Someone special is celebrating a milestone birthday today. And to think the world nearly missed out on meeting Harry Potter.
Author J.K. Rowling’s character was introduced twenty years ago today (June 26th, 1997) when ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (titled “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in North America) was published. And the journey to get Potter to print – not to mention, the handful of films that have followed – was a long and frustrating one for Rowling. But it’s also a tale that has served as inspiration to dreamers everywhere to never give up on what they truly believe in.
Rowling, a struggling, divorced mother when she wrote the first Potter book, received “loads” of rejections. She once told fans that she couldn’t even get books published under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, which she used for various thrillers that she penned. But then, came that ONE publisher to take a chance – and the rest is history.
Children’s books weren’t a huge industry in the 1990’s; kids were more invested in screen time than turning pages. But Harry Potter changed that. Children hit book stores like never before, libraries had waiting lists for Potter books, and follow-up franchises like ‘The Hunger Games’ flourished. The eight Potter novels have sold more than 450 million copies and translated into more than 60 languages.
And all because Potter’s creator refused to say die. Happy birthday, Harry! ~ Jason