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Is Harry Potter returning? Let's all try to decipher J.K. Rowling's cryptic tweet (updated)

J.K. Rowling sent Twitter abuzz after posting a cryptic tweet on Monday that seemed to suggest something was brewing in the land of Hogwarts.

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On the Books: J.K. Rowling hints she's almost done with 'Fantastic Beasts' screenplay

- J.K. Rowling sparked some Twitter excitement with a series of tweets thought to be about the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.”Very busy at the moment working on a novel, tweaking a screenplay and being involved in @lumos campaigns. Back when I’ve finished something!” Rowling posted on Sunday afternoon, explaining her recent Twitter inactivity. A few minutes later, she responded to a fan who tweeted “Everytime @jk_rowling tweets I stop what ever I’m doing and analyze it for an hour,” with this: “See, now I’m tempted to post a riddle or an anagram. Must resist temptation… must work…” Rowling followed through on that temptation this morning, when she posted “Cry, foe! Run amok! Fa awry! My wand won’t tolerate this nonsense,” and, shortly after, “Something to ponder while I’m away X.” So, is it a riddle or an anagram? A plot clue? Or perhaps, a befuddling bewitchment cast via Twitter—avid Potter fans will surely be theorizing over the meaning of the cryptic tweet for days and weeks to come, as Rowling seems to have intended.

Fantastic Beasts will be a trilogy of films based on the book of the same name she published in 2001, a survey of the magical creatures in her Harry Potter series. David Yates, who directed several of the Harry Potter movies, will direct the first film in the Warner Bros. franchise, set for a Nov. 2016 release. Rowling has said that in the films, “[t]he laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, 70 years before Harry’s gets underway,” as EW reported last fall. The novel Rowling is working on is presumably her next crime novel under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. This is her first screenplay.

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J.K. Rowling speaks out against Scottish independence on Twitter

Scotland is set to hold a historic referendum vote on Sept. 18 to decide whether or not the divided country should separate from the United Kingdom and become an independent nation, and world-famous British author J.K. Rowling has taken to Twitter to express her opposition to Scottish independence. On Sept. 6, the Harry Potter series author tweeted, “People before flags, answers not slogans, reason not ranting, unity not enmity #bettertogether.”

Rowling also took to Twitter to support a measure being billed as a compromise, writing “I sincerely hope that the rumours in the Sunday papers that we are about to be offered Devo Max are true”—referring to a vote that could significantly increase Scotland’s fiscal and political independence while maintaining its ties to the U.K. READ FULL STORY

J.K. Rowling publishes story on Harry Potter character Celestina Warbeck

Celestina Warbeck, a famous singing witch, remained a mystery in the Harry Potter series—readers only saw her name mentioned briefly in a few of the books. But on Monday, J.K. Rowling published a piece on Pottermore so fans could find out more about the minor character, including what her hobbies are (traveling in fabulous style) and what house she belongs to (Gryffindor).
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J.K. Rowling sends 'Dumbledore'-penned letter to shooting survivor

J.K. Rowling sent a personalized handwritten note written in the voice of Albus Dumbledore, from her Harry Potter series, to 15-year-old shooting survivor Cassidy Stay, according to The Telegraph.

Last month, a gunman killed Cassidy Stay’s siblings and parents in a shooting in Houston. At a memorial event, Stay paraphrased Dumbledore from the movie adaptation Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, saying, “Happiness can be found even in darkest of times, if one remembers to turn on the light.”

In response, people started an online campaign to have Rowling meet with Stay. Rowling sent her the letter (written in purple ink), a wand, an acceptance letter and school supply list for Hogwarts, and a signed copy of The Prisoner of Azkaban. A spokesman for Rowling told The Telegraph that “the contents of the letter remain private,” and did not say whether or not Rowling and Stay would meet.

Warner Brothers creates Harry Potter Global Franchise Development team

Harry Potter has his own book series, his own movies, his own theme parks, and now he’s getting his own team: Warner Brothers just announced they’re launching a Harry Potter Global Franchise Development team to foster relations with Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling and to continue expanding the ever-growing Potter empire.

