A CALL TO WANDS
filling the post-Potter gap with magick in New Adult fantasy


The final novel in the Harry Potter series was released on July 21, 2007, nearly seven-and-one-quarter years ago.  Harry turns seventeen years old at the beginning of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  In the epilogue of JK Rowling’s final installment, Harry is thirty-six years old.

Wait.

Lots happened during those years, we suppose. Harry married Ginny, Ron married Hermoine, they all had kids, they got slightly-premature smidges of gray in their hair, and some grew a little plump.

Now, hang on there for a second: math with dates is my worst subject. However:

Harry was eleven when he entered Hogwarts for the first time. His son, James of-the-many-names Potter, is off to Hogwarts in HP7’s epilogue, which means Harry and Ginny (presumably) were married and had their son when Harry was (thirty-six minus eleven, carry the one, divided by the square root of the 7th potter) twenty-five years old.

Which begs the question:
What the $#%@! happened to Harry’s New Adult years?

Now, the bad news first:

Since JK Rowling was remarkably skillful in her creation of the magickal Young Adult world of Harry Potter, fantasy authors like myself have been pretty much aiming for a respectably far-off second place. Miss Rowling may have set the bar so stinkin’ high, that we just kind of see it like this:



Rowling may be considered the gold standard for contemporary YA fantasy. Perhaps some writers have shied away from fantasy, maybe feeling dreadful inadequacy to what JK had, in fact, left undone. Some readers have vacationed from fantasy entirely, opting for novels of the glam-vamp variety or more seductive bow-toting dystopians.

But, the good news:

Since JK Rowling apparently skipped missed bypassed chose to leave these years out, New Adult authors have since embraced the challenge of creating their own magickal worlds with a New Adult-centric focus.



That there is no Rowling of New Adult (dare I say yet) means a monumental task for New Adult fantasy authors. We are charged with re-engaging the once-Young Adult audience and delivering relevant and captivating stories to readers familiar with Rowling’s HP series, while offering distinct contrast to the largely YA variety. NA fantasy offers huge opportunities for darker magick, edgier danger, more provocative themes,  heftier emotions, more complex characters/relationships, and yes, more sex. 

I suspect readers want to delve further into the breadth and depth of sorcery and magick. By incorporating threads from the ancient mysteries of Egypt, Eastern Europe, South America, and so on, NA Fantasy can offer something fresh and exciting. As a reader, I enjoy experiencing a broad range of alternatives to the Anglo-medieval composition we typically might find with fantasy fiction worlds. Not simply different magick systems, but powerful cultural elements that can serve as captivating frameworks for the fantasy itself.

So, writers and readers: what is to come after Hogwarts and Harry?
What Fantasy is sure to get your New Adult cauldron bubbling?



Post a Comment

  1. I love it! And hey I hear there's a fabulous new adult witch series called The Elzyian Chronicles ... the gap is filling as I type. lol that came off weird. o_O

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    1. Thanks PK! I borrowed from a lot of legends of cultures in EC - celtic, japanese, native american, creole/French, persian. Plus Greek & Roman mythology. It was fun tho the research was pretty intensive but fascinating.

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    2. I've gotta check out your books! There is nothing I love more than stuff that plays with mythology.

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    3. I'll give you one little nugget of mythology as a tease, Amalia. In my chronicles, the covenstead (like a witchy college) is called Cedalion. Enjoy! :)

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  2. I would love to see Harry Potter The New Adult Years! It's great to see more NA fantasy branching out, and fantasy of different cultures would be great too.

