Hey! Listen! Harry Potter Fans! J.K. Rowling Is Releasing a Totally New Book The Ickabog
J.K. Rowling is releasing a totally new book. That's right! The 54-year-old author announced the new fairy tale, called The Ickabog, via her website on Tuesday.
While Rowling made it clear "this is not a Harry Potter spinoff," she also noted she came up with the idea for the story while she was still writing the Harry Potter series.
"I wrote most of a first draft in fits and starts between Potter books, intending to publish it after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," she wrote via her website. "However, after the last Potter book I wanted to take a break from publishing, which ended up lasting five years."
During that time, Rowling wrote The Casual Vacancy and The Cuckoo's Calling. Then, after a bit of "dithering," she decided to "step away from children's books for a while." As a result, her first draft of The Ickabog was tucked away in the attic, where she said it stayed for nearly a decade.
"Over time I came to think of it as a story that belonged to my two younger children, because I'd read it to them in the evenings when they were little, which has always been a happy family memory," she continued via her site.
Then, a few weeks ago, she decided to bring the book back down and publish it for free for children social distancing amid the global coronavirus pandemic. She's also donating all author royalties from The Ickabog to coronavirus relief efforts once it's published. The book is expected to be published in print, eBook and audio formats in November 2020.
Her family members seemed in favor of revisiting the tale, too.
"My now teenagers were touchingly enthusiastic, so downstairs came the very dusty box, and for the last few weeks I've been immersed in a fictional world I thought I'd never enter again," Rowling wrote via her site. "As I worked to finish the book, I started reading chapters nightly to the family again. This was one of the most extraordinary experiences of my writing life, as The Ickabog's first two readers told me what they remember from when they were tiny, and demanded the reinstatement of bits they'd particularly liked (I obeyed)."