» How J.K. Rowling kept secrets secret
» Very Good Lives, J.K. Rowling's next publication.
» Harry Potter Book Night 2015
» J.K. Rowling Donates To A Community Building in Scotland
How J.K. Rowling kept secrets secret

On February 26th 2015, J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography by Phillip W. Errington was published by Bloomsbury. This book is a comprehensive bibliography of Rowling’s works and shares the inner workings of her team, disclosing how they protected her ideas with a mixture of fake titles, an internet ban and a Sainsbury’s plastic bag, reports The Telegraph.

The book touches on events such as Jo’s editor, Emma Matthewson, working only on computers that have been disconnected from the internet in order to avoid hackers. The first draft of the Deathly Hallows was discussed and worked on under false names, such as, “Edinburgh Potters” and “The Life and Times of Clara Rose Lovett”.

The Telegraph remarks that

The finished bibliography is intended, in part, to reveal the truth about how the Potter saga progressed, dispelling the myths and apocryphal tales which have grown up around it.

It discloses how Rowling’s own ideas developed as the series went on, and the original titles she had suggested for her books including Harry Potter and the Death Eaters, Harry Potter and the Fire Goblet and Harry Potter and the Three Champions.

Extracts from emails between Rowling and her editor show how the pair made laborious cuts to the early novels, with whole sections including a poem about a Nearly Headless Nick being omitted.

In one remarkable passage, based on interviews with Bloomsbury staff, Dr Errington describes how the finished manuscript of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was so carefully guarded that the publisher’s chief executive was involved in a personal dead letter drop-style plot.

To read the full article click here
J. K. Rowling: A Bibliography 1997 -2013 by Philip W Errington is published by Bloomsbury and available to buy now.

Very Good Lives, J.K. Rowling’s next publication.

The book entitled, Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination, will included the Harvard Commencement speech Jo delivered in 2008 alongside illustrations by Joel Holland who has previously worked with Jo on The Casual Vacancy. Very Good Lives will be published by Little Brown on April 14th, 2015. It will be priced at £9.99 ($15.69) with the proceeds going towards J.K. Rowling’s charity, Lumos.

The Press Release issued by Little Brown is shown below:

Now published for the first time in book form, Very Good Lives offers J.K. Rowling’s words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life, asking the profound and provocative questions: How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others?

Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust said, “I have heard and read many commencement speeches, none more moving and memorable than J.K. Rowling’s. Years after her visit to Harvard, people still talk about it—and still find inspiration in her singular evocation of the idea that living a meaningful life so often means daring to risk failure. What a powerful example she embodies, and what a remarkable gift her speech was, and is, for all of us privileged to hear it then—and to read it now.”

10% of J.K. Rowling’s proceeds from the sales of the book will be donated to university-wide financial aid at Harvard University and 90% of J.K. Rowling’s proceeds from the sales will be donated to Lumos. Little, Brown Book Group (UK) and Little, Brown & Company (US) are also making a donation to Lumos.

We look forward to its publication an discussing it with you all.

Harry Potter Book Night 2015

Now this is something that I am extremely happy and excited about. Bloomsbury have come up with the initiative to have a ‘Harry Potter Book Night’ on Thursday 5th February 2015, encouraging schools, bookshops and libraries to take part. The celebration is said to include a competition for UK schools and a public events in London and other key regions (please be Cambridge), including a panel event featuring “the great and the good of the publishing world”. So that means J.K. Rowling will have to be there, right? Right? I mean, she created the thing. It would be interesting to see the full list of names that will be featured on this panel. Perhaps featuring writers such as John Green and Samantha Shannon (Shannon seeming most likely as she is published author under Bloomsbury)?

A Harry Potter Book Night kit can be downloaded, for free, from the website www.harrypotterbooknight.com—the package includes invitation templates, games, quizzes and an event poster. If anyone wished to host events, you can register now to receive regular updates (I have totally done this).

Emma Hopkin, M.D. at Bloomsbury Children’s Books has said

“Following some in-depth market research, we decided a moment in the book calendar year to celebrate Harry would reawaken the excitement of the midnight openings which were such a mark of the original publications. It will remind the fans about Harry Potter, and also be a good opportunity to introduce the books to new readers.”

