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Lydon, Christopher. J.K. Rowling interview transcript, The Connection (WBUR Radio), 12 October, 1999

Transcript courtesy The Hogwarts Library

Aired: October 12, 1999 10:06 to 11:00 AM EST

Table of contents
Numbers in curly brackets {x} are the time in minutes:seconds of the original interview as it is available at the program home page. Numbers in parentheses (x) are the lengths of the individual clips.

  1. 01. Intro {00:00} (2:05)
    Short background on JKR and the books
  2. 02. Secret of Harry {2:04} (3:02)
    Why is the series so successful?
  3. 03. Names {5:05} (2:14)
    JKR talks a bit about how she picks the names for the characters, and what some of them means.
  4. 04. Boa Constrictor {7:18} (0:54)
    Description of the scene from 'The Vanishing Glass'.
  5. 05. Composing Harry {8:12} (1:33)
    How did JKR come up with Harry and his universe?
  6. 06. Why Seven {9:46} (0:36)
    Why are there going to be seven books in the series. Interesting to note that she specifically avoids mentioning Voldemort as part of book seven.
  7. 07. The Movie {10:22} (2:17)
    What does JKR think of the movie?
  8. 08. Call Now {12:39} (1:00)
    Blah, blah, blah.
  9. 09. Billy (caller #1) {13:39} (1:49)
    How did you come up with the main ideas and the names?
  10. 10. Hannah (caller #2) {15:28} (1:11)
    How did your daughter react to the books?
  11. 11. Marcus (caller #3) {16:39} (1:11)
    Who's the next DADA teacher (this is after book #3, so the answer is Moody)
  12. 12. Draco Malfoy {17:50} (1:00)
    Smalltalk about Draco the bully and the real-life Dracos.
  13. 13. Snape {18:51} (1:17)
    Smalltalk about Snape, with the 'will Snape fall in love' question.
  14. 14. Joe (caller #4) {20:08} (1:44)
    Joes talks about the voices he does when he reads the books to his kids.
  15. 15. Voices {21:51} (1:02)
    JKR explaines how Hagrid, McGonagall and Harry's voice should be.
  16. 16. JKR Reads {22:53} (2:28)
    JKR reads from 'The Vanishing Glass'.
  17. 17. Smalltalk {25:21} (1:09)
    Nothing to see here - move on.
  18. 18. Moral {29:00} (3:38)
    What is the moral of the stories?
  19. 19. Kim (caller #5) {32:37} (4:29)
    Why are there so few strong female characters? Will Harry really age one year per book?
  20. 20. Pete (caller #6) {37:04} (2:50)
    Will Hagrid be in the rest of the books? Why does Draco hate Harry so much?
  21. 21. Damon (caller #7) {39:54} (1:28)
    Are you Craft or are you Muggle?
  22. 22. Chelsea (caller #8) {41:21} (1:17)
    Will Lupin turn up in any of the other stories?
  23. 23. Lockhart {42:38} (0:23)
    Will Lockhart come back?
  24. 24. Kathleen (caller #9) {43:01} (1:28)
    Will Harry have a life after Hogwarts? Or will he continue as a teacher?
  25. 25. Peter (caller #10) {44:30} (2:07)
    Will we learn more about Harry's mother later? Maybe she'll come back to life?
  26. 26. Noreen {46:36} (2:29)
    How much of the rest of the books are already written?
  27. 27. Inspirations {49:05} (2:46)
    Who influenced you as a writer?

Part 1 {00:00}
[Music]
Lydon: I'm Christopher Lydon; this is 'The Connection.' The trilogy of books that our guest, J.K. Rowling, has written about the boy wizard, Harry Potter, reminds you of the power of a great story. The feat is all the more remarkable in this PlayStation-Pokemon world that children live in today. It's children, let's remember - not adults and marketers - who made these books popular. J.K. Rowling has created a world of wizards, witches and dragons that has millions and millions of readers - young and old - under its spell. It's a world with its own bank and currency, its own owl postal system, its own newspaper - The Daily Prophet, its own bureaucracy - the Ministry of Magic. All of them existing alongside the non-magic world or Muggle-world that we live in. Harry Potter goes to Hogwarts - the elite magic prep-school, a place built with secret passageways and pictures that become portals when the password is said. But it's a world, all the same, of class-distinctions, mean teachers and evil step-parents - a world like ours, that is. The rules are familiar - and strange at the same time. Don't take Dad's flying car to school, don't insult the Hippogriffs, only it's more interesting; the Mirror of Erised will show you your most profound desires, a Boggart will take the shape of your deepest fear, and Dementors, the prison guards of the magic world, will suck all the happiness out of you. The Muggles are still trying to figure out the secret of Harry Potter's and J.K. Rowling's success. Connection listeners: can you put your finger on it - on the secret of Harry Potter and the magic of these books? 1-800-423-8255, 1-800-423-talk with J.K. Rowling herself. 1-800-423-talk Connection listeners - give the great woman a call ... (2:05) [Listen to the audio]

Part 2 {2:04}
Lydon: You look like the child of the woman I expected - you're a mere slip of a lass, how did this happen?

JKR: I put on a lot of make-up this morning that must be it.

Lydon: You look wonderful.

JKR: 'Cause I'm feeling pretty jet-lagged at the moment.

Lydon: What is the secret of Harry Potter?

JKR: Erm - I don't know! That's the question I get asked most - most of all, I think, and - er - it's really hard for me to say, because I - this - as far as I'm concerned this was my private little world - I'd been writing about it for five years before anyone else read a word of it. And I never - I just never expected this - I can't tell you how unexpected this has been to me. I thought ...

Lydon: What did you think you were doing? What did you think you were tying into? Now le-le me, let me just - I would say [deep breath and slowing down] as I read these stories, it's har- it's this combination, it's very Dickensian in a certain way - but hardship to begin with, cruelty and then magic, escape, release ...

JKR: yeah! A journalist said to me the other day 'you could make a good case, couldn't you, for Harry actually becoming mentally ill under all the neglect and abuse that the Dursleys heap upon him, and that this is his whole - a kind of schizophrenic fantasy he has.' That is not what I believe. I mean, I - I don't want to re- read that into it at all, but she was saying that, and I suppose that in a sense that that is true - he does go through this appalling time and then is rescued in the most magnificent way any child could possibly be rescued.

Lydon: [Laughs] Well. It goes back to Hamlet - the death of a parent too - [JKR: yeah] it begins with the loss in infancy of -

JKR: - of both his parents, they're both murdered -

Lydon: James and Lily [JKR: Mm Hmm] Exactly! [JKR: Yeah! Erm -] Why did the - He Who Can Not Be Named [JKR: Kill them?] - Voldemort if I - if I can give it away - Voldemort, why did he do it?

