WELL, THAT HAPPENED: The fruitful pen

By on July 15, 2015

J.K. Rowling’s vast, enviable creativity

Can’t stop, won’t stop: J.K. Rowling. (Photo: The Guardian)

Can’t stop, won’t stop: J.K. Rowling. (Photo: The Guardian)

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – With the exception of maybe Shakespeare, there hasn’t been a British author who as been as influential and successful as J.K. Rowling. Her seven-book Harry Potter series has sold more than 450 million copies and the subsequent film adaptations have grossed upwards of $7.3 billion worldwide. And if that’s not impressive, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks in Orlando, Fla., have around 20 million visitors per year. A third park opened last year in Osaka, Japan, and a fourth is under construction at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Suffice it to say that Jo Rowling, who possesses a staggering net worth of $1 billion, has got it made. But that comfy wad o’ cash isn’t putting a stopper on her creativity anytime soon.

Since releasing “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” in 2007, Rowling has continued writing. Her adult novel “The Casual Vacancy” was turned into an HBO miniseries this year starring Professor Dumbledore actor Michael Gambon. Under the nom de plume Robert Galbraith, Rowling has also published two murder mystery novels (“The Cuckoo’s Calling” and “The Silkworm”) centered around a one-legged private investigator named Cormoran Strike.

Fans hungry to learn more about the Harry Potter world have found comfort in Pottermore, an interactive website allowing readers to traverse the massive history of Hogwarts, learn the back stories of secondary characters, and even uncover new spells and incantations not featured in the books or films.

Rowling has repeatedly said that the Harry Potter series is over, but has not ruled out returning to the world she’s created with her future projects. Rowling has kept her promise and has written a new trilogy of films that take place 70 years before Harry Potter’s saga. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” stars Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne as Newton Scamander, a “magizoologist” and the author of one of Harry Potter’s textbooks. The first film will open November 18, 2016, with the following two films opening in 2018 and 2020, respectively.

Londoners can also look forward to “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” a new play that will premiere at the Palace Theater on London’s West End next year.

“It will tell a new story,” Rowling wrote on Twitter. “I don’t want to say too much more, because I don’t want to spoil what I know will be a real treat for fans.”

The play is a collaboration between TV writer Jack Thorn and Tony Award winner John Tiffany. Rowling has insisted the play is not a prequel. Further details are unknown.

In addition to these projects, Rowling has two book releases later this year. A third Cormoran Strike novel, “Career of Evil,” is being releases on Oct. 20 and a fully illustrated re-release of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” arrives Oct. 6.

There’s no doubt as to why Rowling is such a beloved author by so many people. Every ounce of her wealth is not due to inheritance or stock market success, but rather her impressively expansive imagination. Her ability to captivate readers of all ages has generated an unparalleled fan base around the globe. We may have to endure the likes of E.L. James and her 50 shades of success, but in the publishing world, there’s no light brighter than Rowling’s.

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