Exhibiting fiercely maternal instincts over her seventh fictional progeny, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling revealed on her website yesterday that airport security in New York tried to pry in-progress Book Seven manuscript from her protective clutches as she boarded a plane back to the U.K. last month. She made it clear, however, that stowing her baby was a no-go.
"The heightened security restrictions on the airlines in August made the journey back from New York interesting," she wrote. "As I refused to be parted from the manuscript of book seven (a large part of it is handwritten, and there was no copy of anything I had done while in the US). They let me take it on, thankfully, bound up in elastic bands. I don't know what I would have done if they hadn't; sailed home, probably."
The bookish blonde billionaire had participated in a charitable book reading at Radio City Music Hall August 1 and 2 with fellow authors Stephen King and John Irving. Security regarding carryon luggage was drastically tightened after August 10 when British police intercepted a terrorist plot to blow up U.S.-bound airliners.
Rowling, 41, addressed the reading in another site message. "My readings in New York with Stephen King and John Irving were so much fun. It's not often that I do something like that and wish I could do it all over again, but I would have happily done a third night. If you were there, and yelling, thank you: the crowds, both nights, could not have been more wonderful," she enthused.
"I did mess up one answer, though," Rowling continued. "I was asked, 'what question have you never been asked that you ought to have been asked?' ... and my mind went blank," she admitted. "It occurred to me almost as soon as I got off stage that there IS a question I've always been surprised nobody's put to me ... I can't make amends to the girl who asked, but it is in tribute to her that I give the answer, belatedly, under 'Miscellaneous', Extras section."