Deathly Hallows’ Tenth Anniversary (1)

Where was I ten years ago — July 2007 — when Deathly Hallows was published?

I was living in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania, just outside Allentown, in a farmhouse adjacent to the Glasbern Inn farm and property. Six of the seven Granger children were still with us, then aged six to seventeen, the oldest daughter having just left to start college at the Virginia Military Institute.

My plan was to be in London, England, on the day of publication. I’d been invited to speak at a big deal conference as a Featured Speaker with air fare and a room at the Savoy. I had been giving interviews to The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. I did a gig on MSNBC, the A&E channel was playing The Secrets of Harry Potter that eventually became a part of the Phoenix DVD extras and I was featured, and two of my books, Unlocking Harry Potter and Looking for God in Harry Potter (now How Harry Cast His Spell), and one that I edited, Who Killed Albus Dumbledore?, were in the Amazon Top 100. had become the weblog you know today in late December, 2016, and was hitting unprecedented and ten-times-normal traffic levels as media sources linked to the several-times-daily posts I was putting up.

I was pretty excited and wearing full Gilderoy plumage. I spoke to my daughter Hannah one weekend, the first phone call home she was allowed as a ‘Rat’ in VMI’s spartan immersion in cadre discipline. I told her my plans for London and my secret wish to meet The Presence Herself. Isn’t it possible that JKR will stop by the biggest fan conference in the same city as the book release?

My oldest daughter, a champion athlete and as deft rhetorically, decided that sarcasm was the pin she needed to burst my balloon.

“That’s great, Dad. You can read the book to your younger children the next time the seventh book in the series comes out.”

What she was talking about was my break with a family tradition. I guess to her, as an Orthodox Christian being initiated into the military caste culture, my desertion of post for individual advantage contra convention and expectation was about as low as I could go. [Read more…]

HogPro Headmaster here in Western NC

Just a quick reminder for you Hogwartians in the Western North Carolina area: our headmaster has just Apparated into town and will be here today and tomorrow as part of his epic fall tour! At 4pm this afternoon, he’ll be at the fabulous Black Bear Bookstore in Boone. Tomorrow, at 10 am, he’ll be at my very own Mayland Community College, and then, tomorrow evening, he’ll be at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, a school that strongly resembles Hogwarts in appearance! We’ve even been promised a vist from some live owls there (I passed on the offers of acromantulas and hippogriffs). Hope many of you can make it! If so, make sure you introduce yourself!

The Seven Keys to — the Hogwarts Professor?

I was asked today by a very kind reporter to summarize the way I think about books and Harry Potter especially. Here, well,  below the jump,  is my flash response as a rushed email note, posted  for your comment, amendment, and correction:

[Read more…]

‘Ten Myths About Writing for Kids’

These two pieces by Eugie Foster (here and here) which together spell out the Ten Myths about Writing for Kids confirmed my thinking about Joanne Rowling and Stephenie Meyer in two respects: (1) neither set out to write for children and (2) thinking of them as ‘kid lit’ authors is so far off base as to seem bizarre. None of the myths the estimable Ms. Foster discusses could possibly have been on Ms. Rowling’s or Mrs. Meyer’s mind when they set out. Here is the list of ten myths; check out the articles linked above for the excellent discussion — [Read more…]

George MacDonald: Literary Alchemist?

Sorry to have been out of touch for so long! Here’s a challenging thought to jump start the All-Pro discussion here at Hogwarts Professor: could George MacDonald, C. S. Lewis’ supposed “master,” have written At the Back of the North Wind, as a work of literary alchemy? [Read more…]