Let’s Celebrate Diana Wynne Jones

Diana Wynne Jones’ publishers have organized an ongoing celebration of her novels. Drop by the DWJ 2012 Tumblr site or the Greenwillow blog to check out quotes, stories and tributes. I’ve wanted to write about Diana Wynne Jones for a while now but I kept hesitating because unlike some of my blogging buddies, it shames me to admit that I’ve only read a couple of her books. That doesn’t mean that I loved them any less though – Howl’s Moving Castle is included in my list of absolute favorites. It convinced me to read the companion novels and to watch the Hayao Miyazaki film adaptation because I wanted more of Howl. I’m not an expert when it comes to Diana Wynne Jones’ books but I am a fan. She has an extensive back list and I plan to go through all of her books – next up is probably Deep Secret or The Dark Lord of Derkholm. I’m really curious about Fire and Hemlock as well, I hear it’s been reissued so I hope I find a copy soon. I remember writing a letter when I found out through Sounis that DWJ was sick and she’d appreciate getting some fan mail. I didn’t expect a reply but I got a nice one from her agent’s assistant:

I’m amazed at how Diana Wynne Jones has inspired so many readers and authors. She seems just as magical as her books. I love going through the beautifully written tributes that have been posted about her, some of them even made me tear up a bit. I think it’s wonderful when one of my favorite authors is a fan of another favorite author. A few posts about DWJ written by authors I admire: Robin McKinley, Megan Whalen Turner, Sarah Rees Brennan, Garth Nix.

Image from Neil Gaiman’s tweet from way back.

Diana Wynne Jones is a great YA fantasy author – her books were published way before the YA craze started. She seems like a lovely person based on everything that I’ve read about her. I keep wishing I found out about her books when I was younger, I’m pretty sure I’d be a bigger fan if that was the case. It saddens me that there isn’t much that I can contribute to this celebration except to spread the word about it and encourage more people to read her books. I just wanted to talk about her because I feel that Diana Wynne Jones has touched my life and I have a feeling she’ll do so over and over again whenever I pick up one of her novels or even when I read novels written by authors who found inspiration in her writing.

Quote from Howl's Moving Castle

Image from Tumblr

28 thoughts on “Let’s Celebrate Diana Wynne Jones

  1. Oh I love the quote you used from Howl’s Moving Castle! I’m a huge DWJ and have devoured everything she’s ever read, and am now re-reading a lot of the earlier ones.

    She was such a fabulous author and I enjoy seeing all the DWJ 2012 posts 🙂

    • I saw the quote from Tumblr through the DWJ2012 site. 🙂 Wow, you’ve read all of her books! I hope I’ll be able to say that someday. I need to find copies of all her titles though, I believe some of them are out of print.

      She really is and I’m glad I was able to talk about her even if I wasn’t able to say much.

  2. There’re whole spectra of fandom, & we all enjoy the best of authors in our own ways & time. I’m glad your way included linking several cool authors together in one easy-to-find post. Thanks!

    • Yes, exactly. It’s taking me a while to go through all of DWJ’s titles but I enjoy reading them. Glad you found this post helpful. Thanks for dropping by to comment. 🙂

  3. It’s quite alright to not have read as many of her books – now you get to “discover” her a little more with each new book you read. Lucky you. 🙂

    • I know, other readers might actually be jealous that I’ll be reading some of her titles for the first time. I know I feel that way when it comes to some of my favorite authors. 😛

  4. I grew up on her books so I have a very nostalgic feeling about them. Fire and Hemlock especially made a very strong impression on me, somehow it got into my imagination, and when I reread it later it was like figuring out a mystery. I’ve always loved her complicated and surprising plots.

    • I know I would have loved reading DWJ’s novels growing up, I still feel sad that I wasn’t able to discover them earlier. I’m really curious about Fire and Hemlock and even chose to do a Want Books post about it.

  5. DWJ will always hold a special place in my heart because Howl’s Moving Castle was what got me started with YA (sorry, I know I’ve told you this before). More importantly, I’ve met such great book friends because of her books (including you!).:)

    By the way, I was able to get a copy of the reissued Fire and Hemlock from Fully Booked. I hope you’ll be able to find a copy too.

    • Celina, I still remember that we first started talking because of Diana Wynne Jones’ books. I got copies of the Chrestomanci novels from you, right? And then you asked if I’ve read Howl’s Moving Castle and what I thought of it. 😛

      Really? What branch? I asked Fully Booked on Twitter but I haven’t gotten a reply. Will check out Fully Booked when I drop by the mall this week, I’m also going to try and look for a copy of Bitterblue.

