Last night Leila Sales and I saw JK Rowling. This is one of the remarkable things about living in New York--- Ms. Rowling was doing ONE US appearance, and it was in my town. Getting tickets wasn't easy. It involved a lot of frantic online stalking, and two 1:00 am nights-- but we got them! We were two of the lucky few to see JK in all of her glory--- and she was glorious.
I know we all have our own versions of how Ms. Rowling has affected us. We picked up her books at a moment where we really needed a friend, we grew up with Harry. We were Hermione or we fell in love with Ron. We watched her rise to dizzying fame. We saw her do midnight readings from castles and we looked on, thinking that what she had done was truly (there is no other word for it)-- magical.
Here is my story:
I, like many people my age, came to Harry Potter when I was thirteen. I had just started high school and I was nervous, and scared. I was happier in fictional worlds than my real one, at that time, and Hogwarts never ceased to disappoint. Book one I read under my desk as a freshman. If I didn't have someone to talk to, that was okay, there was a whole world waiting in those pages.
Books two and three found me with someone to share them with! I was making my way through high school, and making friends. Book four I took with me to college. I set Harry down on my little shelf, sandwiched between “Wuthering Heights” and “Nine Stories.” I turned to him that first night my parents left, the first night I spent alone in my new dorm in my new city. Book five and I was making my way through USC, settling into a degree in creative writing. If my path hadn't always been clear (it had) it was now: I was going to be a writer.