Author Christopher Paolini joins SciFiChick.com today to promote the 10th Anniversary of Eragon. And keep reading for a chance to win the beautiful new Collector’s Edition with impressive illustrations by Paolini!
With the incredible success of Eragon, did it affect your writing of the rest of the Inheritance saga?
It didn’t change how I wrote the series, but it did make me more aware of my audience. When I started Eragon, I didn’t really think anyone outside of my family would read it. Once the series began to sell, all that changed. For a time I struggled with what could only be called anxiety performance or stage fright. It’s hard to write what will always be a rough and imperfect first draft if you start worrying about what every one of your readers is going to think about every one of your words. It may sound strange, but in order to write with any degree of confidence, I had to effectively ignore my audience.
Of course, when the time came for editing, I could think about them all I wanted. During editing, you want to embrace your doubts and insecurities, because they’re probably based in sound instinct if you have any sense for how your book ought to be written.
In the end, I’ve learned not to worry what people will think of my writing, while at the same time keeping in mind the importance of respecting the expectations readers have for the story (even if I don’t always fulfill them the way people would want).
Eragon was such an ambitious first novel. How did you find the motivation to keep going? Especially at such a young age?
There were plenty of times when I nearly gave up. However, I persisted for two reasons: (1) my parents were enormously supportive. And (2) I tend to be both obsessive and overly-determined. Once I start a project, I see it through to the end, no matter how hard it is. A useful trait for an author. Of course, the reason I had that determination in the first place when it came to writing is because I love stories more than anything else (besides my family). Stories have given me enormous amounts of pleasure and have enriched my life in innumerable ways. If not for the books I read growing up, I would have ended up far worse off than I am today.
What are you working on now? Any other stories on the horizon?
At the moment I’m working on a sci-fi project, but I can’t say much about it without spoiling it. However, it does have spaceships, lasers, aliens, explosions, and all sorts of other fun things.
Are we going to get to see Angela’s story soon?
Readers will certainly see more of Angela the herbalist when I write Book V in Alagaësia. However, after spending over ten years on the Inheritance Cycle, I need a break!
Do you have a favorite place where you like to write?
At home, in my office, on my sofa. For some reason I’m twice as creative on my sofa than I am at my desk, which is only a few feet a way.
Are there plans to make the rest of the series into films?
Not at the moment. I would love to see a remake of Eragon, but the decision rests with the studio and so far, they’re not doing anything with it. It’s frustrating, because I think the books could make for some wonderful fantasy films. If nothing else, I would love for fans of the series to finally be able to see Eragon’s world the way I’ve always imagined it.
Who are some of your favorite authors? What books do you love?
Ack! I have far too many favorites to list them all, but to mention a few: Dune, Smilla’s Sense of Snow, the Wizard of Earthsea trilogy, the Mabinogion Tetralogy by Evangeline Walton, Wild Seed, the Gormenghast trilogy, The Worm Ouroboros, Anna Karenina, Alexander McCall Smith, Iain M. Banks, the Hyperion series by Dan Simmons, early Heinlein, The Book of the Dun Cow, and so forth and so on. . . .
What do you do when you’re not writing? In your spare time?
I like to exercise (since I sit so much), draw, and paint (I did all of the interior art for the series), read, blow things up in video games, and walk and hike in the nearby wilderness.
Thanks for your time! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just that I’m immensely grateful for the support of all my readers, and I hope they enjoy my future books as much or even more than the Inheritance Cycle.
Courtesy of Random House, I have a copy of ERAGON Collector’s Edition for one (1) lucky winner!
Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends November 15. I’ll draw a name on November 16, and notify winner via email.
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