Mar 7, 2012

The Return of Rowling

J. K. Rowling is writing a new book.

Reactions around the world range from instant ecstasy to raging fury. I imagine her publishing company toasting sparkly drinks with bookstores, already planning what to do with the explosive income headed their way. I envision Rowling-haters screaming NOOOOO!! and spending five straight days hating on her name and writing via Twitter, blogging, Facebook, and forums. I laugh at the thought of Harry Potter lovers stand on hilltops and yelling, "HARRY POTTER 8!"
But only one juicy piece of information has been released concerning this new novel: it's aimed for adults.

What does that mean? Longer? Rougher? Less playful? Will it even be fantasy? Fiction? It could be her autobiography. It could be a murder mystery. It could be a documentary-style book on the history of butterflies. We don't know, yet many are already judging and predicting. One thing is for sure, it's J. K. Rowling stepping out in battered armor, stomping her foot, and shouting, "It's going to be different than Harry Potter." 

Aka. Don't compare.

I am very happy for the reading world, yet my empathy for J. K. Rowling is bittersweet. I'm am overjoyed that she is taking the brave step to continue writing. She is delving back into the passion that inevitably arises when creating worlds and characters; however, the comparison is unavoidable. Many many readers will compare whatever comes from her fingers against Harry Potter. It's impossible for Rowling to start with a blank slate. Writing after fame is, in my opinion, a much harder and braver step than writing a debut novel and offering it to the public with a plea for acceptance.

I grow a little nervous at the thought of this world of opinionated readers eating up my book if the Lord puts it on the shelves. But I would shake even more if my book was compared to my previous success. What if it doesn't measure up? What if it disappoints the world? What if it's completely different than the first book?

The fickleness of readers could change Rowling's entire reputation. Wow, Joanne Rowling changed my childhood with her Harry Potter books, but she went downhill in her later years of writing. That would be such a shame. She never expected to be great. She only desperately wanted to share her imagination with others. Humans want to share beauty.

So here's to J. K. Rowling, an author who's repeatedly offered her heart in book-form and is doing it once more for the sake of writing-passion and imagination. May she never stop.

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She writes stories about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her debut dystopian novel, A Time to Die, releases 2014 from Marcher Lord Press, the premier publisher of Christian speculative fiction. When Nadine's not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she is out pursuing adventures. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband. You can find out more about Nadine and her books at

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