A big happy birthday to Joanne "Jo" Rowling, (pen name J K Rowling), 51 year on the 31st August.
From breadline to billionaire, J K Rowling’s seven Harry Potter books sold over 400 million copies, netting her a fortune. What made her so successful?
Fantasy is a genre popular with adults and children alike. Adult fantasy fans (and there are many of them) love to lose themselves in a very different world to ours, perhaps seeking to forget the cares and problems of daily life. Kids just adore fairy tales and magic. Schooldays play a very important role in all our lives and some of our school memories last a lifetime. By inventing a schoolboy hero, up against the odds in a magical setting, Rowling cleverly ensured that both children and adults alike could immediately have an affinity with Harry Potter, thus doubling her readership.
The books are extremely imaginative and easy to read encompassing over 750 highly individual characters. Shockingly, Harry loses a whole heap of people he loves, his parents, godfather, headmaster, teacher, several friends and a house elf, plus his beloved owl. Each death sparks sympathy and tightens the bond between Harry and the reader. Magical elements such as, moving photos and staircases, talking portraits and ghosts, sport on broomsticks and heaps of magical creatures, coupled with humour, tension, dark moments and a fast pace have created a series of books which are unputdownable, progressing excitingly to a climax where good triumphs over evil ending with a great twist whereby the teacher, Harry’s hated, Professor Snape, turns out to have been helping Harry all along. How many readers saw that coming?
But what I think is really the key to the huge success of Harry Potter is that most of us love stories, be it in the form of books, films, a TV series or simply an anecdote told by a friend and J K Rowling told a rattling exceptional one.
The Harry Potter books couldn’t be described as serious literary fiction. However, I daresay that Joanne "Jo" Rowling OBE FRSL, inventor of the word ‘Muggle, and the first author to top a net worth of over a billion dollars, doesn’t give a fig about that.
For more details on Harry Potter http://www.harrypotter.bloomsbury.com/uk/
For more details on J K Rowling’s latest works http://www.jkrowling.com/en_GB/