The writer spent years living close to poverty before her tales of boy wizard Potter were snapped up and published, turning her into a literary sensation overnight, and she’ll always be grateful for the hand-outs she received as a struggling single mum.
Rowling says, “I received a subsistence from the government for a relatively short period of my life and I pay a lot of tax and I feel one of the reasons I stay and pay (and) why I’m not based in Monaco is I feel I owe… I think my country helped me.
“There are places in the world where I would have starved.”
And she admits her years of hardship inspired her new book, The Casual Vacancy.
She explains, “I couldn’t have written this book if I hadn’t had a few years where I had been as poor as it’s possible to go in the U.K. without being homeless. I had friends who helped me, but I had no friends or family who were in a position to give me a house… We were on welfare for a couple of years.”