Harry Potter's Premiere on "60 Minutes"

J.K. Rowling spells out the secrets behind creating Harry Potter's magical world.

1999: J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter 14:12

With the release this week of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," "60 Minutes Overtime" travels back in time to 1999, when J.K. Rowling opened up her spellbook to Lesley Stahl. Daniel Radcliffe had not yet been cast as "the boy who lived" and the Hogwarts Express sat waiting at platform 9 and 3/4.

Before quidditch became a beloved sport and floo powder was the chic way to travel, J.K. Rowling was a struggling writer, relying on welfare to feed her infant daughter. She filed her magical world away in cardboard boxes. Each container filled to the top with scraps of paper chronicling Harry, Ron, and Hermione's struggle against Lord Voldemort.

Multiple publishers rejected her manuscript. By chance, an agent named Christopher Little pulled it out of the "slush pile" and began reading. Recognizing its brilliance, he convinced Bloomsbury to publish the book. Without publicity, sales climbed as word of Harry's adventures spread first from child to child and then parent to parent. With over 400 million books sold worldwide, it has become the most successful series of all time.