JK Rowling and the Harry Potter Saga
So you have decided to visit the UK for an internship, what a hugely exciting time for you! The United Kingdom is full of beautiful places and inspiring people. So no matter what kind of work you plan on experiencing or your reasons for visiting this wonderful country, you will not be disappointed in what the UK has to offer! JK Rowling’s story clearly demonstrates the opportunities that are available in the UK to those who put their minds to it and work hard. If it’s motivation and perseverance you need, then Rowling’s success story will be exactly what you need to keep on working hard on your journey.
JK Rowling’s life story is a classic “from rags to riches” tale which could have sprung straight from a story book itself. Joanne Rowling was born on 31 July 1965 in Yate, United Kingdom and for much of her life she struggled as a single mother before creating, what is now, one of the highest selling books throughout all history.
One moment changed her life
The idea for the Harry Potter series came to Rowling one day in 1990 while she was sitting on a delayed train commuting from Manchester to London. Unable to withhold the storyline bubbling over inside her, she went straight home and began writing the first of the seven books in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. But it would be another seven years before the public had the chance of falling in love with Rowling’s wizarding world.
A hard life
From the time she started writing Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone to it’s publishing date in 1997, Rowling mourned the death of her mother, had two children and went through two divorces, one of which was rumoured to have been an abusive marriage. During this time Rowling struggled financially as a single parent and had to rely on state benefits to support herself and her newborn children.
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the author once she completed writing Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone either. Rowling sent her first novel to twelve publishing houses all of which rejected the story. It wasn’t until she sent her manuscript to Barry Cunningham, the editor of Bloomsbury Publishing, that Harry Potter was accepted. Cunningham had given a copy of the first chapter to eight-year-old Alice Newton, the daughter of Bloomsbury’s chairman. Alice immediately requested to read the next chapter once she’d finished it and this is when Cunningham knew it was worth publishing. But even he was unawares as to how popular the book was going to be, advising Rowling to look for a day job to support herself as an author.
>> Read our article on dealing with hardships
Within a five-year period, Rowling went from near poverty to becoming a multi-millionaire with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone published in 1997. In the following ten years she would complete the rest of the six books in the series, with the final, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, published in 2007. Rowling is now the UK’s best-selling living author, having sold over £238 million and she is estimated to be worth £600 million.
In 1998 Warner Bros. won the rights to transform Rowling’s books into films. Between 2001-2011 eight Harry Potter movies were released based on all seven books and the entire Harry Potter brand is now expected to be worth US$15 billion!
Harry Potter is arguably one of the greatest children’s books ever made and it is because of Rowling’s persistence in pouring her heart and soul into the project that has made the stories so magical.
“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.” – JK Rowling
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