It was on this day in 1997 that the first book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was published in Britain. Joanne Rowling (books by this author) was an unemployed, single mother waiting for a delayed train, when an idea suddenly came to her. “I did not have a functioning pen with me,” she said. “I simply sat and thought for four hours, while all the details bubbled up in my brain, and this scrawny, black-haired, bespectacled boy who didn’t know he was a wizard became more and more real to me … I began to write that very evening.” The seven Harry Potter books have sold 450 million copies worldwide and spawned a successful movie franchise. The character of Harry Potter earns J.K. Rowling, as she is now known, an estimated $10,000 every hour.
re-posted from the Writer’s Almanac.