>> Monday, February 7, 2011
It was with great sadness that I read the news today that Brian Jacques has passed away from a heart attack at the age of 71. Jacques is the author of twenty-one novels set in the world of Redwall, a fantasy world where woodland animals live and fight like they're in The Adventures of Robin Hood. The books are unpretentious yet poetic, and highly literary yet action-packed.
I was thrilled and honored to have Mr. Jacques be the first person to agree to let me use his characters and his world in Fantasy Baseball, the book I've got coming out in March that has characters from classic children's books all living in the same fantasy world. He didn't ask for a dime; his only request was that I send him a signed copy when the book came out. I'll still send the book along to his family, of course, but it breaks my heart that I wasn't able to send it to him personally with my thanks before he was gone.
Watching him from afar, Brian Jacques seemed to have a real passion for life. Deaths like his are the hardest to take, I think, because he seemed to be someone who was really living, someone for whom life was a gift, both to be enjoyed and to be "regifted."
Farewell, Brian Jacques. I raise a strawberry cordial in your memory!