"They wanted to call it something different and I said well how about Sorcerer's Stone as a compromise. In retrospect I wish I hadn't changed but to be honest with you I was so grateful that anyone wanted to buy my book at all that I was maybe a bit too compliant about that."
During a massive event in July 2000 to celebrate the launch of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Newsround’s Lizo Mzimba boarded the Hogwarts Express to talk with JK Rowling.
What was the original working title of Chamber of Secrets?
JKR: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I quite liked that title, unfortunately the story bore no relation whatsoever to the title by the time I’d finished.
Book four explores a lot of themes, some we’ve seen before in Chambers of Secrets, about prejudice. Is that something you’ve been wanting to explore?
JKR: From the beginning of the Philosopher’s Stone prejudice is a very strong theme – and I think it’s plausible that Harry enters the world – that’s how I wanted it to be – he was quite wide-eyed about it, everything will be wonderful in this world, this is the place where those sort of injustices didn’t happen and then he finds out that sure enough it happens.
And it’s a shock to him like to everyone else and he finds out that he’s a half person within the confines of the world. To a wizard like Lucius Malfoy, Harry will never be a true wizard because his mother was of muggle parentage.
It’s quite appropriate we’re talking to you on a train, it’s very important in the story.
JKR: Yeah I love trains. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the fact that my father managed, by the skin of his teeth, to get the train from King’s Cross – that’s where he met my mother. He proposed to my mother on a train, I had the idea for Harry Potter on a train, yes, very appropriate, I love trains.
JK Rowling talks about Book Four