Last month, I started a topic on my blog about sources of inspiration for my writing, which I opened with a couple of posts about Roald Dahl and one of his wonderful novels. Now I’d like to continue on the topic by passing the spotlight onto another author who has greatly inspired me in my writing, and since today is her birthday, I decided this would be the best time to include her in the segment. Featured today among my blog’s Notable Authors is world-famous fantasy author: J.K. Rowling.
Name: Joanne Rowling
Pen Name: J.K. Rowling
Life: Jul. 31, 1965 – present
Genres: fantasy, tragicomedy, crime fiction
Notable Works: Harry Potter series, The Casual Vacancy, The Cuckoo’s Calling (under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith)
My Favorite Works: All the Harry Potter books, but especially Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7)
J.K. Rowling is a world-renowned British novelist, best known for her highly acclaimed Harry Potter series. I was first introduced to her work in my childhood, when my best friend at the time gave me the first two books in the series as a birthday present, and it took me less than a chapter to be hooked for life. The author created such a vivid and imaginative world in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone in its original UK title) that I remained loyal to the series for the rest of my childhood and my entire adolescence, reading every new book as it came out until finally closing the back cover on the epilogue. Like so many young readers of my generation, I had been captivated by the magic of Rowling’s imagination.
Though she’s established herself as a versatile writer, it’s likely Ms. Rowling will always be known first and foremost as a fantasy author, and it’s as such that she’s inspired me in my own writing. The Harry Potter books not only brought me countless hours of entertainment growing up, but they also taught me a lot about the incredible amount of detail that goes into constructing a fantasy world, something I hope to be able to accomplish myself someday. But it wasn’t just her settings that fascinated me; the author also had a gift for constructing characters that I found engaging and relatable. It was interesting that she seemed to know exactly how to write a coming-of-age story for a male protagonist and make his character believable from the innocent age of 11 to the maturity of age 17 and beyond. On top of that, her attention to detail didn’t stop at Harry, for the rest of her characters were just as well-developed, especially the major ones present throughout all or most of the series. With so much work and care put into creating the world of Harry Potter, it’s really no mystery why I was only one among millions of readers worldwide who were touched by Rowling’s amazing stories.
Now I know that this famous children’s series and its supplements aren’t her only works, but because these are the only books of Ms. Rowling’s that I’ve read (so far), I can’t give a subjective review of The Casual Vacancy or The Cuckoo’s Calling yet. However, I can express my admiration for the author’s ability to step outside the fantasy “brand” she established for herself and still manage to create stories that are generally well-received by her audience. What truly amazed me was hearing the recent news about the latter novel, which she secretly published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith in an attempt to evade the pressure that comes with being one of the most famous writers in the world. Sure, it didn’t become a bestseller until after its author’s true identity was revealed, but early reviews were still mostly favorable considering it was believed to have been written by a debut writer. If nothing else, it’s inspiring to see how Rowling continues to pursue writing in the face of all the hype around her and keep on creating the stories she wants to tell the world.
J.K. Rowling has been an inspiration to me for her wonderful fantasy writing and the joy her novels have brought me for most of my life. Being an aspiring fantasy author myself, her stories have served as great motivation for me to create my own magical worlds with the same level of care and detail that she put into Harry Potter. While I admire Roald Dahl as the author who first inspired me to become a writer, I will always revere J.K. Rowling as the gifted storyteller who kept me on that path for life.
Happy Birthday, Ms. Rowling! And congratulations on all your amazing achievements! From the bottom of this young dreamer’s heart, thank you.