(NEW YORK) — It’s been 15 years since J.K. Rowling introduced Harry Potter and the wizarding world to readers and sparked a cultural phenomenon. While the best-selling author has moved on, largely putting the signature genre of fantasy behind her, there’s one Potter character above all she wishes she could bring back to life to talk with her — and it’s not Harry.
“Of all the other characters in the Harry Potter series, he’s the one I miss the most,” Rowling said in a video for Scholastic Books, which debuted exclusively on ABC’s Good Morning America Tuesday.
Rowling said that Dumbledore, Hogwarts’ headmaster and Harry’s beloved mentor and sage, is the character with whom she had the strongest connection while writing the series.
“I feel like I wrote Dumbledore from the back of my head. Sometimes he said things and told Harry things that I only knew I knew or believed until … I saw that I had written them down in the voice of Dumbledore,” Rowling said. “He was the character who was hardest to leave for me. He was the person who I’d have come back physically and sit and talk to me. It would be Dumbledore.”
To mark the 15th anniversary of the original, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which has sold 32 million print copies in the U.S. since its release, Rowling opened up on the wildly-popular series and answered the question: If she could introduce anyone in the world to Dumbledore who would it be?
“I’m afraid I’m going to be very selfish, and if anyone gets a shot, it’s me,” she said with a laugh. “It’s a difficult question and I have mulled it over at length, and I’ve considered world leaders who may benefit from some of his calm wisdom, but finally decided there’s really only one person who should meet Dumbledore and I think that’s me – because, of all the other characters in the Harry Potter series, he’s the one I miss the most.”
Rowling’s Harry Potter books have sold more than 160 million copies in the U.S. and close to 500 million worldwide, been translated into 73 languages and produced eight blockbuster movies, making her more than a household name.
For the 15th anniversary, all seven books in the series are being released with new cover artwork designed by graphic artist Kazu Kibuishi. The new cover art captures a pivotal moment from each particular book, according to Scholastic, and replaces the original designs of artist Mary GrandPre in the paperback editions. The box set featuring all of the new cover art is available now.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Brian Stelter, CNN
Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com
Jackie Wattles, CNN