The Rowling

Once upon an evening weary, as my eyes grew red and bleary, Surfing ‘cross the net for news, an awful, tedious, dreadful chore Suddenly there came a pinging—an alarum gently ringing Some neglected RSS feed that I’d never checked before…
on Jun 28, 2011 · No comments

The Rowling

(with apologies to Edgar Allan Poe)

Once upon an evening weary, as my eyes grew red and bleary,
Surfing ‘cross the net for news, an awful, tedious, dreadful chore
Suddenly there came a pinging—an alarum gently ringing
Some neglected RSS feed that I’d never checked before
So, in drowsy boredom drooping, idly I went a-snooping
Snooping for some hopeful fragment of intriguing, novel lore
Clicked the link—t’was Pottermore!

There, a gentle, smiling image
J.K. Rowling’s placid visage
Greeted me with promises of wonders I’d ne’er seen before
Interactive new adventures, hints at innovative ventures
E-books, fanfic, member forums, beta testing, focus quorums
Secrets never shared by Harry, Voldemort, or Dumbledore
Coming soon to Pottermore

In a daze, I scanned the website
Watching origami ow-ls take flight
Flying over magic tomes with letters peeling by the score
How, I pondered, can she do this?
Is she mad, or merely clueless?
Self-publishing? A peddler in some thinly-veiled online store
By the name of Pottermore?

Still, despite my frantic raving
Spittle flying, arms a-waving
Shattering the peace that reigned within my private office door
Shouting, “Is this merely madness?
Is there any hope of gladness
Bringing to self-publishing a luster it’s not known before?”
Still she murmured, “Pottermore”

No more publishers or agents
Editors or drones to rage at
Maybe she could skip the middleman and make a buck or four
So, I gazed upon the image
Mused upon the peaceful visage
Of that author who had found success so many times before
Calmly pitching Pottermore

It may be the tide is turning
Protocols are ripe for burning
Burning that will make us wonder what the future has in store
Will status quo return again?
Or literary chaos reign?
Perhaps, a brand-new paradigm that shakes us to our very core
Heralded by Pottermore

Fred was born in Tacoma, Washington, but spent most of his formative years in California, where his parents pastored a couple of small churches. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1983, and spent 24 years in the Air Force as a bomber navigator, flight-test navigator, and military educator. He retired from the Air Force in 2007, and now works as a government contractor in eastern Kansas, providing computer simulation support for Army training.Fred has been married for 25 years to the girl who should have been his high school sweetheart, and has three kids, three dogs, and a mortgage. When he's not writing or reading, he enjoys running, hiking, birdwatching, stargazing, and playing around with computers.Writing has always been a big part of his life, but he kept it mostly private until a few years ago, when it occurred to him that if he was ever going to get published, he needed to get serious about it. Since then, he's written more than twenty short stories that have been published in a variety of print and online magazines, and a novel, The Muse, that debuted in November 2009 from Splashdown Books, which was a finalist for the 2010 American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award for book of the year in the speculative genre. Speculative fiction is his first love, but he writes the occasional bit of non-fiction or poetry, just to keep things interesting.
Website ·
  1. Amy Timco says:

    This cracks me up! Pure brilliance!

  2. Christian says:

    I don’t write poetry and I typically don’t enjoy it but Poe’s The Raven is one of the few I do enjoy. Your parody is exceptional. Well done, Fred!

  3. Very clever, Fred. Here I’d thought to do an article about Pottermore. So glad I didn’t. Your humor was much more fitting.

    But I wonder, do you really think Pottermore will have an effect on publishing? I mean, I sort of thought, what works for J. K. Rowling works because she is J. K. Rowling.


    • Becky, I would still love to see an article on Pottermore from you, especially as relates to self-publishing.
      And as always, Fred, super job!

    • Fred Warren says:

      Oh, please do write the article Becky. My goofing doesn’t begin to address the deeper issues here. I don’t think it’s such a revolutionary move on the surface–we’ve had self-publishing and interactive writing communities for years–but I think the psychological impact could be huge.

      1. Self-publishing has been the crazy aunt in the attic for a long time now. If a name author has the confidence to run off and start creating her own e-books and self-publishing new material, it’s going to inspire other people to follow her example. Granted, J.K. Rowling has huge resources at her disposal, but it’s the principle of the thing. Self-publishing increasingly becomes the province of savvy, talented authors, and derisive labels like “vanity press” lose their power. It also brings the artist closer to their audience.

      2. Traditional publishing houses demand authors bring with them an established “platform” of dedicated fans who they know will buy their books. Rowling may demonstrate that if you’ve got the platform, modern technology enables you to dispense with the publishing house and pocket all that money that used to go to intermediaries. If you’re a publisher, this must be terrifying. What will they do when more big-name authors decide to bolt from the system? How will they attract new celebrity authors?

  4. Galadriel says:

    Interesting….very interesting

  5. Krysti says:

    I love your parody, Fred! I don’t get to drop by here much anymore, but that was great!

    Becky, you really SHOULD write that article!  Now we’re all curious and ready to eat it up–

    Sharing the link to this at! I hope you won’t mind! 

What do you think?