Friday, November 26, 2010

Musing on Harry Potter

I'm a big fan of Harry Potter. The movies and the books. I've seen the movies so many times I've stopped counting. And the books – I just loooove them. I've read them in German and in English, and the first book even in French. That's all kinds of crazy, I guess.

Being normal is overrated anyway. :D

(The book that started my obsession. The German version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone)

I think J.K. Rowling's success is almost every writer's dream and I don't mean that she's one of the richest women in Great Britain, I think even richer than the Queen (I've read that a few times, not sure if it's true, though). Of course the money aspect is nice too (okay more than nice...).

But the success I'm talking about is that her books have reached millions over millions of readers all over the world. She sold more than 400 million copies and her books were translated into 67 languages (?). She's created a world that's so compelling and well-crafted that even people who don't usually read children's or YA books, or who don't read at all, picked up the Harry Potter books and enjoyed them.

She created a phenomenon.

Did you know that a while back Avada Kedavra was trending topic on twitter for almost two days?

Or that some people on twitter or other social websites use the phrase Accio (the spell to summon things) to express that they want something badly. I've seen sentences like “Accio coffee” on twitter.

Did you know that Lord Voldemort is on Twitter and that more than 400,000 people follow him? Of course he doesn't follow anyone. Lord Voldemort just isn't the type. ;)

But his tweets are hilarious, so being his follower is worth it. And you don't even have to become a Death Eater or get the Dark Mark to enjoy his tweets!

Doesn't every writer wish that their book makes such an impression on their readers that phrases of it are used by fans in daily life? Or that their characters are so compelling that fans want to impersonate them on a social site and even manage to gather a solid number of followers? I mean how cool would that be?

And despite the success, J.K. Rowling still seems nice and normal and modest. Her interview with Oprah truly impressed me and in some ways it inspired me. Even she had moments when she just wanted to give up, but she didn't.


Colene Murphy said...

Soooo true! I LOVE Voldemorts tweets. Crack me up on a daily basis!
Great post. Rowling is truly amazing.

Abby Minard said...

Oh I know, it's so crazy. She's living the dream, and really seems like a cool person as well.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Love your blog Suzanne, and as for JK Rowling, she is truly one of my writing heroes. I'm not a real Harry Potter fan, they're just ok for me, but I'm a huge Rowling fan. Because of how she could have just churned out the sequels for cash, but she took her time to make sure the writing was up to her personal standards, and that she was able to tell the story she wanted to. I admire her greatly for that alone, not to mention all the rest. Wish I had seen her interview with Oprah.