AOL, which tells me whatever news it feels like whenever I go to check my email, reported the other day that J.K. Rowling has been seen in the cafes of Edinburgh (according to Ian Rankin, quoted in the article) working on a crime novel. I'm a nice Jewish girl from New York, and one of the shaggy dog stories my father used to tell (always with the punch line in Yiddish, which the children didn't understand) ended with the most unlikely little man in the back (Japanese, if I remember correctly) standing up and saying--in Yiddish--"But is it good for the Jews?" So now I want to know whether y'all think the fact that the creator of Harry Potter is writing in our genre is a good thing for the rest of us. I think Rowling is a fine writer and will probably write a grand story, whether thriller or whodunit. I also think that she has one whale of a platform and would sell millions of copies even if her new book were terrible. She will enter the lists at the top. Will she draw positive attention to the genre or crowd midlist authors out? Are you interested, or do you see her as just another writer? Whaddaya think? Liz

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I agree with Naomi and Sandra. Doubt it will make much difference.
I'm looking forward to it. Though I was never a Potter fan simply because of the genre, I do think she's an accomplished storyteller and imagine she'll weave a good tale. The fact that she is set for life financially and never needs to pen another single word but is, shows that she's a writer at heart who is compelled to tell stories and share them with others. If it raises awareness of the genre, all the better.
I'm smiling as I read because for once I seem to have asked a good question--not always how I feel about my posts to Crimespace, which I find a daunting community at times. About an hour after posting the start of the discussion, I had a mot d'escalier moment (the thing you wish you'd said that you think of on the stairs afterwards) and thought I should have used a line I've used many thousands of times in my other hat as a shrink as the title: "And how do you feel about that?" Now I see that people are answering that question anyway, and I'm delighted. Please keep the comments coming! BTW, the Associated Press story (which I know appeared at least on AOL and Yahoo and probably lots of other places) did not suggest that there would be any paranormal or fantasy element in Rowling's crime novel. My guess is she'll avoid it. And I too am impressed that she's picking up her pen again with a billion dollars in the bank. I'm not so sure I'd do it in the same circumstances. :) Think about Harper Lee writing one perfect book and then deciding not to take the risk again. Think about the last time you sat at the keyboard thinking, "I can't!" Oh, and having read all the Harry Potter books, I don't think their success was just a marketing gimmick or limited to kids. She was writing in a tradition that includes the Narnia books and earlier British-schoolkids-and-magic works like E. Nesbit's, and that tended to get ignored. But she's a fine world builder and did a great job with plot, suspense, and character development through the series. I for one am curious about what and how she'll do next.
Quite right about the Potter books.
And hey, you got to post on the Forum. As far as I can see, Daniel makes those selections.
Anyone can post on the forum at any time, Ingrid.
I hope it's a present-day private eye novel. We could use a nice shot in the arm.
Well, fill up your syringe. No need to wait for Rowling.
I was thinking a blockbuster PI character might revive the genre. The syringe seems to be in need of a miracle drug at the moment. Rowling, with Carte Blanche in the publishing industry, might be just what the doctor ordered.
Hats off to JK, I say.

Like her or not, like HP or loathe him, she and he are modern phenomena. She's gone a long way to introducing a readerless generation to the written word and for that we, as writers, should be singing her praises. And so what if she wants to change genres? Stephen King doesn't always write in the horror/supernatural field - look what he's done in his time.

Of course she'll be criticised - irrespective of the quality of the book. Because there are always those that shout snide comments from the edges. Always. Don’t get me wrong, if her crime foray is crap - then it should be criticised, she shouldn't get a free pass just because of who she is. But lets give her the chance first. If she can get people turned on to crime fiction like she did with her fantasy, it can only be good for us.

Oh, and ps, maybe now all those fundamentalists who frothingly planned HP book burnings and damned he to hell for being a satanist, will now be able to experience a JK book -because, you know, blood and violence and death is all fine...just as long as there are no wizards!
Alas, it sounds like Ian Rankin is to blame for this one. The idea that J K Rowling is working on a crime novel seems to have started off as a joke at the Edinburgh festival. The official line at the moment is that she's taking a break after finishing Harry Potter and has no firm plans yet for her next book.

See this Guardian article.
probably the truth. but time will tell of course. also she would have successfully tested the waters. clever really.
Hah! I love that! Meanwhile the story is all over the Internet.


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