Eldon had the following to say about his first experience as a professional at the Festival of Books:
"Friends ask me if things seemed any different, going back to UCLA to attend the Festival of Books as a published author—as opposed to being a fan and reader. But why should I feel any different? I’m still a fan and reader, the weather in Los Angeles is still sunny and smoggy, and this event remains one of those that makes me wonder: How can there be this many people in the world?
I won’t say it isn’t odd, however, sitting behind a signing table instead of standing in line in front of it. You’d think that doing so would come with a sense of pride and accomplishment. With me, it only brings a great deal of nervousness. Public attention has always made me uncomfortable, although I do my best to hide it. One of the things I enjoy most about writing is the opportunity to entertain while remaining anonymous. Stepping out from behind the keyboard and into the public light takes a lot of getting used to, whether I do so to sign ten books or a thousand (the latter being hypothetical, of course). I often wonder if other authors feel the same way, or if it’s just me.
In the end, the people make it worthwhile. Patrick, Terry, Elizabeth, and the rest of the Mysterious Galaxy crew are always fun to hang out with, and I thank them (and Maryelizabeth, who had to catch a plane) for having me. Thanks also to Ted, Sandy, Heather, and all of the other readers who stopped by to make sure I wasn’t simply sitting there with a finger up my nose. Strangely enough, the butterflies are usually there only until things get started. Once I start meeting and chatting with folks—all of whom are much more interesting than me—I quickly forget how awkward it feels to be considered an attraction.
Fortunately, at this circus, people were in great supply. Before I knew it, the hour was up, and it was time to do what so many folks in Los Angeles do best: sit in a car on the 405 freeway, while baking in the sun. Yes, all in all, it felt just like old times."