Last September, children’s author JK Rowling (most famous for her Harry Potter book series) released a novel aimed at the adult audience titled The Casual Vacancy. But today we learn that Rowling also released a book aimed at adults earlier this year titled The Cuckoo’s Calling. The only reason we are just now hearing about this new book from Rowling is because she published the book under the pen name Robert Galbraith. Rowling was able to keep her secret for a few months … that is, until someone posted the truth about her identity on Twitter. Once the cat was let out of the bag, the news spread like wildfire … and the modestly successful sales of The Cuckoo’s Calling have skyrocketed. Click below to learn more about Rowling’s newest book and secret identity.
JK Rowling has secretly written a crime novel under the guise of male debut writer Robert Galbraith. The Harry Potter author was acclaimed for The Cuckoo’s Calling, about a war veteran turned private investigator called Cormoran Strike. The book had sold 1,500 copies before the secret emerged in the Sunday Times. Within hours, it rose more than 5,000 places to top Amazon’s sales list. Rowling said she had “hoped to keep this secret a little longer”. The author described “being Robert Galbraith” as a “such a liberating experience”. “It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name,” she said in a statement. Rowling said her editor, David Shelley, had been “a true partner in crime”. “And to those who have asked for a sequel, Robert fully intends to keep writing the series, although he will probably continue to turn down personal appearances,” she added. One reviewer described The Cuckoo’s Calling as a “scintillating debut”, while another praised the male author’s ability to describe women’s clothes. A clue that Rowling was behind the novel was that she and “Galbraith” shared an agent and editor. The book was published by Sphere, part of Little, Brown Book Group which published her foray into writing novels for adults, The Casual Vacancy. Crime writer Peter James told the Sunday Times: “I thought it was by a very mature writer, and not a first-timer.” While crime author Mark Billingham, who reviewed the book ahead of its publication in April, said he was “gobsmacked” at the revelation. Rowling also caught out others with her new guise. Kate Mills, fiction editor at Orion Books, admitted she had turned down the crime novel, which she described as “well-written but quiet”. “So, I can now say that I turned down JK Rowling. I did read and say no to Cuckoo’s Calling. Anyone else going to confess?” she tweeted. Sales of the novel have rocketed since the true identity of its author was revealed. The “Movers and Shakers” section of Amazon, which charts gains in sales by the hour, says sales of the book are currently up by more than 507,000%. A spokesman for Waterstones booksellers said: “This is the best act of literary deception since Stephen King was outed as Richard Bachman back in the 1980s” … The fictitious Galbraith was supposed to have been a former plain-clothes Royal Military Police investigator who had left the armed forces in 2003 to work in the civilian security industry. In previous interviews, Rowling has said she would prefer to write novels after Harry Potter under a pseudonym. Another Cormoran Strike book by Robert Galbraith is in the pipeline, to be published next year.
Wow. What a cool surprise. Honestly, I can’t say that I’m all that shocked that Rowling has decided to publish books under a pen name, especially considering how famous she is. I can understand the liberation she might feel by writing and releasing books without so much hype just because of who she is. It’s a shame that her secret couldn’t last longer but in this day and age, I guess it’s surprising that she managed to keep her secret identity under wraps for as long as she did. I can’t say that I’m a big fan of crime novels so I don’t think I’ll be picking up a copy of The Cuckoo’s Calling. But I hope JK is able to publish more books in this way. I don’t know if she’ll be able to keep coming up with new pseudonyms every time she wants to publish a new book but I wouldn’t put it past her to try. Any Harry Potter fans out there rush out and pick up a copy of Rowling’s new book? I’m dying to hear if it’s any good.