Random Buzzers Q&A with Christopher Paolini – Part 2

Christopher Paolini recently sat down to answer hundreds of fan-submitted questions in a forum style interview with Random Buzzers. The questions varied from the obvious “when does Book 4 come out?” to the not-so-obvious, netting us dozens of fresh and exciting answers from our favorite author. We spent hours collecting and sorting the hundreds of questions and answers from this interview and will be offering them for viewing in a series of posts here on Shur’tugal!

Part two of our compilation includes questions specific to Christopher himself, his writing style, advice for aspiring authors, how he created his books, what he plans for the future (more books outside of Inheritance and even Inheritance, Book 5!). Keep reading for part two for many exciting answers from Christopher, and don’t forget that the best is yet to come in part three (TWELVE pages of Inheritance-specific questions!)!

Personal Questions

What’s your favorite animal?
Dragon of course! (Although I also really like black panthers)

Do you have a favorite dragon-themed book?
Favorite dragon-themed book(s): Dragonriders of Pern series, the Pit Dragon trilogy by Jane Yolen, A Wizard of Earthsea (and sequels), the Talking with Dragons series, and many, many more.

Who is your favorite author? And who would you say has inspired you most?
I have way too many favorite authors to pick just one. Many, many authors have inspired me over the years, both within and without the fantasy genre. Most recently, I’ve enjoyed reading the science fiction books of Iain M. Banks.

I was also a homeschool student, and I was wondering what kind of an impact thats had on your life?
Homeschooling had a huge impact on my life. Because of it, I was able to graduate from High School at fifteen, which gave me the time I needed to write Eragon. If I had been in public school, I would have been too busy for such a large project.

What is your favorite hobby/what do you spend most of your time doing when you’re not writing?
My favorite activity besides writing is drawing. Unfortunately, I don’t have nearly as much time for it at the moment as I would like. However, that’ll change once I finish Book Four.

I heard you were homeschooled, Is that true? If so, did you like it?
Yes, I was homeschooled my whole life. It was a great experience, and I’m very grateful to my parents.

Would you like to see Ellesméra come to life?  It would be such a wonderful place to visit and to read a book!!!
Ellesméra is one of my favorite places in Alagaësia as well.

When you create a new character to put into the story, how much development do you put in them? Do you only develop them enough to serve their purpose in the story, like the man who could see lights of energy in people (or something along those lines, I forget)? Or do you sometimes flesh out a character you liked, even though they didn’t have a big impact in the story?
It depends. Sometimes I only create enough of a backstory for a character to write a particular scene. Other times, I’ll work out the person’s whole life story in detail. It just depends. And, of course, there are always characters who start off as rather minor but then end up evolving into much more nuanced and well-rounded people.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a dragon rider, as yourself I mean?
Of course! That’s why I started writing this series in the first place, because I thought it would be neat to be a Dragon Rider!

Do you get enjoyment from feedback about your books and future endeavors and how do these inspire you?
Knowing that my writing has had a positive influence for some people is one of the most rewarding aspects of this whole experience. And it definitely helps give me some inspiration when I’m having a hard day writing.

Consider a Twitter account?
Life is too short.  (p.s. Besides, my life is pretty boring most of the time. “Sat at the computer. Drank tea. Wrote.” Repeat ad nauseam.)

If you wanted to be anyone in the series (except for Eragon), who would it be?
Hmm . . . any character in the series? . . . Probably Roran. I like Roran. He knows what he wants and how to get it. And he’s managed to hold his own in a world filled with supernatural forces and warriors.

Have you gave any thought as to what you will write when you finish the Inheritance Cycle or will you take a break from writing for a while?
I’ve given a *lot* of thought to what I want to write after I finish Book Four. In fact, I have a number of books entirely plotted out that I’ve been waiting to write for several years now. Some are fantasy, some are science fiction, some romance, historical fiction, mystery, thriller, horror . . . you name it! I even have another book set in Alagaësia, although it won’t be my next project.

What does your sister think of having a book character based on her?
My sister has a great deal of patience with her dear brother who keeps poking fun at her in his books. However, I can say that Angela the herbalist has some awesome scenes in Book Four.

What was your inspiration for writing the Inheritance Cycle? How did you create the characters for the books?
My inspiration? Daydreaming, a love of fantasy, and a desire to write the sort of story I enjoyed reading myself.

The characters? I asked myself questions: If Eragon is going into a town, whom might he meet? What would they do? Who would be their friends? And so on. Just by asking questions, you can build a whole world.

Hmm. It’s rather hard to say where ideas come from. Sometimes I see something in my everyday life that inspires me. Other times, the concept seems to jump into my mind fully-formed. In order to come up with the Lethrblaka, for example, I combined the ideas of a giant bat and a large, starving grayhound, along with beaks and claws and a few other nasty traits. The Eldunarí I can’t say; I’ve had the idea for them ever since I began the series.­

Do you ever act out parts of the books or participate in live action roleplaying?
I’m not part of a reenactment group, since I don’t have the time. As for acting things out . . . my sister refuses to work near me because I tend to mutter while writing. Repeating my prose out loud helps me to refine it.

Where did you live before moving to Montana?
I lived in Santa Monica, but moved to Alaska when I was very little.

