RE: Children's Fantasy
Thanks for contacting me regarding this! Here are my responses:
1. Tell me a bit about yourself and your involvement with the Harry Potter wiki.
I've been editing on Wikia for several years, although this is a relatively recent account of mine. At various times, I've been active on the wikis for Eternal Sonata, Star Wars, Star Trek and Final Fantasy, though time limitations lately have kept me mainly on the Harry Potter Wiki. As far the Harry Potter Wiki, I started slow, mainly making maintenance edits to a number of articles and expanding those that needed work. Eventually, as I got used to the wiki, my editing grew and I began helping out with problems such as vandalism until finally I became an admin.
2. How did you get into children's fantasy? Into Harry Potter?
I've been a reader of children's fantasy for quite a long time, so I'm not sure exactly how I "got into it." I've long enjoyed reading for pleasure, and so it was probably just a natural extension of that. I was a big reader of K.A. Applegates's "Animorphs" books during the time those were being released. As for "Harry Potter", I actually was first introduced to the series through the movies. Although I enjoyed the movies, for some reason I stayed away from the books for a while, until finally I decided to give them a shot sometime before the film for "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" was released. I started the book series from the beginning and was instantly hooked. From there, I became like any other fan, eagerly anticipating the remaining volumes in the series and waiting in line.
3. How would you recommend a beginner get into Children's Fantasy? Any particular books/movies/comics/TV shows/games/etc. that would serve as a good starting point?
If you think it's something that interests you, then the best way would be to just dive in. Children's fantasy is something that has a pretty broad range, so there are many choices. Children's fantasy literature is popular, but it's certainly not the only option and if you enjoy movies or games, for example, then there are plenty of options. Besides the "Harry Potter" series, I also really enjoy the "Septimus Heap" books by Angie Sage. This is a seven-book series like "Harry Potter" and also features magic and adventure, but the world in which it's set in is entirely different. The first book in particular is a real thrill-ride of an adventure story. I also quite enjoyed the "Kane Chronicles" by Rick Riordan, though I found that the first "Percy Jackson" book didn't do much for me. "The Kane Chronicles" is about Egyptian magic in the modern day and features interesting narration alternating between a brother and sister. I actually first listened to the series on audiobook, which I find to be a great way to experience books. Also, don't be afraid to try the classics, such as Russell Hoban's "The Mouse and His Child" or C.S. Lewis's "Narnia" books. Movie-wise, you could do like I did and try films based on popular franchises of today, such as "Harry Potter". Some may also enjoy Japanese anime, such as the Miyazaki films like "Howl's Moving Castle" or "Ponyo". I'm afraid I'm not too update on children's fantasy games, though a number of video game titles based on the "Harry Potter" books are available. "Wonderbook: Book of Spells" for the PlayStation 3 is an interesting title that allows players to simulate the casting of spells. If at all possible, try your local library. It can be a great resource, especially if it's one that offers many different types of media. It's a fantastic way to discover what you like.
4. Anything you wouldn’t recommend?
I would have to say no, because tastes in literature can be so different from person to person. Even with some of the most popular things, one may find that they just don't have any interest in it, or you might turn out to enjoy something obscure that few people have heard of. Sometimes people worry when they find they don't like something that's been deemed "popular", but everyone can't like everything.
5. Any additional advice you’d give to someone new to Children's Fantasy?
I would say that if you think that it's something that might interest you, then to just go for it. There are a lot of different choices out there, but not all of them may be right for you. If something doesn't strike your personal fantasy, don't sweat it. Just look for something that you like and read what you enjoy.
6. What resources on your wiki might be useful to an aspiring Children's Fantasy fan?
The main Harry Potter Wiki is very Harry Potter-specific, so in truth, it may not be the best place for someone who is only just starting out. We have a lot of very specific details about the series, and much of it would likely spoil those who are unfamiliar with some of the key plot twists of the series. This is something that is very important, as finding out about such twists beforehand can easily dampen one's enjoyment of the series, if not ruin it outright. However, some of the basic summaries on the pages for the novels and films could prove useful, and they generally don't give away too much information unless you read far down into the page.