inzilbeth: (h2h)
At the moment I never seem to post about anything but being too busy. I have applied to reduce my hours at work but can't until they take on someone to cover those hours so there's no let up at present.

One thing I did  manage to do a couple of weeks ago is answer Pieter Collier's questions for an interview with the Tolkien Library. Talking about myself like this was a very strange experience and I'm still a little embarrassed by the whole thing but here it is.

Fan fic writers may be interested to note I do mention my own  'past' as a fan fiction writer. I confess I did debate about this - as you know, I'm not a fan of all genres of fan fiction -  but it has its place and I wanted to acknowledge the role it can have for more serious study.

Once again, please feel free to pass on the link to any groups that might be interested.
inzilbeth: (h2h)
Several people have contacted me in the last 48 hours about where to buy 'Hobbit to Hero' as it is currently listed as unavailable at Amazon. This certainly doesn't mean it's sold out; more likely they haven't yet received any copies.

The best option at the moment therefore is Abe books.

Alternatively there's ebay

I have a few dozen copies here which I can personally post out when I'm back from RotR on Monday, and of course those coming to RotR will have no trouble.

I'm trying to find out what the position is with as obviously the postage to the US is a bit prohibitive as things stand.

Gosh, nothing in life is ever straightforward, is it!

inzilbeth: (h2h)
I've been chasing my tail for weeks but finally have some time off from the day job. And my top priority is the small matter of the book launch which is only next Saturday!!! Panic, me? No goodness no! I wonder though if I could ask for some help. If those on my flist who subscribe to any online Tolkien forums or fan fic writer groups would be prepared to pass on the word about both the book and the launch, that would be terrific. And if anyone feels able to do a post on their own LJ that would also be wonderful. Any help would be so appreciated. Thank you very much in advance. I wish I could send you all a free copy but I don't think the publisher, who is after all footing the bill, would be very pleased!

The book is currently available for pre order at Amazon. 

I have asked Amazon to amend this page because the title is currently incorrect, there's no image and, with Ted's painting  on longer on the front cover, it seems a bit deceptive to have him listed as illustrator. These things are annoying but don't affect the availability of the book through this site.

Alternatively it can be purchased directly from 

There is even the odd copy up for grabs on ebay!

Don't forget, the launch is Saturday 11th August at the Redesdale Hall, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire for 10am to 5pm. Hope to see some of you there!

So all the info is easily to hand - and please feel free to use -  the cover photos and the blurb is all here under the cut.

Many thanks again.

Read more... )
inzilbeth: (h2h)
After several, at times frustrating, weeks dealing with the text editor, the final text of 'Hobbit to Hero' is at last set and heading to the printer on Monday. There have however been concerns all along that Ted's wonderful 'Thus Came Aragorn' made the book look too much like a children's story so there has been a last minute change of design.

The photo of Tolkien has never before been published which is rather cool. It was taken in his study at Merton College in July 1958 by Leslie Stanley [incorrectly named 'Lionel' by Scull and Hammond - p530 Chronology], a 'devoted fan and amateur photographer'. It is one of several taken at that time and the original negatives were later given to Tolkien himself. Importantly, they are the only non-copyright photos of Tolkien known to exist. Tolkien sent them to Rayner Unwin who declared on 10th February 1960 that they were 'excellent'. Tolkien believed they were still being in the possession of Allen and Unwin in July 1966 when he wrote to Joy Hill. However, according to S and H [p669]  on the 26th of that month Joy Hill wrote back stating that they have no photos by Leslie Stanley although, on 15th August, she again wrote to Tolkien to say that she had received a list of the photos, including the Merton ones, from Leslie Stanley. 

Then the trail goes cold until they turned up recently inside a book purchased by Andy Compton, my publisher at ADC Publications Ltd. [Estelcontar was present when this part of the story was told so perhaps she can remember the title of the book!]

I must admit that even though the fan girl in me would love to have Aragorn on the cover, I do prefer this version.
inzilbeth: (h2h)
We've been having some glorious weather here recently.  Although it is a bit too warm for my liking, it is nice to be able to enjoy it and not be panicking about whether there's enough. After the driest April on record last year we've now had the wettest for a hundred years and it shows. The grass is lush and the animals all look exceptionally well. I must find time to take some photos.

