Emma Watson recently interviewed Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling as part of her guest-editor slot with Wonderland magazine and Rowling revealed a surprising twist to the tale. In hindsight the author has stated that marrying Ron and Hermione at the end of the series was more a matter of wish-fulfilment on her part, than for any literary reason. Rowling believes that, in fact, Hermione and Harry would have made a more credible romantic pair. Hermione Potter does have a slightly better ring to it than Weasley. Before all you Ron fans run and get your pitchforks, it’s worth saying that Harry and Hermione is still a hard idea to sell. Now Rowling has opened the floodgates for this possibility, the rest are endless – how about Neville and Hermione? Ron and Luna? What if Draco ended up falling for a Muggle?
In other news, the list for the EFG Short Story Award 2014 has been announced. This prize is remarkable for offering the most significant monetary amount for a short story (6,000 words or less). The winner, who can be from any country though must be published in the UK or Ireland, receives £30,000. Check here for judging panel information and the longlist of 16 writers: Short Story Award
2012 horror novel Last Days by acclaimed British author Adam Nevill has been optioned for the big screen. The book, which follows a debt-ridden documentary filmmaker who seeks to make a movie about a notorious cult, previously won the British Fantasy Society award for Best Horror Novel.
Nathan Filer won the Costa Book of the Year award (given last year to Hilary Mantel for Bring Up the Bodies) for his debut novel The Shock of the Fall. The former mental health nurse has taken home £30,000, awarded to him at the ceremony last week.
Researchers at MIT in the U.S. have created a technology that allows readers to experience their protagonists’ feelings. These ‘wearable’ books – the project moniker being ‘Sensory Fiction’ (maybe we could call it Sen-Fi for short?) – consist of an electrically modified book attached to a vest worn by the reader, which operates on triggers or narrative cues. The vests contain sensors that can alter heartbeat rates and modify readers’ temperatures. Some might argue that this defeats the point of reading books and entering into worlds of imagination; others could see this as a new way forward in the way we experience stories.
The ever prolific Buzzfeed have stumbled upon the imaginatively literary designs of Terry Border, who takes old paperback books and attaches manipulated wire to them to produce fantastic ‘reenactments’ of the books’ plots. They are simple, cheeky and brilliant – personal favourite is definitely the one for H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds: 14 Books reenacting their own plots. Buzzfeed are on a bit of a mini roll with literary posts recently, so here is another one listing some heart-warming and inspiring quotes to put you in a reading mood: 16 Book Quotes
Manuscripts, drafts, diaries and journal entries have wound their way over the years into literary archives for the perusal of scholars and general readers alike. You have to ask yourself though, what’s the point of preserving them if the majority of the content is illegible? Here is a collection of the weirdest handwriting of famous authors from Jane Austen to J.K. Rowling, for you to squint at and try to decipher: Weird Author Handwriting