Top selling US authors John Irving and Stephen King pleaded with Harry Potter author JK Rowling to spare Harry's life in the last book of the series, as reported in this CNN story. The three held a press conference in conjunction with a charity event at Radio City Music Hall in NYC. Defending her "sadism," Rowling explained
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 and Stephen's books," she said. "I think they've got to be toughened up somehow. It's a cruel literary world out there."