Erin Morgenstern is having the luck most authors dream of. Her debut novel, “The Night Circus,” (out today) is by far the biggest release of the fall. How? Let’s count the ways: There’s a global marketing campaign underway (rights have been sold in 31 countries), there are 150,000 copies of the book in print (even before its release date), Summit Entertainment (the firm behind the “Twilight” film series) bought film rights and is heavily pushing the book on tween buyers and booksellers are hosting huge circus-themed release parties (a push not seen since the “Harry Potter” days). This is all making Morgenstern, who has never published anything before, apprehensive — but excited.
“It’s wonderful, but at the same time it’s hard to wrap my head around. It’s hugely flattering and hugely overwhelming,” the 33-year-old says from her Boston home. “There’s a little trepidation. I’m taking it day by day. It’s strange but a good strange.”
The reason for the hubbub? “The Night Circus,” set in 1886, revolves around a magical traveling circus called Le Cirque des Reves and two young magicians who fall in love but must vie against one another in a mysterious competition. The book encompasses the best elements of past blockbusters. It has elements of “Twilight” (young, taboo love), Harry Potter (magic) and even “The Hunger Games” (a deadly showdown). It also helps that Morgenstern is a capable, fun writer.
Morgenstern attributes the appeal of “The Night Circus” to the fact the book’s use of fantasy is more accessible to the average reader. “I’m more a low-fantasy fan — more of a Murakami person than a Tolkien. I like that when you read low fantasy, it feels more possible.”
And as this fall shows, anything is possible for Morgenstern.
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