What will you be doing once you write the last word of Book 4?
Once I finish the Inheritance cycle, I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do. I know that I want to take some time off and travel a bit, but I also have so many stories that I want to tell, I can’t imagine walking away from the computer entirely. I’ll just have to see what feels right.

Have you been writing your whole life?
I wrote a number of short stories growing up, but Eragon was my first book-length work.

What is your favorite childhood memory?
Wow, I’ve never been asked that before. . . . Probably spending time with my family, or playing along the Yellowstone River by our house.

Who is your role model?
My parents and sister.

I was wondering if you write your story straight through or do you jump from scene to scene and then work on connecting everything?
For the most part, I write books straight through. That’s how my mind works, but many authors are able to write non-sequentially.

What do you think about the fact that by writing the Inheritance Cycle, you have inspired so many people to try to come up with something on their own, me included?
I think it’s great. It’s incredibly rewarding to know that what I’ve done has helped provide inspiration for other authors.

What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Coffee. I’d walk over a bed of coals to get that stuff.

Have you personally drawn a gilded lily?
Unfortunately not. If I do, I have I feeling I’ll need to use gold leaf in order to depict it properly.

I know you have lived several different places and currently reside in Montana, but would you like to spend time existing somewhere else?
I like visiting other places in the country, and, at some point, I may live elsewhere, but Montana will always be my home.

Read any good books lately?
Been reading the Culture novels by Iain M. Banks and enjoying them a great deal.

I saw on one of your replies that you liked the Dragonriders of Pern series. Which one is your favorite?
Dragonsinger was one of my favorites. Also, The White Dragon and Dragonsdawn.

After you’ve finished with Book IV (and maybe some other books after that) will you invest a little more time into drawing?
I definitely plan to do some more drawing once I wrap up Book Four. That’s been one of my goals all along. In fact, I have a half-finished drawing of Glaedr’s eye on my drafting table at this very moment. (Yes, Zar’roc has gold furniture.)

Is there one place in particular that you felt like you JUST HAD TO ADD IT to your books?
The mountains where I grew up have inspired many locations throughout the series, from the Spine to Tronjheim (we have a mountain just about the same size and shape) to the scree field that Thorn, Saphira, and Eragon visit in Eldest. Also, I based Helgrind on the amazing formation known as Shiprock in New Mexico. And much of the dwarves’ underground structures were inspired by the Carslbad Caverns, also in New Mexico, and the Lewis and Clark Caverns in Montana.

If I had grown up in a city, I might still have ended up writing fantasy, but it probably would have been a very different kind of fantasy. Living in the mountains here in Montana has had a huge influence on me as a writer.

Do you prefer to be called Chris or Christopher (or is there a different name/nickname)?
I usually prefer to be called Christopher.

So, which Doctor is your favorite? [Referencing the show “Doctor Who”]
Nine, Ten, & Baker. Haven’t seen Eleven yet. Just a few days away now.

Under what conditions do you generally write the best? How many times did you COMPLETELY rewrite the books during your writing?
The only book I’ve completely rewritten is Eragon, during the second draft.

I generally write the best in a calm, quiet location, where I can mutter out loud and listen to as much music as I want to without bothering anyone else. Tea helps as well. Tea and bacon.

You plotted out the whole cycle in a month. You have six more books plotted out. Can I ask, how did you plot out the series?
Plotting really is as simple as asking questions. I’ve said it before, but it’s true. Ask yourself what your heroes would do. What your villains would do. What the dogs and the cats and the sentient mushrooms would do. Asking questions and answering them is how you establish a chain of events — causality, in other words. As long as those events are varied and interesting (and internally consistent to a degree) you’ll have an entertaining story. Also, I’d recommending checking out the book Story by Robert McKee. I wouldn’t follow all of his recommendations, but he has some good advice about how to go about constructing a plot.

Did you learn a language for school? If so what one (or more than one)?
The only languages I know are English and my invented languages, although I can pick out a fair bit of Old Norse and related tongues. If you’re really interested in creating a language, there are some websites devoted to just that craft. Great resources for a fantasy/sci-fi author.

How did you start out as a writer and did you ever have writers block?
I started by daydreaming about all the things I’d rather be doing instead of school or chores. Nothing more than that. As for writer’s block; I spoke of it in an earlier post, but, basically: Plot out what you’re going to do beforehand, and write about something you’re enthusiastic about. Also, talk out any problems with friends and family.

Read everything you can get your hands on. I know I do. And keep asking yourself questions. What if all the genders in this story were reversed? What if the good guy was actually the villain? What if? What if? What ifs are what stories are built on.

What do you think makes a good story?
What makes a good story . . . ? That’s different for everyone. Some people like Twilight. Others like Dickens. And who’s to say which means more to their respective fans? For me, a good story is one that both entertains me and also gives me interesting things to think about.

What is your favorite musical instrument and why?
Favorite musical instrument? Funny you ask. I’ve been trying to decide on one to learn. I like the recorder (and I play a bit), but I’ve always been partial to the sound of pan pipes — they make me think of the elves.

Drums are fun to play as well.

Do you ever go skiing/snowboarding?
I’ve never had the chance, and I don’t think my editor/agent/family/fans would appreciate it if I broke all my fingers and wasn’t able to write for six months.

Do you find writing a means of escapism?
I find daydreaming as a means of escape. Writing is merely transcribing those daydreams.

