Guest Author - Sonja Meyer
If you're a parent struggling to make ends meet, chin up: consider the real-life fairy tale of Joanne Kathleen Rowling.
After a brief marriage, Rowling, of England, found herself a single mother to a baby daughter. She battled the work vs. family conflict typical of many new moms, especially those forced to live with meager means. Rowling had a college education: She was a graduate in French studies. But she also had a baby to care for and a new life to forge for the two of them. Money was scarce and she turned to public assistance to make ends meet. Her need to generate income clashed with her need to take care of her infant. Sound familiar?
Well, struggling moms everywhere can cheer for the now well-publicized end to Rowling's hard-luck story. She turned to her inner self, to something she'd loved since she was a child: writing. She decided she'd take a job as a French teacher, but she has said she first she made a commitment to herself to finish a children's novel she was writing about a boy who went to a school for wizards. She wrote the story in long-hand, often working at a café while her daughter napped.
Sources say she sometimes took part-time clerical work to supplement her income. Later, she got a grant to finish the novel. When it was done, it was rejected by a handful of publishers before one bought it. The rest is history: the book, "Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone," has taken the world on a magical ride of overnight success, literary acclaim, popular movies and, perhaps the best of all, a renewed interest in reading by young people around the world.
Rowling, who uses her first two initials for her pen name, J.K. Rowling, has churned out four more books since her first success. The last, "Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix," broke sales records when it was released in June 2003. In between were:
"Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets;" "Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban;" and "Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire." More novels are planned.
"I was very low," Rowling has been quoted as saying about her early work on her first Harry Potter novel. "I had to achieve something."
She certainly has done that. The movie based on her third book, "Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban," released in June, has fans lining up at theaters.
"Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban," review the book before seeing the movie
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