Christopher PaoliniChristopher Paolini (born November 17, 1983 in Southern California) is an American novelist. He was raised in the Paradise Valley, Montana area. Home schooled for the duration of his education, Paolini graduated from high school at the age of 15 through a set of accredited correspondence courses from American School of Correspondence in Lansing, Illinois. Following graduation, he started his work on what would become the novel Eragon, the first of the Inheritance Cycle series, set in the mythical land of Alagaësia.
In 2002, Eragon was published by Paolini International LLC, Paolini's parents' company. To promote the book, Paolini toured over 135 schools and libraries, discussing, reading and writing, all the while dressed in "a medieval costume of red shirt, billowy black pants, lace-up boots, and a jaunty black cap". Paolini created the cover art for the first edition of Eragon, which featured Saphira's eye. He also drew the maps on the inside covers of his books.
In Summer 2002, the stepson of author Carl Hiaasen found Eragon in a bookstore and loved it, and Hiaasen brought it to the attention of his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf. Knopf subsequently made an offer to publish Eragon and the rest of the Inheritance cycle. The second edition of Eragon was published by Knopf in August 2003. At the age of nineteen, Paolini became a New York Times bestselling author. Eragon has since been adapted into a film of the same name.
Paolini's essay "It All Began with Books" was included in the April 2005 anthology Guys Write for Guys Read.
To date, the Inheritance Cycle has sold more than 20 million copies.
Mervyn PeakeMervyn Laurence Peake (9 July 1911 – 17 November 1968) was an English modernist writer, artist, poet and illustrator. He is best known for what are usually referred to as the Gormenghast books. (The three works were part of what Peake conceived as a lengthy cycle, the completion of which was halted by his death.) They are sometimes compared to the work of his older contemporary J. R. R. Tolkien, but his surreal fiction was influenced by his early love for Charles Dickens and Robert Louis Stevenson rather than Tolkien's studies of mythology and philology.
Peake also wrote poetry and literary nonsense in verse form, short stories for adults and children (Letters from a Lost Uncle), stage and radio plays, and Mr Pye, a relatively tightly-structured novel in which God implicitly mocks the evangelical pretensions and cosy world-view of the eponymous hero.
Peake first made his reputation as a painter and illustrator during the 1930s and 1940s, when he lived in London, and he was commissioned to produce portraits of well-known people. A collection of these drawings is still in the possession of his family. Although he gained little popular success in his lifetime, his work was highly respected by his peers, and his friends included Dylan Thomas and Graham Greene. His works are now included in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery and the Imperial War Museum.
Peake died in November 1968. His work, and the Gormenghast books in particular, became much better known and more widely appreciated after his death, and they have since been translated into more than two dozen languages. In 2008, The Times named Peake among their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". Peake's grandson is rising UK chart star, British musician and singer-songwriter Jack Peñate.