Ten Years of Harry Potter: A Poster, and a Scottish Reporter Looks Back at Interviews with Jo


Jun 30, 2007

Posted by SueTLC

To celebrate ten years since the first publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the Globe and Mail newspaper in Canada is due to carry a full-page advertisement this weekend commemorating the occasion. Anyone with scans please send them in!

On a related note, there is an interesting article from a reporter with the Herald newspaper in Glasgow, Scotland, about her previous interviews with J.K. Rowling over the years. Anne Johnstone writes that when she first met Jo shortly after the first book had been sold ” Rowling was still considering returning to part-time French teaching when we met. Looking back, I was far more confident than she was about her path to greatness. Several years later, she told me she sometimes thought she was temperamentally better suited to being “a moderately successful writer”, with more time to write and without the persistent limelight.”

Time went on, and as the success and fame grew for the series and for Jo, the author had her troubles during the release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Another interview in June 2000 involved a string of phone calls and a secrecy agreement which forbade me from divulging anything about “book four” before July 8. Now blonde and expensively dressed, Rowling nevertheless looked pale. She had come close to a nervous breakdown after finding a serious flaw in the plot of the doorstopper that turned into Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It necessitated a major rewrite. Each time we met, we joked that the hype around the books couldn’t get any further over the top. Each time we were wrong, which was becoming an issue for someone who admits to being “borderline phobic” about large crowds. Pushy parents nearly started a riot at a signing event in Boston, after 2000 fans showed up.

Inevitably, some of the publicity turned nasty, too. As she retired to her study and wrestled with the troublesome Goblet of Fire, newspapers that were refused interviews accused her of being aloof and reclusive and tried to dig the dirt. Rowling got her own back in the poisonous tabloid journalist Rita Skeeter, who ends up as a beetle. There were clumsy attempts to deconstruct the Potter books as gospels for a post-Christian, New Labour Britain stuck between nostalgia for the past and uncertainty about the future. There were facile rip-offs with two-dimensional characters and trashy plots. And there were plenty of critics, happy to pooh-pooh her work as formulaic and repetitive. Her answer: “I didn’t write them for you.”

15 Responses to Ten Years of Harry Potter: A Poster, and a Scottish Reporter Looks Back at Interviews with Jo

Avatar Image says:

That’s cool!!! I love Harry Potter….

I just hope in harry potter 7 book, the character “Harry Potter” don’t die, it will be a trauma for me.

Harry Potter….......... love it

Avatar Image says:

What a fascinating story. The chance to read a mauscript, or part of, before the book became famous. I am jealous.

I will devour book seven and be very sad if Hary bites the dust. What a relief if he survives…

I trust JKR to give us a good story, as usual.


Avatar Image says:

“I didn’t write them for you.”

That’s why I’m her fan.

Avatar Image says:

Phelipe took my quote! Jo is sooooo awesome. Though if it had been me, I would’ve added “So there!” followed by a large wet raspberry. Thankfully, Jo is much better at being a grown up than I am.


Avatar Image says:

Ten years?!! Wow…I was in middle school ten years ago (now I’m graduated from college).

“I didn’t write them for you” YAY JO!!! I want to bake her cookies _ Lots of cookies.

Love from, Jenny Wildcat

Avatar Image says:

Go Jo go

Avatar Image says:

I was 6 ten years ago… I was 7 going on 8 when my mom picked up the first HP book around the time it came to the US. I never wanted to read until then, when I started reading aloud. The main way I’ve bonded with my parents over the years is through reading them all the HP books. I wanted to be a writer after reading the first book- now I want to be a speech therapist with a minor in creative writing, because reading aloud has helped me with acting in the theatre and with my confidence immensely!

I'm one of those people who just needed a nudge in the right direction and reading Harry Potter did that. It's going to be strangely heartbreaking when it finishes- and when the films are finished, I'll be in college! It's amazing how something can kind of absorb some place in our hearts, filling in the blank spaces for us. It's surreal, weird, unthinkable that it's been a decade!
Avatar Image says:

oh Jo is soo amazing!! I love her!!

i just had a thought… what if the huge plot mistake was… well i don’t know WHAT it was… but what if what she did was change it so that Moody became a fake Moody… idk… just seems like a fairly simple thing to change… add a few lines here and there and yeah idk…

Avatar Image says:

“i didnt write them for you” ah brilliance

I was only 6 then o_O thats madness.

Avatar Image says:

I was only six, too! And then I read Sorcerer’s Stone for the first time when I was eight, going on nine!

Avatar Image says:

‘One fundamental is that you can’t reverse death. “That’s a given,” she said, “though in book seven you’ll see just how close you can get.”’

Now that’s a quote from Jo that I’ve never seen before, although it tells us something that we’ve probably long suspected.

Avatar Image says:

Wow. I read the Sorcerer’s stone when I was 7 and now TEN years later, I’m 17 and I’m starting college this year. 10 years? I can’t believe Harry Potter is just going to end. It’s been a huge part of my life and I can’t imagine life without it…..

Avatar Image says:

i was three when they came out O_o… woah, i started readng them after the 1st movie came out. Haha, i strted with the third book, then quickly devoured the 2nd, book and then the 4th and finally the 1st beofre waiting for the 5th book to come out.

Avatar Image says:

Soooo— Do we know what the plot hole was in GOF?

Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: Time sure does fly!

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