So, the moment has arrived where J.K. Rowling has released the cover and excerpt of her new book (and made it available for pre-order of course…at 17.99 for the ebook *cough, cough*).
Here is a glimpse of the cover and blurb:
When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock.
Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.
Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems.
And the empty seat left by Barry on the town’s council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?
While many are posting about how over-priced this ebook is, I’m more upset that Rowling has switched genres (fantasy to black comedy). Although the description sounds intriguing and I have no doubt that Rowling will make each character memorable and deep, this deviation has really let me down.
I LOVED the Harry Potter series—like stood-in-line-at-midnight-for-the-next-book loved—and I was hoping her next book would evoke the same feeling of wonder and sentimentality of the Potter series.
This made me realize something important. I always thought that I would try different genres. I didn’t want to be limited to one. I love historical/reincarnation fantasy, but so many ideas have fired up my creativity and I wanted to explore them. I thought if my readers enjoyed my voice and style that they would come along for the ride, exploring different genres with me. All that changed with reading Rowling’s new excerpt. My heart sunk when I saw that it was a black comedy, reminding me of a plot for new tv series. I know she is a great writer, but I don’t want to read about this sort of world. I want to read her fantasy.
It hit me—I don’t want to do this to my readers. My readers’ most frequent compliment is that they enjoy the historic immersion and little known details in my books. How can I switch to young adult paranormal or a paranormal thriller and think that these fans wouldn’t be surprised and let down? They would be hoping that I bring them what they enjoyed from the books they know.
This has altered my plans and convinced me of writing a historic fiction piece to follow my series. This is a better match with what my readers might expect from me. I can probably venture into other genres later, but while my readership is still young and growing, I don’t want to alienate them at the end of my series.
What about you? How do you feel about Rowling switching genres? Do you think it’s important to slowly evolve your genre?