Tuesday, 28 July 2009


The trouble with Harry is, he's always in the background.
Hovering on his Nimbus 2000.
"You're writing a book?" They say. "The next Harry Potter?"

I remember resisting the urge (only just)
to rip someone's head off when they said,
"We should write a children's book, like Harry Potter, can't be that hard can it?"
The respectable way to dream of making a fortune rather
than doing the lottery
or a good old honest flutter on the nags.
There he is... on his Nimbus... just out of reach...

He's always there, hovering.
Just in the corners of people's imagination.
A"hint of Harry."
Can't define it or pin it down.
Maybe it's me but he's there... hovering.

Toto scurries back to his kennel.
Harry's still there.
Lyra to Oxford,
Artemis Fowl to his Manor.
But Harry hovers... on his Nimbus...2000.

Sorry for the doggrel everyone. I'm not 'having a go. I've always enjoyed Harry Potter and admired JK Rowling's success. I've just been to see Half Blood Prince which I loved. I enjoyed the book too but it left me musing how much of an 'elephant in the room' old Harry is whenever children's writing is mentioned. What d'you think?


JJ Beattie said...

I think that people who have never tried to write a book ALWAYS think it's easy. In my limited experience the 'Harry elephant' is replaced with the 'JK elephant' with us non-children writers. It's still there, hovering, I'm afraid.

I laugh (to myself) and know that I know better. They just don't know.

L-Plate Author said...

Yep, I get the oh like Martina Cole when I say I write crime thriller set on a housing estate. I always say, no it's by 'me', that usually shuts them up.

And why do people assume that anyone can write a book? When people ask me how long I've been writing and I tell them, they look at me rather strangely as if to say that I'm obviously not good enough then...

That was soul cleansing for first thing in the morning. Good luck with the editing. x

L-Plate Author said...

sorry forgot to say, great poem!

DOT said...

Good rant! I sympathise with your predicament.

I guess every writer has a Harry somewhere in the room no matter in what genre they are composing.

It must be tough for illustrators of children's stories with Barbar the Elephant as the elephant in the room.

Sue Eves said...

You only get these remarks from people who don't work in children's publishing. They are excited to be in direct contact with a children's author - if I'm speaking to you Jon, the man - then surely I, Joe The Blog could knock one out too?

There's no denying the success of Harry. He dips down low enough for others to hop on the Nimbus too - why shouldn't we enjoy the ride if we get the chance?

Thanks for your poem. It's good to hear more about Harry - and less about You Know Who.

john.g. said...

Nice poem! As for HP, isn't that a sauce?