News From Leila

J.K. Rowling!

Last week J.K. Rowling spoke at Lincoln Center. It was her only U.S. appearance to promote THE CASUAL VANACY, and Rebecca Serle and I GOT TICKETS! Not only that, we got tickets THREE ROWS BACK from the stage. Literally there was one row between us and J.K.’s family members.

J.K. was in conversation with Ann Patchett, whose work I’ve never read, but who also seemed like a lovely and intelligent person. I jotted down some of my favorite lines from the evening and wanted to type them up here, so I won’t forget them.

JKR: “You know. We are ruthless people as writers.”

(On the topic of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY versus THE CASUAL VACANCY)
JKR: “The difference should be: people have sex in this book, but no one really enjoys it.”

AP: “The book doesn’t go between ‘evil’ and ‘good.’ It goes between ‘evil’ and ‘funny.’”

AP: “You’re going to have so many children who are going to say, ‘Mom, I want to read THE CASUAL VACANCY!’”
JKR: “Yeah, well, that would be inappropriate.”

JKR: “Because of Harry Potter, I could have self-published [THE CASUAL VACANCY]. It never crossed my mind. I value so much what a traditional publisher does.”

JKR: “I find that discussing an idea before I’ve written it is the way to kill it stone dead.”

(On giving feedback on ideas)
JKR: “A writer says to you, ‘I’ve got this idea for two frogs sitting in a bucket,’ you say, ‘That sounds like a great idea!’”

AP: “Do you take editing well?”
JKR: “I think I do. I never hit anyone.”

JKR: “I think that I have led a very odd life.”

(On structuring novels)
JKR: “Without structure, you’ve got nothing.”

(In answer to the question, “If you could live anywhere, real or imagined, where would you live?”)
JKR: “In a sense, Hogwarts is the very obvious answer. But then I did live there for seventeen years.”

October 29th, 2012 in | Permalink



  1. Hey, Leila!

    It’s Donna from NJ SCBWI. I just popped in ’cause I was telling my fellow “HarryPotterTheoryMongers” group on Yahoo about your book PAST PERFECT (you’ll have a few more readers) and couldn’t remember if the other title included “Mostly” or not. I thought it was so ironic that I was posting to my Harry Potter friends and on your site is this wonderful post about her!

    So glad you enjoyed it and now I’m going to share your post with them :)

    I hope you’re doing well! I don’t know if your ears were ringing, but I brought up your name AND your PAST PERFECT at a recent dinner while with Paula Sadler. She told me she knew you and loved you :)

    Stay well!
    :Donna

    Comment by :Donna on December 3, 2012 at 7:51 pm

  2. [...] I’m on a reading-books-for-adults kick, apparently, because not only did I just finish The Borrower, but I also recently read The Casual Vacancy (which, as you may recall, I got when I saw J.K. Rowling speak at Lincoln Center). [...]

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