Dragon Con Tales: Christopher Paolini

On Friday of Dragon Con this weekend, I had an exclusive 1-on-1 interview with one of my favorite childhood novelists: Christopher Paolini.

Christopher Paolini & the Gnome Queen

Paolini is best-known for his Inheritance Cycle series, which he originally began writing at the age of 14.

Christopher Paolini Interview

“Reading and watching movies, and listening to music were all ways for me to experience the world outside of Montana,” said  Paolini

Christopher Paolini

The story of Eragon actually began as an experiment in order to see  if he could write a full-fledged novel.

“I was very methodical…I stopped writing and starting reading books on how to write.” explained Paolini.

Christopher Paolini Interview

Some of these books included Orson Scott Card’s How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, works from Joseph Campbell, and various writing essays by different authors.

“I said ‘I’m going to create a whole fantasy land, and all the characters, plot out a story, and I’m not going to write it’,” said Paolini.

Making Jokes
In doing so, he was able to flesh out the entirety of his series as well as the characters.
“I think one of the reasons it did succeed so well [Eragon] was the relationship between Eragon and Saphira …but also the fact that is an archetypal hero story,” described Paolini.
Christopher Paolini Interview

Paolini went on to explain that the character Brom was actually inspired by professional writer and artist Gerald Brom.  Gerald Brom or “Brom” is best-known for his dark, fantasy-based artistic style as well as his horror novels.

Asking Questions

A fun fact about this year’s convention was that Brom himself attended as the 2018 Dragon Con “Artist Guest of Honor”.

Strange how the world works like that.

Christopher Paolini
Paolini also informed me that an upcoming space opera is in the works, but a  release date has not be set as of yet.
You known the Gnome Queen be hitting the book store when its out.
Discussing Books
The interview concluded with Paolini discussing his favorite aspects of the Con which included the general vibe of the attendees and panels.
“Its kind of crazy, but it really is a fan convention…its not only a business event for me, but also like a vacation.”
I 100% agree. Its not everyday a Royal Gnome gets to meet one of her favorite authors, let alone one so cool and down to earth.
To see my first day at this year’s Dragon Con click here https://atlbyday.com/2018/09/02/gettin-schwifty-at-dragon-con-2018/
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Dragoncon Halo Cosplay

WHO TO SEE AT DRAGONCON 2018: PART FOUR

Hello and welcome to the final edition of “Who to See” Dragon Con 2018. For the finale, let’s take a look at “Attending Professionals”.

For my lover’s of puppetry and robotics, get ready for an all-star line up of some of the best puppeteers and puppet-makers in the world. Starting with Peter Abrahamson, Abrahamson has created countless robots and puppets for many Hollywood blockbusters such as I, Robot and Hellboy, as well as producing the hit T.V. series: BattleBots.

The world-renowned Kris Bluett-Woolen will also be in attendance. Bluett-Woolen has been working in the puppet business since 1988 and has performed in various countries such as Japan and South Korea. She also recently performed at the 2018 National Puppet Slam over at the Center for Puppetry Arts.

The current Education Director of the Center for Puppetry Arts, Aretta Baumgartner, is to make an appearance as well. Baumgartner specializes in performing while also teaching masks, movements, and puppetry.

Another star-studded puppeteer is Grant Baciocco from Mystery Science Theatre 3000. Baciacco is a comedic puppeteer and is a member of the Jim Henson Company’s Puppet Up! Uncensored troupe. His most recently work has been on the upcoming Happytime Murders film with Melissa McCarthy.

When searching for amazing costume and prop-makers, look no further than “The Wicked Tailor”.  Known in the real world as Frank T. Puricelli, “The Wicked Tailor” has won countless awards for his costumes and cosplaying, which includes the 2016 Dragon Con Overall Best In Show.

Professional costume designer and cosplayer “Jinglebooboo” will also be making an appearance at this year’s Con. Her work has been featured in Cosplay Culture, and was a competitor on the popular SyFy series Cosplay Melee.

One of my personal picks is make-up artist: Corey Castellano. Castellano’s work has been seen in countless Hollywood blockbusters and shows which include: The Patriot, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Pirates of the Caribbean:On Stranger Tides, The Polar Express, Zombieland, and so many more.

Emily Schmidt of Go Big or Go Home Cosplay is a local cosplayer here in the Greater Atlanta Area. She is also a Cosplay Melee veteran and winner of the episode “Throne Off”.  She is known for creating her own armor, and specializes with thermoplastics and foam. Schmidt can be found at the Geekspace Gwinnet which is a non-profit makerspace in Suwanee.

For my Rupaul Drag Race fans, the self-proclaimed: “Queen of All Nerds” Dax ExclamationPoint will fabulously strolling through this year’s Con. Dax’s style is based predominately on comic book super-heroines. She has cosplayed some powerful supers, such as Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Black Canary.

