1.) When and how were you first introduced to Tolkien? What did you read first?
I was first introduced to Tolkien when I was pretty young – I don’t remember the exact age. My dad started reading The Hobbit to my siblings and me. I must confess though, I couldn’t sit through the whole story. The spiders terrified me and I think I stopped going to family reading time after that, and didn’t actually read The Hobbit in its entirety until I was much older and had already read The Lord of the Rings.
2.) What attracts you to Tolkien’s writing?
I think first and foremost, I’m attracted to Tolkien’s writing for the amazing world that has been created. It’s impressive on a literary level – there is so much to find and study, inspiring on a practical level – it has been a jumping off point for many of my own creative works, and enthralling on a recreational level – the world does not let me go, once I’ve truly entered it. There aren’t many books that are like that in the world. I wish there were more.
3.) What would you say to those who haven’t read any of Tolkien’s books yet?
If you like fantasy at all, if you liked the movie adaptations, or if you just like a good book – you have to pick them up. And it’s okay to skip some of the poems, or the descriptions, the first time around – just more to discover the second read-through. Or the third.
4.) What is your favorite Tolkien book? What makes it special?
I have the best memories with The Lord of the Rings, especially The Fellowship of the Ring, so probably that one. Though I do still cherish my dad reading The Hobbit to us when we were younger, even if I couldn’t sit through all of it.
5.) Can you share one of your favorite Tolkien quotes with us?
I had a hard time with this one. Partially because I was disappointed to learn that my all-time favorite Pippin-quote was a line from the movie that did not come from the books. (“The closer we are to danger, the farther we are from harm. It’s the last thing he’ll expect.”) But the bigger part of it was because there are so many good ones! I think I’d have to go with this one, though:
“Not all those who wander are lost.”