"These are things I know from the inside": JK Rowling on how her own teenage battle with OCD inspired lead character in new novel

'These are things I know from the inside': JK Rowling on how her own teenage battle with OCD inspired lead character in new novel
The Casual Vacancy is released across the globe tomorrowMs Rowling's own battles with anxiety helped shape her protagonist

|

UPDATED:

18:00 GMT, 26 September 2012

JK Rowling has revealed that the OCD-afflicted lead character in her new book was inspired by her personal experience with the disorder.

In the first ever interview about new adult novel The Casual Vacancy, she describes how her own battles with anxiety and depression helped shape her protagonist.

Ms Rowling, 47, told Good Morning America: 'We have an adult character in the book
who has obsessive compulsive disorder.'

In the hot seat: In an interview about her adult novel JK Rowling told how the OCD-afflicted protagonist was inspired by her personal experience with the disorder

In the hot seat: In an interview about her adult novel JK Rowling told how the OCD-afflicted protagonist was inspired by her personal experience with the disorder

She then admitted: 'These are
things I know from the inside… When I was in my teens I had issues
with OCD.'

Describing how the condition manifested itself she told presenter Cynthia McFadden that she became increasingly irrational.

She said that as a teenager she constantly made lists and could not stop 'checking, double checking, triple checking' things.

In her latest novel The
Casual Vacancy, which hits bookstores tomorrow, the teenage female lead
gets mixed up with prostitution, heroin addiction and teen sexuality.

The
book appears to be grounded in contemporary culture – indeed the
Rihanna track, Umbrella, featuring Jay Z, plays a very prominent role in
the story.

'The
song's just perfect for the book because of the rap at the beginning,' Ms Rowling tells GMA.

Compulsive: Ms Rowling (pictured with GMA presenter Cynthia McFadden) said that she couldn't stop checking things over and over again as a teenager as she battled OCD

Compulsive: Ms Rowling (pictured with GMA presenter Cynthia McFadden) said that she couldn't stop checking things over and over again as a teenager as she battled OCD

'There's this rap that Jay Z does at the beginning of the song and it's
actually a very celebratory rap.

'It's saying, “I'm
shockproof.. I'm famous, I have money, let the Dow Jones fall, I'm OK,”
and it's said in the book by a girl who doesn't really understand the
words and who is not OK.

Strictly for grown-ups: The Casual Vacancy addresses adult topics with descriptions of porn, a rape and the anxiety disorder OCD

Strictly for grown-ups: The Casual Vacancy addresses adult topics with descriptions of porn, a rape and the anxiety disorder OCD

'It's very poignant to me that this girl doesn't
understand.'

As for her struggles with depression, which she has discussed in the past, Ms Rowling says it
has not been part of her life for 'more than a decade,' attributing part
of that to the success of Harry Potter.

'It cheered me up a lot…
Forget the money. Harry Potter gave me back self respect. Harry gave me a
job to do that I loved more than anything else,' she said.

'So forget
the money. Let's just say it had made just enough to justify continuing
to write. It would've still cheered me up a huge amount… It was an
amazing thing that happened.'

While the The Casual Vacancy has been pegged as a 'black comedy', Ms Rowling says she would describe it a little differently.

'When I read the blurb that said it's a 'black comedy,' I thought – that's not maybe how I would've described it. I would've maybe said it's a comic tragedy,' she added.

Ms Rowling will be heavily promoting the book in the U.S. and Britain, following its release tomorrow.

And though she admits that the publicity tour will be fun, she is excited for it all to be over and to spend time with her family.

'I am really looking forward to us getting home because we have a
new dog…' she said. 'So my reward is to get home and look after a new puppy while
writing on the kitchen table.'