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J K Rowling on finishing Harry Potter

By rediff Entertainment Bureau
Last updated on: January 12, 2006 00:03 IST
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For fans of Harry Potter -- and to say there are many would be an understatement -- here are the most important things you need to know: One, J K Rowling will finish writing the series this year, and has already completed the final chapter. Two, she has written a new children's book about a monster and refers to it as a 'political fairy story'. Three, she has also written a few short stories.

Talk about an exciting year.

These things came to light in an interview Rowling gave to the London-based The Daily Telegraph, where she talked about everything from dealing with her fame and fortune to life with her husband and, in the most touching part of the interview, the death of her mother from multiple sclerosis.

Anne Rowling died at 45 without knowing her daughter would one day be the world's biggest author.

Interestingly, J K Rowling began writing about her now-famous boy wizard on the night her mother died. It was 1991, New Year's day, and she had been writing at her boyfriend's house when her father called early the next morning to give her the news.

A tearful Rowling told the newspaper that she thought of her mother almost daily, adding that there would be an impossible amount of things to tell her.

Her priority today, she continued, was to raise money for research into multiple sclerosis.

Fans of Harry Potter will recognise the impact Rowling's mother's death had on the author.

The wizard is an orphan, and death pervades the series in many forms, from the loss of Harry's parents to his nemesis Voldemort's obsession with immortality.

According to Rowling, the final book will see the deaths of both good and bad guys.

The Telegraph story also touched upon other aspects of Rowling's life, including her meeting the Queen ('My mother would have loved for me to have phoned to say I was getting the OBE'), being invited by Nelson Mandela to South Africa, earning more than she can spend (she was valued at £435 million in 2004), and being able to meet anyone in the world just by making a phone call.

'I'm not trying to be modest, but it still puzzles me and I'm very wary of it,' said Rowling, who gets thousands of letters every month and continues to endure everything from death threats and stalkers to the ever-present paparazzi.

It's all a far cry from the life of the 25-year-old single parent from Gloucestershire who tried to survive on £70 a week.

Rowling admitted to not complaining about the money, saying she was 'grateful for it every single day.'

Her only extravagances, apparently -- apart from three homes in London, Edinburgh and Perth -- are handbag and shoes.

She also talked about life with her husband Neil Murray and her two children with him. 'Before I met Neil, I hadn't met anyone that I could conceive of marrying,' she said.

She believed she would always stay single, but added that she knew she would always cope.

Finally, dealing with fame. 'I was hypersensitive because I had a daughter from my first marriage,' said Rowling. 'It was as though I'd lived under a rock for a long time and suddenly someone had lifted it off and was shining a torch on me. And it's not that life under the rock was awful, but actually I was petrified and didn't know how to handle it.'

For now, she seems to learnt how, living in peace with her husband and children while the world awaits her next creation.

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