J.K. Rowling Joanne Rowling grew up in Chepstow, Gwent where she went to Wyedean Comprehensive. She left Chepstow for Exeter University, where she earned a French and Classics degree. As a postgraduate she moved to London and worked as a researcher at Amnesty International among other jobs. She started writing the Harry Potter series during a delayed Manchester to London King’s Cross train journey,and during the next five years, outlined the plots for each book and began writing the first novel, Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone which was eventually completed when she moved to Edinburgh. The book was first published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books in June 1997. Since then the Potter series have captured people's imagination with the fifth book in the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix breaking the records as the fastest selling book in history. As well as an OBE for services to children’s literature, J.K. Rowling is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees . She supports a wide number of charitable causes through her charitable trust Volant. She is Patron of Gingerbread, a charity working with lone parents and their children, she made a substantial donation for the foundation of a new Neurologyclinic at the University of Edinburgh. Jo also founded Lumos, a charity working to transform the lives of disadvantaged children.