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1. Video Sunday: “Luke, I Am Your Father” (in a manner of speaking)

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:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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!”

Thanks to Steve Bird for the link!

share save 171 16 Video Sunday: Luke,  I Am Your Father (in a manner of speaking)

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2. J.K. Rowling Pens 500-Word Piece on Minor ‘Harry Potter’ Character Celestina Warbeck

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).”

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3. Mg or YA?

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.
Manuscript length
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.
Voice
YA is usually written in first person while third person is common for MG.
Content
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.
Mind-set
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)

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4. J.K. Rowling Writes Letter to Shooting Survivor

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.

The Telegraph has more:

A spokesman for the 49-year-old author said: “We can confirm that JK Rowling was in touch with Cassidy Stay, however, the contents of the letter remain private.”

Asked whether a meeting between the two is on the cards, she added: “We wouldn’t comment on that but [Cassidy’s] is a remarkable story.”

 

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5. Happy Birthday J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter

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.

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6. New Harry Potter short story from JKR

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.

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7. J.K. Rowling, Jennifer Weiner, & S.E. Grove Debut on the Indie Bestseller List

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)

(more…)

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8. How Would the ‘Harry Potter’ Series Read From Draco Malfoy’s Point of View?

@diddy_marie_ It would look a lot like this. pic.twitter.com/wPnCh0LPxP

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 9, 2014

What happened when one Harry Potter fan publicized a wish through social media? J.K. Rowling herself responded.

Cassidy posted a message on Twitter wondering how the Harry Potter series would read from the villainous Draco Malfoy’s point-of-view. Rowling gave a snarky reply along with a screenshot from Tumblr.

Thus far, Rowling’s tweet has attracted 9,153 “favorites” and 8,679 “retweets.” Who’s your favorite character from the Harry Potter series? (via BuzzFeed)

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9. J.K. Rowling to Receive Writing Award Today

Today, June 23, J.K. Rowling will be honored with the International Writers Award for her outstanding contribution to children's literature. Ms. Rowling will receive this prestigious award in the presence of the Chief Justice, judges, ministers, editors, and diplomats at the International Conference of Jurists and Writers in London. Please join us in congratulating Ms. Rowling for her amazing achievements and the reception of this award. Thank you to our close friends at MuggleNet for the tip.

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10. Amazon Makes ‘The Silkworm’ Available For Sale

Amazon has listed J.K. Rowling’s new book for sale on its website. The Associated Press reports that The Silkworm “quickly climbed up the best-seller lists now that it’s finally available for purchase on Amazon.com.”

Hachette Book Group published the new Robert Galbraith book on June 19, 2014. Prior to this date, the giant online retailer did not allow customers to place pre-orders due to its ongoing dispute with the publishing house.

According to The Globe and Mail, several Amazon competitors have been playing this situation to their advantage. The Silkworm currently occupies the number one spot on the Barnes & Noble’s fiction bestseller list.

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11. Fan Creates a ‘Books of Orange is the New Black’

Finished watching season 2 of Orange is the New Black? Already devoured Piper Kerman’s prison memoir?

Lucky for you, the “Books of Orange is the New Black” blog has plenty of literary recommendations. The fan behind this Tumblr page collected the titles of books mentioned on the popular Netflix original series.

The characters on this show have been spotted reading Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James, and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Follow these links to check out the books featured on the first season and the second season.

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12. "The Silkworm" Now Available

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith, J.K. Rowling's very very close author friend, is now available in bookstores and on e-readers. The reviews for the second Cormoran Strike mystery have us biting at the bit to get our hands on this book. If you have obtained a copy of the book and/or read it, please leave your comments below. Be careful, no spoilers please, just opinions! To read reviews of The Silkworm, please visit Robert Galbraith's website. J.K. Rowling will be making an appearance, as Robert Galbraith, at the Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival to promote The Silkworm and sign autographs. Our favorite author tweeted today:

 

It's been a looooong writing day and it's time to give my fingers a rest. No writer ever had more wonderful fans. Thank you X

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13. J.K. Rowling Supports "Better Together" Campaign

J.K. Rowling tweeted (noting that there is a new profile picture on her twitter) this morning that she had posted an explanation, on her website, for why she supported the Better Together Campaign. The Better Together Campaign supports one side of a referendum, occurring on September 18, that will consult the issue of whether or not Scotland should remain apart of the United Kingdom. As many know, Ms. Rowling was born and raised in England, and moved to Scotland with her daughter, Jessica, after they left Portugal. Being loyal to both Scotland and the United Kingdom, she has an interesting view point on the referendum. J.K. Rowling writes:


Before you read the following, please be warned that it’s probably of interest only to people who live in Scotland or the UK (and not all of them!)  If you read on regardless, you need to know that there is going to be a referendum on 18th September on whether or not Scotland should leave the United Kingdom.  If you’re only vaguely interested, or pressed for time, there’s a mention of Death Eaters in paragraph 5.

