Wednesday, November 22, 2006

An obsessive many, not an obsessive few

The following is an excerpt from a July 8, 2000 interview with JK Rowling in which she discusses the success that her books have had in America. Keep in mind that this interview was conducted on the day that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, book four, went on sale. I remember that day fondly — it was the middle of the summer vacation before my last year in high school, my siblings and I were watching the street for the truck that would bring a certain box to us, and we were delighted at the knowledge that book four would be about twice as thick as its predecessor, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

SF = Stephen Fry, voice of the Harry Potter series on tape (the British audiobook version, anyway - Jim Dale does the American audiobooks)
JKR = J.K. Rowling (of course)

SF: You cracked, as the phrase is, America. You cracked America very early on.
JKR: Mmm.
SF: Is there…. And I’ve heard stories of signing queues where there are sort of 17 boys dressed as Harry Potter and so on. Does that sort of worry you? Do you….
JKR: Am I warping a generation?
SF: Oh yes, are you afraid of the almost obsessive nature of the subject?
JKR: The funny thing is that I did always think that, if it ever did get published, it was a book for obsessives. I’m quite an obsessive person. I think you can probably tell.
SF: Yes.
JKR: And I did think if people liked it they would probably like it obsessively. I just never…. but I thought that it would be an obsessive few – I never guessed it would be an obsessive many, as has happened.

I'm proud to be part of this particular "obsessive many." Oh yes. And in the spirit of this whole thing, I'm going to be reading a book for truly obsessive fans written by some of the obsessive fans who run MuggleNet as I sit on a plane on my way to my parents' house for Thanksgiving.