J.K. Rowling — My Idol

Sheenah Archive, Writing Advice 3 Comments

J.K. Rowling

She's so suave and classy, it's almost magical.

Eleven years ago, the Harry Potter phenomena was really gaining steam here in the States. People were scrambling around trying to get the next book and wanting to know what the hub-bub was all about. And there I was, trying to ignore all the hype and hoopla while reading Holes (a fantastic book, by the way).

One of the English teachers made their students read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone which caused a wildfire of Harry Potter mania amongst us. People were running around telling the other half of the sixth grade body that we were Muggles and they began shouting incantations. A couple conjured up wands out of nowhere. We read in the news about how parents bought the books only to burn them. People cried that this was the devil’s work! Magic doesn’t exist! I, being my awesome eleven-year-old self, rolled my eyes and assured my parents that this was all a fad and it would pass within a year or two. Sure, I was curious about the books, but I refused to touch them because they were popular and please, I’m independent and refuse to purchase anything that the cool kids are into (my parents thought I was impossible). All of that changed at a book fair my school was hosting. It was buy 1, get 1 free and well, nothing else seemed too appealing so why not try these Harry Potter books which I’m sure I won’t get hooked on?

Midnight Party

Who needs to wait for October to dress in costumes? July is the perfect costume month!

I was hooked by the end of chapter 1. I locked myself in my room and refused to come out unless it was absolutely necessary. Though I told my parents that I was fine with not eating because it would cut into my reading time, they put their foot down and forced me to eat at the table (the cruelest thing they’ve ever done!) J.K. Rowling had managed to do something that no other author at that time had done: She had managed to take me away from everything. I suddenly found myself looking out the windows, wondering if an owl was going to show up with my Hogwarts letter because I was sure I was destined for that place. I’m still waiting.

Me reading Harry Potter

Don't judge me.

Not a lot of authors are capable of making millions of people run out at midnight to buy their books. Of course with a movie deal on the way, it helps a book reach superstar status for a few weeks and then it fizzles away. I still can’t tell you who the author of The Descendants is nor would I be able to tell you that I had even heard of The Lucky One before I saw the trailers on television. J.K. Rowling is truly magical. Parents want their children to read and she wrote something that children wanted to read. She single-handedly made an entire generation scramble to the bookstores for each new installment, dressed as wizards and witches. People who never considered themselves as nerds or geeks suddenly found themselves talking about Parseltongue and mandrakes and dragons and Quidditch.

She had a remarkable effect on me. I never thought that I’d enjoy reading fantasy. I’ve always leaned more toward contemporary works like Island of the Blue Dolphins and Little Women. But J.K. Rowling managed to sweep me away. I realized then and there that those were the kinds of books I wanted to write — books that transport the reader away from reality to help them get away; to escape. I’m not trying to write the next Harry Potter and I doubt that’s what she has in mind for her next novel. But what I am trying to capture is that same magic she instilled upon me. If anyone said I had an inkling of her talent, I’d be on cloud nine for sure.

Comments 3

  1. Nothing like finding out where someone was when Harry Potter came out to underscore an age difference. I was already a *ahem* working adult when the craze hit, but it hit me just as hard as the youngins – making me look for owls and wonder what my wand would be like. JK truly is a role model for infusing her writing with magic.

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  2. I was an adult when they came out and they didn’t even hit my radar until the third book was being hyped. My sister-in-law let me borrow the first one. That was all it took. I bought the paperback version of the first two and devoured them.. eagerly awaiting book 3. I ran into the “devil/ witches scare thing with my friends and family and began to beat it down. My great nephew wanted to read the books and his mother (my niece) and grandmother (my sister) said no. I told my sister that I would buy him the first 3 for Christmas if she wouldn’t as they weren’t devil possessed but wonderfully written stories of a young boy fighting against evil. I did my part to convert friends and family into Potter fans. Thank you for the post. I love to read other’s experience with Harry Potter.

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      You know… I think that’s when Harry Potter hit its peak here. The third book hadn’t been released yet, so I gobbled up the first two and waited for the third book. My parents so happened to buy it for me while at Kroger and I disappeared on them.

      Devil possessed! I will never understand why people who have never read them think this at times.

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