We got the chance to talk with Christopher Paolini about the newest addition to the Eragon family: The Official Eragon Coloring Book, hitting shelves May 2nd. In this short interview, Christopher talks about the process of creating this coloring book, and how he contributed to every detail with the help of his illustrator, Ciruelo Cabral. It’ll be a great visual addition to the collection of works that have been released over the years, providing readers with an interactive opportunity to add some color to the already vibrant story, and make the well-loved characters in the Inheritance Cycle Series come to life.
One lucky winner will receive a signed copy of The Official Eragon Coloring Book that includes a colored page by Christopher himself, all before it hits stores! Enter below for your chance to win— the sweeps ends at 11:59pm on Monday, May 1st.
Unbound Worlds: So, how did this coloring book project get started?
Christopher Paolini: The Official Eragon Coloring Book started life during a visit with my publishing friends at Penguin Random House headquarters in New York City at the beginning of 2016. While I was there, the topic of an Eragon-themed coloring book came up. I jumped at the opportunity to help create the book because I thought it would be cool to see scenes from the series brought to life. Plus, I’d just spent a number of days in Spain visiting with the wonderful artist Ciruelo Cabral, whom I knew would be perfect for the project.
So, Random House was interested. I was interested. And it turned out that Ciruelo was interested as well. The main part of the work—writing, illustrating, and generally doing everything we could to ensure the coloring book would be an awesome addition to the Inheritance Cycle—took place during the middle and latter part of 2016.
UW: How were the scenes selected?
CP: Through lots and lots of thinking and talking. It wasn’t easy! There were (and are) so many scenes in the books that would make cool pieces of art that whittling them down to a manageable number was surprisingly difficult. Some things, of course, I knew had to be in the book—Eragon finding Saphira’s egg, for example, or Isidar Mithrim, the star sapphire—but the rest of the pieces were more of a judgment call.
Both Ciruelo and my editor provided helpful input, but ultimately, the final choices were mine.
UW: What input did you have over the illustrations?
CP: As much as time and patience allowed. Ciruelo was incredibly accommodating whenever I proposed a change to this piece or that. He showed me all of his preliminary sketches, and of course, we were constantly referring to the text of the books throughout. At the same time, I trusted Ciruelo to make choices that were appropriate to the material. I really like the style of his line art—as well as his dragons—so it was easy for me to give him a brief description of an image and then sit back to see what awesomeness he would come up with. Are there a few details here and there I might have done differently myself? Sure! That’s the nature of any collaboration. But on the whole, Ciruelo did a wonderful job of capturing the look and feel of Alagaësia, and I can’t wait for fans to see his work for themselves.
UW: What was it like to see your characters come to life in the coloring book?
CP: Wonderful and surreal at the same time. Aside from the Eragon film, very little work has been done to develop the visual look of the series. This coloring book is a great step forward in that direction. And who knows, if it does well enough, maybe we’ll do a second one.
But again, wonderful and surreal. If you’d shown me these drawings back when I started the series (when I was still a teenager!), they would have blown me away. Still do, for that matter. My favorite part, I think, is getting to see Ciruelo’s version of Saphira. And I love his drawing of Elva as well. And also . . . gah, too many favorites!
In short, it was a delight.