JK Rowling is making sure her fans have something new to entertain themselves during the lockdown. After launching the Harry Potter At Home initiative, the much-loved author has announced the release of a new children's fantasy book.
The title of the book is "The Ickabog" and it has no connection with her fan-favourite "Harry Potter" series. In the news release on her official website, Rowling revealed that she wrote the book while she was still working on the "Harry Potter" series. She hoped to publish it after "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," but things did not go as planned.
She apparently decided to step back from children's books and take a break from publishing. Today, it is nearly a decade since she completed the book that she describes as a "standalone fairy tale."
"Over time I came to think of it as a story that belonged to my two younger children, because I'd read it to them in the evenings when they were little, which has always been a happy family memory," she said in a statement.
She has spent the last few weeks in giving the book finishing touches and she wants to now publish it for free for children in the lockdown. The story, she believes, is perfect for "7-9-year olds to read to themselves."
The new book will be serialised with the author posting a chapter or two every weekday between May 26 and July 10 on "The Ickabog" website. Meanwhile, they are working on publishing the translated version of the book, too.
"The Ickabog is a story about truth and the abuse of power," she says.
"To forestall one obvious question: the idea came to me well over a decade ago, so it isn't intended to be read as a response to anything that's happening in the world right now. The themes are timeless and could apply to any era or any country," Rowling sends out a word of caution.
Alongside, she has initiated an illustration competition for kids inviting their creative ideas for providing illustrations of the story.
"I want to see imaginations run wild," she wrote. "Creativity, inventiveness, and effort are the most important things: we aren't necessarily looking for the most technical skill."
Meanwhile, fans can look forward to eBook and audiobook versions of JK Rowling's "The Ickabog." Also, the royalties from the book will be donated to those in need due to the global health crisis.