Entertainment

JK Rowling discusses possible Potter prequel at festival

JK Rowling
JK Rowling Bang ShowBiz

HARRY Potter fans still clinging to the hope that JK Rowling may return to Hogwarts to write a prequel should take heed: it's not likely to happen.

Rowling, speaking at the Independent Bath Literature Festival on Sunday night, said she was not planning to return to the story of the "Marauders" - who attended her fictional Hogwarts School of Witchcraft before Harry Potter - because she didn't think much of prequels.

"I'm never going to say never but I have no current plans. I think prequels are not generally very successful," she said.

For a bestselling novelist who is famous for guarding her privacy, Rowling was in remarkably open mood as she faced her ebullient audience of 1,600 fans.

Walking out to the stage in beige trousers and a stripy top, she was greeted by uproarious cheering for the first few minutes of her appearance.

She talked about her first sexual experience (a "French kiss at a youth club disco" with a boy much older than her 12-year-old self), her writing habits ("I'm really good at writing in the front passenger seat with the three children and the dog in the back"), and the phenomenal reception of the Harry Potter series which she likened to "Beatlemania".

Her own adolescence partly inspired the teenage characters in her first adult novel, The Casual Vacancy, she added, as well as her former job as a teacher.

James Runcie, the artistic director of the festival, asked her about the adult content of her latest book which encompasses gritty themes of heroin addiction, prostitution, drug dealing, online porn, self-harm and the rape of a teenage girl.

"I have never ever sat down and thought... 'now is the moment to write a book with a penis or with swearing in it'. This was a book I was burning to write… I draw on my own adolescence... and on my experience of adolescents as a teacher... I see adolescence as very fragile. When I watch my two young children, who are eight and 10, they will watch shows on Nickelodeon where teenagers are wholly false."

The Casual Vacancy is being adapted by the BBC for television.

Rowling referred to the children's book she was writing but refused to reveal much more other than that it might be for a younger age group than the Potter series: "It will be shorter. I'm very bad at estimating what sort of age group will like this... I think it might be for slightly younger children."

Rowling said she felt "utterly liberated" when she finished writing the last in the Potter series, although there was a sense of bereavement too.

"From about 2000, I knew there would never be any topping Harry Potter. My publishers had got this train for the book launch which consisted of me leaving Kings Cross. I looked out at all the people screaming. It was like Beatlemania. I remember thinking 'you will never top this'. [Now], I can say 'oh, I will never top it' or I can see how lucky I am… I truly feel completely free."

Speaking of her life as a writer, she admitted to moments of self-loathing at the beginning of her career, when she would put away the Harry Potter stories for two months at a time.

Now, juggling novel writing with three children and a husband, she said she craved the enforced solitude that the job requires. "One of my children said 'if it was us or the books?'. I said 'you, but I would be really grumpy'."

Topics:  editors picks festival harry potter jk rowling literature


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Ballina koalas faced with extinction

Ballina's koalas are under threat.

About 36,000 koalas left in NSW face an uncertain future

An emotional Mike Baird: 'There was great personal cost'

"After 10 years in public life, this moment for me has arrived."

Surfer calls for second shark net off one coastal town

SIGNS OF SUPPORT: Young protesters make their opinions clear at a rally in support of shark nets at Ballina last November. More than 500 people attended the event calling for the immediate installation of the nets. PHOTO: ALINA RYLKO/ THE NORTHERN STAR

Kids surfing near the Lennox Hotel are at risk of shark encounters

Local Partners

41-year-old playgroup under threat of closing down

IT'S been an important part of the Ballina community for decades, but this playgroup could be forced to shut its doors.

See turtles up close on rescue centre tour

SPLASH: This green sea turtle, held by Australian Seabird Rescue general manager Kath Southwell, splashed some of the children on a tour of seabird rescue's headquarters.

The turtles don't mind giving the tour groups a splash, too

Shrek on stage

POPULAR MUSICAL: Shrek (River Fullagar) interrupts the wedding, shocking Fiona (Hillary Goodsell), the Bishop (Grace Pateman) and a furious Farquaad (Lachlan McGeary) in the Ballina Players' latest production.

The best-known green ogre is the star in Ballina Players production

Humble Cortina expected to shine at show

BOYS TOYS: Members of the North Coast Street Machines (from left) Errol Beaumont, Steven Fitness, Les Eckersley and John Stanford are ready for this Sunday's show and shine in Ballina, with their vehicles (from left) 1964 EH Holden, 1962 S Series Valiant, 1934 Ford, 1969 XW GT Falcon and a 1974 L Cortina.

There aren't many who can say they own thefirst car they bought

J.K. Rowling writes through severe back pain

An aching back couldn't stop J.K. Rowling catching inspiration

Elsa voice actor's son hates Frozen

Idina Menzel's son "hates" his mother's most famous film 'Frozen'

Chrissy Teigen likes her "soft" stretch marks

Stretch marks are no problem for Chrissy Teigen

Naomie Harris in the dark over Daniel Craig's future as 007

Naomie Harris has no idea if Daniel Craig will be returning as 007

REVIEW: Will Kasey Chambers' Dragonfly take off with fans?

Kasey Chambers’ new album Dragonfly gets 3.5 stars from Cameron Adams.

CHAMBERS is back with her 11th studio album.

Ed Sheeran wants Beyonce collaboration

Ed Sheeran wants to record a duet with Beyoncé.

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Pat Rafter's $18m Coast home proves hot property

PAT'S PAD: The Sunshine Beach home of tennis ace Pat rafter is on the market for a record price.

"It's a record for our company and for the Sunshine Coast.''

INTERACTIVE MAP: Which Northern Rivers towns boomed in 2016?

BOOM TOWNS: While Ballina properties continued to attract top dollar in 2016, it was areas to the south that experienced price hikes, including Wardell, Evans Head and Woodburn.

Click on our map to find the median sale price in your town

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!