Quick on the heels of the news that the Harry Potter series is available in e-book format (finally), was the announcement about the fall release date for J.K. Rowling's first "grown up" novel, The Casual Vacancy.In some of the news reports I've seen, there was a consistent and unfortunate theme that questioned whether Rowling can find success outside of the youth category.
What an offensive suggestion.
First, does that mean that because a person is an author of books aimed at children or teens that they are not a "real" writer? I believe that the Harry Potter books were popular with people from ages 8 to 80. And some of the most lyrical and inventive writing I've ever encountered was in the youth genre.
Second, there seems to be an underlying idea that the Harry Potter phenomenon was a one-off deal. Well, as long as you forget that there were seven wildly popular books, eight movies, two theme parks, and one very smart woman who kept control of the entire brand.
The Harry Potter books were a hit because they were well-written and offered well-developed characters that the reader could believe in. How is that different from any other good book, no matter what the genre?
I liked Rowling's writing because it was smart and funny. I liked her books because they offered engrossing stories that pulled me in within the first few pages, and then kept delivering right to the end.
That is why I'm looking forward to her new book in September. She is a good writer. Period.