Harry Potter author Jk Rowling has claimed that finishing the series left her devastated and "incredibly low".

The tale of the boy wizard, which has captivated adults and children across the world since 1997, ended this weekend with the publication of the seventh and final book.

Rowling, who finished writing the book that details what happens to Harry and his enemy Lord Voldemort earlier this year, told the Daily Mirror that the end of the 17-year epic had left her emotional.

"I felt devastated. I was mourning the loss of this world that I had written for so long and loved so much," she said.

"I was also mourning the retreat it had been from ordinary life.

"And it forced me to look back at 17 years of my life and remember things."

Rowling began writing the novel in 1990 when the idea for Harry, an orphaned boy wizard whose destiny is entwined with the evil Lord Voldemort, popped into her head on a long train journey.

The series has been a global phenomenon but, after 17 years of writing and increasing pressure to deliver from publishers and fans, Rowling now says she can relax.

After a week of depression, she said she felt a big sense of achievement. "I felt light and thought 'I can write whatever I like. The pressure's off'."

26/07/2007 09:31:24