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Has Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry ever admitted a Jewish student? Yesterday, J.K. Rowling confirmed that the answer is “yes.”
In response to a fan’s message on Twitter, the Harry Potter series author revealed that a Jewish wizard named Anthony Goldstein belonged to Ravenclaw house. We’ve embedded the tweets above—what do you think?
Romina Russell is a Los Angeles based author who originally hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina. When she’s not working on the ZODIAC series, Romina can be found producing movie trailers, taking photographs, or daydreaming about buying a new drum set. She is a graduate of Harvard College and a Virgo to the core.
Harry Potter fans are getting a nice gift this Christmas. Author J.K. Rowling is giving out holiday surprises this year on the website Pottermore.com, a destination for all things Harry Potter.
From December 12-23, the site will be releasing a new surprise every day at 8am EST. Among the gifts on the list include new writing from Rowling. The site is running a social media campaign on Facebook with the hashtag #PottermoreChristmas where can check in for daily updates.
Back in 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a commencement speech at Harvard University. Little, Brown and Company plans to publish it as an illustrated book.
The release date for Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and The Importance of Imagination has been scheduled for April 14, 2015. Joel Holland has signed on to create the artwork for this project.
According to the press release, “sales of Very Good Lives will benefit both Lumos, a charity organization founded by J.K. Rowling, which works to transform the lives of disadvantaged children, and university-wide financial aid at Harvard University.” The video embedded above features Rowling’s full speech—what do you think?
J.K. Rowling claimed the number one spot because arguably speaking, “no single creator has had so much influence on a megafranchise since George Lucas and the original Star Wars trilogy.” We’ve posted the list of the top 10 authors below—what do you think?
Bibliophiles can make their voices heard on some of their favorite books that were published this year. Opening round has begun for The 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards.
Goodreads users can submit their votes in 20 different categories: fiction, mystery & thriller, historical fiction, fantasy, romance, science fiction, horror, humor, nonfiction, memoir & autobiography, history & biography, business books, food & cookbooks, comics & graphic novels, poetry, debut Goodreads author, young adult fiction, young adult fantasy, middle grade & children’s, and picture books. Each category contains 15 nominees. Readers also have the option to write-in votes. Click here to learn about the full details
This initial period will run from November 3rd to 8th. The second period, the semifinal round, will follow from November 10th to 15th. At the end, the final round will last from November 17th to November 24th. The winning titles will be unveiled on December 2nd. Past winners include The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (fiction), Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (mystery & thriller), and Allegiant by Veronica Roth (young adult fantasy).
Michelle Aielli has been named executive director of publicity at Hachette Books. She will report to publisher Mauro DiPreta.
In new new role, Aielli will oversee the publicity for both the division’s brand and the titles on its list. The start date for her new position has been set for November 17th.
For the past 10 years, Aielli has worked in the Little, Brown PR team. She launched and managed campaigns for James Patterson, J.K. Rowling, Donna Tartt, Keith Richards, Elin Hilderbrand, Jonathan Safran Foer, and more.
Harry Potter readers first meet Umbridge in the fifth book, Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix. Actress Imelda Staunton plays this character in the film adaptation.
According to the press release, Rowling feels that Umbridge’s cruel nature is comparable to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. She feels that the antagonist’s “desire to control, to punish, and to inflict pain, all in the name of law and order, are, I think, every bit as reprehensible as Lord Voldemort’s unvarnished espousal of evil.”
SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know more, you should stop reading now!
J.K. Rowling has penned a new essay about the antagonist Dolores Umbridge.
It’s scheduled to be posted on Pottermore this forthcoming Halloween Day. According to the press release, “the new exclusive J.K. Rowling content provides a rich, 1,700-word back story about Umbridge’s life filled with many new details, as well as Rowling’s revealing first-person thoughts and reflections about the character.”
J.K. Rowling took a writing break today to make a short visit to Twitter, her first since unleashing a riddle upon her followers. She tweeted this morning to dispel any rumors of her partying it up in a London bar, as she celebrated handing in a “romance novel” to her publishers. J.K. Rowling denied being finished with any projects, or that she was even working on a romance novel. She joked that she was “rock and roll” and did like to enjoy a drink even when she hasn’t finished a book, as it is her right to do so. The “Rowling stone,” as one follower punned, said:
Warner Brothers has made several announcements about the Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them project.
The first film, scripted by J.K. Rowling, will hit the silver screen in 2016. According to Deadline, the studio intends to create at least two more movies for this franchise; the second one will be released in 2018 and the third one will follow in 2020.
David Yates, the director behind the final four installments of the Harry Potter movie franchise, will helm Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. In addition to her duties as the screenwriter, Rowling will serve as a producer along with David Heyman, Steve Kloves, and Lionel Wigram.
