Undaunted, Steve Vander Ark to Publish Harry Potter Travel Book

Posted on September 10, 2008

Only one day after a judge ruled against him in the J.K. Rowling copyright case, Steve Vander Ark has decided to publish a Harry Potter-themed travel book. The book will explore sites in Britain that are mentioned in the Harry Potter books.

Steve Vander Ark's Harry Potter Lexicon was yesterday found by a federal judge in New York to violate JK Rowling's copyright; Rowling had previously described the book as "wholesale theft of 17 years of my hard work". Of the ban, Vander Ark said: "It obviously was a blow but I'm looking forwards, moving on with other projects. I bear no ill will whatsoever to Ms Rowling."

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"Obviously I do a lot of research on Harry Potter," he said this morning. "And the more research I did the more I realised that the places in the books were places in the world, particularly those in the west country, because she went to university in Exeter."

The independent publisher describes the resulting book as an "extraordinary travel book" which "evokes the myths and magic of Harry Potter". Methuen managing director Peter Tummons said that at present, each chapter includes a "few words" taken from the Harry Potter books themselves. "We've asked for approval but I guess in the end we will probably delete them because it may not come, or be denied." The book is illustrated with Vander Ark's own photos.

Good grief. This guy just got slapped down hard in a copyright trial in which he made his favorite author (who is notoriously shy) break down in tears in a public courtroom. And now he wants to publish another Harry Potter-themed book? This one sounds less likely to infringe on Rowling's copyright, but ....still. Perhaps Mr. Vander Ark should take at least a week off before launching into yet another Harry Potter-related business venture. He sounds absolutely obsessed. And not in a good way.