… J.K. Rowling!
Joanne Rowling (1965 – Present): English novelist, screenwriter, and producer
It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
~ J.K. Rowling
Seriously though, what kind of aspiring author (of my age) would I be if I did not claim J.K. Rowling as one of my sources of inspiration? I’m pretty sure it’s illegal at best, and proof that aliens are among us at worst (Kidding, I love all you writerly folks!).
I loved the Harry Potter books, and still do in all honesty. I started reading them in Year 7 (first year of High School in the UK for those born/living elsewhere) at the tender age of 11 years old. So it felt like I grew up with those characters, advancing in school years as they did, bumbling my way through adolescence with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, navigating that journey from childhood to adulting with them.
My previous adventures with Fantasy had all taken place ‘Somewhere Else’, like Narnia, Wonderland, Neverland, or made up realms like Tortall. They were all connected to reality in some way (except places like Tortall), but remained separate and almost isolated. This was the first time I got to see Magic in my own world, in my own country even! These books opened my imagination to the possibility that fantasy and reality could co-exist, within the same space.
I also felt a special affinity with Hermione. As mentioned previously, I have a bit of a soft spot for strong female characters, and for me Miss Granger definitely fit this bill. I loved that she wasn’t just a love interest for Harry, or a damsel in distress who needed to be saved by the hero every couple of chapters. She was smart, strong, stubborn, loyal, kind and oh so many other things! Hermione’s character taught me that it was okay to be bookish, and not to care if people called me ‘bossy’. She taught me that there’s nothing wrong with getting good grades and enjoying learning, even if people labelled you a Swot, or whatever other word was ‘in’ at the time. She was loyal to her friends, stood up for what she believed in, and was willing to fight for what was right, despite the fact the odds were against them.
I could write an essay on all the things I love about Harry Potter, and all the lessons I learned from J.K. Rowling’s words of wisdom. However, this is just a blog, and my time is limited (as I’m sure is yours). So I’ll end with recommending these books if you haven’t got round to reading them yet. And if you have, pause for a minute and think about what in these pages resonated with you. What stood out, struck a chord, and left a mark? As writers, maybe we can learn how to add such moments to our own work, by first being able to recognise them in that of others’.