I began to read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yesterday with conflicted feelings. I’m eager read it, no I can’t put it down, but it’s the last book so I want the experience to last.
Some of you may know, I haven’t always been a fan of Rowling. Not because I didn’t like her writing, I hadn’t read any… it’s rather stupid actually. Way back when (right after Sorcerer’s Stone) I was involved with a writing group and just developing my style (that’s a nice way of saying I was just learning the craft of writing, not just putting words on paper) One of my reviewers praised my work and said it reminded him very much of JK Rowling. I didn’t know who that was, something that would change in a few months but at that time, I wanted a distinct voice and as stupid as it sounds, I shunned her books.
Well, years later (as in last October) curiosity and a greater confidence caused me to borrow Sorcerer’s Stone from a friend. I read the first and thought, well, okay, not bad. Read the second, then third still thinking this is good but… By the fourth she’d converted me. I put down Goblet of Fire and sent many good thoughts Rowling’s way. She’d hit it out of the writing ballpark and in an odd way, I was proud of her.
When I held Deathly Hallows in my hands at the library it was with a sense of excitement mixed with doom. I know that after I read it, it’s over, no more and I’m going to miss Harry, Ron, Ginny, Hermione and the rest. I’ll miss the world Rowling created. She succeeded in bringing that world here, into mine. For characters to become that real…. that IS magic. It’s the magic of writing, the magic that keeps me sitting in front of the computer of sending queries and smiling through rejections. There is a moment when the characters you created become more than you created them to be. As a writer, I can say, ‘Ilythra wouldn’t do that,’ with authority. Not because I don’t want her to, but because I know her. It’s almost as though, somewhere in the writing process, they take a breath and although it sounds a bit insane, they almost become real, no I”m trying to protect myself from sounding insane. They do become real. To be able to transfer that, to gift it to another person, the reader, so that the character becomes real to them….. that’s what it’s all for. That’s magic.