The book is still occupying every spare minute. I did meet the deadline for copy but since then I've been working on the bibliography and the footnotes. Now I have the actual page numbers so I'm putting together the index and doing a final check. It's very tedious but must be done as time is pressing. If anyone is interested in pre ordering it is now up on Amazon although the title has an error in the listing and there's no picture yet. It is still early days!

I've also finished the blurb on the back which was surprisingly difficult to do especially as I had to write a bit about myself. I managed to keep that to a minimum and it helped enormously that I was able to include  my first review! Yay!

Read it here )

inzilbeth: (h2h)
Gosh, so much has happened since I last posted. Most importantly, for anyone within striking distance who is interested, the launch party for the book will be Saturday 11th August in the Redesdale Hall, Moreton in Marsh 10am to 5pm and no doubt in the pub afterwards. There will be stands and displays and refreshments and hopefully lots of people!

Ted Nasmith has very kindly given permission for the use of Thus Came Aragorn on the cover. Even though I commissioned this piece, Ted still holds the copyright so I'm very grateful to him for that.

Ruth Lacon has written a wonderful preface and all her positive feedback has helped me to sleep at night and not worry myself into a nervous wreck over the whole thing. I've managed to take the coming week off work to get the final text together. There's still the index etc  to do but the final final deadline isn't until 30th June.

For a book estimated to be nearly 400 pages long it is very modestly priced at  £9.99 and will be available on Amazon from 11th August.

Please feel free to spread the word around any writers groups etc. I had to quickly cobble together a few words for an advert for Amon Hen the other day  if anyone wants a summary to post.

Title: Hobbit to Hero: the Making of Tolkien's King
Author: Elizabeth M Stephen
ISBN 978-0-9551900-8-7  ISBN 0-9551900-7-X

'A uniquely detailed study of the character 'Aragorn' unravelling his evolution from hobbit ranger to Numenorean king and exploring how this unexpected transformation enabled Tolkien to fulfill some of the most profound functions of his wider mythology'.

This is the the first mock up of the cover.

inzilbeth: (Default)
I know I'm probably way behind with keeping up with everybody. I do apologise, though it looks like there's no let up just yet. Lambing is finally over but it's all systems go on the book. I now have a mid May deadline for getting the text into its final format. That means sorting out the literally hundreds of footnotes and all the typos and any additions/alterations to the content in three weeks! In practise, with other commitments, it means about three whole days and a few bits stolen here and there. Yes I'm panicking!

And it occurred to me that I've said very little about the actual content. While, on the face of it, it's about Aragorn, obviously it encompasses so much more such as Numenor and the Dunedain; Elendil, Elrond and Elros; AElfwine and Eriol; Arthur and Charlemagne; Beowulf and Beorhtnoth; Sigurd and Turin; heroism and humility; Arry Lowdham and King Sheave; Finrod and Andreth; death and desire; the Fall of Man and the ending of the World!

So a few diverse topics there but all weaved together by the presence of Aragorn and drawn into six rather long chapters, the titles of which are as follows.

1. The Riddle of Strider
2. Trotter
3. The Numenor Dilemma
4. Fulfilling the Divine Plan
5. A peerless Hero
6. The Importance of Hope

The plan is still for an August launch, details to follow nearer the time as I can't think about that yet, not until the text is finally finished and I've tracked down every last quotation. Estelcontar is going to be here for the next couple of weekends so I think I'll rope her in to help with that.

I'm going to be busy!


Mar. 19th, 2012 09:01 pm
inzilbeth: (Default)
At last I've heard from the publisher and it's good news as he does want to publish my book. He congratulates me on my 'great and easy reading style' yet he refers to the work as 'a serious academic study' which is exactly the balance I aimed for.

However, I'm not leaping about and squeeeing just yet as so far he's only read about a quarter of it. He does describe the early chapters as 'wonderful' and, in my view, the second half is the better half but it's not my opinion that counts now.

