Author & title unknown. Interview of J.K. Rowling, Detroit News, March 19, 2001

We spoke via conference call to J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter book series. She does not believe in magic, but she sees it "as a beautiful metaphor for other things in life." She told us that writing the book series did not come easy; she had to rewrite the first Harry Potter book 13 times. We asked her what we had to look forward to in the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. She wouldn't be specific, but she said it would be the "end of an era."

Q. What is the meaning behind Harry's lightning bolt scar?

A. There are some things I can tell you about it, and some things I can't. I wanted him to be physically marked by what he has been through. It was an outward expression of what he has been through inside. I gave him a scar in a prominent place so other people would recognize him. It is almost like being the chosen one or the cursed one, in a sense. Someone tried to kill him; that's how he got it. I chose the lightning bolt because it was the most plausible shape for a distinctive scar. As you know, the scar has certain powers, and it gives Harry warnings. I can't say more than that, but there is more to say.

Q. From what we've read in interviews, you thought of Harry Potter while riding on the train. Did something happen that made you think of the story?

A. It was the weirdest feeling. I was on the train, and it seemed liked the idea was just floating in my head. It was like the idea had been floating around waiting for someone to write it, and it chose me. It was like an explosion in my head. It was like magic. I know that sounds corny, but it was like pure inspiration. You can always tell when you have had a good idea when you are writing because you get this physical response to it, a surge of excitement. You can normally tell the good ideas from the bad because of that gut feeling and you get physically excited. I never felt such excitement. I've been writing for years, and I just felt that this one would be so much fun to write.

Q. Will the fifth book be based on a major event or will it get back to Quidditch games and magic lessons?

A. Normal life is kind of reviewed. Magic lessons will be back, but as usual, there is a lot more going on than that.

Author J. K. Rowling likes the mystery behind her Harry Potter books -- so she won't tell us much about the next one.

Source: The Leaky Cauldron archives: