by (@shalapitcher)

J.K. Rowling’s New Book, The Casual Vacancy, Will Be About … Politics?

Back in February, J.K. Rowling warned us that her upcoming book would be “very different to Harry,” but we’re not sure anyone was prepared for just how different she was talking about. We thought maybe more mature, since it’s for adults; perhaps more self-contained, after the exhausting process of the seven Harry Potter novels and companion books. Still, we kind of expected there to be some kind of magic or other form of entirely imaginative new world, or something wholly captivating like that. Today, her new publisher, Little Brown, announced the title and synopsis of the novel, The Casual Vacancy, and it turns out to be a story about … um … local politics?

“When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock,” reads the synopsis of the book, which hits shelves on September 27. “Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils… Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.”

It’s a “blackly comic” novel, the publisher promises. Actually, it sounds pretty good. Rowling is as skilled with developing interesting characters as she is at wizardy things, we know. And we’re sure most original Potter fans are all grown up and reading all sorts of different genres. Now, she stands to add to her empire by bringing in all the readers who steer clear of any hint of fantasy. OK. We’re happy for her being able to stretch her wings and all. But if this doesn’t work out, or even if it does, Jo, we’ll be here, hoping you can pick up that wand of yours again one day.

[Photo: Getty Images]

by (@hallekiefer)

Are You Already Planning To Read J.K. Rowling’s Next Novel?

Seeing as how the first Harry Potter book was released in 1997, the original generation of Potter fans are by now old enough to have jobs and utility bills and thick, lustrous facial hair. It makes sense, then, that author J.K. Rowling would want to write something for her newly adult following. “The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry’s success has brought me, and with that new territory it seemed a logical progression to have a new publisher,” the Potter scribe said in a statement today about her next book and new publisher Little, Brown and Company. We should probably give up hope that Rowling is planning to bring Snape back from the dead in a new novel, but…but what if we’re just not ready yet?

“Although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series, which has been published so brilliantly by Bloomsbury and my other publishers around the world,” she explained, without divulging either the subject or the title of her new work. Having last published Harry Potter and the Deathy Hallows in 2007, switching from YA and the world of magic could potentially alienate readers who were only in it for the adolescent wizards. So are you ready to pre-order a new J.K. Rowling book? Or does the lack of quiddich mean you’ll probably just wait for the movie? Because you know there will be a movie.

[Photo: Getty Images]

by (@hallekiefer)

Snooki Hasn’t Heard Of J.K. Rowling, Maya Angelou, Basically Anyone

Look, the woman is very busy becoming a New York Times best-selling author! She doesn’t have time to know things! During her interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night, it was revealed that Snooki has no idea who Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling or Pulitizer Prize nominee Maya Angelou are. “I don’t know who that is, but I’m here,” Snooki scoffed when Kimmel called her more prolific than J.K. When reminded that Rowling wrote that series of books everyone in the Western Hemisphere has been reading for the past decade, the Jersey Shore star perked up, saying “Oh, ok, those movies are cool.” Well she’s not wrong, is she? Is she?

As of yesterday Snooki’s books now total three published works: the new Confessions of a Guidette, her first book A Shore Thing, and its sequel, the elegantly titled Gorilla Beach. When Kimmel informed Snooki that she beat Maya Angelou’s record for the use of the word ‘friggin’ in a single tome, Snooki admitted,”I don’t know who that is. I don’t know who anybody is!” That is not fair! Ask her stuff she knows, like who JWoww or The Situation are! We’re 92% sure she would get those two right!

[Photo: Getty Images]

by (@hallekiefer)

Journalist Spills The Beans About J.K. Rowling’s Alternate Harry Potter Ending

At this point, unless your arm is pinned underneath a rock in some desert canyon, you’ve already seen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. However, now that the final film is out British journalist Greg Palast is revealing what could have been the series’ finale, if J.K. Rowling had gone with her Harry Potter alternate ending.

According to Palast, in 2007 after he had befriended Rowling over their mutual best-sellers, the Potter author let slip some details of an ending that she didn’t end up using. “Sorry Jo, that’s the danger of befriending an investigative reporter – if you forget to use the magical words, ‘This is off the record,’” Palast wrote on his website this week. If you want the full description, you can head over to Greg Palast’s blog, but just to give you a sneak-peek: Harry Potter as the headmaster of Hogwarts in the year 2130, Ginny turning herself into a bird, Voldemort frozen forever as a young Tom Riddle and Harry’s great, great grandson showing the first adorable baby clues that he might be something off a dark lord himself. Now did that give you enough of an adrenaline surge to heave that rock off your arm, or what? Oh…it didn’t? Please, please keep trying then.

