Some of the magic’s gone...how JK misses in­ti­mate read­ings

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Week Civil War Hit SNP - By Toby McDon­ald

SHE’S come a long way since strug­gling to get her first novel pub­lished but JK Rowl­ing has ad­mit­ted she gets nos­tal­gic for the days be­fore her world­wide fame. The au­thor says she misses the small read­ings that launched her ca­reer. Only 1,000 copies of her first book, Harry Pot­ter And The Philoso­pher’s Stone, were printed, with half given to li­braries. And Miss Rowl­ing, 53, toured schools and li­braries to pro­mote the novel. Now the mother of three, who is worth more than £500 mil­lion, says: ‘I miss the days when read­ings and events were slightly more low-key. ‘I’m not com­plain­ing but when au­di­ences grow big, you ob­vi­ously can’t reach ev­ery­one who wants to ask you a ques­tion.’ In 2008, Rowl­ing held one of her last small pub­lic read­ings when 200 schoolchil­dren were in­vited to join her for an event at the Na­tional Li­brary of Scot­land. And in 2016 she char­tered a plane and fly­ing to Orkney to meet fans. She left crime read­ing group the Satur­day Slaugh­ter­ers spell­bound by turn­ing up at a li­brary to dis­cuss her first Robert Gal­braith book The Cuckoo’s Call­ing.

Now Miss Rowl­ing is help­ing bud­ding au­thors, with tips on her web­site JKRowl­ing.com.

She says: ‘Re­silience and hu­mil­ity go hand in hand be­cause re­jec­tion and crit­i­cism are part of a writer’s life. In­formed feed­back is use­ful and nec­es­sary, but some of the great­est writ­ers were re­jected mul­ti­ple times.’

She adds: ‘The harsh­est critic is of­ten in­side your own head.’

The au­thor ad­mits she can be­come im­mersed in the wiz­ard­ing world.

‘I sup­pose I must spend most of my con­scious life in fic­tional worlds, which some peo­ple may find sad, as though there must be some­thing lack­ing in my ex­ter­nal life,’ she said.

‘There re­ally isn’t! I’m a happy per­son, by and large, with a fam­ily I adore.’

wORDS OF wIS­DOM: Harry Pot­ter’s cre­ator says bud­ding au­thors must be re­silient EARLY STRUG­GLE: JK Rowl­ing in the 1990s

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