Tag: J.K.Rowling

Victoria Maclean at her desk

Potterhead Makes World Record with JK Rowling Merch

Are you a Harry Potter fan? Are you a BIG Harry Potter fan? Maybe you thought you could beat superfan Menahem Asher Silva Vargas of Mexico who collected over 3,092 items of Harry Potter memorabilia out of the Guinness World Records?

Well, they added the Wizarding World Collection world record – a record which includes the Fantastic Beasts series in addition to the Harry Potter series. Maybe you could snatch up that record?

 

Victoria Maclean in font of some of her Harry Potter memorabilia
IMAGE VIA YOUTUBE

Not a chance! Victoria Maclean is slitherin her way into the record books (Sorry, but that joke belongs to the BBC) with over, and say it with me now, three-thousand-six-hundred-and-eighty-six individual JK Rowling-related items. Again, that’s Harry Potter and the Fantastic Beasts series. Wonder what she thought of Fantastic Beats: The Crimes of Grindlewald?

 

Map of Mexico City
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This Mexico City resident already has a lot of stuff, but you know what’s crazy? That doesn’t even count the stuff that Guinness Book of World Records doesn’t consider collector’s items. Things like “magazine clippings, full magazines, advertising posters, autographs and newspaper clippings”.

So if you were thinking that your Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Rickman autographs would be considered collectors items – not so. If I were you, I’d get rid of them. But don’t just throw them out in the trash, they could do something bad to the environment. I’ll get rid of them for you.

 

Severus Snape scaring the pants off you
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Mrs. Maclean was presented with her world record certificate by Guinness World Records last Wednesday. The BBC, home of good news and bad jokes, quoted her as saying, “Guinness said, ‘If you want, you could go for the Harry Potter record’, but my husband would divorce me if I did!”

Calendar days flying by

Image Via Elkaff

They also spoke about her life story. Here’s what you need to know, dear Potter Head.

2001- Mrs. Maclean fell in love with Harry Potter after watching a segment on Blue Peter about Harry Potter. Two weeks later, she had bought and read the first book.

2019- “I’ll never stop collecting until I really, really have to. I don’t smoke, I rarely drink – this is my vice,” Mrs. Maclean said.

Well, that explains why I’ll never have this much merchandise of anything. But I digress.

The mother-of-three has collected every book, DVD, toy, bag, item of clothing and piece of jewellery she can – as well as a host of other collectibles. She had a “24 carat gold-plated Golden Snitch puzzle piece from Japan – one of only 5,000 made – which took six years to track down and buy” and got the record even though “some memorabilia items were removed for not having the official labelling”.

 

YouTube video still of Victoria Maclean
IMAGE VIA YOUTUBE

And she actually has all this stuff. You can check out her YouTube channel here where she releases new videos every Tuesday and Thursday at 6pm GMT. But you know what she doesn’t have? Despite all this Harry Potter stuff, she lacks the Holy Grail of Harry Potter merchandise, the Force of Harry Potter collectibles…

 

Victoria Maclean with Star Wars Tickets

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Iron Throne of Harry Potter supplies…

Victoria Maclean on the Iron Thrones

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….the Sword of Gondor of Harry Potter stuff….A first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Victoria Maclean using her magic on a Harry Potter book

Image Via Daily Express

I’m sure she’ll find it soon. But imagine if all that stuff fell! Then she’s have to Ravenclaw out.

Bad joke, I know. Don’t Hufflepuff the house down.

Okay, I’ll show myself the Gryffindor.

 

 

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Arthur Levine, Who Brought Harry Potter to the US, to Set Up Indie Publisher

Say it ain’t so! Arthur Levine, of Harry Potter and His Dark Materials fame, is leaving Scholastic? Arthur A. Levine, the man who brought Harry Potter to the US of A, an early champion of Phillip Pullman’s fantastic first His Dark Material novel The Golden Compass, the dude who Benzinga claims has an imprint backlist “which has produced more than three hundred works of hardcover literary fiction, picture books, and nonfiction for children and teenagers”, my main man, is now leaving Scholastic.

