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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 September 2006, 10:33 GMT 11:33 UK
New Potter script in flight row
JK Rowling
JK Rowling insisted on carrying her manuscript on to her flight
American airport staff almost stopped Harry Potter author JK Rowling boarding a flight because she would not part with the manuscript for the final book.

Rowling was not prepared to stow her top secret notes for book number seven in her check-in baggage when she flew back from a book festival in August.

Eventually she was allowed to take them on the flight, bound in elastic bands.

Air passengers recently faced baggage restrictions following the discovery of an alleged plot to blow up airliners.

The writer said she would have considered sailing back to the UK if security officers had not relented.

Her seventh Harry Potter book is to be the last in the hugely popular series.

Handwritten notes

The author was returning from New York where she took part in a charity book reading with fellow authors Stephen King and John Irving.

She wrote on her website: "The heightened security restrictions on the airlines made the journey back from New York interesting, as I refused to be parted from the manuscript of book seven.

"A large part of it is handwritten and there was no copy of anything I had done while in the US.

"They let me take it on thankfully, bound up in elastic bands. I don't know what I would have done if they hadn't - sailed home probably."

Rowling was recently named the celebrity world's ninth highest earner, making 41m in 2005 according to US business magazine Forbes.

Film adaptations

Worldwide sales of the Potter books are reported to have topped 300 million.

The first four film adaptations have helped make Rowling one of the UK's richest people, with an estimated personal fortune of 500m.

Filming has begun on the fifth instalment of the movie franchise, Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix.

The author also revealed she has yet to choose a title for the long-awaited conclusion to the boy wizard's adventures, and is choosing between two possibilities for the novel.

"I was quite happy with one of them until the other one struck me while I was taking a shower in New York," she wrote.

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