Rowling sadness that mother died without knowing of Potter success

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HARRY POTTER author JK Rowling has admitted it was “painful” that her mother never knew about her best-selling success.

The writer, whose books have sold millions of copies and inspired a series of hit films about the teenage wizard, described the “guilt and worry and anxiety” brought on by her mother’s diagnosis with multiple sclerosis.

Rowling talked about the effect of the illness, which killed her mother when she was 45, on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

Asked what her mother would have made of her success, she said: “My mother was a passionate reader, and she would have been excited whatever I did, if I succeeded at anything, but particularly to be a writer, she would have considered to be a very valuable thing. Yes, she didn’t know, she never knew about Harry Potter – I started writing it six months before she died, so that is painful. I wish she’d known.”

The author is the first in a series of guest editors featuring on the long-running radio show at 10am from Monday to Friday this week. Her life was transformed by the success of the Harry Potter novels – she had been living on state benefits before becoming a multi-millionaire in just five years. She is the UK’s best-selling author since records began, with sales in excess of £238m.