Christopher Paolini on tour

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Christopher Paolini gets a breather on his ten-city book tour today, pausing somewhere between Bethesda, Md. and Miami. The 24-year-old author will be on the road for a month to promote "Brisingr," the third book of his popular Inheritance cycle about a boy and his bright blue dragon.

Paolini is on record saying he finds it hard to spend a month away from his native Montana and the Absaroka mountains that he cites as an inspiration for the fantasy land of Alagaesia that he describes in his novels.

But Paolini must be taking some satisfaction in looking at the sales figures on his books. In the US, "Brisingr" sold 550,000 copies on its first day of sales last Saturday, setting a new record for its publisher, Random House Children's Books.

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In the UK, the book sold about 45,000 copies on that same day, about 80 books a minute. In Australia, 30,000 copies were sold in 48 hours.

Sales still pale next to the 8.3 million copies of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" that sold in one day in July and even the 1.3 million copies of vampire saga "Breaking Dawn" that sold on its release date in August. But for booksellers, it's been a nice way to help summer sales transition into fall.

Paolini who was homeschooled by his mother, wrote "Eragon," the first book in the series when he was only 15. Today, heĀ  still lives and writes at his parents' home in Montana and is intensely private about the details of his life although he has told interviewers that he loves to hike in the mountains, practice woodworking, and make the chain mail used in medieval armor out of interlocking metal rings.

The things he likes to do, he acknowledged to CNN in an interview, "are not the things everybody in this country is doing."

And yet that may well be the secret to his success. Paolini himself gives the credit to homeschooling. "A lot of kids get traumatized in school and get beat down for being different," Paolini says. "When I went out in public, I was not afraid. I was never afraid to pursue my interests because of what other people would think."

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