Tag Archive: Jill Lawless


J.K. Rowling has deal for new novel for adults

http://movies.yahoo.com/news/j-k-rowling-deal-novel-adults-145241123.html

NEW YORK (AP) — Adult fans of J.K. Rowling can rejoice: She has a new novel coming, for grownups.

The kids will have to wait and see.

The author of the mega-selling “Harry Potter” series has an agreement with Little, Brown in the United States and Britain to release her first adult novel, the publishers announced Thursday. The title, release date and details about the book, long rumored, were not announced. A neighbor of Rowling’s in Edinburgh, author Ian Rankin, tweeted Thursday that he thinks Rowling has written a mystery novel.

“Wouldn’t it be funny if J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults turned out to be a crime story set in Edinburgh?” Rankin wrote. “My word yes.”

Her seventh and final Potter story came out in 2007, and in recent years the British author has said that she was working on an adult book and on a Potter encyclopedia. Rowling’s Potter books, which broke sales records around the world, were published by Bloomsbury in Britain and Scholastic in the U.S. Rowling will now share the same publisher with Stephenie Meyer, whose “Twilight” series at least partially filled the gap opened by the conclusion of the Potter stories.

“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,” Rowling, 46, said in a statement released by Little, Brown. “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.”

Rowling’s agent, Neil Blair, would not disclose financial details of the deal but said there had been no auction. He said Thursday that Rowling was remaining with Bloomsbury in Britain for the Harry Potter books.

“As her new book is for a different audience, and marks a new literary direction for her, it made sense to separate the two and for her new book to be launched by a different publisher,” said Blair.

Blair became Rowling’s literary agent last year when she left the Christopher Little Literary Agency, where Blair had worked. Bloomsbury said its 15-year relationship with Rowling “remains stronger than ever” — and new editions of the seven novels were on the way. Some 450 million copies of the seven Potter stories are in print and the books have been translated into 74 languages. A billion-dollar movie franchise, starring Daniel Radcliffe as the young wizard, ended last year.

“We are pleased to announce that as part of our long term strategy for Harry Potter we intend to publish illustrated editions of all seven Harry Potter books in a rolling program from 2013 onwards in addition to our partnership on e-books with the Pottermore website,” the publisher said in a statement. In the U.S., Scholastic spokeswoman Kyle Good noted that Scholastic didn’t publish adult books.

“We will continue to publish her children’s books in the U.S.,” Good said Thursday.

Any Rowling book would seem a guaranteed million seller, although it’s questionable that her new novel will have the same mass appeal as Potter. Adult authors from E.B. White to Sherman Alexie have nicely managed the transition to writing for young people but, once a writer is defined as a children’s author, the transition can be tricky. Winnie the Pooh creator A.A. Milne, a successful playwright in his early years, once confessed that he was forced to say “goodbye to all that” after his beloved books about the bear and friends. Margaret Wise Brown, author of the classic “Goodnight Moon,” tried for years to write stories for The New Yorker.

Daniel Handler of “Lemony Snicket” fame and Ann Brashares, author of the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” novels, are among the recent popular writers for children who have had limited success as adult writers.

But Rowling does begin with one advantage: The Potter books had an enormous following among readers of all ages and she is widely credited with revealing to publishers that children’s books were no longer just for the young. Meyer’s vampire novels and Suzanne Collins’ “Hunger Games” trilogy also have caught on with both parents and kids. Meyer herself wrote an adult book, “The Host,” a best-seller in 2008.

“It would just be cool if my existing fans liked it,” Meyer told The Associated Press in 2008. “And I hope to get some new readers who would never go into the YA (Young Adult) shelves.”

Beth Puffer, director of the Manhattan-based children’s bookseller Bank Street Bookstore, said she’d have to see the novel before deciding where or whether to stock it.

“I assume if it’s written for adults, it’s not appropriate for children,” said Puffer, who added that she might stock the book in a section for ages 14 and up. “There are a lot of former children and young adults who grew up with Harry Potter and they would likely be an audience for her new book. You also have all the adults who loved the Potter books.”

One of Rowling’s most passionate fans, Melissa Anelli, said she was beyond herself “with excitement.” Anelli, 32, runs a leading Potter/Rowling fan site, http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org .

“J.K. Rowling is simply a great writer, and no matter what she applies her talents to, we will anticipate and enjoy it,” Anelli wrote in an email. “I’m also so intrigued by this process: What will happen as the world’s greatest children’s/YA author navigates the new publishing landscape and publishes for a new audience?”

Rowling’s novel will be available in both print and electronic formats. The author held out for years on allowing the Potter books to come out digitally, but announced in 2011 that Potter e-books would be sold through her own “Pottermore” website. The books were supposed to become available last fall, but have been delayed until sometime this year.

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Associated Press writer Jill Lawless in London contributed to this report.

http://movies.yahoo.com/news/jk-rowling-uk-press-left-feeling-under-siege-160752017.html

LONDON (AP) — Writer J.K. Rowling and actress Sienna Miller gave a London courtroom a vivid picture on Thursday of the anxiety, anger and fear produced by living in the glare of Britain’s tabloid media, describing how press intrusion made them feel like prisoners in their own homes.

