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JK Rowling
"I do not write with an imaginary focus group of eight-year-olds in mind"
 real 28k

Full interview
with BBC Radio Gloucestershire's Nigel Ballard
 real 28k

Friday, 29 September, 2000, 09:40 GMT 10:40 UK
Potter author's content warning
JK Rowling
JK Rowling has seven Potter books planned in her mind
The author of the phenomenally popular Harry Potter books has said she feels some of her writing is unsuitable for young children.

In an exclusive interview with the BBC, she said the subject matter of the books may be uncomfortable for six-year-olds.

I examine what happens when a maniac tries to take over

JK Rowling

She told BBC Radio Gloucestershire's Nigel Ballard: "I do think that, on occasion, the material is not suitable for six-year-olds. But you can't stop them reading it.

"I read things when I was very young that disturbed me but I don't think that was a terribly bad thing.

"My parents never censored what I read so I wouldn't say don't read them to a six-year-old, just be aware some of it does get uncomfortable."

Harry is young wizard who finds he has magical powers after his parents are killed by a "dark wizard" called Voldemort.

She added: "I am dealing with evil - I am trying to examine what happens to this community when a maniac tries to take over".

'Moral obligation'

Her books also deal with the "reality of how evil it is to take a human life".

She said: "If you are going to write about those kinds of things you have a moral obligation to show what that involves, not to prettify it or to minimise it."

Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint
Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint who will star in the Potter film
Her description of the books seem a long way from the cosy world of magic and myths which many parents associate with the Harry Potter tales.

Her fame has brought problems as well as the many millions she is reputedly now worth.

"When people start searching through your bins it is horrible. It feels like such an invasion.

"I am not a politician, I am not an entertainer and I never expected this much interest in my life."

Hollywood film

The books have sold in their millions world-wide, and the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, is now being made into a Hollywood film.

Many people have complimented Rowling for getting inside the mind of a child, but this is something she denies.

"I sat down to write something I knew I would enjoy reading. I do not try to analyse it and I don't write to a formula.

"I always find it quite patronising - 'what do children want?' - as if they are a separate species. I do not write with an imaginary focus group of eight year olds in mind."

Rowling, who grew up in Tutshill, Forest of Dean, plans seven Potter books in total and then wants to write something completely different.

"Maybe I'll write something about an obscure medieval monk," she said.

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