Earlier this month writer and comic Adeel Amini had a chance to sit down with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling in a Starbucks in Edinburgh. The interview, now online, includes Ms. Rowling's thoughts on her favorite book in the series, fame and complements, Dumbledore, lack of anonymity and many more interesting tidbits.
Rowling on anonymity:
Truthfully, it's gone up and down. There are definitely moments in the ten years that I was being published that I would have given almost anything to have the anonymity back, but those were the bad times and they never actually had anything to do with people coming up to me in Starbucks. Because people coming up to me in Starbucks are always charming. Always.
You know, as far back as I can remember... I wouldn't need all the fingers of one hand to think of anyone who's ever approached me who has been in any way rude - I'm setting aside the eBayers, what I call the eBayers, they're very aggressive, but that's not about being a fan, that's about making as much money as possible so they can be quite scary - but there were times when I would have given anything to have the anonymity. I felt under siege at certain times. I never expected journalists to come and bang on my front door. There was a period in the middle where it was very stressful.
Rowling on which of the books she would go back and change:
There are two books I would go back and do a good Director's Cut on: Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix. Order of the Phoenix is definitely overlong but, like Chamber of Secrets, they're both transitional chapters in the overall story, so information has to be given in both of them, and Harry has to visit places in both of them. Now that seven's out you can see that he had to have gone to the Ministry of Magic, he had to know that there was a Basilisk under the school, there were certain things he had to know and information he had to get and so in a series like that you do end up with transitional chapters. Phoenix should have been tightened up. I was in a state of advanced exhaustion when I was writing that, I was very heavily pregnant as I came to the end of it and I just ran out of energy. It definitely needs a clean-up job.
Thanks to Harry Latino for the tip.