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Tag Archive | literature

Updated: ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ sequel announced: ‘The Silkworm’, to be released this June

The sequel to last year’s acclaimed bestseller The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, J.K. Rowling’s pseudonym, has been announced.

The Silkworm will be released in hardcover on June 19, 2014 by Little, Brown. The book is 384 pages, making it smaller than The Cuckoo’s Calling which had 464. The publisher currently has the book priced at $28.00.

The cover:

thesilkworm

On Monday, February 17, Galbraith (Rowling) officially announced the book. Here is the synopsis that was released:

A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, The Silkworm is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant Robin Ellacott.

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days – as he has done before – and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives – so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.

And when Quine is found brutally murdered in bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any he has encountered before…

The Silkworm will be the second novel J.K. Rowling publishes under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Last summer, Rowling was uncovered as the author of the first book after a solicitor working with Rowling’s camp leaked the name to a friend. The novel was critically acclaimed before and after the revelation, and we expect the same for this book as well.

Are you excited for the new Cormoran Strike novel? Did you read/like The Cuckoo’s Calling? Tell us in the comments below!

Note: An earlier edition of this article stated that the book would be released on June 24, 2014, as listed on the publisher’s website. The release date that was sent out with the official announcement this morning was June 19, 2014.

The previous version also included the synopsis of the book that was on the publisher’s website — we have since changed this to match the one released today in the official announcement.

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The Harry Potter Journey has been published!

The Harry Potter Journey: Volume One has been published.

The Harry Potter Journey: Volume One has been published.

Back in January we asked our readers to donate to the Harry Potter Journey fund, which would make the Harry Potter Journey website a book. With your help, that dream is now a reality, and The Harry Potter Journey: Volume One – The making of ‘The Philosopher’s Stone’ is now published.

The Harry Potter Journey is an in-depth, page-turning narrative that traces the roots of Harry Potter, from the moment of conception to present day. Not only are readers exposed to the transformation of a manuscript, but also a person: a struggling single mother with a big idea, J.K. Rowling. Through the interviews of key figures and detailed research, the author takes us on the magnificent journey that is the making of the first Harry Potter novel. The book tells a really amazing and unforgettable story about the making of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and it is a must read for all Harry Potter fanatics.

If you want, you can purchase it at http://www.theharrypotterjourney.com for $10, using a credit card or pay pal account.

This first volume covers the story of the first book, and the second volume will focus on Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban. A release date has not been announced yet for the second volume.

About the Harry Potter Journey:

For the past two years, the Harry Potter Journey has been an online visual history of the writing of the Harry Potter books. It shared the complete history behind the Harry Potter books, with different editions and collector’s items, and more. In 2013 it was published in the form of a book, and is available in e-book format.

J.K. Rowling appears at Bath Literature Festival

J.K. Rowling's 'The Casual Vacancy' hits stores September 27

J.K. Rowling appeared at the Bath Literature Festival last night.

Last night J.K. Rowling spoke at the Bath Literature Festival as the final stop in her Casual Vacancy promotional tour.

Among the highlights of the night was that Rowling ruled out the possibility of writing a Harry Potter prequel. She made clear that she had no plans on writing a prequel of the stories, specifically about the Marauders, because she doesn’t think very much of them. “I’m never going to say never but I have no current plans. I think prequels are not generally very successful,” she said.*

Rowling also spoke about her future plans, reiterating what she said earlier in the Casual Vacancy promotional tour. She is writing a children’s book that is aimed at a ‘slightly’ younger audience than Harry Potter. She says it will be shorter, but she’s not done writing it yet. In a letter to fans who gave her notes/presents during the first promotional tour stops, she said that she will be on the promotional tour soon enough. Could this mean we’ll be getting a new J.K. Rowling book this year? We think that there will be an announcement, at the very least.

Rowling was accompanied in conversation with fellow author and close friend James Runcie and with him discussed the themes of The Casual Vacancy and her personal life.

From The Independent:

She talked about her first sexual experience (a “French kiss at a youth club disco” with a boy much older than her 12-year-old self), her writing habits (“I’m really good at writing in the front passenger seat with the three children and the dog in the back”), and the phenomenal reception of the Harry Potter series which she likened to “Beatlemania”. Her own adolescence partly inspired the teenage characters in her first adult novel, The Casual Vacancy, she added, as well as her former job as a teacher.

