J.R. Tompkins grew up among the gorges and waterfalls of the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, where he gained an early admiration of nature and landscapes. While attending Ithaca College, he studied Film Production and Art History, acquiring a Bachelors degree in Cinematography.
After graduation, he moved to Southern California and spent several years working in many different aspects of the motion picture industry in Hollywood. In 1986, he started his own company to produce sports and event videos, and later co-founded a trade organization for professional video producers, now called the Professional Videographers Network (PVN).
In 1996, J.R. retraced the two-thousand-mile-long Oregon Trail to produce a historical/travel-adventure film entitled “Emigrant Road - An Oregon Trail Adventure,” one of the first travelogues produced on digital cinema. His second production, “Four Corners,” focused on the mountains, rivers, canyons and cultures of the American Southwest. For his third production, J.R. hiked up to seven miles a day carrying thirty pounds of equipment across eight European alpine countries to film “The Alps.”
J.R. has presented his travel films throughout the United States, including performances at the National Geographic Society in Washington, the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh and the SunDome in Phoenix. The Travel Adventure Cinema Society awarded him its “Rising Star” award in 2000, and its highest honor for a speaker, the “Hall of Fame” award in 2003.
Most recently, J.R. has written and released a short story, “Goddess of the Moon,” and a novel, “Price of the Child.”
Where to find J.R. Tompkins online
Videos"Price Of The Child" Book Trailer
The desperate, overnight, nine-mile wilderness struggle to keep seven-year-old Sam alive and save his life after a near-fatal mountainside fall will forever bind Sam to his reluctant hero Jake. But can social worker Helen understand Jake’s heroism, channel it to find the hero within herself, and somehow rescue Sam from an unstable father who might just be given a third chance at killing him?
Price of the Child
by J.R. Tompkins
The desperate, overnight, nine-mile wilderness struggle to keep seven-year-old Sam alive and save his life after a near-fatal mountainside fall will forever bind Sam to his reluctant hero Jake. But can social worker Helen channel Jake’s heroism, find the hero within herself, and somehow rescue Sam from his dangerously unstable father?
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Smashwords book reviews by J.R. Tompkins
on Nov. 02, 2014
“Blowdown; Tales inspired by the wind & Stanley Park” is a book that even its author Craig Spence admits is “hard for me to classify. On the one hand it scans like children’s literature, which I delight in both reading and writing; on the other, the themes and language may be challenging even for adults.” Spence puts that right up there in his introduction for the reader to ponder. But it’s a short enough effort in which to invest, at least that’s what I’m thinking as I breeze into it.
His intention, he says, was to understand the storm of 2006, a cataclysm that destroyed many of the beloved ancient trees of Vancouver’s Stanley Park, from a spiritual perspective. Again, he warns us that he is drawing, and adapting, from First Nations’ tales, stating that his story is written “from the only perspective I know – that of a European child growing up in a multicultural land,” “trying to understand his place in family, society and nature.”
Past its seemingly disconcerting introduction, Spence leads us into the world of the park at the feet of Spirit Bird, “an ancient spirit, who lived in a secret grove in the Land Between the Waters.” His tales are told out of any real order, seemingly as gusts of wind, forming into thoughts, words, fables. And what, at first, seems like a lot of rattling of leaves and swaying of treetops, becomes, indeed, a difficult-to-describe breezy storytelling that weaves legend, spirituality, and boyhood mischief. “It’s surprising how close you can get to Squirrel or Rat if you pretend your real intention is to pee on a bush,” he shares at one point. At another, “’call it a Big Bang, Genesis, the cracking of the Cosmic Egg, whatever you like,’ Spirit Bird laughed. ‘I say it was the waking of the Creator and that she is awakening still.’”
“Blowdown” is that yearning you have to walk into a windstorm to feel mist upon your face, to feel pine bristles brush past your shoulders as you walk into the dimming night, to sense underfoot the distant surfcrash when such a storm wishes to roll rocks to sand. These tales swirl around a time of change and growing up and culmination for one small boy. You see him struggle with an altering family life, see him wishing to be happy in the world, seeking his own private natural world, growing, with Spirit Bird as his teacher.
Inhale the wind, smell the cool, musty scent of the firs, and enjoy this unique bit of storytelling.