Harry Potter is one of the most successful publishing phenomena of our time (in case you weren’t aware), selling 450 million copies. Its success transformed its author, JK Rowling, from impoverished single mother (don't be fooled by the accent) to one of the world's most successful living authors. Since the end of the franchise, Rowling's fans have been desperate to know what she was going to do next. The answer is The Casual Vacancy, a novel for adults with some very grown-up themes. She reveals the inspiration for the story, which deals with the consequences of a parish councillor's death in a small English town, and discusses the challenges of exploring new literary territory.