Just for kids

Wizard With Words


Yak's Corner

November 29, 1999|By Janis Campbell

J.K. Rowling, the brains behind the magical "Harry Potter" books, is a wizard with words. But we wanted to know more about the famous author. We yakked with her recently and found her to be as magical as her books!

Does it surprise you that millions of kids are reading your books?

I'm still slightly shocked. It's not until you see 2,000 people at the bookstore that the reality of it comes home to you. It's wonderful. Meeting the children is the best -- second only to the writing.

Where are you on the fourth book?

I'm getting there. I hope to finish it next month. It's traveling with me. I don't like to be away from it, it's like having another child.

Is the title of the fourth book going to be "Harry Potter and the Quidditch World Cup"?

NO! It's just an Internet rumor. I haven't given out the title, I'm a bit superstitious about that until the book is finished. But I do know what it is! You will read about the Quidditch World Cup, and you'll find out there are more wizarding schools like Hogwarts. This wizarding is really worldwide. Harry tries to have a romance, but he doesn't get very far. In fact, everyone gets paired up with the wrong person. Hermione will get the first date, and it's a cool one. She's owed a bit of fun!

Did you ever consider a girl for the main character? Or was it always Harry?

No, he was always Harry. He arrived so fully formed, and I didn't want to change him. I liked him just as he was. And I have Hermione, who is a caricature of me when I was young. I like her very, very much as a character. So I felt there was a good, strong female lead. In fact, Hermione is the brains of the outfit!

What were you like at Harry's age?

A lot like Hermione. She works very, very hard to compensate for feeling insecure and plain.

Any advice for young writers?

Read as much as you can because that's how you'll learn to recognize good writing -- and bad writing! And resign yourself to the fact that you're going to write a lot of rubbish before you write something really good.

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