Transcript: Rowling’s 1998 ITN Interview

Patricio Tarantino last month found an unedited version of a 1998 ITN interview with J. K. Rowling at the Nicholson’s Cafe in Edinburgh and it is now available for viewing at TheRowlingLibrary YouTube channel. Oxford’s Beatrice Groves posted her first thoughts, ‘Harry Potter Dreaming,’ here yesterday. I had promised a transcript of the thirty-two minutes chat last week and here it is at last.

Caveat Lector! The man interviewing Rowling was not miked, so it was difficult at times to make out what he was saying. I tried to catch the flavor of Rowling’s stuttering, a marker of how new she was to this kind of exchange, but edited out most of the “y’know”s and “I mean”s. I think it is accurate enough for quotation but you might want to listen to it while reading the transcript to be sure the passage you want to quote is exact.

Enjoy the reading after the jump. Many thanks to Mr. Tarantino, to Professor Groves, and to my wife who did the initial typing of this text, a yeoman’s labor! [Read more…]

Draco Malfoy Actor Felton Writes Memoir

Tom Felton, who will turn 35 years old this September, has written his memoir, Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard, that will be published this October. All the details can be found at MuggleNet’s discussion of the new book. The key details are:

Beyond the Wand is set to be published in hardcover and digitally on October 13 in the United Kingdom and October 18 in the United States. Ebury Spotlight is publishing it in the UK, with an anticipated page count of 308, while Grand Central Publishing will be the US publisher, with a planned page count of 272.

There will also be a simultaneously published audiobook version read by Tom, published by Penguin Random House Audio in the UK and Hachette Audio in the US.

I have read Felton’s Wikipedia page and been impressed by the number and variety of the roles he has played post Potter as well as by his music recordings. The MNet discussion of his book points out that other Potter players have written books, but neglects to say that this is the first autobiography per se from the stars of the show (Evanna Lynch‘s The Opposite of Butterfly Hunting: The Tragedy and The Glory of Growing Up is more an eating disorder and OCD survivor story and self-help guide than a memoir). I think we can expect, especially if Felton’s book sells well at Christmas-time this year, that Rupert, Emma, and Daniel will be courted by publishers with better offers than they’ve already received.

That none of the Terrible Trio have accepted this easy money testifies perhaps both to their financial security and to the excellence of their brand-gurus’ advice. I suspect that, unlike Felton, who is not as well known as the Harry, Ron, and Hermione players and could use the boost a book will create in recognition and like-ability, the three main players, beloved as their childhood roles more than as the people they have become, could injure their marketability with even a ghosted memoir.

Your thoughts? Has anyone at age 35 written an autobiographical volume that didn’t regret it?

TRL Find: 1998 Uncut Rowling Interview

Patricio Tarantino at TheRowlingLibrary.com has done it again. He has discovered more than half an hour of raw, unedited footage from an interview Rowling did in 1998 for a television spot that was only four minutes in its final version.

Beatrice Groves has written a commentary on the importance of this find for Potter Punditry that we will be posting here and I hope to have a full transcript up early next week for easy referencing and citation.

There are a lot of fun facts here and some significant revelations — she says point blank, for example, that Book 5 in the Hogwarts Saga wasn’t planned very well at that point, a note that was demonstrated as true when it took her three years to write it. The fun of it, though, for this fan was just seeing how relaxed and light she is in the landfall blessing of being able to write full time, negotiate with Hollywood types for film money (“Not DreamWorks or Disney — but don’t tell anyone! Cut that out!”), and enjoy talking with a reporter at Nicholson’s Cafe where she no longer writes.

No Dementors here or on the horizon… the good old days — when a child reader tells her she needs to brush her hair and The Woman Not Yet The Presence laughs and is intrigued by the idea. Enjoy!

Many thanks to Mr Tarantino and TheRowlingLibrary for this find and for posting it at their YouTube channel.

