Monday, July 18, 2011
"Magic Beyond Words": the biography of the author of the Harry Potter books
On Monday, July 18, Lifetime TV (and MediaMax) premiered “Magic Beyond Words: The JK Rowling Story”, directed by Paul A. Kaufmann. Maybe this is "magic beyond worlds", too.
Poppy Montgomery plays the adult Rowling, who insists she wants to become a writer (which is not exactly the same as writing) and nothing else as she dazzles people as a girl and goes to Exeter.
However, after college and teaching in Portugal, she marries there and then has a falling out (over her husband’s unfaithfulness) and separates from her husband. She winds up on welfare, with a matronly social worker scolding her about leaving her husband. The conversation with the welfare worker hints that she could have forgiven, but chose not to.
Still, she has gradually begun planning her fantasy novels. She actually earned a postgraduate certificate so she could teach again after writing her first novel, in cafes by hand. Eventually, she would finish “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” on a manual typewriter. About the same time, I was embarking on my “Do Ask Do Tell” book project on an Erols computer with Microsoft Word on Windows 3.0.
It must be said that she had to “engage life” and take its risks before “being listened to.”
Finally, when she talks to publishers, they tell her, change her name because boys won’t buy books written by women (George Elliot?) and not to quit her “day job” because nobody makes money on children’s books.
But these aren’t exactly children’s books.
It’s interesting to see her start teaching, and dealing with “real children”. But, after all, she had been a mother herself. She works on her books from her desk when she gives the kids work. I used to do that as a sub. She gets a publication offer by phone at school. It would take a year for the first book to appear in stores.
400 million copies of her books have been sold worldwide.
The official site from Lifetime is here