J. K. Rowling

British author J. K. Rowling was born on the 31st of July 1965 in Gloucestershire, England. Rowling’s father, Peter James Rowling, was an aircraft engineer for Rolls-Royce and her mother, Anne Rowling, was a science technician. Her parents met on a train that was departing King’s Cross Station, a fact that later inspired her to make the location feature prominently in her Harry Potter series.

Rowling’s interest in writing began at an early age when she would write fantasy stories which she read to her sister. She has stated in a number of interviews that her early life was an unhappy one, but did help to propel her towards leaving home and making her own way in life. Rowling was also exposed so well-known authors at an early age, something that later went on to inspire her own writing. She has stated in many interviews that one of her favourite authors when she was younger was Jessica Mitford, particularly for her autobiography, Hons and Rebels, which Rowling has said inspired her in her own life decisions.

Rowling is now best known for her Harry Potter series. The manuscript for the first book in the series was completed by Rowling in 1995 titled Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which she typed on an old typewriter. Although she received numerous rejections for the manuscript, she did receive an enthusiastic response from Bryony Evens, who was a reader for Christopher Little Literacy Agency which later went on to represent Rowling in her search for a publisher. Again received numerous rejections, she eventually found acceptance from Bloomsbury under the editor Barry Cunningham. The ultimate decision to accept the book was based on the response to the first chapters from Alice Newton, the daughter of Bloomsbury’s chairman, who was eight years old at the time and after reading the first few chapters promptly demanded the rest.

The first instalment in the Harry Potter became a commercial success soon after being published, with each subsequent book in the series being just as popular. After finishing writing the Harry Potter series, Rowling spent a large amount of her time busy with the film adaptations and it wasn’t until the final films were released that she was able to get back to writing non-Harry Potter fiction, which she did manage to do with her book ‘Casual Vacancy’. Currently she is back to writing fiction set in the Harry Potter universe.