Moore, Dene. "Harry Potter author fields questions from junior journalists in Vancouver," Canadian Press, October 25, 2000

VANCOUVER -- Never tickle a sleeping dragon.

Oh yeah, and read lots and do your homework.

That was some of the advice superstar author J.K. Rowling had for a small group of very excited Harry Potter fans who had a chance to interview her Tuesday.

About a dozen junior journalists showed up their muggle counterparts at a news conference prior to Rowling's appearance at the Vancouver International Writers and Readers Festival.

What they really, really wanted to know, and tried very, very hard to wiggle out of the British author, is what will happen to Harry.

From the future titles to war amongst the wizards, the teens and pre-teens asked again and again.

And the superstar writer deflected them again and again.

"I'm not going to tell you," she answered with a smile.

These fans knew their muggles (non-magical people) from their mudbloods (children of one muggle and one magical person) , their polyjuice potions (which transforms users into someone else for an hour) and probably celebrate Harry's July birthday.

And they wanted to know more.

"I love it, I really love it," Rowling said.

"I really love the fact that they really want to know."

One young Canadian boy earlier asked her how Dementers breed.

"I was just so pleased that he thought about it and pleased that I had the answer," Rowling told The Canadian Press.

These evil creatures don't, by the way, breed but grow like a fungus where there is decay.

Rowling was once even asked how the wizard economy works. Fortunately, she knew the answer.

"No one's every really tripped me up. I've occasionally been surprised," said Rowling, who has "reams of background" about Harry and his home world.

For instance, readers may not know it (yet?) but Canadians are quite good at Quidditch, the most popular sport at Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

"You're a better Quidditch nation than America, which I think you should be pleased about," Rowling said in an interview.

Aynsley King, 13, was thrilled to get advice from her favourite writer.

The Grade 8 student, as-yet-unpublished author of Xaixper and the Hidden Cove, sought some advice from the millionaire writer.

Rowling told King to find the time to write and to believe in herself -- advice the aspiring author took to heart.

"I don't want to, like, knock her out," King said, but she does plan to write more in the Xaixper series and have it published.

Rowling, who signed King's book, could relate. She wrote her first book as a child.

"I really expected my parents to go out and get it published," she said.

The British author wrote short stories as a teen and began and abandoned two adult novels before writing the first Harry book at 25.

Diana Sun, 10, asked some tough questions and was impressed with Rowling's answers.

"I found out a lot about her and Harry Potter and everything, and she seemed like a pretty nice person," said the Grade 5 student.