Archives for June 2008

Why Call the Encyclopedia “The Scottish Book”?

We are going through my Deathly Hallows Lectures again for the official version that will be available next month. My partner and editor at Zossima Press asked me why I referred to the Harry Potter Silmarillion that Ms. Rowling is writing as “the Scottish book.” The shorter answer is “because that’s what Ms. Rowling called it” and “it’s a joke about MacBeth being called ‘The Scottish Play’.” The longer answer gets into Ms. Rowling’s life as a Scot, the agonized history of her back-story Encyclopedia, and her references to Shakespeare in interviews and the books. [Read more…]

Malfoy Actor Cites “Alchemy of Harry Potter”

Probably just colloquial usage rather than a pointer to literary alchemy per se, but Jason Isaacs (Lucious Malfoy) uses the word correctly and even profoundly, I think, in discussing the possible effect of the stories on the movie version’s principal players:

CS: Can you talk about how they have matured over the years? How have they stayed grounded through all of this?

Isaacs: In the beginning all of us grownups got to patronizing a little bit. Now they have gotten a thousand hours more screen time than any of the rest of us put together – and bank balances to match. They are not just very accomplished actors, they’re very seasoned and mature individuals. They have learned to handle this very enormous stress and this kind of global fame. Frankly, I marvel at how well they have turned out as human beings. Like the mystery of “Harry Potter” and the magical alchemy that happens in the stories, the scripts and the books, something very magical has happened to those young people because by rights they should have turned into monsters, but they are still delightful to be around.

Of course, this could just be Hollywood pablum and the Harry, Ron, and Hermione actors and actress could be monsters for all we know. Let’s hope not. Hat-tip to David for his discovery of this reference. Could alchemy be a subject of discussion on the movie sets?

Convention Alley 2008, Here We Come!

I had a wonderful time last night at a Camden County Librarary (Vorhees, NJ). The facility was beautiful, the crowd was friendly and knowledgeable, and we had a long talk about Deathly Hallows. I had just received a box of my new book, The Deathly Hallows Lectures, for Convention Alley 2008 and reviewers (really, uncorrected proofs) — and the folks there bought almost all we had on hand.

Today I’m packing up my things for the long drive to Ottawa tonight and finishing up my PowerPoint talks for those lectures. Travis Prinzi of the HogPro sister site, Hog’s Head.org, is a Featured Speaker at Convention Alley 2008 as well and has plans for a pod cast from Ottawa sometime this weekend. Please check in here and there for updates from the other side of the Great Lakes tomorrow and Saturday!

New Harry Potter Story for Theme Park

And we’ll be skipping the print version and going right to film, thank you very much! Given that this is for a Universal Studios Amusement Park, that seems appropriate. Officially a “mini-movie,” [Read more…]

Potter-verse Possibilities: Sequel Speculation

The 800 word Sirius-and-James Adventure (should we call it, “A Night on the Town” (NOT)? As in “the prequel I’m NOT writing”?) has me thinking. Travis is exploring the meaning of the names mentioned in NOT over at Hog’s Head and I think he’s drilled this one, especially the Wilberforce mention and Bethsheba “oppressed woman and ancestor of Christ” reference. My interest, perhaps less interesting, certainly less substantial than cryptonyms, is in the value of this story-material for speculation about Ms. Rowling’s future. Is Ms. Rowling writing or at least toying with writing more Potter-verse stories?

If she is, I think the three most likely directions that could take are:

(1) The sequel pointed to in the Epilogue of Deathly Hallows, namely, the adventures of the ASP, the Rose, and the Scorpius (ouch);

(2) The prequel suggested by the 800 word NOT story of James and Sirius Ms. Rowling recently penned for charity; and

(3) A sequel of novels featuring the Terrific Trio and Ginny in the post-bellum Shacklebolt era.

I think of these possibilities #2 is the most promising for Ms. Rowling, personally and professionally, and for her readers. Here’s why: [Read more…]