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.
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.
- Badass Beard: While working on his new sci-fi project, he's packed on an extremely hefty "book beard" that he plans to shave once he finishes the manuscript.
- Big Sister Worship: Enough to name and base a pretty powerful and memorable secondary character after her.
- Fandom: He has a sizable one.
- Proud to Be a Geek
- Serious Business: The Internet Backdraft regarding him can get this way.
- Shown Their Work: In regards to forging swords, especially.
- Trilogy Creep: What was once a "Trilogy" is now a "Cycle."