One of the biggest influences on my dream of becoming a writer was the author Diana Wynne Jones. The first book of hers that I read was Charmed Life, which was published in 1977. Up to that point, I would only read Enid Blyton’s stories (my mother was beginning to despair of me ever reading anything else). Charmed Life was the magical book that broke that particular spell. From that point on, my tastes became pretty catholic, but Diana Wynne Jones’s books have maintained a hold over me. Favourites include Fire and Hemlock, The Ogre Downstairs, The Power of Three, The Lives of Christopher Chant and Hexwood. I’ve read these again and again: nearly always picking up something new each time.

This blog post is my small tribute to the writer who has influenced me and my writing more than any other. I’m sure there will be many other, much better analyses of her work in the days to come.