videos I enjoy it very much, though I’m still quite an amateur right now!

      • Thewillpill3

        u r a busy dude

  • Kelsey the Dragon Swordsmen

    Hi Kaleb!
    I’m 14 and i am beganing to write a novel. Do you have any advice for a new writer? It’s fiction and I really would like some ones opinion.

    • Read as much as you can! Especially books about writing books (there are lots!). Check your library. The more you know, the better your own writing will be.

  • Sabrini15

    hi kaleb, your work truely inspires us and i just know your gonna be on the best sellers list. just two questions. are you going to make anymore other Bran Hambric books after thespecter key? how many?

    • Thanks! Yes, I will write more books after The Specter Key. I’m planning six books in the series, and maybe a seventh if the last one gets too long. So there are plenty more books.

  • When you said you were writing for a blog, you didn’t say it was SHUR’TUGAL! 😀
    Anywho, my question:
    What made you pick gnomes as the magical creature for the series instead of something more traditional, like fairies or elves? (Just curious, I LOVE the gnomes. :3)

    • Gnomes are awesome.

    • Honestly I can’t remember! It seems like I’ve always had a thing for gnomes, and it seemed only natural that they would be in my book. I took a lot from folklore and then added my own twist to them. And as for fairies… you should read BH: The Specter Key 🙂

  • Joanne Maria

    Why isn’t the new book coming out in hard cover?

    • A lot of reasons, but mainly because hardcovers cost about $10 more, and I think since a lot of teens and kids have to pass up on expensive hardcovers, it’ll be easier for them to get it in paperback this way. Books are expensive for kids to buy these days!

      • Joanne Maria

        Thank you

      • Kayla

        Thank You!!

      • Kayla

        Thank You!!

      • Wren

        Also because of the big e-book industry…I heard that quite a few books were not coming out in hardcover because some many people are buying e-books, which are cheaper, rather than paper books at all.
        Good thing Bran Hambric is available for e-book!

  • Ganon:RiderofArgorok

    Hi, I’m going to have to look out for your books (the beauty of fansites like this is finding new books to read :)). I am currently writing a story, but don’t seem to be getting anywhere. I’m onto the tenth chapter of the FIRST draft, and that has taken way over a year now! Do you have any advice?
    All I can think is because I don’t devote enough time and only do anything as and when, and I seem to spend more time plotting out character backstories and spin-off ideas from other characters, events etc.

    (Also, a massive coincidence but the fantasy land in my story is called Kaleb (Hebrew for ‘dog’ which is apt since it is about a war against Werewolves).

    • Don’t worry about it taking too long! I spent five years on my first book, and that was through high school and all the way into college. It takes time to write something well.

      If you’re having trouble, maybe try to reconnect with your characters. I remember I struggled with writing for almost an entire year once. I later found out it was because I was trying to force my main character, Bran, into being something when in reality I just had to let him grow in his own way. Once I did that, suddenly everything worked itself out.

      • Ganon:RiderofArgorok

        Ahh cool, thank you. I think that is probably my trouble, since I’m pushing getting a first draft purly for the story and leaving character building to editing (obviously some is happening as I go along, but they are still flat for the moment).

        I do have another series idea where I have connected with the characters, but I really need to tweak the story ;p. Both series shall be complete one day, even if I don’t get them published.

    • Anonymous

      oh my gosh I have pretty much the same exact problem! I guess we’ll both just have to fight through this 😀

  • Ea Bowen

    I remember stumbling across an article about Christopher Paolini a long while ago, clipped it out and stuck it in a keepsake stack. I wonder if it was the same one that inspired you… hmm.

    I’m 21, but not published, so hearing about other young authors really encourages me. I’ve been a writer since I could formulate letters onto paper. I know that part of why I’m not published is due to combining factors of fear and procrastination. I’ve read and researched a lot about writing in general and querying literary agents, but I just haven’t done anything! Know of any cure for that? (rhetorical, I know)

    You’re doing a great job with your writing and your vloggin! I look forward to your BlogTV nights and listening to any of your original music you upload.

