Whoopi Goldberg introduced the evening. Tim Robbins introduced Stephen King who read the Pie Eating Contest scene from “The Body”, which is the basis for “Stand By Me” (one of my favorite movies of the 80s!). Stanley Tucci introduced John Irving, who read from “A Prayer for Owen Meany”. And Kathy Bates introduced J.K. Rowling, who read the scene in book six when Dumbledore shows Harry his first meeting with Tom Riddle at the orphanage.
There were some great questions, but JKR was being evasive as usual. She did hint that there is more to Aunt Petunia than we’ve seen so far and had to let everyone know for sure that Dumbledore is in fact dead. Even did the throat slash at one point. When asked if she could bring one character to life to have in real life (besides Harry), she chose Hagrid, which would especially be nice when being confronted by fundamentalist Christians (presumably just the ones that just have a problem with Harry Potter!). There were some trickier questions, including one from Salman Rushdie and son! She had some trouble answering some of the questions and apologized profusely for it, but said it would have basically given away the ending of the series. Oh well, we’ll know the answers soon enough. Solidad O’Brien moderated the Q&A session and finished out asking the authors which 5 of their characters would they like to have dinner with and why. JKR’s answer was interesting… she listed Harry, Hermione and Ron and then paused before saying Dumbledore and talking about knowing who would die and then the others said she could use dead characters, so she then mentioned Dumbledore. And Hagrid was the fifth. So, does that mean that the trio will live for sure? Also, the subject of the title of the 7th book was sort of brought up, but she said she had a possibly better idea for it while in the shower that night, but either way, we weren’t getting it out of her yet.
We took the subway back to the hotel, because at that point it didn’t matter if we got any hotter or sweatier!