Everyone goes through a change. An evolution. Author Joanne Kathleen Rowling finds herself no exception. Famous for creating the magical world of “Harry Potter,” spanning seven books and becoming the best-selling book series in history, J.K. Rowling forever changed the genre of fantasy for writers and readers alike. Her evolution from penniless writer to successful author has impacted millions of readers from all over the world.
However, her journey has not always been easy.
Imagine a world devoid of “Harry Potter.” This would have become reality if Rowling had given up after receiving 12 rejection letters from various publishing houses. However, after years of rejection, Bloomsbury Publishing took a chance on the “Harry Potter” manuscript. The rest, as they say, is history.
For a decade, the world became enchanted with “the boy who lived.” Sequels, movies and games were made to satisfy audiences.
Why did this seemingly childish series about wizardry capture the attention of kids and adults alike?
For one, it perfectly balanced themes of loneliness, friendship, courage and love in the face of evil. Rowling’s writing had and still does have a way of making her fictional characters come alive in a reader’s mind. With such a monumental fan base, people inevitably started questioning what the author was going to write after the series’ inevitable conclusion.
To everyone’s surprise, Rowling strayed from the magic that landed her stardom, instead penning “The Casual Vacancy,” a tragicomedy focusing on the political issues of a small town. The book had major shoes to fill and high expectations to meet. While it became a bestseller, critics couldn’t help but compare the book to the “Harry Potter” series. Despite criticism, Rowling moved on to another series called “Cormoran Strike,” this time focusing on a detective solving a string of murders. Not wanting to have her stardom impact the series’ success, the author wrote under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith. However, it didn’t take long for many to wonder and eventually discover who could have written such a compelling debut novel. While lacking even a trace of magic, the crime/mystery series remains an important inclusion in Rowling’s career as an author.
Rowling has fought hard to get the recognition she deserves. Continuing to write what she wants, and not pandering to both critics and readers, shows why the author has managed to make it to the top of the literary world and stay there.
Literature has the power to move people. Therein lies the true magic of J.K. Rowling.