Books & Authors

Posts about books I love, authors I admire, and so on

Love Books? Build Your Own Little Library

Contributed Post Libraries are a staple of life. We used them during elementary school days, having lessons inside them with interactive elements. We used them during high school, to try and get our heads down for studying away from distracting things like having a social life. We used them for the same reasons during the college days, and we might have even felt like we lived in one. And as adults, we go back to them for a sense of nostalgia, and to borrow a book we don’t feel like buying every now and then. But it still feels like the need for a library is in decline, and more and more of them around the globe are being shut up because of people’s immediate…
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That time I wasted my life editing together a ‘new’ J.R.R. Tolkien book, then lost it

The recent announcement of a ‘new’ book by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fall of Gondolin, which will compile previously published material about one of the great tragic epics of Middle Earth’s early days, brought to mind a few weeks of wasted life circa 2002 or so. It’s a waste that still frustrates me to this day. Years ago, I got this idiotic idea in my head to edit together a load of Tolkien stuff into a standalone book. There was a wealth of material about a character called Turin, a cursed man who goes through some truly awful stuff, up to and including accidental incest and the death of just about everyone and everything he comes in contact with. Yes, it’s a real joy! Turin’s story…
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How Ursula K. Le Guin helped inspire me to see people in a different way

As I write this, the news is breaking that Ursula Le Guin, one of the 20th Century’s great novelists, has passed away at 88. She was a giant, known for her work in science fiction yet crafting works that transcended the genre. Whenever I’ve thought of the authors who have inspired me, awed me, impressed me, humbled me, shaped my tastes, molded my views, and made me see the power of the genre, she was always on the short list. It wasn’t the awards that made Le Guin great, though she got gobs of them. It wasn’t even that her stories were entertaining, though they were. It’s that she reinterpreted the world, showing us both how it truly is (even when we didn’t acknowledge it)…
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I don’t want Amazon’s Lord of the Rings show

Earlier this week, Amazon announced it had struck a $250 million deal to produce a multi-season Lord of the Rings series. As a lifelong fan of all things Tolkien, this is not minor news. The name is a little misleading, of course, as this won’t be a television adaptation of the famous book (which had already been adapted to film by Peter Jackson in a wildly successful trilogy). Rather, the plan, according to their press release, is to “explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring,” along with a potential spinoff series. That’s the part that gives me pause, especially in light of the fact that Christopher Tolkien, longtime guardian of his father’s literary legacy, has stepped down from the Tolkien Estate….
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Being focused on a new book is a wonderful challenge, when I can actually FOCUS on it

For those of you who don’t know, I’m under contract for my next book. Have been working on it since July-ish (though actually much longer). I’m wrapping up the first draft of chapter eight today, and if all goes well, I’ll have rough skeletons of the next two done by the end of the weekend. I am, so far, remaining on schedule – and I’d better be, since I’m under contract. It feels good. I just wish that feeling wasn’t so fleeting. Between my freelance work and social media work and podcasts and Youtube videos and managing a garden too big for my own good and everything else, it’s difficult to be as focused as I should be on this next book. And I DO…
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