When VOA interviewed British writer J.K. Rowling by telephone in 1998, her first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, was just making its debut in the United States. She looked back on how the story was born.
"I was on a train traveling from Manchester to London, and the idea for this story just came to me literally by magic," she said. "And I was so excited by this idea of a boy who doesn't understand what's strange and what's different about him, and then finds out he's a wizard."
J. K. Rowling told VOA that what followed also seemed like magic. In Britain, she'd already been transformed from a struggling single mother into a celebrated author. She would go on to create a sensation in the United States, where four best-selling Harry Potter stories have now been published. The series has been translated into several languages around the world, and inspired a movie.
J. K. Rowling also told VOA she has lots of other story ideas
filed away. "All sorts of exciting things are ahead for Harry. Things
get even more dramatic and serious than they have previously," she said.
"He is going to grow up. So he will be discovering girls and all the
rest of it."