Harry Potter author and adorable billionaire J.K. Rowling has pitched her next book to Little, Brown and Company, and it's geared chiefly toward adults. No word on the title, synopsis or when we can expect to haul ass to the bookstore to buy it the day it goes on sale (or, okay, pre-order it from Amazon, let's be honest), but Rowling says:
Although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series, which has been published so brilliantly by Bloomsbury and my other publishers around the world. 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. 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.
It's interesting that she's moved on to Little, Brown and Company, but it seems as if there are no hard feelings with Bloomsbury and Scholastic. I'm sure she just wants to keep her YA and adult publishing endeavors separate.
Rowling has proven with the Harry Potter novels that she is a master at creating a vivid, fully realized universe. Harry's world - Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley, Little Whinging, all of it - thrives, vibrant and tangible, in the reader's imagination, and that world is inhabited by multi-dimensional characters who have lived entire lives and whose decisions, secrets, fears, loves and idiosyncrasies are as known to us as our own families. Furthermore, Rowling is a masterful plotter, sowing story seeds early in the series that look at first to be funny character quirks or one-off jokes, but that ultimately prove to be hints of a deep, robust mythology revealed several books later.
Although it sometimes feels as if Rowling uncovered Harry's universe rather than created it, so rich is the inspiration behind it all, that isn't giving enough credit to the writer who toiled for nearly a decade to develop this beloved series. I think it's incredibly brave and admirable of Rowling to follow up The Deathly Hallows by embarking on an entirely new path - new genre, new publisher, a new novel that stands alone - rather than delving back into the canon that is rich enough for her to draw from for the rest of her life if she chose. I'll be the first in line to buy Rowling's newest book and anything else she publishes in the foreseeable future.