‘The Strike-Ellacott Files’ Has New Home

‘The Strike & Ellacott Files’ podcast has moved to new digs online: www.thesefiles.com. I confess that I originally and persistently continue to read that url as ‘These Files’ rather than ‘The S E Files,’ but I’m sure I’ll get over it. It is the only podcast I know of dedicated entirely to discussion of the Rowling-Galbraith detective stories; it has a close association with StrikeFans.com, something like a sister site to HogwartsProfessor with respect to this series, and with whom we have an amiable relationship of mutual admiration.

Though I have only listened to the one S&E Files show with Beatrice Groves and Nick Jeffery as guests, Louise Freeman who is a regular member of their listening audience, assures me that “they continue to mention Hogpro writers—  with proper attribution— regularly.” Which means, until we get our podcast up and running here, ‘The Strike and Ellacott Files’ is your best bet for conversation about literary alchemy, ring composition, PSI, intertextuality, mythology, and embedded texts in Rowling’s murder mysteries. 

The show hosts describe their efforts this way on the new site’s ‘About’ page:

The first episode of The Strike & Ellacott Files aired in January of 2021 as Lindsay and Kenz embarked upon a year-long re-read of Troubled Blood. They were joined early in the series by recurring special guest Pools, who first appeared in episode 8 and eventually joined the podcast as a permanent third co-host.

Since then, The Strike & Ellacott Files have completed our re-read of Troubled Blood, and gone back to the beginning to make our way through The Cuckoo’s Calling. New episodes of the podcast are released bi-weekly, with frequent appearances by special guests and numerous bonus episodes in addition to our regular close readings. We hope you join us in our conversation as we journey through this wonderful series; you can expect a little bit of literary analysis, a lot of laughs, and a hefty dose of appreciation for our favourite private detectives.

There is a weblog, too, at TheSEFiles.com but to date there is only one post, undated though it references a podcast in October 2021, about the possibility that Leda Strike Strike was killed by Peter Gillespie. Curiously, fascinating and compelling as the discussion is, it doesn’t mention that ‘Karol’ at StrikeFans — perhaps a pseudonym for one of the podcasters? — suggested this theory at HogwartsProfessor back in February 2021 (see my discussion of Karol’s idea back then) or the Peter-John touchstones in all of Rowling’s work, one especially relevant in a subject involving Peter Gillespie and Jonny Rokeby. Nor is there a pointer to Nick Jeffery’s and my long looks at the Rokeby money set aside for Strike that is at the heart of their theory.

Cheers to Lindsay, Pools, and Kenz on the new site and best wishes for a growing, loyal audience of listeners!

If you want to help us get our HogPro podcast up and running and have relevant skills (or know someone who does), please let us know via the ‘Contact’ tab at the top right of our home-page!

Cursed Child Bailing Out BroadwayCon? Distancing New Version from Rowling?

It looks like the cast and producers leading the Broadway production of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ is going to make an appearance at Mischief Management’s 8-10 July edition of BroadwayCon. This is news to note on several levels. BroadwayCon is the first Mischief Management gathering since the pandemic closed their popular LeakyCon and Con of Thrones as well. Is this last minute agreement for the most popular Broadway show in recent history to make a stage interview panel a la ComicCon with movie ensembles a life-saver to Melissa Anelli’s company? They are certainly more likely to sell out of Day Passes for the opening night of BroadwayCon now that the ‘Cursed Child’ cast will be there for a meet-and-greet.

The friends who sent me this news were more than a little surprised by the news, however. They know that LeakyCon has anathematized Rowling as a transphobe and bigot — so why would the Sonia Friedman Production decision makers reach out to help or just agree to participate in a venue whose Mischief Management owners libel Rowling left and right? They sent me this link to a Good Morning America interview on 19 May with the actors playing Scorpius and Albus in which Brady Dalton Richards explains why he is so excited about the new ‘Cursed Child’ one-part version that is opened in May (cf. 1:20 in this clip): [Read more…]