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Ria Kamras – Women to women: J. K. Rowling

~ Ria Kamras blog ~

Are you looking for inspiration or just a person who you can look up to? Choose a role model by reading stories of successful women whose work are not only inspirational, but also a great example to follow.


Now it is not possible there is no single person who does not know the name of the author of the well-known Harry Potter books. Yet some years before her big success, she was living on state support and took her child to a café to get warm.

Joanne Rowling has been a huge fan of fairy tales even when she was a child herself; she has written her first story at the ages of 5-6. She studied French and Classical Philology at university, then she worked as a secretary at Amnesty International. The story of the young wizard came to mind during a train ride in 1990 – according to Rowling, she had already assembled the main storyline in her head. In the following years she was teaching English in Portugal, then she returned to England with her baby girl after a failed marriage and divorce. To avoid the cold, unheated flat she and her daughter spent the days in a nearby café – writing the story of a young boy who turned out to be a wizard… She was depressed, living on state support and she was inches away from being homeless with a baby.

But she finished writing the story of Harry Potter and started to look for publishers. She was turned down by no less than 12 publishers until one finally bought the rights. Joanne Rowling became a billionaire in a couple of years – first among the writers. But she never forgot where she came from: she is donating regularly and also created her own foundation (Lumos), which helps bringing together institutionalized children and their families.


Women to Women Part 3: Sheryl Sandberg


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