Hyping up the biggest publishing event of the year:The Casual Vacancy
… voor het interview
Mine is her last interview in a meticulously planned roll-out of the new JK Rowling brand extension, that of a literary novelist writing for grown-ups.
Chat shows and tabloids have been eschewed, public appearances have been limited, and media interviews given only to the upmarket arty crowd: Radio 4′s Front Row, BBC Two’s Culture Show, The Guardian… and me, as the man from the BBC News At Ten and the Today Programme.
She walks briskly into the room, announces that she is ready but then goes to fiddle with something on the windowsill. She sits down, looks for a clip-on mic and quips to the cameraman, “could you make me look 10 years younger?”. She’s a bit nervous. We both are. We have an awkward exchange, a sort of pre-interview verbal fumble.
And then she settles, and I see her eyes.
Now, I’ve met plenty of people with blue eyes – some of whom, like Robert Redford, are famous for them. But I have never ever encountered a pair of electric blue peepers like JK Rowling’s. It’s as if a couple of azure coloured crystals have been installed in her head – and then back lit for dazzling effect. So much so I wonder if they are getting a little contact lens “help”.
“No,” she confirms, “but thank you”.
Must be the lighting, then. Or perhaps they’re being set off by the blue Stella McCartney (drainpipe) trouser suit she is wearing, which itself is being set off by a pair of black stiletto ankle boots. She looks more like a kick-ass businesswoman, not – as I have read – a left-leaning creative type with little interest in the commercial side of things.
Will Gompertz, JK Rowling on swearing for adults, BBC News.
J. K. Rowling met Harry Potter in de oude (edublog) Sausage Machine: