Writers will understand this – your best ideas can come to you anywhere and at anytime so you’d better take a notebook or something to record them on everywhere you go. Sometimes, though, even the best of us have to improvise, like J.K. Rowling did when originally coming up with the Harry Potter books.
The Wizarding World author took to Twitter recently to reveal that her ideas for the four houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry hit her when she was travelling on a plane. With nothing else to hand, Rowling had to settle for writing these ideas, which would later become so iconic, on a sick bag.
“The best thing I ever wrote on was an aeroplane sick bag,” she revealed. “Came up with the Hogwarts houses on it.”
The Tweet was in response to a conversation from various authors about the times they had to use other items to record ideas on. Rowling definitely wins the prize for the weirdest, though. Having said that, we can bet that this particular sick bag, if it still exists, is the most sought after sick bag in the world. Can you imagine how much Potterheads would be willing to pay to get their hands on Rowling’s original notes about the Hogwarts houses?
Little stories like this are part of what makes Rowling so relatable and likeable, despite her humongous success, which has made her so popular with fans. Unfortunately, though, this month has seen the writer’s reputation take a dent in the eyes of a sizeable chunk of the Harry Potter fandom, after she revealed she stands in favour of Johnny Depp’s casting in the Fantastic Beasts sequel.
In more positive news for the author, though, a biopic based on J.K. Rowling’s life could be on the horizon. Punningly titled When Lightning Strikes, the script from Anna Klassen was named as one of The Black List’s best unmade screenplays of 2017 and tells the “true story of 25-year-old Joanne Rowling as she weathers first loves, unexpected pregnancies, lost jobs, and depression on her journey to create Harry Potter.”