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The Guardian announced today, through Twitter, that J.K. Rowling would be one of the many names taking part in their “Conversations Special” of their weekend edition. The tweet released a promotional picture featuring J.K. Rowling and Lauren Laverne.
The Weekend edition of the Guardian is out tomorrow!
Robert Galbraith’s latest novel. Career of Evil, has made it to the final round of Goodreads 2015 Choice Awards. It is up for an award in the “Best Mystery and Thriller” category.
However, it has not won yet. In this final round Robert and Jo need your vote! Up against titles such as Stephen King’s Finders Keepers, and this years hit, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, Career of Evil will need your votes.
You can vote here, on Goodreads. Voting is open from now until November 23rd–vote now!
Unsurprisingly, J.K. Rowling is being recognized as Scotland’s top writer on Twitter, according to Edinburgh Evening News.
Though Rowling is originally from England, she resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. She regularly enchants her 5.8 million Twitter followers with witty, pensive, funny, and opinionated tweets. Her Twitter content ranks her above Scottish DJ Calvin Harris, who came in second place, as well as popular Scottish writers Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin.
Rowling is known for her prolific and sometimes provocative tweets, and does not shy away from discussing politics and questioning Twitter users who spread abuse. Of course, she also tweets about Harry Potter from time to time:
The title of top tweeter was determined by research conducted for the Scottish Book Trust, ahead of Book Week Scotland, an annual host of events held across the country from the 22-29 of November. Criteria for choosing the winner of the title included how much a writer engages with his or her audience, as well as how often they post to Twitter.
Danny Scott, the book trust’s social media manager, said: “The authors at the top of this list all interact with their audience and aren’t afraid to offer an opinion, or, indeed, be themselves.
“In many ways, the research proves authors are becoming as much of a commodity as their novels.”
Trust chief executive Marc Lambert added: “The list is a mixture of artists, children’s authors, crime writers and journalists, reflecting the dynamism and diversity of the Scottish literary scene. They are all harnessing the power of social media to stimulate discussion and debate books.
“This is exactly in keeping with what Book Week Scotland is all about – reaching out to a wider audience and encouraging people to discover and enjoy the benefits of reading and writing.”
You can read the full article here.
A deluxe illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay, will be auctioned off to benefit charity. The auction is intended to take place on December 17, at Sotheby’s London.
The book contains a unique dragon illustration, as well as the inscriptions, “The book that changed my life. J.K. Rowling” and “Mine too! Thank you Jo. Jim Kay.” The book will be auctioned off to benefit Lumos, the charity founded by J.K. Rowling that works for the deinstitutionalization of children, reunite families, and provide aid to families in order to continue caring for their children. The charity hopes to end the institutionalization of children, and give children their right to a family, globally by 2050.
Fine Books & Collections Magazine says of the auctioned item:
It is accompanied by a letter of provenance from the Publishing Director of Bloomsbury Children’s Books: “this is the first advance copy of the Deluxe Edition. It was hand bound ahead of the binding of the rest of the print run and sent from our printer in Italy… ready for signing by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay.”
Historic Harry Potter Prices at Sotheby’s
2007 saw the sale of J.K. Rowling’s “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” for an unprecedented £1,950,000 (est. £30,000-50,000). It was one of just seven copies of the book-each different from each other-hand-written and illustrated by J.K. Rowling.
In 2013, Sotheby’s auctioned the “Lumos Maxima” bracelet, a bespoke sterling silver charm bracelet made by Hamilton & Inches, based on designs by J.K Rowling and inspired by her Harry Potter books, for £20,000 (est. £15,000-20,000). The charms included Harry Potter’s bolt of lightning; glasses and broomstick; a Golden Snitch; Dark Mark skull set with amethyst eyes; Slytherin locket; a winged key; The Tales of Beedle the Bard book; the Sorting Hat; the Deathly Hallows symbol and a wand, which acts as the fastener. 100% of the net sale proceeds went directly to J.K. Rowling’s children’s charity, Lumos.
For more information about the auction, visit the original article, here.
Yesterday, the Deluxe Edition of the new illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, illustrated by Jim Kay and written by J.K. Rowling, was released. Bloomsbury anticipated to release this £150 along side the beautiful, and much anticipated £30 edition. With the high price tag comes new features that enhance the beauty of the illustrated editions of Jim Kay’s Philosopher Stone.
Bloomsbury describes the Deluxe Editions enhancements and features, saying:
“The deluxe illustrated edition of J.K. Rowling’s timeless classic will feature an exclusive pull-out double gatefold of Diagon Alley; intricate foiled line art by Jim Kay on a real cloth cover and slipcase; gilt edges on premium grade paper; head and tail bands and two ribbon markers. It is the ultimate must-have edition for any fan, collector or bibliophile.“
“This special edition is an utterly enchanting feast of a book and something to treasure for a lifetime. Brimming with rich detail and humour, Jim Kay’s dazzling depiction of the wizarding world and much loved characters will captivate fans and new readers alike. In oil, pastel, pencil, watercolour, pixels and a myriad of other techniques, Jim Kay has created over 115 astonishing illustrations.“
The Deluxe Edition of Philosopher’s Stone will only be available through Bloomsbury’s website until March 2016. Next spring, the Deluxe Edition will be released to other retailers.
