Today I sat in building that one of the most influential pieces of pop culture was created. In Edinburgh, Scotland, J.K. Rowling began work on Harry Potter, a book series that I’m sure you’ve heard of. Through her books, J.K. impacted not only children but adults with her story that became a worldwide phenomenon. The Harry Potter series has been translated into 68 languages, including Thai, Sweedish, Spanish and even Latin, a dead language!

J.K. Rowling is worth a whopping 1.5 billion dollars thanks to the influence that Harry Potter has had on the world. The franchise, however, is worth $25 billion dollars! This is thanks to the global enchantment that her storytelling has created with magic. Before the films, the books were already taking the world by storm, but when Harry Potter was given an actual face by way of Daniel Radcliffe, everyone could recognize the round glasses and lightning scar.

A surprising fact that I’ve learned today was about her name. Rowling’s actual name is Joanne, but she felt that young boys wouldn’t want to read a book written by a woman. It’s sad that she had to make that decision, but apparently, it worked out in the end.

It was cool to be in a place that an entire world was created from one person’s mind. As I looked out the window at the Edinburgh Castle where I visited yesterday, I saw how Rowling could imagine Hogwarts as she took down notes on a napkin. I wonder if she knew that that napkin would one day turn her into an icon.