* Harry Potter author donates to pro-union campaign
* She compares some nationalists to her Death Eater
(Changes dateline, adds details, quotes throughout)
By Belinda Goldsmith
LONDON, June 11 JK Rowling, Britain's
best-selling author and creator of teenage wizard Harry Potter,
has donated 1 million pounds ($1.68 million) to the campaign
against Scottish independence, saying on Wednesday she believed
Scotland was better off staying in the United Kingdom.
Rowling lives in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh where she
wrote the first of the Potter series in a local cafe and will
be among about four million Scottish residents to decide on
Sept. 18 whether to end the 307-year tie to England.
Rowling said she was concerned about the economic impact of
going alone, with Scotland's oil and gas reserves being depleted
and an ageing population, becoming the latest in a string of
celebrities to wade into the increasingly heated debate.
"The more I have read from a variety of independent and
unbiased sources, the more I have come to the conclusion that
while independence might give us opportunities - any change
brings opportunities - it also carries serious risks," she wrote
on her website.
Rowling said she knew her stance might put her in the firing
line of a fringe of aggressive nationalists whom she compared to
Death Eaters, followers of Harry Potter villain Lord Voldemort.
"While a few of our fiercer nationalists might like to drive
me forcibly over the border after reading this, I'd prefer to
stay and contribute to a country that has given me more than I
can easily express," she wrote.
"I just hope with all my heart that we never have cause to
look back and feel that we made a historically bad mistake."
A spokesman for the Better Together campaign confirmed
Rowling had donated 1 million pounds to the fight to keep
Scotland in the United Kingdom which is the biggest donation yet
to the pro-union campaign that is leading in opinion polls.
The largest donation to the team fighting for independence
has come from Britain's biggest lottery winners, Scottish couple
Colin and Chris Weir, who have given about 3.5 million pounds
from their 2011 winnings of 161 million pounds.
Rowling, who was born in England but has lived in Scotland
for 21 years, first went public with her opposition to Scottish
independence in 2012 but her statement on Wednesday spelt out
She said she believed Scotland was more powerful in global
markets as part of the union with England, Wales and Northern
Ireland and was concerned about Scotland's relationship with the
rest of the United Kingdom if it broke away.
"If we leave ... there will be no going back. This
separation will not be quick and clean: it will take
microsurgery to disentangle three centuries of close
interdependence, after which we will have to deal with three
bitter neighbours," she wrote.
Other celebrities publicly to oppose independence include
singer David Bowie who appealed to Scotland to stay with the
United Kingdom at an awards ceremony in February and Scottish
comedian Billy Connolly who said it was a time to stay together.
But other big Scottish names are backing independence
including James Bond actor Sean Connery, a long-term nationalist
who said independence was too good an opportunity to miss.
One major Scottish celebrity, tennis player Andy Murray, has
refused to take sides in the debate, although he admitted this
week that he did not like Scottish leader Alex Salmond holding
up Scotland's blue and white flag, the Saltire, behind Prime
Minister David Cameron when he won Wimbledon last year.
Opinion polls currently suggest Scots are reluctant to break
away although support for independence has risen this year.
A TNS poll on Wednesday showed 42 percent of voters opposed
independence while 30 percent were in favour and 28 percent
undecided. The numbers were unchanged from a month ago.
(Editing by Stephen Addison)