      • Yup, it was the Chrestomanci books. I got Fire and Hemlock from Fully Booked Greenbelt, but there was only 1 copy. They also had the reissued Dogsbody there. I hope you get to find a copy of Fire and Hemlock as well as Bitterblue!

  6. This post was really touching, Chachic. I feel so similar to you, it’s kind of scary. I too just recently discovered/started reading DWJ and wish I had read her when younger because her books are so magical and wonderful.

    • April, thank you for this lovely comment! It makes me feel better that you feel the same way about DWJ. It’s always nice when you find someone else who understands how you feel, right? 🙂 Anyway, I have a feeling we’ll both enjoy going through DWJ’s back list and I look forward to seeing you review some of her titles.

  7. I’m not even kidding when I say that this post just about had me tearing up. It’s been so incredibly touching to me to read all of the posts outpouring love for this woman who had a profound affect personally and professionally on so many readers (of all ages), and other writers. I’m with you (and April) in that I didn’t really discover DWJ until I was an adult. I’ve had her on my list for some time, but it was actually Sarah Rees Brennan’s guest post on YOUR BLOG in which she described giving them to a friend and stating that they were better than Harry Potter that I was prompted to actually check out Howl’s Moving Castle. I adored it, and I cannot wait to read more. It’s almost surreal falling in love with an author so soon after her death, I’m kind of sad that I will never get to tell her, but I am grateful nonetheless.

    Lovely post, Chachic!

    • Aww Heidi, I love this comment. I’m glad that both you and April feel the same way about DWJ. It is heartwarming to read all of the lovely things that readers and authors have to say about DWJ. I had no idea you found out about her books through SRB’s guest post during Queen’s Thief Week. That makes me happy though, that you discovered one of my favorite authors through my blog, even if I wasn’t the one who recommended her books. 🙂 I think I found out about DWJ right before she got sick and I’m glad I was able to send her a fan letter before she passed away.

  8. Pingback: Want Books: Fire and Hemlock | Chachic's Book Nook

  9. We’re lucky in a way that we’re still discovering her words and her worlds. I feel like if Miss Jones had lived longer, she would’ve been able to introduce us to more magical universes. Her passing is one of the biggest tragedies in literature.

    At the same time, I’m glad she doesn’t have to suffer anymore. Anyone who has touched so many lives with her infectious positive nature doesn’t deserve to suffer such prolonged agony such as cancer. 😦

    • Jason, I agree. We’re lucky that she has such a huge back list and there are so many of her books that we can still enjoy. I think her publishers are still planning to release a title that she was working on while she was sick? I’m not sure. But yes, her passing was a big tragedy in the world of YA literature. I remember being devastated when I found but yes, I think it’s a good thing that she doesn’t have to suffer anymore.

  10. It is so amazing to read about someone who has touched so many people, authors and readers alike, and someone who seems like she was such a genuinely wonderful person with a huge imagination. Like you, I found out about her past my tween/teen years and I really wish I’d known about her then. BUT luckily we have a backlog of awesomeness to get through, right?

    • Flann, I agree. I loved reading through people’s stories about DWJ, it’s been wonderful hearing about how she has touched other people’s lives. It comforts me to know that I have some of her books on my TBR pile, waiting patiently to be read. Hey, let me know if you ever want to do a DWJ readalong. 🙂

  11. Pingback: Book Haul: Diana Wynne Jones Edition | Chachic's Book Nook

  12. I love Diana Wynne Jones. She is one of my favorite authors and the reason I began to write again.

    I also sent her a letter and got a similar response. I wasn’t expected anything in return either. I just wanted to send her a card to make her feel better and let her know how much I love her writing and how much she has inspired me.

    I think I’ve read about 15 of her books so far. I’m trying to buy all of her books. I’m glad that some of her books are being rereleased. I think I’ll try to buy Fire and Hemlock soon, as that is one I don’t have yet.

    • So nice of her agent’s assistant to send replies to her fans! I know not all authors do that. I think if she wasn’t sick at that time, DWJ would have sent a reply herself. I really wasn’t expecting a reply, which is why the letter was such a pleasant surprise.

      I’ve only read Howl and its companion novels and the first two Chrestomanci books so that makes just five. I’m planning to read more of them though and recently acquired three of her books that were previously out of print.

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