'The Next Harry Potter' Is About Circus Magicians

Announcement: The "next Harry Potter" is going to be The Night Circus, a historical fiction series about dueling 19C circus magicians written by a never-before-published writer named Erin Morgenstern. The Night Circus is happening, whether you like it or not.

Publishers had a bidding war; Morgenstern got a six-figure advance; Twilight's production company bought the film rights. A perfume company is making a Night Circus capsule collection. Morgenstern is working on a Night Circus Tarot card deck. There's "talk of a video game and stage production." And—like J.K. Rowling—Morgenstern has a compelling, "unorthodox" back story, the Wall Street Journal reports:

She was miserable, "making photocopies for law professors who couldn't work the copy machine." After a few years, with her husband's support, she quit temping and devoted herself to painting and writing, spending long, solitary hours in their home in Boston.

Her husband supported her financially and tactically:

At one point she grew so discouraged that she considered destroying the book. Her husband hid a hard copy of the novel from her in a drawer.

But is not her husband anymore:

She recently separated, amicably, from her husband of nearly five years, and is scrambling to unpack before a six-week, 14-city book tour.

Hopefully this lady ends up important enough for biographies and such, because her personal life sounds juicy. The Journal describes Morgenstern as ambivalent and slightly overwhelmed by the hoopla surrounding her first book. (Maybe because we're already talking about her personal life!) As long as humanity gets a new wizard hero to obsess over, though, I think we will be fine. [WSJ]