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In an interview with BBC Radio 2 to discuss Robert Galbraith’s Career of Evil, Rowling said, “I have written part of a children’s book that I really love so there will be another children’s book and I have ideas for other adult books…” when asked if she would ever write as J.K. Rowling again. Several sources, including Time and USA Today, have latched onto this statement. However, this is not the first time that Rowling has mentioned the book.
Scholastic did an interview with J.K. Rowling for the Harry Potter Reading Club in 2012. In that discussion, Rowling said, “I think that the next thing that I publish is likely to be a book for children.” Rowling then said that she knew “someone would seize on it and say, “She is definitely doing it!””
Here it is, three years later, and that is exactly what has happened. Rowling also said in 2012, “So I try not to commit myself too much with my plans.”
Since that time, Rowling has been writing the Robert Galbraith books, a Harry Potter play, and the screenplays for the Fantastic Beasts films. It is no wonder then that she says in the BBC Radio 2 interview, “I’m not going to give you an absolute date [for a new book], because things are busy enough.”
Is this the “political fairytale” she talked about right after finishing Potter? Or have things changed in the last few years, as they most commonly do (an encyclopedia became Pottermore, and the story line of Cursed Child became the 8th Harry Potter). We are all anxious for another children’s book by J.K. Rowling, but we also know that just like the Cursed Child play, it will come when the moment is right.
To listen to the entire BBC Radio 2 interview, see here; to watch the Scholastic interview, see here.
Pottermore have just revealed the official designs for the Fantastic Beasts logo, along with 10 international versions and the promise of ‘more local language title treatments’ to come in the next few weeks.
They have also released ‘Secrets of the Fantastic Beasts Logo’, an exclusive interview revealing more about the design:
‘ The designers remain tight-lipped on potential spoilers, but can reveal that the ’S’ was inspired by a creature that does appear in the film.
‘The logo is a blend of beasts, it’s not just one takeaway. When we arrived on idea for the ’S’ it excited us. So we thought there must be a way to accent these other letters with claws or ribs — hints to other beasts, while this one is the logo’s centrepiece.’
And as you may have heard, Fantastic Beasts is set in the Roaring Twenties – a fertile playground for any creative team. So with the backdrop of the Jazz Age within grasp, was it tempting to go for a full-on period piece with the artwork?
‘If you think of New York in the 1920s you have Deco architecture, the subway systems and this kind of a burgeoning metropolis. The Roaring Twenties has a visual identity that you can borrow from, and what would that world look like through the lens of the J.K. Rowling’s mind? You want the logo to feel iconic and timeless. So while Deco and the 1920s setting are things to think about, we don’t know exactly where the story is going to take us.’
You can take a closer look here!
As reported previously, J.K. Rowling (and…or Robert Galbraith) was to talk of her new novel, Career of Evil, and her Cormoran Strike series on NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour segment. For those who missed the segment yesterday morning, the transcript of the interview is available on NPR (if you’re short on time, they also posted a shorter “highlights” article of the interview), and a part of the segment has been uploaded for listeners, as well as a smaller segment from Morning Edition.
J.K. Rowling talks about being ousted as Robert Galbraith, the extensive research and planning that went into Career of Evil, her relationship with the characters (as we know she was very close to all of her Harry Potter characters), and keeping her family life private.
As J.K. Rowling tweeted, and mentions in the interview, her research for the novel gave her nightmares. That research involved reading case studies of real psychopaths, in order to grasp a mind set that is so far removed from her own. (J.K. Rowling would never hurt a fly). She worked hard to keep things terrifying and real, but not crossing the line of what she calls “violence porn.”
Many fans love Robin, and root for her and Strike, while discounting Matthew. However, readers don’t know her background, as they will discover within this novel. J.K. Rowling talks in length about Robin being a survivor and and a victim. (For those who don’t want to be spoiled, this part of the interview takes place at the time marker 13-14:30 minutes.)
When asked about her family on Morning Edition, Jo cut off the David, saying that is something she never discusses, particularly her kids. As we know, Jo is known for being protective of her family. She does receive a lot of support for this decision from her fans, who, in turn, are very protective of their her, their favorite author.
Excerpts of the segment transcripts can be read at the links provided above, and some here:
On her relationship to Strike, she says: “It would be wrong, wholly wrong, to suggest he’s an autobiographical character — he’s a disabled veteran, he’s a man, obviously … however there are things that I like in him, and that I would like to feel that we share. He has a very strong work ethic. He is a tryer, in all circumstances. And at the point where we meet him in the very first book, he is absolutely on his uppers, in a way that I too have experienced, in that he is as poor as you can be without being homeless.”
On Strike and discussing the oddities of fame, Rowling explains: It’s at a remove, because he himself when the series starts is not famous, but he’s the son of a famous man — so he has all of the drawbacks of being associated with fame and none of the advantages. So I look at the effect that an individual’s fame has on their family, for example, and the limitations that places upon your life to an extent — of course, it brings marvelous things too, but it brings them mainly to the individual. The people around the famous person often pay a price without reaping many of the rewards. And I find that an interesting area, and obviously yes that very much comes from my own experience.