JKR: Well, that's a really key question, erm - and I can't answer it because you'll find that out over the course of the seven book series. There're a lot of questions that children ask me that I - I just have to keep saying that 'well, you'll find that out in book five,' because I don't want to ruin future plots, obviously.

Lydon: Where did - where did you come by the - the - the sort of - the - there is a code, there's a sort of a DNA pattern to these stories. Again, the boy who is - who grows up a foundling, so to speak, in somebody else's cupboard is - is - is treated very badly by this other boy in the house - erm - where did this - this starting - but I don't want to say 'formula' - but where did the idea, the posture of these stories, begin in your own head?

JKR: The funny thing is that Harry came into my head almost completely formed - I saw him very, very clearly; I could see this skinny little boy with black hair, this weird scar on his forehead, I knew instantly that he was a wizard, but /he/ didn't know that yet. And then I began to work out his background. That was - that was the basic idea. He - he's a boy who is magic, but doesn't yet know, so I'm thinking 'how can he not know?' You know, so I - I worked backwards from that point and it was almost like the story was already there waiting for me to find it and - erm - the - it seemed to me the most watertight explanation for him not knowing that he was a wizard was that his parents had been witch and wizard who had died - and that he'd been raised by Muggles - non-magic people. (3:02) [Listen to the audio]

Part 3 {5:05}
Lydon: What about names themselves? Muggles, to begin, but the whole catalogue of - er - wizards: Albus Dumbledore, Voldemort - er - Hagrid.

JKR: I'm big on names - I like names, generally. You have to be really careful giving me your name if it's an unusual one, because you will turn up in book six. Erm - I - I collect - some of them are invented; Voldemort is an invented name, Malfoy is an invented name, Quidditch is invented, erm - but I also collect them, from all kinds of places: maps, street names, people I meet, old books, old saints, erm - Mrs Norris, people will have recognised, comes from Jane Austen. Erm - Dumbledore is an old English word meaning bumblebee. Because Albus Dumbledore is very fond of music, I always imagined him as sort of humming to himself a lot.

Lydon: Rubeus Hagrid?

JKR: yeah. Hagrid is one of my favourite characters. He's the - ah - giant kind of gamekeeper at the school. Hagrid is also - is another old English word, meaning - if you were hagrid - it's a dialect word - you'd had a bad night. Hagrid is a big drinker - he has a lot of bad nights.

Lydon: Minerva McGonagall?

JKR: yeah, McGonagall, old erm - very, very, very bad Scottish poet, McGonagall is - I just loved the name.

Lydon: Hermione Granger?

JKR: yeah, Hermione apea- yes, people will want to know how to pronounce Hermione, I get asked that so much, because a lot of people say 'Her-me-won,' which I think is really - [Lydon laughs] - I think it's really cute. I wish I'd told people right in the beginning it was pronounced Her-me-won. Hermione is a Shakespearean name - I - I consciously set out to choose a - a fairly unusual name for Hermione, because I didn't want a lot of fairly hard-working little girls to be teased if ever the book was published, because she is a very recognisable type - to which I belonged, when I was young ..

Lydon: I was about to say 'are you Hermione?'

JKR: Yeah - w-well - n-n-not ... I mean none of the characters in the books are directly taken from life. Real people did inspire a few of them, but of course once they are on the page they become something completely different. But, yeah, Hermione is a caricature of what I was when I was 11 - a real exaggeration, I wasn't that clever - Hermione is a border-line genius at points - and I hope I wasn't that annoying, because I would have deserved strangling; sometimes she is an incredible know-it-all. (2:14)
[Listen to the audio]

Part 4 {7:18}
Lydon: You have a - you introduce a - a - er - an almost talking Brazilian boa constrictor.

JKR: Yeah - I like him. [Laughs]

Lydon: I do too.One of the first signs to young Harry [JKR: Yeah - that he is magic] that things are not quite what they seem.

JKR: Yeah, that's right. I - I'm fond of that scene. That's the reading I always do, this is - this is the scene, for people who haven't read the book, where Harry ... until Harry's eleven, he is inadvertently making magic happen - er - a lot - but he - he has no idea of [xxx]p happening around him and this culminates in an occasion on his cousin Dudley's birthday where Harry 'accidently' sets a boa constrictor on Dudley at the zoo, by releasing it by magic from its - from its tank. That's my favourite reading to do from book one - I could do that one in my sleep.

Lydon: Maybe we ought to do it with your - in - you know, while you're awake here - we'll come to that.

JKR: Oh, all right, then. (0:54) [Listen to the audio]

Part 5 {8:12}
Lydon: I - I - I'd love you to read some - some of this, I'd also like you to say - you say you were writing this - er - in - in, you know, over tea in shops for five years before anybody saw it [JKR: yeah]. People - people maybe know enough about you, and your history, I'm not sure we do know enough, though, about how you - how you actually composed this?

JKR: Erm - When I started writing it - erm - I had never thought of writing for children. I'd been writing almost all my life, I mean, the first story I ever finished, I was six years old - all I've ever wanted to be is a writer. And I have been writing ever since I was six. I'd never thought of myself as a children's writer, erm - but I'd never been so excited about an idea for a book as I had about the Harry books, so I abandoned the novel I was then working on and started on Harry. Erm - But it is a lot of work to create an entire world and it was about five years to finish the first book and to plot the remaining six books, because they were already plotted before the first book was published, and book two was started before book one was - was finished. Erm - Yes, so - so I spent an awful lot of time thinking about the details of the world and working it out in depth.

Lydon: Are you sticking with that outline of the seven?

JKR: Yeah, but each time I - I hit a new book, I will find that there's - there's other stuff I want to do, so al- you know, I have a basic structure for each book, but sometimes I'll decide 'well, we'll play around with that middle section,' b'cause I don't like it as much as I did back in 1992 when I originally planned it. (1:33) [Listen to the audio]

Part 6 {9:46}
Lydon: What's the - why seven? And what - what is the contour that you want to complete?

