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Going Cuckoo

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Friday, 19 July 2013 in Uncategorized

Recently a number of people have asked me what I think about the J.K. Rowling controversy...not sure "controversy" is the correct word here. The news. The situation. The whatever.

Here is my take on it. I don't think for a minute that she—or her publisher—orchestrated the whole thing in order to sell books. Rowling doesn't need more money. Publishers, of course, always need more money.  But more than that, they need to maintain a mutually happy relationship with their top-selling author.

I think she simply wanted the freedom to write a book without the celebrity, the demands, the publicity, and the endless mindless circus that had begun to accompany her previous publications.  The publisher respected that wish and agreed to publish her new book under a pseudonym. (I think their mistake was making the alleged author seem so interesting—and unlikely—that people started investigating)

It got good reviews, which much have been gratifying for her. It got minor sales, which is typical of a first novel; and probably she would have gone on to write more under that name and gradually built up a reputation and greater sales and a few fans.

It would have given her the kind of job most of us have as writers: to work hard, in solitude, taking pleasure in the act of writing without the overwhelming demands that Harry Potter had probably placed on her toward the end.  Having her cover blown has ruined it, has destroyed that possibility. And then on top of it...to have some of the public accuse her of masterminding it....well, I feel really sorry for her.


 

Terrific jacket, by the way! 

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Comments

Maggie Zakem
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Maggie Zakem Friday, 19 July 2013

I appreciate your comments, and think you are right. Remember the fuss about the release of "Casual Vacancy"? She must have reveled in the privacy of this book.

Clay
Clay
Clay teaches 7th grade Language Arts and enjoys reading, writing, cooking, and sports. He belives teaching mid...
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Clay Saturday, 20 July 2013

the media revels in controversy and this is right up their alley - manufactured news... I read the Potter series good reads.... it must be difficult to be Rowling - in a way - in that she wants to write, but will always be associated with Potter. Sometimes it sounds wonderful having no job and having no cares, but one who is driven to that point where they can have no job or no cares, is never really satisfied and looking for the next thing. Sad, the media won't allow it.

Michelle Coates
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Michelle Coates Tuesday, 01 October 2013

Lois,
I am reading The Cuckoo's Calling right now. So far, I am enjoying it. The pseudonym makes sense, as it very different from Harry Potter.
I am writing to talk to you about The Willoughbys. I am a school librarian and I have started a book club called, Dewey's Army. We will be discussing The Willoughbys on Friday October 18th from 3 to 4:30. I was wondering if it might be possible to Skype with you or even just speak with you on the telephone. My school is in New Orleans, LA. I love your books!
Thanks so much!
Michelle

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