Author J.K. Rowling told U.S. television talk show host Oprah Winfrey she cried uncontrollably when she finished the last of her best-selling Harry Potter books, but did not rule out writing another one.
"I'm not saying I won't. I love writing them," the 45-year-old British author told Winfrey in a videotaped interview at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland, that aired on ABC TV on Friday.
Rowling, who only rarely gives interviews, said the characters are "in my head still."
She added that she had always wanted to be a writer and knew she could tell a story but needed the right subject. Inspiration struck while she was on a delayed London-bound train, but she found herself without a pen. Eventually, the words poured out.
"I have to write for my own mental health. I need to write. I love it, I need to do it," she said, citing the discipline and structure writing gives her.
In an hourlong interview, shown with picturesque shots of Scotland's countryside and of Edinburgh, Rowling and Winfrey shared sentiments about the vagaries of fame, being self-made billionaires, and ending a phase in their lives.
Winfrey will halt her 25-year run atop the TV talk show heap when she launches her OWN cable network at the end of this year. Rowling had plotted out the end of her book series down to the last line of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," a publishing phenomenon in 2007.
"It was a bereavement. It was huge. Although I knew it was coming," Rowling said. "Initially I was elated, but then I cried like I haven't cried since my mother died."
Rowling pronounced herself happy after bouts with clinical depression that deepened in her 20s, and then after contending with phobia that struck along with her new-found fame.
"At the time, I had to deny how great the pressure was," she said. "It shouldn't have happened, this was a children's book."
"There came a point where it was crazy," she said.
She compared the adulation during a second U.S. book tour as "Beatles-esque," except that members of that 1960s band could "turn to each other -- I had no one to turn to."
"I kept saying to people, 'Yeah, I'm coping' ... but the truth was there were times when I was barely hanging on by a thread."
"I'm a writer. They're never going to want pictures of me on the beach in a bikini. I was never prepared for it," she added.
Rowling said she was grateful for the fans of Harry Potter -- the series has sold more than 400 million copies and the movies made from each book have together grossed $5.3 billion so far.
But the outgrowth of Harry Potter merchandise and theme parks could be a lot worse, she said, noting she nixed pop star Michael Jackson's idea of making a Harry Potter musical.
The Potter series was published in Britain by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc and in the United States by Scholastic Inc.