J.K. Rowling Is No Vladimir Putin

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Rowling wasn’t Time’s person of the year, but she was one of the runners up. There’s a rare interview with Rowling here, plus a bonus Q&A here. (Tonks was in Hufflepuff! Is that news? I can never remember what’s news and what isn’t.) Plus there’s a great picture of Rowling doing her trademark melancholy sorcerous smile.

Every interview she gives, she seems less and less resolute about keeping her elegant fingers off of the Harryverse. Here’s where her head is at currently:

“There have been times since finishing, weak moments,” she says, “when I’ve said, ‘Yeah, all right,’ to the eighth novel.” But she’s convinced she’s doing the right thing to take some time away, do something else. She’s working on two projects now, an adult novel and a “political fairy tale.” “If, and it’s a big if, I ever write an eighth book about the [wizarding ] world, I doubt that Harry would be the central character,” she says. “I feel like I’ve already told his story. But these are big ifs. Let’s give it 10 years and see how we feel then.”

Let’s. Especially now that the New York Times has given us a terrifying glimpse of the shape of things to come in the form of Scholastic (Harry’s U.S. publisher) first big bolus of post-Potter intellectual property, The 39 Clues.

Not to be confused with any similar-sounding intellectual properties, The 39 Clues is a 10-book series that “will be aimed at readers 8 to 12 and offer mystery novels telling the story of a centuries-old family, the Cahills, who are supposed to be the world’s most powerful clan. According to the books, famous historical figures ranging from Benjamin Franklin to Mozart were members of the family. The plots will revolve around the race by two young Cahills, Amy, 14, and Dan, 11, against other branches of the family to be the first to find the 39 clues that will lead to ultimate power.” It’s the YA version of the novelization of National Treasure!

Even better, the series will integrate websites, blogs, collectible cards, online games and cash prizes! What a wonderful business plan, I mean, reading experience, for a new generation of consumers, I mean young minds hungry for literature.

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