Although she writes under the pen name “J. K. Rowling” her name when her first Harry Potter book was published was simply “Joanne Rowling”. Her publisher Bloomsbury feared that the target audience of young boys might be reluctant to buy books written by a female author, and requested that she use two initials, rather than reveal her first name. Born on 31 July 1965 in Yate, Gloucestershire, England She attended St Michael’s Primary School. Her headmaster, Alfred Dunn, has been suggested as the inspiration for the Harry Potter headmaster Albus Dumbledore. She attended secondary school at Wyedean School and College.
Rowling has said of her adolescence, “Hermione [A bookish, know-it-all Harry Potter character] is loosely based on me. She’s a caricature of me when I was eleven, which I’m not particularly proud of. ” Rowling read for a BA in French and Classics at the University of Exeter, and after a year of study in Paris, she moved to London to work as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International. In 1990, while she was on a train trip from Manchester to London, the idea for a story of a young boy attending a school of wizardry “came fully formed” into her mind.
She told The Boston Globe that “I really don’t know where the idea came from. It started with Harry, then all these characters and situations came flooding into my head. ” Rowling then moved to Porto, Portugal to teach English as a foreign language.  While there, on 16 October 1992, she married Portuguese television journalist Jorge Arantes. Their child, Jessica Isabel Rowling Arantes was born on 27 July 1993 in Portugal.  They separated in November 1993. HYPERLINK l “cite_note-36″
In December 1993, Rowling and her daughter moved to be near her sister in Edinburgh, Scotland. 18] During this period Rowling was diagnosed with clinical depression, and contemplated suicide.  It was the feeling of her illness which brought her the idea of Dementors, soul-sucking creatures introduced in the third book.  In 1995, Rowling finished her manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on an old manual typewriter. The book was submitted to twelve publishing houses, all of which rejected the manuscript.  A year later she was finally given the green light (and a ? 1500 advance) by editor Barry Cunningham from Bloomsbury, a small British publishing house in London, England.
Soon after, in 1997, Rowling received an ? 8000 grant from the Scottish Arts Council to enable her to continue writing.  The following spring, an auction was held in the United States for the rights to publish the novel, and was won by Scholastic Inc. , for $105,000. In June 1997, Bloomsbury published Philosopherâ€™s Stone with an initial print-run of 1000 copies. Five months later, the book won its first award, a Nestle Smarties Book Prize. In February, the novel won the prestigious British Book Award for Childrenâ€™s Book of the Year, and later, the Childrenâ€™s Book Award.
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