My 6 Degrees of Separation From … J.K. Rowling!

6degreesAll week long I’ve been picturing interconnecting friendship circles. Smaller ones and bigger ones, some that overlap and some that don’t, but that generally trend outwards. I think of my writing communities this way. In fact, I was thinking about this topic last week when I wrote a post on my blog — Serendipity Will Meet You Along the Way — about how we never know what might happen through our communities. There’s lots of potential for serendipitous events.

KevinBaconOK, so … I’m sick <sniffle> <cough> so bear with me. All this thinking about overlapping and expanding circles got me pondering the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon. You know this game, right? From him, you can land on anyone in the motion picture industry (dead or alive) within six degrees of separation. It’s amazing actually.

What about the 6 degrees of Lisa Alber? Who is the most outlandishly unlikely author I could know within 6 degrees? Stephen King and J.K. Rowling come to mind. I choose J.K. Rowling because she seems more farfetched. She’s British, for one thing, and she gained fame by writing YA fantasy, which is a far cry from what I write. Plus, her fame was so stratospheric she’s practically another Royal.

Here are my six degrees of separation from J.K. Rowling. Starting with little ol’ me here in Portland, Oregon, we go to:

1. Johnny Shaw, another Portland mystery writer and an all-around hilarious guy.

2. Marcia Clark. Yep, former O.J. Simpson prosecutor, now bestselling mystery author. She and Johnny met at a conference a few months ago. I was there. I saw it, so I know. He moderated a panel she was on.

3. Joshua Kendall, Editorial Director of Mulholland Books, Marcia Clark’s publisher.

4. J.K. Rowling! In case you don’t know, she’s now a mystery author, and Mulholland Books is her U.S. publisher.

Only 4 degrees of separation! I can count J.K. Rowling among my peeps now. Seriously. Her first mystery novel in a series came out this spring, mine’s coming out in March. We have TONS in common, don’t you think?

OK, I’m kidding myself, but I remain a fan of the 6 degrees and of serendipity. You never know what may happen as you expand your communities. Gives me chills thinking about it. (Or is that the fever? I need to go to bed.)

So, who’s within your 6 degrees of separation?


(Later, Thursday night) Whoa, wait!! I’m actually only THREE degrees of separation from my new friend, Jo. (No one calls her Joanne, by the way, much less J.K.) Poking around just now, I discovered that Greg Rucka, who I’m going to meet in two weeks at a reading event, is also published by Mulholland Books.

It’s like that sign you used to see on side view mirrors: Objects in mirror are closer than they appear. People we could know are closer than they appear too. And maybe someday I’ll tell you a story about partying down with Jo Rowling. (Time for bed–I think delirium has officially set in.)

Author: Lisa Alber

Lisa Alber is the author of KILMOON, A COUNTY CLARE MYSTERY (March 2014). Ever distractible, you may find her staring out windows, dog walking, fooling around online, or drinking red wine with her friends. Ireland, books, animals, photography, and blogging at Lisa Alber's Words at Play round out her distractions. Visit her at

6 Replies to “My 6 Degrees of Separation From … J.K. Rowling!”

  1. Omg, I love this! So much fun. I’d never thought to try this but I definitely will now. It’s kind of fun to think how few degrees it becomes once we bring our agents or agencies into the picture. For example, my agent recently sold a book by Danielle Fischer, the actress who plays Topanga in Boy Meets World 😉

  2. You’re cracking me up.

    I would have to research Jo to know how many degrees away I am. I suspect as many as Kevin Bacon. Oh, wait. I’ve met Tom Hanks, and he was in Apollo 13 with Kevin Bacon, so only two degrees there!

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