I came to the question of independence with an open mind and an awareness of the seriousness of what we are being asked to decide.  This is not a general election, after which we can curse the result, bide our time and hope to get a better result in four years.  Whatever Scotland decides, we will probably find ourselves justifying our choice to our grandchildren.  I wanted to write this because I always prefer to explain in my own words why I am supporting a cause and it will be made public shortly that I’ve made a substantial donation to the Better Together Campaign, which advocates keeping Scotland part of the United Kingdom. 

In the interests of full disclosure, I should say that I am friendly with individuals involved with both the Better Together Campaign and the Yes Campaign, so I know that there are intelligent, thoughtful people on both sides of this question.  Indeed, I believe that intelligent, thoughtful people predominate. 

However, I also know that there is a fringe of nationalists who like to demonise anyone who is not blindly and unquestionably pro-independence and I suspect, notwithstanding the fact that I’ve lived in Scotland for twenty-one years and plan to remain here for the rest of my life, that they might judge me ‘insufficiently Scottish’ to have a valid view.  It is true that I was born in the West Country and grew up on the Welsh border and while I have Scottish blood on my mother’s side, I also have English, French and Flemish ancestry.  However, when people try to make this debate about the purity of your lineage, things start getting a little Death Eaterish for my taste.  By residence, marriage, and out of gratitude for what this country has given me, my allegiance is wholly to Scotland and it is in that spirit that I have been listening to the months of arguments and counter-arguments.

My hesitance at embracing independence has nothing to do with lack of belief in Scotland’s remarkable people or its achievements.  The simple truth is that Scotland is subject to the same twenty-first century pressures as the rest of the world.  It must compete in the same global markets, defend itself from the same threats and navigate what still feels like a fragile economic recovery.   The more I listen to the Yes campaign, the more I worry about its minimisation and even denial of risks.  Whenever the big issues are raised – our heavy reliance on oil revenue if we become independent, what currency we’ll use, whether we’ll get back into the EU - reasonable questions are drowned out by accusations of ‘scaremongering.’  Meanwhile, dramatically differing figures and predictions are being slapped in front of us by both campaigns, so that it becomes difficult to know what to believe.


Ms. Rowling's full (and quite lengthy) essay may be read here.

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14. Pottermore's USA vs Liechtenstein Quarter Final Results

Pottermore has posted the result for June 8th Quidditch World Cup quarter finals between the United States and Liechtenstein. Mrs. Ginny Potter also reported breaking news on a kidnapping as apart of the celebration by the victors of this match. Take a look at the Daily Profit on Pottermore to read more.

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15. J.K. Rowling tweets about release of "The Silkworm", Plus Exclusive Excerpt

As reported previously, Robert Galbraith, J.K. Rowling's "very, very close author friend", is releasing The Silkworm on June 19. The Silkworm is the second crime novel in Galbraith/Rowling's Cormoron Strike mystery series. With the approach of the release date, J.K. Rowling has tweeted about the many places to buy her new book, and about Third Place Books who will hand deliver the book to customers. These tweets can be seen below, or hereAccording to USA Today, Little Brown Book Group UK also released an exclusive excerpt of the soon to be published Silkworm. This gift from Galbraith and J.K. Rowling may be read here.

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16. J.K. Rowling’s New Book is Unavailable on Amazon

If you want to preorder a copy of Robert Galbraith aka J.K. Rowling's new novel The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike Series #2), you can't do so on Amazon. The book, which comes out on June 19th, is currently listed as unavailable on Amazon. Barnes & Noble, among other book retailers, has the book available for presale. Earlier this month, Amazon was slow to ship Hachette titles. Now things are escalating. "We are doing everything in our power to find a solution to this difficult situation, one that best serves our authors and their work, and that preserves our ability to survive and thrive as a strong and author-centric publishing company," explained Hachette in a statement.

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17. Alfonso Cuarón May Direct ‘Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them’

Rumors have been circulating that Oscar-winning filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón may helm the first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie. Back in 2004, Cuarón (pictured, via) served as the director for Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban. In past interviewsHarry Potter series author J.K. Rowling praised Cuarón's work on that film adaptation. Last February, Cuarón sat for a Reddit AMA session. One participant asked if he would ever take on another "fantasy film like Harry Potter" and he answered: "I only did the one because it was such a great experience I was afraid I would overstay my welcome. And I also felt that I had given what I could to that universe." Does this mean that Cuarón won't make a return to the Wizarding World? Who would you choose as the director?

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18. J. K. Rowling Fantastic Beasts Movie News

Extra!

November 18, 2016.

Clear your calendar of any other events on that day because if you are a Harry Potter fan, you will want that day free to go see the new movie based on J. K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

.