On keeping her family private
There’s going to be debate around this as long as there are writers. Some readers and commentators really want to scrape your insides out to make sense of your work. Others say, there’s the work, it speaks for itself. Personally, I fall somewhere in the middle. I think it’s difficult to be honest about certain aspects of my work without acknowledging that I have experienced or felt or questioned certain of the themes in the books. But at the same time, I don’t feel I owe my readers details of my family’s private life, for example. So I’m happy to talk in general themes, but when we get down to specifics about my family, for me that’s always been off-limits. Of course, if my kids grow up and they want to write memoirs about what it was like, then that’s their right, and they should feel free to do it, and we may yet see J.K. Dearest! But until then, I’m going to protect them.
Last night I made my kids roar with frustration. They hurled noisy complaints at me. Said that Life Wasn’t Fair.
And I couldn’t help feeling rather happy.
Not least because I can actually lay the blame for my kids’ despair at the feet of Jim Kay and J.K. Rowling; last night we finished Kay’s amazingly illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, our first ever family foray into the world of Hogwarts.
It’s been a brilliantly mesmerising experience. Taking a story that is so embedded in our culture, so ubiquitous and normalised as to have become something that didn’t excite or spark curiosity, and then to have the scales fall from our eyes in breathtaking fashion.
Yes, back in the late 90s I joined hundreds of thousands of other commuters on the London underground network reading the early books in the series. It was one of the first times I really experienced the community-building aspect of books. Books as bond builders, rather than something that marked you out as nerdy or posh or simply an outsider. I loved this new experience, the glances between otherwise total strangers as we smiled acknowledging the membership of the club we were both members of, proudly holding those brick-sized blue and red tomes in our hands.
But I never made it past book 4. I haven’t seen any of the films other than the first one, and… well, time moved on (marriage, babies, chaos… that sort of thing) and I didn’t take Harry Potter with me.
And then we arrive in October 2015 and it’s my turn to read at bedtime to my kids, 10 and 7, and in trying to find a book I think will appeal to them both I decide to give the new, fully illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone a go. Neither kid had read any JK Rowling themselves nor seen the films so I was starting with a blank canvas, their only experience of the Hogwarts’ world being witnessing other kids at school dressed up as HP characters on World Book Day, and a few hours’ very happy play in the attic at Seven Stories where they got their first taste of Kay’s illustrations.
And then something astonishing happened.
But before we get to that you need to know how bedtime reading normally works in our home.
One parent reads a novel to both kids at the same time once they are in their pyjamas. Whilst the parent is reading, the kids do NOT sit still. They dabble and doodle. They fiddle. They do all sorts of stuff that makes us grown-ups wonder if they are really listening to the story. I’ll freely admit neither of the adults in the home like this arrangement. It makes us uncomfortable and at times, on a bad day, I know we both wonder if it’s all worth it.
Despite our misgivings, it works well. As we stopped reading picture books, the kids didn’t feel the need to sit in our laps or next to us and moved onto their bedroom floor. They wanted more time to work on their various projects and we wanted to keep reading to them so we compromised. We read. They played. And we’ve gradually learned to trust that they do really listen to and hugely enjoy the story – all their questions and suggestions and corrections make that quite clear.
But still, it’s not like those good old days when we snuggled up in bed and had a cosy time calming down at the end of the day. Often a bedtime reading session leaves the bedroom messier than before with pencils strewn everywhere, detritus (or treasure, depending on your point of view) littering the floor.
But this was the astonishing thing which happened with Kay’s HP edition: suddenly we were all back in bed together (in our double bed to accommodate everyone), under the duvet, arms round each other or head leaning on shoulders as everyone was transfixed and transported by this wonderful tale of wizardry.
Kay’s illustrations brought us together. They acted like a hearth around which we gathered. Whilst I had other imagery in my head, my kids came with far fewer preconceptions so they weren’t playing a comparisons’ game. For them the illustrations acted like enchanting spells in their own rights. Something to amaze and to delight and (on the odd occasion) to frighten.
And then there was the story! I had forgotten how funny this book actually is and how thoughtful Rowling is with the nuances of friendship. Last night I actually cried when Neville won those extra points for Gryffindor which made all the difference to winning the House Cup. The kids, on the other hand, punched the air and leaped out from the bed whooping with exhilaration. Through my tears I couldn’t have been more delighted. Kay and Rowling and transported my kids into new parts of their imagination. They’d given them joy and wonder and enlarged their worlds and dreams.
But now what?
Do we move on to my old tube-train-grime encrusted copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets? I’m desperate to keep reading the stories with my kids as the last three weeks’ of bedtime reading as been such a wonderous delight for me (saying nothing of what it’s been like for the kids). The hour or so at bedtime has been the highlight of each day. I can’t imagine anything, really anything, having made me happier in such a satisfying way.
The kids have taken the decision out of my hands. There’s been debate of course, weighing up hunger for the story with the bewitchment of the illustrations but they’ve decided to… wait.
AARGH! Now it is me roaring with frustration!
So, dear Jim Kay and Bloomsbury please don’t keep us waiting long! Anticipation is delightful (as it was the first time round), but waiting is also HARD!
