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J.K. Rowling attends Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

She be on her suit and tie: J.K. Rowling, pictured above with Val McDermid, appeared at Theaksten Crime Writing Festival as Robert Galbraith.

She be on her suit and tie: J.K. Rowling, pictured above with Val McDermid, appeared at Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival as Robert Galbraith.

On Friday, J.K. Rowling made her only promotional appearance for her new Robert Galbraith novel, The Silkworm, at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.

In conversation with fellow crime writer Val McDermid, J.K. Rowling discussed the Cormoran Strike series while wearing a very appropriate outfit of a grey suit and orange tie. No photographs were allowed during the event, but Rowling signed copies of the book and posed for pictures with fans after appearing on stage.

At the event, Rowling revealed that she has more than seven Cormoran Strike novels planned, referring to the books as an “open-ended” series. Unsurprisingly, she said she knows a lot about the book’s main characters, Cormoran and Robin, and where they’re headed. The author is currently a third of the way through writing the third book, which will center around the experience of returning soldiers and will be “quite different” than the first two novels. The fourth book is already well planned.

For the first time, she spoke about writing the series, saying, “I love writing these books. One of the things I love about this genre is that – unlike Harry where there is an overarching story, here you are talking about discrete stories. So as long as your detective lives you can give him cases.” According to the Bookseller, “The author said it was a “no brainer” for her to write crime novels, describing the Harry Potter novels as ‘six whodunits and one whydunit.’”

Talking about one of the series’ characters, Rowling admitted she “loved” writing the character of Robin. “I think Robin is the most entirely loveable character I’ve ever written. A good person but likeable – a smart woman, a kind and loyal person.”

Along with the aforementioned, Rowling spoke about writing under a pseudonym, Cormoran’s disability, and the crime/thriller genre in quotes that you can read over at the Bookseller.

Are you ready for more Cormoran Strike? What about Jo in suits? (Check out another picture here) Tell us in the comments below whether or not you’re excited for more Robert Galbraith.

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Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan Celebrates Grand Opening

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan opened on Tuesday, July 15.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan opened on Tuesday, July 15.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan celebrated their grand opening this week with J.K. Rowling, Tom Felton, and Evanna Lynch all in attendance. Tom and Evanna played Draco Malfoy and Luna Lovegood, respectively, in the Harry Potter films.

As planned, on Tuesday, July 15 the park was opened by Tom and Evanna with Glen Gumpel, the President and CEO of Universal Studios Japan. According to the press release, “Mr. Felton and Ms. Lynch led the guests with the Revelio spell as the archway was filled with smoke, which slowly lifted to reveal Hogsmeade village prompting cheers from waiting park guests. Then so many guests stepped into Hogsmeade village with excitement and were welcomed by Hogsmeade villagers.”



On Monday, J.K. Rowling enjoyed a private visit to the park with her family. She commented on the experience in a statement that was included in the press release:

“The craft and attention to detail across The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan is incredible and I will take away the memory of Hogwarts castle reflected on the Black Lake in particular. I’m delighted that Harry fans in Japan and around Asia can experience a physical incarnation that is so close to what I imagined when writing the books,” said J.K. Rowling.

Check out these pictures of her visiting the park:

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In comparison, the WWoHP in Japan features most of what the Orlando location has to offer, with the exception of the Dueling Dragons ride. However, Japan includes aspects that aren’t at Orlando, including the Black Lake and the Forbidden Forest. The new park cost 45 billion yen ($442.2 million) to construct.

With the Japan park and Orlando expansion now open, there’s one more Wizarding World still being built. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood is set to open in 2016.

Light Up J.K. Rowling’s Birthday by donating to annual fundraiser for Lumos

JKR says the Light Up Jo's Birthday donation was "one of the best birthday presents she's ever received."

JKR says the Light Up Jo’s Birthday fundraiser was “one of the best birthday presents she’s ever received.”

Be part of one of the best birthday presents J.K. Rowling has received by donating to the Light Up Jo’s Birthday fundraiser for Lumos.

