Anna Rafferty is the current Director of Product, Creative and Content at Pottermore. She’s been on the job since January 2015, and she is one of the responsible people for the relaunch of the Pottermore website. She talked to Pottermore about the upcoming digital publications – the three ebooks with short stories about Hogwarts, part of the collection Pottermore Presents.
She spoke, of course, about Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide, Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists, and Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies, and gave new information and clues about them, including the creation process.
It’s been a wonderful curation exercise. We read through everything in our archives, took pieces written by J.K. Rowling and the Pottermore editorial team, and sewed it all together – from the delicious little snippets of wizarding world lore, to the longer narratives on characters and magical phenomena, and categories of themed miscellany started to emerge in our thinking.
The collections are very deliberately not segmented into binary poles of ‘goodies and baddies’ – the wizarding world, and the characters within it, are more nuanced than that.
We preferred to explore shades of grey and collected the writing around politics and power, or everyday heroism. So much of the joy of working with J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world is in its richness – heroic characters have secret weaknesses, power seduces even the kindest of souls and some magical hardships, like lycanthropy, seem almost impossible to bear.
The original article in Pottermore also refers to the doubts we had: most of the articles are from the Pottermore archive, though there is going to be never-seen-before writing by Rowling – and some articles will be edited with more information, like McGonagall’s profile.
We wanted to take jewels of writing that already exist on Pottermore and some that were still unpublished in the archives, surface and connect them in a way that’s easy for the reader to enjoy – and read offline, if they want! – and make the writing available in new places,’ Anna explained. ‘I think these collections do that beautifully.