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Leaky Live Coverage: J. K. Rowling Interview on Oprah Winfrey Show

J.K. Rowling
Posted by: Edward
October 01, 2010, 10:00 AM

++++Today, the nationally syndicated Oprah Winfrey Show is set to broadcast an interview with Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling.  This interview is being broadcast now in Chicago, and Leaky will live updates, quotes, and information from the interview as it airs.  Leaky's Twitter will also be live tweeting throughout the broadcast!  Stay close to Leaky for the very latest info, full transcripts, and video throughout the day!

Full transcript and video will be available shortly!  Stay close!
  • Interview taking place at the Balmoral Hotel in Scotland, the place where the final Harry Potter book was finished.  "Stunning," says Jo.About hotel: "Well, it turned out to be simulating, as I was finishing Deathly Hallows, the window cleaner came, the kids were at home, the dogs were barking, and I could not work.  And this light bulb came on above my head I thought 'I can throw money at this problem.  I can now solve this problem."
  • Final words of the book: "It was a bereavement.  It was huge.  I think one way, although I knew it was coming... we all know the people we love were mortal, we all know we're mortal. You know it's going to end."
  • Initially I was elated, then I cried... like I had never cried before.  And only twice in my life have I cried like that... when my mother died."
  • "I had to mourn Harry." 
  • "They're all in my head still.  I could definitely write an eighth, a ninth book." Will you write another book? "I'm not going to say I won't."
  • "I feel I am done, but you never know." 
  • The press pressures: "It was, I can say that now, because I'm free of it.   At the time I felt a need to deny how great the pressure was becaue that was my way of coping.  It happended so fast for me, and it shouldn't have happened.  It was a childrens book, a childrens book which I was repeatedly told wasn't very commercial.  Because I had been turned down a lot.  It was like being a Beatle.  But there were four Beatles, so they could turn to each other and say "My god, This is crazy!" I couldn't turn to anyone."
  •   The pressures, "At that point I kept saying to people 'I'm coping, I'm coping.'  
  • One day every child in the world will know is name, did you know it would be true in the real world?  "I remember once, a flash of clairvoyance. I was writing Philosopher's Stone and I had this moment where is suddenly thought, 'The difficult thing will be getting published. If it gets published it will be huge." 
  • "I was something without self-belief in myself, but there was this one thing that I could do." 
  • "I never really found the right thing [to write] before Harry Potter." 
  • "I love a kooky word." 
  • "I am very frustrated by fear of imagination, I don't think that's healthy." 
  • "I'm not pushing any belief system here, although there is a lot of Christian imagery in the books, that's undeniable. And certanily in Hallows...that's an illusion to a belief system in which I was raised.  But to answer the question about being critized in that way [by religious groups]... If they're talking about the dark and scary stuff, I think it is perfectly legitiment for a parent to say that's a little old for my child, or we're going to discuss that together, read that together... that's great.  In fact, that's perfect!  On the 'You must not discuss witchcraft, you must not have witches or magic in the book,' I find that nonsensical."
  • What having money can do: "It's having that moment where you are looking at two things and you think 'I can, actually, have both." 
  • "I dress better. But, that's not just about having money because you meet dress atrociously!" 
  • "I can't accept that I will ever know that I'll always be rich... I dont want to get complacient, I don't want to take things for granted... Well, you know, I am talking absolute rubbish... I would really have to be very stupid [to not be wealthy forever], but, yeah, I do still worry. Not all the time, most of the time I think things are great." 
  • About what money has done for her : "It frees you... that's why it's like a superpower.  The luxury of being able to sit down and say 'Where shall we go for our holiday?'  and not be in any way limited..." 
  • "No, I don't drive.  Cars terrify me... Lately, I have had a driver." 
  • Do you take the bus: "Occasionally. Within the past year I've taken the bus." 
  • Did you ever picture your life the way it is now? "No. Never.  And I really, really never. It overshot the mark so ridiculously. I was so unprepared for it, and this was the thing that I think I really never spoken about: I was a writer.  I had no one near me, either professionally or personally, who could in any way help me when I had questions, like, 'What do you do when the press is searching through our trash?'  The really crazy stuff that happens...
  •  If you're an actress you expect that, "Of course," says Jo. "You know if I'm wildly successful that stuff will happen... But if I'm a writer, you never think of that."
  •  Have you made peace with your relationship with God, and do you call it 'God? "Yes, I do."  "[Love] is a concept that runs through all the major religions, without execption.  This is probably true of all writers, but I believe what I belive because of what I have written.  Ultimately, before I wrote it, what did I believe? I probably couldn't have told you."
  • "Love wins.  When someone dies, love doesn't get turned off like a tap."
  •  What did your first marriage tell you about yourself? "Well, I think that first and most important thing to say would be that I would do it again, step for step to have Jessica, who is incredibale.  Don't regret a thing.  I think I repeated pattens from my family, as we often do, in my selection of my first husband.  I think that it taught me I'm proud that it taught me how... that I had a strong survival instinct.  Beacsue when I knew it was time to go I left."
  • I can't pretned that I walked straight out of that marrigae feeling enlightend in any way, I felt shell shocked.  I had a very tiny baby and I walked straight into povery and depression.  In a strange way, yes, that was enormously illuminating.  But I did a lof of thinking after that marriage ended, primiarly about me."
  • And it was seven years before I met the right man, and it needed to be seven years.  But, I was really ready." 