Since 2012, the Light Up Jo’s Birthday fundraiser has been bringing together J.K. Rowling fans to make a difference in a cause that is very close to Jo’s heart. Every July, fans donate to the fundraiser, and this money is then donated to J.K. Rowling’s own charity, Lumos, “which aims to end the institutionalization of children around the world.” The fundraiser runs throughout the month of July, as Jo’s (and Harry Potter’s) birthday is July 31.

So far, Light Up Jo’s Birthday has raised £4,500 for Lumos, and their current total at press time is £1,263.58. As always, this (growing) amount will be donated to Lumos as a birthday present to J.K. Rowling, and the author will be notified of the donation amount. This Thursday, Jo will be told in person how much has been raised so far at the Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival, where she will be appearing as Robert Galbraith.

Jo will turn 49 this year -- be apart of her birthday by donating the fundraiser

Jo will turn 49 this year — be apart of her birthday by donating the fundraiser

In the past, J.K. Rowling has called the gift “one of the best birthday presents I’d ever received,” so who wouldn’t want to apart of it?!

In addition, anyone who donates to Light Up Jo’s Birthday will have their name put in a drawing to win one of a wide-range of prizes, including photos signed by Harry Potter actors Rupert Grint and Matthew Lewis, and even a one-of-a-kind sketch of Harry by artist Thomas Taylor, who illustrated the cover for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. In addition, anyone who donates £5 or more will be entered to win the grand prize — a rare, signed copy of The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling). As there are two signed copies of The Silkworm available, two donators will benefit if they are chosen! Find out more about the prizes here.

Don’t forget, by donating to Light Up Jo’s Birthday, you’re helping a worthy cause that means a great deal to J.K. Rowling. According to their website, “Lumos works in partnership with governments, professionals and carers, communities, families and children, to transform outdated systems that drive families apart.” To find out more about Lumos, visit their website here.

In donating to Light Up Jo’s Birthday, you really are helping Lumos achieve their goal to end the institutionalization of children. The fundraiser’s site reads, “One project carried out by Lumos which benefited from Light Up Jo’s Birthday funds was making a school accessible, so that disabled children can attend mainstream school and stay with their families instead of having to go into an institution.” This birthday campaign is the best way to give back something meaningful to our favorite author, so we ask our readers to donate to the fundraiser if they are able.

To donate to Light Up Jo’s Birthday, click here.

Highlights of the Quidditch World Cup Final

BsShUj6CcAEreseIn case you missed it, Bulgaria won the 2014 Quidditch World Cup final. You can read our full summary here, and J.K. Rowling’s official report here via Pottermore.

For those of you who don’t want to read the whole report, here are some of the important highlights of the game:

  • J.K. Rowling reported on the event in the voice of Quidditch correspondent Ginny Potter and columnist Rita Skeeter
  • Pre-match show: The Bulgarians brought Veelas, and Brazil, Curupiras. As usual, the men were enamored with the Veelas, but the Curupiras were more of an all-around crowd-pleaser. “The opening ceremony concluded with an interesting Veela/Curupira pyramid formation,” Ginny wrote.
  • Almost everyone in the VIP box was supporting Bulgaria, except Harry’s son, Albus, who was decked out in green in support of Brazil. Hermione, on the other hand, did not lend her support for either team. (“Does she secretly hope to see Krum take the trophy at last? Or is this the kind of diplomatic neutrality one might expect of a ruthless careerist whose long-term ambition is undoubtedly to be Minister for Magic?“)
  • Teddy Lupin and Victoire Weasley put on a very public display of affection at the Cup, much to the disapproval of Bill Weasley.
  • Neville Longbottom was at the game, and his actions only encouraged the already established rumors that he is a drunk. We also learn that Neville is Albus’s godfather.
  • Luna Lovegood was passing out snacks in the VIP box. We later learn that Luna’s wedding dress, with rainbows, spangles and a tiara of silver unicorn horns, was voted “Most Hideous Outfit of the Year” by Rita Skeeter’s readers.
  • Luna’s husband, Rolf Scamander accompanied his wife to the event. (“While Lovegood and Scamander appear to be holding hands in the VIP box, this might well be because Rolf is trying to prevent his wife from putting on one of her famous Special Event Hats.“) Rolf was in conversation with Charlie Weasley (a.k.a. “The Unmarried Weasley)
  • Ron and Hermione’s children look like their parents – Rose with her father’s “unfortunate” hair, and Hugo with his mother’s “bushy locks.”
  • Percy Weasley is “greying and balding,” and is now Head of the Department of Magical Transportation, and is known as a “nit-picking bureaucrat” by his political opponents.
  • Geroge Weasley has only one ear and was at the event with his wife, Angelina, and their kids, Fred and Roxanne. Against rumors that the Weasleys are having marital troubles, Ginny reaffirms Rita that Angelina left their house to help care for her ailing father.
  • Viktor Krum caught the Snitch 2 hours and 45 minutes into the game in a race with Brazilian Seeker Silva. Final score: 60-170.
  • And finally: Rita Skeeter fell unaccountably ill after the game as a result of a jinx to the solar plexus.