Award-winning cosplay model Barr “JaBarr” Foxx will also be at Dragon Con. JaBarr’s cosplaying creativity has been featured in the cosplay-themed book: Cosplay in America Vol.2, as well as Marvel’s official website for his rendition of Bishop and Gambit.  His #CosplayYourWay campaign encourages all individuals to cosplay regardless of race, size, age, or gender, and describes his own style as “Cosplay Chic!”

Next we spotlight award-winning gaming speaker: Dr. Roger Altizer, Jr. Dr. Altizer has spoken on topics from medical games and designs to the ever-growing eSports Industry. He is also a former game journalist and has hosted countless parties at conventions and fan events.

Speaking of gaming, attendees can also catch Andrien Gbinigie who is a Product Marketing Manager at Ubisoft. Gninigie has worked as a Community Manager on the Assassin’s Creed franchise and is an avid cosplayer.

The Associate Chair of Interactive Design, Game Development, and Motion Media Design at SCAD Atlanta, Eric Allen, will also be around the Con. If you’re interested in learning how to create 3D character rigs, then you should definitely check out his best-selling book: Body Language: Advanced 3D Character Rigging.

Another game-related professor is Shareef K. Jackson of the University of Wisconsin. Jackson teaches a course on Video Games & Learning, and is a STEM Diversity Advocate. He is the founder of the tutoring service Math Looks Good LLC. as well as the co-host for the Spawn On Me podcast.

Now, while most college students who attend Dragon Con are there to ya know, avoid school, Dragon Con actually has an assortment of awesome professors and academics at this year’s Con.  These include: Dr. Matthew J. Brown who is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at The University of Texas at Dallas, and is also a professorial scholar of pop culture and comics. Since Dragon Con 2008, Dr. Brown has organized an academic conference  which I’ll definitely be attending.

I have to know how one becomes a pop-culture professional scholar.

Biology Professor Dr. Mohamed A. F. Noor of Duke University (Go Blue Devils!) has conducted countless studies on evolution and genetics. As avid Star Trek fan, Dr. Noor has given talks regarding the applied science in the Star Trek universe as well as many other science fiction universes.

Dr. Bethany Brookshire is an award-winning science writer for Science News for Students and Science News which are subsidiaries of the non-profit: Society for Science & the Public. Dr. Brookshire is also a blogger for Eureka! Lab and Scicurious, as well as a presenter for the podcast: Science for the People.

Another personal pick is Scott Harris of the Fernbank Science Center and Planetarium. Harris a Planetary Geologist who’s research includes meteorites and asteroid impact deposits around the world.

And while I know pretty much everyone who grew up in Georgia went to Fernbank Museum at some point for a class trip, I would I definitely recommend returning for one of their Fernbank After Dark events. Visitors can grab a drink while checking out the Dr. Ralph L. Buice, Jr. Observatory for some star gazing and maybe even a shooting star! [Cough, it’s actually a meteor burning up in the earth’s atmosphere, Cough.]

Unfortunately, some of you believe that since October is over a month away, I can’t bring out my spookey-dooky skeletons. Well, in that case let’s grab some ghost hunters: at this year’s Con we have Shawn Boettner and Jordan T. Duncan of Paranormal Georgia Investigations. Boettner is one of the team’s paranormal investigators and Duncan is one of the Co-Directors. Maybe they’ll find a spirit or two.

And finally, the blood-descendant of master horror writer Bram Stoker himself: Dacre Calder Stoker! Dacre Stoker is the great grand-nephew of Bram Stoker, and like his great grand-uncle, Dacre has taken a keen interest in the world of vampires. He is the co-author of Dracula the Un-Dead, a direct sequel to the original Dracula which he wrote to “reestablish creative control over” over the original copyright. I won’t lie, there have been some…interesting vampire stories written since Bram’s publication. In 2011, Dacre also created the documentary-film Dracula meets Stoker. 

So, there you have it. Thank you for reading Part 4 of “Who to See” Dragon Con 2018: “Attending Professionals”. Be sure to catch the Gnome Queen and my Giant King at this year’s Con. We’ll be cosplaying Afro-Samurai, “Drinker” Bell and many, many more.

See you then!

For the entire Attending Professionals “Who to See”, check out: http://www.dragoncon.org/?q=attending-professionals-view

To read Parts 1, 2, & 3 click here:

https://atlbyday.com/2018/07/19/who-to-see-at-dragon-con-2018-part-four/

https://atlbyday.com/2018/06/28/who-to-see-at-dragon-con-2018-part-two/

https://atlbyday.com/2018/06/21/dragon-con-2018-who-to-see/