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.”

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.”