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J K Rowling

Joanne Kathleen Rowling was born on 31st July 1965 in Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England. She attended Tutshill Primary School and then Wyedean Comprehensive before going to Exeter University to studied French, having been encouraged by her parents, who said that this could lead to a great career as a bilingual secretary. On graduating from Exeter University she spent her first years at work as 'the worst secretary ever'.

In 1990, aged 26, she moved to Portugal as an English teacher with classes in the afternoons and evenings, leaving her mornings free for writing. Her first two books were abandoned as being 'very bad' while her third was based on a boy who found out he was a wizard and was sent off to wizard school. While in Portugal she met and married a Portuguese journalist. Their daughter, Jessica, was born in 1993. After her marriage ended in divorce, Ms Rowling and her daughter moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, where she set herself a deadline - to finish the third novel before starting work as a French teacher. She wrote at a café table while Jessica was napping.

Having obtained a grant to finish her novel from The Scottish Arts Council she eventually sold Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone for a modest sum to Bloomsbury (UK). While working as a teacher the American rights for Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone where bought for enough money to enable her to give up teaching. Bloomsbury Children's Books published the book in the UK in June 1997.

Harry Potter Potter and The Philosopher's Stone won The British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year, and the Smarties Prize. Renamed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the book was published in the USA in September 1998 by Arthur A Levine Books/Scholastic Press. The sequel, Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets was published in July 1998 (UK) and June 1999 (USA). Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban was published in July 1999 (UK) and September 1999 (USA).

When all three novels occupied the top three slots in The Times bestseller list Ms Rowling had become an international literary sensation. By the summer of 2000, the first three books had sold over 35 million copies in 35 languages and earned approximately £300 million.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth and at some 636 pages almost as long as the previous three books put together, was the first in the series to have a simultaneous global release, at 12 midnight on the 8th July 2000. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire had a first printing of 5.3 million copies with advance orders of over 1.8 million

If that wasn't impressive enough the sales for the next two books in the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (June 2003) and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (July 2005), sold 5 million in the US and 1 million in the UK and 7 million in the US and 2 million in the UK in the first 24 hours respectively

More than 300million Potter books have been sold worldwide since part one was published in 1997 and JK Rowling’s fortune is now an estimated £600million (2005)

The day finally came with the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on 21st July 2007, the seveth and final book in the series. All sales records were broken with 2.7 million copies in the UK and 8.3 million in the US being sold in the first 24 hours. The previous record for the fastest-selling book was held by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which sold 9 million in its first day in 2005 (see above).

In 2012 J K Rowling published her first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy. It became the fastest selling novel in the UK in three years with first week sales of 124,603 to the 29th September 2012, while in the USA 154,720 copies were sold in the first week to 30th September 2012. With expectations so high it is not surprising the novel was received with mixed feelings, reviews seemingly polarised between 'love it' or 'hate it' and little in-between. Time, of course, will tell.

On the 14th July 2013 J.K. Rowling shocked the book world by revealing see had released a new detective novel The Cuckoo's Calling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. The book was released in April with only 1,500 copies printed, 220 of which we believe where signed copies sold through specialist booksellers such as Goldsboro Books. If you were lucky enough to pick up an unsigned copy pre-Rowling it is worth several hundred pounds while the signed copies have been selling for over two thousand. If you do a bit of research you will find that before it was known as a Rowling book there wasn’t a single one or two star review, all were three and above, the majority being five; it wasn’t until after Rowling admitted to being the author that the ones and twos started... interesting no?

In July 2016 J. K. Rowling (with Jack Throne and John Tiffany) published Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the ‘eighth’ book in the Harry Potter series. First week sales amounted to 847,886 in the UK and just under 2.6 million in the US. Though released as Children's Fiction, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child is actually a play. As such, it is by far the biggest-selling play script since records began. A Penguin Classics edition of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet is a distant second, having sold 127,726 copies since 1998. In fact, Rowling's book in its first week sold more than the entire Drama Texts, Plays & Screenplays book sub-category did in all of 2015, which was 690,577 for all copies.

Published on the 18th November 2016 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay follows the exploits of magizoologist Newt Scamander in 1920s New York. The film also opened on the same day.

See Victim's article on the Harry Potter Phenomenon here.

Discover how Lesley first found Harry Potter here.

For a bit of harmless fun have a look at the very funny Harry Potter Synopsis.

Books by J K Rowling Links
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay (2016)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One & Two (Special Rehearsal Edition) (2016)
The Casual Vacancy (2012)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007)
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2005)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (1997)

Short Story Collections:
The Tales of Beedle the Bard (2008)
The Tales of Beedle the Bard (2007) [1]

[1] Only seven handwritten copies published, six have been given as gifts while the seventh, The Moonstone Edition, was bought by Amazon for 1,950,000.00 pounds.

Other Works:
Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them (2001)
Quidditch through the Ages (2001)

As Robert Galbraith:
Career of Evil (2016)
The Silkworm (2014)
The Cuckoo's Calling (2013)
Keeping Author Pages up-to-date with current publications and biographical information is a time consuming exercise and as such this page may not contain the most recent releases or author details. To confirm the latest available information please visit one of the following websites.

Author's Website:
J K Rowling Homepage

Author’s Page on Amazon:
where you will be able to see an up-to-date bibliography.

Author’s Page on Wikipedia:
which will give you a more detailed biography for the author.

Other Useful Sites of Interest:
Harry Potter Homepage - Warner Brothers page (ho hum:)
MuggleNet - Harry Potter Fan Site - News and Info
Pottermore - All things Potter...  
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