Inspirations 3 – J K Rowling

22 Sep

 Figured it was definitely time for another inspirations post. So, J K Rowling. You might have heard of her, I believe she’s a bit famous.

As with Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels I was a reluctant reader of Harry Potter. I was all ‘rar, hype hype hype not going to read it what kind of a name is Harry Potter anyway?’ only I might have used punctuation in my thinking. One day when I was about 13 my Dad was moving in with my Stepmum-to-be, and they had gone on a moving van run to my Stepmum’s house, leaving me behind. I was bored. Very, very bored. I didn’t have much experience of being bored. All the packing was done, most of stuff was moved, and then I saw a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone  and I went ‘FINE, whatever’ in typical teenage fashion, picked it up and stomped over to the couch to read it.

I read it from cover to cover, enjoying the characters, the story, the quirky names and the humour of the whole thing. I seem to remember that Dad had actually bought it for me for Christmas but had forgotten to give it to me (he does that sometimes 😀 late presents are kind of cool). I went on to acquire Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, reading them in one sitting as well. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire hadn’t been released yet, and so began my period of eager waiting. This is the first time I can remember where I had to wait for a book to come out; most of my reading were already completed serials or standalone novels up to that point.

Me waiting for the release of HP4…I might actually have had less hair

 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was the first time I stayed up until midnight to go and buy a book. It might even have been the first time that a book was released at midnight and shops stayed open to wait for it. It was very exciting – most of my family was hooked by now, and my Dad took me to the supermarket to join the long queue of people waiting to buy. We got home at about 12.45am and I finished my first read through by about 5am. I was startled by how much more grown-up this was than the previous books, but it made a lot of sense with the characters growing older. At this point they were just a little bit older than me. The scene with the trial of Barty Crouch Jr. terrified me, it was so intense – now that’s good writing! To make a scene (not even a violent or traditionally scary scene) that intense is remarkable. 

I queued up at midnight with Dad again to get Order of the Phoenix. This one didn’t appeal to me as much, although it was still awesome. Angsty Harry was just far too angsty for my liking! I still stayed up all night to read it.

I actually didn’t do the midnight queue for the sixth book,in fact I think it had been out a whole week before I read this one. By this time I was 19, so had dramatically overtaken the characters in terms of age. I think I might even have paced this one out and read it in more that a day.

For the final book, a group of my friends decided we would go and do the queuing thing – no supermarket this time, we wrapped ourselves up in warm clothes and at about 11pm we wandered into Southampton, bought some kebabs and chips (an important part of any late night city venture) and joined the queue outside the big Waterstones. We stood there. Drunk people ambled around us, and the police and decided that we warranted some protection, so a couple of coppers hung round as well. Som drunk guys shouted ‘RON DIES!’. The uninitiated stared. Our feet hurt.

I am the best artist ever. Click to embiggen.

Totally worth it.

Finished the book around 7am, and then fell into an uneasy sleep. Woke up an hour or so later, raised my ‘wand’ arm and shouted ‘PROTEGO!’ because I dreamed that I was surrounded by Death Eaters.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is scary, intense, in tents (see what I did there?), and so brilliant.

Rowling’s more than a writing inspiration – she shows that you can work your way up from having nothing and become one of the richest people in the world. She takes an interest in politics and doesn’t forget her roots. She’s generally amazing, and one of the few celebrities I would love to meet.

My writing definitely looms towards being dark, but Rowling’s writing reminds me that you can combine dark with the light.

British author Joanne Rowling was born in 1965 and is the author of the famous Harry Potter series. She started writing the series as a single mother on benefits and became a multimillionaire within five years. She supports numerous charities and has made considerable donations to the Labour Party in Britain.


2 Responses to “Inspirations 3 – J K Rowling”

  1. jillsmo September 22, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    Those are, without question, the greatest witch hats I’ve ever seen in my life ever.

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