Unfortunately we were not there at the event, but did enjoy seeing fans’ understandably overly-excited tweets/ euphoric Tumblr posts about their experiences!

*quote is from The Independent

New US editions of Harry Potter books to be released August 27

hp1ncScholastic has just confirmed to Snitch Seeker that the new US paperback editions of the Harry Potters books will be released August 27, 2013.

These 15th anniversary editions of the books will feature new covers by a new artist, Kazu Kibuishi. A few weeks ago we shared with you the cover of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. You can view it on the right.

The anniversary editions will reportedly feature bonus material in the back of the book. We will update you whenever details about the content are announced.

You can pre-order the books at Barnes and Noble Online right now by clicking here.

Scholastic to re-release Harry Potter books with new covers

Today, Scholastic announced that the US editions of the Harry Potter books would be re-released with all new covers this September.

The covers, designed by artist Kazu Kibuishi, are to be released in honor of the series’ fifteenth anniversary and to reach and introduce a new audience to Harry Potter. The cover art for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was unveiled today, too, and you can see it below.

hp1nc

The other covers will be unveiled in due course and, according to the press release, “[each cover] will depict a distinctive and memorable moment from the respective book. The collection, which will also be released in September as a boxed set, will offer new readers just reaching the age to begin the series a glimpse of J.K. Rowling’s magical world and the epic story they are about to enter.”

The iconic original artwork by Mary GrandPré (the artwork of our childhood, the artwork that inspired a generation…) will continue to be used for the U.S. hardcover, small paperback editions. We suspect the e-book covers won’t change, but Scholastic didn’t mention anything about it in the press release.

Right now, Barnes & Noble online is listing the new editions for the following prices:

- Sorcerer’s Stone: $12.99
– Chamber of Secrets: $12.99
– Prisoner of Azkaban: $12.99
– Goblet of Fire: $14.99
– Order of the Phoenix: $14.99
– Half-Blood Prince: $14.99
– Deathly Hallows: $16.99
– Box set: $100.00

Barnes and Noble’s page also says that the books will be released on September 1, with bonus material included in the backs of all the books. However, friends at Hypable contacted Scholastic for a comment and they said that they don’t have a concrete release date set, and that the bonus material is still being worked. We’ll bring you more information as it comes.

Following suit with Bloomsbury, Scholastic also announced they would be releasing they would be releasing a Hogwarts Library box set, including Quidditch Through the AgesFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard, in November 2013. We’ll give more information on that as it comes in.

What do you think about the new covers? Like or dislike? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

An Exclusive Interview with Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne: Part 1

Charlie RedmayneIn an exclusive interview with Pottermore News, Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne offers fans an insight into the future of Pottermore and more.

Charlie has been CEO of Pottermore since November 2011 and has been responsible for the transition of Pottermore from beta to launch. Redmayne oversaw the launch of Pottermore.com in April 2012, and the launch of the groundbreaking Pottermore Shop in March 2012.

Pottermore News (PN): In the future, how will you be using television and other platforms to promote the site and its products?

Charlie Redmayne (CR): We will be using television in the future, absolutely. When I came into Pottermore in November of 2011, there were some significant challenges for us in terms of the platform and getting it out of beta and actually being able to launch. I think that what we wanted to do was to invest time, money, resources in building something that worked, that the platform could support it, and to have enough great content on it to really mean that television advertising was worthwhile. This year we’re going to be focusing much more on adding more to the site. The site’s up and running, it works, it’s great, but we’ll be adding a load more to it. I think as we add more content to it and also more functionalities to it, then the marketing of it will start to emerge. But I didn’t want to invest lots of money marketing something that wasn’t quite ready.

PN: How do you plan to increase the site’s re-value? In other words, How do you plan to keep fans coming back to the site?

CR: I think that’s a really good point, and it is a very valid criticism. The site currently resonates very well amongst really hardcore Harry Potter fans. Also, I think that the thing that really attracts them is the new content. When we put new content live, we see large numbers of people coming back, consuming that content. Then quite a lot of people don’t spend enough time coming back to the site until we have a new content release. So, I think the best way of answering that question is that we are aware of that, and you will see change. 

