J.K. Rowling

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

J.K. Rowling Pencil Portrait
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She started writing the Harry Potter series during a Manchester to London King’s Cross train journey, and during the next five years, outlined the plots for each book before commencing work on the first instalment.

The book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997), and the novels in the series which have succeeded it, have been an unprecedented success. They have topped all bestseller lists, won numerous awards, and been translated into over sixty languages. Worldwide sales of the Harry Potter books now exceed 300 million copies.

That’s the upside of being author J.K. Rowling. The downside for her is having an opinion on more worldly matters, and daring to express them. In the autumn of 2014, she released a statement explaining why she believed that Scotland was better off as part of the Union and that she was making a substantial donation to the ‘Better Together’ campaign. As a person who, whilst not Scottish by birth, had made the country her home for more than 20 years and had every intention of spending the rest of her life there, it seemed reasonable enough to believe that should be entitled to nail her sail to one of the two political masts. Predictably of course, what followed was a torrent of social media vitriol. Many of the comments directed at her from Yes campaigners on Twitter were simply unprintable – just expletive, invective-laden abuse, much of it displaying the most terrible sexism imaginable.

Perhaps it would be better for most of these internet trolls to devote quality time to creative writing, in an effort to replicate Rowling’s enormous annual UK tax bill. After all, financial settlement of such a size to HMRC is merely indicative of an entrepreneurial genius in her chosen field.

I don’t read her books and never will, but my (now) adult children still love her works, and she was perfectly entitled to use the status she now enjoys to promote what, in her opinion, was a valid cause.


JK Rowling.com