And the winner is . . . Kath!
Please contact me with your mailing address and we'll get your signed copy of Brightly Woven sent out to you right away. I have to say you all made me laugh with your favorite wizards (and witches!) and why you love them, and how long you have loved them, and how much you're looking forward to meeting North and Sydelle. The top favorites were overwhelmingly Harry Potter, Howl, Gandalf, and the Weasley twins. Other honorable mentions included Ged, Merlin, Dumbledore, and Harry Dresden. Fine choices all of them.
And to Lizzy, who questioned my lack of love for the revered Howl, what can I say? I still feel bad about it to this day. I just never connected with him. I definitely see the literary lineage between he and Eugenides. And, magical/wizardy elements aside, they are both adept at role-playing when it serves their purposes. But the difference (for me) is in the glimpses we see of the real Gen--so packed with visceral emotion. The kind that steal my breath and force me to utter oaths of undying loyalty and devotion. Howl never elicited oaths, undying or otherwise, from me. I suppose my lack of Howl-love could be characterized as sad. But there it is. As characters go, you fall in love with some so much you can't remember a time you didn't know them. With others, you're okay just remaining casual acquaintances. And that's how I feel about Howl. The thing is, I don't feel too bad for the guy. He's got enough admirers to last him several lifetimes.