AUTHOR OF THE DAY: J.K. Rowling
Joanne Rowling, best known as J.K. Rowling, was born on July 31, 1965 in Yate, England. She is a modern inspiration in literature with her personal story and fantasy world predicated in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Rowling graduated from Exeter University in 1987, where she studied French. After college, she held different jobs and first conceived the idea of Harry Potter in 1990 on a train ride from Manchester to London. When her mother passed away in 1990, Rowling’s world took a turn. Her mother’s death deeply affected the writer; the value of family, loss and the complexity of adult themes were heavily engraved in Hogwarts and Harry Potter’s life.
The grief she endured, prompted her for a new beginning; Rowling moved to Portugal that same year to work as an English teacher. In Portugal she met her first husband and had her first child. After their marriage ended in divorce, Rowling moved to Edinburgh in 1994. Her divorce was a catalyst of inspiration that would result in her legacy.
Struggling to support herself and her daughter, Rowling began writing Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (the word “Philosopher” was changed to “Sorcerer” in the United States), an idea she had years ago. After several rejections from publishers, Bloomsbury, a small publishing house, agreed to release the book in August of 1996 for an advance of around $3000. To attract more male readers, Rowling was asked to use a pseudonym. Since she does not have a middle name, she added her grandmother’s name, Kathleen for her middle initial as an honor.
J.K. Rowling became a literary sensation by 1999. Her first three installments of the Harry Potter series landed on the first top three slots of The New York Times best-seller list. The phenomenon that is Harry Potter peaked when the fourth book was released, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, in July 2000. It became the fastest-selling book in history. Rowling rose from being a single mother on welfare to a household name. All installments of the Harry Potter series have been transformed into successful films. She recalled:
“I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized and I still had a daughter that I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
Rowling and Harry Potter rose to fame and fortune breaking record sales everywhere. Although she claimed, that she will not be writing anymore books in the series, the possibility has not been completely ruled out. Our advice is: rejoice Potterheads!
In September 2012, Rowling published her first novel, post-Harry Potter, geared towards an adult audience, The Casual Vacancy. Then in 2013, she released a mystery novel Cuckoo Calling under the pen name Robert Glabraith. Cuckoo Calling was released to modest sales and positive reviews. When the true identity of the author was revealed, sales skyrocketed. Rowling was pleased for her success and said to Bloomberg News report:
"I had hoped to keep this secret a little longer, because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience. It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name."
J.K. Rowling’s charm comes from her humility. Although, she has deviated from working on the Harry Potter series, she is loyal to her adoring readers. She hopes to release a new film series based on her book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a Hogwarts textbook. The movie will be an extension of the magical, wizard world. She has also reported working on an encyclopedia of Harry’s world, which the royalties will be donated to charity. In 2014 Rowling released a short-story about an adult Harry Potter’s life and a Hogwarts reunion in her website Pottermore.
It seems unlikely that Rowling will ever abandon her beloved Potterheads. They, as well as Harry Potter, who share the same birthday are deeply embedded in her heart. She is monumentally gratuitous for Hogwarts as well. She introduced and impassioned an entire generation. Harry Potter promotes tolerance, creativity, curiosity, love, friendship and the importance of goodness and unity in all types of relationships. Her message as well as her personal story are nothing short of inspirational and positive. Remember:
"Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007)
The Casual Vacancy (2012)
Read excerpts by J.K. Rowling here! Get her books here!