I had the very great privilege this evening of meeting someone whose works I have long admired and engaging in conversation with him for several hours. His name is John Granger and his books include, How Harry Cast His Spell, The Deathly Hallows Lectures, and Harry Potter's Bookshelf. I found him to be very, very personable and gracious, as well as almost frighteningly smart! As an upstart young fantasy author, it was so refreshing to talk with someone about topics that I have such a passion for (and no, we didn't JUST talk about Harry Potter all night), such as literary alchemy, and to learn something about new topics, such as ring composition. Mr. Granger is a classical scholar, and so we also found common ground there since I (and my coworker who came with me, along with one of my students and my husband) teach at a classical school. Back when I was in college, I picked up one of John Granger's early works and, reading it, discovered not only the literary genius behind Harry Potter, but also that a work of fantasy need not be pretentiously intellectual in order to be chock-full of depth and meaning. He was the one who instructed me in literary alchemy and made me see how much planning must go into my writing before I actually START writing. Getting in touch with him this year happened by way of one of my students who was writing her thesis on Harry Potter and had contacted him as a source, and getting to actually pick his brain for an evening was just icing on the cake. It was also fun to play "Six Degrees of J. K. Rowling," because he knows Melissa Anelli (of The Leaky Cauldron), and Melissa Anelli knows J. K. Rowling. So there you go! I did it in three degrees, I guess. Lol. Anyhow, it was a good evening and I hope that it enriches my writing. John Granger has also agreed to write a "blurb" for me to put on the back cover of my next book, so that will be my first celebrity endorsement! Yay! I've attached the link to John Granger's blog if anybody is interested: http://www.hogwartsprofessor.com/
In the picture, I'm seated holding one of Mr. Granger's books and he's standing behind me holding one of my books.