Posts Tagged Harry Potter

What’s in a name?

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So first time author Robert Galbraith isn’t a fledgling  writer, and neither is he a man – in fact, he is a she, and is Harry Potter creator, J K Rowling. She wanted to see if her second novel for adults, The Cuckoo’s Calling, could succeed on it’s own merits without the cache of the Rowling name being attached to it. Unfortunately her secret was leaked by a friend of her lawyer’s wife. J K was said to be upset at being outed but, will no doubt be consoled by the fact that her detective novel now tops the best sellers list.

In the same week, Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan have been talking about their new-found success as best selling novelists. Madeley believes his fame as a television presenter, far from being an advantage, left him open to harsher criticism, as people would view his work far more analytically.  His wife, Judy Finnigan agreed and said: “It would be particularly humiliating if what I wrote was rubbish and no one bought it.”

Really? As I’m sure J K Rowling can testify, it isn’t easy for an unknown author to find a publisher. The publishing world abounds with stories of now famous writers whose work was rejected  time after time. I don’t blame Richard and Judy for using  their fame to sell their books; frankly if I were in their position, I would do the same. But let’s not pretend it is anything but a distinct advantage to have a ready made fan base. Why else would publishers be so eager to hand out big advances to celebs for books that, in most cases haven’t even been written yet, if they weren’t pretty confident that they were going to sell.

The time can’t be far away, now that David Beckham has hung up his boots, before he sits down to pen his first novel. A crime thriller set in the glitzy world of Premier League footballers and their wags perhaps… now there’s an idea. Anyone out there got David’s number? He may need a ghost writer!

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Start screaming Kate – Hammer Horror is back!

I was amused to read that Hammer Films is back in business with the news that Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe is to star in ‘The Woman in Black‘ for them. Rather like most of the characters featured in their movies, I’d assumed that the company was long since dead. But it seems they simply became the undead and were just biding their time until a fresh crop of victims came along. In their heyday (1955 to 1959) the films were considered quite scary, but compared to later shockers like’ The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ and’ Nightmare on Elm Street’, there was more ‘ham’ than horror in classics like ‘Dracula’ and ‘The Curse of Frankenstein’. These films made stars of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee and much later Ingrid Pitt, most fondly remembered for her role in ‘Virgin Vampires’ alongside Kate O’Mara.

As a teenager, singer/songwriter Kate Bush dubbed the screams for Hammer, and featured a song entitled ‘Hammer Horror’ on her second album ‘Lionheart’.

But what I found even more interesting is the news that Hammer have gone into the publishing business with a series of gothic horror novels. Award winning author of ‘Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit’, Jeanette Winterson is to pen a novella for them. Imagine the creative possibilities this opens up for the audio book versions of these horror stories. Let’s hope they can persuade Kate Bush to provide the screams . . . we haven’t heard much from her lately and as a big fan, I’d welcome any new sounds from her even if it is just a blood curdling scream of terror.

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