Christopher Paolini On the Leatherbound Eragon


paolini-eragon10Christopher Paolini has done great things and he is not yet 30 years old.

He has finished an epic fantasy series that is beloved by millions all over the world. He has travelled that world and met tens of thousands of his fans. He has provided for his family even as they provided for him when he wrote Eragon at 15 years old. He has been able to keep a humble life in the wilds of Montana, without falling prey to the arrogance and self-importance that comes with early success.

I have known Christopher a long time. He’s one of my nicest friends. I see him once or twice throughout the year, usually at a convention, and it’s like no time has passed. We are reduced to being geeks—still—and we spend the most significant time talking about the craft of writing.

It all began for him ten years ago with Eragon though, and now Random House has decided to celebrate the book and the writer with a beautiful 10th Anniversary Edition!

Here is an interview with Christopher about the new book:


Shawn Speakman: The 10th Anniversary Edition of ERAGON is now published! Tell Unbound Worlds about the book and how it came to be?


Christopher Paolini: The 10th Anniversary Edition is beautiful! I love it! It’s my absolutely favorite edition of the book. If I hadn’t written it myself, I would buy it the moment I saw it in a bookstore.

The book is leather bound, with marbled end papers and paintings throughout by five of the best fantasy artists in the world (all of whom I personally selected). I also contributed a piece: a full-color illustration of the character of Brom. In addition, I wrote the foreword. The text itself contains many minor changes that I’ve added over the years, and is the most up-to-date version in existence.

This edition came about because (a) I’ve always wanted a leather-bound, illustrated version of Eragon, and (b) because Random House and I wanted to celebrate this rather significant milestone. Ten years! It’s sometimes hard to believe.

Shawn Speakman: How did the selection of artists come about? And did you help guide them in any way in the creation of the interior art?

Christopher Paolini: As I said, I picked each of the artists myself, and I provided them with detailed descriptions of the scenes they would be painting. Of course, the artists put their own personal stamp on each scene, which is part of the fun. I really enjoyed seeing how they chose to interpret my world.

Shawn Speakman: I love leatherbound books. Will the other books in the series be given the leather edition treatment?

Christopher Paolini: Hopefully! It depends on how well this edition of Eragon sells, but if all goes well, then yes, we’ll see the rest of the series get the luxury treatment.

Shawn Speakman: I for one cannot believe that ten years have passed. How have you changed in that time, both as a writer and as a person?

Christopher Paolini: Heh. That could the subject of a whole book unto itself. Suffice it to say, I’ve learned a huge amount about writing over the past ten years, and I’ve learned a huge amount about myself as well. Ultimately the biggest difference is that what started as a hobby is now my full-time job. And I no longer have to worry about the financial pressures that were looming over my family when I started Eragon. If I could go back in time, the one thing I would tell myself would be, “Don’t worry so much. . . . And don’t use so many adverbs. They’re bad for your health.”

Shawn Speakman: I understand you are working on a science fiction novel. Anything you’d like to share about it? Tentative title?

Christopher Paolini: Unfortunately I can’t tell you too much about it without spoiling it, but I can say it has aliens, explosions, lasers, spaceships, and all sorts of other fun things. I actually already have the title (I’ve had it for over five years now), but I think my publisher will want to make a big deal of revealing it once we’re close to publication. Still, I’m very excited about this book, and I hope people will enjoy it as much or even more than the Inheritance Cycle.

I have to say, I am excited about Christopher writing a science fiction novel set in space. He has worked in epic fantasy for so long, I’m curious to see what else his mind can create!

In the meantime, the 10th Anniversary of Eragon by Christopher Paolini is in fine bookstores now! It is a gorgeous edition, one that will please book collectors as well as Paolini fans!

Ride into Alagaesia!