leah's stupid life, travel

Leah Smith and the meeting of J K Rowling.

I wanted as Harry Potter a title as I could get and that was as close to it as I could go… But, enough about that… I MET J K ROWLING AND IT WAS AWESOME!

So, like, ever since the summer of 1999 when I finished reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, I knew that I was embarking on something special and that J K Rowling was exactly who I wanted to be. Fourteen years later, I still want to be J K Rowling, and tonight, I got to be in the same room as her, hear her impart her wisdom and exchange pleasantries.

All this came about because of Bath Literature Festival, it’s an annual thing that happens every year where I live, presumably because Jane Austen did a lot of writing there. One of the events at this years festival was an Audience with J K Rowling in which she was going to be discussing A Casual Vacancy, so obviously, I had to go. The talk itself was incredible, she had a very enchanting stage presence and came across as being very warm and open despite her intense privacy, we got some very lovely anecdotes from her. The talk mostly centred around the writing process for the casual vacancy, and the characterisations, (her favourite characters are Sukhvinder and Krystal although she also loved writing for Fats). The way she manages to pull such intricate characters together has long fascinated me and hearing her talk about it was amazing. I’m very excited about this new Casual Vacancy tv adaptation from the BBC, it was discussed a little and it sounds a bit intriguing so I’ll definitely be looking out for that.

Being a writer who admires other writers it was nice to hear advice from someone as established as Queen Rowling herself, although that was pretty much the same standard advice all writers give, it just seems much more valid coming from her!


It wasn’t a great shock, but still a shame to hear that she’s not considering writing anything else in anyway related to the Harry Potter series, one person did ask the question about having a Mauraders era prequel which got a great response from the rest of the crowd but apparently, not enough to convince her that it’s a good idea. We did get some lovely Dumbledore backstory though about his relationship with Grindalwald (apparently G was using D even though he knew that D was totally in love with him), and how the memory of revealing Dumbledore’s sexuality at an event led to one boy actually coming out himself a few seconds later and how much that meant to her. So, that was great. And, it’s always lovely to hear about who inspired the characters that I love so much. She did bring up the epilogue and mentioned that a lot of people didn’t like it which I am inclined to agree with, but I also get where she was coming from with it. Having so much head canon must be hard when you’ve actually reached the end of the series and have no time left to tell the remaining stories. It was nice to hear a bit about some of the casual vacancy’s characters and where they ended up post book, apparently Sukhvinder and Gaia stay close, but Sukhvinder gets the hell out of Pagford the moment she turns eighteen and makes a life for herself in a new place, and Andrew and Fats don’t really talk post the big event at the end. I love all that stuff.

We didn’t get to hear about her new book, mostly because she was very secretive about it, but it’s going to be a book for much younger children, so she’s pretty much got the entire age range covered now.

After the talk there was a signing and I got my casual vacancy signed and got to say hello and such like, so here, you can check that out:


Basically, I’m much too frazzled to even really comprehend everything I just heard her say, and I’m sure I’ll update this in the morning when my thoughts are all straightened out, but just know, it was insane! It was amazing! And I’ve run out of adjectives.


3 thoughts on “Leah Smith and the meeting of J K Rowling.”

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