Writing seven books wasn't "like being in a pop group," the author laments

By Courtney Rubin
July 20, 2007 09:00 AM
Mark Stewart/Camera Press/Retna

As millions of fans await Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and the final news of their hero’s fate – to be revealed once and for all 12:01 a.m. Saturday – J.K. Rowling sounds almost relieved that it is sealed.

“I was very lonely with it,” the author, 41, told the Associated Press of what it was like to write a saga that has been 10 years in the making.

“It’s not like being in a pop group, where at least there would be three or four other people who knew what it was like to be on the inside,” she said. “Only I knew what it was like to be generating this world as it became bigger and bigger and bigger and more and more people were invested in it.”

Her first Potter book – 1997’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – featured Harry as a boy only just becoming aware of his magical powers and being initiated into the wonders of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Since then, his continuing adventures have sold 325 million copies worldwide, been translated into 64 languages and spawned five blockbuster films, with two more on their way.

“The final book is what it was always supposed to be,” says Rowling, “and so I feel very at peace with that fact.”

Well, most aspects of it, at least. The seventh volume has already found its way into the hands of some 1,200 readers as well as been reviewed – glowingly – in The New York Times, though still much to Rowling’s dismay.

In a statement, the author claimed to be “staggered” by the leaks, which she considers a “complete disregard of the wishes of literally millions of readers, particularly, children.”

But all that may forgotten come this weekend, when Harry Potter is here, for the final time. Or is he?

“I can never write anything as popular again,” foresees Rowling. “Lightning does not strike in the same place twice. I’ll do exactly what I did with Harry – I’ll write what I really want to write, and if it’s something similar, that’s okay, and if it’s something very different, that’s okay.”

She adds: “I just really want to fall in love with an idea again, and go with that.”