Paula Spencer is a 39-year-old working-class woman struggling to reclaim her dignity after marriage to an abusive husband and grappling with a worsening drinking problem. Paula recalls her contented childhood, the audacity she learned as a teenager, the exhilaration of her romance with Charlo, and the marriage to him that left her feeling powerless. Paula’s voice is real and unforgettable, capturing both her vulnerability and her strength.
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J K Rowling, Author, Screenwriter and Philanthropist | Personal website: Leonardo DiCaprio; World of Harry Potter website: Pottermore | Charity: Lumos and The Volant Charitable Trust | Representation: The Blair Partnership
Joanne says: ‘Roddy Doyle is an absolute genius! My favourite living writer is Roddy Doyle – I don’t think I’ve ever encountered such a believable, fully rounded female character [as Paula] from any other heterosexual male writer in any age.’
Under her pen names ‘J K Rowling’ and ‘Robert Galbraith’, Joanne Rowling is one of the best-known writers in the world, lauded especially for her ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Cameron Strike’ series. Along with Jane Austen (another of Jo’s favourite authors), she shares the rare distinction of seeing all her published work adapted for film or television: a pattern set to continue.
Forthcoming work includes a new film in the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ series, The Crimes of Grindelwald – along with screenplays for three further films in the series – and at least two new novels, one under her own name and another as Robert Galbraith in the ‘Cameron Strike’ detective series.
Less appreciated, perhaps, is Joanne’s activism and philanthropy. She has established two charities and supports the causes of many others, some of which as listed below:
- Lumos, Founder and Life President: ‘Helping millions of children in institutions worldwide regain their right to a family.’
- The Volant Charitable Trust, Founder and Trustee: ‘Helping to alleviate social deprivation across Scotland, particularly supporting women, children and young people at risk
- Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic (University of Edinburgh), Major donor: ‘Focusing on a wide range of neurological conditions, especially neurodegenerative diseases [such as multiple sclerosis]
- Gingerbread, President: ‘Providing expert advice, practical support and campaigns for single mums and dads’
- Comic Relief, Donating royalties on new editions of Fantastic Beasts: ‘Believing in a just world free from poverty’
- International support: Significant donations to major disaster appeals around the world
- Other support: Donations of funds and/or work for auction to Dyslexia Action, English PEN, Scottish PEN and the Shannon Trust