Where are they now? A look into the life of JK Rowling


In this July 7, 2011 file photo, British author JK Rowling arrives in Trafalgar Square, in central London, for the World Premiere of “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” the last film in the series. (AP)

In case you didn’t feel old enough yet, let me inform you that it has been over 18 years since J.K. Rowling released “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” the first novel in the beloved Harry Potter franchise. Better known in the U.S. as “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” the acclaimed fantasy tale garnered over 50 awards in the years following its publication according to Arthur A. Levine Books publishing, which effectively put the previously jobless and welfare-dependent Rowling on the worldwide radar.

In 2007, the long-awaited series finale “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” was published worldwide, and the subsequent release of the second part of the film adaptation in 2011 signified the end of an era for fans all over the world. It seemed as though there might not be a foreseeable future for everyone’s favorite wizarding world, but J. K. Rowling had quite a few tricks up her sleeve since the series’ conclusion.

In an effort to keep the magic alive, Rowling announced the 2011 release of Pottermore: an interactive website that gives fans the opportunity to “explore more of the magical world of Harry Potter than ever before,” according to promo for the Pottermore website. Additionally, in September 2013 it was revealed that Rowling would make her screenwriting debut in a Harry Potter spinoff film, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” set to release in November 2016.

This past June, Rowling announced plans for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” a play created by Rowling in collaboration with playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany, which will be opening at London’s Palace Theatre in 2016. According to a tweet Rowling sent out this past June, the West End show will tell “an untold part of Harry’s story.” The demand for tickets has been overwhelming, with tickets selling out so quickly (over 175,000 sold tickets in just eight hours) that the show has extended its run twice, first to January 2017 and then to April 2017, according to Independent U.K.

Most recently, Rowling has revealed that she has been working on a children’s book. “I’m not going to give you an absolute date because things are busy enough,” said Rowling in an interview for BBC Radio this past Tuesday. We’ll have to cut her some slack for the lack of details, as she’s clearly been preoccupied with many other projects lately.

This isn’t Rowling’s first novel after “Harry Potter.” In 2013 she published “The Cuckoo’s Calling” under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, the first novel of the “Cormoran Strike” series. According to The Telegraph UK, the first novel sold a very modest 1,500 copies upon its release, but as soon as Rowling was revealed as the author its demand was so high that her publisher was forced to order 300,000 additional copies to be sold.

It’s no secret that J. K. Rowling has enjoyed extraordinary critical and financial success over the years. Her career as a writer has made her a billionaire, which is absolutely remarkable considering the fact that she had been living in poverty prior to “Harry Potter.” Despite such success, she clearly had no intention of stopping at the “Harry Potter” finale. And her fans couldn’t be happier about that.

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