An interview done in conjunction with Greenwillow’s publication of Year of the Griffin. (The last line will be familiar to you.)
“I don’t write for anyone particularly. I find if I have a specific person in mind, it makes me too self-conscious to write — and the same goes for a larger audience.”
The terrific Jenny Brown talked to the two of us — Sharyn November and Virginia Duncan — about our respective relationships with Diana Wynne Jones.
“She was a writer’s writer and a reader’s reader … [and] to hear two of her longtime editors tell it, she could be an intimidating presence.”
Phyllis Larkin was, for many years, “the intermediary, for lack of a better word, between the copy editor and Diana on the path to a manuscript ready for setting.” (Some publishing houses refer to this person as a production editor.) You can imagine the stories she has to tell …
“I loved working with her on her books, which range from fully imagined fantasy worlds to stories with settings that could be contemporary, all filled with excitement, adventure, humor, and keen insights.”
“I loved its quirky humor, its understatement, the matter-of-factness and the intimacy in its telling … The prospect of working on a Diana Wynne Jones book was too good to pass up.”
“How do you know if something you’ve written is good or not?” my husband asked, and I said, “I suppose you send them to someone who writes the kind of thing you want to write and you ask.”
“So, whose writing do you admire?”
That was the fatal question.
A treat from the Greenwillow archives — a missive from Diana to the readers of her then-new novel, Enchanted Glass.
“I think this is the only time I have been inspired by myself.”