Another Update on the Story Navigator

Image courtesy of Pottermore

Image courtesy of Pottermore

As promised, Pottermore is keeping the community updated with their progress on solving problems that users have been experiencing on the site.

On Wednesday, Pottermore provided another update on the Story Navigator.

From the Pottermore Insider:

Further to the post we made on July 3 about the issues associated with the story navigator, this week we have made a technical update to Pottermore.com which should now resolve the issue for the majority of our users, where the story navigator disappeared at certain points of progression throughout Moments.

We also hope you will be pleased to learn this week’s update included some stability upgrades to Duelling Club.

More to follow soon.

For users who are still experiencing issues, they direct them to their customer service page. (Click “What’s Next? and then “Need More Help?”)

In their previous update, Pottermore said they were working on implicating other suggestions made by Pottermore members, “including improvements to games, the ability to delete Owl Notifications once they’ve been read, and reviewing our customer service process.”

In related news, now that the Quidditch World Cup is over, the final installment of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire will be released “shortly” on Pottermore.com. Judging by the past, we would not be surprised if they released it this month. Either way, it is something to look forward to.

Live Post of the Quidditch World Cup Final

qwcfinalThe following post will be updated live as the 2014 Quidditch World Cup Final between Bulgaria and Brazil takes place. As a reminder, the game is being reported by J.K. Rowling in the voice of Quidditch correspondent Ginny Potter and infamous journalist Rita Skeeter for the Daily Prophet on Pottermore.com. Follow the official live blog on the Pottermore Insider here.

Read More…

Rita Skeeter and Ginny Potter to report on Quidditch World Cup

qwcfinalGossip columnist Rita Skeeter is set to add her commentary to the Quidditch World Cup final tomorrow in the Patagonia Desert along with the expected, Quidditch correspondent Ginny Potter.

Sketer and Potter will provide live commentary on the Bulgaria vs. Brazil final from 2:00pm Patagonian time (6:00pm BST, 1:00pm EST, 10:00am PST). Fans will be able to follow the event on the Pottermore Insider as well as the Daily Prophet offices on Pottermore as the game happens. Keep an out for the #QuidditchWorldCup hashtag on Pottemore’s Twitter to find out when a new update has arrived.

Ahead of the game, Pottermore’s published an infographic with 10 facts every Quidditch fan should know about the Quidditch World Cup. Be sure to check it out at the Pottermore Insider. You can catch up on all the action from the 2014 Quidditch World Cup so far by visiting the Daily Prophet offices in Diagon Alley on pottermore.com.

J.K. Rowling has been writing the Quidditch reports in the voice of Ginny Potter on Pottermore since March. On Wednesday, Rowling made international headlines when she released a new column from Rita Skeeter, highlighting the life of post-Hogwarts Harry Potter and his friends, who are in Patagonia for the final. In addition, Rowling wrote the final match reports, which will be released in real time.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley is now opened!

Above: Fans embrace at the opening of the WWoHP - Diagon Alley yesterday

Above: Fans embrace at the opening of the WWoHP – Diagon Alley yesterday

After years of waiting, countless reports and concept renderings, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley finally opened its doors to the public Tuesday, July 8.

