Spotlight on: Christopher Paolini

Following  the news of the eagerly awaited release of Inheritance, the fourth title in the Inheritance cycle of books featuring Eragon and his dragon Saphira, this round’s Spotlight will be on young author Christopher Paolini.

Christopher Paolini was born in 1983 and grew up in Montana, in a family who had a small self-publishing business. Frustrated as a youth by the quality of fantasy writing that was coming out, he decided to try his own hand at it. After graduating high school at age 15 he spent a year writing Eragon, and another year polishing it before his parents saw its potential and published it through their own small company.  He then went on the road for a year spruiking at bookshops and libraries with average sales for a self-published book.

‘Environmental thriller’ author Carl Hiaasen came across a copy, when his stepson bought one at one of Christopher’s talks and saw its greater circulation potential, showing it to his own publisher who took it on.  A little over a year after it was discovered, the revised version was published, with professional cover art,  by Alfred A Knopf publishers to immediate success. The rest they say is history! It spawned two hugely popular sequels , with the third and final sequel due this year and also a film adaptation in 2006. Not bad for a 28-year-old!