Harry Potter author ends 16-year spell with agent

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Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling said on Monday she had ended her 16-year association with the literary agent who helped to launch the multi-million-selling series of books about the boy wizard.

Christopher Little began working with Rowling in 1995, although it took until August 1996 to find a publisher for her first book, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone".

Their partnership lasted through the seven-book series, which sold 400 million copies and made Rowling into one of the richest women in the world.

But just days before the final film based on the books hits the big screen, the author confirmed their working relationship had come to an end, without giving any further explanation.

"We can confirm that J.K. Rowling has terminated her association with the Christopher Little Literary Agency," said a statement from a public relations agency on Rowling's behalf.

"This was a painful decision, especially as Ms Rowling had actively sought a different outcome for some weeks. However, it was not taken without good reason and it finally became unavoidable."

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2", the final film in the epic saga starring Daniel Radcliffe as Harry and Emma Watson as Hermione Granger, has its world premiere in London on Thursday.

Rowling laid down her pen -- and Harry's magic wand -- when she finished the seventh book in 2007. But the author has yet to let go of her creation.

Last month she unveiled an interactive website featuring new material about Potter's world, and announced that his adventures would be sold as e-books for the first time.

The free website, www.pottermore.com, will go live from July 31 for one million Potter fans who pass a special online challenge, and to the general public from October.

The seven e-books will be available through the website from October in partnership with Sony.

Rowling's fortune is estimated at £530 million (580 million euros, $855 million), according to this year's annual list of Britain's wealthiest people published in The Sunday Times newspaper.

© 2011 AFP

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