Full J.K. Rowling Interview from Wonderland Magazine

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone new cover art with Harry and Hagrid in Diagon Alley

Remember how fans flipped out last week over a snippet from an interview with J.K. Rowling saying that she thought Hermione should have married Harry instead of Ron? Well, the full interview has been released, and it turns out that Rowling thinks Hermione and Ron would be OK after all, maybe with a bit of counseling. So naturally the press took something out of context to get us riled up and it’s not really the end of the world for Romione.

The complete interview also reveals a few fun facts about Rowling’s work on the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film, but without giving away anything that will actually be in the film. The full interview is below, thanks to MuggleNet:

JK RowlingAppearing in the February/March 2014 edition of Wonderland magazine.
Interview conducted by Emma Watson.

Jo Rowling wrote Harry Potter, the best-selling book series in history, yet she still manages to be funny, kind, warm and real. She spends masses of her time supporting charities such as Comic Relief, Multiple Sclerosis Research through the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic and her own children’s charity Lumos… More recently she wrote novels The Casual Vacancy and The Cuckoo’s Calling (a crime novel under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith).

I wanted to ask you about the script that you are writing for Warner Bros. for Fantastic Beasts…

Warner Bros. came to me ages ago and said they wanted to do something with Fantastic Beasts. I could see the potential in it. I knew something about Newt [Scamander, the fictional author of Fantastic Beasts] having written a little something for Comic Relief. I had imagined a little bit of back story for him…

So when Warner Bros. came to me and said they wanted to make a film out of the book I had this simultaneous feeling of “it has a lot of potential,” and another feeling of slight panic that “I know some things about Newt and I don’t want you to ruin that for me!” because I knew who he was. So then I went away and sort of dwelt on what I knew about Newt, not intending to write a script but just trying to collect my thoughts so that I could at least give them the backstory I’d imagined, so that their vision was true to what I knew.

Then I really did have one of those moments that always make you phenomenally excited as a writer; but also that you know is going to end up being a ton of work. I thought, “Oh my God, a whole plot’s just descended on me!” But I wanted to do it as I was really excited about it. I wasn’t really thinking about writing the script myself, I thought, you know, I’ll give them this plot and then – fatally – I sat down and thought “I just wonder what it would look like…” and wrote a rough draft in twelve days!

Ahhhhh!

It wasn’t a great draft but it did show the shape of how it might look. So that is how it all started.

Wow, Warner Bros. must have been so excited.

I think they were kind of stunned. I didn’t tell them I had written it in twelve days. I’ve never written a script. It truly wasn’t that I thought I’d be good at it, I just wanted to get the outline of the story down, and that’s obviously given me a lot to work with going forward.

Do you ever worry when you have a great idea, when a piece of inspiration strikes you, that you won’t ever get it down quickly enough?

Yes definitely, although I do work on the convenient premise that if it is worth keeping you will remember it. I don’t think I have ever lost or forgotten anything that was really worth remembering!

Does inspiration ever strike you at really inconvenient moments? Like when you are driving the car or you are taking the children to school and you just think, “not now”?!

That is why I don’t drive, I swear to God. I cannot drive. People look at me and think, ‘how can you be a woman of forty-eight and not drive a car?’ But I know myself and I know how detached I am from my physical surroundings.

My husband has taken to warning me from three rooms away that he is getting closer so that I don’t scream. It’s ridiculous because obviously I do know that I live with my husband, but that’s how jumpy I am. He’s gotten used to the fact that I’m a long way away in my head and that I get disconcerted when someone sneaks up on me.

But that tendency does have its advantages because I’m able to concentrate to a degree where I can totally shut everyone out, write it down or really commit it to memory, and then, you know, I’ve got it in the bank. I do think my apprenticeship writing the first three Harry Potters when I was a single mother and didn’t have a lot of support meant that I learned to be very efficient at using the time that I have.

You also announced that you’re going to collaborate on a theatre production.

Yes that was a really interesting idea that Sonia Friedman came up with. I’ve been so resistant for a long time about theatre productions. Quite a few people wanted to do a Harry Potter musical. I didn’t really see Harry as a musical so we said no to all of that, but Sonia came along with a very thoughtful, very interesting idea. I’m quite excited about that.

Will Hermione be in it?!

Well Emma if you are offering to play Hermione… [both laugh] I tell you what I really want. I want you and Dan and Rupert in really heavy make-up in the background of a scene in Fantastic Beasts, and I’ll join you and we’ll sit in a bar room having a laugh for an afternoon. Do you not think that would be fantastic?

That sounds like the most fun I can imagine having!

And we can mess around as extras in the background.

And then we can see if anyone can spot us. I personally would like to be in drag, just to make sure no one can spot me at all.

GENIUS!

There are so many things that you could say you have achieved, what is the most meaningful to you? What is your greatest triumph?

Of what I’ve written, Deathly Hallows was a phenomenally emotional experience and my favourite of the Potter series by a mile. It wasn’t just about the writing, it was wrapping up a story that had taken me through seventeen years of my life and had meant as much as any literary creation can mean to any writer. I mean, not just because it transformed my life materially, which of course it did, but that comes a poor fourth or fifth compared to the other things that Harry Potter did for me.

But, I hope that the best is still to come. Nothing will ever top Potter in terms of popularity, I’ve accepted that, but on my death bed I may look back on one of my least popular books and it may well turn out to be the one I was proudest of, because different things matter to the writer.

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