All right J.K. Rowling and I will both be published in July. Millions of people await her book. For pub dates, I would say that if she hasn't delivered her manuscript, she will be doing so very shortly. I am sure the process for her isn't like me. They will run her manuscript straight through, probably no editing but copy editing which looks for typos and grammar -- and off it goes through the system.
I got into a discussion with a good friend of mine yesterday at brunch about Snape. I don't like Snape. Snape is MEAN. Why could my friend possibly like Snape. We batted this around for quite some time, and he said that he likes more complex characters, but really, when worse came to worse Snape could rise to the occasion and do the noble thing.
Good point. I still don't like Snape. He is mean. He is unfair. He visits the sins of the father on the child. But I will agree that he can be noble. I guess the expensive delux edition of Harry Potter comes with a sticker "Trust Snape" OR "Snape is a very bad man." I think I'd like one that said "Snape is Mean but he is Noble."
Or something. Do I think he'll do the right thing in Deadly Hollows? Yes. I think he is ultimately on the side of good.
So who do I like the best? It was never Sirius. I'm not sure why. My friend yesterday kept saying James (Harry's father) was mean too, a jerk, and a kind of football bully who picked on geeks (since we are all geeks at breakfast, the fact that we might very well have been picked on by James and Sirius went unsaid). I will take Rowling's explanation of those incidents -- James was 15 and we can all be jerks at 15.
The thing is, both James and Sirius arrived at Hogwarts from privileged families (Harry didn't and Snape didn't recognize this and that makes him INFLEXIBLE too). I've always liked Lupin. Lupin has been kind, fair, and survived horrible circumstances. He's the one I like the best.
We also discussed who would die in the next book, but I won't go into that. I think if Rowling hadn't been as much as a phenomena as she is, she would have had more leeway in killing off one of the main three -- though that would have cost her readers. I don't think she has the option of doing that, and perhaps not the heart. When it comes to killing off characters you like you have to truly believe that They Must Go, and it's harder than you think. I was very sorry about Shade in Heart Thief. I think he had a chance to reform, but the circumstances of Ruis' arrest pushed him over the edge.
One last thing -- about the movies and the books, I saw something in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that if I'd been Rowling I'd be kicking myself and saying "why didn't *I* think of that?" It was making Neville Longbottom a good dancer (and liking to dance). One of those contradictory things that can really endear a character to you (nothing about Snape endears him to me, contradictory or not).
So, wouldn't it be FABULOUS to have millions of people discuss your books? I think so. The flaws would show up, of course, but just the passion of the discussion must be gratifying.
May you dream big today,