"Harry Potter" author JK Rowling writing adult novel

Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:59pm EST
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - J.K. Rowling, whose "Harry Potter" fantasy book series became a global publishing phenomenon, is writing her first novel for adults but the title and plot are still a closely-guarded secret.

The British writer, 46, whose teenage boy wizard tales became international best-sellers and inspired a series of hit films, said on Thursday that her new novel would be "very different" to the "Harry Potter" books that made her a household name and turned her into a billionaire.

"Although I've enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series," Rowling said in a statement.

"The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry's success has brought me, and with that new territory it seemed a logical progression to have a new publisher."

Publisher Little, Brown and Company, part of the Hachette Book Group, acquired the rights to publish the book, whose title and publication date will be announced later this year. It is Rowling's first major novel in several years after the last "Harry Potter" book in the series was published in 2007 and a supplement book in 2008.

Rowling's "Harry Potter" series was published by Scholastic in the United States, Bloomsbury in Britain and other publishers around the world.

"I am delighted to have a second publishing home in Little, Brown, and a publishing team that will be a great partner in this new phase of my writing life."

Neither Rowling nor a spokeswoman for Little, Brown and Company released the terms of the deal or whether any more adult novels were planned. The books will be released in print and e-book form.   Continued...

JK Rowling during the launch of online website Pottermore in London June 23, 2011. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett