After saying she wouldn’t do it – and now saying she won’t do it again – J.K. Rowling has written a mini-prequal to her Harry Potter series as a contribution to a charity. Here is what she writes on her website:
A few months ago a number of authors were invited to handwrite cards for auction by Waterstones, on June 10, all proceeds to go to English PEN, the writers’ association, and the Dyslexia Society.
After playing around with a number of different ideas I decided to write a short (for me!) excerpt from a prequel to the Potter series. It is about 800 words long and the action takes place around 3 years before Harry is born.
Although I did feel a bit like a relapsing addict as I sat down to write – the words poured from my pen with frightening ease – I am NOT working on a prequel. Indeed, I’ve written that clearly at the bottom of the card itself. I just thought that this was the best way to make money for two extremely worthwhile charities.
The good news for Potter fans who will not be able to bid at the auction is that you will be able to read the short story (along with amazing contributions from Doris Lessing, Margaret Atwood, Tom Stoppard, Irvine Welsh, Sebastian Faulks, Axel Scheffler, Lauren Child, Nick Hornby, Neil Gaiman, Lisa Appignanesi, Richard Ford, and Michael Rosen) by purchasing a book of facsimiles, which will be available in August. The proceeds from this book, too, will go to the charities.
It has been further clarified that her story involves Harry’s father James and Harry’s godfather, Sirius Black. We recall the hours that Harry spent in Prof. Snape’s detention in the 6th book, Half Blood Prince, recopying Filch’s old card files that recorded the details that led to the detentions that James Potter served while he was a student at Hogwarts. Harry never finished all the files there were so many – and we wonder if this card is one of Filch’s files.
NOTE: The graphic above is from the card and is of J.K. Rowling’s last sentence handwritten on the card which she gave to the charity.