Joanne (Kathleen) Rowling, (the first syllable rhymes with ‘row’ your boat) creator of Harry Potter, celebrates her birthday today. Her manuscript for The Philosopher’s Stone, the first in the series, was turned down a few times before Bloomsbury agreed to publish it in 1997, when she was 32 years old.
Rowling said her inspiration came while she was waiting…
“It was after a weekend’s flat-hunting, when I was travelling back to London on my own on a crowded train, that the idea for Harry Potter simply fell into my head… I didn’t have a functioning pen with me, and I was too shy to ask anybody if I could borrow one. I think, now, that this was probably a good thing, because I simply sat and thought, for four (delayed train) hours…”
Now one of her childhood homes is for sale – with her inscription on the window sill (Joanne Rowling slept here…) – JK Rowling Home.
I read all the Harry Potter books as soon as they were published, and promptly forgot each one until the next. Of course, the movies help to keep the fire burning – with the last in the series now finally out.
If you have not read any, dip in anywhere – not necessary to read them in order. – or better yet – listen to them on tape. My favorite was The Prisoner of Azkaban, when Harry’s Patronus, his mystical protector, saves the day. Expecto Patronum and Happy Birthday!