Writing what I know



“Never laugh at live dragons.”

– Bilbo Baggins

True Tolkien fans know that today, September 22, is the date that Bilbo and Frodo Baggins share as their birthday.

I know there are people who are not Tolkien fans.  I don’t understand them.

True story:  My son once told his middle school English teacher that I didn’t think she could really be an English teacher if she hadn’t read The Hobbit and/or The Lord of the Rings. I mean they’re a pretty important part of 20th Century literature.

Of course my wife the former English teacher isn’t really a fan.  But she’s read The Hobbit and other works by Tolkien.  And she made it through The Movies.  Once.

I, on the other hand, need to read The Lord of the Rings again.  I did manage to watch The Movies this summer. But the books are so much richer.

It’s funny.  I’ve toyed with writing science fiction and fantasy.  But it doesn’t really seem to be my style.

I think I’m turning into a more folksy, southern writer, who mostly writes without the bourbon.

Everyone writer has their own style.  I had to learn to stop trying to copy other writers and just write what I know.  It was similar with the settings for my book(s).

I’ve set most, actually all, of the books I’ve completed somewhere in the south.  I’ve used places like Mississippi and South Carolina.  Places I’ve been.  Places where I’d like to spend more time.  But places I don’t know well enough to write about without extensive research.

So, I moved my current project back to Southwest Virginia.  The place that I know.

And, oh yes, names and exact places have been changed to protect the innocent author.

I do have one book completed that’s set in post-Katrina New Orleans and Mississippi.  It’s two down on the editing list.

That’s right.  I actually have five books that I’ve written.

All in the editing stages.

And no, you may not read them yet.

Bilbo wrote his book and then turned it over to Frodo to continue.  Frodo in turn left it for Sam to finish.

I won’t live as long as a hobbit and I don’t think my boys will be interested in finishing my books.

So, I have writing to do.

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