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JOdel at aol.com JOdel at aol.com
Wed Mar 28 11:23:45 EST 2001

One of the things that struck me when I went to the page and read the Q & A 
with DWJ was how many people only discovered her with Charmed Life. 

Now, I know that Charmed Life was quite some time ago, but she had been 
getting books published for at least a decade previously. Was there some sort 
of "critical mass" built up by then before the publishers started giving her 
an extra "push" or was there something else going on? I do recall that 
Charmed Life was about the first of her books that I actually saw in 
bookstores in hardback. (Was it her first that was by Greenwillow? Was a 
change of imprint the deciding factor?)

I was also interested in her explanation of what she was exploring when she 
wrote Homeward Bounders. (Possibly the most unhappy of her stories, although 
the setting is not anywhere so ugly as Time of the Ghost.) It turns out that 
her direction seems to have been on the double-edged nature of hope. Yes that 
is certainly the point all right, but at the time, there were cultural 
connections which gave it an additional spin, and tended to cast a long 
shadow of their own. Or at least on this side of the pond, anyway.

Anybody else remember that particular time? Dungeons & Dragons and general 
role-playing wargames had just surfaced big from wherever suchlike cultural 
phenomena incubate and were all over the news. And as might be predicted, the 
same crowd which is now trying to get Harry Potter exorcised from the school 
library was carrying on, absolutely bound and determined to have D&D 
classified as demonic possession. It seemed somehow wonderfully appropriate 
that right at that particular moment DWJ should drop into the middle of all 
this a book about demon wargamners.
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