The Ickabog will run every week day from 26th May to 10th July 2020.
JK Rowling’s rest from the publishing world had only lasted five years since the last release of the Harry Potter series. She released The Casual Vacancy which sold over 375,000 copies in the first six months and several other novels under her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith. They were completely different stories to the Potter series. It’s tough for artists and authors to come out of the main domain and still be liked at the same level when they are only trying to broaden their horizons. Recently, Rowling reported her new series of children books. The Ickabog is a children’s book that has always stayed close to her heart as she would read the story to her children when they were younger. She decided to share it with the world.
“I started reading chapters nightly to the family again. This was one of the most extraordinary experiences of my writing life.”
At the beginning of may after dinner one evening, she found herself pondering about The Ickabog notes that were calling her in the attic. It was stored away on a Net-A-Porter dress box written on lined paper alongside doodles (below) that helped muse her at times of writers block. Her and her teenage children enthusiastically took the box downstairs and they were all re-introduced to the world they once knew. JK Rowling has been working around the clock to adjust final details, working with the family to finalise the book on what everyone can remember or what should of happened at points of it. She joked that the box should of had a premier dress inside too but the whole idea proves how quickly she can make a published piece of work happen.
The trouble is with lockdown, parents ae now having to take on the role of being a teacher when not qualified. They also have to balance their home life with their schooling life. JK Rowling had started a Harry Potter At Home campaign where celebrities would read chapters from the books, featuring faces like Daniel Radcliffe, Olivia Coleman and Jamie Parker. It is like BookPub but for HP fans and on a MUCH larger scale. Are there any celebs who’s like to join us? Joking, kind of! The Ickabog will probably give many parents either the motivation to teach their children at home or to fully encourage them to get back into school. Bad news for Microsoft and PlayStation, their servers will no longer be jammed on a Saturday night. JK Rowling is simply getting back to her billionaire generosity by encouraging children to take a second with their families away from this crazy reality and to enjoy her new children’s book.
THIS IS NOT A HARRY POTTER SPIN OFF!JK Rowling tweeted on her first feed
There was a tweet on the day of The Ickabog launch to remind fans this is not a Harry Potter sequel or spin-off or any other form of franchise expansion but when looking through the drawings of fan’s children she has been re-tweeting there were some familiar character names that appeared on the screen. Never the less, the story is about abuse of power. The story is un-related to the world around at this point and a story that is grafted in the voice of JK which might make it easier for parents who don’t always read to their children. It is a similar goal that the National Literacy Trust is trying to convey
In November 2020, The Ickabog will be published in English in print, eBook and audiobook formats, shortly followed by other languages. If you are a resident of a particular country and submit an illustration, your art will be printed in the translated version for your country. Publisher from those areas will be deciding on the best work for their own published books. Unfortunately, she will not be judging any of the art work but her twitter gives you an idea on how humbled she is to see these characters get bought to life. If you want her to see your illustrations, use the hashtag #TheIckabog.
JK Rowling is just the author that keeps on giving and yet she has done it again! The profits of The Ickabog (Official link here) will be contributed towards areas and charities who have been mostly affected by the pandemic. There will be more details at the later end of the year, possibly the same time as when the book gets released but there isn’t many ways to plan things at the moment given the circumstances.