Archives for June 2016

New ‘Newt Scamander’ Trailer: JKR Introduction on What Her Works Are Primarily About — the Other’ed

From ChrisC:

“My heroes are always people who feel set apart, stigmatized or ‘othered.’ That’s at the heart of most of what I write”. – J.K. Rowling.

A new “Fantastic Beasts” trailer has been released, titled “A New Hero”.

What’s notable is that it features Ms. Rowling herself giving “just a smidge” of background info on Newt Scamander. As an extra bonus, the trailer a snippet of “meet cute” between Newt and Tina.


MuggleNet Academia: Can You Learn How to Write Like Rowling? Oh, Yeah!

MuggleNet’s Keith Hawk and I talk with C. S. Plocher of and Christine Frazier of about the magic of J. K. Rowling’s artistry and the ways wannabe writers can imitate her by borrowing tools she uses (and others they’d best avoid). I love the way these ladies think and cannot urge you strongly enough to check out the brilliant things they’ve written about Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, and other fiction at their sites.

But first check out this roller coaster ride of a contrarian convention conversation as we discuss influence, allusion, literary alchemy, ring composition, whether Rowling’s hero’s journey is formulaic, Christian symbolism, dialogue, planning vs flying by the seat of your pants, and much more. A Top Ten MNet academia episode for sure!

MuggleNet Academia: A Summer of Harry Potter Madness & Expenses!

A new Wizarding World, fandom conferences, Cursed Child’s debut and script publication(s), and the run-up to ‘Fantastic Beasts’! Is it too much or does it just cost too much? Are serious readers and fans being exploited? Listen in for some discussion of the fun and the controversy! Janet Batchler, long time friend of this blog and professor of screen writing at USC, joins MuggleNet’s Keith Hawk and me to explain the inside story of why we’re seeing movies based on books turned into adapted stories and multiple versions of the Cursed Child script. Not to mention her thoughts on the new Universal Wizarding World Theme park in Hollywood!

MuggleNet Academia Lesson 46: “Saving All of our Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts for the Upcoming Releases”

Matthew Lewis Q & A at Awesome Con

Matthew header

When I won a Saturday pass to Awesome Con 2016, courtesy of The Group Who Shall Not Be Named, tops on my list was to see the Q & A panel with Matthew Lewis, the actor who portrayed Neville Longbottom, one of my favorite Harry Potter characters.

NevilleI didn’t take notes, but here are some interesting points he shared in response to fan questions:

  • If he could choose a patronus, it would be a panda.
  • The first scene he filmed was Madame Hooch’s flying lesson.  The last was his courtyard showdown scene with Voldemort.  He could not remember the speech he gave, though.
  • He had to buy the books like everyone else to learn what would happen to his character.  JKR offered to tell him when they were filming Order of the Phonenix, but he decided he did not want to know.
  • He hates the way he delivered the “You and what army?” line in Deathly Hallows II and cringes every time he sees it.
  • If he were to play an adult character in Harry Potter, he would want to be Remus Lupin.  Lupin and Sirius Black were his favorite characters. If he could have been cast as a different child character, he would have wanted to be Draco Malfoy.
  • He is still good friends with his peers from the cast.  Emma Watson sent him a birthday video from the Beauty and the Beast set.
  • Finally, he gave a touching tribute to Alan Rickman, saying he was a wonderful person who had taught him a lot. He was actually visiting the set of Fantastic Beasts when he learned of his passing, and said it was quite surreal to be in the Harry Potter-type environment when he was grieving his loss.


Call For Papers: Mythgard Institute Gathering This September at U-MD

The Symposium director wrote, “We have not yet had Harry Potter presentations at MidMoot, but they would certainly be welcome.” Emily Strand of HogwartsProfessor and Dr Amy Sturgis, longtime friend of this weblog, are associated with Mythgard.

The Mythgard Institute at Signum University is pleased to announce the third annual Mythgard Midatlantic Speculative Fiction Symposium (known affectionately as MidMoot III) on September 24-25, 2016 at the University of Maryland at College Park. Additional details about the symposium will be announced in the summer, including special guests. We are accepting proposals now for short presentations intended to foster discussion.

Presentation topics are welcome in the following areas:

– Speculative Fiction
– History of Science Fiction and Fantasy
– Critical Approaches to Science Fiction and Fantasy
– The Inklings
– Contemporary Speculative Fiction Authors
– The Interplay between Speculative Fiction and Other Literary Genres
– The Future of Speculative Fiction

To propose a paper, please submit a 100 to 200-word abstract that includes your name, email address, and academic affiliation (if any), along with the title of your presentation. Individual presentations should be around 15 minutes long, leaving an additional 15 minutes for discussion. so please plan accordingly.

Abstracts should be sent to by July 31, 2016. Acceptances will be sent by August 15. We look forward to hearing from you and hope you can enjoy the symposium with us!