Diana Wynne Jones was born on August 16, 1934, in London, England. Her parents, who were educators, devoted themselves to their work rather than to their three daughters. For some reason, the girls' father was reluctant to spend money on books for his children. As a result, Diana took it upon herself to write the stories that she and her younger sisters craved. She created two long, elaborate tales to read aloud to her sisters. Later, Jones said that this early practice helped instill the confidence to be a novelist, because "you must know you can finish a book."
For long years after her adolescence, Jones did not write any fiction. She got a university degree (from St Ann's College, Oxford), married, and had three sons. She wanted her sons to have the good books she had missed out on, but she found that there were not too many books available at that time that had the humorous, unpredictable spirit her sons liked best. So she began to write her own books. In 1973 she published her first children's book, Wilkins' Tooth, published a year later in the U.S. as Witch's Business. And she was off and running. A prolific author who never seems to lack for inspiration, Jones has sometimes published two or more books a year. Her novels have won many awards, including England's Guardian Award for Charmed Life.
Unlike many writers who develop one type or pattern of book and continue to write in the same vein, Jones has created...
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