J.K. Rowling says she wept as she wrote Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book in the hugely successful Harry Potter series.

Speaking in a BBC interview aired July 6, the 41-year-old author said "I was in a hotel room on my own, I was sobbing my heart out, I downed half a bottle of champagne from the mini-bar in one and went home with mascara all over my face."

Rowling said she herself inspired the character of Hermione Granger. "I was quite swotty (overly studious) as a child," she said. Harry Potter is totally imaginary, while his friend Ron Weasley was modeled on Rowling's oldest friend Sean.

Rowling said last year that two central characters will die in the final book, leading many fans to believe that Harry Potter may not survive the series.

Rowling will mark the release of the final novel with a midnight signing session at London's Natural History Museum on July 21, the day of its release. She will also undertake a U.S. reading tour for children in Los Angeles, New York, and New Orleans in October.

The previous six Harry Potter books have sold more than 325 million copies worldwide while being translated into more than 63 languages, including Farsi and Chinese. According to the Sunday Times newspaper, the franchise has earned J.K. Rowling a $1.01 billion fortune, making her the 13th richest woman in Britain, eight places ahead of Queen Elizabeth II.