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Hallowed Hallows
By Mark London
July, 2007, 08:00

While being interviewed by a BBC Television reporter, the creator of Harry Potter revealed how she broke down in tears while completing the final book in her series. Is this shocking or usual behaviour for wildly successful authors coming to the end of a serial run?

A fiction writer's life, even a writer who has achieved billionaire status, is one of solitude, emotional upheaval, and entrenchment in characters' lives, ultimately climaxing with the ecstasy of birth and often deep depression when all is said and done. But the payoff these days can be enormous.

Anyone who hasn't had their head in the sand knows that J. K. Rowling has finished her 7th book. On July 21, 2007 The Deathly Hallows, the final novel of the series, is released to eager readers. In this ultimate episode about schoolboy wizard Harry Potter and his Hogwarts friends, the author kills off two of her main characters. This must be kin to killing your own children. Devastation seems only natural.

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It all began almost 10 years ago in 1998 when Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone was published. With a generous bankroll of advertising and marketing surrounding the novel's release, Harry-mania gathered speed akin to a demon freight train. Around the world, children and parents devoured the series of books.

Her very first book though was Rabbit, written at the age of six. Throughout her complicated and sometimes extremely challenging life she has always written. As an unemployed, single parent with a daughter, the character Harry Potter came to her fully formed back in 1990. She worked on the story for eight years whenever there was a quiet moment in her life, such as when her daughter was sleeping.

Having risen far beyond those difficult years, she is now pursued for interviews by 60 Minutes, The Today Show, and Larry King Live. She's attended a children's party hosted by the Queen of England and has been dubbed an Officer of the British Empire.

J.K. Rowling (Joanne) was born near Bristol, England in Chipping Sodbury. An Exeter University grad, she started her working career as a secretary, and then spent time in Portugal teaching English. She now resides in Scotland with her three children and husband. Her birthday is July 31st so if you're a fan, drop her a greeting at her website.

One of the most amazing things to ever occur associated with Harry-mania in the writing and publishing industries was on July 20th, 2000, when the release of The Goblet Of Fire sold a previously unprecedented three million copies nation-wide within 48 hours of release. The novel won the title of "fastest-selling book in history." The title didn't stick to that book long. It was quickly usurped by her next book, The Order Of The Phoenix on June 21, 2003.

In total, over a quarter of one billion (yup billion) copies of her books have been sold, with the novels translated into 61 different languages and available in 200+ countries. This is an absolutely amazing accomplishment achieved not only by the writer's creativity, but by the power of the media that assembled itself behind these children's stories and drove them into the heart and soul of humanity forever. This specific phenomenon is more than likely never to be duplicated, leaving Rowlings in the position of, at least in volume and dollars, the top author of all time.

As if to further prove the point of the mania associated with Rowling and her work, the BBC is offering a contest to meet her: ". . . the chance to win a trip to the Blue Peter studios and see our special guest J.K. Rowling. 25 viewers will be selected. We will pay for your travel to London, accompanied by a parent or guardian and the 25 viewers selected will receive a copy of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows." Contest deadline is the 22nd of June 2007. For details, visit the BBC online. (Note: This competition is only open to UK residents 14 years and younger at the closing date.)

Book seven will be another blockbuster, New York Times bestseller for this author and the release is anticipated to be . . . The End.

Full Bibliography of J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter Series:

The Sorcerer's Stone
The Chamber of Secrets
The Prisoner of Azkaban
The Goblet of Fire
The Order of the Phoenix
The Half-Blood Prince
The Deathly Hallows

Hogwarts Books:

Fantastic Beasts.
Quidditch Through the Ages
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Mark London is a Toronto based freelance writer and associate editor of IN who has been with the FWO-Int'l from the early years volunteering much of his time in assisting young writers' careers. Email: talktome@canoemail.com



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