News: Rowling Speaks on ‘Career of Evil’ Planning and Scaffolding at NPR

COEThis just in from ChrisC:

Just found two interesting links related to Career of Evil —

One is a series of interviews Ms. Rowling has given to NPR.  She seems to have given three consecutive chats, and each one I’ve listened to seem interesting.  Some of what she says may lend support to some of the ideas regarding Rowling’s themes for the Strike series:

Also, of final interest is this article for the Chicago Tribune that places Ms. Rowling in a long line of Women Mystery Writers:

All in all, there’s a lot to chew on, here.

[Note her comments about the “larger story arc” and the planning — “I worked exceptionally hard on the scaffolding,” comments which begin about 7:50 in the interview. Much more to say on this! John]


  1. There’s one quote that Rowling has in these series of interviews that I find particularly interesting for what it says about the “ways” in which writing can be viewed by audiences.

    The pertinent quote is:

    “There’s going to be debate around this as long as there are writers. Some readers and commentators really want to scrape your insides out to make sense of your work. Others say, there’s the work, it speaks for itself. Personally, I fall somewhere in the middle.”

    For me, what that quote recalls back to is something C.S. Lewis said about the difference between those members of the audience (The Many, as Lewis called them) for whom art is fundamentally a “non-essential”, and those “Few” for whom art is almost an absolute essential.

    I don’t know if there is any kind of implied antagonism between these two groups in terms of any fundamental lack of understanding of one group by the other, although it wouldn’t all surprise me to find out there was a sort of clash between biblio and cinephiles and people who “just don’t see why we’re into all that make-believe”.

    Rowling, by contrast, seems to be placing herself somewhere in both camps, as if she’s willing to admit that art is an essential that she’s nonetheless willing to sacrifice if whatever push came to shove.


  2. waynestauffer says

    when the film makers start on this film series, they MUST get Bonnie Wright to play Robin!!!!!

    as for the book vs film discussion…it isn’t so much a which is “better” question as much as it is a “how is the fim different?” and a “what difference does it make to the story?” pair of questions.

    when the book author is heavily involved in the script and storyline of the film, well, you’ve go the creator there for both. this makes it difficult for us readers/analysts to reconcile the two without “scraping [the] insides out” to make sense of the differences. lengthy expository passages in print just do not transfer well to film because of pacing. a film must keep the pace moving to be successful, so alternate ways of providing the background of the exposition are a must. keeping them plausible in the world of the story is the tricky part for the scriptwriters. and this is when the creator’s genius helps out… “is it reasonable that such-and-such happens in the film instead of thus-and-so that happened in the book?”

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