New Tolkien novel blends historical fact with fiction
Mirkwood: A Novel About JRR Tolkien by Steve Hillard tells of Tolkien hiding secret documents that the forces of evil will do anything to obtain, and the young orphan girl, Cadence, who discovers them.
In the opening pages of Hillard’s novel, world-renowned author and linguist Tolkien lands in New York City on a mysterious errand. He carries with him a collection of ancient documents, many in an unknown language that hint of a heroine, a halfling named Ara, who lived in the same ancient landscape that inspired Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Fearing that possession of the documents will lead to great harm, Tolkien entrusts them to a simple scissor sharpener named Jesse Grande. Almost four decades later, Grande has disappeared and the documents have been found by Grande’s orphaned granddaughter, Cadence. As dark forces from the realm of fantasy hunt down the documents and their guardian, Cadence must protect the story of Ara.
"Tolkien fervently hoped, indeed believed, that there was no divide between belief and reality," says Hillard. "My novel asks the question, ‘What if he experienced this borderland first hand?’"
Blending historical fact with fantasy, Hillard interweaves Tolkien’s philosophy, his role as a World War II spy and imagined conversations between the great author and his friend, C.S. Lewis. Hillard was inspired to write the novel by his experience reading the Lord of the Rings series to his daughters, who enjoyed the books but asked, "Where are the heroines?"
Mirkwood: A Novel About JRR Tolkien is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other channels.
Steve Hillard earned a degree in philosophy at Columbia University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado. Before settling into his current career as a private equity entrepreneur, Hillard was a teacher at Rikers Island Prison, a welder, a carpenter and a practicing lawyer. He is the founder and head of Council Tree Communications, a private equity fund involved in the entertainment and telecom industries. Hillard resides with his wife, Rosita, in Austin.