J. K. Rowling
One of the richest and most influential women alive today (she holds the distinction of being the first novelist to become a billionaire in US dollars solely through writing), Joanne ("J.K.") Rowling is the author of the Harry Potter heptology. Her published works so far include:
- Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone (Sorcerer's Stone in the United States)
- Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix
- Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- The Casual Vacancy
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (story concept, play written by Jack Thorne)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film script)
Outside the story arc, but set in the same universe, she wrote three books for which all proceeds are donated to charity:
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, under the pen name "Newt Scamander"
- Quidditch Through the Ages, under the pen name "Kennilworthy Whisp"
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard, of which only seven copies were hand-written by Rowling herself, and given to her close friends, save one, which was auctioned for charity. A mass-market edition was released in December 2008.
Rowling's biography is quite famous -- the Potter-related details of it, at least. For a comprehensive version given by herself, see her website. The first idea for Harry Potter "fell into her head" as she was riding on a train, and the idea seized her -- but she had nothing to write on and was too shy to ask any stranger. However, early into the writing process on Philosopher's Stone, Rowling's mother passed away, which "changed her world and Harry's forever", intensifying Harry's feelings of being orphaned. The most famous image of this writer is of a divorced single mother taking her baby to a cafe to write her novel on the back of napkins.
After that, history took its course. Harry Potter is one of the biggest brands in existence today; in an age of The Internet, Video Games and mass Television saturation, Harry made reading cool again. This may be Jo Rowling's most important contribution of all.
J.K. Rowling lives modestly (for her income) in Scotland, with her husband and three children. For the time being[when?], she says, she has taken a break from writing so as to care for her family.
- Appeared as herself on The Simpsons, as seen here.
- Played by Jennifer Saunders for Comic Relief 2003: The Big Hair Do, as seen here.
- Played by Amy Poehler in a Saturday Night Live sketch following the Word of Gay on Dumbledore, as seen here. Awesome as Amy Poehler is, she's... not good at doing a British accent.
- Played by Chad Morgan in one of Robot Chicken's "Dicks with Time Machine" sketches, in which one of the titular time travelers tries to prevent her from writing the Harry Potter series.
- The subject of a Made For TV Biopic in which she was played by Poppy Montgomery. Sadly, it was made by the Lifetime network, but remarkably was not as bad as it could have been and Poppy KILLS the role, capturing a lot of the eccentric mannerisms and touches to Rowling's character that come through in interviews. Also the original title was scrapped in favor of Magic Beyond Words: The J. K. Rowling Story, apparently because Strange Magic just didn't sound Lifetime-y enough. Oddly enough, the movie seems much more like typical Hallmark fare, though markedly better than most tv movies.
- Adam Westing: Mildly in her brief appearance on The Simpsons. To date, this is the only time Rowling has played herself in any fictional context, granted it was just two voice-over lines.
Lisa: Can you tell me what happens at the end of the series?
Rowling: [exasperated] He grows up and marries you. Is that what you want to hear?
Lisa: [dreamily] Yes.
- Aunt Pennybags: Has donated a buttload to charities. Case in point.
- She's also an outspoken democratic socialist, having lived in poverty.
- Author Avatar: Hermione is based off her when she was younger. Apparently, she split her personality into three parts when designing the Golden Trio, but Hermione is the one with the most aspects of her personality, according to Word of God.
- Beam Me Up, Scotty: She never actually wrote the first book on the back of a napkin. When she heard this rumor, she laughed and joked that they'll be saying that she wrote it on teabags next.
- Blunt Yes: At least she apologized.
F.A.Q.: Are you going to kill any more characters?
Rowling: Yes. Sorry.
- Celeb Crush: In Conversations with J. K. Rowling, she mentions that as a kid she had crushes on Dustin Hoffman, after seeing him in Little Big Man, and Davy Jones of The Monkees.
- Creator Breakdown: Early on in the makings of Harry Potter her mother passing away from a years-long battle with multiple sclerosis influenced the more emotionally heavy moments in the story.
- Deadpan Snarker: It's obvious where many of her characters get it.
- Dye Hard: She's a natural brunette, but she dyes it blonde. The Lifetime movie starring Poppy Montgomery inaccurately portrays her as being blonde through her whole life.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: With her sister Di.
- I Just Write the Thing: Rowling often tells us that she only kills off characters she likes because the plot demands it.
- Lies to Children: Not maliciously, of course, but if the truth would be unnecessarily harsh for small kids. Compare her example on that page (regarding Aberforth and his goats) and the Adam Westing and Blunt Yes examples on this page.
- The Maiden Name Debate: Her name has actually been Joanne Murray since her second marriage in 2001, but she still uses her maiden name in her pen name.
- Moustache De Plume: She actually doesn't even have a middle name. She added the "K" (after her grandmother Kathleen) when Bloomsbury asked her to use her initials.
- Rags to Riches
- Writers Cannot Do Math: As she admits. Mostly its dating inconsistencies which make it hard for fans to construct a timeline of the series. The number of students in Hogwarts is also a point of contention.