Christopher Paolini was born in Southern California and lived most of his life in Paradise Valley, Montana with his parents and younger sister, Angela. The tall, jagged Beartooth Mountains that rise on one side of Paradise Valley inspired the fantastic scenery in Eragon, the first novel in his Inheritance cycle.
Christopher was homeschooled by his parents and often wrote short stories and poems, made frequent trips to the library, and read widely. He was fifteen when he wrote the first draft of Eragon and his family self-published the book in 2001.
In August 2003, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers published Eragon and it was an instant success, reaching a worldwide audience. Christopher's second novel Eldest was published in 2005, followed by Brisingr in 2008. To date, there are 49 foreign-language licenses for Eragon alone, and together the first three books in the series have sold 25 million copies worldwide. Inheritance, the fourth and final book in the cycle will be published on November 8, 2011 with a first printing of 2.5 million copies.