In case you hadn’t seen it yet, J.K. Rowling is writing adult fiction. (Well, at this point I’d think she’s done with it, but you know what I mean.)
Anyway, the author of a bestselling kids’ (okay, YA) series about magic and adventures is coming out with a book for adults. I read the Amazon description of the plot and, excluding all the hyperbole, Ms. Rowling’s new work sounds…remarkably ordinary. Like, man on the street hey small town in England because I know so much about English life ordinary. (Obviously, HP had the English touch too, but it was not that strong. I mean, I was never like, how Eeeeenglish, although there was probably more tea than is normal for an American novel. In case you forgot, here’s what she’s known for:
And what she’s coming out is more like…well, I have a mental image of tweed. Lots of tweed. There are probably also biscuits and lemon.
So…can you do this? Is it possible to just reinvent one’s author-image like that?
I think it’s kind of like the time Jim Carrey or Robin Williams tried to make serious movies. The only way you can pull it off is if you’re so good at it, or at least so pulled into it, that nobody thinks too hard about what you normally do. And if Rowling’s writing style has stayed consistent–which it might not have, since she did get better about the whole “He, Harry” thing every five paragraphs by the third book–it won’t work.
I contend that, if you’re going to explore a different genre, you have to change your writing style to go with it.