J K Rowling’s Harry Potter books are among the most successful children’s titles of all time. UK sales of the seven books—including box sets—total 29,042,429 print units, according to Nielsen BookScan data.

J.K. Rowling Donates To A Community Building in Scotland

Jo has donated a generous, undisclosed sum towards renovating a former town hall into a music and theatre community building in Perthshire, Scotland, according to The Courier. A spokeswoman for JK Rowling confirmed she had made a donation to the project but declined to comment further.

The Courier reports:

The refurbishment of the B-listed building will cost £1.5 million [..] The building was handed over to Aberfeldy residents in May following a five-year campaign to bring it into community ownership. The SSE Griffin and Calliacher Community Fund provided £75,000 to buy the hall after Perth and Kinross Council deemed it surplus to requirements.

Locus Breadalbane has submitted a planning application to Perth and Kinross Council which would see the space transformed into a 182-seat venue.

Documents presented to council planning department show that two existing flats in the building will be ripped out and the space used to house a lesser hall, kitchen, green room and toilet facilities.

External sheds and an older extension will be demolished, with two new building enlargements being made.

For more information follow this link here

Scotland police to investigate online abuse against JK Rowling

J.K. Rowling is currently at the receiving end of online abuse after donating £1 million to Scottish independence pro-union campaign Better Together.

A spokesperson for Scottish police said:

Police Scotland will consider any complaint about online abuse seriously and will investigate as appropriate

Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, a former Scottish MP and minister, asked justice minister Lord Faulks at question time in the House of Lords:

“Are you aware of the vile, personal internet abuse heaped on supporters of the union in Scotland including JK Rowling the author merely for giving £1m toward Better Together? Will you condemn this?

I do deplore what has been said about those who have a particular viewpoint – it is the enemy of democracy that the internet should be used in this way.”

For more information click here or here

Jo donates £1m to Better Together

J.K. Rowling has donated £1 million to Scotland’s anti-independence campaign, Better Together, which is run by former Labour Chancellor, Alistair Darling. J.K. Rowling made a lengthy statement on her website comparing the extremities of the yes campaign to the antics of Death Eaters in her novel. Here is an excerpt from Jo’s statement:

The more I have read from a variety of independent and unbiased sources, the more I have come to the conclusion that while independence might give us opportunities – any change brings opportunities – it also carries serious risks. The Institute for Fiscal Studies concludes that Alex Salmond has underestimated the long-term impact of our ageing population and the fact that oil and gas reserves are being depleted. This view is also taken by the independent study ‘Scotland’s Choices: The Referendum and What Happens Afterwards’ by Iain McLean, Jim Gallagher and Guy Lodge, which says that ‘it would be a foolish Scottish government that planned future public expenditure on the basis of current tax receipts from North Sea oil and gas’.

My fears about the economy extend into an area in which I have a very personal interest: Scottish medical research. Having put a large amount of money into Multiple Sclerosis research here, I was worried to see an open letter from all five of Scotland’s medical schools expressing ‘grave concerns’ that independence could jeopardise what is currently Scotland’s world-class performance in this area. Fourteen professors put their names to this letter, which says that Alex Salmond’s plans for a common research funding area are ‘fraught with difficulty’ and ‘unlikely to come to fruition’. According to the professors who signed the letter, ‘it is highly unlikely that the remaining UK would tolerate a situation in which an independent “competitor” country won more money than it contributed.’ In this area, as in many others, I worry that Alex Salmond’s ambition is outstripping his reach.

For the full statement click here.

Gallery issues and site revamp to come soon

The gallery at JoRowling.net/Gallery is currently experiencing some issues. Images are still viewable but the site currently looks very bland and layout-less. Anyone who made accounts on the gallery will not be able to log in until issues have been fixed. A site revamp will take place at some point during July and August which will welcome new content, updated content and a brand new look for the site. Stay tuned for more info!

The cast of The Casual Vacancy revealed

The BBC have announced a cast list for the 3 hour mini-series, The Casual Vacancy, that will begin production in July. The BBC made the following statement:

The first confirmed cast for the BBC One mini-series, in association with HBO, adaptation of JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy has been announced today.

