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Writing Collaborations

“People often ask how I was able to write Eragon at the age of fifteen. Well, the credit has to go to my parents, especially my mom, Talita . . . .”

Christopher Paolini, author of The Inheritance Cycle

Eragon Example

There’s a long history of parents and grandparents collaborating with kids to write books. The engagement ranges from adult writers eliciting feedback from children…to co-writing.

Family Writing Collaboration

Talita Paolini homeschooled her son Christopher in their Montana home teaching him with the same activity- and writing-based principles she used as a Montessori teacher. He wrote much of Eragon, his first epic fantasy novel in The Inheritance Cycle, while he was 15 to 17 years old. 


Christopher’s parents supported their son’s writing mission. They helped with editing, dedicated limited resources to self-publish the book, and promoted the book around the country at schools, book stores, fairs, etc.

All is Lost Moment

Like heroes in an adventure novel, the Paolini family reached the critical point of their family journey as they began to run out of funds.

Fortunately, the son of a well-known urban fantasy author, Carl Hiaasen, came across Eragon while on vacation in Montana. His father convinced his publisher to handle Eragon. By the age of 19, Christopher Paolini became a top NY Times bestselling author…and Carl shifted to writing kids’ books!


I used the Eragon book and movie as my grandson Brady and I co-developed our own epic fantasy adventure for middle school readers. Fascinated by Saphira in Eragon, Brady wanted our dragons to be good guys.

Homeschool Movement

Remaining active in the homeschool movement, Talita has developed a website and books to help parents and grandparents as they work hands-on with children like she had done with her son Christopher and daughter Angela.

Rachel Renee Russell is another inspiring example of a parent working with kids—in her case, daughters Nikki and Erin. 

Rachel based the initial Dork Diaries on her daughters’ challenges in middle school. As the series progressed, Nikki and Erin joined their mother in co-writing subsequent books as well as The Adventures of Max Crumbly.

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