Picks and Pans Main: Books

updated 10/13/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/13/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

A Boy and His Dragon

Catapulted to fame with the publication of his first novel, Eragon, when he was 19, Christopher Paolini just keeps getting bigger: Brisingr, the third volume in his fantasy series about a teen and his blue-eyed dragon Saphira, sold 555,000 copies its first day. Now 24—and still living with the parents who home-schooled him in Paradise Valley, Mont.—Paolini talks about life as a literary phenom.

ARE YOUR BIGGEST FANS TWEEN BOYS?
A lot are, but I get mail from boys, girls, adults. I've had marriage proposals.

DO YOU WRITE EVERY DAY?
Yes. I wrote a lot of Brisingr with an ink-dipped pen on parchment.

SERIOUSLY?
I loved it! It has a wonderfully archaic feel. You can write really small. My mom, who was good enough to type the pages, started to complain.

ANY SPLURGES?
I bought a replica of a Viking sword after Eragon, a nice air rifle for Eldest. But the biggest splurge has been, after I finished Brisingr, my sister and I spent a week at racing school in Arizona, ramming other cars, getting shot at with paintball guns. Worth every penny.

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