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The Female Perspective: How “Harry Potter” Changed My Life

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.

I was reading about the upcoming illustrated edition of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone and it made me think about how much Harry Potter has changed my life.

“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.”
~J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Let me start at the beginning, I wasn’t always a Harry Potter fan. In fact, I rallied against it for many years before a good friend (yes, Celeste, it’s you) and my dying Grandmother made me see that this might be a series worth checking out. Boy were they right. I admit to being 100% wrong on this one.

The world is a better place because of Harry Potter and his gang.
The world is a better place because of Harry Potter and his gang.

By the time I read the Harry Potter books JK Rowling was well into the series and in fact, I was able to read the first 6 without having to wait. Then I, like the rest of the world, had to wait for the final book, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. I remember that day vividly. I was in CVS on my way to work and I happened to see copies behind the register. I eagerly bought one (even though my mom had pre-ordered a copy for me, I couldn’t wait to pick it up from her house, I had a total moment of the right nows for that book. As in, it had to be in my life right now). I remember getting to work and having about 15-minutes to spare before I had to go in so I looked at the book. I almost didn’t want to open it because I knew once I did I would never have that first moment again. I actually sat for a moment, my hand on the cover and took a couple deep breath’s, preparing myself for the awesome that was sure to be inside.

I then suffered through 6-hours of work!

Once I got home all I did was read, for hours. I read the entire book in that one day. I was done with it by midnight of that sunny Sunday and I was a crying mess. Never before (or really, since) had I read something that touched me so deeply. That made me feel all the feels. That made me so achingly sad and happy at the same time.

An image of Hogwarts by artist Jim Kay who did the new illustrated edition of "Harry Potter & The Sorcerers Stone"
An image of Hogwarts by artist Jim Kay who did the new illustrated edition of “Harry Potter & The Sorcerers Stone”

I love books. I LOVE them. I will never ever replace my library of beautiful pages and paper with electronics. Never. I will always carry a book with me when I go places. I will always enjoy looking at my books, touching them, reading them under a dim light. For me, reading the Harry Potter books was proof of how magical books can really be. I had forgotten that magic in the hustle and bustle of grown-up life. Now, it seems quite silly that I could ever forget how books can transport you to a new (and sometime, better) world.

What struck me about Deathly Hallows was how final it was. I know that Rowling has said since that she would never say never to revisiting the Hogwarts crew but for so many, that was the end game. The final tale to be told about our beloved Harry, Hermoine and Ron. So many of my favorite characters died in those thousand or so pages, so many friends I wished I could meet and so many creatures and adventures I wished I could have … and I did, thanks to Rowling and her ability to craft a story of beautiful words, wonderful people and even more amazing tales.

I’m going to keep going until I succeed — or die. Don’t think I don’t know how this might end. I’ve known it for years.”

~J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I think my favorite part of the final book is when Harry finally goes to confront Voldemort in the woods. He uses the Deathly Hallows to resurrect the people he loved who had passed on. They urged him on, they kept him stumbling down that hill to an impossible fate. To a choice that no child should ever have to make.

Harry Potter: Why are you here, all of you?

Lily Potter: We never left.

Harry Potter: Does it hurt, dying?

Sirius Black: Quicker than falling asleep.

James Potter: You’re nearly there, son.

Harry Potter: I’m sorry. I never wanted any of you to die for me. And Remus, your son…

Remus Lupin: Others will tell him what his mother and father died for. One day, he’ll understand.

Harry Potter: You’ll stay with me?

James Potter: Until the end.

Harry Potter: And he won’t be able to see you?

Sirius Black: No. We’re here, you see.

Harry Potter: Stay close to me.

Lily Potter: Always.

~JK Rowling, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows

To this day, I cannot read that passage in the woods (or even see the movie) without crying. It’s so powerful. For all Harry’s bravery and smarts, with all the love that surrounds him, he is still afraid and he wants his family around him. It’s a comfort to imagine that all those that we have lost in this life are still here with us, maybe not in ghostly form, but at least nearby, urging us on, keeping us going, keeping us brave because we are loved and they are always close.

