I've never heard of the "Young Wizards" series before. Is it a ripoff of the Harry Potter books?
Diane Duane began the construction of the Young Wizards universe in 1981, and wrote the first Young Wizards novel, So You Want to Be a Wizard, in 1982. It was first published in the USA in 1983, when J. K. Rowling was just entering Exeter University -- nearly fifteen years before the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone / Sorcerer's Stone.
New books in the YW series were published every few years or so until the mid-1990's, at which point the books moved to a new publisher (the Magic Carpet Books imprint of Harcourt Trade Publishers, now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and started a new publication schedule. At present there are more than a million copies of the Young Wizards books in print around the world in English and various other languages. See the full publication history for cover images and more details about the various English-language editions. (Click on "Read more" for the rest of the FAQ.)
How many books are there in the series? How many are there going to be?
Nine Young Wizards novels have been published so far. (See the list below.) Unlike "closed" series like the Harry Potter books, the Young Wizards series is open-ended -- and DD has said she will keep writing YW novels "until she doesn't feel like writing them any more." Book 9, A Wizard of Mars, came out in April 2010 and is available in print and ebook editions.
More books are in the works. Read a little further down this article for details.
What order should I read the series in?
The order in which the books were published. That is --
- So You Want to Be a Wizard
- Deep Wizardry
- High Wizardry
- A Wizard Abroad
- The Wizard's Dilemma
- A Wizard Alone
- Wizard's Holiday
- Wizards at War
- A Wizard of Mars
Can I start reading anywhere in the series?
While each book theoretically stands on its own, as the series progresses the plotlines and relationships between the characters become more complex -- so for maximum appreciation of what's going on, it's probably a good idea to start at the beginning, with So You Want to Be a Wizard.
Is A Wizard of Mars the last book in the Young Wizards series?
No! Book 10 of the Young Wizards series is under contract and DD is working on it right now. On June 21, 2011, DD announced its title in the YW discussion forums. The new book will be called Games Wizards Play, and DD has released some preliminary information about the plot here.
Book 11 is completely plotted and ready to begin: book 12 is in development. So far no information has been released about the plots or character lineups in any of these, but as soon as there's news, it will appear inthe forums and on the Young Wizards discussion forums and on the YW news and events blog.
Is there any truth to the rumors about a Young Wizards movie?
DD is presently involved in the very early development stages of such a film. Details are here.
Does Diane Duane ever do book signings / autograph sessions? Does she ever speak at schools?
To both questions, the answer is "yes". Book signings happen mostly around the time a new book is released, or when DD is scheduled to attend a nearby science fiction convention or other event in the USA or Europe. School appearances can happen at any time of year when other work or travel commitments do not interfere. Speaking engagements can be arranged via Diane Duane's literary or screen agents. Interested parties can be put in contact with her agents via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the eruption of the volcano in Iceland and the subsequent prolonged closure of European airspace, DD was unable to make it to the book signing at Books of Wonder in New York that was scheduled for April 24th, 2010. (If you're interested, the details of her attempt to get home in time to attend are here. ) Plans are under way to schedule a signing trip in late 2011 / early 2012, at which time DD intends to visit both the East and West Coasts of the US and Canada. Please check the Young Wizards news and events weblog for more information on specific locations and times of the new signing and the rescheduled Books of Wonder event.