Earlier this afternoon, J.K. Rowling and Pottermore released the official artwork for the Harry Potter play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, via Twitter. Besides design and art for the sake of art, the new promotional artwork of the play (which will likely be used for play bills, posters, advertisements, etc.) reveals some details about the play.
Pottermore’s press release post clarified what it meant to have a play in two parts (more than just two acts, like to sequential plays). It appears that both plays are going to hit the London stage at the same time, in the same season–unlike movie sequels that are released year(s) apart. Pottermore says the plays are to be seen within the same day, or on two consecutive evenings. It is still unclear how tickets and pricing will be managed. Pottermore reports:
J.K. Rowling revealed last month that: ‘Due to the epic nature of the story we’ve been working on, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be in two parts!’ The play is designed to be seen either on a single day or on consecutive evenings.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child comes to London’s West End summer 2016. There’s still time to register for priority booking at HarryPotterthePlay.com to have the first opportunity to purchase tickets before they go on general sale. Priority registration closes Saturday 24 October at 11.45pm BST.
Yes, it is aesthetically pleasing–as with all things Potter, it is done well. But what does this tell us about the play? It doesn’t directly say a whole lot, but it implies what the mysterious plot and story may be.
The focal point of the image shows a young boy hugging his legs. He appears trapped like a bird inside a snitch-shaped nest. If one were to assume that this young boy is a preteen Harry, based off the title “Harr Potter and…,” the image almost solidifies the assumption that the play is written about Harry in his torturous childhood years at the Dursley’s between Chapters 1 and 2 of Philosopher’s Stone.
J.K. Rowling was right, it is not a prequel as it takes place within the time line of Harry’s story presented in the Harry Potter series. It fills in the time jump between “The Boy Who Lived” and “The Vanishing Glass,” in which we get a glimpse of what Harry’s life is like right before he turns 11. One can assume that we will see an expansion of the story that “The Vanishing Glass” offers–giving us Harry’s years at boarding school, living under the stairs, being told how his “worthless” parents died in a “car accident,” and being punished by the Dursleys for accidentally doing magic he cannot explain.
Or we could be totally wrong. However, this plot point was the original idea behind a Harry Potter play–before we knew the title, before we knew who was working on it with J.K. Rowling, before we knew the dates, and before we even knew if it was actually going to happen. It could have been like the Harry Potter encyclopedia, also known as “The Scottish Book,” a very real idea that turned into something entirely different (Pottermore) and didn’t come to fruition.
But here is why it is highly unlikely that we are wrong (there is still a possibility, though). We reported on the original projected story line of the play in December 2013, when J.K. Rowling first announced that it was real. At that time, J.K. Rowling herself said what the play was going to be about:
It will be based on Harry’s “early years as an orphan an outcast…featuring some of our favourite characters from the Harry Potter books, this new work will offer a unique insight into the heart and mind of the now legendary young wizard. A seemingly ordinary boy, but one for whom Destiny has plans…”
Since then, why has there been so much questioning about the plays story? About it being a sequel? We don’t know, maybe we all got amnesia.
The Guardian reports that J.K. Rowling is set to give her first on-air interview as Robert Galbraith on BBC2’s radio. In the interview, which will be part of Simon Mayo’s Drivetime Show, Rowling will promote Career of Evil, the third Cormoran Strike novel Rowling has written using the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.
The Guardian states that:
Rowling is expected to talk about why she decided to write as Galbraith, and her feelings once her identity as the author of the books was exposed.
Mayo will also read out five reviews from listeners who have applied to review Career of Evil as part of the Radio 2’s Book Club.
The Radio 2 interview will be Rowling’s second appearance as Robert Galbraith. During the first interview, an on-stage conversation with Val McDermid, Rowling showed up in a suit and tie. It remains unclear and is up for speculation how Rowling will mark her character on the radio.
The interview will appear on Simon Mayo’s Drivetime Show on November 2, 2015.
After a series of tweets (and retweets) this morning, Audible released two snippets of Robert Galbraith’s new mystery novel, Career of Evil. The first two chapters of the new Cormoran Strike novel can now be listened to, for free, on Audible’s twitter.
The first chapter of Career of Evil opens with the point of view of the antagonist of the story–the man who has a vendetta against strike, an unhealthy obsession with Robin, and a horrifying hobby of charming women and killing them among peach bath towels stained red with blood. He opens the book by stalking Robin and Matthew. We don’t know his name, but we do know that he has a particular loathing for rugby. Really, who is surprised that the sport makes an important appearance in J.K. Rowling’s very good friend’s novel? No one.
Chapter two takes a turn in point of view and settles on Robin and Matthew, the story being told by Robin of course. No big surprise, this not-so-happily engaged couple is in the middle of another argument on Matthew’s favorite subject: Cormoran Strike. Out of anger, Robin receives a package from an unknown carrier, and stops and signs for it without looking to see who is delivering it or who it is from. When she rips it open, it’s that woman’s severed leg we’ve been hearing so much about in the novel’s synopsis.
The question of Lavender’s death has been floating around since 2007, and recently Pottermore has added further fuel to the fire.
