J.K. Rowling, creator of the unlikely, but wildly popular, fantasy fiction hero Harry Potter, had to set the record straight after rumors emerged about her latest novel being a romance. She took to Twitter to lay that particular rumor to rest, further stirring the cauldron of speculation over the contents of the upcoming book.
By most people’s guesses, the novel Rowling is currently working on will be the eighth Harry Potter adventure, although the author is not really giving anything away. Instead, she contents herself with tormenting her hapless Twitter followers with enigmatic riddles. Rowling has also told her more than 3.8 million Twitter followers that she is, indeed, working on a new novel but that it is not yet finished. Rumblings were heard about the writer being seen in a London pub. If that wasn’t shock enough – for an author who keeps a somewhat low profile, to the point of almost gaining a reputation as a recluse – the rumblings suggested that she was there to celebrate handing over her latest novel to publishers. This was a story that appeared in a British tabloid, the Daily Mail, Wednesday. The novel in question was, apparently, a romance novel.
Rowling set the record straight Thursday, tweeting “1) I haven’t handed in ANY kid of novel to my publishers. I’m only half way through my current book. 2) It isn’t a ‘romantic’ novel. And 3) (brace yourselves) I sometimes have a drink when I haven’t finished a book. Yes, that’s how rock and roll I really am.” Even as her tweeps cry out for any hint that their beloved Potter will feature in this yet-to-be finished novel, the author is giving nothing away, concluding her Twitter update, simply, with “Back to work now. See you when I’ve finished something X.”
The English-born novelist, who has also written under the pen-name Robert Galbraith, introduced Harry Potter to the world in 1997, with the first of – so far – seven adventures; Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The seventh book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was published in 2007. Potter fans have been in a state of anticipation since then. After Deathly Hallows, Rowling cast doubt upon the idea of yet another return of young Potter; saying that she was unlikely even to revisit the fantasy genre. Since then she has hinted at the possibility or delighting Potter fans with a new tale, but nothing further has been revealed.
Other than a novel in the works, Rowling, 49, is also working on a screenplay and, apparently, preparing to build something strange on her property in Scotland; a structure that may be right out of one of her Harry Potter novels. The Cormoran Strike series, written under the name Robert Galbraith, may also be due another installment. The Cuckoo’s Calling was published in 2013 and The Silkworm came out in June of this year. Rowling has explained that she chose to write under the pseudonym to free her from the fame and expectation generated by her famous fantasy novels. Although it was destined to be a short-lived secret, taking on the fictional identity set the Cormoran Strike novels apart and likely spared Rowling numerous excruciating attempts at comparison of her detective and her wizard.
Although the author set the record straight on the disposition of her latest novel, Harry Potter may yet fail to appear again anytime soon.
Graham J Noble