Harry Potter is one of the most successful publishing phenomena of our time, selling more than 450 million copies. Its success has transformed author JK Rowling from an impoverished single mother into one of Britain’s richest women.
Since The Deathly Hallows was published in 2007, Rowling’s fans have been desperate to know what she was going to do next. The answer is The Casual Vacancy, a novel for adults with some very grown-up themes.
The expectation and pressure are enormous. Although most details are shrouded in secrecy, it is known to be set in the idyllic fictional English town of Pagford, where tensions gather around a local election which follows the death of a parish councillor.
James Runcie meets the notoriously private writer in her home-town of Edinburgh, where she finally reveals the exact nature of the novel, with exclusive readings and in-depth discussion about its ideas, characters and inspiration.
In this film Rowling also discusses the pressure and pitfalls of following up the biggest literary phenomenon of a generation, describing how she finally moved on from Potter and the challenges of making the leap to writing fiction for adults.