Becoming a world-famous author is no simple task.
The journey to that goal for J.K. Rowling wasn’t easy either, and yet she is a true story of someone coming up from rags to riches.
Check out the inspiration details of J.K. Rowling’s life and influences!
J.K. Rowling is 54 years old. She was born on July 31st, 1965 in Yate, Gloucestershire. Her birth name is Joanne Rowling.
Joanne’s parents met on a train from King’s Cross Station, which Joanne later used in the Harry Potter books as a gateway into the Wizarding World.
When she was a child, Joanne would write fantasy stories that she would read to her sister, Dianne, who is just two years younger.
While developing the Harry Potter books, J.K. based Hermione Granger’s character on herself when she was 11 years old.
As a teenager, J.K. says that she has a difficult and unhappy time. She had a hard relationship with her dad, and her mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
During her time in sixth form, Joanne’s best friend at the time, Sean, had car which ended up being the inspiration for the flying version in the Harry Potter movies.
When it came to publishing, it was suggested that a large target audience of young boys might not be inclined to read a book written by a woman which is why she chose to use a pen name.
Joanne Rowling doesn’t have a middle name. The “K” initial in her pen name is for Kathleen, which is her grandmother’s name.
When J.K. Rowling was writing the first Harry Potter book, she and her daughter were staying with her sister. She didn’t have a stable income at the time and she was living off of welfare.
In 1990, Joanne was on a four-hour delayed train where the idea for Harry Potter became fully formed into her mind. Once she reached her destination, she started writing immediately.
A lot of characters and ideas in Harry Potter are based on her own life. The Dumbledore character was inspired by one of her headmasters.
Similarly, the Dementor creatures were based on her experience with clinical depression and contemplated suicide.
After seeing an advertisement in The Guardian, J.K. Rowling moved to Portugal to teach English as a second language.
J.K. Rowling had been writing Harry Potter for 6 months at which point her mother passed away. She had never told her mom that she was writing the books.
Most of the writing done for Harry Potter, Joanne did in various cafes. She says one of the reasons she worked out of cafes is because taking her baby for a walk was the best way to get her to sleep.
One of J.K. Rowling’s hero’s is Robert F. Kennedy.
The first of the Harry Potter books was finished in 1995, typed entirely on an old manual typewriter.
J.K. Rowling submitter Harry Potter to 12 publishing houses and got rejected from all of them. It wasn’t until she sent it to Bloomsbury that she finally got a deal. The advanced payment for the book was only £1,500.
Even when Bloomsbury went along to publish the book, they suggested to Rowling that she get a day job because there wasn’t much money in making children’s books.
J.K. Rowling was the first person to win the Smarties Prize 3 times in a row.
Although she wasn’t financially stable when she started writing, in 2004 J.K. Rowling was named the first person to become a billionaire by writing books.
When J.K. Rowling went to buy a wedding dress for her second marriage, she wore a disguise because she didn’t want to be recognized.
J.K. Rowling named her daughter, Jessica, after Jessica Mitford who was an English author and one of J.K.s hero’s.
After J.K. Rowling came into her newfound wealth, she set up a charity in 2005 called Lumos. It is dedicated to stopping the institutionalization of children worldwide.
Joanne wrote two books related to Harry Potter, both of which she donated the proceeds of to Comic Relief which was over $22 million dollars.
One of Joanne’s demands about the Harry Potter films when drafting a contract, is that the films be shot in Britain with an all-British cast.
Although she’s known for Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling also wrote her first adult fiction book in 2012 called “The Casual Vacancy”. It was later adapted to a three-part miniseries in 2015, airing on HBO and BBC.
Once when Joanne bought some pricey earrings, she felt guilty and sent money of the same amount to a charity.
Joanne’s favorite sport is basketball, which was the inspiration for the invention of Quidditch. When trying to come up with a name for the new sport, she tried the names Snitch, Bludgers, and Quaffle.
In 2012, J.K. Rowling made $160 million dollars of charitable donations, which knocked her out of the list of billionaires.
J.K Rowling is truly a remarkable woman, not only an incredible author but also a kind, caring and charitable person.
I’m not sure about you but I’ll be interested to see what she does next!