(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?
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.”
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."