Finding a Middle Earth in Montana


Interesting NYTimes Story on 19-year old author Christopher Paolini.
He has never been to school, he was home-schooled, and was only 15 when he wrote his fantasy novel "Eragon," about a boy who finds a magic stone that is transformed into a dragon and then sets out to avenge the death of his uncle and to defeat an evil king. Now four years later, "Eragon," published by Alfred A. Knopf, is third on the New York Times hardcover children's chapter books best-seller list, outselling four of the five Harry Potter books.


I think that a lot of young authors are overlooked simply because they're young. It's as if most people don't expect the story to be good because the writer is below a certain age. What that age is, I guess, depends on your point of view. But for me, there's no matter. Another great young author is Amelia Atwater-Rhodes who published her first novel at the age of 14, her second at 16. If you haven't checked her out, she writes dark fiction, with vampires, demons, and lycanthropes (shapchangers or were-creatures to the uninitiated) and they're all pretty good.

Her first, In the Forests of the Night received high praise. If ya got some time and you dig on dark, then have a look.

But she's not the only young author out there. One of the best books I've ever read on how to use MS FrontPage is FrontPage 2002: A Beginner's Guide written by Kirupa Chinnathambi. He was in high school when he wrote the book. Pretty impressive from my standpoint since, when I was in high school, my interests were females, computers, video games, music, and reading. (In that order no less. Of course it was easier to obtain some things on that list than others.)

I find that young authors have more creative tendencies where some of the older writers fall into a sort of rut, usually through no fault of their own other than the fact that they had the "misfortune" of writing a good book. Look at Sue Grafton, she's great and I love her Kinsey Milhone mysteries, but that's all she writes. And all because A is for Alibi went big. Same with Stephen King, Robert Jordan, and others. They hit big with a novel and revisit the characters, worlds, or whatever and soon they get locked into those books and that series. Usually this isn't bad, but I'd love to see some of the older authors try something totally new.

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