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Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Top Pick for Most Influential Pop Culture Mover and Shaker



(Man… that was a long title! Try saying that ten times fast.)

Our lovely blogmistress suggested a “list” theme for this month. I’ve decided to keep my list really short (unlike my Christmas list…).

Yup. There’s just one person on my list for My Top Pick for Most Influential Pop Culture Mover and Shaker.

Of course, this person is an author. I know that’s surprising, given that our modern day barometer of pop culture stars, Dancing With the Stars, has so far failed to feature an author...

But I digress.

What author could possibly fill the incredibly big shoes of being named Pamela Callow’s Top Pick for Most Influential Pop Culture Mover and Shaker?

May I have the envelope please?



JK Rowling.



Source: The Official Harry Potter Website

I’ve always been a fan of her work. Her imagination delights me -- and millions of others. Her rag-to-riches story is inspiring. Her ability to transform reluctant readers, legendary.

I had heard about how she had constructed the plots for all seven of her books before she wrote them. That’s pretty complex plotting. Last week, my daughter and I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I, and I was struck by two things. First, how impressive it was to discover there were elements from her first books that were important clues in the final part of the series. The series had taken her about ten years to write. That’s a lot of planning to figure out ahead of time.

Second, I so enjoyed watching her characters – and the actors who portrayed them – mature into these young adults who face saving the world with intelligence and daring. I kept thinking she must be like a proud mother.

Her shrewdness as a business woman always impressed me, too. She retained creative control over her movies, her merchandise, her theme park (!).

Here is a woman, who at the very depths of her own private despair, created characters that have influenced a whole generation. Who doesn’t know Harry Potter, Hermione Granger or Ron Weasley? Or He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named? Who doesn’t know about Hogwarts? One child told her, “You were my childhood.”




Source: The Official Harry Potter Website

This year, I learned more about the woman behind the body of work. Somewhere in my social networking forays, I came across a link to a video of a speech she gave at Harvard University’s commencement. I was inspired, moved, touched.

This is my Christmas wish for you: take 20 minutes from your day and watch "The Fringe Benefits of Failure and Imagination."

You won’t regret it.

And so, I take my hat off to you, Joanne Rowling.

You are my top pick.

Who is yours?

Pamela Callow is the author of the Kate Lange thriller series for MIRA Books.

Join Pam at her Facebook Book Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pamela-Callow/104724752898990?ref=sgm where she is hosting her Eleven Days of Christmas Contest Giveaway, with a random winner drawn every day for 11 days. The prize up for grabs is a hot-off-the-press signed advanced copy of INDEFENSIBLE, Book Two of the Kate Lange thriller series. RT Book Reviews rated it 4.5 stars out of 4.5 stars: “The suspense is intense, the action shocking and the plot intriguing."

22 comments:

  1. I love the envelope-holding assistant ;-)

    GREAT pick for your short list, Pam. I saw a documentary piece on her a few weeks ago and she visited the modest apartment she'd been living in while she was writing the series. The current owners were not there, but on the shelf were her Harry Potter books. She dissolved into tears to see them there.

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  2. Great pick, Pam. I totally loved her commencement speech as well. Everyone should take the time to watch it.

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  3. The Harvard link didn't work. Let's try it again:

    http://harvardmagazine.com/commencement/the-fringe-benefits-failure-the-importance-imagination

    Pam

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  4. I just fixed the link IN THE POST, so it should work now! :)

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  5. Hi Julia - thank you. I love the assistant, too. We all need an assistant like that! I saw that documentary, too. It was moving.

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  6. Hi Cathy,

    Thanks - I rarely spend the time watching videos online, but I'm glad I did. It's one I'll return to.

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  7. Wonderful post Pam! I just saw a letter someone posted on another blog - a girl who suffered from anorexia who after reading about Luna Lovegood and the rest of the gang was inspired to get well -she wrote to JK Rowling - who wrote back a beautiful letter to her - just touching. She really has influenced a generation - for the good! ;)

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  8. Thanks Jojo! I have nothing but admiration for her. Her life has had extraordinary extremes, and she appears to have handled them with grace. And in the case you are describing, great compassion.

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  9. Hi Pam,
    Yeah, I think JK is the top pick for mover and shaker, but I also like Jodi Picoult. She is not only a good writer, she genuinely cares about people and what goes on in their lives. I just finished House Rules and it was a really great story, sad, gripping but great.
    Stella

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  10. Love JK Rowling - she is an inspiration, period. I am so out of the "pop culture" scene that to pick a mover and shaker would be hard for me, but she'd be up at the top.

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  11. Great pick, Pam. I heard that Harvard address and it was so inspiring. She is an amazing lady. We fought for her books in our house:)

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  12. What a fun post and you're right - she must be the perfect pick. However, I am not a Harry Potter fan. But I can admire the author and her work - WOW!

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  13. I agree completely with your choice, Pam. I love the Harry Potter books and movies. JK Rowling is definitely a top mover and shaker. Great post.

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  14. Beneficial info and excellent design you got here! I want to thank you for sharing your ideas and putting the time into the stuff you publish! Great work!

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  15. Hey Michelle - your comment just confirms how influential JK Rowling has been - you may not be up on the pop culture scene, but you still know her and love her! That's the mark of a true mover and shaker.

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  16. Kathy - thanks for dropping by! It's true - one doesn't have to be a fan of the work to admire what has been accomplished.

    Cheers,
    Pam

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  17. Cara,

    Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed the post! :)

    Pam

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  18. Hey Anon - thanks so much for dropping by and for your kind comments! I'm glad you enjoyed my post! :)

    Cheers,
    Pam

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  19. I'm 70 years old, and I LOVE Harry Potter!!

    I also like your blog very much. I found you through KarenG's blog. I'm cruising for awhile to meet some new fellow writers. If I want to follow, I comment and click. I'll be back!!
    Ann Best, A Long Journey Home

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  20. Hi Ann,

    Thank you so much! It's a pleasure to meet a fellow writer! :)

    Pam

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  21. Great post, Pam!

    I definitely vote for J.K. too.

    My other pick would have to be John Lennon. Here it is, thirty years after his death and there are new documentaries and docu-dramas still popping up. There are biographies and CDs and even art that Yoko continues to promote.

    New York plays Imagine every year at New Years. It's mind-boggling that this man has had such an influence and continues to have such an influence today.

    Again, great post, I really enjoyed it and I'm inspired too!!

    --Chiron

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