On this day…
8th March, 1991 John Bellairs died.
John Anthony Bellairs (January 17, 1938 – March 8, 1991) was an American author, best known for his well-respected fantasy novel The Face in the Frost as well as many gothic mystery novels for young adults featuring Lewis Barnavelt, Anthony Monday, and Johnny Dixon.
Bellairs undertook his most famour work “The Face in the Frost” while living in Britain and after reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, but it is not much like that book, apart from sharing the idea of a wizard who is palpably human and not a literary stereotype. Bellairs said of his third book: “The Face in the Frost was an attempt to write in the Tolkien manner. I was much taken by The Lord of the Rings and wanted to do a modest work on those lines. In reading the latter book I was struck by the fact that Gandalf was not much of a person—just a good guy. So I gave Prospero, my wizard, most of my phobias and crotchets. It was simply meant as entertainment and any profundity will have to be read in.” Writing in 1973, Lin Carter described The Face in the Frost as one of the three best fantasy novels to appear since The Lord of the Rings. Carter stated that Bellairs was planning a sequel to The Face in the Frost at the time. An unfinished sequel titled The Dolphin Cross was included in the 2009 anthology Magic Mirrors, which was published by the New England Science Fiction Association press.
What is quite interesting about Bellairs is his characters live on in the completed and continued works by author Brad Strickland.
You can also read an Interview From Beyond the Grave with John Bellairs here.
Additional Sources – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bellairs & google images