Rowling, JK

Rowling, JK (Joanne Kathleen) creator of the magical adventures of a boy wizard named Harry Potter, was born on 31 July 1965 in Chipping Sodbury in Britain. At a very early age she started concocting stories. When she was six she told her stories about rabbits to her sister. The family moved from Yate to Winterbourne and later, when she was 9 moved again to Tutshill near Chepstow in the Forest of Dean. It was her parents’ ideal to have a home out in the countryside. Amongst her childhood friends in Winterbourne were two kids, Ian and Vikki, with the surname of Potter, and the name had a nice ring to it. She and her sister spent their free time in the rural area around the Wye River.

She attended Tutshill Primary School and Wyedean Comprehensive. As scholar, she loved languages, but English was one of her favourite subjects. During lunch breaks she entertained the schoolchildren on long serials. After school she went to Exeter University Exeter University where she studied French, but soon realised that an academic qualification in languages was not really what she wished for. For a short period she tried her hand at being a secretary, and did not enjoy the work and the office environment. At the age of 26 she left for Portugal to teach English. She started on a book describing a youngster who discovered that he was a wizard and was sent off to wizard school. She was quite happy teaching as she had more time on hand to work on her novel. While there, she married a Portuguese journalist, and their daughter was born in 1993. She was divorced in 1995.

Rowling returned from Portugal to live in Edinburgh with her daughter Jessica and subsisted on public assistance. With her she had all the stories about Harry Potter that she wrote up to then. She made a firm decision to complete her novel as soon as possible before starting to teach French. She had two other completed novels but regarded them as unsuitable for publication. She was back in teaching and a year gone by before a publisher (Bloomsbury) accepts it as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 1996. According to her the acceptance of her manuscript was one of the best in her life.

Soon after Harry Potter was published an American publisher bought the rights for such a nice sum that it enabled Rowling leave the teaching profession, and to write full time. In the United States of America it carries the title of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and appeared in 1998. Harry Potter was an immediate success and more than a hundred million was sold internationally. The income from her novels makes her one of Britain’s women with the highest earnings. She got married again in 2001, and had a baby boy called David in 2003. The family resides in Scotland.

Harry Potter books

From the outset she intended the Potter-series as a seven-book sequence – a book for each year of Harry’s secondary school career at Hogwarts. The other books in the series are:

  • 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
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – 2007

By 1999 the Harry Potter story had been translated into nearly 200 languages. Rowling is now richer than Queen Elizabeth of Britain. More than 350 million copies of her books were sold world-wide.