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I know I’m a day late to the party, but yesterday (16th August 2014) would have been the 80th birthday of one of my favourite writers – Diana Wynne Jones. Google marked the occasion with this rather charming Doodle, and various media outlets devoted a few column inches to her works and legacy, invariably discussing her supposed influence on the Harry Potter series (as though that’s the only thing that really counted).

By way of my own little tip-of-the-hat, let me point you to this episode of Impossible Podcasts, in which I lead a group of fantasy fans in a debate about why Wynne Jones still isn’t more widely known, how much of her troubled childhood can be found in her stories, what Studio Ghibli got right (and wrong) about Howl’s Moving Castle and, yes, the whole Harry Potter question. It’s a lengthy but spirited discussion, and still one of the podcasts I’m most proud of.

You’ll find the original post at the Impossible Podcasts website, here. Alternatively, click the player below.

Or right click here to download a copy.

Which reminds me; Bell, Book & Podcast may have lain dormant this past year but a new episode is tentatively in the works. It all depends on matching schedules but rest assured it will appear at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Until then, happy listening.

Studio Ghbli's depiction of Howl's Moving Castle