I'm gonna pour one out for my homie Diana Wynne Jones.
Y'all might or might not have heard, but she died recently.
She's been one of my favorite authors for years. I have all of the Chrestomanci books, and have loved and reread them many times. I was stoked when I heard they were making Howl's Moving Castle into a movie. (And I've read and own the sequel too. Awesome.) I got a kick out of The Dark Lord of Derkhelm, and Deep Secret made me all nostalgic for the one convention I've been to (LosCon, 2005) even if I didn't like the book so much.
And her writing book The Tough Guide to Fantasyland is a must read for any aspiring fantasy writer out there. It's high/mid fantasy, not urban, but even if you don't write it you'll get a hoot if you read fantasy, because you'll be going "Yes! That's always bugged me too!"
The tragedy is that even though she's been a prolific and influential fantasy writer, I learned about her death a day after it happened, and someone else learned even later than I did. It just wasn't publicized that much. And that is a shame. A damn shame. She deserved better than that. She was an amazing writer, and helped mold some of the contemporary fantasy authors of our generation (did you know that she and Neil Gaiman were friends and fans of each other's work?).
Shine on, sweet princess, and sleep well.
Hints About Writing A Story: an article by Diana Wynne Jones