As fans of J.K. Rowling know, the author doesn’t make many public appearances—which is why Rowling shocked fans last week when she showed up to the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing festival in England. Only she wasn’t there as J.K. Rowling: She was there as Robert Galbraith. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Pseudonyms (1-4 of 4)
The mystery has been solved.
A British law firm admitted Thursday that one of its partners inadvertently revealed that J.K. Rowling had authored a mystery novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling.
The Sunday Times newspaper revealed over the weekend that the Harry Potter author had penned the book under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.
The newspaper said it had received a tip-off on Twitter, and there was speculation that Rowling or her publisher were behind the revelation — which has sent sales of the thriller skyrocketing.
But law firm Russells said Thursday that one of its partners, Chris Gossage, had let the information slip to his wife’s best friend, Judith Callegari — the woman behind the tweet. Her Twitter account has now been deleted.
A phone message left for Callegari was not immediately returned.
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Not many people owned a copy of The Cuckoo’s Calling before word leaked out over the weekend that author Robert Galbraith was, in fact, J.K. Rowling. But a handful who did have a signed edition.
And that could mean a lot of money.
Rowling spokeswoman Nicky Stonehill told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Rowling, the “Harry Potter” author, signed “a few copies” of her detective novel as “Robert Galbraith.” Wishing to keep her identity secret, Rowling made no promotional appearances for the book, published quietly in April, and Stonehill declined to say how any reader obtained a signed copy.
Bids for a signed first edition have topped $1,000 on eBay.
“Yes, those books will have value,” said Angel Webster of Bauman Rare Books in Manhattan. “The first edition is already a scarce commodity and she only signed a handful of them under vague circumstances.”
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Beloved Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is no slacker. Less that a year after publishing her first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, she rushed out a mystery novel called The Cuckoo’s Calling. But unlike the much-hyped Vacancy, she published The Cuckoo’s Calling this spring under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith — a secret that has only just come to light this weekend.
In a statement to The Sunday Times of London, which followed up an anonymous tip with some literary sleuthing, Rowling fessed up that she is indeed Galbraith: “I had hoped to keep this secret a little longer, because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience. It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name.”
Despite some sterling reviews (Publisher’s Weekly declared it a “stellar debut”), the book has barely made a sales ripple either in the U.K. or the U.S. It was published stateside in late April by Muholland Books, a three-year-old imprint of Little, Brown (which released The Casual Vacancy). One expects sales to explode now that Rowling has been revealed as the true author.
The Cuckoo’s Calling introduces a London private investigator named Cormoran Strike, an Afghanistan war veteran with an artificial lower leg, and his inquisitive office temp, Robin Ellacott, as they look into the supposed suicide of a high-profile supermodel named Lula Landry. One thing is certain: Strikingly original character names continue to be a Rowling hallmark.
Little, Brown publisher Reagan Arthur said in a statement that the company is planning to reprint the book with a revised author biography that reads: “Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling.” In addition, she announced, “We are really looking forward to publishing the second book in the Strike series next summer.”
Follow Thom on Twitter: @Thom Geier
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