 

Cring

 

But he told Publishers Weekly this:

 

“I’ve had a wonderful run at Scholastic and will greatly miss working here. There are such strengths and so many gifted individuals. But I’m excited to found a company led by a mission to make books reflecting the greatest diversity and the highest standards of artistic excellence.”

 

I already hear you asking – what’s the name of this new company? We don’t know – it’s unannounced.

 

As for your second question – the goal of this new company? – the answer is…

 

Man with his fingers crossed, being unable to look but hoping just the same
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They plan to give a voice to a wide range of new authors, putting focus on having “a mix of 75% minority creators, including people of color, indigenous people, and LGBTQ individuals”.

So there is hope. A lot of it actually!

So while J. K. Rowling goes off and makes three more Fantastic Beasts movies, Arthur Levine, the man who brought Harry Potter to the US of A, my main dude, is now dedicating his time in helping minority authors get their voice heard by the public.

 

Arthur Levine, with a good book, looking at the camera with a killer smile
Image Via Publishers Weekly

 

Do great things, Arthur.

 

 

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money

Top 5 Most Crazy Expensive Book Deals

‘Riches’ and ‘creative writing’ are not words that many people would associate. Writers are far more notorious for their eccentricities than for their stackloads of cash. But just because something is unlikely doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. Writers can score wild book deals… and some of them do. In the wake of the Obamas’ $65 million book deal, it’s important to remember that the biggest book deals almost always go to celebrities for nonfiction works, whether those are exposés or memoirs. (For example, Hillary Clinton‘s Hard Choices sold for $14m, and Bruce Springsteen‘s Born to Run sold for $10m.) But for all the fiction writers out there… this one’s for you.

 

1. James Patterson ($100-150 million)

 

James Patterson

Image Via Express.co.uk

 

Genre giant James Patterson is easily the most bestselling novelist in the entire world, with 114 published bestsellers and 150 total novels. Patterson, author of The President is Missing (which he co-authored with former POTUS Bill Clinton) has earned his publishers up to $250m per year—over time, that becomes an unthinkably large figure. Just how much money is that? Well, the median home price in the United States is $200,000. $1m would then be the equivalent of 5 houses… so let’s just say Patterson could buy up the whole neighborhood. Patterson’s most stunning book deal topped out at $150m, when he agreed to write seventeen thrillers in a relatively short time period. Of course, many of his works are mostly not his own work—to keep up the relentless pace of his thrillers, Patterson is “more of a brand than a writer” with an army of co-writers.

 

2. Ken Follett ($50 million)

 

Ken Follett

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With four bestselling historical fiction works already out there, Ken Follett was a sure thing for publishers looking to make an investment. His Century trilogy (Fall of Giants, Winter of the World, & Edge of Eternity) raked in a stunning $50m, the combined total of $16.5m per book. With Edge of Eternity clocking in at 1,000+ pages, it’s incredible that Follett’s work has reached such a wide audience. Follett describes himself as writing books for book lovers—and love is exactly what he gets.

 

3. J.K. Rowling ($8 million)

 

J.K. Rowling

Image Via Vanityfair.com

 

For those of you who are shocked not to see J.K. Rowling topping this list, keep in mind that most of her ‘Harry Potter’ contractual obligations came together well before the series became a pop culture phenomenon. Rowling earned her place on the list (and her whopping $8m) with her first book post-Hogwarts, The Casual Vacancy. The crime thriller marked a departure from her established place in children’s fantasy, but it earned excellent sales… if also mixed reviews. While Rowling doesn’t have as large a net worth as Patterson’s astronomical $700m, she frequently out-earns him on a year-to-year basis. She once had the highest net worth of any author, becoming the first novelist to earn $1 billion from book sales. Thanks to her many charitable donations, she is now a regular millionaire.

