I cannot believe that I was given a chance to interview J.K. Rowling – my favorite author. I was one of the fans chosen by her foundation. It was a competition of sorts. I was the one who impressed the judges. I did my best so that the officers of the foundation would notice my application. Now, here I am in a café in London. I am eager to begin my interview with J.K. Rowling.
Before I begin I would like to say that London was an amazing city to visit. It was old and new at the same time. It was a city that I tried to imagine many times. I wondered what the people were like; I wondered what they like to eat and more. However, I did not anticipate that sometimes it was a challenge to follow the conversation because of the British accent. I was also thrilled to find out that the British are nice people, contrary to what many people say about their attitude.
I introduced myself to Ms. Rowling and I told her that I am probably her number one fan. She acknowledged my exaggerated statements with a smile. She asked me how was my trip. I told her that it was the longest time I have ever spent inside an airplane. But I assured her that I had a great time because it was also my first time to fly business class.
I was supposed to do the interview so I was caught by surprise when she asked the first two questions. She wanted to know why I joined the contest. I said that I really wanted to meet her. She said that aside from the pleasure of one-on-one conversation what was the other reason why I flew thousands of miles from home. I said that there is no other reason but to talk to her with regards to the impact of the Harry Potter series.
After I said Harry Potter, I did not realize that I was in automatic mode, talking incessantly about the books and the characters. I told her that the first few pages of the first Harry Potter book were almost indescribable. I told her that she can weave stories as if it was magic. I told her that her words had cast a spell on so many readers.
I told her that Harry Potter’s character resonated with the lives of many children, teenagers and even adults. I asked her why the impact was global and why many readers became instant fans of her. She did not answer immediately; she smiled at me. I was thinking that the reason for the smile could be either one of two things. First, it was not her first time to hear such remarks. Secondly, she was genuinely happy that her writings created such an impact in the 21st century.
Ms. Rowling was very generous with her reply. She was modest enough to appreciate the compliment heaped on her, but at the same time, she wanted to shift the focus of the discussion to the character, the books, and her fans. Thus, it did not take long before I began to feel at ease in her presence.
When I was comfortable enough not to talk so fast, I began to enjoy the moment. I realized that I had a few hours left. Instead of blurting out so many incoherent words, I began to pace the conversation at a much slower rate so I can savor the moment while at the same time absorb more information.
The conversation went in so many directions that I had to reign it back to the main points that I wanted to cover with her. I asked her once again about the magic of Harry Potter. She told me that the impact of the novel was not really because of the magic spells and the magic wands. She said that it was due to the plot and the characters. She said that when you imagine Harry Potter, the main protagonist in the story, you could not see anything special in him.
She said that Harry Potter was just an ordinary boy. She said that the name itself forces the reader to imagine a boy that was as common as Tom, Dick, and Harry. She said that it was this insignificant element that draws people to the main character. She said that little boys and little girls are not afraid to approach this character through their imagination.
She said that the mark on Harry Potter’s forehead enhances his character even further because from the point of view of the readers the child was not perfect. The scar on his forehead seems to indicate that he had a defect. All the readers who read the story could not help but feel sorry for the young Harry Potter. But all of a sudden, there was the giant and his flying motorcycle. In an instant, Harry, the weakling, and the insignificant lad from Little Whinging were not ordinary anymore.
She said that the powers that he had were incidental. It was Harry Potter’s heart that gave him the real power to do the things that he needed to do. Ms. Rowling said that Harry Potter’s resolve to do the right thing even if it would have cost him his life endeared him to the reading public.
I told her that I completely understood what she was trying to say because the character also resonated in me. I told her that while reading the book I felt like I can relate to Harry Potter and it seems like the other main characters in the story could also relate to me. Therefore, there is this emotional connection between the readers and the characters. Ms. Rowling nodded her head.
I told Ms. Rowling that my next question may be a little offensive and she can choose to whether answer it or not. She said that it is perfectly alright, I can ask her anything that I wanted to know about the series. I said to her that the Harry Potter series seems so vivid and real; therefore many were wondering if the author was not a member of any organization that practiced witchcraft. She smiled at me and said that I was not the first one to ask her that question. I said that I was relieved to know that and she began to offer an explanation. She said that there is no need to become a witch in order to write a story like Harry Potter. She said that all you need is imagination and a little research. She said that she did background research on casting spells and magic wands. But aside from that everything was byproducts of her imagination. She said that not even a real witch can conjure something as fun as Hogwarts.
I told her that I was surprised at the theme of her new book: “The Casual Vacancy.” She quickly replied that it was not a children’s book. I asked her what was it all about. She said that it is a story about the social problems faced by many people. She said that the setting and characters in the story reflected some of the issues that have affected millions of people all around the world. She said that she recommends her new book to adults and not to her young and impressionable fans. She said that her new book talks about poverty, drug addiction, and social injustices.
Before the conversation became too serious I immediately pulled her back with a question that many Harry Potter fans wanted to hear from her. I asked her if there would come a time when she would write about Harry Potter once again. She looked straight at me and smiled. She said that for now the Harry Potter series had been laid to rest. I looked at my watch and I realized that my interview was almost over. I thanked her profusely and reminded her again that I am her number one fan. Ms. Rowling did not disappoint; she was gracious and smart. I learned so many things from her in the interview. I enjoyed my stay in London, but at the same time, I am excited to go home.