It will be the first of 3 mega-movies set in the magical world about 70 years before the start of the Harry Potter story (so obviously, Harry, Ron, and Hermione were not born yet). The films will follow magizoologist Newton Artemis Fido Scamander (whose grandson Rolf will later marry Luna Lovegood). Newt was a Hufflepuff who graduated from Hogwarts in 1915. From 1918 to 1927, he traveled all over the world researching magical creatures for the book he was writing called . . . Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which we know went on to become a Hogwarts textbook. In his travels, he visited New York, which is where this movie will start.

We don’t know which actors will be in the movies, but we do know that the look of the movies will resemble the eight Harry Potter movies and might re-use the some of the same sets, currently housed at Warner’s Leavesden Studios in London.

OK. I have told you all I know so far. I’m sorry it’s not very much yet. Has anyone read the original book? What creatures are you most excited about seeing in the movie?

image from kids.scholastic.com— Sonja, STACKS Staffer

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19. J.K. Rowling Women's Hour Takeover

BBC 4 now has J.K. Rowling's Guest Edit on Women's Hour Takeover available to listen to, here.

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20. ‘The Bible’ & ‘Gone With the Wind’ Lead Americans’ Top 10 Favorite Books: Harris Interactive

thebibleThe Bible is the most popular book of all time among Americans, according to a new survey by Harris Interactive. The company surveyed 2,234 U.S. adults online between March 12 and 17, 2014. The Bible also topped the list back in 2008, when the company last did the survey.

Margaret Mitchell‘s Gone with the WindJ.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series and J.R.R. Tolkien‘s The Lord of the Rings series also made the list.

We’ve got the entire list after the jump for you to explore further. continued…

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21. J.K. Rowling Remembers the Battle of Hogwarts

Early this morning, J.K. Rowling sent out a tweet (embedded above) to honor the 16th anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts.

Rowling confessed that she “hated killing some of those people.” As of this writing, the Harry Potter author’s message has been re-tweeted more than 83,000 times. Which of the characters do you love most?
continued…

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22. Ginny Weasley Writes for the Daily Profit on Pottermore

J.K. Rowling is, once again, writing new material for Pottermore through news reports on the Quidditch World Cup. Ginny Weasley will be providing updated commentary on the tournament this week, and is expected to be "joined by her family" at the end of the week. As J.K. Rowling stated on Twitter:

 2h   Read Ginny Potter’s reports from the starting today at ! Family expected to join her for the final.

Along side Pottermore:

 3h  Find out which teams will be facing each other in the first round of the 2014 on the Insider!


 2h   Visit the ‘Daily Prophet’ offices on to find out who advanced to the QWC quarter-finals in Nigeria v Fiji

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23. J.K. Rowling is Live Posting Match Reports on Pottermore.com

J.K. Rowling is live posting match reports about the latest action from the 2014 Quidditch World Cup over the next few days. Today's game is Nigeria versus Fiji. You can follow her posts at Pottermore.com, the online world of all things Harry Potter. Check it out: Nigeria 400 – Fiji 160 From our Quidditch correspondent in the Patagonian Desert, Ginny Potter: Pity Fijian Seeker Joseph Snuka as he tries to justify his side’s bruising 400-160 defeat at the hands of tournament favourites Nigeria. In the early stages of the game Fijian Beaters Quintia Qarase and Narinder Singh lacked the ferocity of their Nigerian counterparts Aliko Okoye and Mercy Ojukwu.  The Bludgers did serious damage to the Fijian Chasers, who managed only a single goal during the first hour, compared with Nigeria’s forty.

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24. Top Writing Tools of Famous Authors: INFOGRAPHIC

Ninja Essays has created an infographic called, "Top Writing Tools of Famous Authors," which explores the technologies used by great writers. According to the graphic, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling and Quentin Tarantino rely on pen and paper to get their ideas out. George R.R. Martin uses an old DOS machine that runs Wordstar 4.0. We've embedded the entire graphic after the jump for you to explore further. continued...

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25. ‘Harry Potter’ Movie Stars Reprise Their Roles For ‘Harry Potter & the Escape From Gringotts’ Ride

Harry Potter movie stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson reunited and reprised their roles as Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger. These new scenes will be part of a film that accompanies the “Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts” ride in the Diagon Alley section of the Harry Potter World theme park. The video embedded above features executives from Universal Orlando Resort discussing the details behind this ride. MTV interviewed Alan Gilbert, an art director who worked on both the "Gringotts" ride and the Harry Potter films, who confirmed the actors' involvement. He also revealed that Warwick Davis and Helena Bonham-Carter also came back to play Griphook and Bellatrix Lestrange. The Huffington Post spoke with Thierry Coup, the senior vice president of Universal Creative, who explained that "J.K. Rowling actually gave us a lot of creative leeway...You see, the story that we wanted to tell with this Universal Orlando attraction kind of ran concurrently with the events which occurred during Deathly Hallows. You see, our guests just happen to be at Gringotts Wizarding Bank opening a new account on the exact same day that Harry, Ron and Hermione are trying to break into Bellatrix Lestrange's vault to retrieve a horcrux." (via Complex)

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