What type of music do you listen to when you’re writing? Do you have a favorite song that triggers your creativity? Or an album that helps you write?
I usually listen to movie soundtracks. Favorite ones: Conan the Barbarian, Pirates (all three movies), John Carpenter’s work, Kingdom of Heaven, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and more. Top one of all time: Waterworld, especially the track titled “Swimming”.

Has your sister ever knitted you any wool socks? I for one can vouch for the warmth and comfort they bring in Winter.
Now *THAT* is a good, solid, sensible question from a person who knows what winter is. . . . Angela hasn’t knitted me any socks (she prefers to knit them for herself: garish, multi-colored, stripey things), but she has knitted me many hats and scarves. During winter, I probably spend more time with one of her hats on than off. She makes them double thick for me; I like a hat that can stand up on its own.

Are you a Harry Potter fan?
Yup, big Harry Potter fan.

Do you have your family members edit your work or do you make them wait to read it like everyone else?
Well, they still have to wait for me to write it before they can read it, but yes, they help with editing.

Ever heard of the Japanese form of comic drawing called Manga? Or Anime? I would like to see you attempt to draw your characters in that form.
Yes, I’m very familiar with both of those forms. Neither of them really interest me as a style for my own art, though.

Advice for Aspiring Authors

How do you get yourself to write and keep on going? And do you have any tips on revision?
It’s great that you’re interested in writing and storytelling. Consistency is the hardest part of the process, at least for me. Sitting down at the computer and working on the same story every single day for sometimes years at a time takes a great deal of discipline. That’s why it’s important that you write about something you’re enthusiastic about. There’s no real trick to getting yourself through a book. It mainly comes down to whether or not you’re willing to put the time in.

As for revisions; reading out loud is a great way to catch mistakes in your prose and improve the overall quality of your writing.

Also, what advice would you give a fan that wanted to become a writer?
The best advice I can give you as a writer is:

1. Learn everything you can about English (or whatever language you’re writing in). Language is the tool of the trade, and the more you know about it, the better you can tell your stories.

2. Find someone to read your work and tell you how you can make it better. Friend, family, teacher — as long as they like the genre you’re working in and can give you constructive feedback, you’ll learn a huge amount from the experience.

3. DON’T GIVE UP. It’s incredibly easy to get discouraged in this world, but you have to have the courage and determination to ignore all of the naysayers . . . and also to sit down at the computer and work on your story every day.

4. And don’t forget to have fun!

The only addition I would make to what I already wrote would be to read your own work (and the work of others) out loud. Doing so helps you to hear where you’ve made a mistake and how to make it better. The rule of thumb is: If it sounds wrong, it usually *is* wrong, no matter what your grammar books may say.

If you are serious about your writing, you might want to check out these resources, which I have found useful: Characters and Viewpoint and How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy, by Orson Scott Card; On Writing, by Stephen King; and Story, by Robert McKee. Though Story is intended for screenwriters, I found McKee’s principles and advice invaluable for structuring a novel. Online, I recommend the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America site at http://www.sfwa.org.

I also recommend the Writer’s Handbook and the Writer’s Market (your library may have copies). New editions come out each year. They include loads of information on how the publishing industry works and contain essays from experts in the field on such topics at how to improve your writing, how to sell your work, and how to get inspired. You should also pick up a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style; it’s the bible of the publishing world.

Write, write, write! Then ask your librarian to  direct you to a local writers group and/or to an author or English teacher in your area who would be willing to review your work and help you grow in the craft.

Do you have any advice on telling people about the stories you write? Sometimes it can be hard for me to explain my stories to people because of the level of complexity I deal with.
Simplify, simplify, simplify. I used to have that same problem as well. The solution is to pick the biggest, most exciting elements of your story and use those as your summary.

For example: “Eragon is the story of a young man who becomes intricately linked with a brilliant blue dragon named Saphira. Together they go on a series of adventures, and there are dwarves and elves and dragons and battles and romance and all the good things a story needs!”

It helps to grin like a maniac while saying this.

Where do you get your inspiration when you have writer’s block?
I go for a walk, or take a shower, or exercise, or do anything to get my mind *off* the story. I usually don’t get stuck when plotting out a book, only during the actual writing of it. Writers’ block tends to mean that you either don’t know what you’re writing about or that you don’t really want to be working on the project at hand. There’s no easy solution to the second problem, but the first can be resolved by shaking up your thoughts, talking to other people, and, generally, looking at the situation from different angles.

I am working currently on a comic book and I’m having trouble with the characters. I can’t seem to get the dialogue to fit the personalities I have envisioned for some of them, and for others I have hit a block on how to describe the abilities and physical features I can see them with in my Minds Eye. What advice can you give on these subjects?
Describe the features that you yourself find interesting; odds are, your readers will find them interesting as well. Sometimes it can help to imagine that you’re telling the story to someone close to you (friend, family, etc.). Dialogue is harder . . . Write what sounds good to you. Listen to those around you for ideas. Try to pin down what defines their individual speech patterns. And, don’t try to force your characters to speak in a way that they don’t want to.

