At the height of Harry Potter mania, Jo says she felt like one of the Beatles. "Except there were four Beatles, so they could turn to each other and say, 'My God, this is crazy,'" Jo says. "I couldn't turn to anyone. So the pressure was insane."

Jo says she knew Harry Potter was getting big when the press started to take notice, but she had no idea how "Beatles-esque" it had gotten until she started her second American book tour. She says she showed up for a book signing and was faced with a horde of screaming fans, lightbulbs going off in her face and a line that stretched for blocks. When she finally left that day—after signing 2,000 books—the line still hadn't ended.

"That's when it started to get crazy," she says. "At that point, I kept saying to people, 'Yeah, I'm coping, I'm coping.' But the truth was, there were times when I was barely hanging on by a thread."


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