Apparently, the Harry Potter series is the children's literature most read by adults! I'm one, of course, and - guessing because you are here - you are too. In fact I hardly know anyone who hasn't either read them or at least seen the movies. (Well, there is this one guy at church who hates them with a religious vengeance because they've got 'witches and wizards' in. Of course, it's fine that he's a massive 'Buffy' fan...) Anyway, I've read each book several times now and watched the DVDs time and time again...and, yes, I've pre-ordered 'Deathly Hallows' from Amazon like everyone else!
I'm so desperately sorry that the series is coming to an end and I certainly hope Harry doesn't die! For what its worth I've always wanted Harry and Hermione to 'get together' - Ron can have Parvati or Pansy Parkinson for all I care! I'd just love it to go on and on - let Harry be a Hogwarts professor or whatever, Hermione the first female Minister of Magic...
Well...having been a fan of the series since I saw the first movie I was delighted to discover a while ago that, while I love JK Rowling's original creations, there is a wealth of something called FANFIC on the web. FICtion made up by FANs based on characters, books and stories created by someone else. From what I have seen there is lots of Star Trek fanfic, loads of Star Wars...but there is MASSES and MASSES of Harry Potter Fanfic - enormous sites with nothing but thousands upon thousands of books - both completed and 'in progress' and covering all aspects of Harry's life. Now fanfic is, of course, technically illegal and different authors have very different views on it - after all, any author has the right to be very protective of his/her characters! However JK Rowling has gone on record several times expressing her joy that her works have not only inspired a whole generation of young people to discover the pleasure in reading books but she said it was "like all her Christmases had come at once" when she heard that they were also inspiring others to write!
I first discovered fanfic by accident - I was re-reading the HP series prior to the release of 'Half-Blood Prince' and, rather than take my hardback books into work to read in lunch-breaks etc., I managed to find - on one of those naughty download sites - an Acrobat file of all 5 books. I loaded them up onto my laptop and started to re-read the books.
When I reached 'book 5' something seemed strange - the story did not match my memory of 'Order of the Phoenix' and, after no more than a few pages, I eventually did a comparison between the text on the PC and my hardback (adult edition, of course). I discovered that what I was reading on the PC was an entirely different book - yet it was already starting to be a good read, felt very authentic and, before long, I was enjoying it enormously.
A bit of 'Yahoo-ing' led me to discover that what I was actually reading was a FANFIC by a remarkable American author, Barbara L Purdom and was called 'Harry Potter and the Psychic Serpent'. Barb had written it in the 'gap' between publication of 'Goblet of Fire' and 'OoTP' and it featured Harry in his Fifth Year at Hogwarts.
(FANFIC books can never be published for very obvious copyright reasons and no-one can ever make any money from them. They exist purely for the enjoyment of fellow fans.)
The book made me laugh out loud and cry buckets, something no other book I had ever read had made me do. Then I discovered that Barb (the author) had written 3 more! One with Harry in his 6th Year, one in his 7th and a prequel which is set while his parents James and Lily were still at Hogwarts with younger versions of Snape, Lupin and Sirius. They are all absolutely outstanding and, if I have any gripe at all, it is only at the very ending of the 7th Year book, 'The Triangle Prophecy'. Partly because of this (and also because I was so inspired by Barb's efforts) I decided to write my own Fanfic. It was published as a 'work-in-progress' on Schnoogle and received many very positive comments. Unfortunately, upon getting about 2/3 of the way through the book I encountered a couple of major problems - firstly, my personal life took several turns downhill and circumstances meant I just could not find the time to write. I also developed something of a 'block' having reached the end of Chapter 36 and almost 150,000 words (longer than any of JKR's originals) - I was a bit nervous about a couple of plot twists and about how to get to the end and my objectives without alienating too many readers! Finally, I suddenly fell foul of the Schnoogle 'editing rules'. Conventions I had used in the first 30 chapters were suddenly causing chapters to be 'rejected'. For the sake of consistency I did not feel I could suddenly change these conventions but I tried doing some editing and resubmitting the book to Schnoogle. This time they published chapters in the wrong order and I'm afraid I gave up. I DO hope to finish the book (indeed, typing this has almost prompted me to dig it out again today! You can download my 'definitive' version of 'Harry Potter and the Heart of Regenesis' by clicking on the picture below - but be warned - the book will make very little sense to anyone who has not read Barb's original trilogy (I would, therefore, strongly encourage you to read that first).
Also, like the majority of HP fanfic, the work is of a more adult nature than the original series (which we all tend to forget at times was created for children).
Click on the picture to download my Fanfic - Harry Potter and the Heart of Regenesis (Chapters 1-36)
THE PSYCHIC SERPENT AUDIO BOOK
In return for the many, many hours of pleasure I received from Barb's fictions I offered, in my capacity as 'actor' to record the audio-book of 'Psychic Serpent'. This will take a long time to complete as the books are very long but there are 2 websites where the files so far are hosted:
The books themselves can be found and discussed on a Yahoo Group with the author herself. Use the box below to join!
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