Mark Stewart/Camera Press/Retna
July 26, 2004 08:15 AM

Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling is expecting her third child next year, she has announced – but she promises fans that her pregnancy will not delay delivery of the sixth book in the hugely popular series.

Rowling, 38, already has a daughter, Jessica, from her first marriage, and last year had a son, David, with her second husband, Dr Neil Murray.

Breaking the news of the expected arrival on her Web site this weekend, Rowling wrote: “I always wanted three children, so I could not be happier.”

Facing her fans, she went on to say: “Now, I know that many Harry Potter fans’ first reaction will be what does this mean for the timing of book six? … Book six remains well on track and, fingers crossed of course, I don’t foresee any baby-related delays or interruptions.”

She added that, unlike for the baby, there is no delivery date for the book manuscript – recently revealed to be Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – but assured Pottermaniacs that she has “written a lot and I really like it, (though) I still can’t say for sure when it will be finished.”

And, sounding like a worried student at Hogwarts, she also fretted about praising the work to date: “Reckless challenge to fate, that; I bet the next chapter goes horribly wrong now.”

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