When you hit a wall, how do you overcome it to finish writing?
It can be hard to get through a book. Even if you’ve done it before. (Speaking from experience here.) Variety is exciting. Variety is stimulating, and there’s always the temptation to jump from project to project because that new idea you just had is *so* awesome. It takes discipline to work on the same book every day for a year (or however long). Aside from backstory, have you tried plotting out all of the main events in the story? That’s how I get through a large manuscript. If I try writing a story without plotting it out beforehand, I can’t get more than five or six pages into it. (At least, that used to be true, ten years ago. I may have changed since.)

  • Cade

    Realy,cool interveiw.

  • Rdodger

    fuck nuts

  • Rdodger

    fuck nuts

  • Gadget1986

    Dude’s! Seriously all this demographic stuff, if you really care about a series of books it shouldnt matter how old you get. Tiy will still read the next installment no matter how irksome you find the wait for the last book. I can’t wait for it to be released, so I wait, because even though I am older than I was when I first started reading, I still want to find out what happens to Eragon, Roran, the town of carvahall, the varden. So quit complaining and wait like everyone else and stop ripping C.P’s interview that Mike so kindly put together for us apart. If I were writing a book I would tell everyone what happens, its not the way it is supposed to happen it, a book is to be read, not spoilt before it is even released!

    • Gadget1986

      sorry I meant I wouldnt tell anyone.. its not the way its meant to be

  • Nrraiderballer3

    hey mike, do you have any ideas of what the next book will be called? like what do you think it will be called?
    and as for the interview i liked it , im glad he takes time to answer some of our questions and it inspires me to keep writing my book 🙂

  • Rvbchurch1567

    I love The White Dragon!!!! awesome book 😀

  • Ryanasmith94

    When CP was talking about how to summarize a story he said, “For example: Eragon is a story…… there are dwarves and elves and dragons and battles and romance and all the good things…”
    Well, I hate to criticize one of my favorite authors, but 2 rejections and a hug don’t count as romance.
    However, this may mean that he had some romance from Book 4 on his mind when he wrote this, so….. YAY!

  • Skyraven1

    Oh yeah, and are there any more of these random buzzer interviews planned, because I’ve got one about tabletop wargaming that’s killing me, and I really want answered

    • aaa

      what is it?

  • Skyraven1

    Interesting, particularly the part on advice for aspiring authors.

    The one thing that I would’ve really wanted to know is how to catch a publisher’s eye.

    • Donatello

      have an agent and be a talented writer.

  • sirsimon

    Paolinis writing speed is totally normal, The first book of my series took a year and a half (388 pages), the second took two years (about 700 pages) the third one will take longer due to university and the fact it will take 900 to 1000 pages to complete it.

    • Argetlam Tre

      What are the books/series called and do you have them published? Or are you still looking?

    • Eldunari

      Well whats your series mate 🙂 would be an interesting read i daresay 🙂 if you could pop me a link i would be greatful 🙂 or a name

  • Anonymous

    Ten years to write a book?
    Is that a litlle too much?

    Well what do I know? I dont write so am not going to criticize. Keep up the good work Chris.

    My theory: When people read a series all the books are already publish so there is no waiting or little waiting. However with Chris its completly diffrent, he is new to this, it must come out right or not come out at all.

    My generation are a complete unsatisfy and ungratefull bunch of people, good thing there are still those who appreciate patience. Like Chris

  • Thea

    I’m really happy for this. I think it really helps me, as I’m looking for a career in a certain writing style (newspaper articules) And though they aren’t nearly as long, it’s good to get every piece of adive out there!

  • My name

    I’ll check the site in another year to see if he’s finished the final book. Otherwise, this site is beautifullly constructed, really great :), well done who ever is taking care of it…

  • Insanity

    Personally, i think that a good level of insanity helps any aspiring author. So my advice is, manga, pocky, and locking yourself in a room full of books and hardly coming out!

  • Lishi

    As an aspiring writer myself, working on the same book for many years, I really honestly could care less how long it takes Christopher to pump out his novels. You see, for me, it’s quality over quantity. I’d rather him spend 10 years on one extremely fabulous book, instead of pumping out 1 mediocre book ever 6 months, for example.

    I will be just as interested in reading his next book now as I will be 5 years from now, I love his work and I hope he takes his time and makes the book as good as he can, not just for us, but for him as well.

    Plus, remember that he’s only human. Does he still answer fan mail? Plus I’m sure he’d like to spend time with his family and go on vacations and read books himself. Give him a break. As long as he’s working on it, look forward to his next creation and delve deeper into the vast world of fantasy that many other people have contributed beautifully to.

    I personally enjoy reading personal questions, I would do all sorts of crazy things to sit down and talk to him person to person, to get to know him as a fellow human being and lover of fantasy. Interviews like this are nice.

    • sirsimon

      I agree with you 100 percent, paolini deserves some relaxation and breaks between his writing, plus, he’ll be finished by early december anyway

      • Argetlam Tre

        Do you have this for a fact? I missed this one :p

  • Wolf

    Really nice job. Im glad you take time out to actually do interviews for your fans, and share information. Thanks Mike and Christopher.

  • Are you ever going to interview him again? If so there are really some questions that are *keeping me awake at night with a burning stomach*.

    • We’ll be interviewing him lots more. Fans will have several opportunities to directly ask him questions over the next few months. Stay tuned.

      • J.R.

        So all I have to do is type my Questions hear and hope Christopher ansers them, or is there a certain place for them?

