I think by now that this would be obvious, I love me some Jo Rowling.
How I found Her
Chronologically, at some point between the US paperback release of The Prisoner of Azkaban and the UK paperback release of The Goblet of Fire, a friend said “Yes, I know it’s a children’s book. Yes. I know it’s stupidly popular and everyone is talking about them. Read them anyway.”
I know this chronology because my Harry Potter shelf contains the US version of the first three paperbacks, the UK paperback of Goblet, and then hardbacks of everything else.
Why I love reading her work
Um, do I really need to justify loving Rowling’s books? See, this is why I haven’t written this before. It feels like such a no-brainer to me. Well, let’s see…..
There’s the classic monomyth overlay, Hermione Granger, magical spells, an advanced portal fantasy overlaid on the real world, it’s British, so all of the books have accents. Hermione Granger. There’s a Care of Magical Creatures course, and an indescribably spooky Big Bad, there’s romance and clueless boys and butterbeer. Hermione Granger. Polyjuice potion, skelegrow and the Marauder’s Map. Neville Longbottom could have easily been the chosen one, had Voldemort decided he was. Hermione Granger.
Perhaps I relate a bit to a few of the characters….
What I learn about writing from reading her book
JK Rowling told a damned good story. She swept us up in an epic. She planned ahead for a seven-book series, and she made us fall in love with her world, her characters and her voice.
But you know what? Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Remember, I had the US version, people who want to tell me it’s Philosopher) wasn’t a GREAT book. Don’t get me wrong. It was good. Engaging, and you sure wanted to read the next one. But…. it was a children’s chapter book. It was not bad. What I learned is that it’s perfectly natural for a writer’s work to mature with new books.
I’ve noticed that with some of my writing. It gets a little smoother, a little more mature with each new story I draft. I think this fact is evident in almost every prolific writer’s shelf. But this is the first series that I have been able to see the difference, and feel it, with each new tale. This series grew and developed and blossomed.
It kind of gives me hope.