Forums everywhere (such as this one on Reddit, and this one on Goodreads) have no definitive conclusion, trying to take evidence from both the book and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 film.
Her ‘death’ scene in the book seems a little more vague:
“Two bodies fell from the balcony overhead. As they reached the ground a grey blur that Harry took for an animal sped four-legged across the hall to sink its teeth into one of the fallen. “NO!” shrieked Hermione, and with a deafening blast from her wand, Fenrir Greyback was thrown backward from the feebly stirring body of Lavender Brown.”
After falling from the balcony, Greyback is seen almost making a mid-fight snack out of Lavender, but Hermione throws him back, and Lavender is seen ‘feebly stirring’, which suggests that she could be alive.
Some seem to think the movie errs more toward the ‘dead’ side of the argument. Acknowledging that movies do not make better sources than books, most say that they make it pretty clear; Trelawney and the Patil twins are seen saying ‘She’s gone’ and covering a body, and the earlier suggestive shot of Lavender looking vacant (and dead) after Greyback attacks someone certainly makes it look like she’s dead.
Her Wiki page also looks bleak. It states that she was killed by Greyback in The Battle of Hogwarts, stating Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey as a source.
Now Pottermore itself (and through it, potentially Jo herself) has entered the debate. In its recent update, Pottermore had stated Lavender as ‘presumed dead':
That’s already vague wording, but as if that wasn’t enough, Lavender Brown’s page on Pottermore recently updated again, removing all information about her death:
Hypable and Bustle have had the same discussions, and are none the wiser. Though J.K. Rowling has been closely involved in the production of the films and of Pottermore, we’ll need the words from Jo herself if we’re going to sort this once and for all.
It’s a close debate, so what do you think? Is Lavender alive?
Just minutes ago, J.K. Rowling quietly announced, by clanging her teaspoon against her mug of tea, on twitter, that the London production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child would be made into two plays.
The first part is simply that–the first part of the story of Cursed Child, not a prequel. Many can assume that the plays splitting into two parts will closely resemble the splitting of Deathly Hallows into two movies–the “epic nature” of the novel was too great to fit into a single films (God forbid they would have cut hunting Deathly Hallows from the Deathly Hallows movie for the more important over arching story of hunting Horcruxes).
Pottermore was able to have a few questions answered from the creators of the play:
Bafta-winning writer Jack Thorne was elated by the chance to delve deeper into the wizarding world.
‘Obviously I loved it when we decided to tell this story in two parts,’ Jack tells us, ‘because I got to spend more time with the characters and what an honour that has been.
‘It continues to be unbelievable and amazing that I’ve been given this extraordinary chance to bring Harry Potter to the stage. As a fan, who just devoured the books and the films, this couldn’t be more exciting for me.’
I’ve never worked on anything quite like this before,’ he says. ‘Usually in theatre you’re adapting existing material or creating an entirely new play. With the Cursed Child we have been given the unique opportunity to explore some of the most cherished books and beloved characters ever written, yet work with J.K. Rowling to tell a story from that world that no one yet knows – it’s exhilarating.
‘It shares a scale and ambition with all the Harry Potter stories so in order to do this justice we have decided to present the play in two parts.’
The discovery that the story of Cursed Child would not fit into a single play came well into production of the show, due to hit the stage next year. We are sure more news of the play is to come as production continues. Stay tuned to Leaky (and Pottermore, I guess) for more news as it arrives.
J.K. Rowling retweeted an interesting interview this morning. It was a short question and answer segment with Robert Glenister–the voice of Cormoran Strike in J.K. Rowling’s good friend, Robert Galbraith’s novels, The Cuckoo’s Calling, The Silkworm, and soon-to-be-released Career of Evil.
The interview was conducted by Mark Billingham, a well-known British mystery/thriller novelist. Billingham and Glenister discussed Cormoran Strike’s animated character, and how they were impressed by Galbraith’s “debut novel.” Glenister said he knew immediately he wanted to be the one to record the audio book for this mystery series upon reading Cuckoo’s Calling, before he knew who Galbraith was. The interview can be listened to here and below.
It has been known for a while that Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike series was in the works to be adapted into a TV series. It has recently been confirmed that BBC1 is taking on this endeavor, and production for the first part of the series (based on The Cuckoo’s Calling) will begin later this fall.
According to Radio Times, this TV series shares many similarities with the adaption of Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. J.K. Rowling will be an executive producer of this television production, as she was for Casual Vacancy. She has chosen to work with BBC, and the first part of the series, based on The Cuckoo’s Calling, will be written by Sarah Phelps who wrote the TV adaption of The Casual Vacancy.
The second part of the series, The Silkworm, will be adapted by Ben Richards, a TV writer most well known for Spooks. The third part of the series, which will be based on Career of Evil, has not been discussed. More will come to light after the novel is published this October.
Pottermore released a press statement yesterday, addressing some of the mystery behind the site’s overhaul. The press release focused on making Pottermore mobile. It was confirmed that Pottermore would be expanding to include Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, as well as the Fantastic Beast films. It appears the site is going to become a new Harry Potter news source for fans:
Pottermore will continue to have at its core new writing by J.K. Rowling, and will feature significantly more original content. This includes commentary and timely news items from the Pottermore Correspondent, a professional journalist hired by Pottermore especially for this role. Pottermore will showcase news relating to the Wizarding World, including the Warner Bros. feature film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, based on an original J.K. Rowling screenplay, and the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child based on a new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, and written by Jack Thorne, which is set to open in London in 2016.