So until he's read the whole thing I'm not getting too excited and I'm just concentrating on my lambing which is more than enough to occupy me just now. But at least it's a case of so far so good!
inzilbeth: (Thus came)

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!

inzilbeth: (Default)
Hope you're having a good day. And cake!

inzilbeth: (Default)
Lily, dear, I hope you have a lovely day. Lots of *hugs* and lots of choclate cake!

inzilbeth: (fair valley)
I hope you're having a king of a day!

[Unfortunately LJ seems to have lost the photo loading thing so check you inbox!]
inzilbeth: (Default)
It's been another hectic week but I'm now on the Christmas break. *sighs* in relief! What with a very difficult calving the other day which was touch and go for Dori and Skip being poorly, and also trying to get the accounts to the tax people and check all my farm records for an inspection next week and never mind the ongoing hassles of the day job, time to write has been in short supply.

However, that must now change and hopefully I'll make some real progress in the next two weeks. I do have some news about my project which is both exciting and terrifying. I've been a bit reluctant to speak up as there are still a long way to go but I did tell a room full of people about it at the Smial meeting last weekend so there's no reason not to mention it here. But until it's actually finished, I think I'll just whisper quietly behind the cut.

Edit: Except that I can't get the darn cut to work so just squint at this!

Do you remember that ages ago, about two and a half years it would be, I said I wanted to set up a website about Aragorn? Well I've been working hard on the material ever since but it's increasing become apparent that a website is not the most suitable place for what has become a fairly academic piece of work. Some of the chapters are around 30 pages long and are unlikely to be read at one sitting. Increasingly, I've felt that I ought to write a book.

If I'm completely honest, while on the one hand the thought of poking my nose into the world of Tolkien scholarship where so many more experienced noses have been before me, is a very scary prospect, on the other, I've found much to say in what is, to my mind, an under explored area. I'm not only rehashing what's all ready out there either. I do have some origin ideas which I feel some at least might enjoy reading.

My two betas, Cairistiona and Estelcontar have dutifully waded through every chapter and I recently sent the latest, 'The Importance of Hope', to Ruth who was very encouraging [for those who don't know Ruth, under the name of Elizabeth Currie, she and her husband, Alex Lewis, have published three academic books on Tolkien]. With her praise ringing in my ears, I visited the MD of ADC books the other week [actually on an entirely unrelated matter] but, fortified by a glass of mulled wine, I dropped it into the conversation that I had been writing a book. Fortunately, Andy has actually read my fan fiction and immediately I was offered a publishing deal subject to his reading the manuscript but possibly best of all, he would pay all the costs. We even discussed which pieces of Ted's art work to use for the cover! Yes, my head was spinning rather! And at the Smial meeting last weekend, he confirmed that he's planning a combined Ted Nasmith art exhibition and book launch next August! Even though he must have mentioned 'Liz's book' and 'the launch of Liz's book' at least half a dozen times, I can't get too excited yet as I still have a huge amount of work to do and, of course, he still has to approve it. But it is an incentive to finally get on and finish. So please excuse me if I become even more absent than I have been but I'm going to try and get a first draft together for approval by the end of January.

Oh and the title, 'From hobbit to hero, the making of Tolkien's king'.

Wish my luck!
inzilbeth: (Default)
Hope you have a wonderful day, Liz!

Here are some likely lads to help you celebrate!

inzilbeth: (Default)
Happy birthday Linda Hoyland. I hope you've had a lovely day with all your felines!


Jul. 26th, 2011 05:01 pm
inzilbeth: (Default)
I see I haven't posted on dreamwidth since May 2009. In fact hardly anything seems to have happened since then, the calendar hasn't been updated and there are only three posts from friends in the archive.

Is everyone as lazy about using dreamwidth as me, I wonder! This is a test post to see if anyone's out there so please *wave* if you read this!
inzilbeth: (Default)
Hppy birthday Sally, hope you're having a wonderful day!

inzilbeth: (Default)
Hope you have a great day amid all the preparations!

inzilbeth: (Default)
Happy birthday, Gaya, hope you have a lovely day. See you Sunday perhaps.

September 2012



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