Farewell, Diana Wynne Jones

Hello everyone!

I’m back!  Well, more or less.  See, I DID finish my manuscript on time (I know, it’s pretty much a miracle), but I forgot to factor in that I would then get it back from my editor and have to revise it for yet another deadline which is now galloping up on me.  HEAVENS.  And I have a feeling the whole rest of the year might be like this…ruh-roh.

But I wanted to check back in a bit early this week (or maybe very late for last week) so I could post something about Diana Wynne Jones, one of my very favorite authors in the world, who died on Friday after a long life (but we wish it had been longer!) and a whole lot of wonderful books (but we wish there were more!).  If you’ve never read anything by her, you really should – especially if you like my writing, because hers is sort of the transcendent ideal of storytelling I aspire to.  Her books are smart, funny, deep, curious, and complex, with completely believable characters whose ordinary lives intersect with weird fantasy in the most imaginative, surprising ways.  And did I mention they’re funny?

I think I’ve read almost all of her books by now.  I started years ago with Howl’s Moving Castle (which was later turned into a Miyazaki movie, also terrific, and intriguingly different from the book) and Castle in the Air, which are still my favorites. 

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But all the Chrestomanci books are amazing, too.

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and I also highly recommend the two Derkholm books, Dark Lord of Derkholm and Year of the Griffin.

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That’s just to get you started—there are oodles more, and they’re all thought-provoking and clever and wonderful.  And the good news is there’s at least one more still to be published: Earwig and the Witch, coming sometime this year, it looks like.

Plus she apparently had a fascinating life:

Her own mini-autobiography

Her obituary in The Guardian

Neil Gaiman’s journal entry about her

Kirkus Reviews tribute

Barnes & Noble book club blog tribute

My goodness.  Well, they all said it better than I could.  We’re so lucky to have all the books we do have of hers, and I hope you’ll all get a chance to try them.  We’ll miss you, Diana Wynne Jones!

I’ll be back again soon with more, particularly Erin Hunter tour info – yes, Vicky is coming!  The one with all the answers!  Warriors fans must rush out and see her if you can!  So more on that soon…  🙂

Quote of the Day: 
A book for children is first of all to enjoy, and after that it can be full of all the other things books can do for children — mostly, I believe, to encourage them to think for themselves.” – Diana Wynne Jones