'The biggest failure I knew'
It took six years to finish her first Potter book. According to the Scotsman, it was a rough and eventful period. In that time, her mom died of multiple sclerosis, she had moved to Portugal, started teaching and got married to a journalist she met in a bar. Their daughter, Jessica, was born in summer 1993; by winter the couple had separated. Rowling, a classics major without a job seven years after graduation, would head to Edinburgh, a daughter in tow and clinically depressed, she told Harvard's class of 2008 at its commencement. "The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass,'' she said. "And by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.'' (Left, Rowling pauses during an interview at the Caledonian Hotel.)