This interview was originally published in the Teen Press Corps blog. For more interviews, reviews, and events coverage from the BookPeople TPC, click here!
TPC members Sofia and Xander interviewed author Christopher Paolini during his BookPeople event for his new book, The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm.
TPC: What made you want to come back to the Eragon universe?
CP: I always loved the Eragon story and the Eragon universe and even though I have since moved on to other things, I kept thinking about the characters and stories I still wanted to tell. Finally it got to the point where I said I want to try writing some of these– and so that’s exactly what I did.
TPC: Was it easy to step back into the world of Eragon?
CP: Very easy. I spent about 12 years working on the original books, from when I was about 15 years old to when I was 28– and that is a long time in your life to work on anything– especially in such formative years, so slipping on the Eragon world was like slipping on an old glove or coming home after a long journey.
TPC: So you’ve said the character Angela was based off of your sister, were there any other characters you based off of people in real life?
CP: There’s definitely some of my father in the character Brom, but I try not to base my characters off of people in my life so Angela is really the only exception. Fortunately, she has a good sense of humor about it!
TPC: How do you think Alagaesia has evolved since you began writing it?
CP: It has certainly become a more rounded and in depth world since I began writing it but what really drew me there were the characters and their adventures with and dragons and elves etc. It’s about the characters wrestling with themselves and the questions of life, which I think is something that, along with adventure, appeals to readers, and especially me.
TPC: In real life would you rather have a dragon or Eragon’s powers?
CP: As much as I’d like to have a dragon, the ability to heal others and not to mention yourself, would be the best superpower ever.
TPC: What would you say to teen authors who want to do what you did?
CP: Work hard. Plot your stories out before you write them. Learn everything about the language you’re writing in. Style by F.L Lucas is the best book I’ve ever read on writing prose. Find someone in your life who will help critique your work and edit it because you’re not going to get it right the first time. Write about things you love, no matter how weird they are because there are so many people on this planet that no matter what you write, millions of people will enjoy it- and they probably already have a subreddit about it! Accept before hand, that writing means making mistakes. You’re not going to get it perfect the first time. I don’t get it perfect. I make mistakes, I’ve written bad sentences, bad characters, even bad books, but I am willing to sit there and figure out what is wrong and fix it.
TPC: The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm is titled Volume 1. What can readers look forward to?
CP: There will be many more ‘Tales from Alagaesia’ along with more main novels large enough to kill a small animal.