Find a new Harry Potter adventure with locally penned book
July 21, 2009
By Chantelle Lusebrink
If walking through walls in a London train station or battling an evil wizard wasn’t enough for you, then you might be interested in traveling through J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series again — but this time, with some help.
Local first-time author Nancy Solon Villaluz is hoping you’ll let her be your guide through your next read with “Does Harry Potter Tickle Sleeping Dragons?”
In three new books, designed as a literary commentary on the “Harry Potter” series, Villaluz explores the depths of Rowling’s series and hidden critical elements she thinks “Harry Potter” fans should know.
“This ‘Harry Potter’ commentary is meant, like Harry, to challenge the reader to walk through what appears to be a wall into belief in what they can’t see and to walk in love when things get hard,” she said, of Rowling’s deeper plot. “That message is always relevant and necessary in society, and Rowling tackles it in spades.”
Villaluz said she couldn’t be happier to see more than five years of researching and writing come to fruition.
“To me, this is a pursuit of passion,” she said. “My journey of discovery delighted me and my book is written as a journey of delight for readers who want to know more about J.K. Rowling and Harry.”
Like some people, Villaluz admitted she was a “Harry Potter” avoider when the books took the world by storm, partly because she was a busy mother of two and partly because she believed the book series was filled with dark messages, she said.By chance, a friend loaned her the first book and she said she soon discovered they were more than children’s books and that they were full of moral lessons.
That is precisely what her book explores, the qualities of morality in the series and the symbolism of certain events, and provides connections between the series and other famous books, like the Bible and C.S. Lewis’ series, “The Chronicles of Narnia.” The book also strives to look at the foundations of the book from the author’s eyes, through examination of interviews with Rowling and what she has said about it.
“All of us look at ‘Harry Potter’ through our own eyes, as we should,” Villaluz said. “But I asked, ‘How interesting would it be to get as close as I can to looking at it through Rowling’s eyes?’”
But the road to publication wasn’t without its share of bumps.
During a pre-sale for the book in late 2007, Villaluz said she received a cease and desist letter from Rowling’s attorneys. After voluntarily changing the first title and sending detailed excerpts from the manuscript, she said she was able to proceed.
The letter “to me was horrifying, because this book seeks to honor and respect her work and the fact that it was so greatly misunderstood at first was beyond me,” she said.
Since the book was listed for sale on Amazon in November, Villaluz said she hasn’t had any other communication with the attorneys.
Asked if she ever had the opportunity to speak with Rowling for the book, Villaluz said she hadn’t, but added, “Shy of my husband and child, in this world nothing would make my heart dance more than a chance to have tea with Rowling.”
You can find the book at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com or order from your local bookstore via Ingram, the book’s distributor.
Villaluz’s next book, “Does Harry Potter Tickle Waking Dragons?” is due out in late 2010. The title for the third book will be available then, but it will not be released until late 2011 or early 2012.
On the Web
Reach Reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at 392-6434, ext. 241, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.