More than 24 hours later, Emily Strong (a.k.a. @EmyBemy2) solved Rowling’s anagram; the author named her “The One True Hermione of Twitter.” According to Time, Strong is “a PhD student at the University of Sheffield who regularly updates her own blog and describes herself as a lover of ‘all things Harry Potter’ in her Twitter bio.”
Below, we’ve chronicled the exchange in a Storify post embedded below. What do you think? (more…)
Yesterday, J.K. Rowling wrote a post on Twitter about the projects that have kept her busy as of late which include the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. One fan responded to her and confessed that she likes to analyze Rowling’s tweets.
Rowling has since posted a riddle for her fans to dissect: “Cry, foe! Run amok! Fa awry! My wand won’t tolerate this nonsense.” Do you think you can crack Rowling’s riddle?
Below, we’ve chronicled the exchange in a Storify post embedded below. What do you think?
Here’s more from CinemaBlend: “Though she doesn’t outright say that the screenplay she’s working on is Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, it’s probably safe to assume that’s the project she’s tweaking. If we’re interpreting use of the word ‘tweaking’ correctly, it sounds like she might be finalizing the script, adding updates, tightening up the story and/or working in whatever magic Rowling has access to that makes her stories so great.”
A Harry Potter fan named Menahem Asher Silva Vargas has claimed the world record for biggest collection of Harry Potter memorabilia.
Vargas owns 3,097 pieces of merchandise inspired by J.K. Rowling’s wildly popular book series and the film franchise. The Mexican lawyer devoted almost 15 years to acquiring items for this hobby.
Here’s more from The Guardian: “Guinness World Records officially recognised it Monday as the world No 1, at 3,097 pieces. The old mark was 807. Silva Vargas said he began collecting without any intent to amass a huge collection. But soon it was like being under a spell.” Follow this link to watch The Telegraph‘s interview with Vargas. (via The Los Angeles Times)
We’ve collected the books debuting on Indiebound’s Indie Bestseller List for the week ending June 22, 2014–a sneak peek at the books everybody will be talking about next month.
(Debuted at #1 in Hardcover Fiction) Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling): “When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days–as he has done before–and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realizes.” (June 2014)
As she promised at the beginning of Pottermore's Quidditch World Cup coverage, J.K. Rowling has published a Harry Potter short story. Like most new material from the Potter Universe, this short story has been posted on Pottermore as extra content. However, this time the new content is a short story of Harry as an adult. Business Insider reported that in the short story Harry, age 34, is attending the final match with his family and friends. The short story is written as a gossip column for the Daily Prophet by Rita Skeeter. Much of the short story incorporates what J.K. Rowling revealed in her documentary, A Year in the Life, when she drew out the family tree of the remaining, living characters. Please log into Pottermore and visit the Daily Prophet to read the full short story.
Today our favorite author, J.K. Rowling, celebrates her 49th birthday! Her literary hero, Harry Potter, also turns 34 today. As these two extraordinary people are the reason the Potter universe, this fansite, and wonderful fan base exist, please join us in wishing Jo and Harry a very happy birthday.
Last month, Texas teen Cassidy Stay witnessed her entire family die in a violent shooting. At the funeral, she quoted Harry Potter as a source of solace. “Happiness can be found even in the darkest times if one only remembers to turn on the light,” she read.
Author J.K. Rowling has responded to this act by writing the teenager a letter in purple ink from the voice of Dumbledore.
My “next” project that I’ve been working on forever has been giving me fits. One of the dilemmas is what age to make the characters, and therefore, who the target audience will.
I’m an MG kind of a guy. I’ve spent a career teaching fifth and sixth graders. I know how they operate, what shenanigans they think they can get away with, and the cocky attitudes they employ to pull it off. And I’m smart enough to realize they probably got away with a few things I wasn’t aware of. They’re as capable as teenagers of scheming wild ideas, just not as aware of when the silly notion won’t work.
Earlier this week, Julie Daines said to listen to your gut, our writer’s intuition that is our friend should we choose to listen. I think my friend is telling me to take it MG. But the first time I did that, I overshot my audience. What to do, what to do?
Then a timely article arrived this month from Writer’s Digest. In “The Key Differences Between Middle Grade Vs. Young Adult,” agent Marie Lamba of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency helps clarify the two. She sees a lot of queries of manuscripts with “an MG/YA identity crisis.” She rejects many of these simply because the writer did not know the basics of the age group they thought they were writing for.
In a nutshell, the differences boil down to a few areas:
Age of readers
Middle-grade does not mean middle school. MG is for readers ages 8-12 and 13-18 for YA. While there is no “tween” category, middle school libraries tend to have shelves for both. There are upper and lower MG as there is in YA.
Age of protagonists
Kids “read up” so your characters should be on the higher end of the age of the readers. Thus a 10-year old hero would be ideal for a lower MG, 12 or even 13 for upper MG, and 17 or 18 for YA. Your YA character can’t yet be in college.