    Keep on being awesome!

    • Thanks for the compliments 🙂

      As for getting published, you need to really, really want it. If you don’t want it enough, it’s not going to happen. Going after a publisher or an agent means a whole lot of work with no promise of it paying off. You have to write a story you love enough that none of that matters. When you really love something you’re writing, you’ll be able to withstand all of the time and effort it takes, and you’ll want to move forward.

  • Rootrot

    Right now I’ve ordered two copies of my book, and I’m planning to donate them to my local school library. Do you have any other ideas or methods I could use to promote my book?

  • Rootrot

    Right now I’ve ordered two copies of my book, and I’m planning to donate them to my local school library. Do you have any other ideas or methods that I could use to promote my book?

  • Hi Kaleb!

    I’m 18 and I’m writing a book right now (25,000 words so far) and I’m not sure how to format the manuscript. I’ve went to a million different sites and they all say different things.

    So here’s my question:

    What’s the best site to go to when researching how to format a book manuscript? Or what site did you go to when wanting to know this information?

    XOXO Megan 🙂

  • Samantha

    Hey Kaleb!
    Do you have any advice on good character development and on how to make sure a plot has enough action? Thanks and congratulations on TSK coming out!


    • Hey Samantha! Good characters come from your life experience — or in my case, vastly over-dramatized versions of life experience. When I was a teenager and my mother would drive wildly over curbs and fly down the highway, I knew that Sewey would be a horrible driver. When I was very young I was obsessed with keys — I later knew that Gary would be obsessed with them as well. You take bits and pieces of what you know and you mesh them into a character. Then it’s like you know them already!

      As for action, it’s hard to explain how to put action in a book. You can’t simply throw in a car chase and an explosion in a random spot. I think if you really know your plot and characters well, and you have very vivid villains, then the action happens on its own!

  • Anonymous

    Are you working on the third book right now?

    • Somewhat. It’s tour season, so I don’t get to actually write much right now 🙂

  • Caleb Davis

    Hi Kaleb!

    I’m 19 and have been watching your youtube wideos for awhile now and I can easily say that you’re my biggest inspiration for writing my own novel. Ever since I was twelve, when I got an amazing idea for a book, I’ve wanted to be a writer.

    My question is: What is the best way to write a book? Should I get all my plot details down first and then write it out, or should I write out the story as I’m thinking up the plot line?

    Thanks so much!

    • To be honest, there is no best way to write a book. Every writer does it differently!

      For me, though, it starts out with a sudden idea, which I write down immediately. While I’m sitting there, I’ll just burst into this story from a random place, and go on writing until I’m exhausted. Sometimes this can be ten or so pages, and it’s rarely what goes at the beginning of the book!

      Then, I take this image and what I just wrote, and I form a story around it. I have to write a beginning and what happens after it. That’s when the story begins to form. Then, I plot things out and outline and make a road map of where I’m going, based on the idea and inspiration I had before.

      It’s kinda mix of inspiration and direction. You need a plot so you don’t get lost or get buried in writer’s block. But you need to have it open for changes and new ideas. So juggling the two is the best way I’ve found 🙂

  • When you were in college, how did you manage your time between writing and school work. I’m a freshman this year, and I feel like I have to constantly choose between writing and getting a few hours of sleep. Did you schedule out your time, or just work it in whenever you could?

    • Anonymous

      I feel your pain. It sucks when classes have to take precedence.

    • When I wrote the first book, I was lucky to be homeschooled, and my parents made creative writing a part of my schedule. Other times, I just used my free evenings to write.

      When I got to college, however, and was writing on the second book, I had to steal time between classes. It was a whole lot of writing in the cafe corner until the waiter came to tell me the place had closed half an hour ago and I had to leave. It’s hard! If you look at my Youtube videos from that time, you can see visible blue circles under my eyes. But there are ways to make it work. Even if you can only write a few pages a day, just steal that time and try to make it happen as best you can! It’s worth it 🙂

  • Nadgee

    Hi Kaleb!
    Im 18. And at the beginning of this year I got the feeling that I’d like to become an author, and I began writing.. maybe one day I’ll get something published, just like you!