JKR: Well, seven ... I - er - for several reasons, but I suppose the main one, I - I was seven years at my secondary school - that's kind of standard in England. Seven is also a magical number. I wanted him to come of age at 17 - erm - just seems a good number for a wizard to come of age. So that meant seven books and that meant seven years in his life. Also it will take seven books to get Harry to the point where he has to face - erm, I can't say [laughs] - but in book seven, you know, there's a big climax coming here, and it will take that many books to get him there. (0:36) [Listen to the audio]

Part 7 {10:22}
Lydon: Well, it's interesting. You know, we asked - er - on our web page we asked people to send us their questions for you, and if there is one sort of main thread, of all sorts of things people want to ask, it's - it's this fear that success is going to spoil Harry - either in the story or that - er - movies, Warner Brothers, are going to - er - Americanise or - er -

JKR: Butcher my baby? [Laughs]

Lydon: yeah - exactly! Does the seven year planning, I mean, the seven volume outline of this whole saga protect him from that?

JKR: Yes, it does. Very much so. Because I - I don't reach the end of a book and think 'OK, what will we do with him now?' That's already decided. I mean, I'm - I'm on book four at the moment - I plotted book four back in 19- well, it must have been 1993, I think, I was - erm - pregnant with my daughter, in fact, when I was plotting this book. So - er - it's - it's already cast. His future is cast - erm - there's not - you know - you kn- people shouldn't be frightened that he's - that there's going to be dramatic changes - erm - owing to whatever is happening to him, out in the Muggle world, because it's already been planned.

Lydon: How are you going to protect him on the silver screen?

JKR: Well, Warner Bros are giving me a lot of input, I - I feel. I can't lie to you - I /am/ nervous about it. I think every writer, who feels as I feel about their characters, is going to be nervous. I'm both nervous and excited; if Warners make the film they are talking about making, I think it will be a great film, and I tell you I'm going to wa- ... the thing I really want to watch is Quidditch. I really - Quidditch being the wizarding sport -

Lydon: - Quidditch being the game -

JKR: - right, played on broomsticks, four balls - four flying balls - and - er -

Lydon: It's for them what soccer is for the rest of England -

JKR: - it's - yeah

Lydon: - played up in the air on broomsticks with four balls.

JKR: Exactly! What baseball would be to you. Wizards - all wizards are obsessed with Quidditch, ok, so this -

Lydon: How is this going to be done? By animation? By special effects?

JKR: No, it's live action, so it'll be special effects. I can see Quidditch inside my head very clearly, and I had a - this is not - I accept that's not a very normal - perhaps even a healthy thing, but I can see it really clearly inside my - in my mind's eye, and the idea of being actually able literally to see it up on the screen ... it's - you know what I mean, it will just be the most incredible thing to me. So - er - if they do what they say they're going to do, it will be a great film, and I'll be in the front of the queue to watch it. So - I'm hoping. (2:17) [Listen to the audio]

Part 8 {12:39}
Lydon: Connection listeners! Connection writers, out there, all the little girls who are - who want to be writers and who started writing their first story at age six - give J.K. Rowling a call. That was her ambition and she has - she's going to - you may just deforest the planet [JKR laughs: Oh, no. Definitely not] with the production of these books by the time all seven volumes are out. They've been one, two and three on the New York Times bestseller list - the adventures of Harry Potter, 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,' 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,' 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' and that's just three. It will be a set of seven. They are taking the English-speaking world by storm. Bestsellers in United States and in England. It's our moment, Connection listeners, to put our finger on the power of these stories. 1-800-423-talk with the author J.K. Rowling. (1:00) [Listen to the audio]

Part 9 {13:39}
Lydon: 1-800-423-8255 - The Harry Potter Connection! Billy is on the line.

Billy: Hi

Lydon: Hello, Billy

JKR: Hi Billy

Billy: Hi! I was wondering how you came up with the main ideas for Harry Potter and how you came up with such interesting names for them?

JKR: Erm - As I - as I said, I collect names. I've always collected names, so I've got notebooks full of them, and I - I like inventing names; Quidditch I - the name 'Quidditch' I - I - it took me ages to find the right name for it - it took me about two days and - er - I've still got the notebook I did it in, and you can see 'quidditch' at the bottom of the last page of this notebook underlined about fifty times, because when I - when I stumbled across it, I knew it was the right one. As far as the storylines go, some of them are inspired by folklore. I mean there's some interesting stuff out there that you can use, but mostly it comes out of my head, and I know that's not a great answer, but it's the best I've got - I - where do ideas come from? I've no idea.

Lydon: Billy, what's your favourite name? In the books?

Billy: Er - I don't know. I like 'Quidditch' and I like 'Dumbledore'.

JKR: yeah, Dumbledore, as I said, was a - is an old English word meaning bumblebee. I like 'Dumbledore' - it sounds endearing and strangely impressive at the same time.

Lydon: These names are important, you know, Henry James' notebooks are full of names that he wanted to try out ...

JKR: Right! And I - I very much identify with that. Names are really crucial to me - as some of my characters has had eight or nine names before I - I, you know, hit the right one. And for some reason I just can't move on until I know I've called them the right thing - that's very fundamental to me

Lydon: yeah, it's fascinating. I heard John Updike say that - once, 'what novelist in the world would have dared to come up with a name like Darryl Strawberry?' [JKR laughs] Er the real-life outfielder for the Mets and the Yankees.

JKR: Right, exactly - it's a - it's a - it's a really weird thing. (1:49) [Listen to the audio]

Part 10 {15:28}
Lydon: 1-800-4238255 - The Harry Potter Connection! Hannah is on the line. ... Hello Hannah!

Hannah: Hello!

Lydon: Welcome.

JKR: Hi Hannah!

Hannah: Hi! Erm - I won- ... er - I'm - I'm Hannah from Cambridgeport school, and I'm in Frederick's and Rob's class -

JKR: Right ...

Hannah: - and I wanted to ask you, how did your daughter to react - react to the Harry Potter books?

JKR: My daughter? That's a funny you should ask that, because I've only recently read her the first book.

Lydon: How old is she now?

JKR: She's six. I had ini- initially I said to her I'd wait until she was seven, but she kept asking me and asking me, and I thought 'oh, well. We'll try,' and - er - it was the most important reading ever in my life. I've read to about a thousand people, and I read to my own daughter in our sitting room and it was the most incredible reading ever - and it was the most nerve-wracking, I was more frightened reading to her than I was to a thousand people at a time, because - obviously I really, really want her to like what I'm doing. It's very important. Then she went away and she painted a lightning-scar on her own forehead, so I assumed that she did like them. Well, in fact I know that she does like them - she - she asks me all the time to read her more

Lydon: Wonderful. Hannah, thank you. (1:11) [Listen to the audio]

Part 11 {16:39}
Lydon: 1-800-4238255 - The Harry Potter Connection with the author, J.K. Rowling. Marcus is on the line:

Marcus: Er - hello!

Lydon+JKR: Hi, Marcus!