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    1. It's really a good thing I think SJ - finding new twists and such, fresh spins on a thing. Like adding chocolate to, well, anything. ;)

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  3. I've been working on an NA fantasy based on Norse mythology, but I keep putting it on the back burner dinner it's such a hard sell. Plus, to make selling harder, it has no romance. *hides in the back, slammed*

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    1. I hear ya. It's tough, but worth front burnering I think! Mine has a bit of romance as subplot ... but even that I went fringe on. A little love/heartbreak/jealousy never hurt anyone, right? ;)
      I think key is to make the relationships complex enough that they're believable. Toss in a good spiff between besties, dig up at least a trace of old demons. Makes for some meaty dishes! :)

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  4. I'm working on the second book in my NA fantasy series now -- Romantic High Fantasy with Orcs! it isn't for everyone but it's a heckuva lot of fun to write.

    I admit, I'd also have been a sucker for Harry&co faced with having to settle into life post war with Voldemort, and figuring out who he is beyond "the boy who lived" and the chosen one able to bring the bad guy down. It seems to me that the challenge of a regular life after everything Harry, Ron, and Hermione had been through would be incredible. There's so much meat there, still, left to explore.

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    1. I think that's one component of "life after Harry & co" - new and exciting characters, especially non-human types like your Orcs, or Trolls or Shapeshifters, or a new spin on gods & goddesses, demons or demigods, or hunters of those things. Even half - breeds of those beings as well. That's part of the appeal to write fantasy, ya? Creating not only the plot and worlds, but the creatures that inhabit them. Delving into their construction and exploring their powers & weaknesses, their motivations and psychologies.

      As writers I think it gives us complete freedom over the world we create, and the chance to experiment with every aspect of them too!

      Best of luck with your sequel! My #2 is undoubtedly my favorite of the 4 chronicles.

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  5. Dang, less than 48 hrs after this post, JK cryptically announces more Harry coming. I either predicted the future, or I've got serious pull with Jo Rowling. ;)
    Hahahahaa

    Wait. Does she secretly read NA Alley?!?!

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  6. Great Post DA.... and yes, I hear JK has minions that watch minions that watch other fantasy writers...bwahahahaha!

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    1. Thanks Linz!

      6 degrees of JK Rowling! Woot!

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  7. I'm looking forward to reading more NA fantasy. I happen to be writing a NA historical paranormal, which I'm having fun with.

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    1. Plenty of crossover there, huh? :)
      Thanks for reading!

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  8. I'm all for fresh and exciting! :D

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    1. I think fresh and exciting permeates NA. :)

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  9. Awesome post! I'm definitely a Harry Potter fanatic and loved all of the barriers it destroyed when it came to reading convention. Powerful stories could take place in YA AND fantasy. We definitely need that NA HP-type of hit. And I think it's coming!

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    1. The fantasies are coming! The fantasies are coming!!

      1 if by land.
      2 if by sea.
      Nay 3!

      3?

      3 if by books!

      Thanks EJ!

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  10. I would have loved to see the Auror years for Harry and Ron. I'm hoping to see some books coming down the pike to quench my magical jones. I'll have to check out some suggestions left in the comments. :)
    Edge of Your Seat Stories

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    1. I think JK may have gotten to a point (we all do I think) where she just wanted to mass - murder every character she had ever created. Series-writers have that impulsion. :)
      The good news is we get to discover amazing non-Potter fantasy ... like an NA scavenger hunt! :)

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  11. Way late on this, but whatevs.

    I would actually contend that Deathly Hallows is a work of NA fiction, not YA. Unlike the other six, which have the structure of a school year to give them a spine, Deathly Hallows sees Harry out in the real world for the first time with little to no external guidance. For once, he, Ron, and Hermione have to make their decisions for themselves, and have no one else to help them shoulder the consequences. Sure, there wasn't any sex, but from a thematic standpoint I think DH definitely falls under our umbrella, don't you?

    Also, for what it's worth, I've got a NA urban fantasy coming out with Quirk in 2016. It's about bartenders who fight monsters using alcohol-fueled magic.

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    1. I'd agree that DH marks their entry into NA. For sure!

      Alcohol-fueled magick? Yes please!!
      Wait... I call that 'writing'. ;)

      Thanks for weighing in! Best of luck!

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