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Breakfast Friday, 28 February, 2003, 05:45 GMT
Simon Tolkien
Simon Tolkien with his grandfather, the author JRR Tolkien
As a child, Simon adored his grandfather
If you're an aspiring author, it's not necessarily and advantage to have a grandfather who is one of the most revered novelists in the English Language.

Perhaps that's why Simon Tolkien spent two decades as a lawyer, before getting his first novel published this year.

Simon Tolkien live on Breakfast
Simon's book - The Stepmother - is a far cry from his grandfather's histories of Middle Earth and its creatures.

It's a courtroom drama, packed with dramatic twists, involving the high profile murder trial of the wife of a (fictitious) government minister.

It's rooted in every day reality and draws heavily on his experiences as a solicitor and a criminal barrister.

He told Breakfast this morning: "I didn't start writing until I was 40 - it was one of those New Year's resolutions that worked."

Simon's first book was rejected by several publishers - the Step Mother is his second attempt at novel writing.

JRR Tolkein
Simon felt unable to match JRR Tolkien
"As a criminal barrister I specialised in violent crime, so I thought I would take what I know and write about it."

In the past few years, Simon has had a well-publicised argument with his father over the film version of the Lord of the Rings.

He feels this has fed into his first novel.

"Fathers are in a strange position: they do not automatically bond with their children in the way that mothers do."

  • The Stepmother, by Simon Tolkien is published by Michael Joseph/Penguin at 9.99
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