The Only Story More Magical Than Harry Potter Is J.K. Rowling's Own Journey

With half a billion Harry Potter books printed in more than 70 languages worldwide, it's safe to say that a large portion of the human population has experienced the magical journey of the so-named child wizard. But not everybody knows the equally gripping story of Potter creator J.K. Rowling, whose rags-to-riches tale includes many hardships, spans several countries, and continues to unfold. According to Rowling's own website, "Jo conceived the idea of Harry Potter in 1990 while sitting on a delayed train from Manchester to London King's Cross." The then-aspiring author spent the next several years mapping out every plot in her magical universe by hand, often on paper scraps. "Mid-twenties life circumstances were poor and I really plummeted," Rowling later said of this period. After the death of her mother in 1991, Rowling left an unfulfilling job in London for a blank slate in Porto, Portugal. Working as an English teacher by

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