Meet Christopher Paolini

The author will read from "Eldest" at 1 p.m. Sunday at Barnes & Noble, 4801 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda.

Birthday: Nov. 17, 1983.

First thing he remembers writing: " 'A is for apple, so juicy and red.' My mom home-schooled us and I remember doing the alphabet while she held my hands. I hated her for doing it at the time. Now, I'm glad she did it."

Best subject in school: Language and writing -- "I was always interested in history and science."

Worst subject in school: "Art because I hated being told what to draw. I was never particularly interested in math."

Home: "I live in Montana, with an incredible view of the Beartooth Mountains. Couldn't ask for a better source of inspiration."

Family: Lives with his mom, dad and younger sister, Angela, who served as a model for the herbalist character in the books.

Pets: A black-and-white cat named Otis and a dog named Annie (half cocker spaniel and half Australian border collie). "She loves to terrorize the local wildlife."

Memorable birthday present: "A group of 'Eragon' fans pooled together their money and had a replica of Eragon's sword forged for me. It really touched me."