The full press release:


The Most Spectacularly-Themed, Highly-Anticipated Theme Park Experience of the Year Rolls Out
the Red Carpet to Officially Welcome its First Guests

ORLANDO, Fla. (July 8, 2014) – It’s the day millions of people around the world have been waiting for…

This morning, Universal Orlando Resort officially opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida.   Confetti, fireworks and a red carpet lined with dozens of cheering Diagon Alley team members welcomed thousands of excited guests as they entered the all-new spectacularly-themed land for the very first time.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley brings even more of Harry Potter’s adventures to life at Universal Orlando Resort.   This fully-immersive area expands upon the global phenomenon launched by Universal Orlando when it opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure in 2010.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley is filled with incredible entertainment experiences for the whole family.  You arrive aboard the Hogwarts Express, which takes guests on a journey between the two lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and are transported into a spectacularly themed environment. The new area includes incredible shops with windows full of magical surprises, authentic food and beverages, a towering dragon that breathes fire and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, a new attraction unlike any other that takes you on a mind-blowing ride through the Gringotts vaults – pulling you into an incredible adventure.

More details about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley and available vacation packages can be found atwww.UniversalOrlando.com/wizardingworld.



Japan and USA fight for third place in Quidditch World Cup

qwcthumbThe final round of the Quidditch World Cup commenced today as Japan and the United States faced each other in a playoff for third place in the tournament.

Ginny Potter reported on the match in today’s Daily Prophet: “It was brief, it was bloody and few will disagree that it was brutal,” she writes. The game ended as one team’s Seeker made a spectacular dive to capture the Snitch.

Visit pottermore.com to read Ginny’s full match report in the Daily Prophet, and prepare yourselves for the much anticipated 2014 Quidditch World Cup final between Bulgaria and Brazil, which is being played this Friday, July 11. Fans can follow the Bulgaria-Brazil game as-it-happens on the Pottermore Insider and Facebook. You can even subscribe to Pottermore’s Facebook event for the final match.

Who do you think will win: Bulgaria or Brazil? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and join in on the conversation by using the hashtag #QuidditchWorldCup on social media.




J.K. Rowling updates readers on lives of Harry, Ron, Hermione and others

Dumbledore's Army is reunited at the 2014 Quidditch World Cup

Dumbledore’s Army is reunited at the 2014 Quidditch World Cup

For the first time since the epilogue in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling is providing a glimpse into Harry Potter’s life post-Hogwarts.

Amongst wizard rockstars and magical dignitaries, members of Dumbledore’s Army made an appearance in the Patagonian Desert for the 2014 Quidditch World Cup final this week. In a new Daily Prophet article released today on Pottermore, J.K. Rowling writes from the perspective of the infamous prying journalist Rita Skeeter, who is keeping a watchful eye over Harry Potter and his family and friends at the 2014 Quidditch World Cup final.

Skeeter updates readers on the lives of the thirty-something year old members of Dumbledore’s Army, starting off with Harry himself, now 34 with some threads of silver in his famously jet-black hair. Harry is accompanied by his sons James and Albus in the Patagonian, where their mother, Ginny has been reporting on the Cup for weeks.

Skeeter speculates on Ginny’s placement in the Daily Prophet: “The jury is out on whether she really had the talent or experience to be sent to the Quidditch World Cup (jury’s back in – no!!!) but let’s face it, when your last name is Potter, doors open, international sporting bodies bow and scrape, and Daily Prophet editors hand you plum assignments.”

Rita also provides a look into the lives of Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, two thirds of the Golden Trio. Ron, we learn, worked in the Ministry of Magic after the war, but left to help out his brother George in running the wildly successful Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes. Hermione, on the other hand, rose quickly through the ranks of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and is “tipped to go even higher,” according to Skeeter. “Does Hermione Granger prove that a witch really can have it all? (No — look at her hair.)” Skeeter adds.

Besides Harry, Ron, and Hermione, Skeeter lets readers in on the lives of Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, and other Weasley family members who have been spotted in the Patagonian Desert. Rita even got a jab in at Harry’s godson, Teddy Lupin, who “has been behaving in  a way unbefitting for wizarding royalty.” We find Teddy just where we left him, in a budding relationship with Victoire Weasley.

Where are your favorite characters now? Find out in Rita Skeeter’s column in today’s Daily Prophet, only on Pottermore.com.

J.K. Rowling will be returning to Pottermore this Wednesday and Friday with complete coverage of the Quidditch World Cup final. Stay tuned!


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