— Harry Potter may not be returning to the printed page, but his creator J.K. Rowling is — some five years after she penned her seventh and final “Harry Potter” book, the English author is set to return to bookshelves Sept. 27 with her first adult fiction novel.
Rowling's new publisher Little, Brown & Co. announced the upcoming release of "The Casual Vacancy," which it describes as a "darkly comic" novel centering on the fictional English town of Pagford, where darkness lies beneath a peaceful facade.
Rowling sold some more than 450 million copies of her Harry Potter book series, but retired the character after the release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" in 2007. "The Casual Vacancy" marks the 46-year-old Rowling's work since the series.
In a statement heralding her first work aimed solely at adults, Rowling said she's hoping her transition from "Harry Potter," and the series publisher Bloomsbury, will be a smooth one.
"The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry's success has brought me, and with that new territory it seemed a local progression to have a new publisher," she said. "I am delighted to have a second publishing home...that will be a great partner in this new phase of my writing life."
Rowling's celebrity has kept Potter fan websites humming for years asking when she would publish a new book. She's left the door open — just a crack — for writing another Potter book someday.
"In 10 years time, I might want to return to it, but I think it's unlikely," she said.