Marcus: Hi! My question is 'who's the next Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher?'

JKR: [Laughs] There are people cheering here - I can see them through the glass - because they wanted you to ask that. Oh, should I tell you? Do you really want to know? Won't it ruin it?

Marcus: What?

JKR: Won't it ruin it if I tell you?

Marcus: No!

JKR: [Laughs]

Lydon: Will you buy the book anyway, Marcus?

JKR: No, it's not him buying the book, I'm worried about, I'm just worried about ruining things. I'm not going to tell you exactly who it is, I will te- it's someone - erm - he's quite a scary character - for the first time they get someone quite impressive as Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, and I will tell you that he - for the first time you see a teacher who really takes on Draco Malfoy

Marcus: OK

JKR: OK, so that's - that's quite cool. There's also something very distinctive about the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher's appearance; he's got a magical eye! Now I've given you a really big secret that's supposed to be a big surprise.

Lydon: Marcus, thank you. (1:11) [Listen to the audio]

Part 12 {17:50}
Lydon: Tell us more about Draco Malfoy - there's a name that sort of gives it all away

JKR: There's a name to conjure with ...

Lydon: Yeah, Draco Bad Faith or something ...

JKR: Yeah, exactly.

Lydon: ... Harry's sort of opposite number ...

JKR: Yeah. Er - We've all met him - he is a bully of the most refined type in that, unlike Dudley, Harry's cousin, who's a physical bully, but really not - not bright enough to access all your weak points, Draco is a - he is a snob, he's a bigot and he is a bully, and as I said, in the most refined sense - he knows exactly what will hurt people. Er - And the scary thing is, but the predictable thing is, that most of the children I meet say they know him - or they know her, because you get female Malfoys as well.

Lydon: Where did you meet the Draco Malfoy of your life?

JKR: Oh, I've met about three. I - I knew one at school, and I've known them since; they don't seem to disappear as you get older, unfortunately. But er - that's a - that's a facet of life that you've got to deal with and I think that children actually actively enjoy watching Harry and his friends deal with it. (1:00) [Listen to the audio]

Part 13 {18:51}
Lydon: What about Snape?

JKR: OK. Snape is the - er - very sadistic teacher loosely based on a teacher I myself had, I have to say. Erm .. I think it ... Children are very aware - and we ... we're kidding ourselves if we don't think that they are - that teachers do sometimes abuse their power and this particular teacher /does/ abuse his power. He is not a - he is not a particularly pleasant person at all. /However/, everyone should keep their eye on Snape, I'll just say that, because there's more to him than meets the eye, and you will find out part of what I'm talking about if you read book four. And no, I am not trying to drum up more sales; go to the library and get it out, I'd rather people read it.

Lydon: Er - one of our connec- ... one of our internet correspondents wondered if Snape is going to fall in love?

JKR: Yeah? Who on earth would want Snape in love with them, that is a very horrible idea. Erm ...

Lydon: But you'd get an important kind of redemptive pattern to Snape

JKR: It is, isn't it ... I got ... There's so much I wish I could say to you, and I can't because it'd ruin ... I promise you ... whoever asked that question, can I just say to you that I'm - I'm slightly stunned that you've said that - erm - and you'll find out why I'm so stunned if you read book 7. And that's all I'm going to say.

Lydon: Mmmm - this is - this is encouraging. (1:17) [Listen to the audio]

Part 14 {20:08}
Lydon: 1-800-4238255 - The Harry Potter Connection, with the source of all this magic, J.K. Rowling. Joe is on the line:

Joe: Yes, Hi - it's nice to speak to you, and thank you for writing these books ...

JKR: Oh, my pleasure, believe me ...

Joe: You were just saying how you read it to your daughter, that your six-year-old daughter ...

JKR: That's right, yeah ...

Joe: When we sat down we read this chapter by chapter every night the kids couldn't wait for the next night ...

JKR: Oh, that's so good ...

Joe: but, the characters are so great, you can come up with wonderful voices reading out loud to your kids ... for Hagrid - and Dumbledore and McGonagall ...

JKR: Oh, how wonderful

Joe: Did you get that with your daughter too, were you getting into the voices?

JKR: Oh, well, I'm really into the voices and I really let myself go when I was reading to my daughter, I'm not quite that uninhibited when I'm reading to a lot of people, but ...

Lydon: Joe, let's hear what Dumbledore sounds like ...

Joe: Well, I use a little Sean Connery for Dumbledore ... [JKR: Laughs] and I put a little slur in it 'Albush Dumbledorr,' but my favourite was Hagrid, he was more of a Monty Python character [JKR: Yeah!] [Joe does MP gumby voice ...]

JKR: [Laughs some more] One of the gumbies - no Hagrid ...

Joe: Yes - he was a gumby, wasn't he?

JKR: [more laughing] no I don't really see Hagrid as a ...

Joe: Oh yeah, he is

JKR: Though I like your interpretation ...

Joe: I had Margaret Thatcher for Professor McGonagall ...

JKR: OK, that works - yeah, Margaret Thatcher - very much for Professor McGonagall ...

Joe: It's so great - it's such a great read, we need to get a whole bunch because we'll be reading all week all year long ...

JKR: That's - there's nothing better I can hear than that - I - I - really! The idea of entire families reading the books together is just a wonderful thing because I'm - I am convinced that that is such a powerful way to get children reading.

Joe: ... and writing! My - my - my older daughter just spent the whole weekend writing a poem and creating ideas for Hallowe'en and I think you're ... inspirational.

JKR: Oh, fabulous! That - that's wonderful. Wish her luck, that's how I started ...

Joe: Will do!

Lydon: Joe, you're a great actor, and thank you for calling. (1:44) [Listen to the audio]

Part 15 {21:51}
Lydon: Now I want to hear J.K. Rowling herself do ...

JKR: Do Dumble-, er - not Dumbledore - Hagrid!

Lydon: Either one ...

JKR: Well, Hagrid's sort of West-country - yokel - which is where I grew up - the part of Britain where I grew up, I didn't grow up in Scotland, I grew up on the border with Wales. So Hagrid's kind of ... 'Yes Harry Potter, sir' - like that - very slurred words - it's the accent English people always put on to sound stupid ... [laughs] Hagrid /isn't/ stupid, but he's got that kind of very country - you know, way of speaking ...

Lydon: And how about Minerva McGonagall?

JKR: Very clipped, and very, very - quite upper-class and very brisk - like a governess [Lydon laughs] I - I - I can't do it, but I kind of see Dumbledore more as a John Gielgud type, you know, quite elderly and - and quite stately.

Lydon: And Harry himself?

