Home-schooled by his parents, Christopher Paolini was 15 years old when he began writing ERAGON, a project he began to entertain himself and which eventually become his first published novel. Inspired by such diverse works as "Beowulf" and Bruce Coville's fantasy story JEREMY THATCHER, DRAGON HATCHER, Paolini's novel tells of a poor peasant boy named Eragon who discovers he is a descendent of the Riders, a band of dragon-riding warriors. Many of the characters in ERAGON speak in languages created by Paolini (with the help of his younger sister, Angela) and which were inspired by Old Norse languages. Originally self-published, ERAGON was brought to the attention of publishing company Alfred A. Knopf by author Carl Hiaasen, who was impressed with his stepson's enthusiastic reading of the book. The book was made into a film in 2006.