Before yesterday’s press release, Pottermore CEO, Susan Jurevics, sat down with Bookseller and revealed additional information, including stills of what the new site will look like. The site is set to be geared more towards older fans–those who grew up with the books, rather than an interactive experience for younger fans.
The Pottermore CEO confirmed to Bookseller that Pottermore will “drop the gaming elements, focus on its core audience of young adults, and allow its content to be indexed by search engines”. It appears that days of dueling and potion making may be over for good. Bookseller reports:
The move sees the website shift its focus away from introducing new readers to the brand, to “delighting” those users who have grown up with the books and who now wish to explore more facets of the growing franchise.
Jurevics said the changes had been driven by identifying the core users of the site, how technology had developed since its original launch (in April 2012), and the need to reflect that the Harry Potter universe is no longer confined to the original seven books.
Jurevics said Pottermore also needed to give author J K Rowling a more accessible platform on which to showcase her new writing about the world. The relaunched site will feature a new logo, written in Rowling’s own handwriting.
Jurevics said the Pottermore team were conscious of the timing of the switch, with a small audience very devoted to the gaming elements within the current site. “We are working through this, but it is not an arbitrary decision. We have very carefully architected what we are doing. We won’t please every single user out there, but we are making sure we are transparent and communicating.”
The new logo, J.K. Rowling’s handwriting across a background of Phoenix feathers, is incredibly more colorful the the more adult color scheme Pottermore has chosen for its new site. Above are examples of the darker, more “professional” or “serious” adult template Pottermore is adopting. Jurevics explained to Bookseller the need for drastic changes after discovering the age demographic of most Pottermore users were not children, as Pottermore had initially anticipated:
“When Pottermore first started, it was positioned for the next generation of readers, and that next generation was almost by default tagged to be children. So the current site gamified the content, making it very simplistic in terms of collecting things and casting spells. That was appropriate for children, but that wasn’t actually the core audience.” Jurevics said that the user base was “overwhelmingly young adult and female”, something she discovered “pretty quickly”…
She also addressed why Pottermore was moving away from casting users as Hogwarts students in order to access the site. She did say that, though the gaming features are gone, the site will still respect the original version of itself, and continue releasing parts of books. Bookseller wrote:
Perhaps the most significant shift is the removal of the central concept behind the original site, which required users to become students of a virtual Hogwarts in order to progress through the books and experience the site. Jurevics said the change reflected the way the Harry Potter series had now evolved outside of the core seven books.
She said: “[J K Rowling] finds these corollaries in the real world and evolves the magical world through a lot of the new writing, for example when she created the Quidditch World Cup.
But in the very linear narrative—focused on the books—that we had, there was no place for that. She can now write content that is about the wider wizarding world, but is not anchored to books one to seven.”
“We are respectful of what was built in the past, it was revolutionary. But we’ve had to change everything to address those key points [of who the users are and how they access the web], so the skill sets are different and some of the employees are different. You don’t change this overnight.”
“We are opening up all that content—this world is expanding and we want people to have access to all of that, whether they are superfans or not. It is no longer a linear experience. It’s not a book. You don’t read a website from the home page to chapter one to chapter two, and we needed to reflect that. There are going to be hundreds of thousands of landing pages. It’s an immersive world, but one you can rummage around in.”
There will also be greater opportunities for Rowling to add more content more visibly. Rafferty said: “We want to give [the fans] more and we are now able to get this to them faster. It will become a real hub of information—and the authentic heart.”
Please read more of this very lengthy and informative interview by Bookseller, here.
Lumos has released a new video message from J.K. Rowling about the dangers of institutionalization of children, and the hope that Lumos provides. Just as in the previous video, J.K. Rowling narrates an animated video that tells of 8 million children in orphanages, 80% of which who are not orphans.
This video doesn’t give specific statistics on suicide, prostitution, and crime that institutionalized children are more likely to be prey too, as the last video did, but the video is still amazing. Please watch this wonderful video below, and at the Lumos Website.
Once again, we thank and support J.K. Rowling for bring a voice to the voiceless, and raising awareness for 8 million children who would otherwise go unnoticed. If you would like to make a donation to Lumos, or find out how to be come more involved, please visit wearelumos.org.
Playwright Jack Thorne has found himself thrust into the Harry Potter universe. Not only is he new to the insider world of of Harry Potter, but Thorne landed one of it’s most important roles, second to J.K. Rowling.
Jack Thorne wrote the script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, in collaboration with J.K. Rowling and director, John Tiffany. He described his job to the Times as having “to crawl inside J.K. Rowling’s head,” something all serious Potter-heads dream of doing. The article talks of Thorne’s process in creating the story and working with Jo Rowling. If you have a subscription to the Times, the whole article will make a good read. Luckily, MuggleNet was able to access the article and offers a good preview:
When asked if he was ready for his life to change, pretty much a guarantee for any artist involved in bringing a Harry Potter project to the world, Thorne responded that he hasn’t experienced much of that – yet.