  • The strange thing is, a week before I met Neil-- and I hope this gives hope to all single women out there-- I remember speaking to a very good friend and she said what would you like in a man?  And I said I would need to be with someone intelligent, because I just value it.  I would really like for him to have his own carrer... I really thought these were basic things.  Integrity as very important and kindness, and a strong sense of who he was... These were things that were all very important.  And she looked at me and was like 'That's not going to happen!" 
  • Her father, "[Being estranged from him] is never a thing to do in the public eye."
  • Do you think you'll ever make peace? "No, I dont.  I think that it's such a huge thing to be estranged form a parent that you'd have to have very big reasons to do that." 
  • Do you have your reasons? "I have my reasons.  It wasn't a good relationship, from my point of view, for a very long time. But, I had a need to please and I kept that going for a long time.  But then there came a point at which I pulled up and said 'I can't do this anymore."
  • Do you regret that he can't be part of this success? "Well, the estrangement happended post-success, so I felt he was there for a while.  If I am totally honest with you, I regret much more that my mother never saw any of it.  That's a bit of a killer.  She would have adored it." 
  • Her mother and the books.  "I would have told her about it, I would have done.  And I know she would have really like it it.  I think it was six months before she died I started writing and I never shared it with her." 
  • Do you regret that? "Yeah, The odd thing is-- this is life isn't it-- the books wouldn't be what they are if she hadn't died.  I mean, her death is literally on every other page in the Harry Potter books.  At least half of Harry's journey is to deal with death, what it does to the lving, what it means to die, what survives death." 
  • "If she hadan't died, I don't think it is too strong to say there wouldn't be Harry Potter.  The books are what they are because she died." 
  • Dementors came from her depression. "Clinical depression is a terrible place to be. I think I had tendencies to depression quite young.  It became really acute when I was 25-28; it was a dark time.  It is that absence of feeling, that absence of hope.  You don't know you can feel better.  It is so difficult to describe to someone who hasn't been there, because it isn't sadness.  Sadness is not a bad thing, to cry to feel.  And it was because of my daughter that I went and got help."
  • Harvard speech: "That was easilsy the most frigetening thing I've ever done in my life.  It felt very exposing because this wans't me reading out words that had already been approved.  I used to be borderline phobic about public speaking. So I've come a long way... there are things like giving a speech on TV that still can't do that very easily." 
  • Rock bottom became her foundation, how to use failure. "It doesn't get spoken about enough.  I do not know anyone... who are terrified, who are in a straight jacked of their own making, because tehy are terrified of failing, and they won't try for fear of failing. 
  • "[Rock bottom] was liberating.  What did I have to lose?" 
  • The Harry Potter universe. "I could be so much worse.  Michael Jackson wanted to do the muscial and I said no." 
  • Do you control all of it? "No, I have a say.  For me, I love the films, I love the books, and there are elements that are really fun around it.  Now, the theme park, when they came to us, they came to us with a really extraordinary proposal: which was state of the art and they could back it up.  And I thought 'Yeah, this could be amazing.'  But I only wanted to do it if it was going to be incredible. And it truly is.  If I had been a reader, I would have love to go to the parks." 
  • What do you know for sure?  "This is going to be tricky.  I know that love is the most powerful thing of all.  And I remember thinking that, God, I'm about to make myself cry, but I remember thinking that when 9/11 happened, because those last phone calls were all about, the last thing that I'm going to say on this earth is that 'I love you.'  What's more powerful than that? What's better proof than that?  It's not fear, beyond death. Complete quote:
Oprah: In my magazine I do a column called What Do You Know for Sure?  And every month when I write it, I'm like "I don't know a thing!  I don't know a thing!"
Jo: (laughs) I'm really glad you said that because if I thought you were going to ask me what I know for sure, this is going to be tricky.  Okay.  Okay.
Oprah: I'm prefacing it by saying, it is difficult to know what's for sure.
Jo: Yeah, it is.
Oprah: But, what do you know for sure?
Jo:  Um, well I definitely know that love is the most powerful thing of all.  And I remember thinking that... God, I'm about to make myself cry, but... I remember thinking that when 9/11 happened, because those last phone calls were all about-- the last thing that I knowingly am going to say on this earth is "I love you."  What's more powerful than that?  What's more proof than that?  Beyond fear, beyond death.  
Oprah: It's so interesting you mention 9/11 because I think about them all the time.
Jo:  It is such a huge... it is a defining moment in our lives.
  • "It's a defining moment in our lives.  I remember thinking "They've come down?" and turning on the TV and saw it.  And I paniced, because I have friends in New York, and I emailed two of my best friends in New York, one of whom is my editor Arthur Levine, and bizarrely he was able to virtually immediately email me back, and the last line of his email was 'And they say that we shouldn't teach children about evil.'"
  • What is your dream of happiness?  "Well in the first Harry Potter book Dumbledore says to Harry 'The happiest man alive would be able to look into the mirror and see himself exactly as he is.'  So I'd have to say I'm pretty close."
  •   Will you be writing more? "Oh definitely, I literally can't stop.  Well, you could tie my hands to my sides, I suppose, but I have to write for my own mental health.  I need to write.  I love it."
  •  Chasing the phenomenon: "I'm proud that I did it, but this is a new phase." 
  • Final question: Is there a part of you that feels I have got to top Harry "No, and I get asked that... interestingly, people tell me that.  They say 'Well, you know, you must just think how are you going to top that?'  And I really truly don't think that.  It was amazing,a nd it was insane at times.  It was fun at time, I am so greatful that it happened.  I love the people that read the books, I dedicated the last book to the people who ware dearest to my heart, and the seventh part of that is the reader." 
  • "There was a girl who came up to me on the street the other day, she bloomed out of the pavement... and she must have been in her early twenties, and she said to me 'You are my childhood.'  About the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me." 

