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Somewhere inside of train from Manchester to King’s Cross station sat a temp musing the idea of a scrawny wizard boy, Harry Potter. It wasn’t long after that the characters Hermione and Ron Weasley were born. Little did this temp and unknown author know that her musings and these characters would change the world soon.
The temp was none other than J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series. There was very little magic in Rowling’s life when she came up with the idea of a magical world of wizards and witches. She was working odd temp jobs trying to pursue her love for writing when she came up with the world of Harry Potter. As she built up the magical world, her world started crumbling.
Most of us know J.K Rowling as a successful billionaire author but little do we know about her tough life before she became famous. We bring to you the truly magical rags to riches story of the woman who changed our lives with her magical stories.
The young author
Joanne Rowling (J.K. Rowling) was born in the South-west of England to a Rolls-Royce aircraft engineer and a science technician. Rowling had a relatively happy childhood and grew up surrounded by books.
She wanted to be a writer from a very young age and it didn’t take long for her to put her thoughts on paper. Rowling wrote her first book called “Rabbit” at the age of six. “Rabbit” was the story of a young rabbit who had measles and was visited by his unique friends including a giant bee. When mom praised her writing, Rowling suggested that she should probably get it published if it was really good. At age 11, Rowling wrote her first novel about seven cursed diamonds and the fate of people who owned them.
A series of unfortunate incidents
Rowling’s mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when Rowling was still long. Her mother’s deteriorating health and a tough relationship with her father led Rowling to spend most of her teenage years depressed. A few years later, Rowling earned a BA in French and Classics from the University of Exeter and started working as a bilingual secretary.
In 1990, Rowling, now 25, was on a delayed train from Manchester to King’s Cross Station and this is where she dreamed up the world of Harry Potter. Since she did not have a pen on her at the time, Rowling had to continue fantasizing about the story until she could reach home and pen it all down.
Tragedy struck Rowling soon after. Rowling’s mother passed away in December 1990 after suffering from Multiple Sclerosis for ten years. This affected Rowling’s life dramatically. In an interview much later, Rowling talks about how she equates the death of her mother to the death of Harry’s parents in the book.
Rowling moved to Portugal and continued working on Harry Potter. While in Portugal, she met a journalist and married him. Rowling gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in July 1993. But the happiness was short-lived as Rowling’s marriage was filled with domestic abuse.
Rowling moved to Edinburgh in December 1993 with her daughter, a suitcase with three chapters of Harry Potter, and not much money. Rowling describes this stage of her life as being one of the toughest and dreadful times. Rowling was diagnosed with clinical depression and even contemplated suicide. It was her depression that inspired the cold, soul-sucking characters called ‘Dementors’.
Rowling applied for welfare and decided to continue with her magical story. Being a single mother with not much help, she worked on her books in cafes when her daughter was asleep. It was anything but easy but Rowling’s spirit did not waiver.
The light at the end of the tunnel
Rowling submitted her first manuscript for Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone to 12 publishing houses who all rejected it. A year later, it was approved by an editor on Bloomsbury. Five months after its publication, the book won its first award and went on to receive the British book award for Children’s books a year later.
There was no looking back for Rowling after this. The book became popular all over the world and children and adults could not wait for the next installment. The story of a young wizard and his magical world touched hearts all over the world. The books were soon made into movies and Rowling became a household name.
The Harry Potter series was a significant part of many people’s childhood. It greatly influenced how kids viewed the world, taught them about friendship, love, and courage. But more than anything, it taught us about the importance of hope and never giving up. But Rowling’s real-life story is just as inspiring. She taught us to chase our dreams regardless of how many dementors, Horcruxes, or trolls we encounter.