Everyone said that [it’s going to make me famous]. Everyone said: ‘Wait for the announcement. It’s going to change everything.’ Then I sent out a tweet on the morning, just going: ‘I can’t talk about it, but I’m so proud to be part of it,’ sort of thing and phoned up Rach [his wife] about an hour and a half later because I was in town, and I couldn’t see my computer, and I was like: ‘How many retweets has it got?’ Sort of: ‘Am I now famous?’ And she went: ‘It’s got six.’ So OK, fame hasn’t visited me yet.
A bit later on, the article reveals how Thorne came to be involved with the project.
The Harry Potter play’s producer, Sonia Friedman, saw Let the Right One In, about a boy befriended by a vampire, which Thorne had adapted for the stage from the hit Swedish movie. She approached its director, John Tiffany, who recommended Thorne. He worked with JK Rowling on the story and wrote the script, now safely encrypted in his computer. All anyone will say is that it is not a prequel. Thorne was fully conversant with the Potter universe having read all the novels and sneaked into the films wearing his Ghostbusters T[-]shirt to show the families he was ‘here for the genre’.
And finally, although Thorne doesn’t divulge any plot elements of Cursed Child, he does reveal a bit about his process of working on the play and what collaborating with J.K. Rowling is really like:
I’ve now had to read every book again and work out what spells do what. The detail that she produced is absolutely sensational. Looking back at The Fades I kind of go: ‘I wish I’d sketched the world even larger, the way that she did with Harry Potter.’ I just didn’t want to challenge the audience too much with too much stuff, so I was: ‘Always keep it simple.’ And actually, Jo doesn’t, and that’s what makes her so special. That’s the great thing about doing adaptations: you just learn so much. My job is to crawl inside her head.
Pottermore retweeted Harry Potter Play’s ticket announcement yesterday. It has bee confirmed that tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will go on sale this fall. Those who have signed up for the Cursed Child email alerts are considered “priority members.” Tickets will be available to “priority members” before being released to the general public. Registration for priority booking is available on the play’s website.
Recently, J.K. Rowling took to Twitter to give us the news that there will not be a Harry Potter TV show, nor will there be a ‘Potter-on-Ice’. But rather than crushing our dreams (well, it did a little, if we’re honest), the hilarious ‘image of Ice Voldemort performing the triple salchow’ perfectly depicts Jo’s mastery of Twitter.
She sure knows how to use those 140 characters; thankfully, her early Twitter days of saying ‘you won’t be hearing from me very often’ didn’t last long. Her social media presence has become prevalent and powerful. She tweets for any occasion and cause, but most importantly, just to connect with her fans. As she answers fans’ questions, or stands up for what she believes in, Jo’s humour never fails to draw media and fans’ attention, love, and favouritism.
Without further ado, here are 25 of our favourite (and most hilarious) J.K. Rowling twitter moments – enjoy!
1) Her continued rage at desktop printers:
2) The time we had no idea what was going on:
Maybe a reference to Stephen Hawking’s ‘Zayn Malik in a parallel universe’ theory, but either way, it’s brilliant.
3) When #AddGoatRuinAQuote was used and responded to perfectly:
Ah, of course, the wise words of Aberforth Dumbledore, the goat charmer.
4) When she ‘Can’t decide whether touched or scared’ by our loyalty:
5) Behold, the flugly owl:
The perfect gift for a Hogwarts first year. If it can actually carry letters and fly.
6) The time Jo cleared up that issue with the names of Harry Potter’s kids:
7) Proof that Jo is, indeed, hardcore:
8) We thought she’d never answer this question…
…And she didn’t, until very recently:
9) And this question, well:
10) In a parallel universe, Harry Potter doesn’t exist. Not because Jo is Zayn Malik, but because she’s an otter-weigher:
11) We can all agree on this one:
12) Jo may not kill off as many characters as George R.R Martin, but she still feels bad about the ones she does kill:
13) The only way to celebrate Ireland’s victory:
14) Followed by the only way for such a brilliant author to slam the haters:
15) This is possibly our favourite burn of all time:
Especially seeing as Jo seems to be one of the biggest Serena Williams fans out there:
16) Then there was that time that the world nearly broke her:
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is set to come out next year, and is most definitely not a prequel. You can find more information on the play’s website, and read more from playwright Jack Thorne here.
17) Perfect use of sarcasm:
We also think that #fideliuscharm has got to be one of the best hashtags around.
18) The time Matthew Lewis (aka, Neville Longbottom) appeared on the cover of Attitude magazine, and was too hot for Jo to handle:
19) Sometimes Tumblr knows her answers:
20) But, let’s face it: at the end of the day, Jo Rowling knows all:
21) … Even if she can’t play tennis:
22) This one got us wondering just how many of these budgies she sees:
Almost as cute as these Potter-themed dogs:
23) NOBODY TWEETS IN CAPITAL LETTERS AND GETS AWAY WITH IT.
24) We’ve decided that pseudonyms work best when J.K. Rowling uses them:
And we definitely have to agree with Chris Rankin (aka Percy Weasley) on this one!
