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JK Rowling Said Something Today

January 21, 2016
I'm not sure what JK Rowling was saying here, but it probably made the news. (image via Wikimedia)

I’m not sure what JK Rowling was saying here, but it probably made the news. (image via Wikimedia)

JK Rowling was at the top of a weekly entertainment website today, with a headline about something she said or tweeted.  She doesn’t have any new books coming out this week or anything.  I’m not sure exactly what she was talking/tweeting about, but I know she said or tweeted something.  Every time I go to the book section of that weekly entertainment site, the headline is something about JK Rowling.

I don’t blame the website.  Book news is usually boring.  The person in charge of the book section of an entertainment website has a tough job.  There aren’t many book announcements or book covers or book controversies to keep people riveted and get clicks.  There are maybe four authors who are click-bait material (JK Rowling, Stephen King, George RR Martin, and… and… ugh… James Pppppatterson).  Out of those, only one is truly photogenic (sorry guys).

If I ran a prominent book site, I’d have to write up a bunch of JK Rowling stories too.  It’s kind of like television news.  The local news has to find a good murder, and political reporters have to find a sex scandal or quote Donald Trump.  Everything else requires work.

One JK Rowling story was about Stephen King complimenting JK Rowling’s Robert Galbraith series.  That was nice but boring.  I like Stephen King, but I don’t trust his book recommendations.  I read The Passage by Justin Cronin a few years ago because King recommended it in a magazine column, and I was disappointed in the book.  It made me wonder if King had actually read it.  Now I wonder if he actually read the Robert Galbraith books.

If Stephen King had blasted the Robert Galbraith books, THAT would have been interesting.  Man, I would have loved to read about that.  A literary feud between JK Rowling and Stephen King is just what book blogs need to bring their numbers up.  I know Jonathon Franzen tries to stir things up by making controversial statements, but he only riles up small groups of people.

If Stephen King and JK Rowling got into it, readers would automatically take sides and start insulting each other.  I already know whose side I’d take, and I don’t even know what the argument is about.

Covering JK Rowling news is pretty easy.  All you need to do is follow her on Twitter.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think reporting a tweet as news is really reporting news.

I guess with Twitter, reporters don’t have to do any hard journalism anymore.  In the old days, reporters would hound celebrities, bribe their families and friends, and if they were desperate, reporters would just make stuff up.  Now journalists only need to read Twitter, and they can report a tweet as news.  I know journalists still hound celebrities, and bribe family members, and make stuff up, but journalists don’t HAVE to do that anymore.  I guess only the good journalists do that now.

Even if journalists stalked famous authors like they do other celebrities, authors probably aren’t much fun.  Famous actors/actresses, singers, and other performers are glamorous and do glamorous things in their off-time like party crazy and have affairs.  Famous authors used to do that too.

Back in the old days, famous authors drank, had affairs, and had public fights with each other.  That would have been great in the internet age.  But back in the old days, authors were celebrities because there were no movies or televisions, or internet, so there weren’t as many opportunities to become a celebrity.  Writers had a good gig.  They might die broke, but they lived as celebrities.

Now, we rarely hear about authors doing any of that crazy stuff.  It sounds like all authors do is give speeches and write.  If JK Rowling started getting drunk in public, having affairs, and getting into fights, it would make the news.  But just about any other writer doing that would get ignored, unless it was George R.R. Martin.

If George R.R. Martin started having affairs, a bunch of Game of Thrones fans would freak out.  They might be scared that Martin’s mistress would get him too excited.

You wouldn’t want to be the mistress who got George R.R. Martin too excited before he finishes Game of Thrones.  That mistress would be vilified worse than Yoko Ono.  It’s one thing to break up The Beatles; at least they finished all their songs.  But to be the mistress who killed Game of Thrones?  I don’t even want to think about it.

It hasn’t happened yet, and hopefully it won’t.  But I can guarantee you, if something bad happens to George R.R. Martin before he finishes Game of Thrones, JK Rowling will have something to say about it, and it will get reported.

*****

What do you think?  Is getting George R.R. Martin too excited worse than breaking up The Beatles?  What famous author would you like to hear about every day?  Is reporting a tweet really reporting news?

 

28 Comments
  1. I would like to hear more about small authors whose books I love. But then again, they aren’t really famous so there wouldn’t be that many clicks and well you know the rest. I love J K Rowling’s Harry Potter. It excited me like nothing else. But constantly seeing Rowling news is boring. I honestly could not care less. George R R Martin has let his fans down, it seems, by missing some deadline or other! But you’re right. Authors need to do more crazy things! I think authors of yore knew how to have a good time.

    • If the internet had been around when Ernest Hemingway or Dorothy Parker or Edgar Allan Poe were partying it up (not at the same time), those videos probably would have made the news.

  2. I think Martin is too distracted s it is (and I’m not really a fan, so it doesn’t matter). I think authors should start picking fights with politicians. That would be something for the book columns and blogs.

    • Stephen King has tried to do that but it’s Steve so he isn’t getting much traction with that tactic. Plus he’s already famous and like waaay too old to be getting into fistfights with politicians, so that won’t work either.
      JK is young and sprightly but I don’t see her getting into fistfights with American politicians becasue she’s British.

      • Who was it that she just called out recently, though? I can’t remember.