Stay close for up to the minute updates!

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733 Points

Woo! Leaky’s on it!

Posted by Melissa Anelli on October 01, 2010, 10:28 AM report to moderator
667 Points

looking forward to this! hey, melissa. i finally get to read Harry, a history!

Posted by chikitcorpuzvesterbaek on October 01, 2010, 10:41 AM report to moderator
680 Points

Great job guys!!!! I’m glad I don’t have to wait until I get home to hear what happened in the interview!

Posted by KimmyBlair on October 01, 2010, 10:46 AM report to moderator
39234 Points

sounds great, but we dont get to watch it in australia because the commonwealth games coverage :( hopefully there will be a video somewhere to watch… perhaps in the leaky video galleries? :)

Posted by iLoveDolores [FTC!] on October 01, 2010, 11:02 AM report to moderator
1623 Points

I’m really tempted to read this, but I think I’ll make myself wait and watch it when I get home. :)

But LOL – when I saw Melissa’s comment pop up on my wireless on the home page, I thought she was revealing that Leaky was being also being featured on the show! ;)

Posted by Bookworm Jen on October 01, 2010, 11:02 AM report to moderator
229 Points

“They’re all in my head still. I could definitely write and eight, ninth book.
“I think I am done, but you never know.”

WOW did she open up a can of worms with those two statements!

Posted by akcorr on October 01, 2010, 11:20 AM report to moderator
680 Points

Don’t worry iLoveDolores. The Leaky Video Gallery staff will be working to get this interview in the galleries for all to see! Check back later in the day for updates!

Posted by KimmyBlair on October 01, 2010, 11:20 AM report to moderator
4967 Points

Wow! I’m glad she was able to bare through the pressure and the craziness and bring us Harry Potter. That’s why I would never want to be famous.

Posted by Ratorr on October 01, 2010, 11:21 AM report to moderator
4967 Points

But everyone out here wants an eighth and ninth book Jo!!!

Posted by Ratorr on October 01, 2010, 11:23 AM report to moderator
803 Points

8th and 9th book? why doesn’t she write a book of HP short stories? I’m seriously thinking of starting a campaign here. I think the major storyline is over and you can’t touch it now because its too perfect, but most of her chapters are little stories of their own, I just think she’d write a very wonderful [800 page] book about the mini after-adventures of a group of people who came of age during and at the epicenter of war. it would be cool!

Posted by abandonedboyjon on October 01, 2010, 12:25 PM report to moderator
2043 Points

OMG i so need to see this hoping it be on youtube or something SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Posted by GinnyRose2004 on October 01, 2010, 12:31 PM report to moderator
10268 Points

’They’re all in my head still’ got me teary – not because of the teeny dangled hope of a future HP volume, but because it brings home how real these characters are to her – probably even more so than they are to her readers, difficult as that may be to imagine. When someone dear to you dies you mourn, you go on with life, but you still carry them with you wherever you go – even if they’re fictional!

I liked the part about the dementors. When I read her descriptions of their effects in the books – ‘like you’ll never be cheerful again’ etc. – I thought, ‘This is a woman who has personally experienced depression.’ You can’t fake that. She’s right that you can never really explain it to someone who hasn’t been there, and that it isn’t the same animal as being ‘sad.’ Sadness almost seems romantic by comparison.

Posted by WeenyOwl {The Human Deluminator} on October 01, 2010, 12:43 PM report to moderator
765 Points

“They’re all in my head still.”

Of course they are, she have been with them for, what is it, about 20 years now?:)

Posted by Lonewolf_ ^HISS^ on October 01, 2010, 12:53 PM report to moderator
35 Points

Must…not…read. Must not read. Oh whatever, I’ll read a little bit of it.
Can’t wait to watch the show today. :)

Posted by Shawna Potter on October 01, 2010, 01:06 PM report to moderator
110 Points

Ahh, so excited to watch this. Jo is awesome!

Posted by CharmslovesSirius on October 01, 2010, 01:06 PM report to moderator
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