  • Luke23

    To all of those complaining: Frustration is understandable. When you invest in a story, you feel as though a part of you is incomplete if the story is such. Anticipation for a completion of a story and frustration resulting from a gap of time(especially in a ” get it now” society) for its completion is natural.
    HOWEVER such things does not permit anyone to go on to fan sites and forums dedicated to the series and bash the author or those trying to keep fan involvement during said gaps.
    The delay in the book’s release simply means that CP is putting great thought and effort into the last part of the story. He is most likely writing, reviewing, and possible rewriting chapters of the book. Would you prefer he write it as fast as he can? Would you prefer he doesn’t put full effort into making the best conclusion to the story we have become so immersed, and the resulting book not be a satisfying conclusion to the story?
    And what would you have fan site leaders do? Obviously CP isn’t going to release the secrets of book 4, because then there would be no reason to buy it. Why would a painter tell you what he is painting before he finishes it? So then, what would you have shurtugal do? Obviously there is no new book 4 information and most likely won’t be until title and release date surface. So to keep sites fresh, of course they are going to post inheritance related news(not to mention this is a site dedicated to the INHERITANCE SERIES, not solely book 4).
    What then can result from your complaining? Do you really expect rude comments to make an impact on book 4’s release or any subsequent information of it to be leaked? I know even as you read this you are already getting ready to type some response personally attacking me or CP or shurtugal, or just a outright rude comment. But I simply ask you to think before you respond and also to think about what I have said.

  • Luke23

    To all of those complaining: Frustration is understandable. When you invest in a story, you feel as though a part of you is incomplete if the story is such. Anticipation for a completion of a story and frustration resulting from a gap of time(especially in a ” get it now” society) for its completion, is natural.
    HOWEVER, such things does not permit anyone to go on to fan sites and forums dedicated to the series and bash the author or those trying to keep fan involvement during said gaps.
    The delay in the book’s release simply means that CP is putting great thought and effort into the last part of the story. He is most likely writing, reviewing, and possible rewriting chapters of the book. Would you prefer he write it as fast as he can? Would you prefer he doesn’t put full effort into making the best conclusion to the story we have become so immersed, and the resulting book not be a satisfying conclusion to the story?
    And what would you have fan site leaders do? Obviously CP isn’t going to release the secrets of book 4, because then there would be no reason to buy it. Would why would a painter tell you what he is painting before he finishes it? So then, what would you have shurtugal do? Obviously there is no new book 4 information and most likely won’t be until title and release date surface. So to keep sites fresh, of course they are going to post inheritance RELATED news(not to mention this is a site dedicated to the INHERITANCE SERIES, not solely book 4).
    What then can result from your complaining? Do you really expect rude comments to make an impact on book 4’s release or any subsequent information of it to be leaked? I know even as you read this you are already getting ready to type some response personally attacking me or CP or shurtugal, or just an outright rude comment. But I simply ask you to think before you respond and also to think about what I have said.
    Have a good day
    -Luke

    • Mr. Anonymous

      He probably won’t comment. There’s way too many fans ready to pummel ’em down in mob formation. And you’re right,it’s true: no amount of complaining will do anything on whether the book will be released sooner. GOSH!

  • hurryup

    Hey stop asking him questions let him finish the book

  • Fwacha!Dragonrider180

    OMG that’s so cool that he likes Harry Potter! One of me fave series.

    • Mine too! Harry Potter is the reason I started reading (which means it’s also technically the reason I found Eragon, which means that it’s also technically the reason Shur’tugal exists!).

      • Anonymous

        The seven degrees of Harry Potter…. lol. the world is connected in a series of not so random events. really makes you wonder.

      • Fwacha!Dragonrider180

        Cool! I know this is sorta of topic, but for all Harry Potter fans the book Harry Potter Should Have Died has some interesting topics and discussion. Don’t be mislead by the title. As for my Eragon experience, saw the movie thought, hmm dragons+hot dude (Murtaugh, of course)+ Wal-Mart = Buy. Loved it, read it 5 times. 🙂

      • AMAZED!!!!!!

        WOW!!!!!!!!
        CONGRATULATIONS DUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        LIKE, WHAT WOULD WE DO WITHOUT YOU AND SHURTUGAL
        I COMMEND YOU SIR, YOU HAVE OFFICIALLY SAVED MY LIFE AND THE WORLD
        I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO THANK HARRY POTTER…..TEAR….FOR INSPIRING THIS
        GENIUS TO FINALLY LEARN HIS ABCs AND START READING. THIS PROVIDED YOU
        WITH THE MEANS TO CREATE THIS AMAZING SITE.
        AGAIN, I THANK YOU DEARLY
        YOU ARE TRULY, A GENTLEMAN AND A SCHOLAR
        CORDIALLY YOURS,
        MR. OMG MIKE SAVED OUR LIVES WITH THIS SITE, PH.D.

