If you’ve ever heard me talk about my love of children’s books, or if you’ve ever asked me for book recommendations, you probably know that one of my favorite authors is Diana Wynne Jones, who wrote dozens of funny and wildly imaginative fantasy novels over her long career. My hometown librarian introduced me to her books when I was a kid, and I still have vivid memories of listening to Charmed Life on audio cassette during family road trips. I wrote my graduate school thesis about Fire and Hemlock, a book I’m still not sure I entirely understand. When I was at a low point in my writing life, I reread Howl’s Moving Castle and found such joy in the reading that I ended up drafting Magic Marks the Spot in four months flat. And when I signed my first book contract with HarperCollins, I was thrilled that my own books would be published by the same house that’s brought so many of Diana’s books into the world.
A lot of my own work–and a lot of the other work being done by children’s fantasy authors writing today–owes a debt to Diana Wynne Jones. She was particularly well known for her world-hopping fantasies, which is why when I attempted to write a world-hopping fantasy novel of my own, I did it in honor of her. On the dedication page of The Door at the End of the World, you’ll see that the book is written in Diana’s memory.
The Door at the End of the World won’t be in bookstores until April 2019, but this week I’ll be giving away six advance reader copies! You’ll be entered into the drawing if you visit my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter, but you’ll get extra chances to win if you tell me which of Diana Wynne Jones’ books is your very favorite. And if you’re a teacher, librarian, or bookseller, you’ll get some extra chances to win as well. The giveaway is open internationally and ends on Friday, August 17th. Good luck!
There’s no signpost to mark the end of the world, so you need to know what you’re looking for: a gatehouse, a garden, a tall brick wall overgrown with flowering vines. . . and the door. You’ll have to wait a while, too, since the Gatekeeper likes to take her time. Traveling from one world to the next isn’t something a person should do on a whim, and she wants to make sure you mean it.
What begins as a rather unremarkable Thursday quickly turns to disaster when Lucy, the Gatekeeper’s deputy, discovers that her boss has vanished, the door connecting Lucy’s world to the next world over is broken—and it might all be Lucy’s fault. To save the Gatekeeper and set things right, Lucy must break the rules for the first time ever and journey with an otherworldly boy, a suspiciously sneaky girl, and a crew of magical bees into the seven worlds beyond her own.
But Lucy isn’t the only one breaking the rules. As curiosities and dangers gather around her, she learns she’s up against a sinister force that’s playing with the delicate fabric of time and space, no matter what the deadly costs or consequences. Lucy’s never had to save the world before—and now, somehow, she’s got to find a way to save eight of them.