Saturday, December 30, 2006

Spelling Bee!!

This one's a tribute to miss spell and her charms, JK Rowling. It is said about LOTR that the world is divided into two, those who've read LOTR and those who have'nt. I must admit, the same can probably be said about Harry Potter in the muggle world today. Though among the readers,
there is a schism. Those who blindly swear by it and those who dismiss it as a juvenile replication of Tolkein's magical works. To be honest, I very disparagingly took to it when it was recommended to me by my kid sister. Can't say i was awestruck by its brilliance, but i'd give the lady her due.
She belonged to a generation in which book worms were an endangered species; television had been driving away prospective readers, as a result the major impediment that every writer faced in the 90's was to get readers( young adults and adults likewise) to pick up a book.
To say Rowling has successfully started a new genre of literature, which is a threat to all other forms of entertainment is far from being a tall claim.The sixth book in the series, Harry Potter and the half-blood prince earned more revenues in 24 hours then Tom Hanks' Da Vinci Code did in theatres all over the world. Astonishing, to say the least!
In 1995, Rowling completed her manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on an old manual typewriter.Upon the enthusiastic response of Bryony Evans, a reader who had been asked to review the book’s first three chapters, an agent agreed to represent Rowling in her quest for a publisher. The book was handed to twelve publishing houses, all of which rejected it. A year later she was finally given the greenlight (and a £1500 advance) by editor Barry Cunningham from the small publisher Bloomsbury . The decision to take Rowling on was apparently largely due to Alice Newton, the eight-year-old daughter of the company’s chairman, who was given the first chapter to review by her father, and immediately demanded the next. Although Bloomsbury agreed to publish the book, Cunningham says that he advised Rowling to get a day job, since she had little chance of making money in children’s books. Soon after, Rowling received an £8000 grant from the scottish arts council to enable her to continue writing.
Today Ms. Rowling is the first author to earn one billion dollars from writing. I cannot claim to be a fan of harry potter yet, but these astronomical figures do pique my fancy. I guess i will disembark on this fascinating odessey to see what this fuss is all about!