Aiya my friends, well, I am so sorry I’ve been slacking off so much and not posting anything. Anyway, I have a really good, exciting post for you today! My friend and fellow author, Anne Marie Gazzolo, agreed to be interviewed for my blog! Anne Marie is the author of the book Moments of Grace and Spiritual Warfare in the Lord of the Rings. (It wouldn’t let me underline, so italics were the next best thing.) It’s an incredible book exploring Christian themes found in Lord of the Rings. A book about my favorite book – and my religion! Seriously, does it get better? I came across her book one day – by chance or fate – when I googled, “Sam’s Song from LotR.” Annoyed that no interesting results were coming up, I started looking on the next pages, which is something I almost never do. I’m the kind of girl who lives by the philosophy that if it’s not on the first page of Google results, you’re not going to find it. Oh, how completely wrong I was! On page 2 or 3, I came across a preview of her book on amazon. I read it. And then read it again. This was good stuff! I asked for the book for my birthday, and sure enough, I got it! It was supposed to be my devotional for a week or two, but I liked it so much that I had to bring it to my orchestra concert and read it while I was supposed to be tuning my violin. Then, at intermission, rather than going out and socializing, i just went to the backstage room and read it until I had to go back on stage. So, it was my devotional for roughly two and a half days. But it was amazing!!! Five stars all the way. Then about two months later, I found her on Goodreads. I started stalking her all over the internet, following her blog, liking EVERY SINGLE THING she wrote, and finally, sending her an email saying I really liked her book. And she wrote me back! We started talking on Goodreads and through email, and I gave her the link to the Land of Shadow. She read it and said she liked my blog. I was so excited! For days it was all I could talk about – how I had just struck up a friendship with one of my favorite authors! Everyone I talked to heard about it. Finally I invited Anne Marie to be interviewed for my blog, and she accepted. I sent her ten questions, then chose six to put in the post when she sent them back with answers. And here they are!
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read Moments of Grace and Spiritual Warfare in the Lord of the Rings. It’s available on amazon and Kindle for a very fair price, and trust me, you will not regret it. Without further ado now, here is the interview! Anne Marie’s answers are in italics.
1. So, tell us how you got the idea to write Moments of Grace and Spiritual Warfare in The Lord of the Rings?
As I was reading and enjoying other books on the spirituality of Middle-earth, the thought came to me that I could write one myself, so I did!
2. How long did Moments take you to write and how much research had to be put into it?
Six years. I have many notebooks full of notes. I love to research. I was one of those weird people who really liked to write term papers. I started my Master’s Degree online at the Mythgard Institute just so I could return to school and write more papers!
3. Which actor do you think lived up to their role the best?
They all excelled in The Lord of the Rings when they were true to who they were, not the opposite as happened most grievously with Faramir in Two Towers, and Aragorn not wanting to be king and trying to break up with Arwen. There were other missteps too, but overall the acting and the story was marvelously told. I am sorry that no actor in the Hobbit disasters was given a chance to act because there was no story to act in.
4. Why do you love Lord of the Rings so much?
Because it shows what the true nature of love is, what courage it gives to accomplish the seemingly impossible, what sacrifices it is willing to make, what selfless devotion it calls for. Also because it shows how to have hope in the darkest moments of your life. There are so many people who see only darkness because that is all they see and hear on the news and can think of no other way but down. They do not see the sunlight that surrounds them but maintain a fixed stare into a dark future. Sam stares death in the face and refuses to give up hope. Even as Mirth Tirith prepares for war, Gandalf is mirthful. Faramir and Eowyn see an explosion in the distance, and while the man acknowledges doom may fall, his heart somehow knows instead that something wonderful has happened. They all know there is more than one way things can go. If more people saw life and its trails and tribulations through the eyes of Sam, Aragorn, Gandalf, Faramir, and Pippin, and truly loved the people they are with as Frodo and Sam and others do, the world would be a much brighter and better place!
5. Anything new from you coming up any time soon?
I am working on an original fantasy series, have another series I am dying to get to, and also have another book (or two! or three!) specifically focusing on the journeys of Bilbo and Frodo (mostly Frodo) 🙂 . A writer’s life for me!
6. Finally, how has writing Moments and reading LotR changed you as a person, writer, and Christian?
It revealed my vocation as a writer. I came out of the womb writing, but this is my first published book. The first of many to come! The future is so bright I gotta wear shades. 🙂
Thanks so much to Anne Marie for this awesome interview, and check out her blog at annemariegazzolo.com. Again, I encourage you to read Moments. You can buy it by clicking on this link, and you can visit her website by clicking on this link.