We will continue to evolve the site by adding new content to it for people to enjoy, new content from J.K. Rowling, and to have new stuff for the fans. There will also be other changes that we will start to make, to invite new Harry Potter fans to discover more about the world; people who may have only read a couple of the books or seen a couple of the moviesPottermore needs to work for that audience too.

I think that you will see some changes not in the immediate future, but in the quite near future, whereby there is more content, there is more interactive content, there is more freedom in terms of community, and there is more flexibility in how you get to content. At the moment, you have to go on a very rigid journey [to get to content]. I think that, for it to work really well, we need to free up that and have some flexibility in that. I don’t want to say what we’re doing, but you’ll definitely see things changing, not immediately, but there are plans and we’re working on them. And I hope that by later in the year you will see the changes we have made will keep people coming back and we will also bring new fans to Harry Potter onto the site.

PN: How do you plan to increase user interactivity? Do you think that changing the restrictions on the site will fix some of the problems?

CR: We are going to continue to develop the site and we’re starting to use the community. I think that we get some pretty valuable feedback both directly on the site, through social media and stuff that’s sent to us. We are certainly aware of issues that come up and we try to respond to them. 

New developments for the community side of what we do will be coming. You will have seen some of these being implemented in recent months, enabling a level of communication. I think as we step forward we must be absolutely focused on safety, specifically child safety, because some of the people who use Pottermore are quite young, but at the same time we need to create a community and connect with the community and we are very aware of that. 

We also want to continue to improve the experience for all Harry Potter fans to enjoy and to participate and engage in. And we also want to curb the occurrences of cheating that do sometimes take place, and that’s something we’re very focused on. But, you will see more interactivity coming on the site. There are lots of valid reasons, which aren’t particularly interesting to fans as to why we haven’t got a lot of interactivity on the site at the moment, but we certainly see that as something we will be changing and we will be adding to it because I think it is critical. It ultimately needs to be an interactive experience.

PN: Will the J.K. Rowling Exclusive Content on Pottermore stay solely on Pottermore, or will we be seeing it in book form?

CR: Pottermore will evolve into a range of different digital platforms for people to spend time in, and J.K. Rowling’s Exclusive Content will appear in all of that. 

So if you look at, for instance, the Book of Spells, which is the new Sony product on Playstation3, it has new content from J.K. Rowling in it. But, as opposed to being published as a book or an e-book, it is being published as an augmented reality experience on Playstation. 

So I think you will see Pottermore on many different platforms, not just browser-based experiences, and what we will do is we will show that content using the functionalities of different devices that are available to make it the best possible experience.

PN: How closely involved is J.K. Rowling with Pottermore? What role does she play?

CR: J.K. Rowling is involved, obviously, with the site. It was her brainchild, her idea. She wanted to give something back to her fans. She is immensely grateful and respectful to her fans and she wanted to give something back and that’s why Pottermore was created. She oversaw the creation and she has written all the exclusive content. On a day-to-day basis, she’s obviously a writer, and wants to focus on that. But she’s certainly involved in any key decisions that are taken with Pottermore and she influences the direction the site goes in and things that we do.

PN: Does she look over the artwork?

CR: She certainly does see the artwork. The look and feel of the site and the artwork that is created for Pottermore is something that is critical to make sure that we get right. She is involved. She doesn’t have a day-to-day role in it, that’s the Pottermore team running it. Butcertainly the important stuff she is very involved in because she is very passionate about it.

PN: Do you think we will see more sites like Pottermore in the future?

CR: I think that we will see more businesses like Pottermore in the future and I think sites will be part of it. What I mean by Pottermore at the moment is obviously pottermore.com, which is the experience as we call it. It’s a free proposition – there’s no revenue generation from it, there’s no advertising on it – it’s just something that Jo wanted to give back to her fans. 

Then’s there a Shop, which sells e-books and digital audio and now other products. There is Playstation3 Wonderbook: Book of Spells and I think over this year you will see more Pottermore products and experiences emerging on different platforms.

I think that model is the model for digital publishing in the future, and I think that those people in publishing and in film companies and right holders see what we have done, and that they will follow. There are a lot of brands that can do some things we have done, and some things differently. But I think that you will certainly see this as the digital publishing model of the future.

