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  Transcript of JK's OOTP Newsnight interview
Updated 18 June 2003, 09.05

The following is a transcript of JK's interview with Jeremy Paxman about the launch of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Jeremy Paxman: So this is it?

JK Rowling: This is it.

JP: Are we allowed to look inside it?

JKR: Hmmmm. Yes a bit. You can have a look there... Yes so, that's it.

JP: How many pages?

JKR: 766... All with writer's block, which I think you'll agree is quite an achievement.

JP: But do you find the whole secrecy issue, the need for secrecy, a bit ridiculous?

JKR: No.

JP: Why not?

JKR: Well, a lot of it comes from me.

JP: Really?

JKR: Yeah definitely. I mean, of course one could be cynical, and I'm sure you would be disposed to be so, and say it was a marketing ploy, but I don't want the kids to know what's coming.

Because that's part of the excitement of the story, and having - you know - sweated blood to create all my red herrings and lay all my clues...

To me it's not a ... This is my ... This is my ... I was going to say this is my life. It's not my life, but it is a very important part of my life.

JP: Is there going to be a death in this book?

JKR: Yes.

JP: A horrible death of a significant figure?

JKR: I went into the kitchen having done it.

JP: What - killed this person?

JKR: Yeah. Well I had re-written the death, re-written it and that was it. It was definitive. And the person was definitely dead.

And I walked into the kitchen crying and Neil (JK's husband) said to me, "What on earth is wrong? and I said, Well, I've just killed the person".

Neil doesn't know who the person is. And he said, "Well, don't do it then." I thought, a doctor you know. And I said "Well it just doesn't work like that. You are writing children's books, you need to be a ruthless killer."

Speaking about life after Harry Potter JK Rowling said:

JKR: It's going to be very difficult to leave it. I mean I do look forward to a post-Harry era in my life, because some of the things that go along with this are not that much fun, but at the same time, I dread leaving Harry.

Because I've been working on it over what I sincerely hope will prove to have been the most turbulent part of my life and that was the constant, and I worked on it so hard for so long, then it will be over and I think it's going to leave a massive gap.

About the length of time it took to write Order of the Phoenix, Rowling said:

JKR: Just once and for all, for the record, I didn't miss the deadline. Because there was no deadline.

JP: And you didn't have writer's block on that book?

JKR: No! I just produced a quarter of a million words!

Commenting on the speculation there's been about how the Harry Potter series might end and what will become of Harry and his friends, JK Rowling told Paxman:

JKR: There is one thing that if anyone guessed I would be really annoyed, as it is kind of the heart of it all.

And it kind of explodes everything - and no one's quite got there, but a couple of people have skirted it.

You can watch the full interview with JK Rowling on BBC TWO on Thursday 19 June at 7.30pm.

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