Create Your Own Familiar

We've been traveling around the country visiting schools and at each one the students have created their own Familiar Story.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Next Harry Potter

If you’ve written a book (or aspire to some day), there’s one thing more than any other that you wish for. Not a Pulitzer prize or a Caldecott medal or even the respect and adulation of your peers. No, you want your book to be “the next Harry Potter.” Yes, those four words will anoint you and your book into a world of fame, fortune, bestsellers, and hit movies.

And here’s the great thing, it really doesn’t matter what your book is about. As long as it has words and sentences on pages, you’ve got a chance to be the next Harry Potter. It doesn’t need to have a wizarding school, Muggles, or lightning bolt scars. It doesn’t even need magic. Heck, it doesn’t even need kids. Sure, sometimes the comparison makes sense. “Percy Jackson” is sort of like Harry Potter with togas and Greek Gods. “Eragon” is kind of Harry Potter with dragons. “Incarceron” is apparently Harry Potter in a magical prison world. “Charlie Bone” is Harry Potter in a special school with kids who have magic powers. Okay, well maybe that one just is Harry Potter.

Then there are those books that start to stretch the comparison a little. “The 39 Clues.” Hm, it’s got some kids on an adventure. “Twilight.” Well, Harry Potter does have a werewolf in it. And Robert Pattinson was in both movie adaptations.

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” Huh? That doesn’t seem similar at all. He’s just a normal kid in middle school doing absolutely nothing extraordinary. Does being the next Harry Potter just mean selling lots of books and having movies made out of them?

“The Da Vinci Code.” Now this is just getting ridiculous.

One of our personal favorites: “The Lord of the Rings.” Yes, people were actually saying that “The Lord of the Rings” could be the next Harry Potter. Can’t you imagine J.R.R. Tolkien sitting in his North Oxford home back in 1937, smoking his pipe, and dreaming that one day he could be the next J.K. Rowling?

But being the next Harry Potter or J.K. Rowling is hardly a bad dream. It’s a great dream. A dream that has filled the head of most every writer, including ours. But let’s face it, the likelihood of that happening is very slim. So we would be content just being the authors of “The Familiars,” a fantastical adventure about three animal companions forced to go on a quest of their own when their wizards get kidnapped.

Allow us to indulge as we share with you what one early reviewer said of our book: “Kids who love animal stories, fantasy, adventure, and good-humored friendship will love ‘The Familiars.’ This fantastical trilogy might just be the next ‘Harry Potter.’”

Actually, that last part does have a nice ring to it.

You can follow us on Twitter @the_familiars, join the Familiars fan group on Facebook, or pre-order THE FAMILIARS on or Barnes and Noble.


  1. Wow, great review! Is it true that Sam Raimi signed on to direct a movie version of the book?

  2. He is technically attached as a producer right now.

  3. LOL. Yes, it is true...most new releases of even recent re-dos are compared to the Harry Potter series in one way or the other. As you said never really know which one will take flight in a similar manner, thus making the art of writing an adventure til the end. (Congrat's on the review....sounds very promising!) =0)

  4. This is such a true article. I think most writers aspire in their own way to have "the next Harry Potter" but in the success sense and nothing else. The early review is wonderful so I hope the best for you two!

  5. I vote for the Familiars to be the next Harry Potter!