 

4. Tom Wolfe ($7 million)

 

Tom Wolfe

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Sometimes publishing scores you a hit… but sometimes, it’s a hit-and-miss. Tom Wolfe, now deceased, was one of history’s greatest journalists—genius Cat’s Cradle author Kurt Vonnegut said, “he knows everything.” Wolfe was most renowned for his Bonfire of the Vanities, a portrait of Wall Street greed in 1980s New York. His novel Back to Blood, a portrayal of ambition and corruption in Cuban Miami, caught the attention of the press—but not the attention of his readers. Wolfe gained notoriety when he left his publisher of 42 years for a $7m book deal… an understandable decision, honestly. Despite the advance, Wolfe’s novel only sold 62,000 copies—with some rough math, experts confirm that this means each copy cost the publisher $112. According to the numbers, that makes this a sadder story than Wolfe’s own.

 

5. Abraham Verghese ($5 million)

 

Abraham Verghese

Image Via Med.stanford.edu

 

Abraham Verghese is seriously impressive. A physician and author, Verghese has received honors from Barack Obama; served as faculty at Stanford University; and maintained a spot as a New York Times bestselling novel for two consecutive years with the same book, Cutting for Stone. In 2013, he earned $5m when he auctioned the rights to The Maramon Convention, named for one of the largest annual Christian conventions in Asia. Was it worth it? We don’t know. Though Veghese sold the novel five years ago, there have been relatively few updates concerning its publication.

 

Woman reading on pile of money

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Of course, this is a list of the craziest seven-figure book deals—it’s not a list of the world’s wealthiest authors. John Green rakes in $9m per year from his royalties, but the income didn’t come from one particular deal. It’s also significant that not all deals are publicly available. Many news outlets describe deals in terms of ‘six-figure’ or ‘seven-figure’ without specifying the precise amount. For instance, international fantasy bestseller Cassandra Clare recently got a ‘seven-figure’ deal for her upcoming adult fantasy series, but we don’t know the exact amount. Let’s not forget just how much money $1m actually is—with the median house cost of $200,000, just ONE million could buy 5 houses. Looks like this is how J.K. bought her castle…

 

 

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crimes of grindlewald

New ‘Crimes of Grindelwald’ Controversy Angers Harry Potter Fans

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindelwald has been controversial for years, most notably because of Johnny Depp‘s casting. Despite his acclaim as an actor, Depp lost traction with fans after allegations of domestic abuse surfaced during his divorce from Amber Heard. While J.K. Rowling remains “delighted” with Depp’s involvement in the movie, many fans don’t share the excitement. Depp has even touted his involvement in the film as evidence of his innocence, citing J.K. Rowling’s ability to judge character as proof that it was appropriate for him to retain the role. This seriously didn’t help his case (or prove anything whatsoever).

 

Recently, fans got what might have seemed to be (finally) some happy news regarding the upcoming film: Professor McGonagall’s confirmed appearance in the movie! But there’s a major reason why this is a huge mistake…

 

 

J.K. Rowling and Johnny Depp

Image Via Buzzfeed.com

 

 

The Crimes of Grindelwald takes place in 1927, which is a problem when you consider this nightmarish timeline mix-up: McGonagall wasn’t born until the 1930s according to J.K. herself! The actress playing McGonagall is thirty-five-year-old Fiona Glascott, meaning that McGonagall would have to be born in the late 1800s to look this age in the movie. By 1927, her actual age is supposed to be a fully mature -8 years old.

 

Turns out, The Crimes of Grindelwald is filled with crimes against the fans. Yikes!

 

 

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deathly hallows

5 Books That Almost Had Wildly Different Endings

So it may be that ‘all’s well that ends well,’ but some of these books nearly didn’t! The secret alternate endings of these five popular novels are different from the endings that made it to our bookshelves. (That’s ‘different’ as a synonym for completely bizarre.) Some endings changed the tone of the story in ways the author decided against. Some endings changed other important things, like whether or not anyone would buy the book.

