Rowling Speaks with Charlie Rose (2012)

I was looking for a quotation from the Presence about her liking books in which she knows the author is totally in control of the story (which quotation I still haven’t found — please share below if you know where to find it) when I stumbled on this gem:

“You’ve got to work. It’s about structure. It’s about discipline. It’s all these deadly things that your school teacher told you you needed… You need it.”

The source attributed this to ‘Charlie Rose,’ which, it turns out was an interview I had posted an excerpt from here back in 2012. I certainly had forgotten this remarkable conversation if I ever listened to it beginning to end. It is available in its entirety at, whence the video above, and the transcript is available via a button at the top right of that page. There’s a lot, it seems, about her writing habits and priorities as with the above (to be found at 39:56).

And a little biographical-bibliographical history as well. At 37:45, for instance, she said, “I wrote a substantial part of another children’s book midway through Potter that I still need to go back and finish because I really like it.” This is further evidence for Nick Jeffery’s history of The Ickabog’s conception and writing and the advent of Christmas Pig. See 34:45 as well.

There are several great interviews Rowling has done that are filled with revelations that throw new light on her work. I think immediately of her exchanges with Adler, Amini, Cruz, deRek, Grossman, Lloyd, Wagner, and Solomon. I look forward to giving this Rose-Rowling transcript from 2012 a close reading to see if it belongs in that exalted group — and ask you to join me in that look!


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