Ptolemy Tompkins

Ptolemy Tompkins has been an editor at Guideposts and Angels on Earth magazines and is the author of four books. His writing has been featured in Beliefnet.com, Harper’s, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. He lives in New York.

Books by this Author

Proof of Angels
The Map of Heaven
The Modern Book of the Dead

My Life in 8 Words

Author Revealed

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. I'll have to to go with Heraclitus' line: "Character is fate." Which doesn't mean that I think I have a particularly good character. I just think it's true.

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. I'm not completely unconscious of my flaws.

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. Georg Trakl (eccentric early 20th century Austrian poet). Talk about someone who wanted to be in the world but out of it.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?

A. Jack, in same.

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. I think it was Proust who said that we never know when we're happy, only when we were happy. I don't know about perfect happiness, but I know I'd enjoy being able to inhabit certain moments of the past again, only as the person that I am now. To climb back into my past self kind of like a space suit and do it all over again, the same only... different. Actually, I think a lot of writers have this dream, and that that's one reason why at least some people become writers to begin with.

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