The confirmed cast includes Michael Gambon, Keeley Hawes, Rory Kinnear, Monica Dolan, Julia McKenzie, and introduces Abigail Lawrie.

BAFTA Award-winning actor Michael Gambon (Quirke, The Singing Detective) is set to play Howard Mollison, owner of the Pagford delicatessen, with Julia McKenzie (Notes On A Scandal, Shirley Valentine) playing his wife Shirley. Howard’s son Miles is being played by Rufus Jones (Bill, W1A) with his wife Samantha Mollison being played by Keeley Hawes (Line Of Duty, Ashes To Ashes). Rory Kinnear (Skyfall, Penny Dreadful), who recently won the Olivier Award for Best Actor for his role as Iago in Nicholas Hytner’s production of Othello at the National Theatre, is to play Barry Fairbrother, Keeley Forsyth (Coronation Street, Emmerdale) is playing Terri Weedon with newcomer Abigail Lawrie cast as her daughter Krystal Weedon.

Monica Dolan (Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Sightseers), who won a BAFTA Award for her portrayal of Rose West in Julian Jarrold’s Appropriate Adult, will play Tess Wall with Simon McBurney (Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy, Last King Of Scotland) playing her husband Colin Wall. Richard Glover (A Field In England, Sightseers) has been cast to play Simon Price alongside Marie Critchley (In The Flesh, Emmerdale) playing his wife Ruth Price. Michelle Austin (Secrets & Lies, Another Year) will play Kay Bawden.

Other cast soon to be announced includes Parminder, Vikram and Sukhvinder Jawanda, Gaia Bawden, and other key characters including Mary Fairbrother, Maureen Lowe, Lexie and Libby Mollison, and Andrew and Paul Price.

The BBC One miniseries, in association with HBO, is an adaptation of JK Rowling’s global bestseller The Casual Vacancy and consists of three one-hour parts. Production begins on 7 July in South West England.

The Casual Vacancy is being produced by Bronte Film and Television, the independent production company run by JK Rowling and Neil Blair, who is executive producing with Paul Trijbits (Saving Mr. Banks, Golden Globe winner Dancing On The Edge”) and Rick Senat. It was commissioned by Danny Cohen, Director of BBC Television, and Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama.

The miniseries is written by Sarah Phelps (the BBC’s Great Expectations and The Crimson Field), produced by Ruth Kenley-Letts (The Tunnel, the Emmy winner The Hour) and will be directed by Jonny Campbell (BAFTA winning mini series In the Flesh, BAFTA winner Eric & Ernie). Lucy Bevan (Maleficent, Cinderella) is the show’s Casting Director. Tony Slater-Ling (The Politician’s Husband, In The Flesh) is the show’s Director of Photography. Production Design is by Sami Khan (Catch Me Daddy), the Costume Designer is Rhona Russell (Scott and Bailey) and Editor Tom Hemmings (Misfits, The Tunnel).


A concise and up-to-date list of the cast will be posted below:

Fantastic Beasts movie will feature both British and American wizards

Warner Bros. president, Josh Berger, discussed the upcoming Fantastic Beasts film set to be released on November 16th 2016 in his keynote speech at the Media Summit. He revealed that both British and American wizards were to be featured in the film but made no further comments. The status of the script is still unknown.

Berger on Wednesday also touted the planned Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, based on the J.K. Rowling book of the same name. The film is set to be released in Nov. 2016 and is expected to be followed by further movies. Fantastic Beasts is set in 1920s New York and features U.S. and British wizards, he told his audience, but didn’t discuss the status of the script.

Asked why Warner bought the Leavesden studio where the Potter franchise was shot after the series came to an end, Berger said: “We would have saved quite a lot of money” if the studio was bought earlier, but the move was a big signal in the U.K. “We really decided to plant our flag.”


First two chapters of ‘The Silkworm’ released

The second novel in the Cormoran Strike series by J.K. Rowling will be released worldwide on the 19th of June. The opening chapters of the novel have been made available to the public via the official Robert Galbraith website.

Click here to read the opening chapters of ‘The Silkworm’