The “Information Sheet” that came with the letter from J. K. Rowling (see in the previous post) begins with a note from the great and powerful author herself!
“My full name is Joanne Kathleen Rowling. I added ‘Kathleen’, which was the name of my paternal grandmother, because my UK publishers wanted me to use my initials when they published ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’. This was an attempt to conceal my gender as they thought ‘Harry Potter’ was a book that might appeal to boys, but the fact that a woman had written it might put boys off. I have no idea whether they were right or not, but the ploy did not receive a very long trial, as it quickly became obvious that ‘J. K.’ was a woman from her press photographs.
All my life I have wanted to be a writer. I experimented with many different stories, and wrote parts of several novels, before the idea for ‘Harry Potter’ came to me on a train journey from Manchester to London in 1990. I had never felt so excited about a story before, but never for an instant did I have an inkling of what ‘Harry Potter’ would become. I simply knew that it was something I would love to write, and as I sat there on the train, pen-less for once in my life, I gave myself over to imagining the details of a nameless school for wizardry, most of which found their way into the published books.'”
If you are a fan like me, you probably know most of this info already, but as I read this sheet, I got to thinking about her creative process. It reminded me of my own sporadic thoughts that interrupt daily life, when at a moment’s notice I just must write them down! When I lived in Europe, I loved riding the train, but my family was always with me, so I didn’t get much time to sit and quietly contemplate story ideas. Writing on a train is one of my long-term writing goals for the future, someday-when I can take a week away from life. Perhaps I’ll lean my forehead against the cool window glass and stare out at the countryside until I have a SHAZAM moment. Ah…well. Someday.
Tune in next week for Part 2 of J. K. Rowling’s fan mail “Information Sheet,” and remember “The Tales of Christian Tompta: GNOMELING” will be releasing on March 31, 2017.