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The first 'Harry Potter' book was published 25 years ago in the U.K.

A MARTINEZ, HOST:

Twenty-five years ago, the first "Harry Potter" book was published in the U.K. The "Potter" series has been hugely influential, especially for young writers, though some are conflicted about its author, J.K. Rowling. We're going to hear now from three of those authors on what "Harry Potter" has meant to them. We start with Laura Lam, author of "Pantomime" and "Shadowplay."

LAURA LAM: I always loved that Hermione was wicked smart and wasn't really ashamed of it.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE")

EMMA WATSON: (As Hermione Granger) Of course. Here it is. Nicholas Flamel is the only known maker of the Sorcerer's Stone.

DANIEL RADCLIFFE: (As Harry Potter) The what?

RUPERT GRINT: (As Ron Weasley) The what?

WATSON: (As Hermione) Honestly, don't you two read?

LAM: Especially as kids, we read to escape, and we read to kind of believe that, like, you can be more than you've been told you can be. I'd love for some other reader to really enjoy disappearing into my world as much as I used to into the "Harry Potter" world when I was a kid. But the thing is - is, overall, the books are a little bit complicated for me now. I have kind of complicated emotions about J.K. Rowling's, you know, comments on trans people.

(SOUNDBITE OF JOHN WILLIAMS' "HEDWIG'S THEME")

AMY E REICHERT: Wow. First of all, I cannot believe it's been 25 years. That is shocking to me (laughter).

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE")

RADCLIFFE: (As Harry) Make a wish, Harry.

REICHERT: My name is Amy E. Reichert, and I'm an author. I have always loved fantasy and science fiction. I've loved the idea of - there is this parallel, fantastical world running next to ours that only special people get to see and be a part of. So I always really just love that first time Harry gets to go to Diagon Alley and see the magical world in its fullness. That's one of my favorite scenes in the movies, too.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE")

ROBBIE COLTRANE: (As Hagrid) Welcome, Harry, to Diagon Alley.

REICHERT: Inevitably, I'm a very nerdy person, so through all of my books, even though I write these fun romantic comedies, there is, like, this undercurrent of nerd. There's "Harry Potter" references. There's references to other franchises. So my characters are just as aware and love these things just as much as I do.

(SOUNDBITE OF JOHN WILLIAMS' "HEDWIG'S THEME")

SCOTT REINTGEN: I discovered "Harry Potter" alongside my brother. We shared a room, and my mom at night would read the books to him, and I would just kind of listen in.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: (Reading) Yes, their son, Harry. Mr. Dursley stopped dead. Fear flooded him. He looked back...

REINTGEN: I think the thing that sticks out to me is, like, how you create your own family as you go forward into the world. And it's something that I write a lot of. It's something that I focus on a lot in my own life.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE")

MAGGIE SMITH: (As Professor McGonagall) Welcome to Hogwarts. Before you can take your seats, you must be sorted into your houses. They are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Now, while you're here, your house will be like your family.

REINTGEN: You know, those books meant a lot to me as a reader, but I can also look at the person who created them and say, I vehemently disagree with what they say and what they've been saying. And now I can also treat "Harry Potter" as what it was for me, which is an entryway to all the other work that I read.

(SOUNDBITE OF JOHN WILLIAMS' "LEAVING HOGWARTS")

MARTINEZ: That was Scott Reintgen, author of the "Nyxia" trilogy. These interviews were conducted by NPR's Miranda Mazariegos.

(SOUNDBITE OF JOHN WILLIAMS' "LEAVING HOGWARTS") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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