Brian Jacques, a children’s author most famous for his Redwall series, died of a heart attack on February 5th, at the age of 71.

His Redwall series, which spanned 20+ children’s books, was a fantasy series about talking woodland animals including mice, squirrels, badgers, and jackrabbits. ‘The Sable Queen’ is the most recently released novel in the series. Another titled ‘The Rogue Crew’ is due out later this year.

Another series of children/young adult books from Brian Jacques is the ‘Castaways’, and includes the three books ‘Castaways of the Flying Dutchman’, The Angel’s Command, and the ‘Voyage of Slaves’. This series dealt with the story of the ‘Flying Dutchman’.

According to Wikipedia, Brian Jacques began writing at an early age. At the age of 10, it reports that he was caned by a teacher who did not believe that he could write as well as he did, and thought he had copied his assignment from elsewhere.

Brian Jacques also hosted a radio show until his retirement in 2006, called Jakestown. It was heard on BBC Radio Merseyside.

When asked what advice he would give to people who want to write, Brian Jacques replied:

“Paint. That’s the magic word. Paint pictures with words. That’s the greatest advice I can give anybody. Paint the pictures with words.”