Born in February 1986 in Birmingham, England, Oliver Phelps was cast as George Weasley in the Harry Potter films. Further information can be found at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0962360/
Born in April 1924 in London, England, Leslie Phillips was cast the voice of the Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter films. Further information can be found at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0680587/
The Roman goddess of fruits and apple trees (her name comes from the Latin pomum = 'apple') (Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable). In addition to being the source of Professor Sprout's given name, Pomona is also a minor character in The Chronicles of Narnia; she is mentioned in Prince Caspian as having been present when the apple orchard outside the walls of Cair Paravel was first planted, late in the reign of Peter the High King.
Rowling taught English at the Encounter English Schools in Porto, moving there in 1991 after her mother's death (30 December 1990). She met Jorge Arantes, her first husband, in a bar in Porto in March 1992. They were married on 16 October 1992. Her daughter Jessica was born in Porto on 27 July 1993. She left Porto with baby Jessica in November 1993, settling in Edinburgh near her sister Di (SS_JKRB). Porto is the official name of this city, though recent times have seen people from other locales referring to it as Oporto (in that port wine, the city's most famous product, is referred to as 'o porto') http://portugal-info.net/costaverde/porto.htm
Best known as the author of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, this late Victorian / Edwardian author wrote and illustrated several books for small children. Many of the illustrations were based on an area in the Lake District where her family began taking her on holidays when she was about sixteen, although her work was not published until later in her life. Compare this to the early Victorian-era wizarding world author Beatrix Bloxam (see), the subject of a famous wizard card.
Terry Pratchett is the author of the long-running, many-volumed Discworld series, co-author (with Neil Gaiman) of Good Omens, and author of many other works of humourous fantasy. Additional information about Terry Pratchett's life and works can be found at: The L-Space Web.
Jill Prewett is one of JKR's flatmates and good friends from her days in Porto. Jill and Rowling's other flatmate and friend, Aine Kiely, are the subject of the dedication in PA: "To Jill Prewett and Aine Kiely, the Godmothers of Swing." Swing does not, however, refer to swing dancing, but rather to the name of a disco in Porto, where the three women spent many Saturday nights (SS_JKRB). Molly Weasley's maiden name was Prewett (WBD).
PS was originally published in the United Kingdom by Bloomsbury on 26 June 1997, with a hardcopy print-run of only 500 copies. It was published as SS by Scholastic in October of 1998. CS was released in the United Kingdom in July of 1998 and in the United States in June of 1999. PA was released in the United Kingdom on 8 July 1999 and was published by Scholastic and released in the United States in September 1999. GF was released in the United Kingdom and the United States jointly on 8 July 2000. OP was released in the United Kingdom and the United States jointly on 21 June 2003. HBP was released in the United Kingdom and the United States jointly on 16 July 2005. DH was released in the United Kingdom and the United States jointly on 21 July 2007.
Often cited as one of JKR's favorite authors when asked what other books she recommends, Philip Pullman is the author of the widely-acclaimed His Dark Materials trilogy, as well as several other works of fantasy. "Philip Pullman is a writer I very much admire. I think he can write most adult authors off the page...I think he's amazing. His book Clockwork is a book that I think is an absolutely stunning piece of work" ("Harry Potter: Need she say more? J.K. Rowling talks about her wildly popular books," Jeff Baker, The Oregonian, 22 October 2000). Additional information about Pullman's life and works can be found at: http://www.philip-pullman.com/