Maybe it is just my imagination, but JK Rowling seemsto be commanding a lot of ink in the papers these days. Here are just some of the stories I have seen in the last few weeks featuring everybody’s favourite creator of Harry Potter.
From The Guardian
JK Rowling has some inspirational advice for graduating students – or for anyone in this universe, really. Her new book, Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination, out on 14 April, is her 2008 commencement speech at Harvard University, published by Little, Brown. Proceeds from sales will be donated to Lumos, a charity for disadvantaged children founded by Rowling, and to a financial aid programme at Harvard.
They were arguably the most-anticipated children’s books of all time, with legions of young fans desperate to find out how it all ends.
Now, the extraordinary lengths JK Rowling and her publishers went to ensure the secrets of Harry Potter were not spilled have been revealed, in a tale of subterfuge nearly as remarkable as her plots.
A new book, a comprehensive bibliography of Rowling’s works, has shared the inner workings of her team, disclosing how they protected her ideas with a mixture of fake titles, an internet ban and a Sainsbury’s plastic bag.
JK Rowling has offered hope to aspiring authors everywhere, after revealing that the first literary agent she sent the manuscript of Harry Potter to responded with just a slip of paper rejecting it.
To add insult to injury, the agent also held onto the folder she submitted her work in, Rowling wrote on Twitter, in response to a question from a fan who asked if she would “ever get nervous emailing agents” when she first started out.
As I travelled through cyberspace this week I found news about Douglas Adams, George RR Martin and a wonderful piece on the wonders of Alice in Wonderland.
From The Guardian
Douglas Adams’s celebrated Doctor Who script City of Death, written over the course of a weekend after the producer, in Adams’s words, “took me back to his place, locked me in his study and hosed me down with whisky and black coffee for a few days”, is being turned into a novel by the author James Goss.
Good news and bad news for fans of George R R Martin, with the announcement that he is ditching the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga and this year’s San Diego Comicon … so that he can get on with writing the next novel in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series.
Daniel Handler is better known as the children’s author Lemony Snickett, now he has stripped away is alter ego and written a book for adults. The reviews are in, and the book has been added to my “To Read” list. Daniel Handler, We Are Pirates – book review
When I was a child I used to love Green Eggs and Ham (the Dr. Seuss book, not the food), my kids also used to enjoy having me read Seuss, but I think they may be a bit old for his rhyming good times now, but the news of a new book by the Doctor still has me excited.
Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors. Scarlett Thomas, the author of the fantastic End of Mr Y, is also a fine writer. So imagine how good a review of Trigger Warning (Gaiman’s new collection of short stories) written by Scarlett Thomas is:
I love it when you pick up the morning paper and find a little treat inside to start your week. Today I found an interview with one of my favourite fantasy writers Neil Gaiman, who mentions there may be another Sandman graphic novel in the pipeline, which is fantastic news to start my week.
Neil Gaiman’s been sitting with his arm in a bowl of iced water and he’s moved our interview from morning to afternoon because, after signing for and chatting to 1,000 fans until 1am, he’s on the verge of losing his voice. Such are the pitfalls of embarking on a nine-week signing tour.
‘I enjoy meeting the people,’ he says. ‘They want to say thanks – it’s wonderful and touching and magic. A thousand people a night is like a marathon, though. Around hour three, you look up and the line doesn’t seem any shorter and you have to keep going.’
The promotional push is for his latest novel, The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, which has spent six weeks on the top ten bestseller list.
His first adult novel since 2005, it’s the story of how a boy’s life is disrupted when a malevolent supernatural entity moves into the family home. It’s partly a gripping, unsettling portrayal of how powerless children are in a family dynamic, while the bits set in a good witch’s house down the road are a cosy, nostalgic celebration of the comforting power of jam sponge and custard.
Gaiman’s first book – if you don’t count the Duran Duran biography he wrote when he was still a journalist in the 1980s – was 1991’s Good Omens, with Terry Pratchett. However, he was well-established before then in ‘geek’ circles, thanks to his comic book series Sandman.
Stephen King more than any other author was the reason I started reading books purely for pleasure. And even though I don’t read too many of his novels any more (though I plan to) I still like to keep track of what he is up to.
So it came with great pleasure to read this short interview with the author, where he speaks about Under the Dome among other things.