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J.K. Rowling brings Meredith Vieira to tears

 

In her first interview since the final chapter of the Harry Potter series went public, J.K. Rowling revealed the secrets she could never previously discuss to TODAY's Meredith Vieira in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Rowling covered all topics including the rationale behind her plot choices;  the character she saved and the ones she decided to kill later in the writing process; what Harry, Hermione and Ron are up to these days; her plans for the future; and the way Harry Potter has saved her own life.

Meredith's interview with Rowling airs both this morning and Friday on TODAY and in a one-hour Dateline special this Sunday.

But to give you a little taste, allDAY talked to Meredith about the most poignant moments in the hours she spent with Rowling.

allDAY: So, after all you read about Jo going into this interview, what surprised you the most?

Meredith: I had read that she was not an easy interview; I think "aloof" was the word I read.

But I found her very much the opposite.  I found her warm, I found her charming.  I found her protective of her material, but not proprietary.

In so many other interviews she had to be guarded.  There was still this whole series and she didn't want to reveal secrets before now.

allDAY: There were a few really delightful off-camera moments with Jo and the children during the interview.  Did any of those in particular stand out for you?

Meredith: She asked how many of us had gone to the last page first and a few of us raised our hands and she said, "How could you!," (as an author would).  She was teasing the kids.

I love that she was so protective of them during the interview.  She didn't want to spoil this book for anybody.  That spoke a lot to Jo, the person, not just the author.

allDAY: While she was quite concerned about not spoiling the book for anyone during the portion of the interview when the children were present, you also got a chance to speak with her one-on-one when went into more detail about the book and also spoke openly about her own life.  What struck you about that portion of the interview?

Meredith: She talked about Harry saving her, financially, and him being her touchstone for 17 years, that's important.

She also said her biggest regret is not telling her mother about Harry.  At the end of the day her biggest regret is that her mom never knew about the books, and if she had she would have been at every book opening, every signing.  That was such a lovely moment.

allDAY: It was a story about her mother that actually brought you to tears at one point when the cameras were off….

Meredith: Yes, she had been talking about her mom having MS and a case where she declined very rapidly.  I starting talking to her about my husband having MS and I just connected with her on a special level.

We were just talking about the strength of character of people dealing with illness – not the caretaker, the person with the illness – and I felt a bond with her.  Then I was embarrassed because I started crying a little.  I said I didn't mean to cry, and she said, "Don't worry, I'm usually the one crying!"

allDay: Of all the things she talked about – and she talked about a lot! -- what are you most excited to share with the TODAY audience?

Meredith: I think they're going to be most excited to know why she killed off who she didn't, and the choices she made throughout the series. 

For more coverage of Meredith's interview with J.K. Rowling, click here.