Bolger, Kaitlin and J.T. Sprague. "J.K. Rowling answers a few kid questions," Houston Chronicle (conference call), March 20, 2001.

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 and 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: What is your favorite part of the (Harry Potter) story?

A: I was really proud of the ending in the Goblet of Fire, because that was the culmination of 10 years' work, and that was very important to the overall story. I spent a lot of time getting that right, and I was pleased with that.

I am fond of Chapter 12 in the first book. I would also say that books two and four are my favorites, and the weird thing is they were the most difficult to write.

In Chamber of Secrets, I liked that final scene where there is that rescue. In Azkaban, Professor Remus Lupin was one of my favorite characters. There are bits in all of them that I am fond of.

Q: Do you ever worry you will run out of ideas?

A: No. I know that sounds very arrogant, but I never worry I will run out of ideas. Having said that, after Harry, who knows?

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.