JK Rowling, the billionaire mother behind the Harry Potter empire. The JK Rowling legend starts off with a children’s book about an orphan wizard boy with a funny shaped scar on his forehead. A boy with a magical and most captivating destiny. A destiny shared only by his creator.
JK Rowling is the first self made millionaire stroke billionaire author in history. Having sold more than 400 million books, with a readership in 69 languages and an audience spread over 200 countries around the world. Harry Potter’s final instalment The Deathly Hallows has been the fastest selling book of all time. JK Rowling is regarded to have contributed more to literacy than anyone on the planet. The JK Rowling Empire spans across films, merchandise and more recently a theme park. The Harry Potter film series are the highest grossing movie franchise in Hollywood history, having estimated to have churned out over £5 billion and counting.
When originally written, JK Rowling’s publisher targeted the book to boys, but they didn’t want their audience to know it was a woman who had written the book, so they decided to use her initials, except she doesn’t have a middle name. So she used her grandmothers name Kathleen for the K. And so it was that Joe Kathleen Rowling would write for the world. Although she didn’t fool the boys for long as the books grew in popularity she ended up in the press.
Before Harry Potter jumped from his creator’s authentastical imagination into the hearts of millions, JK Rowling was a struggling single mother living in Scotland. In the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone she states that every child in the world will know Harry Potter’s name. Who would have thought that in the real world this would come true. And that’s in spite 12 publishers rejected the first book, something even more magical is that the 13th publisher (a number associated with bad luck) agreed to take the work to print. A warning came from her agent, “You won’t make money writing children’s books” How wrong could they have been!
Before appearing on the Sunday Times Rich list, JK Rowling led a modest lifestyle as a secretary in London. She was just 25 when her mother passed away sending JK Rowling into an emotional hurricane. Following that she moved to Portugal, married and gave birth to her daughter Jessica. In JK Rowling’s own words the marriage was “catastrophic”. So she upped sticks and moved to Scotland only to face clinical depression and a welfare budget.
JK Rowling has stated that its impossible to live without failure. Hitting rock bottom provided the solid base in which she rebuilt her life and gave birth (literally, metaphorically but not physically) to Harry Potter. Why try? For a fear or failing? What a silly idea. Try and fail or succeed. To millions of children and adults, Harry Potter symbolises the essense of children and childhood.
So what happens now Harry Potter comes to an end? Is there room on the book shelf for another set of books as Harry, having survived puberty now steps into adulthood.
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