From an early age, Joanna Rowling had an ambition to become a writer. She often tried her hand at writing fantasy stories. Aged six, she wrote a book about a rabbit who got measles. After, she understood that her parents enjoyed her story, Joanna suggested with confidence ‘well, get it published then.’
After finishing school, her parents encouraged Joanna to study French. She slightly regretted choosing French, saying she would have preferred to focus on English and English literature. However, it was her parents’ wish that she should study something ‘more useful’ than just English. After graduating from university Joanna Rowling took various jobs in London.
It was in 1990, that she first got the idea for Harry Potter, a boy attending a school for wizards. As she recalls, it was on a long train journey from Manchester to London, when she began forming in her mind the characters for the book. On arriving at her flat, she started writing the book immediately, although, it would take her several years to finish it. In the meantime, she went to teach in Portugal, married a Portuguese journalist, had a daughter, Jessica, divorced her husband, and returned to Britain, to Edinburgh.
Eventually, she finished her first copy of The Philosopher’s Stone, but her agent spent over a year trying hard to get a publisher. It was rejected by 12 major publishing houses. But, finally, quite a small publisher, Bloomsbury, agreed to take the book on. The decision to take on the book was, in large part, due to the publisher’s daughters who read and liked the first chapter of the book.
When the first ‘Harry Potter’ novel was published, the publisher asked Joanna to use initials rather than her first name. The publisher was afraid that boys would be against a book written by a woman. Since Joanna had only one given name, she took ‘K.’ from her favorite grandmother, Kathleen.
Within a few weeks of publication, book sales started to take off. A number of other novels about Harry Potter followed. In 1998, Warner Bros secured the film rights for the books. The films have increased the success of the books, making Harry Potter into one of the most recognisable media products. Under the close guidance of J.K.Rowling, all the films were shot close to the original plot; also at J.K.Rowling’s request the filming took place in Britain.
The final book of the Harry Potter Series – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released in 2007. J.K.Rowling said that the book was her favorite and she would continue writing, but there was little chance of continuing the Harry Potter Series.