J. K. Rowling Interview with USA TodayJ.K. Rowling
With just a day between us and the publication of The Casual Vacancy, USA Today has published another interview with J. K. Rowling about her very soon to be released novel. In the interview, a few plot details from The Casual Vacancy are discussed so please be wary of spoilers. In the interview Rowling talks a little bit about Harry Potter, in particular she talks about the strangeness of seeing a massive Voldemort at the Olympics:
One of her public appearances this year included her participation in the tribute to children's literature during the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in London. While watching a rehearsal, she recalled that "when that section arrived and the huge Voldemort grew up out of the middle of the stage, I had one of these moments that I have every so often when my entire body goes cold and I think, 'How the hell did this happen?' And I'm staring at this 18-meter high Voldemort or whatever he was and I was thinking, 'That was once an idea in my head that no one knew about.' It was a few scribbled lines on the back of an envelope, and now it's represented on arguably the biggest stage in the world."
It was, she says, "the most humbling moment. I felt awed by it. Sometimes the Harry Potter stuff becomes white noise. It's part of the culture which is amazing, but every now and again you do have one of the those moments of 'Oh my God, how did this happen?' And that's definitely one of them."
Rowling won't set in stone when she'll next publish. "I don't want to commit. I was simultaneously devastated and liberated actually by finishing the Potter books. I truly was devastated -- 'My God, it's over. I will never again write Harry, Ron and Hermione,' but at the same time there was a massive sense of liberation so, selfishly, I don't wish to promise I will produce a book a year from here on in. I feel free now. Maybe that sense of freedom will mean I produce books more frequently. It could be. I just don't know."
And Potter fans will have to live with the fact that she's not writing anything for young adults. "No. Nothing nothing, nothing," she says emphatically, "and it would be challenging because of what I did with Harry. I have no plans to go there at the moment but never say never. If I had an amazing idea I probably would do it."
Very near completion, she says, is a book for children. The ideal reader would be 7 or 8. "I think the next thing I publish will be for children, but I don't really want to be held to that because I also know what my next book for adults will be and I really like that too so it depends. I've always had more than one thing going."
This is a very British novel, but Rowling isn't concerned about how it will be received outside the U.K. "I think there's a possibility that some people will not enjoy the book. It is a very English book, and it needs to be a very English book, because I'm talking very specifically about a society I know very well.
"I do think the themes in the book do translate across any national border because ultimately we're talking about our human responsibility, whether you think we should all be entirely self-reliant and people sink or swim, or you think we should be extending a helping hand and whether that should come from government and so on. And these are very contemporary themes in a lot of countries, particularly in the financial mess in which we find ourselves."