J.K. Rowling's seven Harry Potter novels sold a record 450 million copies worldwide in the time since the first tome was published in 1997, but the fantasy author admits she still wishes she could rewrite a handful of her Potter books.
"There were a couple of the Potters and I definitely knew that they needed another year," Rowling — who releases her first novel aimed at adults, The Casual Vacancy Friday — tells the BBC. Calling the Potter writing process "really tough," Rowling, 47, hasn't given up the idea of taking a second pass. "I read them, and I think 'Oh God, maybe I'll go back and do a director's cut', I don't know," says the novelist.
Those around Rowling — whose books spawned an eight-film franchise — say the author couldn't have done a better job delving into Harry Potter's life at Hogwarts. "I think they [the books] are the way they were meant to be," Emma Watson, who played Hermoine Granger in the films, has said, adding that Rowling was "too hard on herself."
Despite describing the latter years of the Potter book phenomenon as a "monster that was out of control," Rowling credits her fantasy book series with allowing her to develop The Casual Vacancy, which documents the death of Barry Fairbrother and the impact it has on the local villagers of Pagford.
Says Rowling: "Harry Potter truly liberated me in the sense that there's only one reason to write, for me – if I genuinely have something I want to say, and I want to publish it."
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