    • Harry Potter Fan Club

      WOAH!!!!! OMG YOU LIKE HARRY POTTER TOO!!!!! LIKE, ME TOO!!!!!
      NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!! I CAN’T BELIEVE FWACHA!DRAGONRIDER180 AND CP LIKE HARRY POTTER!!!!!!!!
      YOU, ME, AND CP HAVE TO STICK TOGETHER OK. THERE’S NOT MANY OF US
      HARRY POTTER FANS OUT THERE.
      HARRY POTTER TAUGHT ME HOW TO READ, JUST LIKE MIKE MACOCKY
      (AKA MR. FULLOFIT)

      • Brandon Higgins

        I bet I can answer any question on Harry Potter that you shoot my way, I have read all the books more than once. Just send the questions to [email protected]

      • Brandon Higgins

        I bet I can answer any question on Harry Potter that you shoot my way, I have read all the books more than once. Just send the questions to [email protected]

  • I was kind of bored, but it’s interesting to know about Christopher’s personal life and interests!

  • Christian Miles

    Junk!? Paolini’s feet could fall off if he didn’t have proper winter attire for them! And THAT would certainly affect the books.

  • Jennifer_rod579

    This was really helpful. I have wanted to be a writer for a long time and it really helps to see some tips and hear about how you wrote these amazing books!:)

  • Jamil

    Wow this is kind off not what I expected I need to READ the fourth book already its been two years since he published the last book when is he gonna finish this one i thought he was almost done since there was only going to be 3 books not four!!!!

  • Matt Napton

    when is part 3 out

  • Wmmcinnes

    great interview

  • Darkdragonryder

    i wonder how c.p felt seeing eragon on this silver scree. pretty terrible i would guess, since they butcherred the movie with all they left out.

  • kendy.kendy

    nice interview. i really enjoyed CP’s tips when writing. and also very funny when he says the languages he knows ‘The only languages I know are English and my invented languages’. haha! lovely. thanks a lot shurtugal!!!

  • garry

    lol. how do I make people understand the complexity of this comment?

  • Galby Rules

    Wow what a pointless interview. I want to know about book 4 not about this junk.

    • Someone

      Junk? Paolini wrote those books using this “junk”. So basically u are saying Christophers books are pointless.

    • Jahooty **

      it has more of a point then your comment.

      • XxxX

        OH! SNAP!!!

      • XxxX

        Better get a napkin Galby Rules
        ’cause you just got served!!!!!

      • Mr. Anonymous

        OH DANG!!

    • Jahooty **

      it has more of a point then your comment.

    • Yeah, we don’t allow people like you to comment on Shur’tugal. This is here for fun and constructive discussions on Inheritance, not self-entitled jerks to complain every moment they get. Find another website to do that on.

      • aging fan

        lol, most people wouldn’t admit it but everyone was thinking it, jk rowling cranked out 7 in nine years, christopher is looking at 4 in 8 yrs, i started reading both since the beginning of each, it’s really hard to not be impatient, i started this series in 8th grade and i’ll be lucky to get it finished before grad school

        we just want the book and when we can’t have it we want info about it, all the discussion boards have the same theories over and over, there is nothing new to discuss unless he gives us new info, thus interviews like this are somewhat of a disappointment for anyone not aspiring to be a writer

        but the impatience shown should not be offensive, not to you or to christopher or to anyone else, it is just a testament to how christopher has gotten us so wrapped up in this series, everytime someone makes a comment like the above christopher should smile because he knows that he has us hooked, we grew up alongside harry but we are growing exponentially older than eragon, the target generation is outgrowing the main character, the older we get the harder it will be to relate, he is losing time and this is a tad bit frustrating to the readers who have kept up with it the longest

        • dragon

          Umm you obviously don’t know anything about Harry Potter. J. K. Rowling started the books in 1990.

          • mario

            it tool J>K rowling 10 years to finish the series but she had seven book!!

          • Different authors write at different speeds. Some of the most famous scifi/fantasy authors take ten years between each book. It varies by author. There is no norm/standard. You really shouldn’t complain about things you know nothing about.

          • Galby’s Right^

            Yes, your running off a website makes you so much more authoritative than him. He’s just pointing out an observation.

          • Adilas

            J.R.R Tolkien took “30” years, yes 30 years to write The lord of the rings. And guess what it is the book of the century. Ultimatley would you want to read a really bad book that took someone a couple of months to write or would you want to read a really interesting, descrivtive peice of writing.

          • aging fan

            in the case of the lord of the rings, he may have written them over thirty years, i freely admit i have no idea, however all publications were during 1954 and 1955, the most someone had to wait was from the first release on july 21 to the last on october 20 of the following year

            as far as how long it takes, i wouldn’t care a bit if he spent a hundred yrs writing the books as long as the publication dates were close by or if i began reading after they were all out, it is frustrating reading one book then waiting, then reading the second then waiting…

            it can’t be helped but it is frustrating nonetheless, it is the way it is, the timing can’t be helped bc all of us want an author to do the best job possible, this is why frustrations arise bc it is a catch 22

          • dispirited reader

            The Lord of the Rings is also one of the greatest, if not the best, fantasy novels ever written and I very much doubt this is what Christopher P. is aiming for. The Lord of the Rings was also written with a much larger audience in mind (not just teens), being the classic it is, while the story of Eragon was created with the target generation of TEENS over 8 years ago. For those who started reading Eragon 8 years ago, it will be difficult for some of the readers to relate to the teen character who they first read about in 2002. If anything, the original readers (who read in 2002) will be much less enthused about this fourth book’s release than others.

          • aging fan

            not complaining at all, i have a ton of respect for the author of the series as well as the authors of this website, the information you all make available is helpful and fun, i was just trying to show that impatience is hard as we grow out of that target audience age range, this particular interview is riviting for those aspiring to write books, as for those who just love to read.. you must admit that for the ppl who wrongly assumed all these interviews would be about book four it was somewhat of a letdown, not your fault

            as for me not knowing anything…well you may be right, i made a simple comparison to the first author that came to mind, this comparison may or may not have been unfounded, however everything said (with the exception of publication date ranges) was my personal subjective opinion based solely on my own feelings

            the comments made are not to cause a stir, just to ask for a little understanding, as the publisher of a site as popular as this the popularity is retained by the understanding of different view points, respect of those who give them, and appealing to all audiences, not stooping to lower levels and calling ppl ignorant

          • Angusmerlin2

            Heard Tolkien took ages (twelve years to be exact) to finish his Lord of the Ring series. Christopher, you take as long as you want. You’ll have good company in doing so….

          • Angusmerlin2

            Well, reading the comments below, other sources are saying Tolkien spent 30 years writing the Lord of the Rings series. Whether 12 years, or 30 years, take your time in weaving and writing your story. I personally will wait… Breathlessly, but I will patiently wait. And, I look forward to many other tales as well. May the sun smile upon your face, Christopher, and the wind be at you back. And, thank you for the wonderful, captivating worlds and tales that you paint with words. And, who knows, maybe one day you will also illustrate your works with color and brush, just like Tolkien did. You said you like to draw, so there you go.

          • This is his first series. And some people really blame him for copying off Star Wars more than they should. It’s a really good cycle, so people’s anticipation for the last book shouldn’t be a very pleasant reminder. Give him a break. He’s writing like a maniac.

          • Argetlam Tre

            Copying off of star wars? Please, tell me where…. Maybe i should hit up my m8’s at AO and tell them to include Lightsabers in it, eh? 😀 Jk man respect. I dont see how though?

          • Anonymous

            I’ve read what Waleed’s talking about, and they basically say that he copied the story line from Star Wars. Han=Roran Eragon=Luke Galbatorix=Emperor Murtagh=Darth Vader etc. That was the breakdown I saw anyway

          • Donatello

            an orphaned farm boy growing up with his uncle in a small town who turns out to be the last in the line of a supernatural peacekeeping force destroyed long ago by one of their own turned evil. Synopsis for both Eragon and Star Wars. Eragon had his Obi Wan (Brom) his Yoda (Oromis) his Darth Vader (Murtagh) his Han (Roran) his lightsabre (Brisingr)… And who does he have to fight at the end? The Emperor, with the help of his Vader who is still good inside but has been warped by evil. The first book’s storyline basically parallels the Episode iv’s storyline, but he does manage to grow its complexity a bit. I won’t go into a full account, but from their you can pick out more similarities on your own. Now, that being said, I still very much enjoy the series and am looking forward to book 4 when Eragon blows up the newly completed death star.

          • aging fan

            you are exactly right, but harry potter didn’t exist in anyone’s head except rowling’s until the first publication date, the time period i gave was based on publication years: from the time we had the first book until the time we had the last

          • Spitfire

            dude the first book came out in 1997

        • gettingimpatient

          really well said!

        • Jahooty **

          Still denouncing someones hobbies or techniques isnt OK if they are trying their hardest. Don’t forget that this isnt the whole interview. These were just some questions asked by some people in need of advice. Really book four will be out when its out.

        • J.k. Rowling was 25 when she first started writing the Harry Potter series. Paolini was less than 18. I don’t think that’s fair to say that he should be as fast as an older, more experienced person. If anything, we should be glad that CP is continuing the series instead of moving on to something new.Now, we would all love to have the book ASAP. But we aren’t so we, the aging “target generation,” should show one of the virtues of age: patience.

        • J.k. Rowling was 25 when she first started writing the Harry Potter series. Paolini was less than 18. I don’t think that’s fair to say that he should be as fast as an older, more experienced person. If anything, we should be glad that CP is continuing the series instead of moving on to something new.Now, we would all love to have the book ASAP. But we aren’t so we, the aging “target generation,” should show one of the virtues of age: patience.

        • Mr. Anonymous

          I hear where you’re coming from about being impatient– it happens when we’re really into it. And I understand about JK Rowling,too. But, really, it is offensive, at least very rude, to call a person’s advice and personal experiences junk. This is especially true of our good friend CP. Mike went to the trouble of getting the interview and will be posting MORE *non-junk* soon so we should be thankful instead of being so self-centered. We should all know by now how much work goes into the book-mking process as well as maintaining an online fansite with weekly posts. Thanks Mike!!

          • George

            FYI…Mike didnt go to ANY trouble getting this interview! I saw this exact interview more than a week ago…I heard CP did an interview with random buzzers so I googled it and found the interview…Just so you know

          • Actually, I did go through a lot of trouble to put this interview together. Christopher did the work answering the questions, yes, but it took me over seven hours to pull together and organize all of the very-scattered questions and answers. Compiling over 13,000 words of questions and answers, organizing them, and reading through for highlights is no small task.

