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Author J.K. Rowling says her mother's death while she was writing the Harry Potter books led her to make her hero suffer the death of his own parents.

Rowling said part of the pain of losing her mother Anne, who died in 1990 at the age of 45 after fighting multiple sclerosis for a decade, was that she never knew her daughter was writing the books.

"I know I was writing Harry Potter at the moment my mother died. I had never told her about Harry Potter," Rowling said in an interview with Tatler magazine, published in yesterday's Daily Telegraph.

Rowling, who was 25 at the time of her mother's death, said: "Barely a day goes by when I do not think of her. There would be so much to tell her, impossibly much."

Rowling's tales of Harry Potter, the orphaned wizard, quickly became a literary success, selling more than 300 million books in 63 countries. AP