JKR: I suppose he sounds like me. I always do my voice for Harry, when I'm reading to my daughter.

Lydon: I wondered if you would give us the sound of J.K. Rowling, but maybe the sound of Harry Potter too, in that zoo scene ...

JKR: The zoo scene, OK. This is quite a long reading. (1:02) [Listen to the audio]

Part 16 {22:53}
JKR: So I will ...

Lydon: Just give us as much as you like. He is out there with ...

JKR: OK! So Harry - Harry just - erm

Lydon: Vernon Dursley

JKR: He is out with Uncle Vernon and his cousin Dudley and Dudley's best friend Piers - Dudley and Piers both being horrible boys - they are in the snake-house at the zoo and Harry's just moved in front of the boa constrictor's tank. The boa constrictor /has/ been asleep and Dudley's just been trying to wake it up by hammering on the glass:

[JKR reads from PS/SS ch. 2 'The Vanishing Glass'. Excerpt starts with 'Harry moved in front of the tank ...' and ends with 'Thanksss, amigo.'] (2:28) [Listen to the audio]

Part 17 {25:21}
Lydon: [laughs] This is a great privilege needless to say to all of us in Connection world to have J.K. Rowling with us live in the studio in Boston, the author of all three bestsellers

JKR: All of them - wrote them all myself ...

Lydon: ... right - at the top of the New York Times bestseller list - the adventures of Harry Potter, and this is just the first three of seven. I'm not sure there's been anything like this since - erm - the high-water mark of the late great Charles Dickens - I mean that the legend was that when his serialised publication of The Old Curiosity Shop was coming to America, the boats would come in to New York harbour and people would be lined up at the docks yelling to people on the board 'Is Little Nell still alive?' [JKR: Laughs] People are the same way about Harry Potter, and she's with us today. Our phone is 1-800-423-8255 or 1-800-423-talk with J.K. Rowling: The mystery of the Harry Potter success. This is 'The Connection' from WBUR Boston and PRI Public Radio International. {26:30} (1:09) [Listen to the audio]

[Commercial break]

Part 18 {29:00}
[Musical vignette]
Lydon: I am Christopher Lydon, this is The Connection with our guest J.K. Rowling, author of the world-famous Harry Potter books - the books that are going to make our kids and grandchildren readers again - just like old times. 1-800-4238255 makes the Harry Potter connection with the author. Just in general, J.K. Rowling, what's the - what do you think of as the moral of these stories? I hear a lot of your own sort of reliving school life - ah - in the form of Harry who is really gifted beyond his awareness, he could be much more powerful [JKR: Mmm] than he actually is. There's something deeply - er - deeply exemplary, moral, good about this young man. What are the stories trying to tell us about goodness?

JKR: Erm - again - I - I - this sounds like a huge cop-out, but it's - it's hard for me to give you the full picture without ruining future plots, and - because there are kids out there that are so attuned to these books that if I say 'well, you might just find out x, y or z' they'll think 'ah -right, so-and-so's going to die, so-and-so is obviously going to learn to do this' you know that - that they'll just know, so I have to be careful what I say. Erm ... Harry is someone is forced for such a young person to make his own choices. He has very limited access to truly caring adults - and he is guided by his conscience. Now, Harry makes mistakes, repeatedly, erm Harry ha- ... did things like ... he did - he did steal the flying car, that was a very stupid thing to do, he - but it seemed like a great idea at the time, we've all been there - er - but ultimately Harry is guided by his conscience. He is flanked by two friends, they work far better as a team than apart, though Harry tends to be the one who has to shoulder the most of the burden - he is the true hero in that sense, Hermione, who is really the brain of the outfit, and Ron, who is also a very brave character, I mean, I deeply admire bravery in all forms, and that's why ... in book one, if - if people have read book one they'll remember that Neville Longbottom, who is a - who is a comic, but I - he's not a tr- wholly comic figure to me, Neville is actually quite a tragic figure to me as well because there's a lot of Neville in me - this feeling of just never being quite good enough - I mean I - we've all felt that at some point, and I felt that a lot when I was younger, and I wanted to show Neville doing something brave - it's not as spectacularly brave as Harry and Hermione do, but he - he finds true moral courage in standing up to his closest friends - the people who are on his side, but he still thinks they are doing wrong and he tells them so - so that's a very important moment for me too in the first book.

Lydon: Dumbledore says to Harry at one point that it's the choices we make that show what we truly are - choices more than -

JKR: - rather than our abilities, yeah

Lydon: - Yeah ...

JKR: Yep. Well that is something I do truly believe and that's something we're - er - erm - we see very much with Harry - he is someone who has to make the choices and he - he generally has - as I say: he has very limited access to adults who can help him because most of his friends have parents at home - ok they're all existing in this wizard ... but they - they have a safety net. People who are - children who have loving parents or guardians or - or family, basically, they have a safety net; Harry doesn't have that, so he is more alone than most children are. Erm - and therefore his choices are revealing him as someone who is brave - someone who is trying to do the right thing, sometimes - someone who occasionally slips up, as we all do. (3:38) [Listen to the audio]

Part 19 {32:37}
Lydon: 1-800-4238255, Connection listeners, makes the Harry Potter connection with the author J.K. Rowling. 1-800-423-TALK - Tim is on the line.

Tim: Good morning!

JKR + Lydon: Good morning!

Tim: Good morning J.K. [It's] an utter honour speaking to you, madam - I'm - you're a hero of mine, and also many other parents ...

JKR: Thank you so much.

Tim: I have a couple of questions. Er - you write those fabulous characters, but they're almost all boys, Hermione is a swot - a very wonderful person, but almost a cardboard cut-out in some ways - do get ...

JKR: Please don't - please don't say that, because she is actually based on me

Tim: Oh, dear ... if you will I'll stop now ... Do you get criticisms that you don't have enough females in strong positions in your stories?

JKR: Well, in fact, if you run down the staff-list at Hogwarts, I have - people have said this to me before, I - I - I have to say that. Erm there are many things that I can say to that ... The first thing I should say is I've - I had been writing this book for six months before I myself - and it did take me six months - stopped and thought 'Hang on, why is it Harry - why isn't it Harriet? Why is this a boy?' [Tim: Right] Now the answer is that Harry came ... came to me so complete, so real that if I had stopped at - after six months of writing and thought 'well, change into a girl. I'm going to be politically correct, I'm going to make a heroine,' it would have been putting Harry in drag. He was too real to me by then to turn him into a girl - he was a boy in my head, and I - erm - and I'd - I had Hermione and I had Ron, and I was too fond of them by then to want to tamper with them - so that is my answer, and I'm sticking by it, and I'm unapologetic about it. Er - if you look down the - the staff-list in - in the school, you will find that it is exactly 50% women and 50% men as teachers. Now, people possibly don't realise that enough. I see Professor McGonagall, for example, as a - as a very strong female character. I did get an e-mail the other day from someone in America saying 'when are we going to see a strong female character?' And I wrote back and told her that I was deeply offended because I think Hermione and Professor McGonagall are very strong characters ... but I did say to her 'but if you mean a nasty female character - er - wait till book four!

