Anne Johnstone of The Herald (Glasgow) was the first newspaper reporter to interview J.K. Rowling, and today she has published her memories of how the June 1997 interview came about, as well as her thoughts on how Rowling's relationship with the press inevitably changed.
To give you an idea of how very early Johnstone met Rowling, in June of 1997, the first book wasn't published yet, much less won the Smarties Prize and become a bestseller. Scholastic had won the auction for the U.S. rights a few months earlier, but the (seemingly) enormous amount they paid hadn't been announced yet.
P.S. Reading this made me realize that I needed to re-work my 1997 listing and timeline. The dates are, to the best of my knowledge, correct.
P.P.S. Several readers wrote me to question my date of July 1st for the U.K. publication of book 1. The Bloomsbury site lists "June 1997" in their timeline and Amazon.co.uk lists June 26th. I believe my source for July 1st was one of the articles in the archive. Regardless, I have changed the date in the 1997 listing to June 26, 1997. Of course, this means the Anniversary notice I was going to post today is 4 days late. Pooh.