Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is finally putting the pen to paper for a new set of books. According to CBS, Rowling has signed a deal with Little, Brown Book Group in the United States and Britain. Little, Brown will be publishing her first novels aimed at adults.
David Shelley, the editor responsible for publication in the UK said in a press release that it is a personal and professional dream come true to be working with J.K. Rowling, naming her as one of the best storytellers in the world.
Rowling, too, is excited about her next book, explaining in the press release that it will be very different from the Harry Potter series. 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, said Rowling. I am delighted to have a second publishing home in Little, Brown, and a publishing team that will be a great partner in this new phase of my writing life.
The last book that Rowling published was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 2007. That book alone sold 11 million copies.
In a press release from the publishing company, they state that the title and publication release date for Rowling's new book won't be announced until later this year.
But opinion is already swirling about what the author's new work might be about among scholars, who are fans of the author.
Philip Nel, a professor at Kansas State University has been teaching a course called Harry Potter's Library. Nel believes that there is a distinct possibility that Rowling's new venture may be a mystery novel. We know that she likes mysteries--and the Harry Potter series is, in many respects, a multi-volume mystery, said Nel.
The Kansas State professor also theorizes that the Harry Potter author may also turn to realism, based on her love for authors Jane Austen and Roddy Doyle. What made the Harry Potter series so successful was its blend of genres--fantasy, realism, mystery, adventure, said Nel. So I would imagine that whatever she's writing for adults would also be difficult to label.
Nel also believes that a book about the complexities of adult relationships wouldn't be too far off for the author. When you read the Potter series, you assume that the teachers have a richer history than the books display, said Nel. And they do -- but children don't tend to think too much about the private lives of adults, and thus we don't know.
Danielle Tumminio, a former Yale Divinity School grad student, who conceived of and taught a class at the university called Christian Theology and Harry Potter, has her own thoughts on what she would like of Rowling's adult novel venture. Believing J.K. Rowling to be a brilliant writer, Tumminio would love to see the author tackle a book from the adult experience of losing a parent. It seems like something that has affected her so deeply, said Tumminio in reference to Rowling losing her mother to a ten-year battle with multiple sclerosis. She would also like the author to tackle a story that has a struggle with sexuality or a recovery from a violent experience.
What Tumminio doesn't think Rowling will touch on is religion, thinking back to the Christian community's harsh reaction to the Harry Potter novels. I don't think this book will consciously have to do with religion, said Tumminio, but she's also a fighter, so she might.
Rowling's adult novel may be a mystery for now, but whatever theme she decides to venture into will surely cast a spell on future readers.