Tim: Oh, okay ... I have a ...

Lydon: Uh huh!

Tim: I have a very serious question as well. [JKR: Mm-hmm] Harry is aging about a year per book ... at the moment ...

JKR: Yes, he is, yeah ...

Tim: Now I have a nine-year-old, who is utterly dedicated to Harry, and I have a seven-year-old who is coming in - coming on stream. [JKR: OK] Harry at 14 or 15 [JKR: Mm-hmm] will not relate to my nine-year-old, I think, in - in the same way. Is - is he going to slow down his aging process or is he going to grow like a year per book?

JKR: No, I'm not. Now - I - I'd - I've given some thought to this and I - I've chosen the way I'm going to do it; if - if people are unhappy with it, then - then I'm going to be sorry about that, but, you know, I have to go the way that - that I think is best to go, and the way I think is best to go - I - I always wanted Harry to grow up plausibly - I - you know - we're going to see him - the plot demands that he ages about a year a book, the plot demands that he comes of age in the final book. Now I have a real moral objection to books that freeze children in pre-pubescence even though they're actually - in earth-years - sixteen years old, but you're still - they're still behaving as - as eight- or nine-year-olds. Now if I get the tone right, I do believe that your nine-year-old will still be interested in a fourteen-year-old Harry - obviously it is inappropriate in books like these - it would be totally alien to the tone of these books if we - if I got into - erm - too - too - grittily realistic an area that, you know - we're - we're not going to be looking at teenage pregnancy here, we're not going to be looking at drug-taking here, you know, this would be totally alien to the spirit of these books. However, I do want Harry to grow up in a realistic way ...

Lydon: Does this mean we're going to see the hormones kicking in?

JKR: Yeah - the hormones do kick in at - in book four ... I - You know - I - The - the bottom line is, I can't be led by what people want me to write - I have to write what I want to write. That's just the way it's got to be! I've got to write what I want to write - if by book six I'm only writing for six people and I've lost everyone else - then yeah I'm going to be sorry about that, but - but I will feel that I have to - I have to stand by what I want to do. I sometimes get letters from parents saying 'well, we love your books, but they're a little too scary, so could you stop doing that?' Well, I'm afraid, no I can't. I have to write what I want to write - I'm not writing to order here. So - so I'm going to be sorry if - if children don't want to keep up with Harry, I - I personally believe that they will, I do not believe I'm going to be doing anything that will alienate a nine-year-old.

Lydon: I think your people - your readers want you to stay right on it as the writer. (4:29) [Listen to the audio]

Part 20 {37:04}
Lydon: J.K. Rowling is our guest, the author of the Harry Potter books. 1-800-4238255 makes the Harry Potter connection. Pete is on the line ...

Pete: Hello

Lyndon: Hello, Pete, welcome!

JKR: Hi

Pete: Hi! I have a question about Hagrid.

JKR: oh, cool - I like Hagrid - ask away

Pete: yeah - is he going to be in the rest of the books?

JKR: Yes -

Pete: ... 'cause he is my favourite character.

JKR: Oh, is he your favourite character?

Pete: yeah

JKR: OK, I like you, because he is one of my favourite characters of - yeah- of - if you - if you take away Harry and Hermione and Ron, then I love Hagrid the best, definitely! Erm - I'd - he is - he is going to be around, you're going to keep seeing him. I - I suspect that the reason you're asking this is because there's a rumour going around that people are going to die [Pete: Right] in the upcoming books, and people are going to die, and I am not going to tell you who is and who isn't because that, for a very obvious reason ...

Lydon: How do rumours like this get started?

JKR: Because I answer questions honestly and then they get posted on the internet [laughs] - someone said to me 'is anyone going to die?' and I said 'Yeah - there're going to be deaths,' and the next thing eve-, you know, there was rumours flying about everywhere that I was about to murder Ron in book four - er - it's - you know - these things get - get blown ... up

Lydon: {38:12} Pete, did you have more?

Pete: Hmm?

Lydon: Did you - did you want to follow up?

Pete: Ahh, yeah ... My - er - my other question was - er - 'is - er - oh, er - yeah -- is er ... the bully - what's his name again?

JKR: Dudley? No, Draco Malfoy - which one?

Pete: Malfoy

JKR: Malfoy! OK, yeah ... ?

Pete: Erm - I read the first book at camp with a friend and - er - how is Malfoy such strongly against him in the first book?

JKR: Yeah - why is - why is Malfoy - why does he like - dislike Harry so much in the first book?

Pete: Yes!

JKR: Well! If you notice, the very first time that Malfoy meets Harry and knows it is Harry he makes an effort to be his friend - he does actually want to be associated with Harry because he knows it will be - it will be cool to turn up at the school being Harry Potter's friend, because Harry is so famous. Well, Harry rebuffs him because Malfoy has been so rude about Hagrid and about Ron, who Harry likes so much, and it's at that point that Malfoy turns against him, because Malfoy is - er - yet again this is so frustrating; I can't tell you everything I could tell you because it would ruin future books for you, but Malfoy comes from a family who has strong associations with - er - with Dark magic, as you know - and you're going to find out more about that in book four, so - erm - Malfoy is kind of - he wanted to be Harry's friend, Harry didn't want him as a friend, and tu- and that made him bitter - that - that's the starting point

Lydon: Pete, will that hold you? I hope it will. 1-800-4238255, thank you, Pete. (2:50) [Listen to the audio]

Part 21 {39:54}
Lydon: 1-800-423-talk makes the Harry Potter connection with the author, J.K. Rowling. Damon is on the line

Damon: Yes

Lydon: Welcome Damon

Damon: J.K.

JKR: Hi there ...

Damon: I've got a major question to ask you.

JKR: Go for it!

Damon: First I want to say blessed be! Are you craft or are you Muggles? ["Blessed be" is a standard wiccan greeting or sign off.]

JKR: I am - sorry, say that again, sorry?

Damon: Are you craft or are you Muggles?

JKR: Am I a Muggle? Yes, I am definitely a Muggle

Damon: OK

JKR: A Muggle with abnormal amount - er - of knowledge about the wizarding world.

