March is Diana Wynne Jones month and it is the second annual one. For Diana Wynne Jones month, I will be reading Earwig and the Witch. Also, I am writing this post about her.
Tuesday, the 26th, will be two years since Diana Wynne Jones passed away. I can’t believe it’s been two years. It doesn’t seem like that it has and I still remember that day so clearly.
It was afternoon and I had signed online to check my mail. Either in 2009 or 2010, I joined a Diana Wynne Jones mailing group, so all they are discussing gets emailed to me. When I signed online, I had so many emails from the group and I wonder what happened. The only other times I remember having that many e-mails from them was when a new book was announced. I thought perhaps maybe that was it, but I had a feeling that it was something else.
The first email from the group I opened explained that Diana Wynne Jones had passed away, after a two-year battle with cancer. Many fans said it wasn’t surprising and some even expected it, but were still sad. However, it still came as a surprise to me. I believe miracles can happen and I fully believed that she could beat it.
But I read the messages and I was just in shock. Diana had died. I couldn’t believe it. My boyfriend had asked me what was wrong and I started crying. I cried for Diana, for my loss. For this person whom I never met, but felt I knew and love dearly. I know for some people it is hard to understand how a person can cry over the death of someone they’ve never met. But it happens. It’s possible to feel close to someone you’ve never met, or even spoken to.
Let me tell my story of how I discovered Diana Wynne Jones.
I didn’t read her as a kid. In fact, I had never even knew the name Diana Wynne Jones until I watched the Howl’s Moving Castle movie. After watching it, I found out that it was based on a book. I borrowed the book from the library soon after.
I thought the movie was wonderful and after I read the book, I fell in love. The book was just amazing and not long after that, I began searching for more books by Diana Wynne Jones.
I should also mention that for years it has been my dream to become an author. S.E. Hinton was my first inspiration and I wanted to become an author in the first place. However, for a while I gave up on my dream. I was still a teenager and loved writing, but there was an author who told me that I would never be a writer. It was devastating to hear that. So, after a while, I just kind of gave up my dream.
But after reading Howl’s Moving Castle and discovering the wonderful Diana Wynne Jones, my spark for writing came back. So, S.E. Hinton was my first inspiration and Diana Wynne Jones has been my inspiration to continue going after my dream. She is why I started to write again and why I am determined to become an author. Writing is what I love. I love it very, very much. I love words and how just one simple story can impact a person, can change a person’s life. That is what Howl’s Moving Castle did for me.
It changed my life and the few short years I’ve been a fan of Diana Wynne Jones, she has left an everlasting impact on me. And I didn’t even have to meet her for this happen. I am very sad to have never met her, but through her writing, I feel like I did know her. In a way, she felt like a very close friend and I think that is why when she passed away, I took it so hard.
But I think Diana was a very creative person and had a wonderful imagination. It’s no wonder she has inspired so many people.
It’s almost four years since I first became a fan of Diana Wynne Jones and I am still determined to become an author. I am writing a fantasy book trilogy and I am submitting my writing to magazines. I am continuing my dream, which I know soon will become my reality. And I have Diana to thank for that. I am happy I was able to send her a letter before she passed to let her know how she inspired me and I thanked her.
She is an amazing author, one who I recommend all the time. I miss her and I know many other people do as well. But she will live on through her books. I am just happy to have discovered such a wonderful author.
And I will end this post with a quote that describes how I feel about Diana.
“The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.” – Alan Bennett