It’s not quite finished, there’s still a final edit, footnotes, index etc, but I’ve actually got together a first draft of ‘Hobbit to Hero: The Making of Tolkien’s King’ . And today I delivered a copy of the manuscript to my prospective publisher.
Gosh, it’s been long time coming, nearly three years, and I do feel a little proud of myself for just getting this far, what with everything else I have to squeeze into my days. There have been plenty of times when I feared I would never get there and I’ve certainly felt as if I was grappling some ever expanding unruly monster. Now that the dozens of word docs and books of notes and hundreds of post-it notes have finally been tied down into six coherent chapters, the structure seems obviously. It was anything but at the outset!
Yes, it’s been a labour of love, Aragorn has been my hero for many, many years and I’ve long felt he deserved the sort of academic treatment I hope I’ve provided for him, but I can’t pretend it’s been easy. At just over 101,000 words, the book is a tad longer than a PhD thesis and I don’t mind admitting that accomplishing this has been far, far harder than anything I did for my degree. Although, on the face of it, the book is about Aragorn, inevitably it’s actually about so much more.
I constantly worry that it's not good enough and that I'm an idiot to even attempt publication but do know I would never have had the confidence to even embark on a project like this had my fan fiction not been so well received. So I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who who read my stories and left such nice reviews. They really did make the difference. My wonderful betas especially have been amazing. Cairistiona has repeatedly put her own work on hold to wade through my stuff and her input has been invaluable. Estelcontar then double-checked everything and picked up those errors that slipped through unseen by either of us. Their encouraging feedback was also essential to see me through those bleak times.
Now it’s out of my hands. Meeting up today was a bit of cold reality after the euphoria of completion and it's quite possible that the subject matter will be thought to appeal to too narrow a readership for publication to be viable. But fingers crossed, and hopefully today’s date may yet prove an auspicious one!