Damon: Because you do - I'm a - er - magus of of about four different magical organisations. You do your homework quite well.

JKR: Yeah - I kno- I kn- I know a lot about it, but no, I'm not in any kind of - er - I don't head up my own coven, at all, no!

Lydon: Damon, which side of the line are you calling from?

Damon: What?

Lydon: Which side of the Muggle line are you calling from?

Damon: I'm ...

JKR: Well, he is definitely wizarding!

Damon: Well, put it this way - I

Lydon: Thank you.

Damon: ... since your books came out, I - my step-daughter now talks to me [JKR: laughs] I've had the books and she'd go like 'you've got the books, you've got the books'

JKR: Oh, I'm glad, I'm glad - er - I like bringing people together.

Damon: Another question: How many books are the- er - will there - because I had this discussion with my step-daughter yesterday. Will there be seven books for the seven years at school* or eight

JKR: *Exactly - no there will be seven books

Damon: Ah there is seven, all right!

JKR: Yeah .. yeah, one for each of his years at Hogwarts, yeah

Damon: And nothing about him after school?

JKR: Erm - probably not! I can't say more than that, but no - I - I planned seven, and I'm - I'm going to stick with seven, I think.

Lydon: Damon, thank you (1:28) [Listen to the audio]


Part 22 {41:21}
Lydon: 1-800-4238255 makes the Harry Potter connection. Muggles and wizards - one number: 1-800-423-talk. Chelsea is on the line. ... Hello Chelsea!

Chelsea: Hi

JKR: Hi Chelsea

Chelsea: I wanted to know if Professor Lupin is going to turn up in any of the other stories?

JKR: Professor Lupin OK yeah. Now for people who maybe haven't got that far, or - erm - haven't read the books at all, Professor Lupin is the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher in book three. Now he is one of my favourite characters in the whole series and - erm - yes, he will be coming - he will - you will see him again. Quite a few of the characters that crop up in - in the books do - do come back, because, I mean, you know, they're friends of Harry's now even if they're not actually living at Hogwarts. You will see Professor Lupin again in book five, not in book four. Also Dobby, the House Elf, who you see in the second book, he also crops up again - er - so - so you've got to keep your eye on these characters, because they do come back.

Lydon: Chelsea, I wondered why you asked about Professor Lupin?

Chelsea: Because I like him a lot

JKR: Oh good! I'm glad, because do you know what? I'm - from - from the moment I started writing book the one I've been looking forward to writing book three because of Professor Lupin, because I knew that's when he made his first appearance and he is - he is one of my favourite characters. (1:17) [Listen to the audio]

Part 23 {42:38}
Lydon: People on the internet are wanting to know if Gilderoy Lockhart is going to come back?

JKR: [Laughs] Gilderoy Lockhart, bless him, is currently residing in St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries and his memory is still gone, so at the moment he's in no fit state to go anywhere. - Which I think serves him right, myself.

Lydon: Mmmm - You didn't quite answer the question whether he'd be back ... ?

JKR: Yeah, well, you know, you got to sometimes dodge these things. [Both laugh] (0:23) [Listen to the audio]

Part 24 {43:01}
Lydon: 1-800-4238255 - The Harry Potter Connection! Kathleen is on the line. Kathleen: Hi, how are you?

JKR+Lydon: Hi Kathleen.

Kathleen: Thank you so much for taking our call - I'm actually calling from my classroom right now.

JKR: Oh, wow!

Kathleen: This is a great class.

JKR: Hi everyone

Kathleen: This is a special treat. (to class:) She says hello to all of you.

Class: Hi (in background)

Kathleen: Anyway, it's very exciting; we just love Harry Potter, so we're curious - well - first of all we can't wait for books four, five, six and seven [JKR: OK], but after that, we're curious as to whether Harry is going to have a life after Hogwarts? Or if maybe Harry might be a Hogwarts teacher?

JKR: Erm, well, because all your kids said hello so nicely in the background there, I'm going to give you information I haven't given anyone else, and I will tell you that one of the characters - er - one of - one of Harry's class mates, though it's not Harry himself, does end up a teacher at Hogwarts, but it is not maybe the one you'd think - hint, hint, hint! So, yes one of them does end up staying at Hogwarts, but - erm ...

Lydon: Does the kids want to have a guess at it, Kathleen?

Kathleen: Do you like to have a guess at who it is?

Class: Ron

Kathleen: They say Ron ...

JKR: Noooo - it's not Ron ...

Kathleen: [to class] it's not Ron ...

JKR: ... because I can't see Ron as a teacher, no way.

JKR+Kathleen laugh.

Kathleen: Well, we have just been having such a fine time with Harry Potter, and we're so thrilled that you took our call ...

JKR: Absolute pleasure ...

Kathleen: ... and we're just all huge fans

JKR: That's - that's wonderful to hear, thank you ...

Kathleen: You make our day, every day

JKR: Thank you for calling ...

Lydon: Wow. Kathleen, thank you! (1:28) [Listen to the audio]

Part 25 {44:30}
Lydon: 1-800-4238255 - The Harry Potter Connection with the woman who invented it all - J.K. Rowling. Peter is on the line.

Peter: Hi!

JKR+Lydon: Hi/Hello, Peter!

Peter: Erm - I really like the books and we've already learned a lot about Harry's father ...

JKR: Ah-ha.

Peter: ... and I was wondering, are we going to learn a lot about Harry's mother?

Lydon: Will we?

JKR: yeah, you will. Erm - it's - errr - yet again kind of the - in - you won't find out ... OK, in book three, you're absolutely right, you find out a lot about Harry's father. Now, the - the important thing about Harry's mother - the really, really significant thing - you're going to find out in two - in two parts. You'll find out a lot more about her in book five, or you'll find out something very significant about her in book five, and you'll find out something incredibly important about her in book seven. But I can't tell you what those things are, so I'm sorry, but they - yes, you will find out more about her, because they're - both of them are very important in what Harry ends up having to do.

Lydon: Peter, what is your guess about Lily - the real story about Harry's mother?

Peter: Er - I don't really know, but I'm guessing that maybe she is going to come back to life, maybe in the seventh book or something like that ...

