Saturday, July 21, 2007

J. K. Rowling to a Special Fan

Here are the letters that author J.K. Rowling wrote for Ralph Houston, a Harry Potter fan who is terminally ill and at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center:

J.K. Rowling's letter to Maggie Huffman, who works in public relations at the hospital:

Dear Maggie,

I am so very sorry to hear about Mr Houston's illness. This must be such a difficult time for him and his family.
I completely understand your desire to give Mr Houston the opportunity to read the final Harry Potter book before publication and I am sure that I would make the same request in your position.
Tragically, requests just like yours are now coming in via my publishers and agent, all asking that their terminally ill friend or relative be given an early copy of the book. These letters are, without exception, heartbreaking, as is the fact that they are coming in such numbers.
It is, perhaps, not generally appreciated that it is not the author's decision whether or not a book can be sold or released before the publication date. Such authority now lies with the publishers to whom I have sold the rights.
I fully appreciate what a disappointment this will be. I hope you can understand how hard it is for me to give you a negative response. I shall continue to hope that Mr. Houston will be able to read the book in July, and I would be so grateful if you could give him the message from me below.
With very best wishes,
Jo Rowling

J.K. Rowling's letter to Ralph Houston:

Dear Mr. Houston,
Maggie Huffman has written to me about you, and I'm so very sorry to hear how unwell you are. I do hope you're not feeling too bad at the moment. I can't tell you how honoured I am to know how much you like the Harry Potter books. I treasure my unashamed adult readers!
I am thinking about you and hoping very much that you are comfortable and happy. You have evidently made a real hit with the staff at hospital, Maggie describes you in glowing terms!
With love from
J K Rowling (Jo)
-from The Oregonian May 20, 2007.

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