Two of America's top authors, John Irving and Stephen King, made a plea to J.K. Rowling Tuesday not to kill the fictional boy wizard Harry Potter in the final book of the series, but Rowling made no promises.
"My fingers are crossed for Harry," Irving said at a joint news conference before a charity reading by the three writers at New York City's Radio City Music Hall. King, who shot to fame in 1974 with "Carrie," said he didn't want Harry "to go over the Reichenbach Falls," a reference to Arthur Conan Doyle's effort to kill off his character of detective Sherlock Holmes.
Rowling, who is working on the seventh and last book in the Harry Potter series, reiterated that several characters would die. She also noted that Irving had killed off many more characters than she had.
"When fans accuse me of sadism, which doesn't happen that often, I feel I'm toughening them up to go on and read John's and Stephen's books," Rowling said. "I think they've got to be toughened up somehow. It's a cruel literary world out there."