How Rowling sought inspiration in art

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JK ROWLING turned to Scotland's national art collection in an attempt to tackle her only serious case of writer's block while penning the Harry Potter series.

The author took to wandering the halls of the National Galleries of Scotland in a "desperate and random measure" as she sought inspiration.

However, it only left her feeling miserable.

Rowling has written about her writing life in a brief but revealing introduction to Reading Round Edinburgh, a guide to children's books set in the city.

The beautifully illustrated book runs from Greyfriars Bobby to the streets that inspired Robert Louis Stevenson's eerie classic, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Memories of Edinburgh "leap out of the pages of Harry Potter for me", Rowling writes, "the places I wrote particular chapters and passages; where I despaired of ever having another idea; where I experienced all the delights and the frustrations of living in a fictional world."

But while the city has many "Potteresque vistas", she cannot point to particular buildings or streets featured in her books.

She slaps down the idea that Hogwarts was based on a "certain public school" in the city.