Saturday, March 29, 2008

J.K. Rowling Admits Past Thoughts of Suicide

By Heather Chin (March 23, 2008)

As a struggling, bankrupt single mother in her twenties, the future author suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts.

Speaking with a student reporter from Scotland’s Edinburgh University, Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling revealed – for the first time – that she had contemplated suicide back when she was a struggling single mother in her twenties with no money or solid prospects, besides writing, for immediate relief.

As quoted in Britain’s Sunday Times and later in CNN, Rowling explained that “we’re talking suicidal thoughts here, we’re not talking ‘I’m a little bit miserable.’”

At the time, she was separated from her first husband and could only afford the £600 ($1,189) rent on her and her baby daughter’s small, cramped apartment after a friend lent her the money.

"Mid-twenties life circumstances were poor and I really plummeted,” Rowling said. “The thing that made me go for help… was probably my daughter. She was something that earthed me, grounded me, and I thought, this isn't right, this can't be right, she cannot grow up with me in this state."

With that in mind, Rowling said she then sought professional help. She also began writing what would become the first book in the Harry Potter series, which was published after many initial rejections in 1996. Since then, the series has been translated into 64 languages with over 325 million copies sold.

It seems that in choosing to share her story of surviving against the odds thanks to the serendipitous benevolence of another to an aspiring journalist, the 42-year-old Rowling is “paying it forward” even after penning the novels that have made her both famous and financially secure.

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