Monday, March 28, 2011

The Discovery of Diana Wynne Jones

"In the land of Ingary where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of the three. Everyone knows you are the one who will fail first, and worst, if the three of you set out to seek your fortunes." Diana Wynne Jones (Howl's Moving Castle)

When I talk to people I know, there are two ways that they found out about the stories of Diana Wynne Jones. They were either fortunate to have read them as children, or were fortunate enough to know the works of Hayao Miyazaki (who animated her book "Howl's Moving Castle). No matter how you ended up learning and reading about her, I never heard anyone say a bad thing about her writing.

I watched "Howl's Moving Castle" first and it became one of my favorite movies. It took a few years, but I finally broke down and read the book. And listened to the audio book. Then re-watched the movie. I knew that I had found something very special with just the movie, but
after experiencing all three, I knew that this was one of my favorite stories. My husband and I even named our cat Sophie after the main character (who is sitting with me the whole time I am writing this).

I went on to read the other two books that feature Howl and Sophie, and bought the Chrestomanci series. I have yet to pick up more of her books, and intend to remedy this quickly.

On Twitter is how I learned that DWJ had passed away. She had become a trending topic, and many people were showing their love for her work. Tears welled up in my eyes and it took me a moment before I could say anything to my husband. I knew that she was ill, but it still came as a shock. I went onto Amazon and ordered one of the books I have been putting off and is out of print. I intend on reading "Fire and Hemlock" sometime in April.

DWJ became one of the reasons why I look at stories differently and why I decided to write the story that I am working on today. As I continue to discover her writing, I think that she will challenge me and inspire me. We have lost a great writer and I offer my deepest condolences to her family and friends.

I am adding links to the bottom of this page for you to learn more about this amazing writer and I hope that you had the chance to discover her writings, and if not, I dare you to pick up her books and not find something you will enjoy.




  1. I also learned about her passing from Twitter.

    Neil Gaiman tweeted about how thankful he was that he got a chance to say goodbye the night before she died. I suppose that's a small comfort to him.

    I think Heaven has a special place for authors who pass away. A quiet spot, not too warm and not too cold, with refreshments just the ideal distance away.

    I loved the movie version of Howl's Moving Castle, and have often meant to pick up the book. And now I will.

  2. I also learned from NG. So sad! Yes, pick up Howl! I think you will really enjoy. It isn't too much different than the movie!

    We need to get published, Chris, if that is what Heaven is like.


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