J.K. Rowling Is Writing A New Book, Try Not To Pee Your Pants

Intern Grace’s Team Pick:

J.K Rowling, the writing goddess who bequeathed the Harry Potter series on mankind, is writing a new, not-Harry Potter book. Give yourself a moment to make sure you’re still breathing. Are you good? Ok.

Her people announced this morning that Rowling has a deal for new book that’s going to be for an adult audience, and that’s basically all anyone is saying. Her website is apparently under construction until spring, but it has been updated with little tiny crumbs of information, like “further details will be announced later in the year,” which will be like, December if the timing of the Pottermore release was any indication.

Also this picture was posted:

I hope this is the actual name.

So descriptive!

There’s also a note from the author, which mysteriously says, “While I have loved writing it just as much, my next book will be very different from the Harry Potter series,” which either means it’s a Hermione/Ginny fanfic or a murder mystery where the reader has to figure out what the book is about before their favorite author kills off more beloved characters.

OK TELL ME YOUR FEELINGS.

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Grace Ellis has been writing and making hack-job graphics for Autostraddle since 2011 and is a co-creator and co-writer of the comic book series Lumberjanes. She is mostly an intern in name only. (Mostly.) She lives in Columbus, Ohio because why anything. Also, she wants to write the Black Widow movie and feels like if she just keeps telling people, eventually she will be allowed to do it. She has a Twitter and a Tumblr, both of which are pretty above average.

Grace has written 83 articles for us.

54 Comments

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    I’m wondering if “very different from the Harry Potter series” means that she’s going to be changing genres. Like maybe this new one will be more mainstream literary fiction, i.e. “no foolish wand-waving or silly incantations.”

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    To be perfectly honest, my main feeling is that I wish everyone would calm down.

    I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, and nerd. JK Rowling and her series played a huge part in my life, and I am incredibly grateful for that. BUT. I also know that the books were not exactly bastions of elegant prose. She was not a terrible writer by any means, but she also wasn’t particularly great. She was good ENOUGH to successfully illustrate her much more impressive (though far from perfect) universe-building skills. And in YA fiction, pretty-okay works. It works in ways that it does not work in general fiction/fiction aimed at adults. This novel’s already getting all kinds of maniacal excitement, and I’m very skeptical of her ability to write well enough for it to warrant that.

    I will read it, of course. Everyone will. She could slap her name on ANYTHING and people would jump on it. (*coughPottermorecough*) But this blind, bandwagon-y squee makes me a little crazy, in the same way that it made me crazy when people tried to argue that the HP books were paragons of literary excellence. I love Harry Potter. But I also love literature. So this book won’t get any fannish glee from me until I can actually see how the writing is.

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      I also kind of feel this way, but I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt because I really want it to be good. I’m usually pretty cynical about things like this, but I feel like if she was a strong enough writer to invent Harry Potter, she deserves a fair shot at adult lit.

      I hope it doesn’t suck, though. That would be so disappointing.

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      Well said! I do feel that her actual writing skill improved over the course of the series (no shock there, really). She has a real knack for tying up loose ends – often in ways that are just too pat, but in that genre it works.

      At this point, I think she almost has to jump genres. I hope she finds one she likes. She does have a knack for envisioning complex characters, even if she only shows us bits of them – often there’s more character depth than we expect. I think she could focus on that and give us something pretty interesting. :)

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      I have a secret. A deep, dark, dirty, embarrassing secret.

      I never finished reading the HP series. I got partway through the third book and stopped there. I’ve seen bits and pieces of the movies but never in their entirety.

      I realize that this will probably get me banned from AS and I’ll have to relinquish my lesbian membership card.

      *Walk of shame*

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      well, “elegant prose” is only one of the qualities that can make a good book (and by the way, was so not the point of harry potter). she’s great at coming up with new worlds and characters and drawing the reader into them, and i think that’s just as impressive as a fancy writing style.

      i’m super excited to read her new book.

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      i’m so worried about it not being good because she really not a crazily genius incredible writer but i love her so much and i have so much nostalgia and feels about harry potter AND FUCK WHAT IF IT IS BAD THEN I WON’T LIKE HER AS MUCH NUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

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    Am I the only one who thought after the last of the Potter books came out and she was giving kind of odd inteviews and stuff that maybe she went a little..Umm..What’s the word I’m looking for..Bat-shit crazy? So this “new book” has me a wee bit frightened

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    I feel bad for her because even if it is wildly different from Harry Potter, everyone will want and expect another Harry Potter book. They will then leave bad reviews because it’s not Harry Potter.

