Thursday, May 29, 2008

Potter Watch: J.K. Rowling surprises world by writing a mini-prequal to her Harry Potter series

After saying she wouldn't do it - and now saying she won't do it again - J.K. Rowling has written a mini-prequal to her Harry Potter series as a contribution to a charity. Here is what she writes on her website:

A few months ago a number of authors were invited to handwrite cards for auction by Waterstones, on June 10, all proceeds to go to English PEN, the writers' association, and the Dyslexia Society.

After playing around with a number of different ideas I decided to write a short (for me!) excerpt from a prequel to the Potter series. It is about 800 words long and the action takes place around 3 years before Harry is born.

Although I did feel a bit like a relapsing addict as I sat down to write - the words poured from my pen with frightening ease - I am NOT working on a prequel. Indeed, I've written that clearly at the bottom of the card itself. I just thought that this was the best way to make money for two extremely worthwhile charities.

The good news for Potter fans who will not be able to bid at the auction is that you will be able to read the short story (along with amazing contributions from Doris Lessing, Margaret Atwood, Tom Stoppard, Irvine Welsh, Sebastian Faulks, Axel Scheffler, Lauren Child, Nick Hornby, Neil Gaiman, Lisa Appignanesi, Richard Ford, and Michael Rosen) by purchasing a book of facsimiles, which will be available in August. The proceeds from this book, too, will go to the charities.
It has been further clarified that her story involves Harry's father James and Harry's godfather, Sirius Black. We recall the hours that Harry spent in Prof. Snape's detention in the 6th book, Half Blood Prince, recopying Filch's old card files that recorded the details that led to the detentions that James Potter served while he was a student at Hogwarts. Harry never finished all the files there were so many - and we wonder if this card is one of Filch's files.

NOTE: The graphic above is from the card and is of J.K. Rowling's last sentence handwritten on the card which she gave to the charity.


Rolin said...

She did not (in this statement, at least) say that she would never write a prequel. She said that she is not working on a prequel. She had already let the cat out of the bag earlier:

"I decided to write a short (for me!) excerpt from a prequel to the Potter series."

She already has the entire prequel formed in her mind. It is only a question of when she will begin "working on" it.

Br_er Rabbit

Dr. Mabuse said...

The world is pretty easily surprised if they didn't foresee this. The parallels between Rowling and George Lucas continue apace. She's never had anything more than one story in her, and she's going to keep telling it until everyone is sick of it. I predict these prequels will suck as much as the Star Wars prequels did, which doesn't mean that they won't still sell millions of copies.