Look out for part two of our exclusive interview with Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne next week. In part two, he will discuss his accomplishments as CEO of Pottermore and the future, address critics of Pottermore, and much more.

J.K. Rowling interviewed on CBC Radio Show

J.K. Rowling’s ‘The Casual Vacancy’ hits stores September 27

To finish up a week full of interviews and appearances, J.K. Rowling was interviewed by host Jian Ghomeshi on the Canadian radio show Q to talk about her new novel for adults.

During the interview, Rowling was asked if it was a relief to publish the novel, to which she responded, “It was such a relief. It felt very liberating to finally have it publish and to be able to people talk about it… Yeah, I would say my over righting feeling was a sense of relief.”

The author again talked about not feeling the need to publish the novel. “For the first couple of years in the writing of The Casual Vacancy, I kept telling myself you don’t have to publish this…” Rowling elaborated, saying that it was “nice” to think that no one knew what she was doing, and that there was no rush to publish the novel.

Rowling also discussed about accepting the fact that she would never write anything as successful as Harry Potter. She explained that even as early as 2000 she knew that she would never do another Harry Potter because “lightning doesn’t strike twice.” She remarked that it would be wrong for her to try to “duplicate” Harry Potter, or even try to amount to the same success.

Interestingly, Rowling revealed her thoughts on failing, “I honestly do [feel free to fail]… I’m 47 years old… There are worst things in life than writing a book people don’t like.”

In concluding the interview, the two touched on the private author’s relationship with the media. Rowling responded to critics’ claims that she is reclusive saying, “It is absolutely false. I am not remotely reclusive.”

Listen to the whole interesting interview right here.

Recap of J.K. Rowling’s webcast

For the first time in years, J.K. Rowling is hosting a webcast to talk about the world of Harry Potter.

You can watch the webcast right here at the new Harry Potter Reading Club’s website. An education tool, the Harry Potter Reading Club provides educators with the resources they need to start a Harry Potter book club. These resources include discussion guides, monthly activities, and more. The webcast is part of the launch of the Club.

UPDATE: The webcast has ended but you will be able to watch a replay on the Harry Potter Reading Club’s website shortly. It will also be available for viewing next week on the Pottermore Insider.

Here are some of the highlights from the webcast:

  • On Edinburgh: Jo says some things in the books wouldn’t have happened without living in the town. Names and street names came out of the books. The town also has great coffee shops and is respectful of her privacy.
  • Jo got Gilderoy’s surname from a graveyard in Edinburgh
  • Jo says that she had several teachers over the years that encouraged her to write.
  • One of Jo’s favorite moments from the books was Luna’s appearance, the Graveyard scene in Goblet of Fire, and some small moments: “stupid jingles that Peeves says” were fun to do.
  • The second American tour Jo did was “unbelievable” – she can remember traveling in a car towards her first signing and there were blocks of people queuing. She thought a sale was going on, but they were actually in line for Jo.
  • The first sentence she wrote of Harry Potter had something to do with Dark’s Hollow, which became Godric’s Hollow. She says of the first sentence, “So you saw what happened in Godric’s Hollow very early in the series, unlike how it turned out, where you see the story at the end of the series” (paraphrasing)
  • She read from Chapter 5 of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Diagon Alley. She wrote the passage under a tree in a park.
  • One of my favorite ever comments from a very early reader, in 1999, about 10 years old, he said to me: “Harry doesn’t often ever know what’s going on, and nor do I.” That reader was semi-joking, but he meant it at the same time. We all had the feeling of, ‘I’m not sure what’s going on.’ We all felt that at school.”
  • On Pottermore: “The initial idea was, it’s time. People were asking for eBooks. It felt like it was the right time to do it. Then I wanted it to be more than that, because as you say, the internet offers amazing possibilities. I saw it as a way to create an environment where you could see extra tidbits, we can go inside illustrations. It’s making a book – it’s putting a book in that world. It’s still a reading experience – you still need to be able to read the books. But I was excited that we could put a really good reading experience online. I think it’s important to say that this is completely free. But the REALLY exciting thing for me – again, for free – is I had a way to put extra material online. It was a way of making sure any fan could access it. If I loved a series of books, to be able to learn more about a character – it’d be a great experience.”
  • Jo wrote a full biography of Remus Lupin which made her very emotional. Presumably we will see this in Prisoner of Azkaban
  • They showed an exclusive preview of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on Pottermore – check it out below:

Knight Bus Moment from Prisoner of Azkaban

  • Jo revealed that she has taken her own Sorting Questionnaire on Pottermore, and got sorted into Gryffindor
  • Jessica Rowling told her mother, “I think everyone should want to be in Hufflepuff.”
  • Jo revealed that her favorite house is not Gryffindor, but Hufflepuff!
  • Once again, Jo hesitantly says that her next book will be for children.

Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne talks at the Frankfurt Book Fair

Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne (above) spoke at the Frankfurt Book Fair on Monday.

As reported previously Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne spoke at the Frankfurt Book Fair on Monday to discuss Pottermore. Pottermore News was not in attendance, but has gathered a lot of interesting information from sources that were at the Fair – including the release date of the final chapters of Chamber of Secrets.

In his speech, Charlie Redmayne talked about how Pottermore can be used as a model for the future of digital publishing and how there are countless opportunities for the site and the Potter brand overall. He even went as far as to saying that they are exploring in-flight entertainment.

Here’s a part of his speech (via the book fair’s blog):

“Most publishers see digital publishing as creating e-books or, perhaps, enhanced e-books, but Pottermore looked at every single platform—e-books, browser-based experiences, social network, apps, game consoles, in-flight entertainment, YouTube, and educational platforms—to see if and how it could work for our brand,” said Redmayne.  “Publishers have often thought that filmmakers or gaming companies have the rights to the more valuable properties, but we have the rights to the stories and that has immense value.”

In bold you can see some of the opportunities currently being explored for Pottermore: “in-flight entertainment, YouTube, and educational platforms…” Does this mean we could be seeing Pottermore up in the air soon? We’re already seeing it in gaming form with Book of Spells and as an educational platform with the Harry Potter Reading Club. In his presentation that can be viewed here online, it states that “Apps” and “Connected TV” are also being developed for Pottermore.

Redmayne also shared that they are currently “building more interactive opportunities” on the site to maintain the high traffic they experience after every content release. This includes adding a new “Games” hub. The Games hub will become the last padlock on the top platform. They are also working with Warner Bros. “to deliver interactive content to the site”. Perhaps we could be seeing this “interactive content” in the Games hub.

Another topic Redmayne touched on was expanding the Pottermore Shop. In his presentation, it states that they are planning physical products to be sold through the shop, and adding enhanced e-books. Redmayne talked about adding these products at the London Book Fair in May, saying he expected them out in time for the holiday season.

Redmayne also spoke about launching the site in different languages. He said that Brazilian Portuguese language will be the next to be launched on Pottermore, and that they are “investigating the market potential for other eBook languages.”

One final thing we caught while exploring his presentation was that the final chapters of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets will launch later this month.

J.K. Rowling appears at Cheltenham Literature Festival

J.K. Rowling with her new novel, The Casual Vacancy, at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. (Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images)

As previously reported, J.K. Rowling appeared at the Cheltenham Literature Festival this past Saturday, October 6, to promote her new novel.

At the event Rowling responded to critics of The Casual Vacancy, claiming they “misrepresented” her social views.

Rowling admitted at the Festival that she is not a “thick-skinned” person. “It is true that a lot of what I am looking at in the book are certainly middle-class issues,” Rowling said, “but then I think that’s fair and I am well-qualified as I am from the middle class, which I can empathise with… But I think some critics have misrepresented my views as more extreme or black and white than they really are. I don’t think I am evangelical in my work.”

J.K. Rowling also made a revelation at the event that international headlines. The Harry Potter author author confirmed that her next published work would be for children, even though she is a bit nervous about returning to children’s literature.

Rowling went on saying, “I have a lot of things on my laptop currently, including a couple of things for children – for a slightly younger age group than Harry Potter was aimed at – which are nearly done and will, I think, be the next thing I publish. I have run them by my children and they seem to like them which is always a good sign.”

J.K. Rowling also stated she has some ideas for another novel for adults but they are not “too far on [in development].”

Check out the whole story here via The Telegraph. Thanks to Hypable for the tip!

Here are some pictures from the event (Courtesy David Levenson/Getty Images):

 

 

 

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