Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Story Beyond the Story

See these books? These are the first three books in a four-book series, by a young author, Christopher Paolini. The reason I decided to blog about these today is because a few days ago fans finally heard some long anticipated news. And I mean looooooong - like two and a half years long.

On 23 or 24 March, the title, the cover art and the release date of the fourth book was released. Here's what we'll be seeing on the shelves of our bookstores from 8 November 2011:

But, despite the fact that I love the first book, it's not the series that I want to talk about. It's the author.

Because beyond and behind the story of Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr and Inheritance, there is another story. It is a story that the writer does not make up, but more falls subject to. Without it, no book could ever come into existence. It is the story of the writer, and his journey.

The story of Christopher Paolini is truly incredible. It's one of those stories that aspiring writers look upon in complete awe, one that seems entirely impossible. And yet it happened. And it makes them hope and dream that maybe one day they will have a story of their own - maybe not so flashy and elegant and successful, but still their very own story about how they were published, and how they made it in the industry of writing.

It makes me hope and dream.

To cut a long story short, Christopher Paolini was fifteen when he began writing the first draft of Eragon (by the way, if you wanted a random piece of information: in the publishing industry book titles and often the author's name are written in CAPITALS) and after three years it was self-published. Paolini and his mum organised book signings at something like 130 different places. Life was pretty good.

But then something happened. The book exploded. In literal terms it was placed in the hands of Michelle Frey, executive editor at Knopf. Soon Paolini had competing offers from two main publishers, soon he had an agent, and soon he had a six figure advance. For his first novel.

Since then, things have only gotten better. All three novels have been #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list, and Inheritance is set for an initial print run of 2.5 million.

And that is just one story. It's a pretty colossal story, but consider how many other authors there are out there. You still have the Harry Potter story, the Kaleb Nation story, and everything else in between.

I'm waiting for the day when the following link actually goes somewhere: The Nick Hight story. No, I'm not waiting for that day - I'm working to make it happen. My story may not be big, it may not include a movie or a six figure advance or even a five figure advance, but it will still be my story. And that's worth more than any amount of money or publicity.


  1. Deep, man, deep. I have to agree. Eragon was written by a fifteen year old and having read a lot of books and written a lot of stories and watched a lot of authors become famous and know a lot of authors who are famous, it still blows me away. It's the most inspirational thing I've ever read.

  2. Thanks, thanks. Yea, the stories beyond the stories never fail to amaze me, especially those of teenage authors, and successful ones. Looking forward to our own stories huh? :)

  3. i agree NICK! i feel special im commenting on this! your a great bloger person thing <3

  4. You mentioned Kaleb Nation!

    I still haven't read Inheritance yet and I've owned it since a few days after it came out...

  5. I did! I love Kaleb Nation, he's quite an inspiring figure, really :) I used to mention him quite a lot in my old posts :)

    Mm, I didn't find it fantastic. It was good up until the last 100 pages, then it just went dramatically downhill. But still worth reading! :)

  6. Christopher Paolini's story is so incredible! Did you know that, right after his family published his book (and before Knopf picked it up), Christopher supported his entire family on book sales? Apparently his dad was out of work for a while and it was all he could do to put food on the table by selling a few books here and there. What a story, for sure.

    As for Inheritance...I agree with your comments above. It disappointed me quite a bit, particularly the final 200 pages or so (from the climax onwards). Still, if he writes a fifth book, I'd be willing to give it a shot.


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