News Review 1.6

Maybe it is just my imagination, but JK Rowling seems to 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.

JK Rowling’s life advice: ten quotes on the lessons of failure

From The Telegraph

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.

How JK Rowling kept her Harry Potter secrets from the world (and how The Telegraph helped)

From The Huffington Post

J.K Rowling doesn’t write tweets all that often but when she does they tend to be absolute gems and her latest is no exception.

On Tuesday, the ‘Harry Potter’ author was responding to a fan who said she couldn’t picture Dumbledore the wizard as homosexual.

JK Rowling Responds To Harry Potter Fan Asking Why Dumbledore Is Gay In Incredible Tweet

From The Guardian

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.

JK Rowling says she received ‘loads’ of rejections before Harry Potter successs



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.

Continue Reading: Douglas Adams Doctor Who script to regenerate as a novel

From The Independent

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.

Continue Reading: Between the covers: What’s really going on in the world of books

From BBC iWonder

Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is one of our most popular novels. First published in 1865, it has never been out of print.

So why have Alice and the inhabitants of her Wonderland captivated us for so long? And why have they inspired music, film, fashion and even theme park rides?

Continue Reading: What’s So Wonderful About Alice


books in spaceCyberspace is filled with plenty of things for book lovers. Every Sunday I will share some of the best things I have found. Just click the links to be swept away, but please remember to come back.

From the fabulous Guardian Book Blog I found this little, a step-by-step guide on how your kids, or you can draw the wonderful Tom Gates.

How to draw … Tom Gates

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.

Lost Dr Seuss book to be published

Wonderful picture of Neil Gaiman, linked from The Guardian.

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:

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions & Disturbances by Neil Gaiman review – vivid tales with a twist.

Neil Gaiman: The man who brought cult fiction to the mainstream

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.


English writer Neil Gaiman. Taken at the 2007 ...
English writer Neil Gaiman. Taken at the 2007 Scream Awards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘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.

continue reading via Neil Gaiman: The man who brought cult fiction to the mainstream | Metro News – Mozilla Firefox.

Stephen King speaks to The Metro

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.

Stephen King, American author best known for h...
Stephen King, American author best known for his enormously popular horror novels. King was the 2003 recipient of The National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Taken at the 2007 New York Comicon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So it came with great pleasure to read this short interview with the author, where he speaks about Under the Dome among other things.

The television adaptation of Under the Dome is currently showing on Channel Five here in the UK.