A Series of Talks in April for Christian Writers: Psychomachia, Alchemy, Rings

I am in conversation with a local group of Christian Fiction writers about my giving a series of talks about Rowling’s tool-kit and what they can take-away from it for their own stories.  No contract yet, but I’m very hopeful (I’ve spoken to the group before and they are a speaker’s dream audience). The leader of the group wrote to me with this charge:

The theme for the year for my group is how Christians write the best fiction, because we have direct access to the Greatest Story that is written on the hearts of all people.
I will begin the year discussing Campbell’s Hero’s Journey – bringing it back as an echo of the Gospel. I hope to have your talk as a deep dive into how one of the most successful modern authors did so through the Harry Potter series.  I will have speakers later in the year discuss the works of Tolkien and Lewis, and how they imbedded Christianity into their works.  I hope this context can aid you in formulating your talk.

It has! I have the whole day, a Saturday, to deliver eight hours of lectures. For our sanity, I will break up the eight hours into four talks. If you’re interested in learning more about them, join me after the jump! [Read more…]

Ten Post Projects: Vote Your Preference

I have been working on thesis tasks the last six months but that effort is finally at the stage of awaiting judgment from the external and internal readers. My  unforced sabbatical from posting at HogwartsProfessor did not mean that I wasn’t thinking about articles I would be working on except for the need to review and revise work I had already written.

Today I sketched out the ideas that have most been haunting me and tried to figure out where to begin; my preference is with the Troubled Blood subjects but a writer is obliged to think of his audience. Hence the question of this post: What do you want to read?

Let me know by email, contact page, or in the comment boxes below which posts from the following list or about which topics of your own interest you would most be interested in reading. I’ll consider your votes, believe me, as I try to catch up from half a year of neglected posting. [Read more…]

BBC Strike MoNoMama Montage and a Burke ‘Troubled Blood’ Interview

And something extra for the Tom Burke fans out there:

Strike & Ellacott Files: ‘Epigraph Misattribution in Ink Black Heart’

Louise Freeman has her finger on the pulse of Cormoran Strike fandom and relays on the HogwartsProfessor staff backchannels news of any important discoveries out there. Today she wrote us a note with the subject line ‘Some Gaffes We Never Caught’ about a post by Lindsay Land at the Strike and Ellacott Files. That post, titled ‘Epigraph Misattribution in Ink Black Heart.’ reveals they “found five misattributed epigraphs. Four of them are the correct author but the wrong title, while one has the incorrect author and title.” The article does not discuss the meaning (or lack of meaning) in these “misattributions” but it very helpfully details the mistaken allusions and provides links to the poems and authors in play.

Professor Freeman’s subject line is in reference to the HogwartsProfessor staff and readership collective collection of mistakes in the Strike novels, mistakes we usually call “gaffes” or “Flints.” The thread of finds for Ink Black Heart is a long one (you can check it out here), but it, as Louise noted, does not include the epigraph mistakes that the ‘Strike and Ellacott Files’ podcast crew has found. Lindsay Land wrote in response to Prof Freeman’s comment after the post that “I guess with so many, it’s going to happen.” The six mistakes — Beatrice Groves had found another misattribution in the epigraph to chapter 51 – are indeed six out of one hundred and eight, but isn’t a 5.5% error rate still extraordinary, as Louise Freeman put it, “with a writer as meticulous as Rowling”?

I don’t know if she is being sarcastic given her awareness of Rowling’s many mistakes in continuity and finer points (as in the difference, say, between Iraq and Afghanistan, etc.), but it’s still a question worth asking: “What, if anything, are we to make of these mistakes?” Join me after the jump for some shameless brainstorming and speculation consequent to this great find at Strike & Ellacott Files. [Read more…]

The Rowling Library #75 is Out! ‘What We Can Expect of the Wizarding Almanac’

As noted the day before yesterday, The Rowling Library‘s March issue has as its cover story Patricio Tarantino’s article on The Wizarding Almanac to be published this October by Bloomsbury. I’m pretty sure it’s the best coverage of this story done to date; he notes the shortcomings of the volume that are evident from the few pages readers have been shown in publicity materials while admiring the concept and the beautiful illustrations. Read the whole thing at TheRowlingLibrary.com, available to be read online or to download as a pdf.

There’s more to that issue, of course, my favorite being the re-visit to the conversation about a film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Warner Brothers, for obvious reasons, really wants it to happen and to cast the original films’ trio of Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson. The TRL writers explain why that isn’t going to happen, reasons that might not occur to everyone, and I enjoyed it very much. I think you will, too!