            I could have instead directed people to the website and made you all spend hours digging through to find the questions and Christopher’s answers but I figured this would be a lot nicer. 🙂

          • Anonymous

            Thank you Mike, I’m very appreciative of all that you do here at Shurtugal. I think that some people just like to be jerks and pitch fits when they don’t get their way. I did go to Random Buzzers and read through pages and pages of this stuff, but it was so jumbled and cluttered, it just gave me a headache to read. I don’t see this ask junk, I see this as a man that I have *grown up with* and watching him develop through his writing and his people skills. I can’t wait until we get more information, but until then, Mike, keep doing what you do bro

          • Extremely Impressed

            Wow!!!!!!!!!
            This dude is like superman. How he was able to put an interview together…… The world will never know.
            Mike is right guys, this was no small task. Heck, this grand achievement could make Mike worthy of the nobel peace prize.
            Thank You Mike……for compiling over 13,000 words, none of which provide any further knowledge about the fourth book or provide any insightful information the readers don’t already know about.
            I do give you props for dedication, though
            You might want to try a little modesty Mike.

          • legendary.

            want to suck up his ass a little more?

        • Dors

          Its True that we grew at the same pace as Harry, but a good book does not have an age lable attatched, for example i was 10 years old when the book: Crusade in Jeans, came out (1973 where i come from) and i still read it once a year (if not more).

      • Guest

        You like to complain every moment you get regarding other people’s compliants

      • Pete

        hey mike. what do you plan on doing after the inheritance cycle is over?

      • Jake

        I agree with Mike. I mean, we all are a little impatient, but this interview, while different than others, was still a fun thing to read. I think that other interviews may have told us more about the fourth book, but I still ate this one up.

        Also, keep in mind that none of you were complaining years ago when there were about 0 interviews. Mike has tried, and succeeded, in doing something great for the Inheritance community, through the very existence of Shurtugal and the many, many other fantastic interviews he set up. Now there is one interview in which there is less about book four, and you guys complain.

        I also get what people mean about outgrowing the books and moving out of the demographic. I started Eragon in 3rd grade, and now I’m in 8th, and I am still in the demographic, but I understand your frustration. But you also need to step back from the situation.

        Personally, I think that such extended periods of time between releases makes things even more exciting.

        And let’s face it, Harry Potter is no where near as complex as Inheritance. And not as high quality writing. It’s not the same at all.

        • Argetlam Tre

          I wouldn’t go so far as to say its not as high of a style of writing, as that is putting down J.K Rowling. It’s a completely different style, which i have loved since it’s beginning. However, it is fair to say his books are more complex, as he created his own LANGUAGE and everything… But whatevs 🙂

      • Jake

        And also, the topic of the interview was chosen by the fans who asked the questions, not CP or Mike. Maybe you might’ve wanted to submit some questions you liked then.

      • Rider of Fangs

        Well said. I think I smell Pain. This is your best work you’ve pulled Mike. Do you have somewhat of a permission to read a protion of book four yourself? Also,-and I despise to ask this since it is unrelated- but has Random House decide on a date for other books besides Inheritance? I’m reading ‘Blood Ninja’ by Nick Lake, not sure when it came out, but it is a great read! Dates back the Edo period in Japan.
        The writing is more pleasent than the title! 🙂

        Rider of Fangs

        Rokutenchi (Booksie.com)

        • I haven’t read any of Book 4. I’m glad you enjoyed the interviews! Unfortunately I don’t have any information on Random House’s other titles. Chances are you’ll find some information once Lytherus — our new fantasy/scifi/horror website — launches.

    • Impatient Fan

      Dude! My thoughts exactly. Sure I like to read about the loose ends and what not but really can’t we at least have a clue as to how much longer it’s going to be until the next book and it was supposed to be a trilogy no? So doesn’t this mean the series has already been written it’s just a matter of putting the final touches on the last few pages? Chris please, expected date???

    • zachamavisca

      The only junk on this page is a certain comment written by a certain person who I will not name.

      (*cough*galbyrules*cough*)

      • Mr. Anonymous

        MMMHHHMMM…!!

      • Rider of Fangs

        Can we be a bit mature about this? There is no poiont in arguing with that Kyuuketsuki (man-eater from Blood Ninja). My point is that it’s pointless to even start an argument with someone as imcompetent, impatient, and insulting as galbyrules. I propose we just ignore him from this point on, until he learns that there is more a book than learning its tile and cover

        Rider of Fangs

        Rokutenchi (booksie.com)

    • Alfons

      penis

  • Amethyst Rose

    Wow… Makes me sure that I can’t wait for book four and also inspires me to look even futher on writing that book I’ve been trying to do!

  • sirsimon

    brilliant stuff, really shows us that Paolini commits a lot to the inheritance cycle, and for that, we should be grateful

    • Rider of Fangs

      Amen!

  • Post

    It’s good to know there is a human being writing this series. It’s been pretty interesting hearing about your life and hobbies. You may think you are boring but that is just the surface. I’m sure if your mind had a twitter there would be posts every few seconds.

    • Mr. Anonymous

      Yeah its nice sometimes to focus on something different. Nice getting to know more of the behind-the-scenes stuff and more about the author. We’ll take anything– It’s all good!

  • Farewellbend

    I really appreciate the writing advice. I’m in a Writing for Children and Adolescents class and it’s invaluable! This makes me want to get back to work on a novel. Thanks, Christopher.