I think it’s fun to learn facts about J.K. Rowling because she is the woman behind the brilliant Harry Potter series. From her own life to that of her characters, Rowling has had quite a time of adventure, heart-ache, and healing. She’s such an inspiration to me both as a writer and a human being. I hope these facts about J.K. Rowling will have a similar effect on you.
One fact about J.K. Rowling is that she battled Depression and was suicidal at its height. Shocking, right? I’ve spent a good deal of my time creating awareness about mental health and her struggle just goes to show that you never can know who is suffering. She sought cognitive behavior counseling after her divorce. She was a young mother with a baby just trying to get by. So she started writing Harry Potter and the rest is history. Now, she serves as a beacon of hope for others who have been in her situation.
2. Children’s Stories
It’s pretty well-known but still amazing in itself that J.K. Rowling was denied by 12 publishers before finally selling Harry Potter. She was encouraged by her editor to get a day job. After all, she would “make no money selling children’s tales.” Can you believe that? The Harry Potter franchise has accumulated over $15 million. What’s more, she became the first writer to become a billionaire. Talk about beating the odds.
In an interview with Oprah, J.K. Rowling talked about her experience writing Harry Potter and the reaction it drew from the public. Oprah told the story of how Michael Jackson tried the rest of his career to reach the fame of “Thriller,” never realizing that “Thriller” was the summit of his career. She asked whether or not Rowling knew the same in regards to Harry Potter, that it was ‘it.’ One thing I admire about this author is her realistic view and acknowledgement that yes, Harry Potter was ‘it’ and though she may be a fabulous writer and continue to produce entertaining stories, they will never reach the same level that Harry Potter did.
Publishers were wary of what readers might think of a woman penning a story about wizards. As a result, they decided to use her initials. But the problem was that Rowling didn’t have a middle name and “J Rowling” didn’t seem as catchy. They ended up using her grandmother’s name, Kathleen, to create the famous “JK Rowling.” I find it funny because her first fan-mail was addressed to a man, starting with “Dear Sir...”
5. The Tale of Three Brothers
“The Tale Of Three Brothers” can be found in the seventh Harry Potter book. An interesting fun fact is its close relationship to another famous British story, “The Pardoner’s Tale” from none other than Geoffrey Chaucer in his work “The Canterbury Tales.” Chaucer’s story served as an inspiration for Rowling, evident with her use of Death as a character. I happen to love “The Pardoner’s Tale” so seeing the connection makes me smile.
6. King’s Cross
Did you know that King’s Cross Station played a huge part in Rowling’s life? Not only is it where Harry searches for platform 9 3/4 but also where her parents met. She has spoken about how the station has held a warm place in her heart since childhood. Isn’t that so sweet?
7. On Stage
J.K. Rowling has been presented with play idea after play idea for Harry Potter. She’s even turned down superstars like Michael Jackson. So why the sudden change and the agreement to work on a play that will come to the stage within the next 2 years? Simply: a storyline that makes sense. The play that Rowling will help co-produce will follow Harry through his early years on Privet Drive before Hogwarts and his adventures as a wizard. I can’t wait to see it!
J.K. Rowling is an incredible writer and woman. Her life has been full of ups and downs, flops and success and that inspires me to keep trying through it all. What are some other facts about J.K. Rowling? Did you learn anything new?