JK Rowling had to awkwardly correct reporter who said her name wrong
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Harry Potter author JK Rowling once had to awkwardly correct an interviewer who mispronounced her name.
Joanne Rowling may be one of the biggest and well-known authors on the planet, but in an unearthed interview from back in 1998 one reporter wasn’t entirely familiar with her.
In the clip, Rowling is chatting with the interviewer - who is off camera - about why she used the name JK Rowling on her books rather than her full name and pronounces her surname to rhyme with ‘growling’.
As he asks the question, Rowling smiles to herself and gently interrupts him to say: “Rowling. It’s Rowling,” which she pronounces similar to ‘rolling’.
As the reporter apologises, Rowling laughs and tells him: “It’s alright. It doesn’t matter.”
But the journalist clearly isn’t over his faux pas as he adds: “That's a good start,” after which Rowling flashes him a thumbs up.
In case you’re wondering why she opted to forgo her first name on her books - Rowling explained that it was a decision by her publishers.
She said: “It’s because [I was] first-time writer, eager to please my publishers - they phoned me up and said, ‘Can we use your initials instead?’ This was about two weeks before publication. I said, ‘Yes you can use them. I don’t mind, but why?’ And it was… it was because… trying to hide my gender, definitely.
“They thought it [Harry Potter] was a book that would appeal to boys and they thought possibly if they saw ‘Joanne’ on the front cover they wouldn’t pick it up.”
And it appeared to work, as Rowling went on to share that when the book was newly released she would receive letters addressed to ‘Dear sir’, with people assuming JK Rowling was a bloke.
However, Rowling says that an appearance on children’s TV staple Blue Peter put to bed any questions surrounding her gender and from then ‘tended to get [my] sex right’.
Although she used the initials JK, Rowling’s birth name was simply Joanne Rowling, with no middle name. She chose the K for Kathleen, which was her paternal grandmother’s name.
Alongside the Harry Potter collection of books, Rowling has also written The Casual Vacancy - her first foray into fiction for adults.
Alongside the use of JK Rowling, she has also had books published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. ‘Galbraith’ has authored the Cormoran Strike book series which, to date, has six books including The Cuckoo's Calling and The Silkworm.
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