Anne Marie Gazzolo
I came out of the womb writing. I am the author of Moments of Grace and Spiritual Warfare in The Lord of the Rings, (WestBow Press, 2012), which also includes a chapter on The Hobbit. Essays of mine appear in Beyond Bree, Silver Leaves, Amon Hen, StAR (St. Austin Review), Mythic Scribes, and TolkienBritta. I contributed papers to the 2008, 2009, and 2010 Tolkien Society Seminars, as well as to Mythcon 41 held in Dallas, TX in 2010. An ebook, Pathways Through Middle-earth: A Guide for the Heart, which concerns how to apply to one’s life the lessons taught by those in Middle-earth, is available as a gift for signing up for my mailing list at my website. In 2012, I began my Master’s Degree in Literature and Language at the Mythgard Institute, which is part of an online university founded in September 2011 by the Tolkien Professor, Corey Olsen. I co-moderate the J. R. R. Tolkien discussion group on GoodReads. I am at work on a fantasy series, have another series anxious for me to get to, and plan to return to Middle-earth several times too. A writer’s life for me! I am the proud aunt of 11 and the great-aunt of 1.
My first exposure to The Lord of the Rings, although I did not know it at the time, was in 1980, when a beloved high school French teacher was leaving. I said, “May the Force be with you!” to which she fervently responded “Frodo lives!” I have wondered more than once why I still remember those words so vividly, as they meant nothing to me at the time. I did not realize after I encountered Frodo Baggins in a theatre in December 2001, and with him the tale contained in the Red Book of Westmarch, how much he would grow on me. I was at the time a completely obsessed Star Wars fan and had been for over 20 years. It certainly did not occur to me that anything or anyone could tear me away from that! But this story and the people in it changed my life, imperceptibly at first and then radically, as slowly Mr. Underhill took up residence in my heart and helped transform me into who I am today. Frodo is my favorite with Sam a very close second. The depiction of their blessed bond is my favorite part of the tale.
I have always loved to read, write, and research, and I love Middle-earth, so learning more about it and writing of it is a wonderful combination of all these things. My next projects are a book on the journeys of Bilbo and Frodo and a volume of poetry about a heroic quest. Other works in progress is an original fantasy series and another series impatiently waiting to come out. A writer’s life for me!