Song of the Elves

Epic fantasy novels and short stories by David Charles Shepherd

Tolkien’s Warning

I had such a vivid dream last night that I have to share it with you…

I was rambling in the Lakes with friends and fell into step beside none other than J.R.R. Tolkien – he looked like himself from the pictures I’ve seen, but was tall like Gandalf.  We talked about nature and the world, neither of us mentioning our work and the miles slipped effortlessly by.  When we returned to our hotel, my friends couldn’t believe that I hadn’t tapped the great man up for advice on geting published.

Plucking up the courage, I went along the corridor to where Tolkien was roomed.  Autograph hunters and Lord-of the-Ring-ophiles were hanging around outside his door.  I knocked and Tolkien appeared with impatience etched on his face.  It instantly mellowed when he saw me and he brought me inside.  Around a table in the centre of an otherwise empty white room were seated a number of geeky looking men working on Warhammer figures from Middle Earth.  Gandalf fired comments their way, advising on dress and colour, before turning his attention to me.

His face fell when I produced my manuscript; he looked disappointed and knowing at the same time.  Instantly I wished I had not listened to my friends and I made to leave, apologising for spoiling the afternoon we had shared, one that he had clearly enjoyed, free as it was from the concerns of his work.  Unexpectedly, Tolkien grabbed  me by the arm.  Some of the grandfatherly paternalism of his gandalf-esque demeanour had returned, but there was more than a little menace in his words.

‘If you’re going to go up against the book,’ he said, ‘then prepare to be doomed!’  His eyes twinkled and then he ushered me out on to the corridor where I stood twirling the manuscript with sweating palms.

Great – I get to meet the  legend and end up being hexed!  No more cheese before bedtime for me!


About The Author

Writing has been my main form of escape since a child. Before teaching, I earned a living on a little known national newspaper, before discovering I also had a calling for the classroom. The first embryonic scribbles for Song of the Elves emerged in 2000. I began writing the first trilogy as one continuous manuscript entitled The Summerlands, which I finally completed in the Winter of 2007. In the intervening years, I've been transforming this first draft into three distinct instalments of the saga. "A Shadow Falls" and "The King's Blades" have already seen the light of day. "Sins of the Father" will follow shortly. There will be a second trilogy to complete the saga, which I intend to commence work on in 2012. Book four is entitled "The Lost, The Lonely and the Damned". I have also written a series of short tales entitled The Wolves of Winter, set in Rhoderica before the elves invaded the continent. This is now available through lulu.com as a paperback and via amazon kindle as an e-book.. My second, 'Tale of Rhoderica' will be a fantasy version of the great John Ford western - The Searchers. Entitled, To the Ends of the Earth', the novel will be out for Spring 2016. I am also half-way through a manuscript for a science fiction novel, entitled The Mirror of His Soul. Time and health permitting, these will all eventually see the light of day.

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