My Book Story: The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Zachary Paul Chopchinkski
It’s difficult to examine what influences us, as we have so many different encounters in our life. For myself, I would have to say that the author/work that really is an idol for my writing and creativity is J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series.
Granted, looking at something as big and iconic as these works, it’s easy to say that they influenced a lot of youth, and yet I consider it a saving grace from my childhood. Growing up, I was lucky to have many good things in my life; however, I was also unfortunate in many circumstances. When I first found the Harry Potter series, I was living with my mother and 6 siblings in an 850 square foot 2-bedroom apartment in the outskirts of Cleveland, Ohio. It was safe to say that we did not have much.
Coupled with the fact that we lived in a rather impoverished area, with more buildings either boarded up or vacant than occupied, opportunities for expression in my childhood were rare. As a middle schooler, I often missed class due to threats from other students (being a rather gang affiliated school, despite the ages of the students), bomb threats to the school, weapons being found or just the utter lack of desire to leave my room. I was desperate for an escape. This formed my fuel.
Enter the catalyst, J.K. Rowling. She managed to create an entire world, not just a story line, that allowed for one to escape their lives and enter that of another (as many great works often do). This was something that I heavily gravitated to. This new world I could enter, coupled with the fact that the primary protagonist, Harry Potter, found himself in a life of strife and neglect, allowed for Harry to become my hero, so to speak. When the sun set, and things began to quite in the dark, often I could be found in the communal bedroom, under a small lamp in the corner reading for as long as I could keep my eyes open.
These books came at an amazing time for me, for the ages of the characters where close to mine. So as the books came, and the characters aged and grew, it was like they grew with me. These became an escape of mine for years. With the intricacies and clever plotting, it was a chore to not become immersed in J.K Rowling’s world.
Zachary Chopchinski is the author of The Curious Tale of Gabrielle, a piece of young adult fiction that’s an adventure through time, mystery, love, friendship and death unlike anything you have ever read.
Zach lives in Maine with his wife, Layla, and their two dogs and two cats. He had two short stories published by Ohio State University when he was in elementary school, and a poem published when he was in high school. When he isn’t writing, or thinking up his new story, Zach can be found watching horror movies with his wife, studying watches or playing video games.
The Curious Tale of Gabrielle