What with everyone diving back into the Wizarding World lately, it's only made my love for Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling's immense and incredible world stronger. From the Cursed Child book to the play to Fantastic Beasts movie to exciting news about castings and set pictures and whatnot, there's so much going on and it's made me so incredibly happy to be a Harry Potter fan!
But let's backtrack and go down memory lane: I can hardly belive it now, but my first enounter with Harry Potter was when my aunt got me the first four books in 2000. But since I wasn't much of a reader then, I just shrugged them off and let them sit on my shelf untouched. BUT THEN my dad somehow got early tickets to the movie and I remember seeing it with him and my two younger brothers in either late August or early September of 2001, I can't remember which now. I watched the movie in awe and came out a changed person. Honestly! It was like a switch had been flipped and I needed more of this wondrous magic in my life. I immediately read all of the books and then desperately waited for the 5th book to come out.
In 2005, again my life changed because of a friend and because of Harry Potter. In my junior year of high school, while standing around bored in gym a friend said she wrote fanfiction for The X-Files. It made me realize there might be Harry Potter fanfiction and boy was there ever. I dove deep into the world of fanfiction. Here were other people like me who longed for more of the Wizarding World. But the real change happened when I decided to write one of my own. I came up with a fun idea (Harry doesn't ask to be put in Gryffindor and ends up in Slytherin) and started writing and I haven't stopped since. I wrote Harry Potter fanfiction into my second year of college, but stopped when I decided to focus on my own stories. (This is one of the reasons I love Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl because it sounds just like my own life minus the cute romance!)
By the way, you can read my cringe-worthy fanfiction here haha!
I honestly don't know where I would be if it wasn't for Harry Potter. If I hadn't seen the first movie, read the books, gotten into fanfiction, and then started writing my own novels my life would look very, very different. When I think about it, I have no clue what my life would be like right now. I think it's also partly because of Harry Potter that I even started a blog because someone told me "a writer should have a blog." I never would've been called a writer if I hadn't gotten into fanfiction in the first place. It's so strange to think about!
Not only have these books encouraged my path in life, but they've also been there for me during difficult times. My paperback copy of Prisoner of Azkaban is falling apart because I've read it so much when I was stressed or angry or sad or just being a moody teenager. And I'll always turn to Harry Potter to get me through life's hard knocks because it's the best kind of escapism, because it makes you realize their there's always a way through your problems, and because J.K. Rowling has an encouraging quote for every situation.
One of the best things about Harry Potter though is its fans! Connecting with other Potterheads in person with my best friends while at movie premieres or through fanfiction forums or now through social media helps to relive the magic every day. Us Harry Potter nerds are an awesome, welcoming, and fun bunch. It's fantastic that whenever you want to talk about the movies or a theory or just rave about how much you love the series there will ALWAYS be others there to encourage you.
Also, they're just wonderful books and I wish I could live in the Wizarding World and do magic. Is that too much to ask for?!
How has Harry Potter changed your life?
If not HP, what books have impacted your life?