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Old 07-10-2017, 04:52 PM
masterofmystery masterofmystery is offline
Post J.K. Rowling talks Lumos, personal fears, unpublished children's story, more with CNN

A few previews from J.K. Rowling's new interview with CNN was released by the network on Monday, in part to promote her charity organization Lumos, and to of course discuss her written work, including Harry Potter.

Rowling mentioned the political children's tale she once commented on years ago, and how there was more than likely no chance it would see the publishing light of day. The author also commented on her official pen name - J.K. Rowling - and how it is not the name she uses in her private life (which is her married name, Joanne Murray).

UPDATE: The full interview can be watched here:

Just a quick note that the clips below probably made up about a good fraction of the interview. An interesting new tidbit during the chat was that as she was completing the script for Fantastic Beasts 2 recently, her husband, Dr. Neil Murray, went to Moldova for Lumos, to help children in need. According to Rowling, Dr. Murray was so shocked and horrified by the conditions of the children in institutions that he was desperate to help them medically with the best of his ability.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: I read that you were considering writing a political book for children, young people?
Oh, that was a fairy tale ...

But I -- I will tell you this. On my 50th -- the theme of my 50th birthday, which I held at Halloween, even though that's not really my birthday, was come as your own private nightmare. And I went as a lost manuscript. And I wrote over a dress most of that book. So that book, I don't know whether it will ever be published, but it's actually hanging in a wardrobe currently.
AMANPOUR: J.K. Rowling, why the initials?
Oh, because my publisher, who published Harry Potter, they said to me, we think this is a book that will appeal to boys and girls. And I said, oh, great. And they said, so could we use your initials?

Because, basically they were trying to disguise my gender. And obviously, that lasted about three seconds, because -- which is wonderful. I'm certainly not complaining, but the book won an award and I got a big advance from America and I got a lot of publicity. So I was outed as a woman.

AMANPOUR: And you're a strong woman role model.
Well, that's right. I quite like J.K. ... I think I -- I wouldn't have chosen it. It's -- and I wouldn't have chosen it for that reason, either.
But I was so grateful to be published, if they told me to call myself Rupert, I probably would have done to be honest with you. But now, I actually quite like having a pen name, because I feel that's -- to an extent, that feels like an identity and then I'm -- in private life, I'm Jo Murray. And it feels like quite a nice separation.
Rowling went into detail again about why she started Lumos (donations can be sent here), after reading a feature in the Sunday Times years ago. The full CNN interview will air at 7pm GMT/2pm EST on CNN International, and will include a special surprise for Harry Potter fans.

AMANPOUR: How would you decide that this [starting her children's charity Lumos] was your mission?
What drew me in was one child. It was a news report about one child in a newspaper.

I was pregnant and therefore perhaps particularly vulnerable and emotional to anything to do with small children. And I'm flicking through the Sunday paper and I saw what -- still I see it in my memory. It was a very disturbing image of a very small boy screaming through chicken wire.

And I went to turn the page. I'm not proud of it, but I did go to turn the page. And then I -- I stopped and I thought, if the story is as bad as the picture looks, then you have to do something about it.

So I turned back and I read the story. And the story was about an institution in the Czech Republic where this boy, among many other children with special needs, was being kept, I would say, at least 20 hours out of 24 in a cage-bed, which is exactly as it sounds. It's a cot for a baby covered in -- covered in mesh, covered in wire. And that was his existence. And from that, that's how it all began. I was just appalled and horrified.

ROWLING: I think my worst fear, my personal worst fear, is powerlessness and small spaces. So when you think about that little boy trapped in the cage-bed, he is totally voiceless. And nobody was speaking for him.

And I think that -- we all have something that touches us on a very visceral level. I mean -- and I think that's mine. That's my thing.

AMANPOUR: And small spaces, why?
I don't know. I've always had that. And I think that just the idea that these children were being kept penned like this was horrific to me. But then so although I didn't think that's like Harry in his cupboard, I suppose why did I put Harry in the cupboard? Because this is my fear, being trapped and being powerless, just powerless to get out of that space. So yeah, on a very crude level, I think that news story tapped into something that I found personally horrifying.
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