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      That’s why I think she’s gonna write in a very, very different genre. It would be hard to justify arguing that, say, a police procedural about a hardboiled detective isn’t enough like Harry Potter. Not that I think that’s what she’s writing. :)

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      This.
      I just read something about Joyce Carol Oates trying to publish something under a pseudonym after she was already an established author, allegedly in order to get a more honest appraisal… I get why J.K. would want to carry her popularity over to a new project, but I wonder if she won’t be burned by it?

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    Hm well I agree with the whole sentiment that the Harry Potter series isn’t exactly high literature, but honestly is it supposed to be? More than anything its the characters and themes and setting that really got people. I started the books at eleven and my favorite thing to do was to make up my own things that could be happening in the Potterverse. Beyond that she got a whole generation of kids reading something that is for anyone of any gender, not this Twilight I really-need-a-bf nonsense. So I’m cautiously optimistic for this new book.

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    I’m not really with the harry potter is bad literature group and similar…I mean, she changed the lives of thousands (if not millions) of people and united them through books. (I understand that doesn’t actually change the level of literature but to me it does and everything about HP is simply gorgeous.)
    And the fact that there’s a strong AND three dimensional female main character in all of the books. And that Jk Rowling said that Dumbledore was gay and didn’t apologize for it afterwards.
    So basically all I’m thinking right now is EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE OMFG LIFE IS PERFECT EVERYONE DANCE AND SING AND JUMP UP AND DOWN FOR THE NEXT FIVE HOURS

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      I agree. I’ve studied literature for a really long time. No one gives books the “literary merit” badge until years after they are published. 100 years from now, English Lit majors are going to have to take courses in Harry Potter and they will bitch about it in the same way we bitch about reading Shakespeare. The pretentious hipsters of the future will sit around in coffee shops and discuss the symbolism of Hermione’s overbite and Malfoy’s character development.

      Also, I HAVEN’T STOPPED PEEING MY PANTS ALL DAY! I AM SO EXCITED!

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          I totally agree with you. I loooove the Harry Potter books but to compare J.K. Rowling with Shakespeare goes too far. J.K. Rowling has a nice and interesting writing style, but the reason for her success is the brilliant world she thought of, not necessarily the way in which she presented it. Sure she’s great but Shakespeare was a genius and is without doubt one of the most famous and respected writers of all time.
          And to be honest i’m not that keen on her new book. I’ve read a lot of books in these 17 years of my life and i think that without the brilliant storyline and characters the book might just end up to be one of the many and not stand out or live up to the expectations. and the expectations are certainly high, so it’s gonna be a real challenge to live up to that.
          She gave so many people a world where they can escape to and taught people what really matters in life, how to be brave and that our choices show who we truly are. The problem is that we all love it so much because we fell in love with that world, which she described beautifully, not because of her ingenious writing.

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          Oh, obviously I am not comparing them as authors (did I mention I studied literature for a very long time? I realize Shakespeare and Harry Potter are not the same, haha). I just think it’s weird how people don’t appreciate new books because they aren’t “classics” yet. Everything was new once.

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        THANK YOU THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN TRYING TO ARGUE FOR YEARS NOW whenever people criticize hp but I could never find the words for it
        I wonder what’s the meaning of Hermione’s overbite…

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    I’m going to print out that book jacket and start carrying it around just to see how many people ask me about it.
    “What are you reading?”
    “Oh, just the new book by J.K. Rowling.”
    So many people will pee themselves and it’ll be all my fault.

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    i think her best bet is to write something funny. that was always the biggest strength of harry potter to me, the vaguely pratchett-y flavor of the dialogue and all the little throwaway jokes

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    ……too many feelings to articulate.

    I’m super excited for this book. I keep joking to my roommate that it’s going to be a supernatural harlequin romance novel — my idea of the polar opposite of Harry Potter.

    Whatever it is, I’ll read it. I don’t care if it’s a Western adventure novel. Actually, that might be really cool.

    Oh, the possibilities…

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