Questions from a Newspaper Reporter: A HogPro All-Pro Event

800 miles in the car yesterday so I’m whupped! I hope to comment on some length about Accio Quote Lisa’s thoughts on Harry and Aeneas when I’m human again, but, until then, here are some questions sent by a newspaper reporter today (obviously from the religious beat; he doesn’t ask about Deathly Hallows until the very end).

Please send in your answers to whichever question or questions that you want. Thanks in advance for starting your post with the question or at least the number of the question you are answering.

Your incentive? The “HogPro All-Pro” who sends in the most interesting answers will (1) have their name engraved on the HogPro All-Pro trophy here in my office (The Mundungus Cup, which serves as both a Big Gulp drinking cup and, in a pinch, as ash-tray; you’ll just get a silly certificate) and (2) receive one free copy of Richard Abanes’ new book, Homeland Insecurity. It’s a novel and enjoyable like nothing else of his that I have ever read. Steve Vander Ark, to whom I gave a copy at Sonorus 2007, was ecstatic; like me, Steve owns a copy of everything Mr. Abanes has written and he agrees that Homeland Insecurity is a “must-have” for all Potter bibliophiles.

So, have at it! May the wildest HogPro win! Decisions of the judges in this contest will be arbitrary and final. Immediate family members of Osama bin Laden are prohibited from entering; let them buy their copy of Homeland Insecurity. Management is not responsible for accidents consequent to loss of sleep involving readers who begin this novel late at night. [Read more…]

Update on Rowling Near Death Comment in 2000: It’s “Near the Dead”

Beloved and ever-helpful Lisa at the Lexicon and Accio Quote wrote me to say the house-elves at these sites have found the original Glasgow Herald interview in 2000 with Ms. Rowling by Anne Johnstone and posted it on Accio Quote. It’s even more interesting than the snippet we had this morning.

Before you get to the quotation discussed in the post immediately below this one, there is this lively exchange: [Read more…]

Rowling: “In Book Seven You’ll See Just How Close You Can Get” to a Death Reversal

Anne Johnstone of Glasgow’s The Herald wrote an article that appeared in today’s paper called “Happy birthday Harry: 10 years of magic from the Potter generation.” It is a delightful read by a reporter who has known and interviewed Ms. Rowling for more than ten years, well before all the hype and madness of Potter mania. The article ends with delightful reflections of children (now in their twenties) from Glasgow and their first memories of Harry, to include the times Ms. Rowling came to their school classrooms to talk.

Those reflections aren’t why Hans Andrea at Harry wrote me this morning to let me know about the article. There was a bombshell near the end of this sentimental set-piece.

After explaining why she thinks Harry will still be on children’s reading lists a century from today, Ms. Johnstone offers this memory from her 2000 interview with Ms. Rowling: [Read more…]

“Harry Potter and the Sinister Spoilers”

Lev Grossman and Andrea Sachs at Time Magazine have written an essay about security for the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows called “Harry Potter and the Sinister Spoilers.” I’m no Lev Grossman fan (anyone who thinks C. S. Lewis would be a Death Eater if he appeared in Rowling’s sub-creation — and says so in a national magazine — has gone out of his way to make a poor first impression) but I especially enjoyed this point about it not being possible to spoil the magic of this last book: [Read more…]

Sonorus 2007: Simply the Best

I have had the pleasure of being a Featured Speaker at three Harry Potter conferences. Two of these, Nimbus 2003 and Lumos 2006, were multi-day affairs with close to or more than a hundred lectures and panels to attend in addition to games, movies, luncheons, and podCasting. They were, in brief, a delightful overload for Harry Potter readers like you and me.

I met Ann-Laurel Nickel and her dad Ken at a Nimbus 2003 luncheon. Ann-Laurel is as well read on the Harry Potter books as you’d expect at an HPEF Fanon but she was also delightfully enthusiastic and cheerful. We wrote on occasion after Nimbus (she sends the greatest Harry-themed Christmas cards) and met up again at Lumos in Las Vegas, where she hit it off with my wife Mary as well. What’s not to like about the lady in the Lion Hat with radish earrings? This serious reader was a lot of fun and took her fun seriously!

I was not very surprised, consequently, when Ann-Laurel wrote to say she was organizing a Harry Potter conference where she lives, the Antelope Valley in the desert above Los Angeles. It was going to be a one-evening “wow,” she explained, with just two featured speakers talking back-to-back in a Great Hall like at Hogwarts. She wanted me and Steve Vander Ark to be the speakers. She called her idea Sonorus 2007. [Read more…]