JKR: Well, it would be nice, but - I'll tell you something - you - you've raised a really interesting point there, Peter, because when I started writing the books, the first thing I had to decide was not what magic can do, but what it can't do. I had to set limits on it - immediately, and decide what the parameters are ... and one of the most important things I - I decided was that magic cannot bring dead people back to life; that' - that's one of the most profound things, the - the natural law of - of - of death applies to wizards as it applies to Muggles and there is no returning once you're properly dead, you know, they might be able to save very close-to-death people better than we can, by magic - that they - that they have certain knowledge we don't, but once you're dead, you're dead. So - erm - yeah, I'm afraid there will be no coming back fro- for Harry's parents

Peter: OK

Lydon: Peter, did you want to take another stab at it - the real story of Lily or not?

Peter: Nah

JKR: Nah - don't blame you ...

Lydon: You done good, Peter

JKR: Very good!

Lydon: Thank you! (2:07) [Listen to the audio]

Part 26 {46:36}
Lydon: 1-800-4238255 - The Harry Potter Connection! Noreen is calling from Winooski, Vermont

Noreen: Hi J.K.

JKR: Hi there

Noreen: This is exciting to actually talk to you ...

JKR: It is very exciting to be here, I've got to tell you ...

Noreen: I'm calling from an independent bookstore in Winooski, Vermont

JKR: Yeah! I love independent bookstores

Noreen: ... and I love your books, they're so creative and they're such a wonderful escape ...

JKR: Thank you so much ...

Noreen: ... and I've read all three of them, and - er - all of us here look forward to the reader's copies that we get ...

JKR: Mmm-hmmm

Noreen: ... and we pass them around, and then we sell your books to adults and kids, of course. Erm - I've heard that you have all of the books basically written and that you have ...

JKR: No, I wish! No, not written, no! ... Planned!

Noreen: I've heard that you have pieces of the books on scraps of paper and they're in a box

JKR: Oh, that's true, yeah, yeah

Noreen: And I'm wondering, it sounds like maybe putting the books together is like fitting a puzzle - pieces of a puzzle together

JKR: No, there's still a lot of writing to do, I mean, it's - no it's not true that I'v- I - if - you know - that was true about the first book - I had this mountain of notes, and it was almost like carving a book out of this massive stuff with book one - although, of course, there was a lot writing involved - rewriting. Erm, but as I go on, no I have the bare outline of the books. There are pieces of all of them - sort of snippets of all of them written - erm - ideas I've had that I've jotted down at some point - in- an- en- entire pages sometimes I thought 'oh, yeah, that - that is how we're going to do that bit of book four' or whatever it might be. But no, I - er - it's - it's - I'm not that far on, I do have to sit down and actually write them, but I - as I think I said earlier, I - I never finish a book and then think 'OK, what is Harry going to do next' - I always know what Harry - exactly what Harry's going to be doing next.

Noreen: You have a framework of ...

JKR: Yeah, exactly, yeah! But still with enough freedom to invent stuff as I go along, otherwise it wouldn't be nearly as much fun, I mean, I - I haven't - I haven't got every single detail down before I start writing, because that would - you know, that would - that would stop - stop it being ... you know, I don't know ... just - y- I wouldn't have the freedom to do what I do ...

Noreen: I have one more kinda self-serving question ... ? [JKR: Laughs] Is there - is there any way that we could get you to our book store in Winooski in Vermont, which is near Burlington, Vermont, and how would I do that?

JKR: Er - I - I'm really, really sorry about this - I - I - I'm actually here with some - for my publisher who is - who is having a mental breakdown, because the poor woman is being ha- ha- ha- ... - just the deluge of requests - I just don't have enough hours in the day, and I'm really sorry about that ...

Noreen: Thank you very much for everything

JKR: Thank you, it's been great to talk to you

Noreen: Bye

Lydon: Noreen, thank you. (2:29) [Listen to the audio]

Part 27 {49:05}
Lydon: We're very privileged to have you here. I just want to ask you just some questions - ah - in what time we have left about, sort of, who formed you as a writer? People compare you to the Greats, I mean Jane Austen and Dickens, but also in our own century P.L. Travers, Roald Dahl, E. Nesbit, what did you read as a child, growing up ... and what is the sort of pantheon in which you - sort of find yourself?

JKR: Of the - of the three writers you just mentioned there, E. Nesbit is the one I - I'm most flattered to be compared to. Erm - I loved, and I still love her books, I really love her books. I'd - I recently read - I'd never read them before as a child - I read her fairy tales and I - it was just - I - I just loved them, and they are - they're very clo- ... in many ways I think they are close to what I do because there's a lot of sort of modern detail in among those fairy tales; you have princes advertising themselves for - for adventures, eligible princes and stuff, and it's a kind of a - it's quirky twist always on the more traditional form, and I think, you know, there's elements of that in what I do. Roald Dahl - erm - I'm very often compared to Dahl in - in Britain and I think there is a very basic reason for that - not necessarily a very - erm - plausible reason for that. Erm - A lot of people, when they were first writing about me, were not terribly knowledgeable about the world of children's books to be honest with you, and I - I have the feeling that they were thinking 'Well, I will compare her to the last person that we heard of,' which is Roald Dahl. There are certain similarities; he was great on detail also, you know, he loved putting in these very detailed things - erm - but he's not my favourite children's writer.

Lydon: Tolkien? C.S. Lewis?

JKR: I've read both of them, er - both of them were geniuses, I'm immensely flattered to be compared to them, but I think I'm doing something slightly different again

Lydon: I'm so happy that you welcome the E. Nesbit comparison. My three daughters grew up on E. Nesbit and ...

JKR: I'm really glad to hear that ...

Lydon: ... adored her work [JKR: Yeah!]. While you're waiting for the next Harry Potter book; Mom, Dad, Kids, try E. Nesbit - give them a title to begin with ...

JKR: Erm - The Treasure Seekers, definitely - I think that's an absolute masterpiece

Lydon: J.K. Rowling - it's a real privilege and pleasure to have you on 'The Connection,' Thank you!

JKR: Thank you - I've really enjoyed it!

Lydon: All 'The Connection' listeners are waiting for all seven of the Harry Potter series. Thank you enormously!

JKR: Thank you very much.

Lydon: I'm Christopher Lydon, this is 'The Connection' from WBUR, Boston ...
[music etc.] (2:46) [Listen to the audio]

================================================

Transcribed by Troels Forchhammer.
Special thanks for proof reading to Earwax, Janine and Loriba for
proofreading.

The station home page
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The program home page
<http://www.theconnection.org/>

Home page for this specific show:
<http://archives.theconnection.org/archive/1999/10/1012b.shtml>

Trond Michelsen about a transcription and about dividing the
interview into 27 parts.
<http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=m2fzun189x.fsf%40trondmm.a.sol.no>

The 27 parts as .mp3 - downloadable.
<http://www.crusaders.no/~afhp/interviews/connection/>

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