Amanda Farrell geminii at
Fri Dec 10 07:05:35 EST 1999

I seem to have sparked off this whole round of introductions, so I really ought to introduce myself properly!
My name's Amanda and I'm 33. I live near London UK and I have a B.A.(hons) in Drama and Theatre Studies. I spent a few years of my life travelling the country living in a converted bus
and now work mainly in theatre as a director, actor and drama specialist initiating different projects in the community. I also occasionally write for theatre, and have just started writing fiction in the form of short stories, one of which I was invited to read at a literary event in Bristol (stomping ground of DWJ!) last night - gulp! Despite this ( no really, it went very well!) I plan to continue writing in my spare time when I find that I have some...
I've also worked in production design for film, and am about to direct a short film next year. I'm divorced but have a boyfriend with whom I live, and a 10 year old daughter.

I first read Eight Days of Luke by DWJ when I was still at school, thought it was ok but didn't bother seeking out anything else and promptly forgot about the author. My real discovery came as I briefly mentioned, one cold winter whilst homeless and staying in temporary B&B accommodation. I walked three miles to the library through thick snow for warmth and solace, and headed as always for the Children's dept, where to my delight I found The Time of the Ghost. I was hooked. It struck me as the most compelling book I had ever read and I didn't even look up from the page until I had finished the entire thing. From then on I made it my duty to seek out everything else she had ever written, which I believe I have duly achieved! My favourites are The Time of the Ghost , Fire and Hemlock, The Homeward Bounders, Witch Week and Deep Secret.  I confess I'm not too fond of the Dalemark Quartet. Other than Terry Pratchett, DWJ is the only author I risk in Hardback!
I like a whole host of other children's authors, including the now much-discussed Susan Cooper (sorry everyone!), but I'll save that for the definitive list which is being assembled I'm sure as I write...
Other than that - I'm a DWJ diehard and feel it's my mission to convert as many people as possible to my way of thinking. I have two major successes to date, namely one of my closest friends from my travelling days with whom I used to exchange any book worth reading - we were the only two people whose bookcases ranked as the most important piece of furniture in our buses - and most recently my daughter, who has adored Howl, Christopher Chant, Witch Week and The Homeward Bounders, but sadly hasn't taken to The Time of the Ghost...oh well!
It's been an eye opening experience joining this list and hearing what other people have to say about my favourite books. Sometimes they are so much a part of my consciousness that it's hard to view them objectively!


-----Original Message-----
From:	Melissa Proffitt [SMTP:Melissa at]
Sent:	10 December 1999 04:25
To:	dwj at
Subject:	Re: Introductions

Hi, I'm Melissa Proffitt.  I'm almost 28, am married to a wonderful guy who
is also subscribed to this list so I have to tell just how wonderful he is
to make him feel better about himself. :)  I have three children, the
youngest of which has just managed to reboot my husband's computer all by
his little 18-month-old self, and I'm expecting number four (and hopefully
last) in June.  We recently moved from Vancouver, Washington (bye bye Sarah,
hope you're loving the new Powell's addition) to Salt Lake City, Utah for my
husband's job.  Since I'm a stay at home mother and a homeschooler, it was
presumed that I could do my job anywhere.  We'll just have to see about
that.  Salt Lake may be the best place to live in the US (source: Late Night
with David Letterman) but it is probably also the weirdest.

I like to read.  A lot.  More than housework, naturally, and I could really
use a new book right about now--that new Terry Pratchett book is being held
hostage by my husband, who has some old-fashioned notions about one not
being allowed to get one's Christmas gifts until the actual day.  Sheesh.

Other than this, I lead an extremely mundane life, far too full of cleaning
things that routinely get dirty again.  I understand this changes when the
children grow up, which would be nice.

I read _Power of Three_ when I was young, but for some reason didn't read
anything else by DWJ (or even recall that I had read anything by her) until
I was about 17 and someone told me to read _Howl's Moving Castle_.  I
remember that this was the one because we were talking on the phone and I
had the darndest time understanding that the first word in the title was
HOWL and not HOW or something like that.  I like all of DWJ's books to
greater or lesser degree.  What I have found is that the ones I love best
are the ones that I love on the first reading, but that others tend to
improve upon later readings.  My very favorite is _Archer's Goon_, which
seems to me a marvel of plot and structure and characterization and always
leaves me feeling so impressed with DWJ's abilities.  I also love _Howl_,
_Fire and Hemlock_ and _The Lives of Christopher Chant_.  (That reminds me:
I recently saw an edition of _Chant_ listed as "The Chrestomanci Novels #3".
How very odd.)

I will talk about other writers I like in another post, since I really do
have to feed and dress my children before lugging them to the nursing home
to sing Christmas carols with the rest of the kids in our church.  And have
I mentioned recently how much I like being a part of this list?

Melissa Proffitt
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