JK Rowling

From ArticleWorld

JK Rowling was born in South Gloucestershire, England in July of 1965. Born Joanne Rowling, she is the creator of the “Harry Potter” characters and novels. As of 2005, her books have sold over an estimated 300 million copies and, in 2004, “Forbes” magazine estimated her profits to exceed $1 billion US dollars. She is the first person to reach the billion-dollar mark by writing books.



JK Rowling finished her manuscript for “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” in 1995. Various publishers rejected it over the next year. In 1996, Bloomsbury, a small publisher, accepted the manuscript and Rowling was awarded a grant from the Scottish Arts Council, which allowed her to continue writing. In 1997, Scholastic Inc., a United States publisher, outbid other publishers at an auction for the publishing rights. The novel was finally published in the UK in July of 1997 under its original title. In 1998, however, Scholastic Inc. published the novel in the United States under the title “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”. Rowling regrets allowing the change.

Harry Potter novels

“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is the first book in a series of seven. Each novel follows its main character, Harry Potter, and his friends throughout their seven years at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. By the time the fourth novel, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, was published in 2000, JK Rowling was a billionaire. Rowling has won numerous awards for the novels including the Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year and the Nestle Smarties Prize. The sixth novel in the series, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, was published in 2005. The seventh and final book in the series is as of early 2006, unnamed and without a release date.

Harry Potter films

Warner Brothers purchased the film rights to for the first two books in the Harry Potter series in 1998. “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” was released in 2001 and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” was released in 2001. Chris Columbus directed both. The third film, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”, followed the dark mood of the novel. In addition to the more somber tone, a new director, Alfonso Cuaron, took the reigns. The film was released in June of 2004. The last film to be released followed Harry in his fourth year at Hogwarts. “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” released in November 2005 with a new director, Mike Newell. The fifth installment, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”, is currently under new direction (David Yates) and production with a 2007 release date.

Life after Harry

Rowling plans to continue writing once the seventh Potter book is complete. In a BBC interview, she said she’d like to write for a younger audience. In addition, she says she has already completed a book of children’s short stories aimed at that younger audience.