Joanne Rowling always loved books as a child. She wrote stories as a young child and had written her first novel at the age of eleven. She continued this love of reading and read so widely that at university she amassed a £50 fine for overdue books! The idea for Harry Potter came whilst waiting on a delayed train. She wrote down the ideas for all seven books over the next 5 years, usually in the form of notes on odd scraps of paper. After continuing to write at every moment she could, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was first published in 1997 by Bloomsbury Children’s Books. It became immediately popular and won critical acclaim. The series has won many awards, and has become the best- selling book series in history, selling more than 500 million copies across the world.