My person of the month: J.K. Rowling

I’m so excited to be going to the European Premiere of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald. Excited may be too calm a word. Overjoyed, enthusiastic, intrigued… those words will do too. Ever since my girls were young we’ve loved Harry Potter. The books, the movies, the boy who lived – we loved it all. Imagine my absolute joy to be able to combine my job with one of my greatest loves.

So as a tribute to the woman who made all this possible, I’ve named J.K. Rowling as my person of the month.  Until the premiere, I’ll be looking at her influence, celebrity and her strength of character and what’s she’s done for girls… I could go on and on… and I will! Watch this space for exclusive pictures and reports from the front lines of the movie premiere… in the meantime, let’s enjoy the amazing woman that is J.K. Rowling.

Who is J.K. Rowling? Need you ask? 

You think you know the rags to riches story… complete with scribbles on random papers and a quick rise to being the most successful author in the world? Well, you’re probably right. J.K. is absolutely famous and fabulous and, if you’re reading this, I’m sure most of you have researched her quite thoroughly.

But I would be remiss to not give the basics to the few people, who may have been living under rocks for the last twenty years and don’t know the backstory. Not that there’s anything wrong with living under rocks of course… if that’s your inclination… J.K. would probably love to write a story of amazing people living underground in a magical world… 

J.K. Rowling: A Novelist who stirred the world with her fantasy novel series Episode 3 from Art of Success on Vimeo.

To the backstory then… 

Born in Yate, Gloucestershire, England, Joanne Kathleen Rowling (Kathleen was the name of her grandmother), was working as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International when she conceived the idea for the Harry Potter series while on a delayed train from Manchester to London in 1990. The seven-year period that followed saw the death of her mother, birth of her first child, divorce from her first husband and relative poverty until the first novel in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was published in 1997. There were six sequels, of which the last, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was released in 2007. Since then, Rowling has written five books for adult readers: The Casual Vacancy (2012) and—under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith—the crime fiction novels The Cuckoo’s Calling (2013), The Silkworm (2014), Career of Evil (2015), and Lethal White (2018).

Rowling has lived a “rags to riches” life story, in which she progressed from living on state benefits to being the world’s first billionaire author. She lost her billionaire status after giving away much of her earnings to charity, but remains one of the wealthiest people in the world. She is the United Kingdom’s bestselling living author, with sales in excess of £238M. The 2016 Sunday Times Rich List estimated Rowling’s fortune at £600 million, ranking her as the joint 197th richest person in the UK. Time named her a runner-up for its 2007 Person of the Year, noting the social, moral, and political inspiration she has given her fans. In October 2010, Rowling was named the “Most Influential Woman in Britain” by leading magazine editors. She has supported charities, including Comic Relief, One Parent Families and Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain, and launched her own charity, Lumos.

Why we love J.K. Rowling

I’m certain there are too many reasons that we love her to list. But I shall try. If you have more to add then, by all means, add yours to the list as we’ll be discussing this on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram and in my Facebook Book Club

She inspired an entire generation to become obsessed with reading!  This is so personal to me as Kamarane decided when she was in Year 4 that she just didn’t want to read anymore, to herself or out loud.  It was a class colleague who was reading Harry Potter and shared his book with her that got her reading again.  I bought the DVDs for her that Christmas and she then ordered the books and now won’t stop reading! 

Before Harry Potter, people loved to read, and even after Harry Potter ended people loved to read, but Harry Potter did something truly special. It took an entire generation of kids and turned them into lifelong readers. It inspired little girls and boys to become writers. It sparked imaginations. It will continue to inspire for generations to come.

She encourages girls in every way.

Rowling once said: “I consider myself to be a feminist, and I’d always wanted to show that just because a woman has made a choice, a free choice to say, ‘Well, I’m going to raise my family and that’s going to be my choice. I may go back to a career, I may have a career part time, but that’s my choice.’ Doesn’t mean that that’s all she can do.”

She made her female characters independent, intelligent, and opinionated. Hermione, Ginny, Luna, McGonagall, and so many more characters from Harry Potter are strong role models for young girls, all of which reflect Rowling’s beliefs.

Rowling once said: “Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons.” Who wouldn’t want to be the brightest witch of their age?

She’s a giver.

Rowling was the first writer to become a billionaire, but she soon fell off of Forbes list as she continues to donate a significant portion of her money to charities continually. If that isn’t life goals, I don’t know what is.

She doesn’t give “bad boys” a pass.

“Draco has all the glamour of the anti-hero; girls are very apt to romanticize such people. All of this left me in the unenviable position of pouring cold common sense on ardent readers’ daydreams as I told them, rather severely, that Draco was not concealing a heart of gold under all that sneering and prejudice and that no, he and Harry were not destined to end up best friends.”

She’s the real deal…

She is a really genuine person. She started off with not a lot, and didn’t have much luck getting the first book published. Turned away by 12 publishers, she didn’t give up and we applaud her for that. She hasn’t lost her sense of being, she is still a very grounded and honest person.

Are you a Potter fan? Have you discovered your own Patronus on Pottermore? How about the Fantastic Beasts movies? I want to talk about all things J.K. Rowling this month… will you join me on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram! Let’s talk about it!