30,000-50,000 words is the norm for MG while YA starts at 50,000 and goes up to 75,000. These are not set in stone, but a good length to shoot for. Fantasy novels can exceed that due to the world-building necessary.
YA is usually written in first person while third person is common for MG.
There is a difference in what is allowable in each. While there is no profanity, graphic violence, or sexuality in works for younger readers, they are acceptable for YA, the exception being erotica. In a recent Writer’s Digest webinar, Jennifer Laughran of Andrea Brown Literary Agency says a few “Hells” and “damns” are okay for MG, but the harsher curses should be avoided. MG heroes can have romance, but it should be limited to a crush or first kiss. Generally, MG novels end on a hopeful note while that isn’t necessary of YA works. Marie Lamba says there are gatekeepers between you and your middle-grade audience - parents, teachers, librarians - who may discourage the book. That ultimately could affect a publishers’s choice to print it. This isn’t as much an issue for YA, though gratuitous sex, numerous F-bombs, and extensive violence could mean the book may sit in fewer schools.
This is a biggie, the one I missed when I originally wrote the book. MG focuses on friends, family, and the character’s immediate world and their relationship to it; character react to what happens to them, with minimal self-reflection. YA characters discover how they fit in the world beyond their friends and family; they reflect more on what happens and analyze the meaning of things. Jennifer Laughran says that MG kids test boundaries and have adventures “finding their place within a system” whereas YA teens do the same, while “busting out of the system” and find themselves.
There are, of course, exceptions to every rule. Once you have the writing chops of J.K. Rowling, you, too, can write a 200,000 word tale. But even Harry didn’t kiss Ginny until they were teenagers.
So I’m listening, gut, my quiet friend. I do wish you would speak louder sometimes.
(This article also posted at http://writetimeluck.blogspot.com)
J.K. Rowling has written a 500-word piece about Celestina Warbeck, a character nicknamed the “singing sorceress” in the Harry Potter books. Rowling has called Celestina “one of my favorite ‘off-stage’ characters in the whole series.”
Fans will find this new content on pottermore.com. In addition to the essay, Pottermore visitors will also have access to one of Celestina’s tracks, “You Stole My Cauldron But You Can’t Have My Heart.” This project marks the first time a song has been posted on the website.
Here’s more from the press release: “Celestina is referenced in three of the Harry Potter books. The first mention is in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) when Harry hears her name on the Wizarding Wireless Network (wizard radio) while visiting the Weasley home. She’s referenced again in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6) when she appears on a wizarding radio Christmas broadcast and once more in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7).”
I’m a chick who loves Star Wars. I’m not ashamed of the fact. Feminist icon Princess Leia? I can get behind that (gold bikini or no). So when I saw a galley for that AMAZING Star Wars children’s book coming out with art from the original concept artist Ralph McQuarrie, I was blown away. Here, Tony DiTerlizzi (who did the writing in the book) talks about the film and the art. Geeks unite!
I love that he mentions that moment with the two suns. For me, that was undoubtedly the most iconic scene in the original film. I just loved the realism of it. I am SO reading this to my kids. P.S. For a fun time read the rants about the “Luke, I am your father” line. Or, better yet, don’t.
Now until about a day ago when my niece did it, I didn’t actually know what the Ice Bucket Challenge was. Dav Pilkey takes it on using Flip-o-Rama. Good man.
Ball’s in your court now, CeCe.
I think it’s safe to say that I have never seen an author promote a cinematic adaptation of their award winning book as much as I’ve seen Ms. Lois Lowry talk up the latest film of The Giver. Here she does it again:
How famous is J.K. Rowling? So famous that when she writes an incidental character, NBC News is willing to report on that character getting her own song. According to Salon this is an original song written for Pottermore starring Celestina Warbeck, Molly Weasley’s favorite singer:
And speaking of all things Potter, the thing about learning that there’s a documentary out there called Mudbloods is that you can’t believe you hadn’t seen a film of that name before. It’s an awfully good idea to make a movie about the rise of the real world Quiddich movement. It’s not the first Harry Potter documentary of course but it’s a cute idea. Here’s the trailer:
Man. It would weird to be J.K. Rowling and see this, wouldn’t it? Here’s some additional info.
A little me stuff. I conducted a talk with Mara Rockliff and Eliza Wheeler for Bibliocommons in honor of their latest book The Grudge Keeper. It was recorded, but rather than show our lovely faces the video shows some slides of what we’re discussing. In case you’ve an interest you can take a gander at it. A lot of talking about the process of writing picture books can be found here:
As for the off-topic video, this one’s been making the rounds. It’s one of those videos where you go, “Huh? Huh? Huh? Huh? Ooooooh!”