    My question is.. Do you have something with dates?
    3/3/03, 9/9/09 & 10/10/10 or it’s only a coincidence?

    best wishes, kisses from Panama

    • Hey Nadgee! Nope, no coincidence! I had the idea on 3/3/03. When I signed with my publishers, they said the book would be out in September of 2009. So I told them we HAD to do it on 9/9/09. It was just too epic to pass up. Luckily, they agreed.
      Then, of course, we had to do the sequel on 10/10/10. It’s just kinda our thing now 🙂
      Good luck writing!

  • Rar


  • What other alternative did you think of with your story? Was it always a novel, or did you have other ideas for it?

    Also, which do you like better, The Farfield Curse or The Specter Key?

    • It’s very difficult to pick a favorite because I like each for different reasons: the first will always be my first published book. It’s special no matter how many books I write. The sequel, however, was written when I was much older and had a far better grasp of how to write. I was able to explore a lot more since I knew what I was doing!

      As for alternatives, I did at one time (when I was about 16) draft up a pitch for a TV series starring the Wilomas Family from the books. It was called “Sewey And The Wilomases” I think. It was basically a spinoff of the book, about this ridiculous family living in a city that didn’t allow magic, with a boy named Bran living with them who secretly had these powers they detested so much. It was basically just my excuse to write gobs more about Sewey and the city of Dunce 🙂

  • Makenzie

    Kaleb !
    From one youtuber to another
    all i want to say is
    you are truly the most down to earth person i’ve ever met !

    My question is : Does it ever get stressful with all the fans you have ?

    and from my Bran Fan side i want to say that i absolutly LOOVE bran hambrick !
    I got TSK in the mail yesterday
    excited to start reading it tonight !!

    With love ,
    Your biggest fan (: <3

    • Hi Makenzie! I’m so glad that you enjoy my work and writing!

      Sometimes, it does get stressful. I get so many emails a day that it’s hard to keep up, and my mail is literally sitting in giant boxes in my living room waiting to be replied to. I try to talk to as many people as I can but sometimes it’s a choice between answering a letter or writing on another book! But Nationeers and BranFans are the best and seem to understand. Plus, it’s always nice to open a box and see somebody’s sent me a gnome from some interesting place in the world 🙂

      Hope you enjoy Bran Hambric: The Specter Key 🙂

      • AdrienneFrailey

        lol… That means you should send him a gnome.



      • Makenzie

        Thank you for your replay !

        I know it may get really tough. We can all really tell you want to go to the nearest Target and get a red bull from all the stress :P. But with all the hard work your putting into this you will have your time in the spotlight guaranteed :).

        On a side note, I’m really impressed at how your book is turning out! It’s a real page turner. Last night i was reading until 12 and had to manually force myself to put the book down and go to sleep.
        I don’t want to spoil anything for any people who didn’t read the book but I’m really loving the second book compared to the first. Not to say that the first wasn’t any better :P.

        With Love,
        Makenzie 🙂

  • Anonymous

    I’m a (self-published) author! The Inhertiance Cycle was what got me to start reading other books, and by reading those books, watch some videos and documentaries, and by watching those, self-publish my own novel, Wolves the Elite Deltas, which is on sale only on one website (lulu.com). I guess I consider my book to be partly insipired by Christopher Paolini because he got me into the big books, but most of it goes to the U.S. troops.

    However, I’m still very young (15) and my family doesn’t have the money to get a publisher, distributor, or find an agent. It’s hard to get people to know about my book when we can’t find the right person for us.

