BBC: When you started this years ago, did you ever dream that it could end with something like this – thousands of people crammed into Trafalgar Square? What would you have said if somebody came back and said, “This is what it’ll be like.”?
J.K. Rowling: Honestly, if someone had told me this was coming, I think I might have said, “Well, I can’t do that. So, I’ve really come along myself. I was not someone who was a natural public speaker and I was not someone who was very comfortable with this kind of thing. This is just extraordinary. It’s wonderful, but it’s just as well I got introduced to it by degrees because this could be very scary.
BBC: You were very wary in the first instance of your books being made into films. Now it’s all over with - eight films. How do you feel about that?
J.K. Rowling: Really proud. Just proud of the magnificence the British team we had , proud of the actors – particularly the younger actors. I feel quite proud of myself. I chose the right people to do the job and I think everyone’s going to be delighted with the last film. I think it’s the best of the lot. I think they’re really going to enjoy it.
BBC: Finally, of course, you’ve got the new Pottermore website, all the books are out there, the films are out there … when will you publish something else that’s nothing to do with Harry Potter?
J.K. Rowling: I think I always felt that I didn’t want to publish again until the last film was out because Potter has been such a huge thing in my life. I’ve been writing hard ever since I finished writing Hallows, so I’ve got a lot of stuff. And I supposed it’s a question of deciding which one comes first, but I will publish again. I feel, in some senses, it’s a beginning for me as well as an end.
What does it mean to you to go out in style tonight in Trafalgar Square for the very last Harry Potter?
J.K. Rowling: I can’t believe it. The sun is shining at last for us. I feel that it’s just perfect. It’s just wonderful. It’s an amazing feeling for me.
If you could thank every fan here personally, what would you say to them? Some of these people have been camped out here during rainstorms for the past few days.
J.K. Rowling: Well, I think I am going to get a chance to get up on stage and actually speak to them directly at some point this evening, but I would say thank you for queing in their thousands for the books, for camping overnight, for just being incredible. All the families whow rote to me and said they read every word to their children. I even met a honeymoon couple who said they read the books to each other in bed. Maybe a step too far … but the whole thing has been incredible and will never be repeated - by this author anyway. It’s been extraordinary.
I’m quite proud of you and the cast and production team who brought your vision to life.
J.K. Rowling: Again, hundreds of people have been involved and there’s not one of them I don’t think was indispensible and phenomenal. The most talented group of people you could have found. I just love them. The idea that I won’t be able to go down to Leavesden and visit anymore is a little bit sad.
The movies have been tremendous, but for you … you were a writer. What was your mission? Was it to get kids to read more?
J.K. Rowling: Truthfully, I’m not sure any writer starts like that. I started because I had an idea for a story I knew I’d love to write and I knew I would love to read. And I think that’s the best starting point for any story, any book. I never started with a mission, but nothing makes me prouder, ever, than to meet a child or the parent of a child who says, “Oh, he or she never read before Harry Potter. Nothing makes me prouder than that.
Well, Hogwarts may be over, but where will J.K. Rowling be weaving her magic next?
J.K. Rowling: Well, I’m writing and I’ve done quite a lot since finishing Harry, but I think I always felt that I wanted the last film to be out of the way before I made any moves on the publishing front. Because Harry’s so huge and I suppose my involvement with the world has still been quite intense, so this feels like a really new beginning for me.