Renton, Jennie. “The story behind the Potter legend: JK Rowling talks about how she created the Harry Potter books and the magic of Harry Potter’s world,” Sydney Morning Herald, October 28, 2001.
Interesting facts and notes
About Rowling visualizing the world she's writing about: "I have a visual imagination. I know this isn't the case with all writers - some hear words as opposed to seeing pictures. But I see things, and then try to describe as faithfully as I can what I'm seeing. I have to imagine something clearly first, and then I write."
Choices and the difference between Harry and Tom Riddle: "What I'm working towards here is the fact that our choices rather than our abilities show us what we truly are. That's brought out in the difference between Harry and his arch enemy, Tom Riddle.
In Chamber Of Secrets, Harry is told by the hat that if he goes into Slytherin he will become a powerful wizard. He chooses not to do that. But Tom Riddle, who has been twisted by ambition and lack of love, succumbs to the desire for power. Though he's supposed to have died years before, his malign spirit manipulates events through an enchanted diary."
The idea for the diary: "My sister used to commit her innermost thoughts to her diary. Her great fear was that someone would read it. That's how the idea came to me of a diary that is itself against you. You would be confiding everything to pages that aren't inanimate."
Where ideas come from, including the word "Hogwarts": "Ideas come from all sorts of places and sometimes I don't realise where I got them from. A friend from London recently asked me if I remembered when we first saw Hogwarts. I had no idea what she was talking about until she recalled the day we went to Kew Gardens and saw those lilies that were called Hogwarts. I'd seen them seven years before and they'd bubbled around in my memory. When Hogwarts occurred to me as a name for the school, I had no idea where it came from." [so she saw them around 1992]
Does she believe in magic? "I'm not a New Age type - not really into crystals. But through reading I know a ridiculous amount about magic. Some of the spells in my books are ones people have genuinely believed in. I find books about magic fascinating, but sometimes it's absolutely hysterical the things people believe."
The story behind the Potter legend