One of the bestselling authors of all time, JK Rowling has sold over 500 million copies of her books, and has donated hundreds of millions to charity. Here are 9 amazing facts about the author…
1) Harry Potter was rejected 12 times
It’s hard to imagine any publishers turning down the enormously successful Harry Potter series. However, that’s exactly what happened. After completing the manuscript for The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling was rejected by 12 publishers before Bloomsbury eventually picked it up.
2) The dementors were inspired by JK Rowling’s depression
At just 25 years old, JK Rowling’s marriage fell apart after only a very short time together. She was left to care for her daughter alone, with very minimal benefits from the government. This plunged her into a deep depression. This depression was actually the inspiration for the dementors, which first appear in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
3) The ‘K’ was added to make her sound male
When the publisher picked up the book, they decided that boys wouldn’t want to read a book written by Joanne Rowling, so they suggested using initials instead. Since Joanne doesn’t have a middle name, she took her grandmother’s initial – Kathleen – and thus became known as JK Rowling.
4) She loves charm bracelets
JK Rowling believes that charm bracelets are the most treasured items that you can possess – a collection of memories that you can never get back. She had one stolen from her home, and regarded it as one of her greatest losses. On the day that The Deathly Hallows was published, the head of Bloomsbury gifted her a charm bracelet with icons from the series made out of gold and silver.
5) She has given away 70% of her wealth
JK Rowling is well known for her philanthropy. She actually lost her billionaire status after giving away around 70% of her fortune. She started the charity Lumos (a spell from the Harry Potter series) which aims to give children across the world a safe stable life.
6) Hermione is based on her 11 year old self
A bookish child, you would always find a young JK Rowling’s nose buried in a book. She particularly loved Jane Austen novels and the works of Charles Dickens. When it came to creating the character of Hermione,
7) JK Rowling named just one character after a real person
Throughout the books, only one character is named after a real person – Natalie McDonald. She was a Canadian girl who was diagnosed with leukaemia. A big fan of Harry Potter, she wrote to JK Rowling not long before she passed away. Rowling used her name in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The character was sorted into Gryffindor.
8) Rowling based Quidditch on her favourite sport
JK Rowling loves watching basketball – her all time favourite sport. She wanted to bring a magical version of the game into the Harry Potter series, and eventually arrived at Quidditch. Lots of universities across the world now have their own Quidditch leagues.
9) Robert Galbraith
JK Rowling has been writing a series of adult detective series under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. She chose to use a pseudonym to break away from the hype of her next release, and to gain true critique, uninfluenced by her name. When someone revealed that Robert Galbraith was actually JK Rowling, she sued them, won, and donated the money to charity.
There you have it – 9 amazing facts about JK Rowling.