Rowling to Deliver – A Baby and Next Book

07/26/2004 at 08:15 AM EDT

Rowling to Deliver – A Baby and Next Book
J.K. Rowling
Mark Stewart/Camera Press/Retna
Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling is expecting her third child next year, she has announced – but she promises fans that her pregnancy will not delay delivery of the sixth book in the hugely popular series.

Rowling, 38, already has a daughter, Jessica, from her first marriage, and last year had a son, David, with her second husband, Dr Neil Murray.

Breaking the news of the expected arrival on her Web site this weekend, Rowling wrote: "I always wanted three children, so I could not be happier."

Facing her fans, she went on to say: "Now, I know that many Harry Potter fans' first reaction will be what does this mean for the timing of book six? ... Book six remains well on track and, fingers crossed of course, I don't foresee any baby-related delays or interruptions."

She added that, unlike for the baby, there is no delivery date for the book manuscript – recently revealed to be Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – but assured Pottermaniacs that she has "written a lot and I really like it, (though) I still can't say for sure when it will be finished."

And, sounding like a worried student at Hogwarts, she also fretted about praising the work to date: "Reckless challenge to fate, that; I bet the next chapter goes horribly wrong now."

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