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J.K. Rowling makes an appearance as male pseudonym Robert Galbraith

As fans of J.K. Rowling know, the author doesn’t make many public appearances—which is why Rowling shocked fans last week when she showed up to the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing festival in England. Only she wasn’t there as J.K. Rowling: She was there as Robert Galbraith. READ FULL STORY

J.K. Rowling plans to write more about Cormoran Strike than Harry Potter

J.K. Rowling said that she plans to tell the story of Cormoran Strike, the war-veteran detective who stars in her books The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm, in more than seven novels, outnumbering her Harry Potter books.

“I really love writing these books, so I don’t know that I’ve got an end point in mind,” Rowling said at Harrogate’s Crime Writing Festival. “One of the things I absolutely love about this genre is that, unlike Harry, where there was an overarching story, a beginning and an end, you’re talking about discrete stories. So while a detective lives, you can keep giving him cases.”

Rowling said she’ll write more more novels than in the Harry Potter series, but the Harry Potter books include more than just seven novels. There are also three others: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemQuidditch Through the Ages, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. All of those books were written pseudonymously with names from characters of the Harry Potter universe.

Writing more books under the Robert Galbraith pseudonym could be a useful way to divert attention from the overwhelming influence of the Harry Potter series on Rowling’s reputation as a writer; Harry Potter is still Rowling’s signature character, but if “Galbraith” writes more stories with Cormoran Strike, Rowling’s reputation may change. Of course, Harry Potter is a media franchise unto itself, including billion-dollar-grossing movies and theme park rides, while Cormoran Strike is the star of just two books, so it has a long way to go if it wants to compete with Potter.

In addition to the Cormoran Strike series, Rowling is working on screenplays for a trilogy of films based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

On the Books: Raymond Chandler gets his star on the Hollywood walk of fame

In 1945, Raymond Chandler wrote an essay for The Atlantic about his terrible time as a Hollywood screenwriter. He called the experience of moviemaking “an endless contention of tawdry egos, some of them powerful, almost all of them vociferous, and almost none of them capable of anything much more creative than credit-stealing and self-promotion.”

Well, Hollywood has forgiven him, it seems. The detective fiction writer now has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, joining the handful of writers—including Dr. Suess and Ray Bradbury—who have one. Chandler had a tumultuous relationship with Hollywood. He was celebrated for his screenplays of film-noir classics Double Indemnity and Strangers on a Train, but was known around town for his drinking and burned too many bridges too quickly. Billy Wilder directed The Lost Weekend, about a writer struggling with his alcoholism, after his experience of working with Chandler on Double Indemnity. In addition to his screenplays, Chandler has had numerous novels adapted for the screen, including The Big Sleep and The Long Goodbye. [The Guardian]

J.K. Rowling’s new novel The Silkworm somehow wasn’t a No. 1 seller in its first week of release. The Cuckoo’s Calling, by contrast, shot to No. 1 after it was revealed that Robert Galbraith, the author credited to the book, was Rowling’s pseudonym. USA Today speculates that the book sales are in a large part due to Amazon. Amazon and Hachette, publisher of The Silkworm, are in contract negotiations, and the retail company has been discouraging customers from buying Hachette’s books. However, it’s also important to note that The Silkworm was released on a Thursday, while most books are released on Tuesdays. Because of that, other books have been selling for more days of the week, giving them a head start on The Silkworm. [USA Today]

Evie Wyld won the 2014 Miles Franklin award for All The Birds, Singing. The $60,000 prize is one of Australia’s most prestigious literary awards. “We’re really, really lucky in that we get to do for a living the thing that we want to do most in the world,” Wyld said. “But it doesn’t make a lot of money.” [NPR]

At the New Yorker‘s Page-Turner blog, Lee Siegel writes about the close friendship and simmering tension between T.S. Eliot and Groucho Marx. [The New Yorker]

'The Silkworm' by J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith: EW Review

The-Silkworm

If there were any doubt that J.K. Rowling has put away childish things since concluding her beloved Harry Potter series seven years ago, consider the grisly description of the crime scene in her new mystery, The Silkworm: “a carcass: trussed, stinking and rotting, empty and gutted…like a slaughtered pig.” Even Voldemort might show more restraint. The victim is a pompous, third-rate novelist named Owen Quine whose final, typewritten manuscript describes just such a death—and also includes libelous fictional versions of all the potential suspects: his more successful literary rival, his chain-smoking agent, his boozy editor, his closeted publisher, his mousy wife, and his shrill mistress. READ FULL STORY

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