J.K. Rowling talks with Oprah

J.K. Rowling opens up to Oprah about fame and its pressures.

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    J.K. Rowling rarely does interviews, making her appearance on Oprah this week all the more of a blockbuster.
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And you thought that Jonathan Franzen was big news! Oprah scored big this season, announcing just today that this Friday she will be airing a recent interview she did in Edinburgh with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

Rowling rarely does interviews but her decision to meet with Oprah may have been influenced by the upcoming November release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" – the next movie in the Harry Potter franchise.

Rowling's US publisher Scholastic has released a few excerpts from the interview. According to Scholastic, Rowling told Oprah about the moment she first realized the life-changing magnitude of her celebrity. It was on her second book tour in the US.

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Rowling told Oprah: "There was this enormous Barnes & Noble, and I thought, 'Oh, my God.' And the queue snaked up the street, up [to] the Barnes & Noble, up through four floors and they took me in the back entrance. They opened the door and they screamed. They screamed…. That's a real stand-out moment for me. I knew it was getting big in that there was press attention and so on, but at that point, that for me ... was when it felt 'Beatle-esque.' "

She also spoke about the difficulties of dealing with that celebrity, saying, "You ask about the pressure. At that point, I kept saying to people, yeah I'm coping…. but the truth was there were times when I was barely hanging on by a thread."

Forbes magazine has ranked Rowling as one of the richest women in Britain, with an estimated wealth of $1 billion – giving her something in common with Oprah. According to Forbes, they're among only 14 women on the globe who are self-made billionaires.

Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor's book editor.

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