J.K. Rowling is probably one of the most celebrated authors to come along in a long time and deservedly so. Her Harry Potter books are some of the most successful and influential literary creations to come along in recent memory. The books have made her one of the richest women in all of Europe, her characters that she created have now become the stuff of legend and a simple story of good vs evil, and love vs hate has managed to capture the imagination of young and old alike. Some credit her with getting kids to put down the video game controllers and picking up books again, and some have credited her with introducing witchcraft with her series of a boy wizard fighting off the ultimate dark wizard. Whether or not that’s true, I’m not going to get into, nor do I really care.
What I do care about is how someone can take and craft what is the simplest of stories and turn it into what is arguably a masterpiece of story telling. Rowling is not Shakespeare, her pages aren’t filled with lavish descriptions that grace your eyes like stylish poetry. Her dialogue doesn’t harken back to the writers of another age and as a matter of fact, writing wise, I wouldn’t even put her in the top five of great writers. What does set her apart from so many authors of the modern era is the way in which the story is presented. The care and planning that went into creating the Harry Potter series isn’t fully revealed until the work of the series is seen as a whole, it’s then that you see Rowling’s genius at work and what ultimately makes her one of my influences.
The characters she creates are both strong and vulnerable. They have doubts about themselves as we all do and yet aren’t afraid to rise to the occasion if the ones they care about are at risk. A huge part of why her books are so popular is that the characters within them are easily identifiable to anyone who would read the books. In Harry and the main supporting characters the reader could see him/herself as that person, thus being drawn into a fantastical world that seems familiar and different at once is easy to do. The pacing of the story, the way it’s shown to the reader and the overall visual style she uses makes the books she has written and the author herself such an amazing writer.