ashpet, diana.jpgGood morning, book people! I’m wrapping up a big writing project today & Mir & I are properly recovered now (thanks to a series of naps), so I’ll be back to some semblance of normality on the interwebs this week.

Sad news this morning–children’s novelist Diana Wynne Jones died early Saturday morning (UK time). If you haven’t read one of her novels, you need to get out your kindle/nook, or head down to the bookstore today. My favorites (so far)–How’s Moving Castle (different, and better than, the movie), and the Chrestomanci series, particularly The Charmed Lives of Christopher Chant.) There aren’t really words to describe this post about Diana (and if you have ever read her, you know that she is Diana, because reading her is like reading an old friend) by Neil Gaiman, except to say it made me cry.

Emma Bull over at Tor.com also remembers Diana, a woman who,

rhubarbfool diana.jpg

“told stories the way some people eat ice cream: eagerly, with delight and no self-consciousness. She told them about her family in a way that made them familiar characters in my imaginary world, and she talked about her characters as if they were family.” (via Neil Gaiman)

Here’s a full obituary about Diana from The Guardian, with all the concrete details that entails. It’s a marvelous and detailed essay by Christopher Priest, though, so go here rather than Wikipedia if you’ve never read Diana/want to know more.

Also at The Guardian, Imogen Russell Williams on why the winners of the Guardian children’s fiction prize (including Diana) have stayed with her.

Sometime soon–perhaps this week, perhaps next–I’ll post about Diana’s books, and why I love them. She has a new book coming out, Earwig and the Witch, in the UK and Japan, later this year.

The Rejectionist has a short post (as in 100 words sort of short) on qualities that do not a strong female character make. It’s a blitzingly short read, but an essential one.

More big news for Amanda Hocking–she’s sold the rights to the Trylle Trilogy. From the NYT:

“Amanda has created such a fresh, unique, fabulous world, and I am absolutely dead set on bringing it to the screen without compromising any of that,” Ms. Tatchell said by telephone from Vancouver, Canada.

The three novels — “Switched,” “Torn” and “Ascend” — follow an emotionally damaged high school girl, Wendy Everly, who realizes that she may not be human. With the help of a boy, Finn Holmes, she discovers the mysterious world of Trylle, which is populated by beautiful trolls.

I’ve heard a bit of griping about Amanda Hocking’s success, so here are a couple of things to remember about her–yes, she’s sold a million copies over nine novels. And yes, she’s made around two million dollars. But she has put in a lot of work, and has hired freelance editors for her books. So while she may’ve been on-trend with her novels, there’s definitely more to her success than that.

The WSJ has a quick interview with Jeffrey Archer on e-books, England, and more.

And finally, an interview with Diana, and a study project. I love the opening to this first one–the way she says, “Do come in,” makes me feel like I’m cracking a new novel.

On the Miyazaki adaptation of Howl’s Moving Castle (spoilers)

Diana Wynne Jones author study, by Raarbecca, part of a school project. See if you catch the snippet of Howl’s Moving Castle soundtrack a couple of minutes in.

image credits: ashpet, Good reads: the Diana Wynne Jones shelf; Rhubarbfool, Diana Wynne Jones signing at Heffers, both via flickr.

ETA 9:58am: US details for Earwig & the Witch

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