[Photo: Getty Images]

by (@hallekiefer)

Harry Potter Breaks Box Office Records, Future Projects In Store

If you were out last night and saw a half dozen Luna Lovegoods booking it towards the nearest AMC, it should be no surprise that the Harry Potter box office numbers are already downright magical. Potter raked in $43.5 million from midnight showings alone, more than any other film. We just don’t get how everyone did it. Our moms refuse to drive us anywhere past 10pm.

But before you find yourself sobbing into your Sorting Hat, rumors have it that the Harry Potter universe will continue to print money…we mean, continue to spread wonder, just as long as Warner Bros can find a way to make it profitable. According to the Wall Street Journal, future Potter projects include converting the film’s Leavesden Studios in London into a tourism spot, expanding the HP amusement parks currently situated around the globe and the development of “Harry Potter-related online businesses and videogames.” While J.K. Rowling hasn’t announced any plans to pen another novel, Warner Bros. is circling two of her books that take place in the same universe: “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and “Quidditch Through the Ages.” We’re sure the cast wouldn’t be too thrilled at the prospect of working on another Potter film any time soon, but everyone else? Well, we’ll start wearing our moms down now.

[Photo: Getty Images]

by (@hallekiefer)

J.K. Rowling Announces Pottermore, Details She’s Been “Hoarding For Years”

After days of build up/stifled squeals, J.K. Rowling announced Pottermore today, though she doesn’t do much to clarify exactly what that means. Instead of a gaming site as a Pottermore leaked memo suggested, or the launch of an eighth book like our shrieks begged of her, the site will be a “a unique online reading experience” built around the series. While most Muggles don’t yet have access to the site, Wired has some Pottermore photos that look extremely promising. Perhaps most importantly for fans, Pottermore offers the first chance to buy Harry Potter e-books (currently unavailable), as well as, per Rowling’s description, “additional information I’ve been hoarding for years about the world of Harry Potter,” including, we hope, a complete dating history of Albus Dumbledore.

While fans can submit their email now and return July 31 to potentially get early access to the site, Pottermore doesn’t officially launch until this October, in part because it seems like Jo and the gang are still figuring out what the site will actually be. “Pottermore will be built, in part, by you,” Rowling explains in her launch video. “Pottermore will be a place where fans of any age can share, participate in, and rediscover the stories.” Based on the feedback they’ll get, we can probably predict the final product will be just be a massive archive of Snape ships. Give the people what they want!

 

 

by (@hallekiefer)

J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore Will Be A Gaming Site, Leaked Memo Says

If you’ve spent the last fourteen years living, breathing and occasionally eating the Harry Potter-verse, you might been feeling at a loss for how to navigate your Snape-free existence after the release of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2. Luckily for you, it looks like you don’t have too! Per a leaked memo, it looks like Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore is a gaming site with an interesting twist: while participants take part in an online Potter-themed world, gamers must also search for actual wands planted in different geographical locations as part of a game called “Quill Quest.” Pottermore has been counting down the hours until a press conference stated for tomorrow morning, and prior to the leak had set off rumors of a potential new book or spin-off, in addition to dozens of asthma attacks and hysterical meltdowns across the globe.

Says Rowling’s rep Mark Hutchinson, “Much as we would like to say this is an elaborate stunt to create excitement, I’m afraid it was a simple error. The document is an old plan which is now out of date.  The full details about the Pottermore project will be revealed at the press conference tomorrow.” Reportedly the memo was accidentally send out by a staff member at StonehillSalt public relations firm, who is undoubtedly being set upon by Death Eaters as we speak.

by (@hallekiefer)

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Trailer Looks Finale-Tastic

Pack up your Gryffindor scarf, your Lego Hogwarts Castle and your motorized Quidditch broom broken from overuse; it’s time to confront your fate. The Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II trailer marks the end of a very long, very fun era in children’s wizardry-related fiction. Since J.K. Rowling denied Harry Potter sequels would take us past the seventh book (to Daniel Radcliffe‘s face, no less), we had better enjoy it while we can. The series that launched a thousand ‘ships will come to a close with the film’s release on July 15, though if the trailer is to be believed, there are at least a few surprises for even the most hard-core fan might not see coming. Harry and Voldemort plummeting into a crevasse, for example? Well, most of our fan fic does end with those two locked in an embrace….maybe Rowling finally read our letters and changed the ending? There’s only one way to find out.