J.K. Rowling story : one of the most famous inspirational failures to the success story of our time. She had failed in almost everything she attempted to do in her life, and at one point, she considered herself a significant failure. Most people only know her as a woman writer who created Harry Potter, but what people don’t know about her struggles before reaching stardom.
Birth and Childhood
Joanne Rowling was born on 31st July 1965 in Yate, Gloucestershire, England, to Peter James Rowling and Anne Rowling. Her father was a Rolls- Royce aircraft engineer, and her mother was a science technician. She had one little sister, Dianne; Rowling loves to write fantasy stories and read them to her younger sister. When she was a teenager, she got a chance to read Jessica Mitford’s autobiography; from then on, Mitford became her heroine, and after that, she read all her books.
Book Inspiration and Mother’s Death
After working for Amnesty International as a researcher and bilingual secretary in London, Rowling moved to Manchester with her then-boyfriend, working at the Chamber of Commerce. In 1990, Rowling first had the idea for Harry Potter, a story of a young boy who attends a school of wizards while she was on a 4 hour delayed train trip from Manchester to London.
While traveling, the idea fully formed in her mind, and when she reached her flat, she began writing furiously. However, in December 1990, her mother died after ten years of complications from Multiple Sclerosis. Mother’s death heavily affects Rowling and leaves her distraught. Later she channeled the feelings of her loss by writing about Harry’s feelings in her first book.
Marriage, Divorce and Single Mother
After a few months of her mother’s death, she moved to Portugal to teach English. There she met a man, fell in love with him, got married, and gave birth to her daughter. In 1993 her marriage ended in divorce, and she with her infant daughter moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, to be closer to her sister.
This was the most struggling time for j.k. Rowling, and she saw herself as a complete failure. She was divorced, jobless had no money, and was a dependent child. Because of all this, she suffered bouts of depression and contemplated suicide. Eventually, she signed for Government-assisted welfare, describing her economic status as poor. It was a challenging time in her life, but she kept going on and put all her energy into completing her novel.
In 1995 Rowling completed her manuscript for Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone on an old manual typewriter. She was so poor that she could not afford a computer or even the cost of photocopying the novel, so she manually typed each copy and submitted it to twelve publishing houses in London.
The manuscript was rejected almost dozens of times until she was finally given a chance with a £1,500 advance by a small London publisher, Bloomsbury, after its CEO’s little 8-year-old daughter fell in love with it after reading the first chapter of the book. In June 1997, Bloomsbury published the first 1000 copies of the Harry Potter series, out of which 500 copies were distributed to libraries. The book won Nestlé Smarties Book Prize, its first award, just five months later. In early 1998 an auction was held in America for the printing rights to publish the novel.
Scholastic Inc won the auction for USD 105,000 later; Rowling said in an interview that she nearly died when she heard the news of this amount for printing her novel. Today Harry Potter is a global brand worth an estimated 43 billion dollars.
The last four Harry Potter books have set the records for the fastest-selling books in history. The Harry Potter series totaling 4,195 pages have been translated either in whole or in part into 65 languages. The Harry Potter books series had also gained recognition for creating an interest in reading among the children’s at a time when they were more inclined towards the internet, computers, and television.
In 2001 J.K. Rowling purchased a 19th-century Killiechassie House, an estate house on the banks of the River Tay in Perth. She also owns a £4.5 million Georgian house in west London. In 2004, Forbes named Rowling the first person to become a US-dollar billionaire by only writing books. As of 2022, J.K. Rowling’s net worth is approx. £ 820 million.
Rowling and her second husband, Neil Murray, were married on 26th December 2001. They live in Edinburgh with their three children. Rowling was a runner-up in 2007 Time’s annual Person of the Year issue after Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
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