IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Rowling: Mom's death influenced Potter book

Author says she never told her mother about work on bestselling series
/ Source: The Associated Press

Author J.K. Rowling said in an interview published Tuesday that her mother's death while she was writing the Harry Potter books led her to make her hero suffer the death of his own parents.

Rowling said part of the pain of losing her mother Anne, who died in 1990 at the age of 45 after fighting multiple sclerosis for a decade, was that she never knew her daughter was writing the books.

"I know I was writing Harry Potter at the moment my mother died. I had never told her about Harry Potter," Rowling said in an interview with Tatler magazine that was published in Tuesday's Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Rowling, who was 25 at the time of her mother's death, said: "Barely a day goes by when I do not think of her. There would be so much to tell her, impossibly much."

The author said her mother's death led to her make Harry Potter suffer the death of his own parents.

Rowling lost her mother on New Year's Eve 1990 and said the death left her "a wreck."

The writer also said when her novels became world famous she had trouble dealing with the stardom.

"I've never said this before, but when I was repeatedly asked, 'How are you coping?' I would say, 'Fine.' I was lying to myself at the time. It was as though I had 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."

Her tales of Harry Potter, the orphaned wizard, quickly became a literary success, selling more than 300 million books in 63 countries.