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Ahead of tonight’s Culture Show special on BBC2, the BBC have released another interview with Jo, some of which has been shown on BBC Breakfast this morning. There is a full transcript of the interview here, with two further articles; one a summary of the interview and one featuring thoughts from interviewer Will Gompertz (video of the interview is available in the two articles).
In one article, Gompertz describes Jo’s ‘bawdy and infectious’ laugh (which is often commented on in interviews!) and her ‘electric blue’ eyes. In the other there are several interesting new bits of information about Harry Potter (as well, of course, discussion of The Casual Vacancy)!
Firstly Jo talks about feeling rushed when writing a couple of the books:
“There were a couple of the Potters and I definitely knew that they needed another year. I had to write on the run and there were times when it was really tough. And I read them, and I think ‘Oh God, maybe I’ll go back and do a director’s cut’, I don’t know.”
And when asked if she really could leave the Potter universe alone?
I have always left the door ajar because I’m not that cruel. If I had a fabulous idea that came out of that world, because I loved writing it, I would do it. But I’ve got to have a great idea, I don’t want to go mechanically into that world and pick up odds and ends and glue them together and say “here we go, we can sell this”. It would make a mockery of what those books were to me. They really kept me going through some very rough times… So I just don’t want to betray them in that sense.
But you’re right, you know what, if I did have a great idea for something else, I probably would do it. I’m very averse to the prequel / sequel idea. I’ve never seen it work well in either literature or film. That’s a personal preference
In case your thirst for J.K. Rowling-related social media has not yet been quenched, you can now Like both J.K. Rowling and “The Casual Vacancy” on Facebook, hurrah! No word yet on whether Jo will be using her Page herself but we’re pretty sure we know the answer
Also we would greatly appreciate your likes for our new & improved Facebook page Thanks!
Today the third of (we think) four print interviews with Jo has been published in USA Today. The interview is similar to the two we’ve already read, with a brief summary (with minor spoilers) of the plot, talk of Jo’s nerves/excitement, what she’s writing now, her appearance at the Olympics and more.
For the first time we see Jo’s thoughts about whether The Casual Vacancy should be made into a film:
“Personally, I don’t think this is a very filmable book. That is one of the things I like about it. I think it’s a very novelly novel in that a lot of what goes on happens internally. You need to understand what’s going on inside people’s heads. So even though a lot happens in the novel, part of the appeal of it for me is that so much of it happens in people’s interior life, and film isn’t necessarily the best medium to portray that.”
Reminder: tomorrow there will be TV interviews with Jo in the UK and the US. Check out our media round-up for more details! TWO MORE DAYS!
After yesterday’s first interview about The Casual Vacancy with The Guardian, we now have a very long and not entirely complimentary article in The New Yorker. As with yesterday’s article there are minor spoilers such as characters’ names and quotations from the book so if you’re trying to avoid those, please don’t click the link!
In the article as well as discussing the themes of The Casual Vacancy, Jo talks about how she felt at the Olympics Opening Ceremony and the author of the article reflects on Jo, the Harry Potter series and the new novel.
Please note- as TCV is a novel for adults, there are some adult themes in the article!
JK Rowling’s first “The Casual Vacancy” interview was printed in The Guardian this morning, and it comes with a companion video featuring Jo and her personal life. In the lengthy print interview, Jo talks about the conception of “The Casual Vacancy” and some of the messages inlaid in the book, as well as the highs and lows of her life as a renowned author.
An extremely detailed book summary is included, as The Guardian was given the exclusive chance to read “The Casual Vacancy” before its publication – they loved it – and while the summary does not ruin the book plot, it is nevertheless lengthy, so proceed with care when viewing the full interview available on The Guardian website.
Also of note, in the video-interview, Jo does confirm the existence of a political fairytale novel stored up on her laptop, and reveals that her next published novel might be another children’s book that is “quite near completion”. Here is the full video:
The interview gave us a deep insight into Jo’s expectations of the new book:
“I just needed to write this book. I like it a lot, I’m proud of it, and that counts for me.” She did consider publishing under a pseudonym. “But in some ways I think it’s braver to do it like this. And, to an extent, you know what? The worst that can happen is that everyone says, ‘Well, that was dreadful, she should have stuck to writing for kids’ and I can take that. So, yeah, I’ll put it out there, and if everyone says, ‘Well, that’s shockingly bad – back to wizards with you’, then obviously I won’t be throwing a party. But I will live. I will live.”