    • Hi there, just wanted to mention that finding an agent doesn’t cost anything at all. I was living at home when I queried agents via email. It was entirely free. I landed one of the top agents in New York without sending a single query by mail, and didn’t even meet him in person for almost a year so I didn’t even need a flight in!
      Real literary agents make their money only off of a commission: they get paid a percentage of what you get paid. So, this means they don’t get money until you do. It never costs you anything 🙂

  • Jompyshy

    Kaleb, could you give us your best tips for writing a query letter???

    • Keep it short! Agents give queries about 3 seconds before moving on to one of the other 500 or so sitting in their pile. You have to ensnare their attention with the first line. If an agent sees a long email or pages of a query letter to them, they’ll sigh and set it aside for later (AKA never). Be sure you know the proper formatting too — a good site is agentquery.com.

  • makenna52

    Cool book trailer!

    I’m 24. I’ve wanted to be an author since I was a very small girl, and reading Christopher’s books and hearing his story definitely inspired me to get writing. However, the difference is that I already have 2 small kids, so finding the time to write is difficult!

    My questions for Kaleb– what happened between the original ideas/notes and the actual writing? Do you write outlines? At what point did you realize your ideas needed to be written as a series instead of a single book? How much time do you spend writing every day? And someone already asked this, but I’m also interested in how you got connected with a literary agent.

    • Kaleb will be along today to respond to your questions but I wanted to share a quick little thought with you regarding your comment on being a parent and your lack of writing time. Don’t let that deter you! Look up JK Rowling’s story. 🙂

    • I still have all the notes from the original writing, partly because I’m a pack rat and partly because I still actually use them. For example, a character I came up with seven years ago just now appeared in BH: The Specter Key. Luckily, I have seven years of extensive notes on him!

      I think I imagined the books as a series from the start. I knew there was one story in BH: The Farfield Curse, but I also knew there was a much larger story that covered an arc of about 6. It would take Bran growing up and finding out more about his past to uncover it all.

      My writing days depend on the time of year. Right now is touring season for me. I’ve been promoting BH: The Specter Key for this month, then going on tour all of next month, then resting from that craziness in November. So, almost zero writing. After that, I go back to writing season. Then, I can write anywhere from nothing to 8 hours a day. When I’m really in to it (as I was earlier this year) I can put out 10,000 words up to 3 AM at night. So it all depends on the time of year!

      Literary agent question will be answered below 🙂


  • Anonymous

    Wow! How inspiring!

    Ever since I read Eragon, I’ve wanted to write my own book/series. However, I am no writer, I have no patience, and I don’t have any creative ideas that don’t blatantly come from other authors.

    I’m resolved to write Eragon fan-fiction until I can get a better grasp on things. Thank you Kaleb, Christopher, and Mike. I feel a new urge of inspiration! 😀

    • Fanfiction is good! My first stories when I was 9 or 10 were basically Star Wars ripoff fanfiction. It got me into the practice of writing things. I’d test it on my brothers and sisters, and slowly I figured out what was funny and what wasn’t from what made them laugh 🙂

  • MasterBrom

    Kaleb; Read the Farfield Curse, loved it. Can’t wait for the Specter Key. I do have a question, how did you go about getting a literary agent? I have a series of books I would like to get published but am unsure as to how to proceed.

    • Hey, glad you enjoyed my book! As for literary agents, I queried them just like everyone else has to. However, I did all of mine online. I never mailed out a single paper query. Instead, I went on AgentQuery.com and searched for agents that represented books like mine, wrote up a good query email that was very short and too the point, and started sending them out. It took a few months with no bites, then I rewrote my query to be stronger, and sent it out. After that, I had about 9 agents interested, until finally I got a phone call one morning from one who wanted to take a look. That evening, he called back to sign me on!

      I would say that the best way to get an agent is to check out AgentQuery.com. They have plenty of resources. Also, check out book from the library on how to write a query. It’s a bit different from mail to email, but with practice you’ll get it down!

      • MasterBrom

        Thanks Kaleb;

        Looked at the sight and I am going to writing my query; I’ve been thinking about it and I’m sure it won’t be easy but as you say, I’ll have to practice.

        Again, thanks.