As part of our Tolkien Reading Celebration, we’ll be interviewing different bloggers about their love for Tolkien and what makes his works so special for them.
Stephanie is the mind behind Chasm of Books and takes great pleasure in revisiting the works of Tolkien over and over again. She considers herself a great champion of Nicole Castroman’s debut novel, Blackhearts, and dabbles in photography while working towards obtaining an associates in Marketing. By day she is a QA Analyst; by night she is a blogger and a writer with many ambitions.
Tell us about yourself! How did you come to love Tolkien and what do you enjoy reading about his works?
My first experience with Tolkien was The Hobbit. My older brother convinced me to read it, probably after I watched The Fellowship of the Ring movie. Shockingly, I actually didn’t enjoy it that much, but one chapter in particular caught my eye: “Riddles in the Dark.” From there, I decided to read The Fellowship of the Ring. Tolkien’s work is uniquely inspirational. The more I learn about his process, the more inspired I am. His writing is precise and striking. He could be writing about the most horrible thing one moment, but switch to describing the most beautiful scene in just a few words.
What’s one thing you learned from Tolkien you think everyone else should know?
Never give up. I began learning about the process Tolkien went through to create The Lord of the Rings and Middle Earth itself and I couldn’t be more impressed. If anyone can teach you to never give up, it would have to be him. The massive amount of changes he made to the first chapter itself are breathtaking. It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re working on a long project. Tolkien taught me to enjoy the journey and keep at it.
Tell us about one of your favorite passages or scenes.
There are quite a few passages I love; I could search The Lord of the Rings trilogy for quite some time trying to choose one. The wisdom and truth in those pages is amazing; but I’d have to say that “Riddles in the Dark” remains a firm favorite of mine. It was one of the first scenes I read growing up that creeped me out. Just thinking about Bilbo in the Mines of Moria exchanging riddles with Gollum in an attempt to live… that is chilling.
Do you have any Tolkien confessions?
It took me years to finish The Lord of the Rings trilogy for the first time. It took me approximately a year to finish each book after I’d started it and I took long breaks between each book. I used to have to tell people that it wasn’t taking me that long because it wasn’t good (still do sometimes).
If you could visit any place in Middle Earth, where would you go?
Oh gosh. What a question. I’m caught between The Shire and Rivendell. Perhaps I’d have to say Rivendell. I just think it’d be such a peaceful and beautiful place to be. Although, if I could stay