JK Rowling has delivered an early Christmas present to fans, announcing on social media that she is at work on two novels. Asked on Twitter if there would be a new novel soon, the Harry Potter author replied on Wednesday night: “I’m working on it (literally).”
Though she gave no details about the books, she did confirm that one would be under her own name and another in the Robert Galbraith detective series. She wrote: “One of each, but I’m not sure which will come out first. I’ll let you know as soon as I do!”
The author has undoubtedly had a busy 2016, with the release of the box office smash Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the opening of the West End play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. But she has not published a novel since October 2015, when the third instalment in the Cormoran Strike series was released under the Galbraith pen name.
Though her Twitter fans responded with a frenzy of questions, Rowling confirmed only that she will not be writing any novels featuring Newt Scamander, the hero of Fantastic Beasts played by Eddie Redmayne: “No, no, no. There won’t be Newt Scamander novels. Only movies. Calm down, there!”
Speculation was rife that the new Rowling novel would feature Harry Potter. Despite promising in 2007 that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows would be the final book featuring the boy wizard, the Edinburgh-based author appears to have found it hard to leave Harry alone. In 2015, she described the two-part Cursed Child play as “the eighth Harry Potter”. Harry’s son Albus is the focus of the play, tickets for which sold out in hours when they went on sale.
Despite remaining tight-lipped about the contents of the two novels in progress, Rowling did tantalise fans with details of when and how she writes. Upbraided by one fan for spending time on Twitter when she should be writing, she responded that she was having a break: “I’ve been writing since 5.55am!”
When asked by a follower who “couldn’t even dress” at that time how she wrote so early in the morning, she responded: “Wake up, drag the laptop into bed and get to work. There’s really no need for formal attire.”
Readers are likely to remain guessing for some time about when the new books will appear. A spokesman for the author said: “Currently there is no detail on content or publication dates for future books.”