When the Harry Potter series came to an end in 2007, fans all over the world mourned its loss. Jo says that writing Harry Potter helped her through some very tumultuous times in her personal life over the course of 17 years—and when she penned those final words, she went through a long bereavement process.

"Even though I always knew it was going to be seven books—that was it, I always knew it was going to end—when it ended, I was in a slight state of shock," she says.

Initially, Jo says she was "elated" to wrap up the series. However, on the day of Harry's birthday—her own birthday too—she mourned the loss so much that she was crying uncontrollably. She says the only other time in her life that she had cried like that was when her mother passed away.

"If it had been an escape for all these children, you can imagine what it had been for me," she says. "And it was not just the [Harry Potter] world—it was the discipline of working and it was the structure it gave to my life. I knew I'd still be writing, but I had to mourn Harry."


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