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Barnes & Noble chat 1 September 8, 1999

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The Harry Potter Canon

Second online chat with JK Rowling for the Barnes & Noble website.

Interesting facts and notes

What is your favorite Harry book so far?

The first book will always have a special place in my heart, because it was the first book I ever published. However, I prefer the plot of CHAMBER OF SECRETS. And just to confuse the issue, I was looking forward to writing the third book from the start of the first because that's when Professor Lupin appears, and he is one of my favorite characters in all seven books.

Tell us about your family! How have they influenced your books?

My mother passed way nine years ago, and her death greatly influenced a passage in Book 1. And I'm sure careful readers don't need to be told what passage that is. My father is still alive, and he really likes the books, and my sister, to whom the first book is dedicated in part, was the first person ever to hear the story. She didn't read it, but I told it to her.

With your recent success, you have traveled a great deal. Who is the most interesting (real!) person you've met and why?

When I was in Belfast, I was filmed speaking to a large group of children and sitting right in front of me, in the middle of the crowd, was Harry Potter. He had black hair, green eyes, and round glasses. I completely forgot what I was saying, pointed at him, and said, "Harry, what are you doing here?" He laughed, and all his friends laughed too because they all been saying it to him. So, if ever Warner Brothers asks me for the perfect Harry, I'll tell them to go to Belfast and find a boy named Nialls.

Before your success with the Harry Potter series, what was the worst job you ever had?

The worst job I ever had was working as a temporary secretary in a company that made surveillance equipment. Bugs, infrared binoculars...industrial espionage. I spent the whole time reading the catalogue. They were very creepy people. The products were very interesting, but the people were quite horrible.

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The Harry Potter Canon