Big News Day at HogPro

Yesterday was an event-filled day for Hogwarts Professor! News regarding The New York Times, The Arts and Entertainment Network, two Harry Potter Conferences, and changes at the Zossima Press website — not to mention that a friend won a world-wide Fandom contest…. Here is a brief catch-up with the news in this cyber corner of the PotterVerse:

(1) Article in the New York Times

Ms. Tomoko Rich contacted me on Monday for a Times story she was writing on tight deadline about spoilers and speculation in the frenetic countdown to the release of Deathly Hallows. We talked for about half an hour about various theories and why I thought people were so involved in the stories (the question I try to answer in each of my books). If you haven’t read Defenders of Secrets, Unite!, it’s a fun read highlighting the omnipresent Emerson and Melissa and their battle with folks trying to spoil the delight of Deathly Hallows for all of us. I am mentioned at the tail end of the article:

John Granger, a professor of Latin and English at the Valley Forge Military Academy & College in Wayne, Pa., has written two books about the series and edited a third called “Who Killed Albus Dumbledore” that is filled with predictions.

He also runs a discussion group at HogwartsProfessor.com. “I’ve seen really intelligent, really literate women and men discuss these points and provide more than cogent arguments that Snape is X, Y or Z, and they all make sense in terms of all the clues she’s given in the book,” Mr. Granger said. “This has probably been the most fun that intelligent people can have with their clothes on in the 21st century.”

No doubt this article, because it mentions HogPro, has brought a few new readers to this site (it certainly boosted sales of Who Killed Albus Dumbledore?, Unlocking Harry Potter, and even Hidden Key to Harry Potter from 2002!). To those readers, “Welcome!” If you’re looking for HogPro’s Greatest Hits, here is a quick menu: [Read more…]

The Potter-saurus: 1,500 Words HP Readers Need to Know

Eric Randall, an editor and journalist whose work has appeared in Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post, USA Today, and the like, has written a fun book that I know my family will be using on car trips for a long time. It’s called The Pottersaurus: 1,500 Words Harry Potter Readers Need to Know and what it is is a delightful collection of the “big words” in Joanne Rowling’s oversized books. Arranged alphabetically, each word has a definition and at least one citation from a Harry Potter novel. Here’s one example, chosen randomly:

Pirouette — A spin in place. Crabbe did a pirouette in midair at the Shrieking Shack after Harry, hidden by his Invisibility Cloak, threw a stick at his back. (PA, Ch. 14) Hermione did a graceful pirouette while practicing to apparate. (HBP, Ch. 22)

My children love this stuff. They’ve been immunized sufficiently that they flee from school work dressed up as a game but they love explaining words that their parents don’t think they’ll be able to define. Best is catching dad with a britishism, though… Who knew a “pouf” was a “footstool or couch with no back”? I thought they were throw cushions.

Even better, Mr. Randall has a Pottersaurus website where you can play Word Quidditch. Forgive me for confessing that I played it between classes one day, just to hear the cheering sound effect for a few minutes (I’m not getting much of that from my cadets at the end of the year).

Highly recommended for families and for parents needing a good cheer!

Interesting Miscellany: Three Bits of Stuff on my Desk

Every once in a while I need to clear my desk of these notes I think you might be interested in. Today’s pile includes the story of a man and magician who has made predictions of exactly how Deathly Hallows will end, the thoughts of a favorite L.O.O.N. who is anything but Loony, and a review of Unlocking Harry Potter: Five Keys for the Serious Reader on Amazon I hope you can read.

First, the magic man who knows the ending of Deathly Hallows:
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Rita Skeeter Covers the Vatican

The most frequently requested article from the old Hogwarts Professor site after “Obviously Dumbledore is not Jesus” has been this piece on the scandalous use of the Pope by Canadian Harry Haters and Culture Warriors the day before Half-Blood Prince was released. I re-print it now in anticipation of similar shameful efforts in the third week of July this year. Harry Potter is a phenomenon those who style themselves latter-day Savonarolas almost certainly will not let pass without a volley and flourish.

“Pope Opposes Harry Potter”? Hardly.
Michael O’Brien and the Kuby Letters: Rita Skeeter covers the Vatican

A Time Line and Commentary on the Kuby Letters, supposedly written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), on the subject of the Harry Potter novels written by Joanne Rowling.

February, 2003:

The story begins at the press conference releasing the Pontifical Council on Culture and Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue’s of “Vatican statement on New Age Religions’ Jesus Christ: The Bearer of the Water of Life (A Christian Reflection on the “New Age”). [Read more…]

Do you want Autographed Copies of Zossima Press books?

If you do, just click here. The link will take you to the Zossima Press web site shopping cart. I’ll autograph anything you order there that I’ve written. You betcha.

Shamelessly mercenary John