On the fifteenth page of my very battered and tattered copy of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, the much beloved (and also somewhat feared) Minerva McGonagall doesn’t mince words when she predicts Harry Potter’s future fame: “He’ll be famous – a legend…every child in our world will know his name!” Well, Professor, maybe you should teach Divination.
Harry Potter is indeed a household name and unless you’ve been living in the middle of the Sahara Dessert, you’ve heard of him. I began reading J.K.’s first book when I was ten years old and have since been a self-proclaimed student of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Yes, I’m a nerd. But I’m not the only one.
I have no qualms in making the bold claim that Joanne Rowling has set the benchmark for imaginative storytelling. As a writer (or at least a wannabe writer), my greatest and seemingly unattainable dream is to pen a story that captures the imaginations of as many children and adults around the globe. To this day, no other author, film-maker, painter or playwright has come within a one hundred kilometre radius of J.K. Rowling’s feats of imagination. They have tried (oh, how they have tried!) and they have oft succeeded in producing wonderfully creative tales, but none has ever come close to pinching the crown from Harry Potter’s lightning-scarred forehead. That is, in my own personal opinion.
Today, while driving to work in weather so miserable it seemed the height of cruelty that I was unable to curl up with a mug of coffee and a book, I heard an announcement on the news that excited me so much that I very nearly drove straight into a pole. Saving my wing mirror in the nick of time, I spent the remainder of my journey very carefully grinning from ear to ear. Are you ready to hear the news? (Exercise caution if currently operating heavy machinery.) The beloved queen of fiction, J.K. Rowling, is returning to her kingdom with a fresh and exciting new novel for adults!
Although the title and plot of this up-and-comer are as unknown to us as magic is to muggles, she has disclosed that her latest book will differ greatly from her Harry Potter stories. Exploring different territory, writing for a different audience and using a different publisher, Ms. Rowling certainly has us all waiting with bated breath, intrigued and excited. The question that I’m sure is now on everyone’s minds is whether or not anything will ever compare to the phenomenal success of Hogwarts. Although I certainly will be in line to buy her book on its release date, I must confess to feeling the slightest bit unsure as to whether or not I have room in my heart for anything post-Harry Potter… I guess I’ll just have to wait, read and see.
Welcome back, Joanne, we’ve missed you!