Sunday, July 22, 2007

Makin' Me Jealous

I'll admit it: I was in line at Krogers at 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning to pick up my copy of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."

Don't worry, you KNOW I won't post spoilers.

I'll go even further--I stayed up until 4:30 a.m. in order to finish the book. Aside from the bragging rights within my family for being the first to finish it, I also had the satisfaction of knowing I'd foiled the spoilers posters. HA! Didn't ruin it for me, buttholes! Allow me to state here that I really, REALLY enjoyed the book. I thought Rowling did an outstanding job of tying up all those loose ends and the pacing problems I had with earlier books were non-existent in this one.


But now, I'm going to descend into a momentary morass of professional jealousy. The only person who will be waiting with breathless anticipation for the release of Asphodel is me. This makes me sad. *sob*

Not really. The original print run of Rowling's first book was 10,000--which isn't really a heck of lot. Now think about it: what happened to bring a series from 10,000 to over 2 million preorders on Amazon? What makes that story so special?

I've seen a lot of argument about this on different writers' site over the past few days and I think I have an answer. It's so obvious, but still so elusive. It's what we all try to do but don't necessarily acheive.

The answer? JK Rowling has created characters that are easy to care about. We like them. We root for them. We want them to succeed. Ultimately, we care about their fates.

Interesting, isn't it? She managed to achieve what every writer dreams of--without any apparent effort. The Harry Potter books read so easily--and so quickly--because she makes her characters walk, talk, live, and breathe along with the reader.

Yep, it makes me jealous. But--at least I figured out the secret.