Unless you’ve been hiding under a pile of Old English poetry, you’ve probably heard that J.K. Rowling plans to write an “grown-up” novel.
This is an interesting move and I wish her the best of luck. In fact, I wish her so much goodwill that I have compiled a list of ideas for her as she goes about in this new world of fiction. She seems to have already written her first book, as it’s meant for publication this year, but if she decides to stick around in this field for a while, she is welcome to peruse these suggestions. I have exactly 7, in honor of the numbers of books in her beloved series.
1) Don’t write anything about magic. If you’re going to turn over a new leaf, turn it over completely. Erase Harry Potter from our minds, along with anything that might make us think of Hogwarts. We want to see what else you can do.
2) In fact, move as far away from Harry as possible. Write something with a hard-boiled, chain-smoking detective who has a scar above his right eye that he got when a poker game went wrong in Guatemala.
3) Write a book entirely about a friendship. This was your greatest strength in Harry Potter, quite frankly. I love watching Harry, Ron and Hermione growing up together. That Voldemort guy never seemed as interesting. You can take this element of Harry Potter and not violate suggestion #1, by the way. Good relationship writing is not exclusive to Harry Potter.
4) More redheads. Okay, this one might really violate suggestion #1, but I don’t care. Gingers are awesome. They light up a crowd. They could bring world peace if there were more of them. There’s certainly not enough of them in fiction. Fix that, ma’am!
5) Avoid paranormal romance like the plague. They took Robert Pattinson; don’t let them take you too.*
6) Write something in first-person. After seven novels in the third, I wager a change of perspective would be a welcome challenge.
7) Ignore everything I’ve just said if it isn’t what you want to do. You trusted your creative vision with Harry, didn’t you? Look at where that got you. Trust your gut. Write whatever you want. Blow us away! I’m excited to see what you come up with.
Oh… I can’t help myself. The Deathly Hallows film came out in two parts. Here’s one more.
7.5) Buy The Quest (Part One of The Kingdom Trilogy) and tell all of your most influential friends about it.
Does my shameless marketing know no bounds? Of course it doesn’t. 🙂 Have a magnificent day.
* = I concede that the sort of adult novel Rowling seems to have her eye on does not tend to include paranormal romance. I further apologize for any fans of the genre. But it’s still funny.