        • I’m not sure, unless you’re talking about the people who are freaking out over Hermione being cast as a black woman in the Harry Potter play. People who probably aren’t going to see it anyway as they have never been to a play.

          • I remember now -I think it was back in December, she compared Trump to Voldemort (or said he’s worse than Voldemort).

            • Did Trump ever respond to that? If not, it might be the first time that Trump HASN’T responded to an insult from a public figure.

              A Trump-Rowling feud would be okay for book bloggers too, except Trump gets into feuds with everybody, so it wouldn’t feel like anything special.

              • That is true – that he gets into feuds with everyone. I don’t think Trump replied directly – because he was getting blasted by everyone.

  3. Hmm… My favorite author, Brandon Sanderson, shared his Spotify playlist on Twitter the other day; I think someone should write a news report about that!

    • I think you’re right that nobody has reported it. I typed “Brandon Sanderson Spotify playlist” in a search engine and got one reddit post and a bunch of tweets.

      I’d write an article about it, but I’m not a trusted news source.

  4. I don’t really care to hear about writers. Now if some of my faves put out a weekly this is how to be a better writer or these are the mistakes I made…that I would want. No, retweeting twitter to a broader audience is not news. LOL.

    • “No, retweeting twitter to a broader audience is not news. LOL.”-

      Our local TV stations show YouTube clips as part of their news. The sad part is that they are always a day or two behind the trends; the clips have already gone viral, and I’ve already seen them. If I’ve seen a video or read a tweet already, then it’s not news.

  5. I know which side I’d pick in a fight between Steve and JK. I like JK a lot but I’d pick Steve, cuz I was a fan before JK came along and my sense of loyalty wouldn’t let me turn on him, even if what he was espousing was complete and utter nonsense.

    • “… ,even if what he was espousing was complete and utter nonsense.”

      Ha ha! And sometimes what he espouses IS utter nonsense, but I’d still probably take his side too, just because, like you said, a sense of loyalty. He’s Stephen King.

  6. calling a spade a spadeeeee

  7. J. Tiberius Kirk permalink

    It depends on the definition of “news.”

  8. Reporting tweets is not news – mainly because you can’t really say anything of worth in 140 characters.
    Authors shouldn’t become celebrities, it’s weird. The whole point of becoming an author is that you have a good reason to become a recluse, drink too much coffee and invent interesting ways to make your protagonists suffer.

    • “Authors shouldn’t become celebrities, it’s weird.”-

      I mostly agree with that. But I think there should be a couple celebrity authors just so the world doesn’t forget that authors/writers are important. Most writers, however, probably aren’t built psychologically to be celebrities, so it’s good that they usually get ignored.

      • That’s a very good point – sometimes it does seem that (despite a few exceptions) the writer is at the bottom of the heap as far as literary priorities are concerned. Retailers and publishers certainly come much higher. Yes, you’re right – we need some in the public eye, just to remind people books are written by human beings, not churned out by machines. If I ever get published, though, i’ll leave all of that mullarkey to Patterson, Rowling et al. Let them take the heat for the rest of us 🙂

  9. Oh, oh, oh, where do I start, I loved this post! It resonated with me for a number of reasons. First, I’m a super fan of the Robert Galbraith series, read all three books. The last one, Career of Evil, is so dark and skilfully crafted that it blew me away – THIS IS TRUE, UNPAIND FOR PRAISE, and you’ll see why I mention this in a second. One interesting fact first: I read that the first book of the series that finally became a bestseller first sold only 8500 copies when traditionally published and nobody knew Galbraith was Rowling. When she disclosed being the author, sales skyrocketed. Speaking of the power of the brand.
    Secondly, the big names endorsing small ones. I posted a comment about this on another site that touched on a similar subject. I have come to trust traditional publishing less than indie, because they resort to such fakery in order to drive sales. I can go all cheap and simple: if you like my book praise it, if you don’t feel free to do whatever you please about it, but bad books die of their accord, so better don’t bother; if you can’t say something nice, better not say anything at all. But truth is, good indie authors get trashed by vile competition, while traditionally published junk gets backed up by big names for money. I don’t know what disgusts me more.

  10. johnberk permalink

    I would also add that once in a while. When something like Star Wars comes out, we are all assumed to use it in more innovative ways. I don’t say whether it is a good or a bad thing, but what I dislike is the fact that the authors of such piece require us to have some basic knowledge about it. I’m sorry, but I have no intention on watching Star Wars any time in my life…

  11. With Alan Rickman’s death very recently there has been an upsurge in Harry Potter related posts. I think what JK Rowling tweeted about was what she told Alan Rickman (Prof. Snape) regarding his character early on in the movies and he kept it a secret and never shared it. Supposedly it was an integral piece of information regarding his character that influenced how he played the role of Snape, although he did not know exactly what was to happen to him (character). If I remember correctly, it was how the word “always” was the driving force behind all his actions, especially later on when acting as a double-agent for both the good and bad side.

  12. This post made me giggle a few times. Loved it.

  13. I loved J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and I would like to listen about her. And well, something about and if he was still alive Charles Dickens.

  14. She has a new movie coming out. Probably, that’s what the “news” is about. You know, because a book getting made into a movie is big news.

  15. This is a funny and smart post. I can’t help but laugh with this one: “Out of those, only one is truly photogenic.”

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