By JK Rowling
By JK Rowling

So how did Harry Potter change my life? Easy. Those books made me see that magic can exist wherever you expect it least (look at Harry, he was in a hopeless situation when that dang owl showed up and everything changed).  I learned that the true measure of a man/woman/etc is how they treat others; that true friendship means sometimes standing up against them when they are wrong.

More than anything, it taught me that the power of love is always, ALWAYS greater than hate (take that Donald Trump) and that no matter what happens, those you love will be with you forever.

JK Rowling also made me a better reader and a better writer. The lessons I learned reading her words and how she crafted them together influenced my own writing and every time I read, every time I re-read Harry Potter I become better at my own craft. If I ever got the chance to meet her I hope I would be able to say that. More likely than note I will go deaf and mute at the sight of her and others will have to speak for me!

What about you? Did you have a mind-blowing Harry Potter experience? Do you love the books? Hate them? Are you like me and going to snatch up the new illustrated edition as soon as you can? Sound off in the comments! Tell me YOUR Harry Potter story.

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The Female Perspective: Shameless Self Promotion Blog

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.

Many of you may not know that I am a published author of three books. Well, my third book was released today! I wanted to take a moment to share it with you because these books are my babies and I am darn proud of each and every one of them. So bear with me on this blog, it’s Shameless Self Promotion Time!

In the last year I have self-published three books and each one has been a blessing for me. While they aren’t selling to the levels of Harry Potter or Stephen King, they do sell pretty regularly and I have a blast at the various book expos and comic cons I have been lucky enough to attend (I also make tote bags from T-Shirts fyi).

Before I get to my newest novel, let’s do a quick review of my first two.

The Last Daughter of Lilith

Great title right? Check out the cover!

Cover Art by Frankie B. Washington
Cover Art by Frankie B. Washington

The cover art is by Frankie B. Washington (he also did the cover art for my newest book) and the story itself is about a young woman named Katrina who had, throughout her life, found herself doing things she simply didn’t mean to do. Strange occurrences that made her fear for the lives of the people she loved so she shut herself off from them, built up walls of cool detachment and decided to focus on a life of rules and order. Katrina was the kind of girl who didn’t believe in magic, until one day it found her.

What follows is a tale of love and finding your own power. Katrina has to learn to embrace her new life after tragedy destroys her old one. She has to learn that she is far more powerful than she ever imagined she could be and she has to fight to protect the people she cares about. It is a tale of magic, romance, death and more. It is a tale about the last daughter of Lilith and what she does with the power she never knew she had.

Coming Undone: Musings On Life, Love and Hobbits

Cover art by JL Metcalf
Cover art by JL Metcalf

This one is a bit of a departure from my first novel. It’s an auto-biography of sorts. I use old journal and blog entries to talk about my struggles with depression, anxiety and self-loathing while I attempt to find love in this insanely digital world. It was a challenging book to write but an important one. I knew that there are so many men and women out there who struggle with not feeling “good enough” to be loved. The fact is, we are all good enough, we are all amazing people and we deserve only good things in our lives. We all deserve love.

Menagerie Of The Weird

Cover art by Frankie B. Washington
Cover art by Frankie B. Washington

And here we have it, my third book, Menagerie Of The Weird, a collection of short stories sure to titillate and terrify. Each tale is amazing in its own way and with the help of my illustrator and collaborator Frankie B. Washington, this is a collection of unusual tales that I have been collecting for years. Almost every story takes place in Rhode Island as well because honestly, I can’t think of a better place to set a story than my home state!

Menagerie is available today on Amazon in paperback format, it will be available for Kindle in the next day or two. If you like short stories, horror stories and funny stories, than Menagerie is for you. Even if you don’t like any of these things but like to read, I’m almost certain you’ll find something to love in Menagerie. Join me on this adventure into the WEIRD!

All of my books are available on, you can easily find them all by searching my name, JL Metcalf.

Yours in Reading, Writing and Weirdness!

Do you support your local authors? Tell me some great stories you’ve read by a local author recently. Did you buy any of my books and love them? Tell me all about it! 

P.S. I’m seeing Ant Man today so expect a review next week on the blog!!!