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J.K. Rowling denied her new novel about a character being persecuted by online personas has anything to do with her “own experience” following the backlash she faced after sharing her views on gender, which were deemed transphobic by LGBTQ+ advocates and multiple stars from the “Harry Potter” franchise.
In an online question and answer forum posted online for “The Ink Black Heart,” which Rowling wrote under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith, the author explained that the concept of the book came long before she was criticized for her views.
“I have never created a book – and this book certainly isn’t created from my own experience – you know, with a view to talking about my own life,” she wrote online. “That doesn’t mean, of course, that your own life experience isn’t in the book.”
Rowling has defended past comments related to gender identity, and wrote in a controversial 2020 tweet, “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people. But erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”
Her new novel centers around a popular cartoonist who is “persecuted by a mysterious online figure.”
Answering as her pen name, Rowling wrote, “With this book – I had been planning this book for so long and then a couple of the things that happen in this book have since happened to me. And so, I would like to be very clear that I haven’t written this book as an answer to anything that happened to me.
“Although I have to say when it did happen to me, those who had already read the book in manuscript form were – are you clairvoyant? I wasn’t clairvoyant, I just – yeah, it was just one of those weird twists. Sometimes life imitates art more than one would like.”
She continued: “But, no, it’s not – this isn’t about my experience of – as being a creator. My experience – if I wrote about my experience as a creator, it would look very different. And I have to say, for example – which I think will be a question readers would ask: the Potter fandom, by and large, has been amazing to me. Incredibly supportive and I still receive tonnes of love from the Potter fandom.
“So, the fandom in this book is very much not a portrait of the fandom. It is of a very – I think a very different kind of fandom.”
The “Harry Potter” franchise (Wizard World) has amassed more than $9 billion through films, merchandise, video games and theme parks.
Rowling recently shared how dangerous social media could be after she received death threats upon tweeting support to Salman Rushdie following his stabbing attack in New York earlier this month.
“I try to behave online as I would like others to behave,” she told British host Graham Norton on his radio show when he asked how online rhetoric could be de-escalated. “I’ve never threatened anyone. “I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to go to their houses or anything like that.”
Police began investigating earlier this month when a Twitter user allegedly tweeted “Don’t worry you are next” to Rowling after she called Rushdie’s stabbing attack on a stage in New York “horrifying news” on Twitter. Rowling says she regularly receives threats online.
“The Satanic Verses” author remains hospitalized two weeks after the attack.
Fox News’ Brie Stimson contributed to this report.