 

1. The Fault in Our Stars

 

'The Fault in our Stars' by John Green

 

It’s hard to imagine John Green changing one thing about his devastating hit The Fault in our Stars (besides the title, which would work just as well as Buckets of Our Tears). Actually, Augustus’ death was almost the second most tragic thing about the novel. In a twist that Green himself describes as “epically terrible,” the novel initially ended with Hazel Grace and author Van Houten attempting to murder a drug dealer in order to honor Augustus’ life… knowing that they will likely die (just relatable teenager things). This ending supposedly lasted only forty pages, which begs the question—what? It gets worse. Green also considered using the ending of the novel to explore the Trolley Problemwhich, to sum it up, asks whether it’s more morally heinous to let a trolley crush five people or to personally divert the train to crush only one person. His editor admitted later that she “[couldn’t] tell whether or not it [was] a joke.” It wasn’t. 

 

2. The Dream Thieves

 

'The Dream Thieves' by Maggie Stiefvater

 

Maggie Stiefvater‘s Raven Cycle series stands as one of the most positively critically reviewed YA series of all time. Its second book, The Dream Thieves, is particularly rife with the dark (best friends replaced with subservient clones) and the delightful (every possible use of ‘Dick’ as a nickname for Richard). In one earlier draft, troubled protagonist Ronan enters into a magical drag race with distinctly-more-troubled antagonist Kavinskywhich, contextually, is not as strange as it sounds. The two subsequently have their magic race up the side of a mountain, and in a reckless but astoundingly unsurprising move, Kavinsky drives his car off the edge of a cliff. Stiefvater herself summarizes the whole plot as: “Fireball! Death!” This is also an excellent description of the novel’s actual ending. However, this earlier draft lacks the redemptive elements and positive LGBT representation of the rewriteespecially since the rewrite is also full of cars and danger.

 

3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

 

'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' by J.K. Rowling

 

One of the most chilling lines in the Harry Potter universe reads: neither can live while the other survives. It would then logically follow that… to use J.K.’s own words… neither can live while the other survives. So it doesn’t exactly add up that J.K. Rowling almost concluded her series with Voldemort AND Harry surviving. In one strange version of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ending, the spirits of Voldemort’s dead parents appear during their showdown to comfort Harry and turn Voldemort into a child. When Voldy tries to zap Harry with his final curse, it rebounds, freezing him as a living statue. If you’re wondering how the rebounded spell doesn’t kill him, you can keep on wonderingthere is no real explanation. Fortunately, we have the original standoff between Harry and Voldemort, as well as all the powerful scenes and lines that come with it. 

 

4. Thirteen Reasons Why

 

'Thirteen Reasons Why' by Jay Asher

 

Especially after its TV debut, Thirteen Reasons Why is almost universally recognizable as a story of the tragic suicide of a high school student and the following series of upsetting confessional tapes detailing fellow students’ contributions to her death. But what if Hannah didn’t die? According to author Jay Asher, that’s exactly what almost happened. As the near-suicide of a close relative inspired Asher’s work, he considered that Hannah might also live. In the end, he decided against it. He felt that Hannah’s survival meant fewer consequences for the students who tormented her, as well as lower stakes surrounding the issue. Asher explained: “it felt false for this particular story and for the seriousness of the issue. If someone goes through with a suicide, there are no second chances for anyone involved.” 

 

5. 1984

 

'1984' by George Orwell

 

We all recognize George Orwell‘s 1984 as the classic behind the phrase “Big Brother is watching.” Fewer people know that this grim tale once had an alternate endingone that made the ending tonally more optimistic (not an easy feat, given how depressing this story gets). Free-thinking Winston undergoes torture in order to destroy any part of him that might rebel against the novel’s totalitarian government. But just before the end, he has a brief nervous break and thinks to himself: 2 + 2 = 5. This signifies the extent to which Winston, wholly indoctrinated, now accepts Big Brother’s lies. However, Orwell’s first edition tells a different story. There, the sentence ends with 2 +2 = (without the number 5), implying that Winston manages to hold onto some sense of self and that resistance is real. One letter subtly but unmistakably changes the meaning of the entire novel… and makes it a whole lot sadder.

 

 

 

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