I’m so, so excited to be part of this blog tour to celebrate the gorgeous new illustrated UK editions of the Harry Potter series! Today I get to share with you exclusive content on the first in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone from artist Jonny Duddle, a guest post from author Lucy Saxon, my fan journey and lots and lots of pretty pictures. So without further ado:
Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Three exclusive facts about the cover design
Jonny Duddle, jacket illustrator for the new Harry Potter children’s editions reveals three facts about the cover of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone:
· This cover was a ‘test’ and I painted it before I knew that I would be illustrating all of the covers.
· The first character I sketched was Hagrid, on a train from London to Wales. Hagrid is my favourite character in the books.
· The figure in the background, over Harry’s shoulder, is Draco Malfoy.
Guest post from Lucy Saxon
Why I Love Harry Potter
Lucy Saxon, author of Take Back the Skies, explains why Harry Potter is so important to her:
Harry Potter means more to me than I could possible say in a single paragraph. It was the backbone of my childhood, the main reason I love fantasy fiction so much. It’s the reason I started reading fanfiction, and then writing fanfiction, which soon became writing original fiction. And, through that fanfiction, the reason I started cosplaying and going to conventions. Harry Potter is the reason I have the friends I do, and I couldn’t ask for better ones. My social life, my confidence, my passion for all things fictional; I owe all of it to Harry Potter.
I had no idea at the age of seven that the book I was picking up would have such an impact on my life, but I am very, very glad I read it. The reasons for my love of the series are long and many, and if we ever meet in person I’m entirely likely to talk your ear off about it, but it’s safe to say no other book series has affected me in such a way. I grew up with Harry — he and the rest of the Hogwarts crowd were there through all my trials and hardships, and never once faltered.
I don’t know what a world without Harry Potter would be like, just that I at least would be an extremely different person to the one I am today, and probably not for the better. Thank Merlin I never have to find out! But despite the series having been over for a while, the fandom lives on, and I know it will still continue to shape my life; after all, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.
My Fan Journey
My started reading Harry Potter when Chamber of Secrets first came out. I was on my way to school when my cousin let me borrow the first two books and said it was the start of an exciting new series. I was about 14 – it was 15 years ago now.
Since then I was enthralled. I waited patiently for each book and bought them immediately on release. I was involved really heavily in an online sorting Livejournal fan community. I was a prefect, I made graphics, devoured fanfiction between books and was just generally the geekiest fan ever.
I also happened to finally be in London for the final book release and me and 4 other friends from the community (rah rah Ravenclaw!) went to a midnight release party at Waterstones, took a (k)night bus and stayed up all night reading. I still have my cool orange special release day carrier bag with the Deathly Hallows logo and date on it.
I made a big deal of each movie release and my friend and I would watch it at the IMAX, house scarves and all. I loved both the Studio Tour and the Wizarding World at Universal Studios Orlando (I’m dying to go back to see the new Diagon Alley). I was so honoured to finally meet J.K. Rowling when she launched The Casual Vacancy at the Southbank Centre.
Even now it’s really hard not to have a conversation without making some reference to Harry Potter or the series. I’m really excited about these gorgeous covers and I hope they will launch a new generation of fans!
New Harry Potter Website
Bloomsbury Publishing has relaunched its Harry Potter website to support the new children’s editions. The new Harry Potter site uses the Jonny Duddle artwork from the new children’s editions and includes pages of information on the bestselling series as well as exciting new content from Magical Downloads to a Harry Potter Quote Generator. Check out the new site at: http://harrypotter.bloomsbury.com/uk
Let me know what you think of the cover in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour, happening all week!