In 1990, began the epic journey of a boy without a normal childhood, whose journey was to revolutionize the childhood of millions of children all across the World and unite them into the biggest family and community, “the Harry Potter fandom” irrespective of caste, creed, religion, nationality.
But it could have not been possible without the exceptional efforts, creativity and brilliance of our beloved J K Rowling, the Real Hero that brought a fictional world to such an enthralling existence that despite all our logical reasoning we believed it and lived it and reveled in it.
This post is a tribute to the Queen of Harry Potter Universe and a brief insight into her life for her fan-family that she has brought to life.
Joanne Rowling was born on 31st July 1965. Dianne, her younger sister, was born almost two years later and Joanne’s earliest childhood memory is of Dianne’s arrival. She, her sister and her parents lived in Winterbourne, Gloucestershire, until Joanne was nine, when the family moved to Tutshill, near Chepstow.
As customary of most of the great authors, our Queen was a bookworm since childhood. in her own words – “I lived for books … I was your basic common-or-garden bookworm, complete with freckles and National Health spectacles”. She always wanted to be a writer and began her literary career at an early age of six with a story about rabbit called Rabbit. At 11 she wrote a wrote a novel about seven cursed diamonds and the people who owned them.
Joanne went to school at Wyedean Comprehensive School and then went on to study French and Classics at the University of Exeter. Her Classics studies would come in very handy later when she was thinking up all the spells in Harry Potter, some of which are based on Latin!
A graduate of Exeter University, Rowling moved to Portugal in 1990 to teach English. There, she met and married the Portuguese journalist Jorge Arantes. The couple’s daughter, Jessica, was born in 1993. After her marriage ended in divorce, Rowling moved to Edinburgh with her daughter to live near her younger sister, Di. While struggling to support Jessica and herself on welfare, Rowling worked on a book, the idea for which had reportedly occurred to her while she was traveling on a train from Manchester to London in 1990.
Rowling’s works on Harry Potter Universe
J.K. Rowling first had the idea for Harry Potter while delayed on a train travelling from Manchester to London King’s Cross in 1990. Over the next five years, she began to plan out the seven books of the series. She wrote mostly in longhand and amassed a mountain of notes, many of which were on scraps of paper.
She arrived in Edinburgh in 1993 with three chapters of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in her suitcase. By now she had a baby daughter, Jessica, but she continued to write in every spare moment she could find. When Joanne had finished the manuscript, she sent the first three chapters to a number of literary agents, one of whom wrote back asking to see the rest of it. She says that it was ‘the best letter I had ever received in my life’.
After finishing the first book and whilst training as a teacher, Harry Potter was accepted for publication by Bloomsbury. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone quickly became a bestseller on publication in 1997. As the book was translated into other languages, Harry Potter started spreading round the globe – and J.K. Rowling was soon receiving thousands of letters from fans.
The Harry Potter books have since broken many records. In 2007 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows became the fastest-selling book ever, selling 2.65 million in the first 24 hours in the UK. The Harry Potter series is now published in 78 languages, and over 450 million copies have been sold across the world. J.K. Rowling has also written three companion volumes in aid of charity: Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (in aid of Comic Relief ); and The Tales of Beedle the Bard (in aid of Lumos). In 2015 J.K. Rowling’s 2008 Harvard commencement speech was published under the title ‘Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination‘ (in aid of Lumos and university financial aid at Harvard).
In 2012, J.K. Rowling’s digital company Pottermore was launched, where fans can enjoy her new writing and immerse themselves deeper in the wizarding world. J.K. Rowling has written a film script inspired by Fantastic Beasts and Where to find Them, with the film due for release in Autumn 2016. In addition to J.K Rowling’s collaboration on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II, an original new story by J.K.Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, she is also making her screenwriting debut with the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a further extension of the wizarding world, due for release in November 2016.J.K. Rowling has received many awards and honours, including an OBE for services to children’s literature, France’s Légion d’Honneur, and the Hans Christian Andersen Award.
Other works by J K Rowling
Rowling’s first book aimed at adults, The Casual Vacancy, was published in September 2012. The novel, a dark comedy about a local election in the small English town of Pagford, received mixed reviews.
In 2013, Rowling broke into a new genre: crime fiction. But this new work involved a mystery all of its own. She published the mystery novel Cuckoo’s Calling that April under the pen name Robert Galbraith, the first novel in the Cormoran Strike series of detective novels, followed by The Silkworm in 2014 and Career of Evil in 2015. In its first few months of release, the novel had modest sales and received positive reviews. Sales for the work skyrocketed in July when its author’s identity was discovered. According to Bloomberg News, Rowling said that “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.”