Christopher Paolini (b. 1983) is the author of the Inheritance Cycle, a series of High Fantasy Door Stopper novels. He finished writing the first book, Eragon, at the age of nineteen, though it was heavily marketed as a book written by someone who "graduated high school at fifteen". It was published by his parents before Knopf, a publishing company, picked it up (his parents started an independent publishing company to produce the book; it is an Urban Legend that they already owned one a company the author describes as "my parents, my sister and myself, sitting around our kitchen table"). To many people's surprise, it took off, mostly because of Carl Hiaasen recommending it to Alfred A. Knopf after his stepson enjoyed the book, though fantastic marketing on behalf of Paolini and his family, such as months of visiting schools across the United States to promote the book (which he did in "period" garb), played its part.
A homeschooled Montana native, he's become quite the controversial figure. He has many fans, as well as many detractors, mostly due to having used many familiar ideas, plot points, and tropes; Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and Dragonriders of Pern are obvious influences.
He has also written a science fiction novel, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, his first non-Inheritance Cycle novel.
Tropes that apply to Mr. Paolini (or at least appear to):
- Author Appeal: The elves, particularly Arya (whose beauty is oft-mentioned in the narration, and leaves Eragon in awe). However, Paolini says his favourite race is the dwarves; he often speaks a bit in Dwarvish when he goes to Real Life events.
- Author Avatar: Paolini himself admits that Angela is based on his sister, and that Eragon "started out" as an autobiographical character but eventually developed into his own character. Interestingly, he claimed Eragon developed into his own by learning awesome swordplay and riding a dragon...so yeah, Eragon is just CP with Wish-Fulfillment.
- Big Sister Worship: Enough to name and base a pretty powerful and memorable secondary character after her.
- Creator's Oddball: Most of his works are part of the Inheritance Cycle, a young adult High Fantasy series. Then there's To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, an adult-oriented hardcore science fiction novel.
- Doorstopper: He tends to write rather long books; his debut novel alone has over 500 pages (the exact number varies depending on the edition). Brisingr was originally a hefty 1500 pages long before he realized it was too long and split it into two books(and they're both still over 800 pages long, each). The Fork, the Witch and the Worm, a collection of Inheritance Cycle short stories, is an outlier at just 288 pages.
- Fandom: He has a sizable one.
- Serious Business: The backlash regarding him can get this way.
- Shown Their Work: In regards to forging swords, especially. A big reason To Sleep... took nine years to finish is that he wanted to make sure everything he wrote was based upon real math and science.
- Trilogy Creep: What was once a "Trilogy" is now a "Cycle."