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The Life and Achievements of Joanne Rowling
Transcript of The Life and Achievements of Joanne Rowling
Better known as J.K. Rowling!
She was born on July 30th, 1965 in Yate, England
At the age of nine, she moved to Chepstow, South Wales.
Upon moving, she soon met her best friends and the inspiration for some very important characters; Ian and Vikki Potter.
aka: James, Lily, and Harry Potter!
As soon as she started school, she began writing her own stories, vivid and imaginative fantasy novels full of odd characters and magic.
She continued on to graduate from her class with high honors and learned that her mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
After high school, Joanne attended Exeter University in Paris to study French
(as "recommended" by her parents)
College and the invention of Harry:
Graduation lead her to a boring series of secretarial jobs, and she became so self-conscious of her work she kept it a secret.
On her way to London, her train broke down, sparking a four hour delay and the idea of Harry Potter.
She then invested all her time in writing the story, but never mentioned it to anyone.
"I suddenly had this basic idea of a boy who didn’t know what he was.” -JK recalls of the realization.
The development of Harry and FINALLY submission to publishers
Her mother died suddenly, causing her to regret never letting her read it. Soon, Harry became her only motivation.
She then "ran away" to Portugal to become an ESL teacher.
There, she met her future husband, journalist Jorge Arantes, and realized her book was more for adults now.
"I wasn’t really aware that it was a children’s book. I really wrote it for me. It was what I found funny and what I liked."
In 1993 her and her husband separated after just giving birth to baby Jessica, and JK moved back to England with her.
"I never expected to mess up so badly that I would find myself in an unheated mouse-infested flat, looking after my daughter. And I was angry because I felt that I was letting her down.”
A lack of inspiration and deep depression eventually brought her the idea of Dementors. Finally, she confessed the story of Harry Potter to her sister.
"It’s possible if she had not laughed, I would have set the whole thing to one side, but Di did laugh." (Di is her sister.) She then convinced her to send her manuscript to publishers.
Early 1995 she finished “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone" and sent it to two different agents.
Publishing Harry and the aftermath
She earned her postgraduate certificate of education allowing her to teach in Scotland. She also received a grant from the Scottish Arts Council so she could continue to write.
Soon after, a letter came in the mail from Bloomsbury Press, a small publishing house in London, wanting to see her full manuscript. "All I ever wanted was for somebody to publish Harry so I could go to bookshops and see it."
During her meeting though, the publisher advised her against writing.
"You’ll never make any money out of children’s books.”
Despite the publisher's discouragement, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone" was published June 26th, 1997. On July 8th, 1999, the Prisoner of Askaban followed.
In 2001 she married her current husband Dr. Neil Murray, and had two children.
Since publication, Harry has won 21 awards in 4 years.
With her riches, JK has:
Donated over $750,000 to the National Council for One Parent Families in London
Became a patron for the MS Society in Scotland
Founded the Volant Charitable Trust in 2000, which annually donates about 5.1 million to help poverty, children, one parent families, and multiple sclerosis research.