Questions and Answers with J.K. Rowling

A question and answer session with J.K. Rowling.
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J.K. Rowling, the author the Harry Potter book series, conducted a live question and answer session with a group of children at a Boston bookstore. She chewed gum and was fashionably dressed in a long charcoal gray blazer and knee-high black boots with stacked heels. She began the talk by saying, “I’m afraid we haven’t got a lot of time today. So what if you ask me questions, and I answer them? All right, then?” Rowling then fielded the following questions:

Q: How many words in the first Harry Potter book?
A: Eighty-six thousand, nine hundred and something. See, I DO know! It wasn’t a bad question; it was a perfectly good one!

Q: How many Harry Potter books will there be?
A: There will be seven in total. Oh, you look happy to hear that. I’m so glad! Harry will come of age at 17 in the final book.

Q: Why did you sell the movie rights?
A: The reason I sold it to Warner is that they’ve given me quite a lot of input, and the way they’re talking about doing it now, it’ll be a really good film. I am, of course, still nervous they’re going to make my characters do things I don’t want them to do.

Q: Who’s your favorite character besides Harry Potter?
A: It’s very hard to choose. It’s fun to write about Snape because he’s a deeply horrible person. Hagrid is someone I’d love to meet.

Q: How do you come up with names?
A: Some I make up. Some mean something. Dumbledore is olde English for bumblebee. I thought I made up Hogwarts, but recently a friend said, ‘Remember we saw lilies in Kew gardens (a garden in London.)’ Apparently, there are lilies there called Hogwarts. I’d forgotten!

Q: Will there be a Harry Potter TV show?
A: No, that’s just a rumor. At the moment there’s only going to be a film. I’ve had some very weird offers. A margarine company wanted to put Harry on its margarine if you can believe it.

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