Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Report from JKR’s Reading in New York City on August 1
--This report from our top reporter M--
I consider myself very lucky to have been able to attend the “Harry, Carrie, and Garp” author reading in New York City this evening. It was a wonderful evening and I enjoyed the entire event.

Whoopi Goldberg introduced the evening and there were other hosts and hostesses who introduced each author: Kathy Bates (“Misery”) for Stephen King, Andre Braugher (“Homicide”) for John Irving, and Jon Stewart (“The Daily Show”) for JK Rowling. Whoopi Goldberg and Jon Stewart were especially funny.

Each author read bits from their stories. Misters King and Irving read what amounted to complete short stories, while Ms. Rowling read a chapter from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. They all did a great job and also used voices as they read. It was easy for me to pretend that JK Rowling was reading directly to me and it was an experience I will never forget.

At the conclusion of the readings, the authors answered a total of 12 questions from audience members. Seven of these were addressed to JK Rowling. In summary, they covered the following points:

If Hermione looked into the Mirror of Erised, she would see herself, Ron, and Harry all safe at the conclusion of the war. She might also see herself “intertwined” with a certain someone. The “someone” went unnamed, but JKR said that his identity should be obvious by now and she nixed the idea that the “someone” would be Harry.
A Muggle could not make a potion properly. They would not have the magic needed, and potion making is “more than stirring” ingredients together.
All of her basic characters can be redeemed in some way. The only exception is Voldemort. Harry does not believe that Draco Malfoy would have killed Dumbledore, if it had been left to him.
Unicorn Hair, Dragon Heartstring, and Phoenix feather were chosen as Ollivander’s wand cores because they were JKR’s favorites from the list she made of possible wand cores.
When asked how she knows when to stop writing, JKR replied that since she knows where she needs to go, it makes it easier to know when she is there. She also mentioned that she will be tying up a LOT of loose ends in book 7, including a bit more about wand cores.
JKR finds the online Harry Potter sites very interesting, but she generally avoids them because they are a bit overwhelming. When she first checked out sites which relate to Harry Potter, she was surprised to find so many.
If she had not been able to get Harry Potter published when she did, she would have pursued it for a very long time before giving up because she “believed in the story and loved the story”. If it had never sold, she would most likely still be writing for her own enjoyment and be teaching school.

There were several standing ovations as each author was warmly thanked for coming to New York and the evening ended in a final, emotional, standing ovation.

One last important point is that as of tonight, JK Rowling has not signed ANY books. If someone tried to sell you a book signed in New York City, be VERY CAUTIOUS and make certain that excellent provenance accompanies it. Watch for a report from the second performance her in New York City tomorrow night.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Thanks M,
This is a great report and you can only make people like us in Great Britain jelous for being there in person.
Take care
Tim