Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has announced her first adult novel will be called The Casual Vacancy, reported BBC News. She revealed in February that she was working on the book, and said it would be "very different" from her previous work. The Casual Vacancy will be published worldwide in hardback, e-book and as an audio download and CD on September 27, 2012.
"The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry's success has brought me," Rowling said.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Rowling's new publisher, Little, Brown and Co., called the novel "blackly comic" and said the story revolves around a seemingly idyllic town called Pagford, where a 40-something man named Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly, leaving an empty seat in the town's council that prompts "the biggest war the town has yet seen."
The book's subject matter surprised the publishing industry, reported The Guardian. There had been speculation that Rowling would foray into the genre of Edinburgh crime fiction after discovering that her editor, David Shelley, works with authors like Dennis Lehane, Val McDermid, Carl Hiaasen and Mark Billingham.
"I think I always felt that I didn't want to publish again until the last film was out, because Potter has been such a huge thing of my life," said Rowling at the premiere of the final Harry Potter movie last year, according to BBC News. "I've been writing hard ever since I finished writing [Harry Potter and the Deathly] Hallows, so I've got a lot of stuff. And I suppose it's a question of deciding which one comes out first."
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