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Old 09-21-2012, 11:37 PM
masterofmystery masterofmystery is offline
 
Post Video: J.K. Rowling discusses "The Casual Vacancy", personal life with The Guardian

J.K. Rowling sat down with UK publication The Guardian to promote The Casual Vacancy, and while the author did not delve on her work in the Harry Potter series much, she did answer several personal questions ranging from who she was star-struck by, her thoughts on the '50 Shades of Grey' series, politics, her personal life, and the paper book vs. e-reader debate. That and much more can be read here and viewed in the clip below.


JK Rowling on where she first thought of The Casual Vacancy: "This time I was on a plane. And I thought: local election! And I just knew. I had that totally physical response you get to an idea that you know will work. It's a rush of adrenaline, it's chemical. I had it with Harry Potter and I had it with this. So that's how I know."

Someone else told Rowling they felt sorry for her daughter's friends, assuming they were the inspiration for The Casual Vacancy's teenagers. "But I haven't laid them bare, I've laid my friends bare." Rowling grew up near the Forest of Dean in a community not unlike Pagford. "And this was very much me vividly remembering what it was like to be a teenager, and it wasn't a particularly happy time in my life. In fact, you couldn't give me anything to make me go back to being a teenager. Never. No, I hated it."

Having always longed to be a writer, she now found herself in charge of a business empire stretching all the way to Hollywood, as the Harry Potter films began smashing box office records. "And it's a real bore. Should I be more diplomatic? Oh, I don't care. No, there is literally nothing on the business side that I wouldn't sacrifice in a heartbeat to have an extra couple of hours' writing. Nothing. That sounds hideously ungrateful because it's made me an awful lot of money, and I'm very grateful for that. But it's not something that interests me, and there have been lots of opportunities to do things that make more money, and I've said no."
SPOILER!!: More plot details on The Casual Vacancy.
The story opens with the death of a parish councillor in the pretty West Country village of Pagford. Barry had grown up on a nearby council estate, the Fields, a squalid rural ghetto with which the more pious middle classes of Pagford have long lost patience. If they can fill his seat with one more councillor sympathetic to their disgust, they'll secure a majority vote to reassign responsibility for the Fields to a neighbouring council, and be rid of the wretched place for good.

The pompous chairman assumes the seat will go to his son, a solicitor. Pitted against him are a bitterly cold GP and a deputy headmaster crippled by irreconcilable ambivalence towards his son, an unnervingly self-possessed adolescent whose subversion takes the unusual but highly effective form of telling the truth. His preoccupation with "authenticity" develops into a fascination with the Fields and its most notorious family, the Weedons.

Terri Weedon is a prostitute, junkie and lifelong casualty of chilling abuse, struggling to stay clean to stop social services taking her three-year-old son, Robbie, into care. But methadone is a precarious substitute for heroin, and most of what passes for mothering falls to her teenage daughter, Krystal. Spirited and volatile, Krystal has known only one adult ally in her life – Barry – and his sudden death casts her dangerously adrift. When anonymous messages begin appearing on the parish council website, exposing villagers' secrets, Pagford unravels into a panic of paranoia, rage and tragedy.

Pagford will be appallingly recognisable to anyone who has ever lived in a West Country village, but its clever comedy can also be read as a parable about national politics. "I'm interested in that drive, that rush to judgment, that is so prevalent in our society," Rowling says. "We all know that pleasurable rush that comes from condemning, and in the short term it's quite a satisfying thing to do, isn't it?" But it requires obliviousness to the horrors suffered by a family such as the Weedons, and the book satirises the ignorance of elites who assume to know what's best for everyone else.


Pre-order J.K. Rowling's 512-page book The Casual Vacancy now, via:

Amazon.com - The Casual Vacancy Hardcover | The Casual Vacancy Kindle
Amazon.co.uk - The Casual Vacancy Hardcover | The Casual Vacancy Kindle
Amazon Canada - The Casual Vacancy Hardcover | The Casual Vacancy Audio CD
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:43 AM   #2 (permalink)

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Loved the interview. Some very good questions asked.
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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