Jo also mentions the beginnings of“The Casual Vacancy”:
“This time I was on a plane. And I thought: local election! And I just knew. I had that totally physical response you get to an idea that you know will work. It’s a rush of adrenaline, it’s chemical. I had it with Harry Potter and I had it with this. So that’s how I know.”
The whole transcript can be read here. In the meantime, look forward to the next JK Rowling interview, which will be released in three days from now in USA Today!
Okay, it’s SIX DAYS TO GO until publication and things are about to get heavy on the interview front! So here’s a list of all events, what publications/programmes Jo will be in/on and when!
22nd September: Print interview with The Guardian (UK)
23rd September: Print interview with The New Yorker (USA)
25th September: Print interview with USA Today
26th September: ‘JK Rowling: Writing for Grown-Ups’ with James Runcie on BBC2, 10pm (UK)
First segments of US TV interview with Cynthia McFadden on Good Morning America, ABC World News & Dateline
Print interview with the BBC
27th September: INTERNATIONAL PUBLICATION DAY!
Radio interview with Mark Lawson, BBC Radio 4, 7:15-7:45pm (UK)
Final segment of US TV interview on Good Morning America
‘JK Rowling: Life After Harry Potter’ with Jennifer Byrne on ABC1, 8pm (Australia)
Event with Mark Lawson at the Southbank Centre, London, 7:30pm (streaming online here)
6th October: Event with James Runcie at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, 6:30pm
16thOctober: Event with Anne Patchett at the Lincoln Center, New York, 8:00pm (will be streamed online)
2nd November: Event at the Lennoxlove Book Festival (Scotland)
There are other interviews that have yet to have a date confirmed, including The Times, BBC online and The Daily Show- we’ll update this list as soon as we find out!
The Telegraph reports that Jo’s former house in Edinburgh has gone on the market, three years after she moved to a different property in the city. The house, in the Morningside area of the city, was bought in 1999 and is also the location of the office she & her assistants worked in. It’s up for sale at £2.25 million so what are you waiting for?!
You can see Jo outside the house in our galleries here and in the office with assistant Fiddy here!
Australian TV channel ABC have released a preview of their upcoming programme about Jo entitled Life After Harry Potter, which will air on the 27th September. It’s only a short clip but you can see Jo talk about her nerves about The Casual Vacancy and others’ perceptions of her.
And bonus, American network ABC have also released a preview picture from their interview with Jo, set to air over the 26th & 27th!
The BBC have released synopses of Jo’s upcoming interviews on BBC2 (10pm-10:30pm September 26th) and Radio 4 (7:15-7:45am 27th September).
The BBC2 interview will be conducted by James Runcie, who you may be familiar with as the producer of J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life- he will also be hosting Jo at the Cheltenham Literary Festival on October 6th. The synopsis:
In this Culture Show Special, broadcast the night before the novel is published, J.K. Rowling will finally reveal the exact nature of the novel, with exclusive readings and in-depth discussion about its ideas, characters and inspiration.
Interviewer James Runcie will meet the notoriously private writer in her hometown of Edinburgh to find out about the pressure and pitfalls of following up the 20th Century’s biggest literary phenomenon. Rowling will reveal how she finally moved on from Potter and the challenges of making the leap writing fiction for adults.
Runcie believes “The Casual Vacancy” is an intensely personal and passionate work, reveals unseen facets of the writer and will shock many of her fans. The world has changed since 2007, and Rowling has taken on some huge themes.
The Radio 4 interview will be conducted by Mark Lawson, who will later be hosting Jo’s event at the Southbank Centre. The synopsis reads:
In a wide-ranging conversation with Mark Lawson, J.K. Rowling discusses the inspiration for her new novel “The Casual Vacancy”, and also reflects on the Olympic opening ceremony, the effects of her success with Harry Potter – and whether she will return to her most famous character.
(We’re going to assume the answer to that last question is the same as it always has been- never say never but no plans.)