L.J. Hutton


L. J. Hutton is an English writer living in the Midlands, with a passion for history – especially anything medieval – and rescued dogs. After a series of mundane jobs she escaped to Birmingham University and did two degrees, and now writing allows further digging into the past while dropping characters into interesting, and often perilous, situations! She writes historical novels; fantasy based on medieval worlds; and also paranormal mysteries which have a historical or folktale twist to them.

She currently lives in Worcester with one husband and several recued lurchers, one of whom shares the photo - which is nothing unusual in her life! She supports Evesham Greyhound & Lurcher Rescue.

Smashwords Interview

Who are your favorite authors?
J. R. R. Tolkien has to be the most influential author in my life. It’s no overstatement to say that his books probably saved my sanity. My grandparents were killed the day after my fifteenth birthday and my mother worked her grief out on me, reducing me to complete despair. At that point I discovered Middle-earth which became my sanctuary, and since then I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read The Lord of the Rings. It was the first time I became wholly immersed in a completely new world to the extent that it became unquestionably real to me. Then latterly, I’ve come to Tolkien through academia when I went to university as a mature student, firstly to do a BA in Medieval Studies, and then an MPhil in Anglo-Saxon History - and still I find something new in these books. Ancient languages, sagas and history are all there, and you can keep peeling back the layers time after time.

I love not only Tolkien’s world – which is so grounded in his knowledge of Anglo-Saxon England – but his characters too. And I stand in awe of the way he built whole languages for his people. I think reading The Lord of the Rings was what made me want to become a writer. I’ve always loved books ever since I was old enough to read picture-books, but Tolkien inspired me to want to create my own worlds, to take things further than just a story-line in the here and now. This would be my one book on a desert island without any question!

Another favourite author is Charles de Lint. I find his writing beautifully crafted, at times almost lyrical, which reflects his other talent as a musician. I love the way he works folklore and the modern world together, and makes it believable that they might interlace. Also in the fantasy sphere, Terry Goodkind is another favourite – each of his early books comes to a satisfying resolution, and only towards the end of his twelve book series do the books lead directly into one another. Oh that some other authors would be as kind to their readers with their epic, multi-book series! And Robin Hobb is a favourite for her lovely characters. Fitz and the Fool stay with you long after the books are read.

Away from fantasy I’m a great fan of C. J. Sansome. His mysteries are gripping and the historical background is beautifully realised – Elizabethan England really comes to life, and Matthew Shardlake is a wonderful sleuth whom you can truly care about. As you’re no doubt gathering, I love chunky books, and another writer who mixes genres to great effect is Diana Gabaldon. I’ve read her books several times over, and Jamie Fraser remains one of my all-time favourite literary characters! I’m a bit of a sucker for a cross-genre book as you’ll have guessed by now, so I love Barbara Erskine’s stories where - as in Diana Gabaldon’s books - the past and present intermingle, although to slightly more spooky effect.

And I couldn’t finish this without mentioning Bernard Cornwell. Boy, that man can write a good adventure story! Again, I’ve read his ‘Sharpe’ books many times, and admire the way he can keep the pace going at a great rate, while at the same time making the era come to life. (Of course having Sean Bean playing Sharpe in the TV version hasn’t detracted from the appeal!) But Mr Cornwell can also write a rattling good modern thriller, proving that as a writer you don’t have to stick unrelentingly to one genre. (And if Bernard Cornwell makes the Napoleonic Wars on land come to life, Alexander Kent did the same for the navy of that era – wonderful rip-roaring stuff!)

I could go on and on, but these are the ones who’ve had a real influence on me and on my writing.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien; Cross Stitch (Outlander in the US) Diana Gabaldon; Dune, Frank Herbert – the classic SF story; Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte - the one classic novel which really resonates with me; Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin – the superb start of the serial, hope he can eventually bring the series to a satisfying close before the end of the next decade!
Read more of this interview.

Where to find L.J. Hutton online

Website: http://ljhutton.com
Twitter: @Lin_Hutton
Facebook: Facebook profile


This member has not published any books.

L.J. Hutton's favorite authors on Smashwords

Smashwords book reviews by L.J. Hutton

  • Inn The Laughing Dragon on Jan. 22, 2012

    A beautifully crafted short story with a neat twist at the end. Yes it does follow the 'three men in a bar' start, but what is done with the storyline beyond that is original and engaging. If this is a true taster of what Mike Jansen can produce then the full-length novel will be well worth reading.
  • A Stalker's Game (Short Story) on Jan. 22, 2012

    As a short story this works fairly well, but sometimes the language doesn't flow as well as it might. The introduction of Tom as the lead character is intriguing, but there are almost too many assumptions about the reader knowing this world - as if we had already read a full novel about this person. Not having read the novels, this makes the short story a little too stuffed with terms and allusions which I, for one, found distracting from the main storyline; but it would be interesting to know how someone felt about this story who had already read the novels.
  • They Came, They Saw, They Took the Tinfoil on Jan. 22, 2012

    An engaging short story, but without enough originality to warrant 5 stars. If you want to read what a master storyteller can do with an almost identical storyline look for Clifford Simak's "Dusty Zebra" - 50 years old but beautifully crafted - or one of many Theodore Sturgeon shorts. Sorry, M T McGuire, but this story needed an extra somethign to compete with those two masters of the genre.