Dark arts to black humour: Harry Potter's JK Rowling to write a 'blackly comic' book for adults (and there isn't a wizard in sight)
16:13 GMT, 12 April 2012
Harry Potter may be no more but the boy wizard's creator JK Rowling is certainly not letting the grass grow beneath her feet.
Rowling's publishing company Little Brown has just announced the details of Ms Rowling's first book for adults, to be entitled A Casual Vacancy.
According to the release it is to be a 'blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising' tale about an idyllic town ripped apart by a parish council election.
Harry Potter author JK Rowling's new adult tome is to be a darkly comic tale
Details of the book – to be published worldwide on 27 September this year – were released today by her publisher.
Alongside the traditional format, the book is to published simultaneously in both ebook and audio formats.
The 480-page book will be set in the idyllic village of Pagford which boasts a cobbled market square and ancient abbey. However, things soon turn sour and the town turn from rural idyll to battlefield.
The book begins with the unexpected death of Barry Fairweather whose early demise leaves a space on the parish council.
The plot is certainly a turn up for the books but as Rowling hinted earlier this year that ‘although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series.
This will be 46-year-old Rowling's first novel since her final Potter book was published in 2007. She is thought to be worth more than 620 million.
Dark arts: Will JK Rowling's adult tale be as successful as her Harry Potter series
Rowling’s Potter seven Harry Potter books spawned the hit movie franchise which made stars of its three leads Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. The books have sold more than 450 million copies and have been translated into 74 languages.
She has also published a short Potter spin-off collection of stories, The Tales Of Beedle The Bard, in December 2008.
The final instalment, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, was published in 2007 and sold 11million copies on its first day.
Commented Jon Howells, spokesman for book retailer Waterstones, 'It will obviously be a major bestseller, probably the bestselling fiction title this year.
'The real surprise is the plot detail – she never revealed this much in advance of the Harry Potter novels. We were all expecting some sort of crime or mystery novel, but she has, refreshingly, surprised us all.
'The plot sounds like it will have hints of Mark Haddon and (Alexander) McCall Smith, and the promise of black comedy is very beguiling.'
An adult book certainly makes sense as the children who grew up reading Harry Potter when it first came out in the 1990s are now in their twenties.