» Eddie Redmayne to officially star in Fantastic Beasts
» Latest casting rumours for Fantastic Beasts
» J.K. Rowling reveals Moaning Myrtle's real name
» 3rd Cormoron Strike novel to be released in the fall
Eddie Redmayne to officially star in Fantastic Beasts

Warner Bros. have confirmed that Oscar winner, Eddie Redmayne, will star in the Harry Potter spin-off film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Fantastic Beasts will mark J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting début and will be set 70 years before the events of her best-selling Potter series. Writing on her Facebook page in 2013, JK Rowling said: “Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for 17 years, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world.

David Yates, director of the last four Harry Potter films and director of its spin-off, Fantastic Beasts has said:

Eddie is a fearless actor, brimming with invention, wit and humanity. I couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of working with him as we start this new adventure in JK Rowling’s wonderful world, and I know she feels the same way.

J.K. Rowling has tweeted her excitement about Eddie’s casting:

Latest casting rumours for Fantastic Beasts

Harry Potter spin-off film Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them – based on the book of the same name – was given the green light in September 2013 and is destined to hit the big screen in November 2016. New reports have revealed the characters who’ll surround Newt Scamander (who is rumoured to be played by Oscar winner, Eddie Redmayne) in J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and who’ll possibly portray them.

Reporters from Variety and The Wrap revealed the actors who are up for several key roles in the forthcoming Harry Potter spinoff:

Dakota Fanning, Saoirse Ronan, Lili Simmons and Alison Sudol are all vying for the role of Tina, potential love interest for Newt and described as being “grounded”.

Kate Upton, Elizabeth Debicki and Katherine Waterston are being considered for the character of Queenie, elder sister to Tina.

Dan Fogler, Zack Pearlman, and Steve Zissis are also all in the running for the role of Newt’s rival, Jacob.

What do you think of the latest characters and casting rumours? Leave your comments below.

J.K. Rowling reveals Moaning Myrtle’s real name

On Monday, J.K. Rowling revealed the full name of the infamous Moaning Myrtle, in response to a question posed by a fan on Twitter. She inadvertently edged into American politics when asked hat Moaning Myrtle’s full name was. Rowling’s reply: “Moaning Myrtle’s full name was Myrtle Elizabeth Warren.”

But after the tweet went viral, Rowling said it was not meant to be a statement of any kind.

3rd Cormoron Strike novel to be released in the fall

The third instalment of the Cormoron Strike series is set to be released Autumn 2015 (a specific date yet to be announced) and will be titled Career of Evil.

J.K. Rowling Visits New York City For US Lumos Launch

J.K. Rowling is hoping to tap into America’s philanthropy and international reach as she launches the U.S. arm of her nonprofit Lumos that works to keep disadvantaged children with their families and out of institutions worldwide. Jo was in New York City on Thursday to mark the start of Lumos USA, and said in an interview with The Associated Press that she is certain Lumos can solve “the problem of institutionalization” by 2050.

The nonprofit’s goal is to move the care of disadvantaged children away from group homes and orphanages in favor of finding ways to support them and their parents and keep them connected as families within their communities. The organization estimates 8 million children are cared for in institutions worldwide.

Jo said the organization hoped to tap into America’s generous charitable giving, as well as impact its foreign policy around children’s issues.

“America gives a phenomenal amount of money, and we would love to see that aid and that philanthropy channeled toward systems that support children within their families rather than the separation of families,” she said.

View Associated Press coverage below:

View the Now This coverage below:

J.K. Rowling also appeared on NBC’s Today Show, where she discussed the future of Harry Potter and the launch of the US branch of her charity, Lumos. View the Today Show coverage below:
Horoscopes written by J.K. Rowling up for auction

A personal horoscope created by J.K. Rowling whilst she was writing her first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, shows Rowling’s own enthusiasm for astrology and offers context for Professor Trelawney and the centaur Firenze, characters in the Harry Potter books for which she is still most renowned. This highly collectable work will be offered alongside signed first editions from the Harry Potter series and a signed first edition of Rowling’s crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling. The sale of 20th Century Books and Works on Paper will be held at Bloomsbury Auctions on Thursday 9th April 2015.

Whilst researching and writing her characters for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling developed a interest in astrology and produced personalised horoscopes for her friends. These horoscopes “echoes the wry humour and fanciful wit so familiar to the readers of her Harry Potter books”. The horoscopes are estimated to auction for £10,000 to £15,000.

For more information on the auction, visit the Dreweatts auction site.

J.K. Rowling attends 200th Anniversary of Gurkha Service to the Crown event in Nepal

J.K. Rowling attended the G200 – 200th Anniversary of Gurkha Service to the Crown in the city of Kathmandu, Nepal along with her family, as part of her guest visit to the Asian country this weekend. Photos of the Harry Potter author with her husband and local guests on Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, which hosted the ceremony of which she was a special guest.

The Gurkhas have been employed as an integral part of the British Army since the early 19th Century. Today they play an important role in British Army commitments, serving in the Gulf, the Falklands, and Afghanistan.

“This year, Gurkhas will have served in the British Army for two centuries. We asked Rowling to be our chief guest and she kindly accepted,” Manoj Mohara, Gurkha Major for the British Army told the Baltic Review.

“We extended an invite and she accepted. It is great to have her here and we hope to see other dignitaries mark the 200 years of Gurkhas fighting in the British Army,” Mohora said.

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.