|Authors J.K. Rowling (C), John Irving (L) and
Stephen King attend a news conference together before a charity
reading event in New York, August 1, 2006. (Mike
Two of America's top authors, John Irving and Stephen King,
made a plea to J.K. Rowling on
Tuesday not to kill the fictional boy wizard Harry Potter in the final
book of the series, but Rowling made no promises.
"My fingers are crossed for
Harry," Irving said at a joint news conference before a
charity reading by the three writers at New York's Radio City Music Hall.
King, who shot to fame in 1974 with "Carrie," said he had confidence
that Rowling would be "fair" to her hero.
Rowling, a Briton whose books have sold 300 million copies worldwide
according to her publishers, said she was well into the process of writing
the final book.
"I feel quite liberated," she said.
"I can resolve the story now and it's fun in a way it wasn't before
because finally I've reached my resolution, and I think some people will
loathe it and some people will love it, but that's how it should be."
"We're working toward the end I always planned but a couple of
characters I expected to survive have died and one character got a reprieve," she said, declining to
Asked about the wisdom of killing off fictional characters, Rowling
said she didn't enjoy killing the major character who died in book six --
for the sake of those who haven't read it yet she avoided naming the
victim -- but she said the conventions of the genre demanded the hero go
"I understand why an author would kill a
character from the point of view of not allowing others to continue
writing after the original author is dead," she added,
leaving the door open to the worst fears of some fans -- that Harry could
King recalled that when he had a character kick a dog to death in his
novel "Dead Zone" he received more letters of complaint than ever, to his
"You want to be nice and say 'I'm sorry you didn't like that,' but I'm
thinking to myself number one, he was a dog not a person, and number two,
the dog wasn't even real," he said.
"I made that dog up, it was a fake dog, it was a fictional dog, but
people get very, very involved," King said.