The creator of boy wizard Harry Potter told Britain’s media ethics inquiry that having journalists camped on her doorstep was “like being under siege and like being a hostage.” Miller said years of car chases, midnight pursuits and intimate revelations had left her feeling violated, paranoid and anxious.

“The attitude seems to be absolutely cavalier,” Rowling said. “You’re famous, you’re asking for it.”

The pair were among a diverse cast of witnesses — Hollywood star Hugh Grant, a former soccer player, a former aide to supermodel Elle Macpherson and the parents of missing and murdered children — who have described how becoming the focus of Britain’s tabloid press wreaked havoc on their lives.

Rowling said she was completely unprepared for the media attention she began to receive when her first book, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” became a sensation. The seven Potter books have sold more than 450 million copies, spawned a hit movie series and propelled Rowling from struggling single mother to one of Britain’s richest people.

“When you become well-known … no one gives you a guidebook,” she said.

Prime Minister David Cameron set up the inquiry amid a still-unfolding scandal over illegal eavesdropping by the News of the World tabloid. Owner Rupert Murdoch closed down the newspaper in July after evidence emerged that it had illegally accessed the mobile phone voice mails of celebrities, politicians and even crime victims in its search of scoops.

More than a dozen News of the World journalists and editors have been arrested, and the scandal has also claimed the jobs of two top London police officers, Cameron’s media adviser and several senior Murdoch executives.

It has also set off national soul-searching about the balance between press freedom and individual privacy.

Rowling, 46, said media interest in her began shortly after the publication of her first novel in 1997 and soon escalated, with photographers and reporters frequently stationed outside her home. She eventually moved after stories and photographs revealed the location of her house.

“I can’t put an invisibility cloaking device over myself or my house, nor would I want to,” Rowling said. But, she added, “it feels threatening to have people watching you.”

Rowling said she had always tried to keep her three children out of the media glare, and was outraged when her eldest daughter came home from primary school with a letter from a journalist in her backpack.

“I felt such a sense of invasion,” Rowling said. “It’s very difficult to say how angry I felt that my 5-year-old daughter’s school was no longer a place of complete security from journalists.”

By the time her younger children were born in 2003 and 2005, Rowling said, the scrutiny was “like being under siege and like being a hostage.”

She also described how, early on in their relationship, her now-husband Neil Murray gave personal details over the phone to a reporter who was pretending to be a tax official. An article about him duly appeared in a tabloid paper.

“That was a not-very-nice introduction to being involved with someone famous,” Rowling said.

Rowling told the inquiry she had gone to court or to Britain’s press watchdog more than 50 times over pictures of her children or false stories, which included a claim by the Daily Express that unpleasant fictional wizard Gilderoy Lockhart had been based on her first husband.

Before the final Potter book appeared in 2007, a reporter even phoned the head teacher of her daughter’s school, falsely claiming the child had revealed that Harry Potter died at the end, in an apparent bid to learn secrets of the plot.

Miller, who became a tabloid staple when she dated fellow actor Jude Law, said the constant scrutiny left her feeling “very violated and very paranoid and anxious, constantly.”

“I felt like I was living in some sort of video game,” she said.

“For a number of years I was relentlessly pursued by 10 to 15 men, almost daily,” she said. “Spat at, verbally abused.

“I would often find myself, at the age of 21, at midnight, running down a dark street on my own with 10 men chasing me. And the fact they had cameras in their hands made that legal.”

The 29-year-old actress told the inquiry that a stream of personal stories about her in the tabloids led her to accuse friends and family of leaking information to the media. In fact, her cell phone voice mails had been hacked by the News of the World.

Miller, the star of “Layer Cake” and “Alfie,” was one of the first celebrities to take the Murdoch tabloid to court over illegal eavesdropping. In May, the newspaper agreed to pay her 100,000 pounds ($160,000) to settle claims her phone had been hacked.

The newspaper’s parent company now faces dozens of lawsuits from alleged hacking victims.

Also testifying Thursday was former Formula One boss Max Mosley, who has campaigned for a privacy law since his interest in sadomasochistic sex was exposed in the News of the World.

Mosley successfully sued the News of the World over a 2008 story headlined “Formula One boss has sick Nazi orgy with five hookers.” Mosley has acknowledged the orgy, but argued that the story — obtained with a hidden camera — was an “outrageous” invasion of privacy. He said the Nazi allegation was damaging and “completely untrue.”

Mosley said he has had stories about the incident removed from 193 websites around the world, and is currently taking legal action “in 22 or 23 different countries,” including proceedings against search engine Google in France and Germany.

“Invasion of privacy is worse than burglary,” Mosley said. “Because if somebody burgles your house … you can replace the things that have been taken.”

High-profile witnesses still to come include CNN celebrity interviewer Piers Morgan, who has denied using phone hacking while he was editor of the Daily Mirror newspaper.

The inquiry, led by Judge Brian Leveson, plans to issue a report next year and could recommend major changes to Britain’s system of media self regulation.

Rowling said that she supported freedom the press, but that a new body was needed to replace the “toothless” Press Complaints Commission.

“I can’t pretend that I have a magical answer,” she said. “No Harry Potter joke intended.”

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Leveson Inquiry: http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/

Jill Lawless can be reached at: http://twitter.com/JillLawless

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