A VOA Snapshot - remembering our past as we look to the future in this, our 60th Anniversary Year.
Voice of America reporters have talked with authors from around the world over the years, some at the peak of their careers, others when they were still relatively unknown. When VOA interviewed British writer J.K. Rowling by telephone in 1998, her first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, was just making its debut in the United States. She looked back on how the story was born.
"I was on a train traveling from Manchester to London, and the idea for this story just came to me literally by magic," she said. "And I was so excited by this idea of a boy who doesn't understand what's strange and what's different about him, and then finds out he's a wizard."
J. K. Rowling told the VOA that what followed also seemed like magic. In Britain, she'd already been transformed from a struggling single mother into a celebrated author. She would go on to create a sensation in the United States, where four best-selling Harry Potter stories have now been published. The series has been translated into languages around the world, and inspired a movie.
J. K. Rowling also told VOA she has lots of other story ideas filed away. "All sorts of exciting things are ahead for Harry. Things get even more dramatic and serious than they have previously," she said. "He is going to grow up. So he will be discovering girls and all the rest of it."
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