Insulting your literal other half isn’t fair, Jo!
This recent one gave us a laugh – we can only imagine the struggle of faux-quarrels with your writing partner:
25) And finally, the reason we’re all here after all.
Not only has J.K. Rowling (and Robert Galbraith, of course!) given us books and films we know and love, but her sense of humour is absolutely spot on. Harry had to get his sass from somewhere!
Make sure you give her Twitter page a visit, if you haven’t already!
The BBC’s radio programme Witness have released an episode interviewing Barry Cunningham, the man who decided to take on the Harry Potter book series, on the creation of a phenomenon that would spread the globe.
BBC News said:
‘The Harry Potter series has sold 450 million copies worldwide to date. But before the first book was published, numerous publishers had turned the first book down.
‘I was gripped by Harry’s situation … The thing that I really liked about the story was the friendship … It was the friendship between the children that really moved me’.
His daughter, Alice, read Rowling’s manuscript the night he had received it, and it was her response that solidified the deal:
‘She couldn’t stop reading’
A deal with Rowling’s agent was then made at a ‘relatively low price’, ending ‘the most significant purchase made in publishing in the last fifty years’. Cunningham laughs, saying
‘I laugh about it now, but, you know, I never would have guessed’.
Jo apparently took some convincing before she believed she was being called by a publisher, and was ‘lost for words’ when the realisation finally hit, after so many rejections. Cunningham says he wasn’t aware of this ‘journey’ she’d been on to finally be published. We’re so glad she never gave up!
J.K. Rowling’s stories have reached millions, whether by page or screen, and we definitely recommend giving this a listen! Cunningham goes on to talk about Rowling’s past, her ‘revolutionary’ proposal of turning Harry Potter into a multi-part series, and the overwhelmingly positive response to the books a year after being published. The episode features readings from Stephen Fry, Rowling herself, and snippets from book releases and fan events. Cunningham said:
‘It was at this point that we realised something was changing in the world of children’s books’.
The age of the Potterheads had arrived.
You can listen to the episode here, and read more here.
Following the Scotland Vs. Ireland rugby game today, J.K. Rowling decided to treat supporters of Scotland’s team by releasing new information about two Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them characters via Twitter:
Rowling confirmed Porpentina and Queenie’s distant relation to Anthony Goldstein, who was a student in Harry’s year at Hogwarts, a Ravenclaw prefect in his fifth year, and a member of Dumbledore’s Army. Goldstein was also revealed to be a Jewish wizard back in December in another tweet by Rowling:
Keep an eye on Jo’s Twitter here, and take a look at our Top 25 J.K. Rowling tweets here.
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In doing my school visits to promote my book series Scary School, I visited many dual immersion and spanish-speaking schools and saw the need for bilingual picture books that could be used to teach either English or Spanish to early learners.
The controversy over the whiteness of the Harry Potter series, especially in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films. Hypable recently posted an opinionated editorial on Fantastic Beast diversity–giving their reasoning for why the new movies series did not have to be all white. They addressed the historical accuracy of the films and why the subject of diversity matters within the Harry Potter franchise and the movie industry as a whole. The article can be read in full here.
Hypable isn’t the first news source to release a viral post about this topic. YouTuber Dylan Marron released a video completion of all lines spoken by actors of diverse nationalities. Of the thousands of minutes within the series, this video totals about six minutes for non-white actors.
It is true that the entire cast, that we know of, in Fantastic Beasts so far, is white. As we can see from IMDB’s listings.
Even the new addition to the cast announced last week, Jane Perry (World War Z, The Three Musketeers), does not add any diversity to the cast.
J.K. Rowling addressed this issues, as it’s ever-growing presence on the internet came to her attention. She reminded us that the question at hand is an important one, but to remember that we do not have a lot of information on the Fantastic Beast films, and we are not to make judgements until the films are released and we have viewed them.
“I sincerely hope you aren’t being sent rude tweets! You raised an important point, I just can’t address fully without giving away rather a lot.”
J.K. Rowling has been a producer for many of the Harry Potter films, and is the screenwriter for Fantastic Beasts. We have no doubt that her input and opinions are valuable and highly influential within the film industry. As Jo is known for her compassionate manner, and standing up for civil/human rights, we have no doubt that she will continue to implement the same moral principals, which she abides by personally, within her franchise.
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A new trailer for the movie, Risen, starring Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) has been released. Tom Felton retweeted the news from MovieFone, with a picture of Tom Felton’s character, Lucius, grappling over a sword with Cliff Cutris’s character, Yeshua.
Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) was quick to tweet about the new Risen trailer, saying that he was “Psyched for this, pal!” The two are currently tweeting back and forth about their weekend plans–throwing in Harry Potter references, of course, because the rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin is still very real.
J.K. Rowling has just joined the conversation–expressing the same pleasure at seeing our Harry Potter boys banter between their respective houses.
Risen is a biblical story of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The story is told from the views of non-believers, attempting to find the body of Christ after it has risen, leading the worlds largest and most important man-hunt. IMDB shares Sony Pictures description of the movie:
“Follows the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer. Clavius, a powerful Roman Military Tribune, and his aide Lucius, are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.”