Diane Duane’s Wizardry
Diane Duane (1952-present) didn’t begin publishing her books for kids and teens until I was almost out of her targeted demographic. I admit that I did not hear about her in 1979, 1983 or even 1985 when her first three books came out and I was still in middle and high school. Instead, I came across her Book of Night with Moon (1997) and was drawn to the cat on the cover. (Yes, I am a crazy cat lady!) I loved it so much that I picked up the sequel, To Visit the Queen (1998). The seemingly “normal” cats (whatever that means!) are actually wizards that save the universe. As someone who appreciates mysterious felines, these books were right in my wheelhouse! 🙂 And, yes, I was in my thirties when I discovered these wonderful books. A good story has no age limit!
In searching for other books from this prolific author, I found Stealing the Elf-King’s Roses (2002). This was completely different in feel from the first two that I read. A prosecutor/psychic is called on to solve the murder of an elf with ties to organized crime. Ms. Duane even managed to weave ethnic cleansing into the mix with this one!
Perhaps she is best known, though, for her Young Wizards series, starting with So You Want to be a Wizard (1983). There are 10 books in this series and I have read and enjoyed about half of them. The first in the series is a magical story about Nita who is bullied. She finds the solution she needs in a library book on wizardry that teaches her to travel to another dimension. Each book in the series takes Nita and her friend, Kit, deeper into the wizarding world and the worlds beyond our own. Ms. Duane has gone back and upgraded the technology in the earlier books to make them even more magical!
Ms. Duane has also written Star Trek novels over the years. As I have never been a fan of the series, I have not picked any of these up.
I did learn that Diane Duane has written many screenplays and worked for Hanna-Barbera (now the Cartoon Network) back in the 1980s. How cool is that!? 🙂 She also co-authored the movie Barbie: Fairytopia, and is working on a film adaptation of So You Want to be a Wizard.
She was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer for The Door Into Fire (1979 – out of print) and was a Mythopoeic award nominee for two books in the Young Wizards series.