JK Rowling

Have you met JK Rowling? If yes, then we would be interested to hear your story. Send details to harrypotter@abebooks.com. Here’s a real-life story about how one Canadian met the world’s most successful author.

Joy Gugeler’s Harry Potter moment came in 2000 when she met JK Rowling during the author’s visit to Vancouver to promote Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

At the time, Joy was fiction editor at Raincoast – the Vancouver-based company which distributes the Harry Potter series in Canada.

Joy Gugeler & Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

“She arrived in a white limo with an entourage that included bodyguards,” said Joy, who is now editor-in-chief of a publishing website called Suite101.com. “We all had our faces to the window. She was immaculately dressed, very gracious, very polished and very fatigued – it was the end of a long tour and I think she was going back to the UK after Vancouver. She was very professional with everyone and knew exactly how to deal with these kinds of situations.”

The author was given a tour of Raincoast’s facility and there was a meet-and-greet for the staff, who all received a signed copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. In 2000, JK was promoting the fourth book in the series and the tour marked her step up from a mere famous author to a global superstar. The Canadian leg of her promotional tour featured stops in Toronto and Vancouver.

“I shook hands with her and chatted about my job which was to find Canadian fiction writers,” said Joy, “I spoke about the undiscovered talent in the pile of unsolicited manuscripts – a situation she was in several years before.”

That evening Joy attended JK’s public reading at the Pacific National Exhibition and witnessed her reading sections from the book and taking questions from the legions of kids, many in full Harry Potter regalia.

“I was impressed with the way she handled the children,” she said. “They were asking very specific questions about characters and how things varied from book to book and she calmly answered everything they asked. There were hundreds of children - it was like everyone had a shared consciousness, a shared language.”

Joy’s signed copy is currently sitting on her bookshelf – an unread, flawless book as she had already read a copy before receiving the gift. It’s a book that should be treasured - AbeBooks is currently listing a signed Raincoast first edition of the Goblet of Fire for $850 that has slightly bumped spine.