J.K. Rowling

Joanne Kathleen (Kathleen is her favourite Grandma's name and is not actually her middle name) Rowling lived in Chipping Sodbury from an early age and was born on July 31st, 1965 in Yate, Gloucestershire. Known as Jo by her friends and family, from an early age all she ever wanted to do was write. She wrote her first book when she was 6 years old, called Rabbit but never finished anything.

At her school in Chepstow, Monmouthshire, she passed all her exams and was made head-girl. Her parents wanted her to be involved with foreign languages. She studied languages and read French and Classics at Exeter university, spending a year studying in Paris, and then went onto work for Amensty International. In 1990, the idea for Harry Potter struck her on a train from Manchester to London and began writing. Shortly after her mother died of multiple sclerosis, and she moved to Portugal to teach English as a foreign language where she married and had a daughter, Jessica Isabel Rowling Arantes on 16 October, 1992, but she seperated from her TV journalist husband, Jorge Arantes in 1993 and returned to the UK.

She began the first Harry Potter book in 1990, it was finished in 1995 and it was finally published in 1997. Some publishing companies would not accept it until Bloomsbury took her on. Before she tried to get the first book published she mapped out the first seven books to get an idea of the events to come. J.K Rowling has made millions of pounds from the series and they are currently her only published works.

She is in her 40s years and married Dr Neil Murray on Boxing Day 2001 at their home in Killiechassie House, Aberfeldy. Seven-bedroomed Killiechasse House has an estimated value of £1.5 million, it's own library (understandably) and a self-contained house in it's west wing. Jo also owns a London property in trendy Kensignton. She has one younger sister, Di. She first moved to Leith, Edinburgh in 1994 with daughter, Jessica, famously now described as a single mother on benefits who wrote in cafes. Jo now has children with Neil and they welcomed on March 23rd, 2003, David Gordon Rowling Murray into their family. On January 25th, 2005, another addition was added to the Rowling Murray family with the birth of baby girl, Mackenzie Jean Rowling Murray.

Killiechesse House

One of her extravagant purchases from the money she has earnt from Harry Potter is a large aquamarine diamond that she says is her ring that shows she has made it and is a success. She works one day a week for her charitable trust and is also the patron of many other charities. She has won many awards for her series, including the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize, the Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year and Author of the Year.

Hermione is the character that reflects her the most but Harry has some of her personality traits too. Many of the characters are based on real people just like Hermione is based on Joanne as a child. This is when she would play witches and wizards with neighbour Ian Potter. The character of Ron Weasley was based on her oldest friend, Sean. Aunt Marge is based on her maternal grandmother. Professor Snape, is drawn from a teacher from one of Joanne's old schools. The Dementors are based upon the time that Jo suffered from severe depression over the seperation from her Portuguese husband; they had only been married one month when they split up. He is the father of her daughter Jessica.


In 1997 she got her big break with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which won the 1997 Smarties Gold Award. It immediately topped the British and American charts and J.K. Rowling earned enough money to quit teaching and write full-time. She then had success with the second instalment of Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. This won the 1998 Smarties Gold Award. The 3rd book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was also a huge success for J.K. Rowling. The 4th book was released on July 8th, 2000 was one of the eagerly anticipated books of the year. This book of course was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, was released on June 21st, 2003 and was even more anticipated than the last. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released 16th July, 2005 and the final installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was published 21 July, 2007. Over 400 million copies have been sold worldwide in 65 languages.