JK Rowling penned the bestselling Harry Potter page-turners — a spellbinding, seven-installment fantasy of wizards, warlocks and decidedly British texture that brought her from rags to riches.

Why you should listen

A single mother who battled poverty and depression as she struggled to launch her writing career, Joanne "JK" Rowling was to become perhaps the most famous contemporary fiction writer in the world, with her Harry Potter series of children's books -- a chronicle of the adventures of an adolescent wizard of the same name. The fourth volume of the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was the fastest-selling book in history.

Since completing the series, Rowling has put her fortune toward philanthropic projects dealing with poverty, multiple sclerosis and other issues through her own Volant Charitable Trust.

What others say

“I'd give a lot to know how many teenagers (and preteens) texted this message in the days following the last book's release: DON'T CALL ME TODAY I'M READING.” — Stephen King

JK Rowling’s TED talk