No story lives unless someone wants to listen.
I didn’t write with a target audience in mind. What excited me was how much I would enjoy writing about Harry. I never thought about writing for children — children’s books chose me. I think if it is a good book anyone will read it.
I bumped into a woman I hadn’t seen for nearly three years. The first thing she said to me? “You’ve lost a lot of weight since the last time I saw you!”
“Well,” I said, slightly nonplussed, “the last time you saw me I’d just had a baby.”
What I felt like saying was, “I’ve produced my third child and my sixth novel since I last saw you. Aren’t either of those things more important, more interesting, than my size?” But no — my waist looked smaller! Forget the kid and the book: finally, something to celebrate!
It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.
I think you’re working and learning until you die. I can with my hand on my heart say I will never write for any reason other than I burningly wanted to write the book.
So ultimately, the people who have read the book, who are not paid to have an opinion, are generally the best benchmark of whether you have done what you set out to do.
Choosing to live in narrow spaces leads to form of mental agoraphobia and that brings its own terrors. I think the willfully unimaginative see more monsters, they are often more afraid. What is more, those who choose not to empathize enable real monsters. For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude through our own apathy.
It is not an ennobling experience. Poverty entails fear and stress and sometimes depression. It means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships.
The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive.
“Read a lot. Reading really helps. Read anything you can get your hands on.
We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better.
Very early on in writing the series, I remember a female journalist saying to me that Mrs Weasley, ‘Well, you know, she’s just a mother.’ And I was absolutely incensed by that comment. Now, I consider myself to be a feminist, and I’d always wanted to show that just because a woman has made a choice, a free choice to say, ‘Well, I’m going to raise my family and that’s going to be my choice. I may go back to a career, I may have a career part time, but that’s my choice.’ Doesn’t mean that that’s all she can do. And as we proved there in that little battle, Molly Weasley comes out and proves herself the equal of any warrior on that battlefield.
It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends.
Talent and intelligence never yet inoculated anyone against the caprice of the fates.
Personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a checklist of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications are not your life.
I think most of us if you were asked to name a very evil regime would think of Nazi Germany. … I wanted Harry to leave our world and find exactly the same problems in the Wizarding world. So you have to the intent to impose a hierarchy, you have bigotry, and this notion of purity, which is a great fallacy, but it crops up all over the world. People like to think themselves superior and that if they can pride themselves on nothing else, they can pride themselves on perceived purity. … The Potter books in general are a prolonged argument for tolerance, a prolonged plea for an end to bigotry, and I think it’s one of the reasons that some people don’t like the books, but I think that it’s a very healthy message to pass on to younger people that you should question authority and you should not assume that the establishment or the press tells you all of the truth.
I think writing about the time in Hermione’s life that I write about – growing from childhood into womanhood, literally, I think it brought back to me how very difficult it is. So much is expected of you as you become a woman, and often you are asked to sacrifice parts of you in becoming a girl, I would say. Hermione doesn’t.
Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and, therefore, the foundation of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and relevetory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.
I’ve never set out to teach anyone anything. It’s been more of an expression of my views and feelings than sitting down and deciding “What is today’s message?” And I do think that, although I never, again, sat down consciously and thought about this, I do think judging, even for my own daughter, that children respond to that than to “thought for the day.”
Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than I was and began diverting all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.
The stories we love best do live in us forever.