Can it really be possible that the most successful writer in the history of genre fiction will be finished with the series that changed the world of publishing? For those adults who idly picked up their kid’s dog-eared copy of Harry Potter and became enthralled with Rowling’s lilting prose and sly commentary on our modern culture, it barely seems possible. And yet it is so. She’s done with it.
As Vicky and Marsha blogged, finishing a book can leave the author feeling bereft. Rowling, too. She let us peek into her feelings about the end of her Harry Potter books in this wonderful essay left on her diary. We thought it would be worth sharing.
Charles Dickens put it better than I ever could: ‘It would concern the reader little, perhaps, to know how sorrowfully the pen is laid down at the close of a two-years’ imaginative task; or how an Author feels as if he were dismissing some portion of himself into the shadowy world, when a crowd of the creatures of his brain are going from him for ever.’ To which I can only sigh, try seventeen years, Charles…
I always knew that Harry’s story would end with the seventh book, but saying goodbye has been just as hard as I always knew it would be. Even while I’m mourning, though, I feel an incredible sense of achievement. I can hardly believe that I’ve finally written the ending I’ve been planning for so many years. I’ve never felt such a mixture of extreme emotions in my life, never dreamed I could feel simultaneously heartbroken and euphoric.
Some of you have expressed a (much more muted!) mixture of happiness and sadness at the prospect of the last book being published, and that has meant more than I can tell you. If it comes as any consolation, I think that there will be plenty to continue arguing and speculating about, even after ‘Deathly Hallows’ comes out. So if you’re not yet ready to quit the message boards, do not despair…
I’m almost scared to admit this, but one thing has stopped me collapsing in a puddle of misery on the floor. While each of the previous Potter books has strong claims on my affections, ‘Deathly Hallows’ is my favourite, and that is the most wonderful way to finish the series.
I’ve pencilled in the last week of July to glom with the rest of world. And I have a feeling I’ll be elated and depressed all at once, too.
Isn’t that a wonderful feeling to have over a book?
Harry Potter anime art courtesy of Ayne Greensleeves and her fantastic imagination.