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.
Tag: J.K. Rowling (1-10 of 70)
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 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 Them, Quidditch 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.
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]
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
If you know anything about Game of Thrones, you know that author George R.R. Martin kills off a lot of characters. If you’d like to join that esteemed company, here’s your chance. Martin is offering the opportunity to “meet a grisly death” in the next Song of Ice and Fire novel if you donate $20,000 to a fundraiser for the Wild Wolf Spirit sanctuary in New Mexico and The Food Depot of Santa Fe. You’ll be able to choose your position in the world (knight, peasant, whore, lady, etc) as well. But hurry! Offer only good while supplies last. Only one male and one female character are available. Other awards including sharing a breakfast with Martin, tickets to the show’s season 5 premiere, and even Martin’s hat. [Prizeo]
Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins will soon be joining the fray in the Amazon-Hachette war. According to Bloomberg News, their contracts are up for renewal next. This means that Amazon will be up against bigger arms — the publishers’ respective owners are News Corp. and CBS Corp. It also means that Veronica Roth and Stephen King will join J.K. Rowling and James Patterson in the controversy. Independent bookstore owners have also started yelling battle cries — the American Booksellers Association made digital banners reading, “Thanks, Amazon, the indies will take it from here,” “Independent bookstores sell books from all publishers. Always,” and “Pre-order and buy Hachette titles today.” Among all this, Hachette is laying off 3 percent of its staff. [Bloomberg]
Debut novelist Eimar McBride won the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction, one of the most highly regarded prizes in English-language literature. You might have heard of it when it was called the Orange Prize, sponsored by the British telecom company Orange, but it switched names and sponsorship this year. The book, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, beat out Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah for the award, as well as four other novels on the shortlist. “I hope it will serve as an incentive to publishers everywhere to take a look at difficult books and think again,” McBride said at the ceremony. “We are all writers but we are all readers first. There is a contract between publishers and readers which must be honoured, readers can not be underestimated.” [The Guardian]
In honor of the upcoming World Cup, the curator of Brazilian literature festival FlipSide, Ángel Gurría-Quintana, gives a rundown of the country’s literature — and there’s plenty of it. “Despite the common complaint that not enough Brazilian literature is published in English,” Gurría-Quintana writes. “This is an auspicious moment for new Brazilian writing in translation.” [The Guardian]
Amazon may be making it impossible to pre-order The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling), but Rowling is drumming up anticipation for the book on her own by releasing two chapters on robert-galbraith.com. In the excerpt, Cormoran Strike reckons with the disappearance of novelist Owen Quine, who has made enemies of many people he knows by characterizing them in unflattering ways in his books. The chapters also include references to phone hacking, an issue Rowling has addressed in real life.
The feud between Hachette Book Group and Amazon has intensified. The Los Angeles Times reports that Amazon has taken the pre-order buttons off of big Hachette titles, like The Burning Room by Michael Connelly and The Silkworm by Richard Galbraith, the pen name for J.K. Rowling. This is in addition to allegedly extending back order times for popular books, like Tina Fey’s Bossypants and Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point. Hachette has issued a statement saying they are “sparing no effort and exploring all options” to resolve this conflict, but Amazon has declined to comment. Hachette author James Patterson has been very outspoken about this battle. “What I don’t understand about this particular battle tactic is how it is in the best interest of Amazon customers,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “It certainly doesn’t appear to be in the best interest of authors.” READ FULL STORY
The Quidditch World Cup continued on Pottermore today, and game two pitted Nigeria against Fiji. As predicted, tournament-favorite Nigeria steamrolled the island nation of Fiji in a 400-160 win. Read the full article from The Daily Prophet‘s Quidditch correspondent Ginny Weasley to figure out why Fijian coach Hector Bolobolo’s only comment after the game was, “I’m going to kill him.”
Nigeria will go on to face the winner of the Poland v. Japan match — and meanwhile, Pottermore tells us that it will be updating The Daily Prophet every day this week with new coverage from Ginny (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling).We’re Quaffling with excitement.
Harry Potter’s official fan site, Pottermore, posted two new pieces from J.K. Rowling as part of the “History of the Quidditch World Cup.” And now we know why! Because Ginny Potter (née Weasley) is going to be “reporting live” from the 2014 Quidditch World Cup, which is happening in the Patagonian desert this year, folks. (So I guess South America is hosting all the World Cups. Lucky dogs.)
These days, Ginny is married to Harry and enjoying a post-player career as a sports journalist. Her byline says, “from the Daily Prophet’s Quidditch Correspondent in the Patagonian desert, Ginny Potter.” J.K. Rowling also quotes the magical creatures expert Rolf Scamander in the piece — which a press release noted that “knowledgeable Harry Potter fans” should be able to “spot the link to the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts that J.K. Rowling is currently writing, the protagonist of which is Newt Scamander, Rolf’s grandfather.” So are you a true fan? Did you catch that?? (I didn’t.)
This first article from Ginny describes how the international teams’ mascots, magical creatures from the world of Harry Potter, took part in the ceremony and caused havoc for their handlers. We find out why more than 300 crowd members are suffering from shock, broken bones and bites following the ceremony, and why failure to bring their usual mascots — a troupe of performing trolls — caused a great deal of trouble for the Norwegian delegation. A match report details the thrilling action between Norway and Ivory Coast in the first match of the tournament.
To check out the articles, sign in to Pottermore and go to the Office of The Daily Prophet section.
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